Author Topic: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?  (Read 7063 times)

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2019, 12:51:00 PM »
Can I offer a counterpoint to the, kids in activities for college debate? Sure, I guess that is part of it but thatís often driven by the parents. What about the kids that actually like learning things at a young age, because they want to, not because a parent has forced them? I wish my parents had the money to send me to music lessons, martial arts, foreign languages, etc. Learning all of that as an adult is so hard, but if you learn as a kid, a lot stays with you. If my kid was learning well in school and wanted to do extras that werenít getting in the way and that the kid enjoyed, Iíd do whatever I could to support. I sure as hell wouldnít restrict them because of my FIRE plans or because Iím too tired. Iím not going to give my work so much energy I donít have it to give to my kids and their interests. You only get them for 18 years. And again, you choose this! Want more time? Have less kids so you have enough energy to give. Sheesh. Iím sure Iíll catch hell for this but it seems like people structure their lives in certain ways and then whine about it. Like everyone expects to have multiple kids, win the lottery and then hire people to do all the things you donít like. Can you have that life? Sure, look at MMM, retired first, then had one kid. But if you donít have that set up, yeah, itís going to be work, but thatís what you signed up for. What did you expect life to be like?

sjc0816

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2019, 02:54:21 PM »
You have divorced parents. Surely one of them has beef enough with the other to want to be the "good" grandparent and take your kid to their activities. Casually mention that you need help and you were thinking of asking a grandparent and jeez that ex of theirs isn;t that involved in your kid's life. You could end up with all of them driving!!

I feel your pain. We are a 2 worker family now since Jan 1 after 11 years of having a SAHP at home. It's been rough. My job is demanding and unpredictable. I take call and I never know when I will be home or not. Oldest kid is kind of old enough (although not responsible enough) to be at home with the other 2 for an hour or two in the afternoons. But it's required a ton of adjusting on everyone's part and I've been trying to manage our now really crazy combined schedules, multiple dr appts, and keep it all from falling apart. I had it the other day when they cancelled school for weather and we had no childcare to help and pretty much told my DH he had to help organize or none of us were going to survive.
I'm not sure what the solution is other than take solace in the fact that most families are struggling like this? I feel embarrassed almost that I've not had to deal with this until now and had no idea how much of a hassle it was for others. We don't have a single family member within 1000 miles of us. My kid's medical conditions kind of tie us here so I don't see that improving any time soon either. Eventually they will grow up, my stashe will grow then I'll be old and worn out and retire and die.

Do you mind if I ask....why are you doing it? If you managed for 11 years to have a SAHP, what made your situation change? If it's wanting to retire early, I guess I understand....but at what cost?

I've been a combination of SAHM, freelancer (from home) and part-time worker (also from home). My kids are also in late elementary and jr high and they are both VERY involved in both sports and music....and this is year round. Multiple sports, instruments, choir, etc. There is absolutely no way we could manage with two parents working full-time. We've had SIX snow days in the last 3 weeks with no family around to help. HOW do people deal with that without help? We could cut their activities, but why? They enrich their lives in a big way.

We have 10 and 20 year old cars and an old, outdated house. We are frugal so that we are never in a situation to have to have two working parents as long as our kids are at home. I will gladly go back to work full-time when they are gone. DH and I agree that having a balanced life while our kids are with us (it's so fleeting)...is our #1 priority. What is the point of retiring early if your years of working are miserable? These are years you cannot get back. I have a friend who is 37 years old at the end of a stage 4 breast cancer fight. Three kids under the age of 14. You just never know. You can't trade now for later with certainty.

I guess I just don't understand why people want to live this way?

mm1970

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2019, 04:48:35 PM »
You have divorced parents. Surely one of them has beef enough with the other to want to be the "good" grandparent and take your kid to their activities. Casually mention that you need help and you were thinking of asking a grandparent and jeez that ex of theirs isn;t that involved in your kid's life. You could end up with all of them driving!!

I feel your pain. We are a 2 worker family now since Jan 1 after 11 years of having a SAHP at home. It's been rough. My job is demanding and unpredictable. I take call and I never know when I will be home or not. Oldest kid is kind of old enough (although not responsible enough) to be at home with the other 2 for an hour or two in the afternoons. But it's required a ton of adjusting on everyone's part and I've been trying to manage our now really crazy combined schedules, multiple dr appts, and keep it all from falling apart. I had it the other day when they cancelled school for weather and we had no childcare to help and pretty much told my DH he had to help organize or none of us were going to survive.
I'm not sure what the solution is other than take solace in the fact that most families are struggling like this? I feel embarrassed almost that I've not had to deal with this until now and had no idea how much of a hassle it was for others. We don't have a single family member within 1000 miles of us. My kid's medical conditions kind of tie us here so I don't see that improving any time soon either. Eventually they will grow up, my stashe will grow then I'll be old and worn out and retire and die.

Do you mind if I ask....why are you doing it? If you managed for 11 years to have a SAHP, what made your situation change? If it's wanting to retire early, I guess I understand....but at what cost?

I've been a combination of SAHM, freelancer (from home) and part-time worker (also from home). My kids are also in late elementary and jr high and they are both VERY involved in both sports and music....and this is year round. Multiple sports, instruments, choir, etc. There is absolutely no way we could manage with two parents working full-time. We've had SIX snow days in the last 3 weeks with no family around to help. HOW do people deal with that without help? We could cut their activities, but why? They enrich their lives in a big way.

We have 10 and 20 year old cars and an old, outdated house. We are frugal so that we are never in a situation to have to have two working parents as long as our kids are at home. I will gladly go back to work full-time when they are gone. DH and I agree that having a balanced life while our kids are with us (it's so fleeting)...is our #1 priority. What is the point of retiring early if your years of working are miserable? These are years you cannot get back. I have a friend who is 37 years old at the end of a stage 4 breast cancer fight. Three kids under the age of 14. You just never know. You can't trade now for later with certainty.

I guess I just don't understand why people want to live this way?

Likewise.

I have 10 and 13 year old cars.  A small, old, outdated house with only one bathroom.

My kids are in early elementary and junior high, and having them be VERY involved in music and sports and carting them around?  Sounds like utter hell to me.  We had 3 years of that with only 1 kid in year round 3x/week sports (and the other just in one night/ week).  It was horrible.  I didn't like it.  To be honest, they didn't like it either. 

Maybe it's a lifestyle choice, maybe it's a personality thing (we do have a tendency to be homebodies ... all of us ... we just like being at home!) 

Given the choice of working and having my kids not be in sports / music (because it's hectic), or not working and having the kids be in many days of activities outside the home...I'd take door 1.  All. the. day. long.

We have no family around. We don't have snow days either (but we have had cancellations due to fire/ mudslides).  What do we do?  We work from home, take PTO, work half days (one of us will work the morning, the other the afternoon, can usually get 6 solid hours in that way).

jeninco

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2019, 07:09:02 PM »
Good grief everyone, stop and breathe!

Your kid doesn't have to do an art thing, a sports thing, a charity thing, and another thing and get all A's in advanced classes -- she needs to pursue her interest(s) in ways that are meaningful to her!

My older son is a senior, and has played soccer pretty seriously for years. He's academically advanced. He doesn't do art, he doesn't do another sport, he doesn't do a "charity thing" unless he's chasing girls (so there was some "visiting puppies at the humane society" a while ago). He still got into a couple of top schools. He wrote  (and re-wrote, and re-wrote, and had edited by adults he respected, and then re-wrote again) some pretty darn hot essays, one of which described what he'd learned from playing soccer and being a leader on a diverse, top-20 high school team. My #1 piece of advice for high school juniors is to look up the essays on the universal application and start brainstorming, because the better that piece of writing is, the better you look on paper. And it takes some time to get a HS student to actually write something that reveals part of her personality.

However, your kid will be fine (better then fine!) even without going to MIT or Stanford. In fact, it'd be better to go to one of those places as a graduate student (preferably one who's getting paid). It's possible to encourage your kids' interests without making yourself completely crazy: again, this isn't about you displaying your status -- it's about your student finding a place where she fits in and can learn.

I agree for the OP one of you should see if you can step back to part time. I'd actually suggest that you switch off every year or two, so neither of you takes the entire hit to your future earnings.  I also suggest setting up as many carpools as possible. They can be a PITA to organize, but a well-functioning carpool is a wonderful thing. And unless you have serious qualms about the coaches (and if you do, you should be addressing those directly) don't stick around and watch practices -- go for a run, or do the grocery shopping, or  .. did I mention carpool?

Different kids are going to have different needs and desires for a variety of activities.  I realize we're talking about a broad spread of ages in this thread, but the more you can empower them (to do stuff, to help around the house, to organize their own transportation, to cook dinner), the better it is for you and them both.

Also, in my town there are a number of folks (including me) doing professional work either as consultants or part-time. It's a local standard, though, and YMMV.

sjc0816

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2019, 07:26:26 PM »
You have divorced parents. Surely one of them has beef enough with the other to want to be the "good" grandparent and take your kid to their activities. Casually mention that you need help and you were thinking of asking a grandparent and jeez that ex of theirs isn;t that involved in your kid's life. You could end up with all of them driving!!

I feel your pain. We are a 2 worker family now since Jan 1 after 11 years of having a SAHP at home. It's been rough. My job is demanding and unpredictable. I take call and I never know when I will be home or not. Oldest kid is kind of old enough (although not responsible enough) to be at home with the other 2 for an hour or two in the afternoons. But it's required a ton of adjusting on everyone's part and I've been trying to manage our now really crazy combined schedules, multiple dr appts, and keep it all from falling apart. I had it the other day when they cancelled school for weather and we had no childcare to help and pretty much told my DH he had to help organize or none of us were going to survive.
I'm not sure what the solution is other than take solace in the fact that most families are struggling like this? I feel embarrassed almost that I've not had to deal with this until now and had no idea how much of a hassle it was for others. We don't have a single family member within 1000 miles of us. My kid's medical conditions kind of tie us here so I don't see that improving any time soon either. Eventually they will grow up, my stashe will grow then I'll be old and worn out and retire and die.

Do you mind if I ask....why are you doing it? If you managed for 11 years to have a SAHP, what made your situation change? If it's wanting to retire early, I guess I understand....but at what cost?

I've been a combination of SAHM, freelancer (from home) and part-time worker (also from home). My kids are also in late elementary and jr high and they are both VERY involved in both sports and music....and this is year round. Multiple sports, instruments, choir, etc. There is absolutely no way we could manage with two parents working full-time. We've had SIX snow days in the last 3 weeks with no family around to help. HOW do people deal with that without help? We could cut their activities, but why? They enrich their lives in a big way.

We have 10 and 20 year old cars and an old, outdated house. We are frugal so that we are never in a situation to have to have two working parents as long as our kids are at home. I will gladly go back to work full-time when they are gone. DH and I agree that having a balanced life while our kids are with us (it's so fleeting)...is our #1 priority. What is the point of retiring early if your years of working are miserable? These are years you cannot get back. I have a friend who is 37 years old at the end of a stage 4 breast cancer fight. Three kids under the age of 14. You just never know. You can't trade now for later with certainty.

I guess I just don't understand why people want to live this way?

Likewise.

I have 10 and 13 year old cars.  A small, old, outdated house with only one bathroom.

My kids are in early elementary and junior high, and having them be VERY involved in music and sports and carting them around?  Sounds like utter hell to me.  We had 3 years of that with only 1 kid in year round 3x/week sports (and the other just in one night/ week).  It was horrible.  I didn't like it.  To be honest, they didn't like it either. 

Maybe it's a lifestyle choice, maybe it's a personality thing (we do have a tendency to be homebodies ... all of us ... we just like being at home!) 

Given the choice of working and having my kids not be in sports / music (because it's hectic), or not working and having the kids be in many days of activities outside the home...I'd take door 1.  All. the. day. long.

We have no family around. We don't have snow days either (but we have had cancellations due to fire/ mudslides).  What do we do?  We work from home, take PTO, work half days (one of us will work the morning, the other the afternoon, can usually get 6 solid hours in that way).


I 100% agree that if your kids donít enjoy organized activities then it is not necessary or worth it. For the kids that DO get a lot out of it (or absolutely love their instrument or sports like mine do), I canít imagine saying no. But it can be a lot to manage...so I do think some things have to be sacrificed for sanity purposes..

Iím also not being critical of those who have two working parents and love it that way. Thatís awesome! But it doesnít sound like the OP.

StarBright

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2019, 07:47:10 PM »
Good grief everyone, stop and breathe!

Your kid doesn't have to do an art thing, a sports thing, a charity thing, and another thing and get all A's in advanced classes -- she needs to pursue her interest(s) in ways that are meaningful to her!

My older son is a senior, and has played soccer pretty seriously for years. He's academically advanced. He doesn't do art, he doesn't do another sport, he doesn't do a "charity thing" unless he's chasing girls (so there was some "visiting puppies at the humane society" a while ago). He still got into a couple of top schools. He wrote  (and re-wrote, and re-wrote, and had edited by adults he respected, and then re-wrote again) some pretty darn hot essays, one of which described what he'd learned from playing soccer and being a leader on a diverse, top-20 high school team. My #1 piece of advice for high school juniors is to look up the essays on the universal application and start brainstorming, because the better that piece of writing is, the better you look on paper. And it takes some time to get a HS student to actually write something that reveals part of her personality.

However, your kid will be fine (better then fine!) even without going to MIT or Stanford. In fact, it'd be better to go to one of those places as a graduate student (preferably one who's getting paid). It's possible to encourage your kids' interests without making yourself completely crazy: again, this isn't about you displaying your status -- it's about your student finding a place where she fits in and can learn.

 . . .

As someone who has worked in the admissions department of a selective undergrad program (albeit, over a decade ago), your son actually checks a ton of boxes for admission to a top 50 school just based on a 4.0, a truly stand-out essay, and a top 20 team.  If he wasn't on an elite team but merely played the sport he would definitely need to have some other activity to up his numbers on the personal qualities/activity scale. These sorts of things are definitely weighted.

Everyone has a 1350 and a minimum A- average that is applying to the top 20 schools these days (unless they are from an underserved area and there is a whole different weight that goes on socio-economic backgrounds and region). So you either have to be exceedingly well rounded or be a total standout in one area.

I can't think of a single person in my undergrad program that didn't fall into one of three camps: either v. well rounded from the midwest or south, a champion athlete or musician (or child of one), or old money.

Don't want to derail the thread too much - but if the goal is a top college in the US (and especially financial aid from a top school), it is pretty essential that you do high school just right. That isn't to say that a top college is the best option, but if that is the goal, there is a way to do it.

My response was really to Malkynn wondering if people really do stress about kids activities because of their futures and I'd say the answer is yes. Because the thing is - you might not care if your child decides to go to an elite 4 year school, but you don't want them to lose the option of doing so, if that is what they want.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 07:24:57 AM by StarBright »

CanuckExpat

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2019, 01:09:30 AM »
My response was really to Malkynn wondering if people really do stress about kids activities because of their futures and I'd say the answer is yes. Because the thing is - you might not care if your child decides to go to an elite 4 year school, but you don't want them to lose the option of doing so, if that is what they want.

This seems to be one of those US-Canada differences, with a bit of data:

"parentsí time spent with kids has increased hugely since the early 1990ís, particularly among highly educated parents...these are the same parents whose value of time has increased relative to that of all parents, as, unsurprisingly, have their hours working for pay...They thus have less non-work time available and are spending even more of it with their kids. Why the surprising result?... demand for places at top-notch colleges has increased while the supply of places..has changed little...provided growing incentives for kids to distinguish themselves ó and for their parents to spend time helping them do so. One nice test of the theory ó for Canada, where there appears to be less gradation in perceived quality across universities than here. In the North, unlike here, there has been no divergence in time spent with kids by parents with differing educational attainment."

Less data backed, but more personal opinion: Canada is sometimes slow catching up on unfortunate trends, but it usually does. So it's only a matter of time until see the same striation and activity anxiety in Canadian parents showing up in anecdotes and data (if you don't already).

Malkynn

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2019, 06:18:38 AM »
My response was really to Malkynn wondering if people really do stress about kids activities because of their futures and I'd say the answer is yes. Because the thing is - you might not care if your child decides to go to an elite 4 year school, but you don't want them to lose the option of doing so, if that is what they want.

This seems to be one of those US-Canada differences, with a bit of data:

"parentsí time spent with kids has increased hugely since the early 1990ís, particularly among highly educated parents...these are the same parents whose value of time has increased relative to that of all parents, as, unsurprisingly, have their hours working for pay...They thus have less non-work time available and are spending even more of it with their kids. Why the surprising result?... demand for places at top-notch colleges has increased while the supply of places..has changed little...provided growing incentives for kids to distinguish themselves ó and for their parents to spend time helping them do so. One nice test of the theory ó for Canada, where there appears to be less gradation in perceived quality across universities than here. In the North, unlike here, there has been no divergence in time spent with kids by parents with differing educational attainment."

Less data backed, but more personal opinion: Canada is sometimes slow catching up on unfortunate trends, but it usually does. So it's only a matter of time until see the same striation and activity anxiety in Canadian parents showing up in anecdotes and data (if you don't already).

I'm not sure why we would follow the trend when we don't have the same motivators up here.

A kid in Canada with good grades can get into pretty much any university they apply for. A kid with bad grades has fewer options, but there are several schools with probationary programs for poor-GPA kids where they start part time with mandatory tutoring and then graduate to regular status if they prove themselves with good grades in first year.

So literally every single kid in Canada who wants to go to a world-class 4 year university can go, so it's just not something that any parent up here worries about.

Since activities have zero impact on a kids future here, we just don't have the same motivators. The only motivator for activities here is if the kid wants to do an activity. There's just no pressure.

jeninco

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2019, 08:57:51 AM »
Following on to the existing discussion -- yeah, but if you're pushing your kid into an activity that she's not psyched about, that would seem to defeat the purpose.

If your child is passionate about something (or somethings, but eventually time will be a limitation) then I believe you should support that as much as you reasonably can. But doing stuff they're not really interested in because it'll look good on a college application sometime in the future? That seems mis-directed. At the very least, you're not allowing the kid to discover his/her own passions and interests.

(Another personal example -- my younger kid asked for private music lessons. We thought about it, and made a deal: you be in charge of your practicing, at least 5 days/week, we'll take care of the lessons. I 100% do not want to be the boss of reminding my kid to practice, and if it's something we're going to pay for and transport him for, he needs some ownership.)

I'd still encourage parents (especially of younger kids) to let their kid discover their own passions. And have older kids work on developing a kick-ass essay!

And dragging this back to the original question, Carpools! Lots'o'carpools!

Unique User

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2019, 09:09:16 AM »
There is definitely a focus by many parents on multiple activities and sports in middle school, but at least in our high school (affluent, leafy part of Raleigh) that settled down a bit in high school.  My teen applied to a couple name private schools and flagship Universities in other states.  She's received substantial merit scholarships from other states that brings the cost down to in state.  After touring many schools, she told us that she is going to take the best deal offered.  In her opinion and mine also, she will get a good education from any of these schools and will be happy at any of them.  To note - she did not get into one of our flagship universities with a 4.0 gpa, 29 act, high school sport, started a chapter of HOSA and a job so it is definitely competitive out there, but we never went overboard with scheduling her. 

CNM

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2019, 10:39:15 AM »
This thread re. kids' activities and college admissions is fascinating.  I haven't thought of that "spin" at all with my kid- perhaps it is because he is only in 1st grade.  We put him in afterschool activities because both of our work schedules run until 5pm, so picking him up at 3pm isn't a workable solution, and his school provides aftercare so it's minimally disruptive. 

I'm a little nervous reading the thread that our lives will go to activities hell once he gets to the 6th grade.  But my state has very generous admissions criteria for in-state students so unless his grades are truly awful, all the activity stuff won't really matter.  What I mean is, he will certainly be able to go to a state university if he wants to , regardless of his clubs/sports/activities and get a solid undergrad degree. 

Tuskalusa

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2019, 10:34:01 PM »
I totally get the competitive nature of going to a top school, but I have a really hard time subscribing to it with my kid. When I look at my education, it was from all public universities. When I got my Silicon Valley job, I worked along side folks who were 100% privately educated from Top Schools. We had the same pay grades and did the same work. The big difference I saw was my own lack of college debt and my attitude that not everyone has to go to the best schools to have a good life.

Anyway, thatís what Iím trying to instill in my 7th grader now. Balance. He should do his best in school and find some activities he enjoys. But Iím trying very hard not to book too much. Itís too hard on the whole family, and it doesnít match our values. Will my kid go to Harvard?  Probably not. Will it matter. I doubt it. I just want him to be happy and secure in whatever he chooses to do.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2019, 06:46:04 PM »
I totally get the competitive nature of going to a top school, but I have a really hard time subscribing to it with my kid. When I look at my education, it was from all public universities. When I got my Silicon Valley job, I worked along side folks who were 100% privately educated from Top Schools. We had the same pay grades and did the same work. The big difference I saw was my own lack of college debt and my attitude that not everyone has to go to the best schools to have a good life.

Anyway, thatís what Iím trying to instill in my 7th grader now. Balance. He should do his best in school and find some activities he enjoys. But Iím trying very hard not to book too much. Itís too hard on the whole family, and it doesnít match our values. Will my kid go to Harvard?  Probably not. Will it matter. I doubt it. I just want him to be happy and secure in whatever he chooses to do.

I could have written this. Also in silicon valley, also didn't go to top schools. Work beside people who did. Working hard to try & instill balance. However, see my comment above about the advanced math. It's not so much the activities (my kids love & play club soccer. The second they don't love it, they will stop. College applications be damned.) The academics are a real problem. If other parents are sending their kids to six hours/week of extra math training, the bar is going to be super high in the advanced classes. You can either join up, fall behind, or opt out. I haven't found a better solution, & it's maddening.

Tuskalusa

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2019, 09:03:25 PM »
I totally get the competitive nature of going to a top school, but I have a really hard time subscribing to it with my kid. When I look at my education, it was from all public universities. When I got my Silicon Valley job, I worked along side folks who were 100% privately educated from Top Schools. We had the same pay grades and did the same work. The big difference I saw was my own lack of college debt and my attitude that not everyone has to go to the best schools to have a good life.

Anyway, thatís what Iím trying to instill in my 7th grader now. Balance. He should do his best in school and find some activities he enjoys. But Iím trying very hard not to book too much. Itís too hard on the whole family, and it doesnít match our values. Will my kid go to Harvard?  Probably not. Will it matter. I doubt it. I just want him to be happy and secure in whatever he chooses to do.

I could have written this. Also in silicon valley, also didn't go to top schools. Work beside people who did. Working hard to try & instill balance. However, see my comment above about the advanced math. It's not so much the activities (my kids love & play club soccer. The second they don't love it, they will stop. College applications be damned.) The academics are a real problem. If other parents are sending their kids to six hours/week of extra math training, the bar is going to be super high in the advanced classes. You can either join up, fall behind, or opt out. I haven't found a better solution, & it's maddening.

I see where youíre coming from. Thereís a lot of pressure to excel in a lot of schools. I can see this ramping up in 8th grade. I just had a conversation with my kid where I said I expected him to apply fir 9th grade honors English in a year. I also want him in Algebra in 8th grade. But if it gets too hard, weíll find a tutor or drop it. I want my kid to be competitive, but the line is tricky, for sure.

At the end of the day, I tell myself that heíll get to college, and it will be okay. I hear about the issues with stress at some of the high schools, and my primary goal is to steer clear of that.

sjc0816

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2019, 06:02:45 AM »
I totally get the competitive nature of going to a top school, but I have a really hard time subscribing to it with my kid. When I look at my education, it was from all public universities. When I got my Silicon Valley job, I worked along side folks who were 100% privately educated from Top Schools. We had the same pay grades and did the same work. The big difference I saw was my own lack of college debt and my attitude that not everyone has to go to the best schools to have a good life.

Anyway, thatís what Iím trying to instill in my 7th grader now. Balance. He should do his best in school and find some activities he enjoys. But Iím trying very hard not to book too much. Itís too hard on the whole family, and it doesnít match our values. Will my kid go to Harvard?  Probably not. Will it matter. I doubt it. I just want him to be happy and secure in whatever he chooses to do.

I could have written this. Also in silicon valley, also didn't go to top schools. Work beside people who did. Working hard to try & instill balance. However, see my comment above about the advanced math. It's not so much the activities (my kids love & play club soccer. The second they don't love it, they will stop. College applications be damned.) The academics are a real problem. If other parents are sending their kids to six hours/week of extra math training, the bar is going to be super high in the advanced classes. You can either join up, fall behind, or opt out. I haven't found a better solution, & it's maddening.

I see where youíre coming from. Thereís a lot of pressure to excel in a lot of schools. I can see this ramping up in 8th grade. I just had a conversation with my kid where I said I expected him to apply fir 9th grade honors English in a year. I also want him in Algebra in 8th grade. But if it gets too hard, weíll find a tutor or drop it. I want my kid to be competitive, but the line is tricky, for sure.

At the end of the day, I tell myself that heíll get to college, and it will be okay. I hear about the issues with stress at some of the high schools, and my primary goal is to steer clear of that.


Why do you want him in advanced track English? Just curious. We are registering my 7th grader  for classes next year and with teacher recommendation they can take all of their core classes (math, science, English and SS) on advanced/honors track. He wants to take them all and I donít want to discourage him. But I know how overwhelming it gets in high school. And he is very involved in activities.....and heís very social. I want him to have balance and Iím not sure how necessary it even is to have all of those honors classes. We live in the Midwest and while itís definitely competitive, itís not like it is in SValley.

Pigeon

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2019, 07:07:57 AM »
BTDT.  Seems pretty normal for a two income family with kids.  We went for decades with zero me time.  It's rough, but you deal.  We didn't do the kids' activities only because we were thinking it was required for college (although it's good), but because the kids loved doing them and got a lot out of them.

If you can't change your work hours, you could limit the kid activities or outsource some of your house-related stuff, which of course, will cost money.

My younger kid is away at college as a freshman.  All five of the elder relatives we were caring for passed away within a few years of each other.  Honestly, it's weird.  All the sudden I have time for myself, but to be honest, I miss her a lot, and I don't enjoy the me time nearly as much as I thought I would.  I will also adjust given time.

Tuskalusa

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2019, 07:37:19 AM »
@Pigeon: Our middle school doesnít offer a lot in terms of advanced classes. Iíve seen a lot of research showing the taking Algebra in 8th grade is great for college readiness, if your kid is ready for it.  The application for honors English is one of the first advanced applications Iíve seen at our high school.  Math and English skills are my priority when thinking about college readiness. If my kid pushes back, weíll regroup. My goal is to run a balance between high expectations and stress management.

Advanced classes in all core subjects sounds like a lot for a middle schooler, IMO. We donít have that option here. If I were posed with that, Iíd probably ask my kid to pick 2 of 3 for advanced placement, or Iíd set the expectation that itís ok to drop something if it gets too crazy. If my kid wanted to do a bunch of activities on top of advanced classes, Iíd probably limit him.

This is all seriously challenging. Hard to know the best answer. For us, weíve tried to use ďfamily sanityĒ as our guidepost.

cats

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2019, 10:00:38 AM »
@Pigeon: Our middle school doesnít offer a lot in terms of advanced classes. Iíve seen a lot of research showing the taking Algebra in 8th grade is great for college readiness, if your kid is ready for it.  The application for honors English is one of the first advanced applications Iíve seen at our high school.  Math and English skills are my priority when thinking about college readiness. If my kid pushes back, weíll regroup. My goal is to run a balance between high expectations and stress management.


Thanks to my dad being a math major, I was pushed hard to take more advance math options starting with pre-algebra in 6th grade.  My dad was able to put quite a bit of time/effort into tutoring me in the evenings and over the summers because my mom was a SAHM so when he came home at night he didn't have to worry about dinner, laundry, lunches for the next day, etc.  I honestly didn't like it much at the time but it made a HUGE difference with college.  I had taken BC Calculus in HS and scored well on the AP exam, so I went into college with two semesters of Algebra credit.  This was good for two reasons.  First, Calc II was one of the most frequently failed classes at my university, I got to skip it and not deal with that stress.  Two, I initially started college wanting to do an international relations major, then changed my mind and decided to do a STEM major instead.  I didn't take any math classes my freshman year b/c hey, they weren't required for an IR major.  But Calc I/II were prereqs for a LOT of the science classes, and having the credits for them already meant I could jump right into taking classes for my science major in year 2 of university instead of futzing around with intro calculus and having to delay other classes.  Basically, those credits gave me the freedom to change my mind about majors and still graduate in four years with a solid degree.  For this reason, I am somewhat loathe not to work hard to give my kid a leg up in these kind of areas. 

Nick_Miller

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2019, 11:13:47 AM »
Lots of good ideas and back-and-forth here! I think it's always healthy to have these sorts of discussions.

My wife and I continue to talk, but it seems like we're pretty much on the same page: "Plow through as intensely as possible, and f'ing save as much as possible." This is probably our best window to totally kill it. If either of us dials back now, we might never get this perfect window of earnings/benefits ever again. And we're not willing to trade away more total years of working just for some temporary relief, at least not yet. But that time may come.

We have increased our net worth about $180K in the past 30 months. If we can do that again, we'll be damn close to $500K by mid/late 2021, and that's not THAT far away.

I just need to accept that I am getting older and I need more sleep and I'm not the stud (haha) I used to be, and that I'm always going to be tired for the next few years. Slowing down at 50 still seems doable though, and would be better than 90% of other people's retirement outcomes.

Both of our kiddos are very smart (mostly A's and score high on testing) and will likely earn scholarships. We figure by tossing in a sport or music activity, plus things like Beta Club/National Honors Society, they will have good college resumes. We won't have a ton of college money saved up, but at least $15K to $20K for each of them to help defray costs. Combined with scholarships, it could be enough.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 11:15:30 AM by Nick_Miller »

Lews Therin

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2019, 11:18:57 AM »
Good news: Money accumulates faster as time advances. If it took 30 months, It'll take a lot less now.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2019, 12:24:13 PM »
Good news: Money accumulates faster as time advances. If it took 30 months, It'll take a lot less now.

Yep, absolutely. I still tend to be conservative with my mental goalposts just to avoid disappointment (even though my written projections assume 7% returns and exceed what I started).

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2019, 05:24:37 PM »
@sjc0816 - not original poster about advanced English, but for us, the advanced math is their placement given by the school based on test scores. It's not something we're selecting. They only have one advanced class available in 6th & 7th grade at their school (the math), so it's not all of their core classes.

@Nick_Miller - it's a debate I have with myself all.the.time. I think you're right to press on now, but know when you are unwilling to do so, and discuss part time or other options.

DeltaBond

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2019, 05:37:26 AM »
As if you need yet another reply (but when is there really too many helpful supportive posts?)  My home is like your home.  We are tired of the grind, tired of getting up at 5:15 to get kids ready for school, tired of crap jobs (they pay well, but are nothing but annoying).  I often think of the comedian Louis C.K. talking about life at 40.  No one delivers hot meals to 40 year olds, no one every says "I helped a 40 year old man today, and I feel so good about that.".... it's just "Do your job, a-hole".  It sure feels like that, we are totally invisible and expected to do it all.

I'm starting to realize that the world will not give us breaks, we simply have to take them.  I started taking regular time off from work, but at my job, we earn so many hours per paycheck that we can take whenever.  I started buying myself little rewards for my work - before I was all about saving all I could, but I can't live like that.  I ended up just wanting to die.  There is a lot of good stuff in these posts, lots of ideas to help you look at each hour of your day and think of something that might make it suck less - have some music you love on in the mornings when you have to get up, do some stretches here and there, bring in some cheerful decor (you can get a lot of that at the dollar store, doesn't have to break the bank).  Just whatever it takes to make it through.  We did that in the army, and this is no different...we are just stuck with this until something gives.

I did one other thing, I let my parents know that I would not be able to answer messages immediately with all I have to do every day, and maybe not even the same day.  I did this in a polite way, because if I didn't say something, they only email more often and get more persistent.  Their problems, their loneliness, frankly, are not mine.  I have a full plate, and damnit, they were in this boat once, they should know better.  They both responded that they understood - and making that healthy barrier there made all the difference in the world.

I wish you the best, I feel ya, I'm with ya, I can relate.... the struggle is real.  Find those shining moments and make a point to enjoy them.  Otherwise it feels like you're trying to drink from a firehose.

Malkynn

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2019, 06:17:40 AM »
Lots of good ideas and back-and-forth here! I think it's always healthy to have these sorts of discussions.

My wife and I continue to talk, but it seems like we're pretty much on the same page: "Plow through as intensely as possible, and f'ing save as much as possible." This is probably our best window to totally kill it. If either of us dials back now, we might never get this perfect window of earnings/benefits ever again. And we're not willing to trade away more total years of working just for some temporary relief, at least not yet. But that time may come.

We have increased our net worth about $180K in the past 30 months. If we can do that again, we'll be damn close to $500K by mid/late 2021, and that's not THAT far away.

I just need to accept that I am getting older and I need more sleep and I'm not the stud (haha) I used to be, and that I'm always going to be tired for the next few years. Slowing down at 50 still seems doable though, and would be better than 90% of other people's retirement outcomes.

Both of our kiddos are very smart (mostly A's and score high on testing) and will likely earn scholarships. We figure by tossing in a sport or music activity, plus things like Beta Club/National Honors Society, they will have good college resumes. We won't have a ton of college money saved up, but at least $15K to $20K for each of them to help defray costs. Combined with scholarships, it could be enough.

I wish you luck with this, but I seriously caution you to come up with a creative plan B in case it doesn't work out.

Maybe another few years of grinding is doable for you, but it might not be. Burnout has a way of blowing up in your face all of a sudden.

I'm not saying this will happen, but it could, and it's smart to have an alternative "what if" path well planned out with intelligently calculated math to know exactly how you would handle it if you suddenly realized that you can't continue on the way you are going.

I know that sounds dramatic, it's really not meant to be, I'm only suggesting you work through the option and have a plan in case the wheels fall off, which can happen to anyone.

Mikila

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #74 on: February 16, 2019, 09:39:00 AM »
Are you able to move really close to the school so that the kids can go there by themselves?

That has saved our sanity with kids' activities.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #75 on: February 16, 2019, 10:11:59 AM »
We could move closer, but houses close to the schools cost about twice that of our current home, and are generally older (think 80-100 years old). I just canít stomach having a $320k mortgage at this stage of our lives. Our monthly payment would double.

smoghat

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #76 on: February 16, 2019, 10:54:41 AM »

Don't want to derail the thread too much - but if the goal is a top college in the US (and especially financial aid from a top school), it is pretty essential that you do high school just right. That isn't to say that a top college is the best option, but if that is the goal, there is a way to do it.

My response was really to Malkynn wondering if people really do stress about kids activities because of their futures and I'd say the answer is yes. Because the thing is - you might not care if your child decides to go to an elite 4 year school, but you don't want them to lose the option of doing so, if that is what they want.

Holy fuck. That's completely bonkers. And then for what?

I taught graduate school at an Ivy for 10 years (moonlighted at another Ivy and at MIT) and during the last few years  the quality of the students just fell into the toilet. Everyone I broached the topic with agreed, from law professors to English profs (one said that of a class of 30 students in a Jane Austen class, only one had read Jane Austen in high school on their ownÖthese are English majors!!!) to chemistry profs. Something has happened that's just gutted these kids. It's probably video games, but it's also these shitty activities. They can't think on their own. When I was 13, I'd bicycle to the library and pick up a backpack worth of books on random subjects. I didn't read every one, but I read a lot of them. 

And then there's schools. Apart from the ludicrous money to be paid to them (which we can afford, but still).

In my daughter's case, I'd like her to get a liberal arts degree (she's good at science, but it isn't her thing and my wife learned her lesson doing the wrong thing working as an engineer) but with identity politics on the rise everywhere, her education will likely be
garbage. When I was a student, Marxism was prevalent and while that sold a fake bill of goods too, at least we learned a ton about how economy drives everything, so it had a bit of utility.

Cassie

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #77 on: February 16, 2019, 11:18:38 AM »
Kids need free time and to learn how to manage their time. Also during summer a part time job is a great learning experience.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #78 on: February 16, 2019, 01:28:57 PM »
We could move closer, but houses close to the schools cost about twice that of our current home, and are generally older (think 80-100 years old). I just canít stomach having a $320k mortgage at this stage of our lives. Our monthly payment would double.

Can you sell your place and rent? That would increase your cash, get you closer and give shorten your timeframe.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #79 on: February 16, 2019, 01:32:45 PM »
The most mustachian thing parents could do for their kid is insist on the kid learning German. Anyone who speaks German can go to university there for free. Canít beat that.

meghan88

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #80 on: February 17, 2019, 10:21:55 AM »
Not sure if this is helpful, but here goes:

Deep into my own mid-life slog, which lasted about 15 years, I put myself on what I called the "six-month plan".  As in, being secure in the knowledge that my employment and sanity could likely hold out for the next six months.  At any point, it was all that I could handle.  JUST THE NEXT SIX MONTHS.

Then, lo and behold, each month turned into multiple six-month periods, which turned into years.  The "six-month plan" was a sliding measurement that kept on sliding along.

DH and I are now looking at doing one last victory-lap year before retiring, and FWIW, the following observations come to mind, not all of which make any sense when put side-by-side:

- looking back, time seems to have just BLASTED by.
- looking ahead, we are still fearful of turning off the Great Fire Hose of Cash.
- try to extricate yourself from draining or toxic relationships, even if they are with family.
- along those lines, don't allow other family members to judge you for making smart choices but "not doing enough for others":  what are their means, and what are THEY doing, if they feel they can judge?
- kids grow up and (hopefully) leave the nest and become independent.  Parents die.  This time of your life will feel like a blip.  A grinding, painful blip, but a blip nonetheless.
- but, there are moments of beauty and grace.  Revel in them, because you need to appreciate how good you have it:  is your health good, can you walk, hear, see ....?  count your blessings, as trite as that might sound.  This could likely be a time that you will look back upon fondly, and think:  "wow - even with all that, we really had it good, didn't we?"
- you're a Mustachian, so you are already head and shoulders above the fray.  Know that, and appreciate it.  Continue to apply the principles and optimize when and where you can.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 06:23:54 AM by meghan88 »

nic1

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Re: Wife is tired of working, and frankly I am too. How to push through?
« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2019, 11:25:52 AM »
I wrote a similar post recently and have been in this mid-life slog for the last few years.  My kids are 8th and 5th grade and activities, doctors appointments for physical therapy and allergy shots are so overwhelming for me.  I also work 4 days a week and my husband travels extensively, sometimes for months at a time. 
I really like meghan88's reply, I have started doing somewhat of the same thing, thinking ok 6 months from now allergy shots will only be once a month, therapy will be done....of course it seems like sometimes things replace those other responsibilities, however it still helps me to not become overwhelmed in my head.
I also went from working mostly 5 days per week to working 4 days a week and once a month 3 days a week.  HUGE improvement in my quality of life.  I only just went to full time work in the last couple years thinking well the kids are older and I am at the peak of my income, I can handle this.  No, I could not...I went into a serious funk and burn out. 
I honestly do not know of any of my friends where they have 2 kids and 2 full time jobs that they are happy and feel like they are living their best life.  It is just hard, physically draining, and there just aren't enough hours in the day.
The kids activities I am starting to evaluate as well, I was letting my daughter do dance competitions and horse shows, last spring it was rare we had a free weekend and I set some new ground rules, one weekend event a month.  I was tired of never having a weekend to myself or having time with my husband.  One of my girls does dance and horse back riding, she loves them and she will likely continue with them as an adult, I cannot imagine taking those away from her, but I have had to set limits. 
I will also say trying to get paid help on a part time basis in the evenings is not easy at all. I have interviewed 4 people in the last 4 months to try to get someone to help with all of my kids appointments and have come up empty handed.  It sounds good on paper, but not easy to find.
Another thing that has helped tremendously but does cost money (although you could travel hack or try to do as frugally as possible), we plan some sort of trip every 3 months.  Either a full week or just a long weekend.  It gives me something to look forward to and gives us unique experiences as a family.  I just started doing this the last 2 years and it has been amazing.
I think the best advice you have had is to have a plan B if either of you really start giving out.  I didn't have that plan and had to wade through what I was going to do in the midst of feeling overwhelmed.  Lastly, you are not alone, looking through these posts it looks like there are quite a few of us dual income with kids that are struggling through.