Author Topic: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option  (Read 17977 times)

Milizard

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #150 on: June 15, 2017, 12:51:00 PM »
If she only takes 5 years off work and gets back into it close to her previous salary, we will only be adding 2 years to our FI/RE date (2027 vs. 2025).

Conclusions: It really sucks that I might have to work an extra 2 years but I suppose retiring at 42 isn't much worse than retiring at 40. Happy wife, happy life is the word on the street.

I'm late to the game here, but I would not count on her getting back in anywhere close to her previous salary after 5 years off.  I've been off 3.5, and having difficulty getting back in even at 75% of my previous modest salary, with an additional degree in tow at that.

arebelspy

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #151 on: June 17, 2017, 10:19:04 PM »
I know this post is four months old now and the OP probably already made some decisions but there is evidence that having a parent care for the child in the first year of life is cognitively beneficial. After that there could be some cognitive benefit if the child goes to childcare in years 2-3. There are so many factors but maybe there could be a compromise to stay home the first year. I wrote a blog post about balancing child care and career.
Citations please

+1. Would appreciate, especially on the latter claim, but both would be good to know.  :)
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dakota5176

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #152 on: July 16, 2017, 07:54:40 PM »
I don't know if this is possible for you but I work form 7-2 and come home and then my husband leaves for work.  It's not without drawbacks we don't spend much time together and I often feel like a single parent.  However we don't have to pay for daycare and they always have a parent.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #153 on: July 19, 2017, 01:11:13 PM »
I'm so over working outside the home. I may be a bit stircrazy at home, but I'm so over the juggling!

I've been turning myself into a SAHM by having my DH slowly take over my out of the home family business responsibilities. It's just too much hassle trying to run around and take care of small children.

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meatface

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #154 on: July 20, 2017, 08:44:53 AM »
My wife and I had a baby 2 months ago which means she is approaching the end of her 12 week maternity leave. Prior to the child, we were all set with our FIRE plan which consisted of both of us working for another 7-8 years and calling it quits at age 40 so we could be free to do whatever we want. My parents live 10 minutes away and my Mom is very interested in babysitting during the day. That put our minds at ease to have someone who actually gives a shit taking care of our kid.

Well..... I believe the mommy instinct has kicked in to some degree. She has started talking about how nobody will take care of our kid like she will, how hard it will be to leave our daughter, how stressful her job is, all the things she doesn't like about my parents, etc.

Has anyone experienced something similar? I'm trying to respect her emotions but redirect the conversation to the more "rational" sense (i.e. we shouldn't sacrifice long-term security for short-term comfort, her and I were both raised by people other than our moms, we have the unique opportunity to become wealthy at a young age, etc.)

First, this is common. As an example, my mother-in-law didn't want kids and had a high-flying banking career. Then she decided she wanted kids and would go back to work after leave. Then she had her first kid (my wife), took one look at her, and said she could never go back to work. People change, and it can happen rapidly. They still retired in their 40s, largely due to working/investing throughout the 80's and 90's (lucky bastards).

My wife, on the other hand, said she wanted a kid, said she wanted to take leave and then go back to work. And that's what she did.

So my advice is: you just have to let your wife figure it out. Having a stay-at-home-parent is great. In a few more months or a year, she may start to go crazy and want to go back to work. Or not. It'll work out either way. I just hope you like your career :)

cheapass

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #155 on: July 20, 2017, 09:01:18 AM »
I just hope you like your career :)

I don't, lol. I mean it's not horrible but it's just a paycheck. There's literally a thousand things I would rather be doing than sitting in a cubicle.

Thanks for the comments though.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 09:15:00 AM by cheapass »
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patchyfacialhair

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #156 on: August 16, 2017, 02:32:57 PM »
Reviving this dead thread to say that as a husband who is going through issues right now with his wife due to the exact same issue as OP, it was encouraging to read so many different viewpoints from mothers and fathers alike.

I can look back and realize that I have made some serious mistakes in my handling of the situation. Right before I wrote this forum post, I texted my wife and apologized for not handling things as well as I should have.

We're on week 10 of her 12 week mat leave (stupid short in my opinion, but you know, MURICA), and we're interviewing nannies today. She's committing to at least going back to work with the understanding that it's easier to go back then quit than it is to quit then go back. If she quits, then it means an instant lifestyle change (no eating out, no cable, cheaper phones, etc.) and dialing back 401k to company match only for me. Even then we're still cash flow negative, so I will probably have to get a second job and we'll explore selling our newly purchased house, among other things.

OP i wish you the best in continuing to figure things out!

NeonPegasus

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #157 on: August 16, 2017, 07:18:55 PM »
Reviving this dead thread to say that as a husband who is going through issues right now with his wife due to the exact same issue as OP, it was encouraging to read so many different viewpoints from mothers and fathers alike.

I can look back and realize that I have made some serious mistakes in my handling of the situation. Right before I wrote this forum post, I texted my wife and apologized for not handling things as well as I should have.

We're on week 10 of her 12 week mat leave (stupid short in my opinion, but you know, MURICA), and we're interviewing nannies today. She's committing to at least going back to work with the understanding that it's easier to go back then quit than it is to quit then go back. If she quits, then it means an instant lifestyle change (no eating out, no cable, cheaper phones, etc.) and dialing back 401k to company match only for me. Even then we're still cash flow negative, so I will probably have to get a second job and we'll explore selling our newly purchased house, among other things.

OP i wish you the best in continuing to figure things out!

Depending on your wife's job and how flexible her company is, they may consider letting her drop to part-time for awhile. After my first was born, I returned to work after a 6 mo mat leave (yes, 3 mo is soooo short). We were having problems with her daycare so I asked to drop to part time until I could get something better put together. I worked part time for 6 months until I set up a nanny share with a friend. I'm pretty sure my company got the good end of that deal because I worked my butt off when I was there and did nearly the same amount of work in 5/8ths of the time (I was working 25 hrs/wk).

Dicey

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #158 on: August 16, 2017, 07:54:57 PM »
Reviving this dead thread to say that as a husband who is going through issues right now with his wife due to the exact same issue as OP, it was encouraging to read so many different viewpoints from mothers and fathers alike.

I can look back and realize that I have made some serious mistakes in my handling of the situation. Right before I wrote this forum post, I texted my wife and apologized for not handling things as well as I should have.

We're on week 10 of her 12 week mat leave (stupid short in my opinion, but you know, MURICA), and we're interviewing nannies today. She's committing to at least going back to work with the understanding that it's easier to go back then quit than it is to quit then go back. If she quits, then it means an instant lifestyle change (no eating out, no cable, cheaper phones, etc.) and dialing back 401k to company match only for me. Even then we're still cash flow negative, so I will probably have to get a second job and we'll explore selling our newly purchased house, among other things.

OP i wish you the best in continuing to figure things out!

Sorry if this has been mentioned before. In the book "The Complete Tightwad Gazette", the author Amy Dacyczyn, discusses this at length and offers lots of strategies. A lot of the book is hilariously out of date, but the fundamentals are still rock-solid. Don't buy it from Amazon, this is just so you can see the cover. Might be downloadable free by now, it's so old.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Promoting-Alternative/dp/0375752250
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caracarn

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #159 on: August 17, 2017, 06:37:54 AM »
Reviving this dead thread to say that as a husband who is going through issues right now with his wife due to the exact same issue as OP, it was encouraging to read so many different viewpoints from mothers and fathers alike.

I can look back and realize that I have made some serious mistakes in my handling of the situation. Right before I wrote this forum post, I texted my wife and apologized for not handling things as well as I should have.

We're on week 10 of her 12 week mat leave (stupid short in my opinion, but you know, MURICA), and we're interviewing nannies today. She's committing to at least going back to work with the understanding that it's easier to go back then quit than it is to quit then go back. If she quits, then it means an instant lifestyle change (no eating out, no cable, cheaper phones, etc.) and dialing back 401k to company match only for me. Even then we're still cash flow negative, so I will probably have to get a second job and we'll explore selling our newly purchased house, among other things.

OP i wish you the best in continuing to figure things out!
Is she deciding to quit because you've determined child care is just too much?  Just  trying to get some more perspective.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #160 on: August 17, 2017, 07:19:46 AM »
Reviving this dead thread to say that as a husband who is going through issues right now with his wife due to the exact same issue as OP, it was encouraging to read so many different viewpoints from mothers and fathers alike.

I can look back and realize that I have made some serious mistakes in my handling of the situation. Right before I wrote this forum post, I texted my wife and apologized for not handling things as well as I should have.

We're on week 10 of her 12 week mat leave (stupid short in my opinion, but you know, MURICA), and we're interviewing nannies today. She's committing to at least going back to work with the understanding that it's easier to go back then quit than it is to quit then go back. If she quits, then it means an instant lifestyle change (no eating out, no cable, cheaper phones, etc.) and dialing back 401k to company match only for me. Even then we're still cash flow negative, so I will probably have to get a second job and we'll explore selling our newly purchased house, among other things.

OP i wish you the best in continuing to figure things out!
Is she deciding to quit because you've determined child care is just too much?  Just  trying to get some more perspective.

Not at all that. It's just that her priorities completely changed unexpectedly. When we planned to have a kid, it was her idea to keep working. When we were looking for a house, we stretched a little and got the dream house because there was no way she was going to quit working. Unlike most of her family who started having kids at 18, she waited til early 30s. She's just always been a career girl.

Once the kid came, the feeling of "I don't want to give up my kid to a stranger" hit her like a ton of bricks.

I make less money than her currently (it's 60% her, 40% me), so while we'd be fine on my salary, we wouldn't be able to live the life we have been living (lot's of saving, lots of spending, mcmansion in the burbs etc.)

Unfortunately, part time work is just not an option in her industry. The best solution is for her to transfer to a different team and work from home. Her current position is conducive to 1-2 work from home days max, she has to be in the field 3-4 days.

sehr

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #161 on: August 17, 2017, 08:41:03 AM »
Since some of the posts have touched on maternity leave in the U.S., I wanted to add my two cents. Our government believes that the best thing for our youngest citizens is that they be exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months of their life. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/breastfeeding/conditioninfo/Pages/recommendations.aspx However, our leave policies don't support our government's recommendations. Pumping is difficult and far less than ideal. Personally, I couldn't get enough at work to support a exclusive breast milk diet for our son. So if our government truly believes in exclusive breast feeding, it should enable babies to be with their mothers full time for the first six months.

However, to have a more generous leave policy puts women at a competitive disadvantage in the workplace. If you compare mothers with careers in the U.S. to other countries with generous leave, women in the U.S. are more likely to rise to higher positions than women in other countries with generous leave policies http://ideas.time.com/2013/09/30/longer-maternity-leave-not-so-great-for-women-after-all/ so fathers should be given 6 months of leave as well in an attempt to level the playing field.

My own life experience trying to have a kid and a job: after I had our first I went back PT but then eventually burned out and quit. My husband had undiagnosed lyme disease so I was pretty much doing everything at home because he was in constant pain and couldn't do things like dishes, holding the baby, taking out the trash etc. without his hands hurting. So life became constant work and eventually broke me. Personally, I liked working. It was easier than being at home with an infant. However, I would've eventually lost my PT job anyway because the company I worked for was owned by Bear Stearns and the Great Recession happened.  It's now 8 years and one additional child later and I really would like to go back to work but am not sure how to make it work given summers, inevitable child illnesses, and the crazy amount of days the kids get off of school, but that's a whole 'nother post.


mm1970

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #162 on: August 17, 2017, 10:58:37 AM »
Quote
It's now 8 years and one additional child later and I really would like to go back to work but am not sure how to make it work given summers, inevitable child illnesses, and the crazy amount of days the kids get off of school, but that's a whole 'nother post.

It's hard, but doable, depending on the kids.  Part time is best in my opinion.

But if you can't do it, you cobble it together with half days (if you can), working from home, summer camp, college student nannies, after school programs, and a husband.

Honestly, my husband *can't* be one of those guys who works 50-60 hours a week.  He doesn't want to be.  Our kids are out of camp at 3:30 this week, and we just take turns.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #163 on: August 17, 2017, 11:10:10 AM »
Quote
I'm in Canada so enjoyed 2 year long mat leaves and went back to work afterwards

I'm in Canada, so had not a single day of mat leave, and had to work right through :(

Like extended health insurance, mat leave is (or was?) available to some but not others in Canada. (And I feel compelled to clarify this on threads that equate Canada with certain things.)

Poundwise

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Re: Rationally discussing the "stay at home parent" option
« Reply #164 on: August 17, 2017, 11:37:31 AM »

Once the kid came, the feeling of "I don't want to give up my kid to a stranger" hit her like a ton of bricks.

I make less money than her currently (it's 60% her, 40% me), so while we'd be fine on my salary, we wouldn't be able to live the life we have been living (lot's of saving, lots of spending, mcmansion in the burbs etc.)

Unfortunately, part time work is just not an option in her industry. The best solution is for her to transfer to a different team and work from home. Her current position is conducive to 1-2 work from home days max, she has to be in the field 3-4 days.

Just a thought, have you considered being a stay at home parent or moving to part-time?  No pressure to do so if you don't have the caregiver/homebody personality, but just a possibility.   This way your child is not with a "stranger",  save money on childcare, etc.  I may have posted earlier in this thread my calculations in 2009 that it would take a salary of at least $60K to replace the work I do for the family (childcare, cooking, cleaning, accounting, home repair) and the work would be done less well and without love.  So depending on your salary, this might actually be a smarter move financially.