Author Topic: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - 2 years later)  (Read 17985 times)

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6342
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2015, 01:25:21 PM »
Couponvan is right about part-time professional work being as good on a resume as full-time work (I've never had anyone--recruiter, HR, hiring manager--ask me if it was full- or part-time, either).  It can be hard to manage part-time work, though.  The company has to value you and also value balance and not try to get full-time work out of you.  Years ago, I read some research that showed that women with part-time jobs were actually more stressed out than SAHM or women who worked full-time.  I don't remember the details, but the suspected reason is that they take on the expectations of both worlds and constantly feel like they're falling short, so it's REALLY important to manage your and everyone else's expectations if you go that route.  For example, taking on 100% of the childcare and household management while working part-time isn't realistic in your situation (in my opinion). 

I think a lot of this is personality and work type related. I had a friend who said this to me once.  I found though that part time was better for me.  I was much more relaxed.  And of course my company pushed me to work full time or get more done, but I said no.

And because I was good at my job, they dealt with it.  I'm full time now but I honestly don't think I get more done, I just get paid more.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6342
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2015, 01:33:22 PM »
I so get your situation (wish I didn't!).  I have three kids, two of them with some special needs (learning disabilities, neurodevelopmental disorder).  Three dogs.  Old high-upkeep house.  I always wanted (and was clear about this!) a partnership that shared everything equally--financial responsibilities, child care, house and yard work, etc.  I think it's possible to have an equal partnership when you have domains, but it comes with its own challenges, and more importantly, it's not what I wanted.  I wanted us both working, both responsible for the kids, home, etc.

But DH has a job that requires travel, lots and lots of international travel (sometimes weeks on end).  And no matter what I've done, or what I've said, or how hard I've tried to get him to understand how this impacts me and the kids, how much I've told him this isn't what we agreed to, it isn't what I want, it falls on deaf ears.  (He claims to understand and promises he'll manage his travel, but we both know that's not possible in his line of work--he would need to find a different job and that never seems to happen).

So, I spent years and years seething with resentment and the injustice of it all (during 2/3s of our marriage, I was also outearning him substantially, so it felt really unfair, because I was doing more of EVERYTHING).  DH is wonderful in so many ways, and he actually is really engaged in housework and childcare when he's home (but not at all when he's not).  But I am always the "default" parent, and the one who has to manage everything, and keep track of everything, and step in and make sure everything gets done while he comes and goes, and quite frankly, it's exhausting.  So a number of months ago, I decided to give up trying to change him (doh!) and do whatever I needed to do in order to make the rest of my life fit and do make sure the kids are thriving and that we're all happy.

Now, I wouldn't say I've succeeded in that, as I left my demanding job to take another demanding job, but I have gone down to 80% time and I'm clear that if this isn't working, it's on me to make further changes.  And honestly, there is much less friction in our marriage as a consequence.  At the end of the day, he contributes enough, even if it's not in the ways I thought he would.  The way I look at it, his high-paying demanding job and his insistence on keeping it frees me up to make whatever decisions I need to to make things work for our family (and he is supportive of this).

So...for you, I like the idea of a one-year trial (my next move to reduce stress is to try to arrange a lower-level and even more part-time position, and barring that, leave my job for a one-year "sabbatical," which wouldn't technically be a sabbatical because it would require my quitting my job with no expectation of being rehired).  But I'm not ready to make a decision to permanently leave the workforce and have SAHM be my new primary identity, though that very well could end up happening--I just feel like I would need to keep a foot in both worlds for awhile (psychologically) in order to gain comfort that I could handle being a SAHM and that it wouldn't change the dynamics in our marriage in a negative way.

I would also be clear with your DH that you are pausing your career in order take on the job of ensuring your DS's special needs are attended to, and I would retain the right to hire a housekeeper, part-time child care, etc.  If you resent being responsible for all the household stuff, 24/7, one option is to get DH to step up (which doesn't really seem like an option) and another option is for you to oursource some of it until things feel balanced to you.  There are things more important than RE and keeping marriages intact and meeting our kids' needs are two of those things.

Good luck with this--this is hard stuff and you're not the only one going through this.
I have struggled with this too, wanting to keep my career going, but having to admit that my company wasn't doing well, nor was it rewarding me for what I was accomplishing.

Having a second surprise baby at 42 didn't help either, but I found my boss to be understanding - mostly because he only cared about what I accomplished.  Then I got a new boss, who only cared about playing the game and being at the office from 7 am to 7 pm.

My husband has a job that, at times, involves quite a bit of travel.  It's been a very light year, but some years it's not.  When our second son was born, he traveled 2-3 times in the first six weeks.  Then at six weeks, he and his mom (who had been visiting for 2 weeks) left on the same day, leaving me alone with a baby and a 6 year old.  It was awful.  What he told me when he got back from that 5 day trip was that the Government lead told him on Thursday night "we may need you to stay the weekend, depending on how the install goes".  My husband said "sorry, can't do it, I have a new baby at home and my wife will kill me".  She got pissed and called his boss and told him that he needed to hire more "young and unencumbered people".  Well, lady, my (at the time), 44 year old husband can get shit done a LOT faster than some young kid, and eff you.

Anyway, husband knows which side of the bread is buttered, so he came home.

Still, that means that ... I do most of the doctor's appts.  I often take the sick days, because kids get sick when he's traveling.  I end up having to be at the house for workmen sometimes when he's too busy.  I'm the one on the PTA board.  You know?  His company gives him a raise, a bonus, and a HUGE 401k match every single year.  AND he makes close to 50% more than I do.  He's got the big income, it's better for us if he works more (plus he's paid by the hour, as an engineer, WTF?)  I've had a hard time with this over the years, but honestly not getting a raise in 4 years, and being thrown here and there at work, has made it easier.

I no longer feel the need to work late and on weekends to make up for missed time.  When I'm asked to go on international travel, I kind of shrug.  I mean, I can, but why would I, really?

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #52 on: September 18, 2015, 08:55:58 AM »
I'll throw one more thing in there for the folks that are sitting down and doing the math to sort out if they can do it on a single salary...

Quite a few years ago (probably 16 or so) my wife was going through some particularly icky bad crap at work.  We were double income/no kids and ... while we were saving a bit, we were not hitting the immense levels of saving we should have been hitting.  But we sat down and did the math... refinanced a loan... sorted out where we could spend less.   I was a little nervous at the time, but I will tell you:  That 50% cut in our family income was probably the biggest raise we ever had.  It really made us aware of spending and savings.  There were some years after we worked stuff out we hit 80% savings rates.  (It makes you wonder where we were flushing all that money before.)

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #53 on: September 18, 2015, 05:32:48 PM »
I don't know ... I think I could argue either side of this coin: 

On the one hand, I don't get the idea of being against the traditional family model.  I don't see it as a negative thing, nor do I see it as strongly positive.  However, I am against the idea of one spouse "holding all the cards" or having all the power -- and that can happen when one spouse earns all the money.  We're both in traditional jobs for our genders, and my husband earns about double what I do ... but we really do feel "equal".  My benefits from work outweigh his, and my frugality saves much more than he would on his own.  In particular, when the kids were young and needed day care, my kid-friendly schedule saved us not only money but stress; we never had to piece together summer care like so many of my friends.  We are very different, but we complement one another's strengths and weaknesses.  At this point, I think you feel unequal in your marriage -- as if you are the workhorse -- no, a beast of burden.  I suspect you're not so against the traditional dad-earns-mom-keeps-house so much as the inequality that can stem from that situation. 

I'm concerned that you don't seem entirely satisfied with your marriage and your husband, which means it'd be a risky choice to leave a well-paying job.  On the other hand, while both my husband and I LOVED having young children ... those weren't the years when he and I were at our personal best in our marriage.  Young kids are an awful lot of work, physical work, and we were tired all the time.  He and I have been better with school aged kids; that is, once the kids were more able to take care of their own needs and the family dynamic shifted a bit, he and I sort of "found each other again" and are rock solid.  Is this typical, or is this a situation unique to our family?  I don't know, but based upon my own experience, I'd say these might be the years when you simply accept that you aren't each other's #1 priority -- be sure you stay connected, of course, but don't be disappointed that his focus is often elsewhere.  We came back together very naturally when those tough always-busy-with-the-toddlers years were over, and a lot of my friends did too. 

As for him not being solidly involved with the kids, it sounds like he isn't going to join in with the no-fun chores.  He simply isn't going to help with washing clothes, taking the kids to the dentist, etc.  And that leaves you with a choice:  You can argue with him, fuss and complain, make him miserable and yourself miserable ... and he will still not do it.  Or you can accept that this is YOUR family dynamic and search for ways to appreciate what he does bring to the family.  Yes, seriously.  You can rant and rail about fairness, but once you're IN the marriage, those are the choices.  You can change yourself, or you can choose to walk  out of the situation, but you cannot change other people.  I think you have an inkling of this already, given that you commented that yes, you'd be resentful, but you're resentful now too! 

I needed to work -- more so when I was younger than now.  No, I'm not talking about money.  My father abandoned our family when I was 11, leaving my mom to raise five kids with only a high school diploma and a couple years clerical experience.  She says today that she loved being at home with us, but those good years were not "worth" the miserable years that followed -- of course, I'm talking about the 1970s.  She was one of the women caught up in the first big wave of divorce.  She married "old school",  thinking that you put up with each other's crap forever, no matter what ... and she was genuinely blind-sided by the divorce.  Today women should be a bit smarter about such things and should never allow themselves to be put in such a position.  Anyway, though I have a good marriage, and at 25+ years, I'm not a bit worried about divorce, I have an emotional need to have MY MONEY.  Inside I still have a bit of that teenager who had nothing and was always worried about money. 

Another poster made a very good comment:  The choice you make today is not the choice you must maintain forever.  I suggest you and your husband make a choice for today ... and then agree to reevaluate every year and decide if it's still the right choice.  Your lives will change radically as your children grow up, and what's appropriate today may no longer be a good fit tomorrow.  We have "an appointment" with each other every New Year Day and on our anniversary (which falls in summer) to go over our financial situation and to evaluate our life situation:  Do we need to make any big changes here or there?  It's easy to let things slide by and slide by -- setting a date for discussion and implementation of changes can be a good idea. 
     
And I'll end with a safety note:  If you do downsize to a one-paycheck family, look over your disability and life insurance.  When you put all your financial eggs in one basket, you need to be sure that basket is secure.  Also, do your best to keep your fingers in the work world ... it's never wise to put yourself in a position that you couldn't return to work, if you wanted or needed to do so.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 05:38:11 PM by MrsPete »

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #54 on: September 18, 2015, 06:05:43 PM »
A lot of commenters are saying variants of "Since he's being inflexible, go ahead and stay home and decide to be agreeable about it."  But I hear you being uneasy about it, and I'm voting with you on that.  I imagine that the reasons you're uneasy are that you specifically didn't want to be cornered into being the non-salaried, stay-at-home-parent, both because you were hoping that both genders would contribute to domestic life and because you're uneasy about the powerlessness of the situation.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  I see the problem here as his implacability: he's effectively saying "I insist on getting exactly what I want, which leaves you no choice but to get something you didn't really want."  If you both freely chose that you'd be a SAHM, that's a different situation.  But you're contemplating doing it as a response to — as a compensation for — his withdrawal from sharing the domestic load.  That just doesn't sit well with me.  And saying "Well, choose to like it" doesn't really seem like a good solution.  I worry that his inflexibility will continue to be a problem.  Does he seem to understand the difficulty of your position at all?  I'm not sure why so many people are giving him a free pass — maybe I've misunderstood something — or do we just think, "Oh, men, they get to opt out of sharing the load if they want to, 'cause who's going to stop them?"  What do you think, OP?

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5088
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2015, 05:08:55 PM »
I don't think woman are giving him a free pass but I think many people who have been in that situation realize you can't make someone do what they don't want to do no matter how much you nag, etc. If someone is very stubborn it won't work. So then you have 2 choices-keeping working f.t. & doing everything or quit working & do everything.  Of course this is assuming you want to stay married.  Working p.t. might be a good solution if the OP can do that in her career field & provided that child care does not eat up all the income she makes.

Gray Matter

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3586
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #56 on: September 20, 2015, 06:43:31 AM »
I don't think woman are giving him a free pass but I think many people who have been in that situation realize you can't make someone do what they don't want to do no matter how much you nag, etc. If someone is very stubborn it won't work. So then you have 2 choices-keeping working f.t. & doing everything or quit working & do everything.  Of course this is assuming you want to stay married.  Working p.t. might be a good solution if the OP can do that in her career field & provided that child care does not eat up all the income she makes.

That was the basis of my comments.  You can only bang your head against the same wall so long before you need to look for other solutions.  Doesn't mean it's "fair" or "just," but it is reality for some of us.  And if you want to preserve an otherwise-good marriage, sometimes you have to focus only on the things you can control (which, as some of us have found, is not our husbands!).  If my DH was so stubborn and insistent on getting his own way in every aspect of our marriage, I don't think I'd be trying so hard to preserve it, but it's just his work-related travel that is a bone of contention between us.

Interestingly, sometimes backing off gives them room to think.  After years and years of doing everything I could think of to get my husband to stop traveling, I finally gave up a year or so ago, because I was tired of the marital strife and my resentment and his defensiveness.  And now, just yesterday, he brought it up and asked, "When I'm gone, is the problem that you have to do more, or that many of the things that I normally do go undone, or is it that you're responsible?"  Part of me was like, really, after all the talking I've done, you don't know the answer to that?  But a much larger part of me was just happy that he's seeking understanding, when before he would immediately shut down and was always on the defensive.

I don't think he's even capable of understanding what it's like to be the default parent and never be able to set down that responsibility, that the best you can hope for is to share the load when your partner is home, but at least he is trying to understand what's so hard for me.  And, I still have no expectation of change from him, because if my thought process went something like, "Finally!  He gets it!  Now surely he will make changes and travel less, because how could he not if he truly understands what it's like for me and the kids?" then we'd be right back where we started.

So you give up changing the spouse because it's not possible, and trying was doing more harm than good, and sometimes as an unexpected benefit, they will actually do more of what you were trying to get them to do when you stop pushing so hard, but it's best to have no expectation of that or else you haven't really given up, but have just changed your tactic.

TN_Steve

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
  • Age: 59
  • Location: fly-over country
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #57 on: September 20, 2015, 09:27:35 AM »
Cloudsail,

You sound much like we were: met as teens, married right out of college, two careers that require 60+ hour weeks from the nanny, one spouse not at all interested/able in cutting back to do much with kids, the other spouse (the lower earner) being the household finance chief....

Although we didn't have autistic son, we had three boys in 3.5 years, with neither parent able to be around much--not even reliably on the weekends (especially when I was traveling).  Ended up with me leaving law to be SAHD for 15 years, while DW did the traditional surgical specialist parent role.  No one thought it would work given our personalities, but it went quite well.

We were, however, on the same page and communicated about it at the outset and throughout the years.  I join the consensus of the responses on that--get DH on board entirely even if a document signed by both of you is required to do so.

Also agree that you need to think about reentry to the work force, just in case.  I, in my arrogance, didn't.  I figured that I'd only be out until youngest started Kindergarten, and that my resume would be sufficient.  Got lucky because I was asked to teach at a local law school "half time."  It was a very undemanding time suck, and I arranged childcare for the little bit I needed each week.  Probably ran at a loss (save for 403b contributions), but turned out to be beneficial after we moved states and I went job hunting after being out for 15 years.  Thus, if true "part-time" wouldn't work, look into adjunct position or something similar just to keep the appearance of being fresh.

As at least one other person noted, the diminution in income may look huge, but there are substantial offsetting savings--especially given the marginal tax rate that you face on your first dollar earned.  (DW made a lot, so I was really forked on that.)

As for the traditional gender role issue, so what?  That should not impact an individual couple's choice.  The SAHP role has stuck around because in some/many (?) situations, it works well.

Good luck with your analysis of this.



Jakejake

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 714
  • FIRE: June 17, 2016
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2015, 10:08:14 AM »
I would prioritize my kids' needs over excess income. I was a SAHM when my daughter was 0-4 years old, and I consider myself a pretty strong feminist who doesn't buy into gender roles (former army sgt). For me, getting back in the workforce was something I had to fight against - people who had worked with me offered me jobs out of the blue, the first one I took was "only for a few months" supposedly temporary, which dragged out to a year, and then turned into a permanent offer which I took.

Being able to spend the extra 8 hours a day doing things that created memories with me (vs. with a nanny) is something that made our relationship stronger, and allowed me to pass on my values to her, in a way that being with a nanny would not have done. It's not that I focused every minute of every day with her, I still had housework and chores to do, but every day did have quality time. If I had a special needs child, I feel like that would be even more important, and would be more important to me than the extra paycheck (assuming the missing check wouldn't hurl us into poverty). I just don't see how I could work full time, spend an appropriate amount of time with a special needs child at night while making dinner and unwinding from work, and then turn around and also spend a suitable amount of time with the other child so they don't become a footnote in our family.

It would be one thing to make that choice if you had your ideal job and you were having to sacrifice your own dreams here. But it doesn't sound like that's the case at all. It's more a matter of deciding whether you spend more time at home now while the kids are developing, vs. retiring early so you can spend more time at home when you are an empty nester.


MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #59 on: September 22, 2015, 07:20:52 PM »
I don't think woman are giving him a free pass but I think many people who have been in that situation realize you can't make someone do what they don't want to do no matter how much you nag, etc. If someone is very stubborn it won't work. So then you have 2 choices-keeping working f.t. & doing everything or quit working & do everything.  Of course this is assuming you want to stay married.  Working p.t. might be a good solution if the OP can do that in her career field & provided that child care does not eat up all the income she makes.
Exactly.  My husband and I don't have the same arguments that the OP does, but we do disagree about cleanliness of the house.  After fighting about it for years -- and getting nowhere -- I realized that I realistically had two options:  1) accept that he is never going to care about a clean house and change my own attitude about doing everything.  or 2) continue to have conflict over this situation, which we both hated. 

Accepting that I am always going to do all the cleaning, and he will never appreciate it -- essentially just giving up on that topic -- has allowed me to step back and appreciate a multitude of good points he brings to the marriage.  Things I often overlooked when I was busy being mad that he doesn't seem to know the purpose of a trash can. 

Ideal?  No, but except for this topic, he and I are ideal together in pretty much every other way. 

Lyssa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Location: Germany
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2015, 07:08:26 AM »
In your shoes I would possibly consider part-time but would absolutely not become a SAHM.

I think a lot of posters answered on the basis of the more usual situation in this forum, which is not a 50s style marriage but a couple deciding that a SAHP and a full-time earner are the fastest way to accomplish a functioning family and FIRE in parallel (especially by saving child care, housekeeping and commuting costs and having the SAHP optimizing the finances of the household).

Your situation is very different. Your (otherwise maybe wonderful) husband is basically forcing this choice on you by not carrying his weight re family responsibilities. You admittantly already are resentful. This will probably increase when you stay home and he does not appreciate what you are doing or even drops more responsibilities on you.

You briefly mentioned that you cannot imagine him to ER. Yet you care enough about it to be on this board.

Not trying to be rude, but you have three risk factors for a future divorse: married young, special needs child and different goals and priorities in life. Nothing you can do about the first two. But when have you last discussed how you would want your family's life to look like in 5, 10 or 15 years? Is there a shared dream? Or are the two of you laboring away under very different assuptions of what it is you are laboring for?

Giving up not only your earnings but (and this is the biggie) your future earning capacity is a huge step and to a certain extent you are putting all your eggs in one basket with the words "happily ever after" written on it. I'd not be comfortable to do that in your situation. Then again, that's easier said than done with your son having autism.

HappyHoya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 134
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2015, 07:37:08 AM »
It seems like the real issue here is that your husband doesn't participate at home as much as your family and home situation requires of both of you and you feel like you have too much on your plate. You're hoping that by staying home you could pick up his slack in that department and he would shoulder the financial responsibility. This division of labor isn't crazy and I won't weigh in on whether it's good or bad to stay home with kids, but I suspect you'll still feel overwhelmed and your husband may see you being home as a reason to do less with the family. Is there an option to get more help around the house, whether now or after you stay home? Having more help might make you feel less compelled to stay home, but at the very least you should make this decision when you aren't feeling overwhelmed. There was a recent article in the Atlantic about how one of the overlooked reasons of families being overwhelmed today is the decline of domestic help, which was common for even middle-class families until more recently than many people realize. A lot of people like to blame working mothers and turn it into a gender issue, but it's more complicated than that. I'm not advocating for a return to the types of class stratification that made domestic help cheaply available or saying everyone should have help, but it might make sense for your situation, even temporarily.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. 

TVRodriguez

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #62 on: September 24, 2015, 03:38:27 PM »
Personally, I'd keep working.  I took generous maternity leaves of 4 and 5 months, and I went part-time when the kids were younger and now have a flexible self-employed position, but I would not stop working completely.  I would hire more help if I needed it and if my husband were not being helpful.

I also don't understand why women calculate childcare as coming out of HER income alone.  It is coming out of the family income, since those kids are part of the family.

A divorce lawyer I know advised me once that a professional woman should not become a SAHM, that she should keep a foot in the door, even if the part-time position is not perfect.  Otherwise, she risks becoming wallpaper or becoming bored--and that's often when somebody steps out of the marriage.

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #63 on: September 25, 2015, 03:39:11 PM »
A lot of commenters are saying variants of "Since he's being inflexible, go ahead and stay home and decide to be agreeable about it."  But I hear you being uneasy about it, and I'm voting with you on that.  I imagine that the reasons you're uneasy are that you specifically didn't want to be cornered into being the non-salaried, stay-at-home-parent, both because you were hoping that both genders would contribute to domestic life and because you're uneasy about the powerlessness of the situation.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  I see the problem here as his implacability: he's effectively saying "I insist on getting exactly what I want, which leaves you no choice but to get something you didn't really want."  If you both freely chose that you'd be a SAHM, that's a different situation.  But you're contemplating doing it as a response to — as a compensation for — his withdrawal from sharing the domestic load.  That just doesn't sit well with me.  And saying "Well, choose to like it" doesn't really seem like a good solution.  I worry that his inflexibility will continue to be a problem.  Does he seem to understand the difficulty of your position at all?  I'm not sure why so many people are giving him a free pass — maybe I've misunderstood something — or do we just think, "Oh, men, they get to opt out of sharing the load if they want to, 'cause who's going to stop them?"  What do you think, OP?

Pretty much what Gray Matter, MrsPete, and some other people said.  This isn't exactly how I wanted life and marriage to be, but sometimes you have to accept things and move on.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I know it doesn't sound this way, but DH is actually not an inflexible person.  Quite the opposite, he's always been very willing to admit his shortcomings and work to improve them.  Except for this one thing, which admittedly is a very big thing.  But at point I'm pretty sure that it's not because he doesn't want to be a better parent, he's simply unable to balance work and family properly.  He doesn't know how.  He's all or nothing, and unfortunately he doesn't have anyone to teach him how to do a good job both at work and at home.  And to be fair, I'm not good at this either.  I just don't have a choice, which is why I constantly feel like I'm doing a crappy job both at home and at work.

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #64 on: September 25, 2015, 04:20:46 PM »
If we do this, I would definitely make it clear that I retain the right to hire domestic help if chores are taking up too much time from the children.  I don't need the full time nanny, but I would make sure my husband understands that I'm staying home to spend more time with the children, and that is the first priority.

I ran some projections of our net worth, minus my salary. Of course I have no idea what the market will be like in the near future, but we are half stocks/bonds and half real estate so a prolonged bear market is not catastrophic for our portfolio. I'm relatively certain that our marriage is okay in the short term. It's the long term that no one can be certain about. But in five years our net worth should be somewhere around $2M, not counting foreign funds/inheritance. (I'm talking net worth instead of investable assets because presumably if we divorced we would sell the primary residence and split any other rental properties.) I could live comfortably with the children on $1M, even if my husband somehow got out of paying child support, and if I never made another cent. There's a lot of unknowns, of course, like what the value of our primary residence would be at the time of divorce. But I think it's unlikely that I won't be able to bring in some sort of income, however minor, and that my husband will be able to completely get out of any financial obligations to us.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4124
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #65 on: September 25, 2015, 04:45:37 PM »
Just want to say that this sounds like a super-hard situation and I really admire that you are paying attention to what YOU can do rather than continuing to beat your head against a brick wall. This is a tough one--good luck.


rmendpara

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #66 on: September 25, 2015, 07:41:41 PM »
Seems to be 2 separate issues in my view. This is  a very personal and touchy subject, so don't take my view as making it simpler than it probably is.

2 Situations to resolve:
1) If you should stay home
2) How to resolve guilt/resentment/whatever between you and husband

For 1, I see the logical choice as you staying home. You said you don't have any attachment to your job, but do like the field. No harm in working on some pet projects or even taking on part time work later just to stay relevant and not feel like you're being left behind. Of course, if you choose, you can leave the field entirely. You could probably also return to work if you choose.

For 2, this is more of a personal issue, and 1 certainly plays into it, but it really comes down to your relationship with your husband. Today, while working, you feel that husband may not respect/understand your contributions and you fear the power balance (either real or not) will shift if you decide to stay home. Fair point, and very reasonable thought. But, even if you continue working, this won't solve problem #2. Your husband could very well not respect you, and your contributions today.

I would make decision #1 based on what you feel is best for your son and yourself. I would work on #2 more seriously. Consider going to therapy/counseling. If for nothing else, you can at least have some help organizing your feelings (both of you), and make sure that no one feels un-heard and that you don't feel hopeless. The hardest part of marriage is when you have a problem that you don't fully understand, and then drive yourself (and spouse) nuts with all these crazy misunderstood feelings flying around. Find a safe and mutually beneficial way to talk about what you are feeling and see if you can work on this. Also, don't focus on forcing your husband to change. You can't change someone. You CAN lay out your thoughts, make your desires known, and let that person make their own decision.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 08:30:39 PM by rmendpara »

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2016, 05:24:37 PM »
UPDATE:

After many discussions and much waffling back and forth (on my part), we've decided to do this. I'm planning to give notice in two weeks, which will be my one year anniversary at this company. I'll be able to vest some stock options and will have also reached 40 points of Social Security.

I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited. We traveled extensively during the holidays, which has made us realize how much the children benefit from increased interaction with us. With regards to my concerns, my husband has said many times that he wants this not so that he can do less at home but because it's best for our kids, and that he'll continue to work at better work/life balance. I don't actually believe the last part, but the thought matters. He's also open to contracting a cleaning person if the housework takes up too much time, though the mustachian side of me wants to avoid this if possible. I've found that just the decision to quit my job has made me less resentful of my husband and more sympathetic to his job stress, which has made life much more pleasant for everyone involved.

I'm nervous about giving notice because I'm not sure how my manager is going to take it. I have a lot of responsibilities so I feel bad about effectively abandoning my team. He also gave me a promotion and a raise in December, which caused a couple days of me doubting my decision. But he has two small kids himself so hopefully he'll understand. If I want to return to the work force one day I shouldn't burn any bridges, so I want to try to do this in a way such that no one is upset about me leaving.

Welp. We'll see how it goes in two weeks.

tj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1237
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Maui
    • Arcadia Power
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #68 on: January 06, 2016, 08:03:43 PM »
UPDATE:

After many discussions and much waffling back and forth (on my part), we've decided to do this. I'm planning to give notice in two weeks, which will be my one year anniversary at this company. I'll be able to vest some stock options and will have also reached 40 points of Social Security.

I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited. We traveled extensively during the holidays, which has made us realize how much the children benefit from increased interaction with us. With regards to my concerns, my husband has said many times that he wants this not so that he can do less at home but because it's best for our kids, and that he'll continue to work at better work/life balance. I don't actually believe the last part, but the thought matters. He's also open to contracting a cleaning person if the housework takes up too much time, though the mustachian side of me wants to avoid this if possible. I've found that just the decision to quit my job has made me less resentful of my husband and more sympathetic to his job stress, which has made life much more pleasant for everyone involved.

I'm nervous about giving notice because I'm not sure how my manager is going to take it. I have a lot of responsibilities so I feel bad about effectively abandoning my team. He also gave me a promotion and a raise in December, which caused a couple days of me doubting my decision. But he has two small kids himself so hopefully he'll understand. If I want to return to the work force one day I shouldn't burn any bridges, so I want to try to do this in a way such that no one is upset about me leaving.

Welp. We'll see how it goes in two weeks.

Have you considered that you both could do a "semi-retirement" now. It sounds like you clearly have enough to survive for a long time if you get out of the ridiculously costly bay area, so why not do that? I get that he wants to bust his butt to support his family, I get that, but have you sat down with him and actually shown him charts, graphs and projections, drawdown rates etc and explained that you could move to Arizona, Colorado or wherever, where you both could work less time intensive jobs that interest you enabling you both to spend significantly more time with your children?

I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this.

Midcenturymater

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #69 on: January 06, 2016, 09:50:30 PM »
I am a sahm. Have Been over 6 years.   Happiest 6 years so far. I left a meaningful but stressful job in education. I read a book...affluenza in my 20 s by Oliver James. He suggested if you can do anything to be :O.e in your kids early years....up to 5 I recall....he recommended doing it for the benefits for your kids and I really listened to that book. So it was a value to me and we gave up my 70 k salary for my husband's only a little higher between us. I feel I have mainly relished these 6 years and they have cost us.....We could have $250 extra at least if I had worked minus childcare.

Being with my kids, raising them but essentially getting to enjoy them has been very special.
I travelled through my 20 s and had a fairer than average stream of adventures but none of it has given me the joy and satisfaction of being with my kids. If I have to retire 7 years later it will be worth it.

But I do see sahm who are not suited to it...they miss the structure of their jobs and whatever satisfactions it delivers. Some people have their identity tied up in their job. I have never been like that   
So the transition was easy.
But

Accept you may never go back in on that salary level.it does impact your career I believe.
Creating a social network is essential unless you are an introvert.
The fact that we can meet with other kids and moms every day if we choose makes it a lot more fun.

The key is to be a stay home mum without staying home too much so you get the social connection work provides.

I think supporting your son would be very meaningful and life Jericho ng for him.

Some things are worth more than ER.

Go for it!it is amazing. The freedom over your day alone is intoxicating enjoyable.
I say this asvi prepare to return to work with a 4 and 6 year old so I did not manage the magic 5  James recommends😁

CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #70 on: January 06, 2016, 09:55:45 PM »
I was a SAHM for 10 years and now have older kids and work part time.  I currently get paid less per hour than I did in 2003. 

I would recommend working at part time.  Once you are out of the work force for more than a few years, it is nearly impossible to get back in at anywhere near your previous level.  We have estimated that my staying home will cost us $1M in lost wages, lost retirement match on a 401(k), etc. 

I have a very supportive DH (although he is not great on housework, he always acknowledged and thanked me for the hard work I did at home).  I have a lot of hobbies, activities and interests that I base my identity on rather than a career, but it is still very hard to be middle aged and be so "far behind" in the workforce.    If I could do it again, I would not have stopped working completely. 

Also, it really is a lot of work to be in charge of children nearly 24/7.  It would be illegal to expect any childcare worker or nanny to work the number of hours the average SAHM does.  I can honestly say there were very few days in the decade I stayed home that were so bad - but the constant work does get overwhelming after months/years.  I wish I had taken more time for myself instead of trying to just push through.  I highly recommend a night away alone and regularly scheduling days for yourself.  Just block out days and make it a regular part of your family's schedule. 


I'm sounding pretty negative, but I did really enjoy my years at home.  I mostly really liked being able to live a more relaxed lifestyle without rushing out the door every morning to get to daycare, spending every weekend catching up on chores, and missing out on my kids' milestones.   I agree that one key is to have a social network and do not stay in the house all the time.

Best of luck!!

Midcenturymater

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #71 on: January 06, 2016, 10:14:20 PM »
I am excited for you.

It really I'd the best thing I have ever done and I actually enjoyed my job! Not that it is always easy but I do think, unless you are a miserable stay home mum, kids actually really like being their parents as much as possible. 

I return to work through financial necessity and I hope to work part time but I will not pretend it is the best for my kids. It's not but I am grateful we have had 6 plus years of this experience as a family advisers who say it comes at a cost are right. It does.

But working and delegating care of your children to a caregiver who is always actually just doing a job, rather than oarenting. Comes at a cost too and I think the kids pay that cost more than the parents do, when both parents work demanding jobs. I accept that returning to work will have a positive impact on our finances but a non positive impact on our kids.

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #72 on: January 06, 2016, 11:03:37 PM »
Twenty four years ago, when I became a sahm, I was really REALLY feeling terrible about letting down the person I was working with. Someone else said to me, "1967mama, do you really think that in 20 years you will care what Jane Doe thinks of you?" She was right! I don't care, and it was the best decision I ever made!

Ceridwen

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Canada
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #73 on: January 07, 2016, 07:26:07 AM »
That's an exciting update! Congratulations to you! I read this thread with great interest, and lots of good points were brought up.  I agree that ultimately for you, it's the best decision, both because of your special-needs son, and because you could easily re-enter the work force if you change your mind.

My husband and I have started talking about me being a SAHM once our mortgage is paid off, which should happen by 2020.  He makes x 3 my salary.  I have had the benefit of getting a taste of the SAHM life twice due to long maternity leaves in Canada (I took 13 and 14 months for each child).  Parts of it I loved, parts of it I didn't, which is why I'm hesitating about this decision.  But by 2020 both of our kids would be in school, so the dynamic of SAH would be quite different than when they were small.  Lots of time for me to evaluate this decision.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck! I'm sure it will be great!

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #74 on: January 07, 2016, 08:32:35 AM »


Have you considered that you both could do a "semi-retirement" now. It sounds like you clearly have enough to survive for a long time if you get out of the ridiculously costly bay area, so why not do that? I get that he wants to bust his butt to support his family, I get that, but have you sat down with him and actually shown him charts, graphs and projections, drawdown rates etc and explained that you could move to Arizona, Colorado or wherever, where you both could work less time intensive jobs that interest you enabling you both to spend significantly more time with your children?

I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this.

Yes, this has occurred to me. But DH is not that kind of guy. He still dreams of making it "big", as in multi millions in an IPO big. That's his definition of success. I may not agree with it, but I can understand. The funny thing is he's not a materialistic person and is very frugal at heart, so what does he want all that money for? But it's really a self worth thing. He would be miserable in a job he did not find exciting and cutting-edge. He also considers these his best earning years, and is worried about ageism in the Valley. I'm resigned to staying put for the next five to ten years, and just hope that the housing price won't plummet right when we decide to leave.

elaine amj

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2917
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #75 on: January 07, 2016, 09:32:19 AM »
Congratulations on your decision!

For us, we got married early and had kids right away so I was a SAHM with very little work experience. However, I ended up doing a lot of volunteer work and started up an organization to help other moms in my community. With this "work", my resume was ok and all my experience throughout my SAHM years helped me get a full time job when I entered the workforce properly (when both my kids went to school full time).

What made it easier for us is that we both had the type of personalities that never considered or measured who contributes more to the household. It was always "our money" and shared goals. I have to admit it was a pretty sweet deal for me as I was a terrible housekeeper and not the most dedicated mom. I definitely did more-than-my-fair-share of vegging out during those years! He still helped out at home and with the kids on evenings and weekends. When he didn't want to do "x-crappy household task", I would cheerfully agree - I didn't want to do it either. Somehow, that usually made it better and eventually one or both of us would do it.

One of my close friends sounds more like you though. She has a lot of guilt because she is a SAHM and constantly pushes herself super hard to work constantly all day long. She feels guilty if she sits around and relaxes. My DH had a cushy job and did tons of relaxing at work so no guilt here, I just counted my blessings some more.

My friend also had the trouble of a workaholic husband (similarly devoted). She continually pointed out to him that if he didn't make time to be a part of their children's daily lives, they wouldn't even know him (when little, both were clingy to mom and would cry forever if left with dad). She eventually got through to him and he started spending more time with the family. She still does 90% of the child-rearing - but he is capable of putting them to bed and caring for them if she goes out. I think things got much better as the kids got older/more independent.

In your case, I would push hard for frequent vacations. It sounds like that is the time your DH is able to focus on your family. That sounds completely worth it. That's partly why our family travels so much - we focus more on each other on trips and that is precious to me. Yes, we can do that at home - but traveling is such a fun way to do it - no nagging or whining necessary :)

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5088
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #76 on: January 07, 2016, 12:11:26 PM »
I am now 61 and never regretted staying home with my 3 kids. The sacrifice was worth it in terms of $ etc and when my youngest went to school f.t. I went back.  I think one of the worst things is having to get sleepy kids up, dressed, fed and off to a daycare,etc.  I have done it and it was horrible.  Then you come home at night tired but still need to make dinner, etc and I think the kids get short changed because before you know it-it is bedtime and you haven't had much time to spend with the kids. If you let them stay up later to compensate they are too tired to get up in am. Just a vicious cycle. I think you will be very happy with your decision.

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #77 on: January 21, 2016, 12:16:14 PM »
UPDATE 2:

I haven't tendered my resignation yet.... no, I'm not having second thoughts. It turns out that this week is when our new manager starts. Our old manager was so happy to wash his hands of us (not because we're terrible people, because he's very busy :) that he cancelled all the 1:1's already. I haven't yet met with my new manager in private. I'm working from home today (my son has speech therapy in the afternoon), so I have a remote meeting with him after lunch, but I just can't bring myself to say over video: "It's great to meet you.... I quit." I really hope he's able to schedule another meeting sometime next week when I'm actually in the office.

The good news is, my husband got a promotion! It comes with a nice raise, and he's trying to negotiate for some more bonuses. Also, with me no longer tied to my job, he wants to go work in their Dublin, Ireland office for a couple months this summer, when our son is on summer break. I've never been to Ireland and am a huge fan of slow travel, so am very excited at the opportunity. Especially when a lot of our travel expenses will be paid for :)

We also recently paid off the mortgage on our rental property. Unfortunately our long-time tenants just left, so it's vacant right now, but the property manager is working to get it cleaned and listed, and she thinks we can rent it for higher than it was before. At least we no longer have that mortgage expense, and when we get new tenants it will be additional income. I'm just sad because the previous tenants were great people who took very, very good care of the house.

I had been planning to give our nanny notice and lay her off at the end of February, but my husband last night said that he wanted to keep her until we leave for Ireland in the summer. He thinks we should have a transition period and also that I should get a few months rest after I quit. It's super thoughtful of him and I really appreciate it, but the mustachian in me is cringing at three additional months of full-time nanny expenses. I told him if I really felt overwhelmed we can always find a cleaning person to come once a week or something, but he was pretty determined. Well, I'll see if the nanny wants to start hunting for a new job right away.

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #78 on: January 21, 2016, 12:24:05 PM »
I am now 61 and never regretted staying home with my 3 kids. The sacrifice was worth it in terms of $ etc and when my youngest went to school f.t. I went back.  I think one of the worst things is having to get sleepy kids up, dressed, fed and off to a daycare,etc.  I have done it and it was horrible.  Then you come home at night tired but still need to make dinner, etc and I think the kids get short changed because before you know it-it is bedtime and you haven't had much time to spend with the kids. If you let them stay up later to compensate they are too tired to get up in am. Just a vicious cycle. I think you will be very happy with your decision.

Thats exactly how I feel right now (minus the making dinner part because our nanny does that). Also, good schools in California are insane. My son is 5-years-old in kindergarten (and in a special-ed class!) and he has homework every night, both reading and math. Not a lot, but he needs my help to do it. It's okay when I work from home, but on the days when I go in to the office it's all I can do when I get home to help him with his homework, bathe the two children, get them into bed.... I usually don't have time to eat dinner myself. Then I'm up at 6:30 am the next day. Vicious cycle indeed.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #79 on: January 21, 2016, 12:56:07 PM »
My wife just gave her notice beginning of the week with our [almost] 5mo old around. In the interim, we've had my parents help with watching him. I'm full-time telecommute now so hopefully things will work out. She'll pretty much be SAHM starting in the February time frame. I think it will be good for us in the long run.  My parents though, consider much virtue in working mothers (especially my mom) so they keep slipping in comments about my wife finding full-time work again, eventually, where the employer is "more flexible" - my wife gets pretty upset when they keep talking about this, given our decision. I think if my wife is able to receive an offer for working as a contractor (where she makes her own part-time hours according to how much she wants to work), that would be the most ideal. We know of a couple where the wife has this arrangement and is basically SAHM. But her employer really didn't want her to leave so let her stay on the payroll and she can work as little or as much as she likes (this is quite unusual). To the point where she gets paychecks for well under $100 at a time. Basically, she has become an "event coordinator" for the office at a minimum - so she gets paid for helping plan parties or other things. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me... but very fortunate for them at the same time :)

That said, I think we're pretty set on the transition to SAHM and we just want to focus on making that transition and seeing how it goes. Having this outside noise from my parents (and a little from hers but not nearly as much as mine) doesn't help. I was telling my mom the other day that we're not rushing anything and to stop pushing the issue on us. Of course, my parents will say what they will, and I'm sure will continue encouraging for my wife to look for work when she may not really want to. I would want to encourage her to come up with ideas for side-hustle but I think focusing on the transition is the most important piece right now.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 12:58:40 PM by jplee3 »

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #80 on: January 21, 2016, 03:16:42 PM »
My wife just gave her notice beginning of the week with our [almost] 5mo old around. In the interim, we've had my parents help with watching him. I'm full-time telecommute now so hopefully things will work out. She'll pretty much be SAHM starting in the February time frame. I think it will be good for us in the long run.  My parents though, consider much virtue in working mothers (especially my mom) so they keep slipping in comments about my wife finding full-time work again, eventually, where the employer is "more flexible" - my wife gets pretty upset when they keep talking about this, given our decision. I think if my wife is able to receive an offer for working as a contractor (where she makes her own part-time hours according to how much she wants to work), that would be the most ideal. We know of a couple where the wife has this arrangement and is basically SAHM. But her employer really didn't want her to leave so let her stay on the payroll and she can work as little or as much as she likes (this is quite unusual). To the point where she gets paychecks for well under $100 at a time. Basically, she has become an "event coordinator" for the office at a minimum - so she gets paid for helping plan parties or other things. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me... but very fortunate for them at the same time :)

That said, I think we're pretty set on the transition to SAHM and we just want to focus on making that transition and seeing how it goes. Having this outside noise from my parents (and a little from hers but not nearly as much as mine) doesn't help. I was telling my mom the other day that we're not rushing anything and to stop pushing the issue on us. Of course, my parents will say what they will, and I'm sure will continue encouraging for my wife to look for work when she may not really want to. I would want to encourage her to come up with ideas for side-hustle but I think focusing on the transition is the most important piece right now.

At least for me, this was a difficult decision and the support of family was important. I can only imagine the stress your wife must be feeling without the full support of her parents and yours, especially with a new baby. If I had to hear my in-laws hinting that I should go back to work, I would be super pissed off. Not sure if your wife feels the same way, but I would try harder to get them to stop, or at least make sure your wife doesn't have to hear it. To counter-balance it, I would often reinforce that you fully support her decision and the sacrifice that she is making, and definitely don't try to encourage part-time or side-hustle work. If she feels ready for it, she will do it on her own without encouragement from you. If she doesn't, it will just seem like you are not comfortable with being the sole bread-winner.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #81 on: January 21, 2016, 03:38:26 PM »
My wife just gave her notice beginning of the week with our [almost] 5mo old around. In the interim, we've had my parents help with watching him. I'm full-time telecommute now so hopefully things will work out. She'll pretty much be SAHM starting in the February time frame. I think it will be good for us in the long run.  My parents though, consider much virtue in working mothers (especially my mom) so they keep slipping in comments about my wife finding full-time work again, eventually, where the employer is "more flexible" - my wife gets pretty upset when they keep talking about this, given our decision. I think if my wife is able to receive an offer for working as a contractor (where she makes her own part-time hours according to how much she wants to work), that would be the most ideal. We know of a couple where the wife has this arrangement and is basically SAHM. But her employer really didn't want her to leave so let her stay on the payroll and she can work as little or as much as she likes (this is quite unusual). To the point where she gets paychecks for well under $100 at a time. Basically, she has become an "event coordinator" for the office at a minimum - so she gets paid for helping plan parties or other things. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me... but very fortunate for them at the same time :)

That said, I think we're pretty set on the transition to SAHM and we just want to focus on making that transition and seeing how it goes. Having this outside noise from my parents (and a little from hers but not nearly as much as mine) doesn't help. I was telling my mom the other day that we're not rushing anything and to stop pushing the issue on us. Of course, my parents will say what they will, and I'm sure will continue encouraging for my wife to look for work when she may not really want to. I would want to encourage her to come up with ideas for side-hustle but I think focusing on the transition is the most important piece right now.

At least for me, this was a difficult decision and the support of family was important. I can only imagine the stress your wife must be feeling without the full support of her parents and yours, especially with a new baby. If I had to hear my in-laws hinting that I should go back to work, I would be super pissed off. Not sure if your wife feels the same way, but I would try harder to get them to stop, or at least make sure your wife doesn't have to hear it. To counter-balance it, I would often reinforce that you fully support her decision and the sacrifice that she is making, and definitely don't try to encourage part-time or side-hustle work. If she feels ready for it, she will do it on her own without encouragement from you. If she doesn't, it will just seem like you are not comfortable with being the sole bread-winner.

Yea she was pretty pissed yesterday but it was only after I told her (venting session) when my mom was pushing me. I think they're 'generally' sensitive about it unless the topic is somehow brought up. I know my oldest SIL had struggles over this with them. My second oldest SIL works full-time though so my parents probably view her as the "benchmark" for us. I know they don't intend to or that their intention isn't to do harm or make us mad, but after having them live with us (and don't get me wrong, we appreciate their help with the kid), it starts getting difficult after a week or two. We have discussed previously my wife potentially taking on part-time work and she has said she would be open to it, but I do want to make sure we're focused first on the transition before we explore that idea (unless an offer just falls into her lap that is a no-brainer). As far as side-hustles, she'll tell you she has no hobbies and no interests, and therefore finding a side-hustle would be really hard. If I were to initiate something (that she could do within her means) then she would be open to the idea of running a side-hustle. But we both have agreed that her priority is family at this point in time. If there's any inkling of anything overriding that based on her capacity and willingness, then it's put to rest.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9158
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #82 on: January 21, 2016, 04:12:01 PM »
Congratulations and good luck with the transition!

Your nanny may want to stick around until closer to the end of the school year, when the market of people looking for FT help may be better for her.  If she does, I would encourage you to keep her on.  You are in a position where you can give her lots of time off to interview, etc., and having a bit of time to yourself over the coming months may help to make the transition easier/smoother for all of you.  My kids are older and my DS is now in school all day, so a bit different than having young kids at home, but I found it a bit of a challenge to get into a rhythm after having worked full time for so many years. 

And now I'm off to enjoy a late afternoon nap -- part of the rhythm I enjoy quite a bit!

Midcenturymater

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #83 on: January 23, 2016, 05:40:06 PM »
Just get parents putting  pressure on mum's to go back to work to read that book by Oliver James. He makes a great case for making the financial sacrifice of having a stay home mum, and I for one was convinced.  I would rather have this time now with my kids and work longer because it goes so fast as it is. I can't imagine not having been with my kids when they were small. If you have the luxury of choice then grab it. It is very very special and of value for a parent to be stay home. Best choice we have ever made.

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2016, 08:27:37 PM »
UPDATE:

I have been home for two weeks now, and just wanted to say that it is AWESOME! Our nanny left last week. We had planned on keeping her until the summer, but she wanted to take the opportunity to travel and visit family. While I miss all that she used to do, it actually hasn't been that bad. I realize now that chores were only a burden when I had a bunch of other things hanging over my head. Though I am thinking about getting a cleaning person to come once a week or so and vacuum, clean the bathrooms, etc.

The last couple of weeks at work were a little sad, as I do have great coworkers and everyone kept saying how sorry they were to see me leave. The guy who sat beside me asked every day if there was anything that would make me stay. In our weekly retrospective, someone on the team wrote in the "Sad" column: "X loves her children more than she loves us." :D My manager actually suggested the option to work part time, but with my husband's increased salary, I would essentially only be keeping about half of the part time pay. So if I worked two days a week, one of those days would basically be working for the government. It just didn't seem worth it. Plus I'm not one of those people who can just put my job out of my mind the days that I'm not working. I just want to be completely free of those responsibilities.

Financially, I'm still waiting to see what our new income and expenses will be like. We paid off the small remaining mortgage on our rental property, so now we have additional rental income every month. My husband got his big raise. We no longer have to pay for childcare or estimated taxes. It also turns out that I erred way too much on the side of caution last year and overpaid our estimated taxes by a LOT :( Oh well, too late to cry about the interest free loan to the government now. Our expenses should be going way down, and I hope to do other things to optimize and get them down further.

I'm still getting used to not having work responsibilities. I often find myself unable to shake off the feeling that I've forgotten something, like there's a build that I need to verify or a failing test I need to look at. This feeling is especially strong on Sundays. My mind just can't seem to wrap itself around the notion that I don't have to go back to work on Monday and keeps trying to figure out the things that I need to accomplish in the coming week. I suppose I'll get used to it soon :)

In the past couple of weeks, I've been playing games with my children, taking care of household paperwork, cooking, baking, planting, and just generally decompressing. My husband has had to travel extensively recently, so I'm especially grateful that I no longer have to go to work. Otherwise I can imagine how stressed we both would be right now.

Lastly, I've been able to volunteer a couple of times in my son's class. His teacher is great and lets me bring my daughter with me. My son has gotten over the initial adjustment period and is doing quite well. His teacher always has great things to say about his academics. Now that I have all the time in the world on my hands, homework time every day is no longer such a rushed affair and I can really focus on the things he's struggling with.

To sum it up, life without work is great! But hey, this is a forum about FIRE, so I guess we all know that or we wouldn't be here :D

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #85 on: March 04, 2016, 06:05:15 AM »
Congrats on making the switch!

I’ve been home full time for about 6 months now and yes, it can take some time to get over the change in pace. Since there is no set work schedule, the days and weeks can sometimes feel aimless and very unstructured. I sometimes forget what day of the week it is because I no longer have a workweek to determine the passage of time and there is no real distinction between a weekday and a weekend for me (except that my husband is home on Sat/Sun). I find it’s helpful to stick to a schedule I create for myself using frequently updated to-do lists, and overall I try to treat my sahm status as a profession that requires a certain level of productivity each day. So far, I think this strategy has kept me from backsliding into a PJ wearing mess of a mom who can’t remember if she did the dishes yet today (because we know the sink just always fills up again!) :)

couponvan

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5390
  • Location: VA
    • My journal
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #86 on: March 04, 2016, 07:00:25 AM »
You did it!  Awesome! 

This time with your children is precious, and it is time that you cannot get back.  I like the idea of keeping the SAHM status as a profession.  When I was SAHM, I treated weekends as sacred fun times for the family so there weren't chores for DH to do except 1 Saturday per month.  Now Saturdays seem to be Costco/errand day every weekend. Boo.

It sounds like you have been volunteering quite frequently.  Pace yourself on that, as while it is very rewarding,  it can also turn into another part-time job.  For me part time was the answer, although I'd like to be more part time than I am so I could have more home time and avoid paying so much to the tax man.  I also dream of having a more organized house....I'm working on it, but it's a long slow process.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5088
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #87 on: March 04, 2016, 11:55:45 AM »
Congrats on taking the plunge!  Enjoy this time with your children.

Midcenturymater

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #88 on: March 05, 2016, 08:02:54 AM »
Congratulations.

I am coming to the end of 6-7 years of sahm and it has been so special.
I essentially gave up my management career in education....to support my husband's career and a move to California from Europe.

For me so far it has,worked out. I have been mostly pretty content apart from those days when you are sick or kids are sick. I feel like if I died tomorrow I have had the loveliest experience this last 7 years. I am very connected to my kids from spending all my days,with them and for me there us no price on that.

Now on prepare to return...just to teaching...20 k salary cut due to being in  different  country.

I imagine it will be easier to know if it was worth it if and when using secure a job.

But right now from an assumption of I will find a teaching job...it was so worth it.

So many jobs are kind of meaningless and education isn't even one of them, but I could not give up being present to my kids growing up when they are pretty vulnerable.....for a job.

But I am someone exceptionally suited to being home by my temperament. No need for structure. Not controlling. Sociable...so I met loads of great parents to hang out with through these years.
Best thing I have done so far and my life has been pretty varied and other have done meaningful( on my world) jobs.
Good luck with it. You have gifted you and your kids something special.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4124
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #89 on: March 05, 2016, 09:16:42 AM »
So glad your stay-at-home honeymoon is going so well! Our oven broke this week and we had to have an electrician come out (I think I can fix the oven, but it took a circuit breaker with it). I was thinking how nice it is that with my part-time schedule, we don't have to have someone leave work early for that kind of thing.

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #90 on: September 17, 2018, 01:15:31 PM »
I am updating this post in response to a private message from a forum member. I will post in more detail tonight, but just wanted to post this short note so that it will be easier for me to find this thread again.

Overall, the past two years have been great for our family. We've made a big move, from Mountain View to Seattle, our net worth has grown to 2.5M (!), and our kids have made amazing progress. There's been ups and downs, of course, but I'd say we're definitely happier as a couple and a family than we were before. I actually found a part-time job that is remote and very flexible, and not in the software field. It doesn't make much but gives me a concrete sense of accomplishment that is often hard to find with kids and household chores. DH is starting to get disillusioned about his career path and not working is starting to sound better and better. We are thinking that 2022 may be our FIRE date, dependent on a lot of different factors, of course.

Stay tuned for a longer update!

cloudsail

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Seriously considering the SAHM thing (Update - I did it!)
« Reply #91 on: September 18, 2018, 12:06:44 AM »
Looking back on the past two years, I would say that the pros and cons were pretty much expected for someone in my situation.

Pros:
1. No more deadlines! No more performance reviews!
2. So. Much. Less. Rush. I no longer feel like I'm being pulled in multiple directions trying to juggle work and kids.
3. It has given our family much more flexibility. We wouldn't have been able to make the move to Seattle so easily if both of us had to relocate. I wouldn't be able to enroll my son in an alternative school that requires extensive parent involvement if I was still working.

Cons:
1. It's very easy to feel unappreciated. I was pretty good at my job, so when I was working I had people all over the company telling me things like, "That tool you wrote is awesome!" You're not going to get that kind of affirmation from your kids. This was the cause of some conflict between DH and I. Since he has realized this, he's made an effort to try to express verbal appreciation for the things that I do. Also my part time job helps. My boss wanted to promote me to head of the department I'm working in, despite the fact that the company is on the other side of the country, lol.
2. Weekdays and weekends are pretty much the same. I didn't quite realize before how important it was to me to have a change of pace on the weekends. It can feel like you don't have the opportunity to "recharge."

Things that haven't really been affected:
1. Our financial situation is actually way better than it was two years ago. We've blown past our original FIRE number.
2. I don't really miss my old job. I like software, but after doing it for ten years I was ready for a change.
3. I don't lack adult interaction. In fact, I actually have more time to do things like entertain, meet with friends, etc.
4. I don't feel like I'm taking on much more household responsibility than I used to. We have a cleaning lady come and clean the bathrooms, floors, etc. The house looks like a mess most of the time but neither of us really care. We eat out or takeout much more than we should, but DH's philosophy is that if any chore stresses me, it should just be outsourced. Needless to say our spending is atrocious, but at this point as long as we live within our means our stash is basically growing exponentially on it's own. And we still save almost half of what we make.

I do think there are so many different factors involved in this kind of decision that huge differences in outcome can result, kind of like the butterfly effect. And it's hard to predict how things will turn out until they actually happen.