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#1 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I am due in February.. I had planned on returning to work full-time, as we thought there was no other choice. We were told I couldn't have children, and after losing 200+ lbs, finding out I was pregnant was a huge surprise and shock, considering we'd been really careless with alot of things, SINCE WE COULDNT have children.. Ya know.. Vacation? Sure. We dont have kids! 2 new cars? Why not?!
Then all of a sudden, Bam. We're pregnant.

So, as I stated, we were sure I couldnt stay home. 2 weeks ago, I was told I was being laid off and my last day would be December 30th. I was told (And I recorded it on my Nextel) that because there are only 2 girls in the office, and I was going to be missing work to have a baby, and there was a chance I would miss work due to new baby, that I was the one being let go as the girl who took my position when I got promoted didn't have kids.
Illegal? Yes.
But, me and the husband went over finances and a budget and figured that if we refinanced our house from a 15 year to a 30 year mortgage, that we could get enough cash to pay off our credit cards, we'd be okay. Things would be tight, and we could have a couple of hundred dollars left over every month.

If we refinanced, and paid off the cards, in a couple of years when I went back to work, we could pay extra and still pay it off in 15 years, so no biggie, right?
Things would be tight, but no one would hire me 9 months pregnant anyway, and a new job wouldnt be understanding if I missed work due to a new baby.
So, we started proceedings to refiance the house.

Now, Saturday, my boss called me from his ski trip in Colorado to tell me we picked up enough work to carry us through the first quarter and that I didnt have to worry about my last day being the 30th.
I asked him what about the second quarter, and he only said hopefully work will keep coming in.
I asked him if it meant I could keep working until closer to my due date and then be laid off, or if I wasn't being laid off at all, and he said either.
I told him I had to speak to my husband, and I'll let him know something on the 23rd when he comes back from vacation.

The first 6 months arent really an issue, as I can get my unemployment for that amount of time.. I know my boss will allow me the unemployment, because he thinks I should stay home anyway.. He even went as far as telling me (The exact day I found out I was pregnant) that if I couldnt stay home, I should have an abortion, and that I was too young for a child anyway.. (I'm 27, husband is 29)

My husband wants me to stay home, but with our budget, there will only be a couple hundred dollars left over after bills, barring no emergencies.

Refinancing and paying off the CC's saves us 400 a month. if DH can change his w-4 to claim me and the baby, he'd bring home another 400 a month. subtract the 600 a month for daycare, gas and my lunches, that's 1400 a month. I only bring home 1600. That 2 hundred dollars extra every month doesnt seem like enough to let my child spend half the day in daycare.
But, on the other hand, that 2 hundred would double what we could save.

I want to stay home for atleast one year, but I dont want to put a financial strain in my husband. Granted, if things did get tight, I could work nights or something..

I am crazy for thinking about staying home when there is only a $200 cushion? I dont want to put alot of strain on my husband, etc.. but his job is stable. He's been there 7 years, and he's high enough on the heirarchy that theres very little chance of him ever being laid off. His truck is paid for, and my uncle sends me a check to cover my payment, so there is no reason to go to one car.
Would you stay home if there was only a $200 cushion? Is it that important to you, and if it is, did you have a career before you stayed at home?

Sorry for the book.. I'm really sturggling here.
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#2 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 01:51 PM
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I think you will find that there are a lot of families who have a lot less of a cushion who choose to have 1 parent at home. Its a matter of what's important to you. I am home w/my almost 5 month old, something that didn't happen with my 13yo so I knew with this baby that I wanted to be home at least the first year. Its a little tight but comfortably do-able. Prior to becoming a SAHM I was executive director of a HIV/AIDS service agency so I guess you would say that I had a career. My plan when my girl turns 1 is hopefully to consult ft and become a WAHM but I am taking it 1 day at a time. Heck I' d love to be a SAHM longer than a year but with student loans of $900 a month on the 20 year repayment plan I can't.

You may want to look in the mindful home section and get some ideas for frugal living.


Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#3 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 02:18 PM
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I was a teacher in a Christian school.

It is very important that I stay with my babies everyday.

I had a tad bigger cushion but I would have stayed home with no cushion. You DH has a good job. You could work again in the future too.
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#4 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 02:41 PM
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My husband works full time and I stay home with the kids. When we tell people that they almost always say "thats nice if you can afford it" and I tell them "we can't afford it but we made a decision that its important to be there for our kids and not pay someone else to raise them". Honestly there are some months where there is no extra, where we go in the hole a couple hundred dollars. But I absolutely think it is worth it to not miss out on the major milestones in my children's lives. I always say its selfishness that keeps me at home because I don't want to have to share my kids first words or steps with a daycare worker. I think the rewards you get from staying home with your kids will far outweigh any financial benefit you might gain from going back to work.

I also think that if you really look at what you have and what you think you need you will find more places to make cuts that will give you more financial room. Like maybe two cars could become one or one or both of the cars could be downgraded. Or the amount you thought you needed for eating out becomes a lot less once there is a baby in the picture.

And depending on your job there is always the possibility of taking evening work later on or work from home once you baby is bigger.

Staying home with your kids may not always be easy but I think its worth it.

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#5 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 02:41 PM
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Wow! I'd give my left arm for a $200 a month cushion...We are truly paycheck to paycheck with maybe 90-100 left every month...frequently LESS! It's not fun or easy to live poor, but to me it's worth it. Yes, I get frustrated that I can't go get a cup of coffee when I want, but that is a short term inconvience. I balance that out against the long term benefits of being a SAHM. It's the best choice for me and my family.

That said, I have one question to ask you. Do you really want to work for a company that thinks so little of you? I mean A. they feel you are expendable(true we all are in many ways, but it's not something that should be flauted by our bosses!) B. They think it's okay to be wishy-washy and C. They just assume that because they call back saying "oh yeah. Sorry. Nevermind. We'll probably lay you off some other time. But please come back, put your kid in daycare and act like everything is fine" that you'll go back and give it your all. You deserve much more respect than that! And don't even get me started on your boss' comments about being too young and having an abortion Hello? How about minding your own freaking business!

If you want to work, then by all means, do! Stay home with the baby for as long as it takes you to line up something where you will be treated with the respect and dignity you deserve. But my honest opinion is DON'T go back to work for these A-holes. I'm ticked off just thinking about it!

Hugs to you, Mama. And congratulations on your miracle baby!

addicted, homeschooling, freelancing mama to DS 8. Pet mama to Harvey the Wonder Mutt :, Pnut: and Autumn : Oh, yeah, and
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#6 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 02:43 PM
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We gave up a lot to have one of us stay home, no phon, cable, internet. We even started taking the bus because we couldn't afford the $100+ a month for car ins. But it was totally worth it. Now we live in an area with a lower cost of living so it's easier on us to only have one working.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids 17, 11, 6, 3
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#7 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 03:36 PM
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In the sincerest way I have to say that I think it would be much more selfish for you to go back to work for only a couple hundred dollars a month. Working full time puts a LOT of strain on the entire family. There will be lots of crying (from you and the baby), most likely milk supply problems, loads of undone house work and to add to that you may just be to exhuasted to find the time to have "alone time" with your dh for a long time. If you really love your job and feel like you would be unhappy and unfulfilled if you left then stay, but if you even have the yurning to stay home then run with it. Any child that gets to be with a parent full time is one lucky baby and that's worth more than any little doohicky or a bunch of cute little outfits or any vacation you get with that couple hundred dollars a month.

MDC has a lot of resources and helpful advice. I bet if you really tried you can save an extra $200-300 a month by being a SAHM. Our bills are down $400 since I decided to be a SAHM. Things like cooking from scratch, eating out less if not cutting it out all together, switching to lower internet, cable, phone and other bills, clothdiapering or even ECing, making babyfood or even better just letting dc eat what your eating, and my personal favorite.........making your own natural cleaning products.

I can't even say how luck I think you are that you already own a home AND have good running cars AND have a cushion. You are truely blessed.

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
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#8 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 03:37 PM
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You're not crazy for wanting to stay home on so little a cushion. I've stayed home with my girl for three years and it's been wonderful. It's also been really, really tight financially but I've discovered that there are a lot of things I can do without or make cheaply myself.
Maybe check out (of the library!) some books on living frugally?

:Mama to 2 :
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#9 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 05:14 PM
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First off - congrats on your unexpected pregnancy! You must be thrilled to be becoming a mama after being told you couldn't!!!

I think you can get by on a cushion of $200 per month if you want to sah and it sounds like you do and that your dh supports you in this decision. As some others have mentioned, check out the frugality sites her at MDC as well as checking out books on the subject from the library.

I have to agree with the pp that your company doesn't sound very nice/supportive after how they initially treated you and if I could avoid it, I wouldn't want to work there.

Maybe go back for now and save up as much as you can so you don't feel as nervous about the $$$ aspect of it. Then if you feel like you need to return you can find a work situation that will be more supportive of you and your family?

I had a great career before and enjoyed a nice salary, but have really enjoyed my time at home with my kids and am glad to have done it.

Barney & Ben
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#10 of 22 Old 12-19-2005, 07:00 PM
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I second the suggestion you go check out the frugal living section.

We're living on $1900 take home per month. This is much more comfortable compared to what we were living on 14 months ago ($1500). But now we own a house and have more expenses b/c of it.
So we:
-hang blankets on our walls and are working slowly at re-insulating and re-siding the house and installing new windows (dh is very handy)
-buy food in bulk and make things from scratch
-clip coupons
-breastfed as long as my job let it be possible (16 mos, but as the sahm, you could do it much longer) to save over formula
-eat less meat
-live in town so we drive much less and i have a short commute
-cook large dinners so lunch is leftovers
-cloth diaper (making your own is even cheaper, check out the diaper making forum)
-budget fun stuff such as toys, movies, clothing, etc.
-buy second-hand for the baby and ourselves as much as possible
-use freecycle to get stuff we can't afford
-buy one dvd per month rather than renting, so now we have a rather large library of movies to choose from.
etc etc

we save a lot of money by just using our noggins instead of our charge cards. we have no debt except our house payment, that is probably the biggest thing to do, pay off all of your debt ASAP.

going to work for $200 a month when you could stay home and just be little leaner? not worth it to me!
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#11 of 22 Old 12-20-2005, 04:36 AM
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Neither choice would be "selfish," of course. This is not the last time someone is going to use that choice judgemental word about your parenting choices though, even (especially?) around here, so hear it as a welcome to the motherhood club!

Our cushion is about $200/mo also. We feel great about me being home w/our son & it's plenty of money for us. (That's $200 cushion after putting $100 in retirement and $150 in savings, though, so maybe you'd count that as a $450 cushion?) Refi helped us a lot too.

Good luck w/whatever you decide to do. I did have a career before pregnancy and still do, although being a self-employed massage therapist I have a lot more control over my schedule than when I was a hire (I do just a few hours a week, when husband is home w/our son). I know I thought I would be going back more hours & sooner than I did to my massage practice, but my being home most of the time turned out to work better for us. One reason is that our son just does better if he's with his parents almost all the time -- even though he likes being around other people, he needs us A LOT (he's like it if we BOTH stayed home every day!). You can assess this better once your child is born.

You might try visiting Working Mamas at the bottom of Parenting Issues, too; plenty of mothers do make it work, either from necessity or by choice.

Oh and sorry your boss is being such a tool. Good for you for recording some of his foolishness.
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#12 of 22 Old 12-20-2005, 09:49 AM
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Wow, your boss sounds like a real peach. And extremely inappropriate, too. Telling you to get an abortion? Sounds like harrassment to me.

Anyway, we usually have around $30 left after we have paid the bills and bought food. I've always stayed home with the kids. It can be done.

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#13 of 22 Old 12-20-2005, 09:56 AM
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I work part-time and our "cushion" is less than what you'll have. I'm gnawing off my arm in envy!
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#14 of 22 Old 12-20-2005, 10:06 AM
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sorry, that previous post wasn't very informative.
I HAD a career... and I made more than my husband.
I completely intended to go back to work after I had my first dd. I LOVED my job. But once I held her in my arms (I know, I know, very cliché) I completely changed my mind. Thank God my dh was so understanding. I was in tears. I told him I'd live in a one bedroom apartment if I had to... I wanted to stay home with my baby.
We compromised so we wouldn't have to sell our house. I work 25 hours a week now. I demoted myself at work because of it. I lost the position I LOVED and worked so hard to get. My boss was upset. It was an upsetting time.
We are broke. We scrape. I haven't had new clothes in I don't know how long. But to me, every moment has been worth it. When the money situation gets me down I remind myself that it's only for a short time. I can go back to work full-time if things ever get too out of hand. I CHOSE this. I love being with my kids.
So be prepared to feel like this even if you decide that you want to work. You may take one look at your baby and all your old ideas will fly right out the window. Babies are life changing.
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#15 of 22 Old 12-20-2005, 11:37 PM
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We have spent the last few years with no cushion at all and constantly running a deficet. Finally we are exactly breaking even including my husband's financial aid and GI Bill for going to school. So, it can totally be done with a cushion of 200/month. Just think, if you don't need it then throw it in your savings account. that is 2400 a year extra. And you will be taxed on a lower rate being that you will be a single income family(well, I guess depending on your husbands income), get child tax credit, etc. Being that you will stay home clothes for you become cheaper, less gas is used, less lunches out, less dinners out since you will have a baby, etc. So, often the budget adjusts after a baby comes along. I used to be a smoker and DH and I used to go out to dinner often, those are now expenses that are long gone.

I didn't have a "career" when I had kids, but a job. I kept it parttime when my daughter was born, but started working from home shortly after. It isn't much money, but it allows me to be at home and get closer to breaking even each month.

If you and your husband feel that you staying home is a good thing, then do it. Your cushion may not be enourmous, but it is something. As long as you don't drastically increase your way of living, I think you will be ok. You may also find little places here and there to cut things down by a few bucks. Good luck in your decision!!

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#16 of 22 Old 12-21-2005, 11:20 PM
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Cushion? What cushion?

Too young? dh and I are both 22.

I really don't want to go back to work and dh doesn't want me to either. I did tell my work I'm going back (they're paying my insurance currently) and maybe I'll go back if they'll let me work only 2 hours a day (which they probably will since I'm their best worker), but yeah... you're not selfish and could definitely stay home I may have to go back to work for 2 weeks though and they better let me do the 2 hour thing or... well... I won't be able to because I can't think of leaving Aena for longer than that and I don't want to pump

I also was making most of the money (dh was starting a home based business) and so we'll have no cushion at all at first. We're moving to a cheaper place by the 1st so hopefully that'll help...

love and peace.

mama to two girls and due in November!
: Circumcision can never be undone :
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#17 of 22 Old 12-22-2005, 12:07 AM
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we live on a budget of 819$ a month, and we're fine with that. it is worth staying home for. I could work and make 40k a year, but it's worth making less to be at home with my daughter. I guess it just depends on how worth it it is for you.
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#18 of 22 Old 12-22-2005, 02:48 AM
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for us, going from two incomes to one was a leap of faith. i decided nothing was more important than being home with dd. i was willing to ask my parents for help if necessary!

the first year was scary and a big learning experience as i found more and more ways for us to live on less. it's incredible how much you can cut back on.

the most amazing thing is that every time we were about to run out of money, money came to us from the most unexpected sources.

now, dd is 16 months and i am so happy we decided to take the chance.
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#19 of 22 Old 12-22-2005, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by KayHolder
Refinancing and paying off the CC's saves us 400 a month. if DH can change his w-4 to claim me and the baby, he'd bring home another 400 a month. subtract the 600 a month for daycare, gas and my lunches, that's 1400 a month. I only bring home 1600. That 2 hundred dollars extra every month doesnt seem like enough to let my child spend half the day in daycare.
But, on the other hand, that 2 hundred would double what we could save.
Hugs, Kay.

There are other expenses you haven't named: work clothes, disposible diapers since most daycares won't do cloth, formula if you can't pump enough -- I assume you're going to do a private home based caregiver if you are going to delay vax, but even so, you're likely to find your baby is ill more often which may be more doctor visits. You will probably buy more clothes for your baby (no time to just keep 2 good looking outfits washed often). You'll be depreciating your car, which is real money in addition to gas.

You can absolutely make $200/month or more very part time with your little baby in tow as a SAHM. You can make $10/hour cash taking your baby to another mom's house to teach and love her kids and keep them from being underfoot while she does laundry and runs errands. You could bring kids into your home. Or you could sell on Ebay. Or you could get your real estate license and work weekends. Or you could pay the bills for a Buckhead doctor's family (my across the street neighbor does this and only has to go "in" one day a week, and now that she's having her second in Feb. he's begging her to stay on and saying she doesn't have to go in at all). There are so many things you can do with a baby.

Time buys you: leisurely trips to the thrift store for beautiful clothes for $1.50 or less each on half price Monday. Tasty crock pot meals for almost nothing. A lawn you mowed yourself. A marriage that you are nurturing even as you give your all to a really demanding new lover. And so much more.

Take care of yourself.
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#20 of 22 Old 12-23-2005, 10:36 PM
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of the $200 and put it in an ING or emigrant direct savings account each month.
Very nice interest rates
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#21 of 22 Old 12-23-2005, 11:27 PM
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I'd work as long as you can. Collect unemployment as long as you can. While you're doing that, try to live on just dh's salary and save all of the unemployment. Don't count it as income. If you can do it, you'll be fine (with a nice cushion) with just dh's salary. If you can't, you've got 6 mos to come up with a solution. Babysitting another child during the day could help you- or a part time job at night. Would your current boss let you work from home or part time? Could your dh alter his schedule a bit?

It's very, very scary to go from 2 incomes to one. I also found that while I loved, loved, loved being home with my babies (wasn't able to stay home until #2 was born) going from a working, relatively independent person to a SAHM took a HUGE amount of adjustment. I kept feeling like I wasn't contributing to the household. Of course I was, but after working for pay for so long, I had to constantly remind myself that I was just as valuable, maybe moreso, as I was when I was getting paid. (Dh never thought this way, it was all my own thoughts).

Congrats on your pregnancy.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#22 of 22 Old 12-24-2005, 02:56 AM
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I would totally do it and I have done it. If I went back to work with our two incomes combined we would make a nice living but I would rather be a sahm. If that means giving up the extras so be it. I do find things to make extra income. I sold Avon door to door when I was pregnant. I've bought things at yard sales in the summer and sold them on ebay for profit. I've considered running a daycare from home and right now my dh is starting a very early morning paper route (from 3-6 am) and I'll be helping with that if he gets sick and if he finds a better job that conflicts with those hours I'll probably take over it.

There are so many things you can cut back on. For one once you have your credit cards paid off stop using them. This is just my opinion of course but we don't like paying companies to help us spend money if you KWIM. We pay as we go on everything. We have the basic package on our satelite dish (cheaper then cable), I buy most of our clothing at thrift stores and yard sales, we shop around for the cheapest car insurance and drive reliable but older cars. I made my dd's baby food when she started eating solids. Those little jars cost $1.00 each but you can make tons of jars for the same price with a bunch of bananas. It's like something I heard on Oprah once, no matter what a person makes they will find a way to live up to their means. So the opposite is true as well. If you live at a lower income you will find a way to survive. I won't lie, I do get stressed out about money sometimes but I would rather be stressed out about money then stressed out about something happening to my dd in a stranger's care all day or just being away from her all day long, I would just be extremely unhappy. If your mama's intuition is telling you that you can't even fathom being away from the baby growing inside of you then stay at home. If worse comes to worse and you find out you feel differently you can always get another job. Time spent with your baby, especially early on, can't be replaced. Good luck!

oh yeah and I agree, your boss sounds like a jerk. 27 is too young to have a child? Does he live under a rock or something?
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