How did you take the leap? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-27-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know some people become SAHMs out of necessity, or always knew that's what they wanted. If you started out in school or the working world but decided to SAHM, how did you make that call?

 

I recently decided to leave my graduate school program. I feel good about that choice. I want to spend more time with my children, and have another baby. But, I am getting a lot of pressure to take a few more courses to finish a Master's, or to look for a job. I love teaching and agree that an MA would be good to have, but I would really like to step back from the chaotic life I've led since my oldest was born, and just be for awhile. I'd be fine adjuncting a class per semester and being a Mom. Here are the things holding me back from doing that....

 

  1. DH -- He's not opposed to SAHM, but he does kind of hate his current job. It pays very well, but it's really stressful. I'm worried that approaching him with this will sound like "Hey, you keep toiling away for 45 hours a week while I live the good life!" 
  2. I'm nervous about budgeting and living on less (even though the majority of my income has been going to daycare!). I also know I'll need to save for a homebirth, etc. This would be new to me and makes me worry!
  3. I worry about a gap in employment. I worry that I might never be able to work doing something I love. (This kind of happened to my Mom after she SAHMed for 8 years, even though she is sure she wouldn't trade that time with us for anything).

 

Basically, I'm looking for advice, perspective, and encouragement!


Lauren (33), writer, recovering academic, WOHM to a highly sensitive child (Robin, Feb '08) and mellow little Holly (Jan '10). Newly diagnosed Bipolar I. rolleyes.gif
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#2 of 10 Old 01-27-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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We got twins the first time around, and while working the budget it became clear that one of us would need to stay home, as a whole salary would go to daycare and related expenses.

I do have my own worries, and it is difficult to live on less. We are in debt for the first time in our married life (well, credit card debt. We've had a house/student loan payment before). I worry about the years not in the work force, as well as the fact that I've got all these years where I'm not building up retirement. Yet I'm having a good time, homeschooling my kids, and like spending time with them.

 

Personally, in your situation, I'd finish the degree. It's just usually better to get it done with, rather than let it languish and become out of date and unfinished. 

 

As for how to bring it up, start with the budget. If most of a salary is going to pay other people to watch your children, and you'd rather do it yourself, that's a great way to introduce the topic.


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#3 of 10 Old 02-24-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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I'm hoping to make the leap this summer.  As my children have grown older I want more and more to stay at home with them.  My DH knows this is my dream and is trying to find a better paying job that will allow me to make my dream a reality.  I'm a little nervous since it will be a big change for our family, but I know it will be the best for me and my children in the long run.

 

Honestly the first thing we did was the budget.  We tallied up every single must pay item (like mortgage, insurance, etc), then every single really want to have item (car payment, gasoline, phone), and all our monthly "fun" items (subscriptions, memberships, entertainment, etc.).  We then looked at what we could have with different income levels, and what we are comfortable giving up.  Right now we have pared everything down to a minimalistic level so that we can pay off our debts faster.  Getting rid of some of the debts combined with a better paying job for him equals me able to stay home.

 

I know the guilt you feel about sending DP to work while you are "living the dream", but I think you really have to suss this out with him.  In my case, staying home with our children is not a dream for my DH.  Although his work is sometimes stressful, dealing with the illogic nature of little children makes him crazy.  So he actually fears that I may loose it being home with them all day.  He thinks that a more relaxed wife, homecooked meals, a cleaner house and happy kids sounds like a pretty good trade for the loss of my income. 

 

Here's hoping we both get to make the jump.  praying.gif


CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#4 of 10 Old 03-22-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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I've been contemplating this since I had DS1 4 years ago! I wanted to quit grad school after he was born, and my DH basically said no. His reasons were that 1) if I didn't finish then, I would never get that degree (and he knew how important it was to me, at least pre-baby), and 2) he did not want to have the financial/psychological burden of being the sole earner. So, even while I could have probably argued with 1, I felt I could not argue with 2. So, I went back, and I finished 3+ years later (I had DS1 during my first year). I also went on to have DS2 in my fourth year, about 9 months before graduating. Then, we still needed me to have some of an income to pay the bills, so I took a PT job. But, that job turned into a FT one, as my boss found more money and assumed that was what I wanted. I do 30 hours formally, and often hours at night and on weekends. It is not what I wanted in terms of hours, but I do enjoy the work. At the same time, I still feel like I'm missing important moments with my little ones, and regret not being there more. So, I'm still thinking about it. I may go down to PT, or I may try to SAH, particularly since we have an impending job change for DH coming up. I'm not sure if SAH is really the answer for me, but I won't know until I try!


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#5 of 10 Old 03-22-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarlady View Post
I know the guilt you feel about sending DP to work while you are "living the dream", but I think you really have to suss this out with him.  In my case, staying home with our children is not a dream for my DH.  Although his work is sometimes stressful, dealing with the illogic nature of little children makes him crazy.  So he actually fears that I may loose it being home with them all day.  He thinks that a more relaxed wife, homecooked meals, a cleaner house and happy kids sounds like a pretty good trade for the loss of my income. 


And this is so true for us as well! My DH would probably go insane if he had to stay home with the kids; it would be no means be his dream of the good life!! And yes, he fears I wouldn't like doing it more than a few weeks, given how challenging our DS1 can be!!


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#6 of 10 Old 03-22-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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In some ways our decision was easy because when we got pregnant with ds we had just moved to another country & I didn't have a work visa, so it was a natural transition. It was also how we always hoped to do things.

 

But, oh the guilt. When dh is hating his job (he goes through times it's great & times it's awful) I feel bad that I can't take some of that pressure off. When I am the one doing all the spending (on groceries & stuff to be honest) I often feel guilty. When he can't go buy something he wants I feel guilty. But logically I know it is ok.

 

As for working in the future - I haven't decided how we will deal with that. I may not go back to work, I may do something different. I just don't know. This is one of those things that concerned persons like my mom like to bring up. What if he leaves you? What if he dies? What if he loses his job? Plain & simple I am doing what I think is best for my family right now & I am refusing to live in fear of the all the what if's.


Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#7 of 10 Old 03-25-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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We originally made the decision because of DH's career. Very long unpredictable hours. I am a RN and would usually be at work 13 hours, I couldn't count on DH being around to do school or day care pick ups. Or sick days. And he made far more money then I did. It just seemed logical. Eventually I went return to very part time work where I only work a couple hours when kids are in school and have the flexibility for when illness strikes. 


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#8 of 10 Old 03-27-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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I was trying to figure out how I was going to return to a full time CNA job and give breast milk exclusively. After my first dd was born, I just couldn't go back. So we became extra frugal. lol.

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#9 of 10 Old 04-05-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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For the first 8 months of my ds life, I was dying to SAH. Prior to having him, we agreed it would be a great choice, but since I worked in a great child care center, in the exact room my ds would be in, that I would probably continue working. As the months went by, I wanted to be at home with my baby, not at work with him.  Although theoretically my dh wanted me to be home with the baby, he was afraid of being the only one earning an income. Which is why I worked for those 8 months. But after a while I did the numbers, realized we would be JUST FINE without my income, especially since half of my income was going towards ME watching MY OWN DS at MY OWN WORK. irked.gif So that didn't make much sense to me.  I basically gave two weeks notice at work and then told my dh.  Yeah, I feel bad that he absolutely has to work every single day in a job that stresses him out (but that he loves) but I am spending every ounce of my time and energy trying to develop and nurture his offspring into compassionate, loving, strong human beings.  So he isn't just working hard for us, I am working hard for him too. That is how I see it and that was my thinking when I basically pushed aside his reservations for not wanting me to stay home. orngbiggrin.gif

 

I hope you choose to stay home, it is so worth it. I got to see my ds2 do things that I completely missed my ds1 doing.

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#10 of 10 Old 04-07-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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The hardest part of deciding to be a SAHP was knowing that my DH (who has a more lucatrive degree than me) had been out of work twice totaling two years out of the last decade. He's gotten a lot better at networking and currently has a job that covers what I made but who know what will happen when the project is complete. I knew I had shot my choice of careers in the foot when I decided to stay with the job I had during the 00s rather at least trying to find my dream job.

 

I wish I would have decided fully on being home while I was pregnant. I would have taken a few more days off instead of saving them to augment my maternity leave. 

 

I'm grateful that as the SAHP I've had time to finally get some exercise. (My Y has a great child watch program.) Still, I don't think I'm doing such a great job with this. Part of it is this surprise pregnancy at 41 which leaves me exhausted. Even when not pregnant my brain is mush. I've been reading science magazines and history journals a lot because anything with a long format gets interrupted too many times. I don't really click with other SAHMs I know. 

 

I don't think anyone could have told me how I need to budget my own mental energy and attention right along with thinking about career and money.

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