Help! Want to be SAHM but would have to quit high paying job? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 12-21-2007, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the last two years, I have been going around and around in my head as to what to do. I have a 2 1/2 year old son, Adam, a one year old daughter and a newborn. I also have a $60,000 a year job that comes with a company car, gas, American Express for lunches and expenses and a phone with unlimited use. In addition, I have the option of home office Fridays where I can generally work from home by phone and computer. I have been with this company for 7 years and it is a position that was made for me. I am a social worker in healthcare and know that this is a "once in a lifetime position". The problem is that this job requires overnight travel and some long days. I have completely lost my desire to work away from my children. We are also lucky in that my husband is able to work Thursday, Friday and Saturday shifts at night from 6-6 and every other Sunday so one of us is always able to be home with the kids and we don't need daycare. He makes about $55,000 and has the option to work a ton of overtime hours and is very willing to do so if I want to stay home and homeschool when the time comes. I go back to work off maternity leave on January 7th. We have decided to try to live off my husbands salary for 6 months and put away my entire income to see if we could make do. If that doesn't work then I thought about becoming a teacher so that my schedule would also coincide with the kids. Here is my question...has anyone else given up a high paying job and what is the dirty (and hopefully good) truth of the situation? Also, if you are a SAHM, please give me the ups and downs too. Thanks so much for any help you can offer.
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#2 of 29 Old 12-21-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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I can really relate with you. I was a social worker in a hospital not making 60k but I was paid very well for a social worker and I loved my job. I compremised for a while. I was a SAHM until DS #2 was 6 months old and then I went back to work "on-call" at the hospital, just working 1 weekend a month. Over the next 5 years I worked more, as much as 3 or 4 days a week but I stayed "on-call" status to keep my flexibility. Since I was on-call I could work as much or as little as I wanted. Then I got pregnant with #3 and I told my boss I'd "wait and see" if I would be back after DD was born. When she was 3 months old I realized that even though I loved my job it was just too much for me to do with 3 children and I wanted to be with them full-time again.

So DD is now 7 months old and I haven't worked for the past 10 months. Honestly, there are days I want to find childcare for all 3 of them and go back full-time!!!!! And there are days I miss leaving them behind just for a few days a month. Working did give me a great deal of satisfaction. It was quite fullfilling to use my brain and interact with adults on a professional level a few days a month. There are times I feel weird not contributing financially to our family. Just the other day I was at Target buying myself new PJ's that I didn't really need and I found myself thinking about how I was spending "his" money (DH NEVER makes me feel that way). So, sure there are days when I regret it, but I overall I am happy with my decision. I love being their primary care giver and being there for them all day (except at about 5:30 when they are going bonkers and I am trying to get dinner done). My mom always talked about how a babysitter taught my sister to walk and heard her first words and how sad she is that she can't ever get that back. Amidst the occasional boredom and occasional feelings of worthlessness there is imeasureable joy in the everday details of my children growing up. How true is it when people say, "They will only be young once". When DD is older, 2 or 3 or whenever I feel right about it I may return to work. Social workers do have plenty of opportunities to "fill-in" in the healthcare field on weekends and when regular staff is on vacation since healthcare is a 24/7/365 kinda job, KWIM?

Anyway, I sounds like you and your DH have made a plan you are happy with and I think 6 months will tell you what you keed to know to make a long-term decision about working or not. Good luck Mama as you struggle with this!
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#3 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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I left a middle management job that I loved or at least I thought I loved. After dd1 was born I took her with me as I worked pt. After 13months I put her in daycare, I cried every single day. Work just didn't seem to do it for me anymore. After ds2 was born, DH and I shared childcare duties while I worked and we managed to keep him out of daycare. I really suffered with some major bonding issues with him. Leaving him at 8 weeks old just didn't seem natural. When I got pg with #3, I resigned and have been home for more than a year.

Now, do I miss my office? Yes. Do I miss my co-workers? Yes. Do I regret quiting? Not a chance.

My best advice is follow your heart.

Wife of 20 years to my superhero firefighting DH. SAHM to 2 boys and 2 girls (3 babies in Heaven- Baby # 5 5/2010 & Baby #6 8/2011 & Baby # 7 2/1013). Cancer Survivor 2011 ( Persistent Malignant Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)

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#4 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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I left a relatively well paying job when we had dd. I still teach childbirth classes 2-3 evenings/week (gone from 5:30-9:30pm), and make ~$14K a year now. It is HARD. It seems like we're always broke. We have the bills paid, but there is no extra. I think the hardest thing has been the fact that expenses (gas, heat, groceries, electricity) have all gone up SO much in the past 2-3 years, it's insane.

I think that living off your dh's salary for 6 months is an excellent plan. It will really show you if it's possible. From the outside it sounds like you have a pretty good setup. Is there any way you can go part time? That's the best of both worlds.

Good luck!!! Being home with my kiddos is the hardest thing, but worth it every day. I always tell dh this is the poorest we'll ever be (hopefully, LOL).
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#5 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 05:49 AM
 
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I left a job in Manhattan that was just shy of 6 figures. We moved a few towns over to be close to my husband's job and to save money (a lot) on housing expense. It has been working really well for us, but my husband has a high-paying job that he loves, and I wasn't happy with my job or company, so it was an easier decision for us.

I was concerned that I'd go bonkers being at home, but it's been 5 months now, I totally love it, and can't imagine doing anything differently, at least for the short term.

Good luck to you! Sounds like you have a wonderful family.
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#6 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maureen73 View Post
For the last two years, I have been going around and around in my head as to what to do. I have a 2 1/2 year old son, Adam, a one year old daughter and a newborn. I also have a $60,000 a year job that comes with a company car, gas, American Express for lunches and expenses and a phone with unlimited use. In addition, I have the option of home office Fridays where I can generally work from home by phone and computer. I have been with this company for 7 years and it is a position that was made for me. I am a social worker in healthcare and know that this is a "once in a lifetime position". The problem is that this job requires overnight travel and some long days. I have completely lost my desire to work away from my children. We are also lucky in that my husband is able to work Thursday, Friday and Saturday shifts at night from 6-6 and every other Sunday so one of us is always able to be home with the kids and we don't need daycare. He makes about $55,000 and has the option to work a ton of overtime hours and is very willing to do so if I want to stay home and homeschool when the time comes. I go back to work off maternity leave on January 7th. We have decided to try to live off my husbands salary for 6 months and put away my entire income to see if we could make do. If that doesn't work then I thought about becoming a teacher so that my schedule would also coincide with the kids. Here is my question...has anyone else given up a high paying job and what is the dirty (and hopefully good) truth of the situation? Also, if you are a SAHM, please give me the ups and downs too. Thanks so much for any help you can offer.

I gave up a big salary.

YOUR WORDS SAY IT ALL THOUGH.

And here is my advice. Run with your heart. Don't even go back to work. Stay home and care for your children.

Of course, trust your own instincts but I don't think you should leave your job to be a teacher. Why not just trust your heart and stay home with your kids.
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#7 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. I never thought that this could be such a difficult decision but it really is because I know that this job won't come around again at such a good opportunity. A co-worker who is now technically my boss after a promotion since I have been on maternity leave suggested becoming a consultant for the company instead of quitting when we discussed months ago when I was considering a resignation and I think this might be a great opportunity to explore. Then after a few years or when I am ready I could possibly return to my previous position??? I am confident we could survive on my husbands income for the bare essentials but I fear it would be a huge shock to have to limit the extras that we have become accustomed to. The good news is that I am the "great saver" and my husband is not and he has agreed to turn over his check completely to me to budget when we have our 6 month trial period. Hooray! How was it for those going to one income to no longer just be able to "buy whatever you want"?
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#8 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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I gave up a big salary and a very flexible job (with no summers). But the job also came with a LONG commute and lots and lots of stress. My husband had a temporary raise in salary and that helped make it possible for me to leave. But he is now close to his "regular" salary again and we definitely feel the loss of my income. He has a potential new job pending plus I am trying to find a part time job (around school hours...my kids are now both in school). But in the meantime, it is definitely tight.

I miss taking good vacations and not having to worry about the cost of music or other kinds of lessons for the kids. I realize for many people these are "luxuries" but I consider them part of a life well lived. So I do hope we can get back to a place where we have those things again.

I have never regretted leaving my job, though. I love having more time with my children, and don't want that to change. Maybe pursue that consulting opportunity? That seems very promising.
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#9 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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It sounds like you have a good plan, and 6 months should be a good start. However, don't be too surprised if you find you are only just learning how to live on one income at the end of 6 months - it doesn't come easy! If you have debt, paying that down/off during this time would help with a lot of stresses that can arise when switching to a single income.

If you guys haven't already, write down your single income budget on paper - it just helps when temtation arises. It will probably be harder for you and hubby to adjust to the new income level than it will be for your children. You will potentially have to look out for the "I deserve it" moments, and may want to discuss with hubby about keeping open about the stress of transitioning as well as potential jealousy issues that may pop up. While it doesn't happen for everyone, sometimes it can be an issue that sneaks up on you, so it is good to be prepared. Oh, and it comes from both sides - you may feel jealous/lost when you are staying home and "missing out" on the adult world, and he may feel jealous/lost at having to now be the "sole breadwinner". Communication is soooo vital. You may also want to hammer out expectations of each partner - i.e. will you be expected to do certain things on your own that he used to help with or do after you're home, will he take charge of certain things, etc...

Hope that helps a bit.
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#10 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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I work opposite shift from my dh too but its a barely over minimum wage job. Not to down play your feelings but your job sounds like a dream! It would make our lives so much easier if I could bring in $60,000 instead of $9,000! This will end when the new baby is born too.

Other options you might consider are seeing whether you can work more hours at home or cut back your hours some.
It must be hard to be away from a newborn!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#11 of 29 Old 12-22-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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I am considering this once my baby is born in June. I like the trial six months idea. I too am interested in knowing what the ups and downs will be and scared at the thought of regretting my decision and not being able to return to the position I am enjoying.
Thanks for posting this question maureen73 and thanks to all who have replied!

Quoteriginally Posted by aswbarry~A~ Mama to DD 6y, DD , DD 3y and DD 1y
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#12 of 29 Old 12-23-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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I too, had a well paying social work job. Not that SW get paid what they are worth, but the $ was good, great benefits and flexibility galore. I knew I would return to work after 3 months and I did so. I forgot how much I traveled. I had to be in meetings 1/2 way across the state once a month that they wouldn't let me out of, even though they were a waste of time. I also had to be on call 24/7 and that was a stressor.

I quit and at first mourned the loss of income. I love to shop online and I was raised by a single parent and so I value independence. Fortunately, my DH is supportive and I have offered to work 1 day a week cleaning houses or tutoring when the time comes (this spring).

I have not regretted quitting. Hate is not a strong enough word to describe leaving my DD. I physically hurt. I couldn't do it. I needed to be w/ her as much as she needed to be w/ me.

I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you that a once in a lifetime job opportunity is not as important as a once in a lifetime chance to be with your baby. No comparison.
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#13 of 29 Old 12-23-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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I am an MSW. After working in that field, I went to law school and I was employed as a litigator for several years. I loved my job and I made a LOT of money. Before the birth of my daughter, I had a nanny hired and planned to be back ASAP - until my daughter was born and I knew I would never leave her - no matter the compromise. My poor husband had to stop working as a consultant (basically part time) and get a full time job with benefits to support us. We are living on significantly less income than before. I have read all of the research indicating that I likely will not be able to re-enter at the same level I exited. I do not regret it. Now that I am home, our expenses are reduced as I do not maintain a professional wardrobe. I tend to make do with less. It is surpising how many items seemed "necessary" before and now are inconsequential. Sometimes I miss the cognitive stimulation and the status. It would be nice to take a long lunch and pee alone. But otherwise, it is incredible to have this time with my child. I relish every moment as I realize they are fleeting. I have the rest of my life to return to work. Right now, I am exactly where I need to be...
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#14 of 29 Old 12-24-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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I quit my job as a professional a few years ago. I made about the same amount of money as my husband.

Your test is a good idea, however, it doesn't take a few things into consideration. Obviously, you need to be sure to record all of the soft costs of employment. We eat out a few times a month at most now, but when I was working we ate out all the time. I rarely dry clean, avoid driving, and I no longer get manicures and things like that.

When you make your calculations, consider whether or not your husband's employer may surprise you with a significant raise for your husband when you decide to stay at home. It happend for us, and it has happened to so many families I know that I think it's a real possibility.

Another thing is that you will be able to support your husband's career in a way that may surprise both of you, and he will be able to excel in a way he could not before. He sounds very supportive of your call to stay home with your children.
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#15 of 29 Old 12-24-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Wow, a social work position that pays $60k? You must be in a high paying/high cost area of the country because social workers around here make $30 to $40k, even experienced ones.

You are lucky!

Your situation sounds like a very good one, with the flexibility that you and your husband enjoy in your jobs.

I understand the draw to stay at home (I made the choice myself a few years ago and deliberating much like you)...

But, I guess in my opinion, you'd be giving up such a fabulous job situation, you might not get that back in a few years when your kids are older.

Honestly, if I'd had any flexibility in my career, or if my husband had any flexibility in his, I'd still be working. I feel like I gave up a lot just because there was no way of working around the inflexibility.

It's a tough call...follow your heart. Good luck!
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#16 of 29 Old 12-24-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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That is a great salary + perks as a social worker.
Is there any way for you to just cut back on hours for awhile?
I think it would be difficult leaving that job and yet it's hard because you can never get these years with the kiddos back.
If you can't cut down hours, then I would probably try to take a week long vacation and stay at home before quitting. Maybe you just need a break and would miss the work and be able to return refreshed.
I currently stay home with my son all day and just work in the evenings from home. It's a great balance for us. Sometimes I feel burned out but then I have a few days off or a vacation and I find that I'm really looking forward to going back and doing a job that I get personal satisfaction from
Good luck with your choice. I think either way you've got a good deal!
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#17 of 29 Old 12-25-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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I agree w treasuremapper, once I left my high paying job with a lot of flexibility 6 years ago, my dh's career also took off. I dont know if its the sole income, need to support his family or what but he makes about what we made as a couple 6 years ago now.

DD's turn on the computer so more later....

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#18 of 29 Old 12-25-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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i left a job paying 60K a few months after my dd was born. all my i thought it was important to be a working mom, to show my dd that a woman can have a career too. but once she was born, i realized there was just no way. after only a few weeks, i quit a fabulous job with lots of flexibility, work at home opportunities, at a great company with future potential. fabulous as this job was, it just did not compare to my dd and the precious time we spend together. i couldn't stand to miss a second of it.

at first it was a real struggle. adjusting to being home all the time. we had only enough money for the real basics - nothing extra whatsoever. i made a budget and we survived but it was depressing being broke all the time. especially being around friends that were still doing well. even family did not truly get how broke we were. it really sucked! after about 8 months, dh got a raise, then another. then a new job opportunity. everything just started to fall into place. and i truly believe that when you decide to stay home, the money will come. all the solutions came, for us, one by one. now it's 3 years later and life is really really good. no more money troubles and my dd and i have a very close and trusting relationship.

and even during the hard times, i never regretted my decision to stay home. i knew it was meant to be and we would find a way to make it work. that's how you have to be - determined to make it work. once you start budgeting, you may be shocked (as we were) to discover how little you truly need to live.

good luck to you : )
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#19 of 29 Old 12-26-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Back again. I do emphasis that dh's earning potential really seemed to take off. Also, working has costs attached. I was an outside sales rep with a home office. But most of my work was done in the field. If I was working both of us would have to work around the day care etc. My dh would not have been able to grow in his career if he had to pick up at the daycare at a certain time etc because I wasnt available. Also, as a sales rep you need to be flexible to your clients and appts could be as early as 7:30 or as late as the pm. Nevermind the suits I wore, the dry cleaning, lunches on the run because they were in the car, etc etc.

Yes, it might be tight for a few months or a few years but your children who are all under 3 right now will only be this size for so long. So consider that and they will grow up and then you can decide if it was worth it to eat out everynight and drive your brand new car there or stay in and leave the already paid off older car in the garage and cook a meal for your growing up family. Material items may or maynot be the issue at hand but its food for thought.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#20 of 29 Old 12-26-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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wow... i jsut came on here to post the same thing. i am a teacher, on maternity leave for a year. (due to go back august 2008) I make alot of money, have great benefits, and an incredible pension. i was raised by a single mother (w/ 3 other siblings) and we struggled. can you imagine what i could do for my kids with my great pension? (honey, here's $3000 towards the down payment on your new home. congratulations...) BUT... i just cannot leave my kids!!!! dh worked nights, and i worked days, so they never went to daycare. but now he's graduating form the state police academy in may, and will be working rotating shifts. so, every 3 weeks, i have to leave them at daycare or with someone else from 6:30am to 4pm!!!!!!!! no freakin' way. no. freakin'. way. i just can't do it. i know dh will freak when i tell him this. so, i've decided to budget our money for 2 months, writing everything down, to prove to him (on paper) that it can be done, before presenting this to him. besides, i can always teach a college class here and there (i have a masters in biology and taught at 3 different colleges before teaching high school). and i can tell him that if it truly doens't work out, i can always go back to work when the littlest goes to school. (although, truth be known, i always had dreams of being class mom, pta member, etc. so, i always thought i'd just teahc a college class here and there for extra money, without going back full-time.) we'll see. i'm SO glad you brought this up!!!, as i'm really upset aboutthis, it's all i can think about lately. (oh yeah, and i'm really frugal, but i'm also used to buying things when i want, whenever i want.)

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#21 of 29 Old 12-26-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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"Your test is a good idea, however, it doesn't take a few things into consideration. Obviously, you need to be sure to record all of the soft costs of employment. We eat out a few times a month at most now, but when I was working we ate out all the time. I rarely dry clean, avoid driving, and I no longer get manicures and things like that.

When you make your calculations, consider whether or not your husband's employer may surprise you with a significant raise for your husband when you decide to stay at home. It happend for us, and it has happened to so many families I know that I think it's a real possibility."

Okay -- I find the idea of raises being offered to men with SAHWs simply because they have SAHWs to be extremely disturbing. I hope that wasn't what you were referring to as being a positive -- its bad enough that they always seem to be the last laid off.

Your suggestions also only net out the positive benefits of not working. Also to be taken into consideration is that the 6 month experiment the OP is talking about may not include certain things -- once a year medical payments (like disposable contacts, new glasses, dental work), emergency car repairs or new tires, Christmas holiday spending, flying out for grandma's funeral, etc., etc. Several budgeting books I've read have indicated that people consistently underestimate by as much as $300-500 a month what it takes to really live because they miss once a year expenditures and other "emergency" spending.

Also to be considered is her husband's potential salary increases. Her kids are at their "cheapest" ages now -- they will only get more expensive later. Will her husband only get cost of living increases, or is there room for promotion and so forth at his job?
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#22 of 29 Old 12-29-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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maureen73~ so how's it going with the whole 'wanting to stay home thing'? Tonight i sat down to write up a budget to 'prove' to dh that we really can afford to have me home. Boy am i freakin' naive!!! I'm on maternity leave and he's in the police academy, bringing home (less than or about) $30,000/yr. So, I write up this budget, and realize that we could NEVER live on that. OK, but when he graduates in May, he'll be bringing in about $50,000. That would be just enough for us to get by. just. enough. NO extras. Man, I don't know how we're going to do it. I cannot ask dd to quit preschool ($135/mo.) or dance ($45/mo.) b/c she truly LOVES these things. and what about next year when ds wants to start karate or whatever? and he wants to go to preschool like dd. I guess I could ask for these things to be given as birthday or christmas gifts from family members. D**n, I'm so upset!!! I REALLY wanted this to work out. I cannot stand the thought of going back to work. I want to raise my children. I was looking at some bills tonight, trying to figure out which ones we could live without. (maybe get rid of the home phone and just keep the cell phones?) and when we pay off some credit cards, we'll have no debt (dh had to get Lasix eye surgery to get into the police academy, and we put it on a credit card... other than that we have no debt.) I know i'm just rambling here, I'm just really disillusioned, and don't know what to do. Maybe I should head over to 'finances and frugality', and see what they have to say!

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#23 of 29 Old 12-31-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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Consider that while you have this job, you have an opportunity to change how much you work (part-time options) and the location of your work (telecommuting). Once you leave this job, where you have proven your worth, you will not be in a position of such strength again anytime soon.

If I were you, I would absolutely look into working less hours or more hours from home before turning in my resignation. You don't know what they may offer in terms of flexibility unless you ask.

DD1 = 8 yrs *** DD2 = 6 yrs
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#24 of 29 Old 01-02-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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When I was 29, I was a Quality Systems Manager. I had a 54 mile commute each way. And I had a baby. I was making $60k then (10 years ago -- Gosh, what would I be making now!?!). My husband was/is a shiftworker on 12 hour shifts, with an hour commute each way. So when he was on night shift for 4 days, I wouldn't see him for 5 days in a row. After I had my daughter I was leaving at 6am and returning home at 7pm for a supposedly 8 hour job. When audit time came, I'd be home about 10 or 11pm, with a <1 year old in tow (luckily my mother lived in the same town as my job, and watched my daughter). When she was about a year old, I sat down with my husband. He felt like we never saw each other. I was always stressed because I felt like I wasn't doing either (career or motherhood) well. I gave notice and because of the job I was in, actually told them I'd stay until they found a replacement (ended up being 4 weeks) and because I was nice about the timing, they hired me as a consultant after that (for $80/hour plus mileage). That was an excellent gig. I did it for about a year, some of it from home. Then just stayed home. I've been home for 10 years now, and added 2 kids to that one. My husband says he doesn't want me to go back to work (his mother stayed home when he was young) that he loves it that I'm here for our children, and I honestly cannot imagine going back to such a high stress career. Yes, I love to dress up for weddings and stuff since I'm now the frump of the century at home. And my husband and I have a budget. And we get an allowance (yes, both of us) to be used on haircuts, clothes, whatever we want (what my grandmother called "mad money") but on a budget, we realize exactly what we don't need. We still take vacations, but not as many. And I'm home cooking, so we don't eat out as much as we used to. We use Quicken, so I know where all of our money has gone since before we had kids, and if I look at spending then, I can't believe how much we wasted, that we could have had sitting in a bank account now! Anyway, I haven't regretted our decision, even given the fact that my kids drive me crazy at times! Then, I also know people who would never give up their careers no matter how many children they had or how much their husband was making because they "need" that time away from their kids or they don't see the value in staying at home. Everyone is different (thankfully) and you and your husband need to make the best decision for your family. Consulting would be a great option if you can do it, because you can keep your hand in, so to speak. Sorry so long-winded.
Kathy

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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#25 of 29 Old 01-02-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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I left my job to be a SAHM. Almost the same salary as you make, plus amazing benefits. My husband makes a little more than half what I did and no benefits. So I can really sympathize. We went from making a combined almost $100K and health insurance that covered everything you could imagine with $10 copays costing $12/month to a salary of $40K paying $500/month for insurance with $50 copays that covers nothing. We live in the Northeast in a hugely expensive area. I was *sure* we'd be poor and have to sell our home within a year, but I did it anyway, because I could not be away from my baby girl. My work did allow me to do some freelance work form home (which I still do), so I work about 10 hours/week at night while she is asleep. SOMEHOW, and I am not a religious person, but this still seems impossible to have heppened without divine intervention, 6 years later, we are thriving. Not only did we not have to sell our home owing to poverty, we moved to a much bigger home with a huge yard in the best school district last year. We travel, eat out, live more frugally but with no decline in quality of life than before DD. Actually, quality of life is much improved---I have the time to cook healthily from whole foods, exercise, etc. And I haven't missed a minute off DD's 6 years on this earth.
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#26 of 29 Old 01-02-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maureen73 View Post
We have decided to try to live off my husbands salary for 6 months and put away my entire income to see if we could make do.
This is a great idea! And if it does work out, think of how great your savings account will look!

I can understand your struggle -- I currently have a full-time WAH (editing) job, and don't know what I'd do if I was expected to show my face in the office more often than the once-a-month I'm expected to do that now. DH and I couldn't make it in our current home/location on just his salary, but it sounds like you and your DH have a shot at it, and your DH sounds like a great guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to support your desire to be home with your kids. Good luck to you guys!

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
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#27 of 29 Old 01-02-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I quit my job as a CNM to stay home. I wasn't making great money, but pretty good money, nad I had a great schedule (only 40 hours a week). But, I just couldn't do it.

Since quitting, dh has gotten a promotion (just a tiny bit more money), but I love being home, and our lives are MUCH less stressful. For us, it was definitely worth it.

And, like the pp said, I can always go back to work a shift here or there (as a nurse), so that helps calm alot of fears.
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#28 of 29 Old 01-02-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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We were making about the same amount of money when we had our first child a bit over three years ago. We had decided long ago that having a stay-at-home parent was important enough to us that we wouldn't have children if we couldn't have one of us stay home, so the only question was which of us would make the leap. We decided we'd both rather have me stay home.

We have a lot less spending money now. We eat out a lot less. We buy less expensive food at the grocery store. We can no longer afford much in the way of travel (we used to spend up to $10,000 a year on travel). We no longer make charitable contributions (we used to give 5% of our income to charity). We give much less expensive gifts to friends and family on gift-giving occasions. I no longer make contributions to a retirement savings account. We might have replaced one of our cars this year if I'd been working, but decided it made more sense to sink $1000 into repairing it (it's 11 years old).

My husband's income has increased at about the same rate it would have if I hadn't been staying at home. He's now making about 25% more than he was when I quit working. He could be making a lot more money if he were willing to change jobs, but we both prefer for him to stay at his current job, both because he likes it and because it's very family-friendly -- he gets lots of vacation time, has a flexible schedule, etc.

Honestly, it hasn't really been that difficult. Our needs are taken care of, we save for college, retirement, and other long-term needs (like a new car, major home repairs). We have more savings now than we did when I stopped earning an income. Yes, it would be nice to have more money. For example, it might be fun to do things like gymboree, mama/baby yoga, gymnastics classes, etc. But things are fine as they are.

I think one thing that's been a real help to us is that we bought our house 10 years ago, when prices were a lot more reasonable, and we bought a house that it would have been barely possible for us to afford on one income at the time. So when we actually had one income, seven years later, my husband's salary had increased enough that it wasn't agonizing to try to make it work.

I guess what I'm saying is that before I became a SAHM, we had a lot of non-essential expenses, so it was pretty easy for us to cut them out.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#29 of 29 Old 01-02-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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I was the main breadwinner and dh was in school when I gave birth to dd1. I just couldn't go back after maternity leave. I left and couldn't go back to something in the field with that sort of pay right away...there aren't really any "get back on" ramps. However, that said, it was a career with some big issues, like working all the time with no real predictbility. We have had some stressful moments financially but I've never regretted leaving.
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