Author Topic: Stay at Home?  (Read 11718 times)

CNM

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2017, 01:45:35 PM »
I'll also throw this consideration out there:

I recently had a candid discussion with a professional peer.  He is the sole breadwinner for his family (which includes a SAHM and 2 elementary aged kids).  Even though he has been doing this for many years, he feels very constrained in his career.  He has a very hard time considering a change in employment, or careers, or really ANYTHING that could possibly jeopardize his income.  Because if he loses his salary or takes a large hit in salary, there is no one to pick up that slack.  It's basically an "all eggs in one basket" problem.

cheapass

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2017, 09:17:40 AM »
I'll also throw this consideration out there:

I recently had a candid discussion with a professional peer.  He is the sole breadwinner for his family (which includes a SAHM and 2 elementary aged kids).  Even though he has been doing this for many years, he feels very constrained in his career.  He has a very hard time considering a change in employment, or careers, or really ANYTHING that could possibly jeopardize his income.  Because if he loses his salary or takes a large hit in salary, there is no one to pick up that slack.  It's basically an "all eggs in one basket" problem.

This. Great reason to target FI, because then you don't care if those paychecks stop coming.
Every single decision you make with money either shortens or lengthens your working career.

Venturing

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2017, 04:40:58 AM »
This is something my wife and I have been struggling with the last few days. We had our daughter in May 2016. My wife got 4 months paid leave. We had multiple discussions about what to do after her leave was up. I made it clear to her that I was fine with her leaving her job to be a SAHM, but she needed to make the decision ASAP so we could plan for it.

After her four months were up, she decided to take more time off, another 8 months unpaid. I'm totally fine with that and was glad her job gave her that flexibility. I was happy she could be with the baby during that crucial time. We had multiple discussions during those 8 months about her quitting to be SAHM; again, my message was clear, it's okay if that's what you want, but make the decision now so we can plan. She kept saying she wanted to go back. I can't afford to pay for the daycare on top of all the other bills.

So here we are slightly over a year later, and her manager is trying to find a role for her to come back to work. She works for a consulting company, so projects are generally very flexible. My wife is freaking out and saying she doesn't want to go back. She wants to quit and stay home with the baby.

Our daughter started daycare about 2 months ago. We had to start then because we weren't sure of my wife's on-boarding schedule and the daycare had an 8 month wait to get in. So we've got a sunk cost of 2200 for two months of daycare and now my wife doesn't want to go back.

Going back is hard for her because the role she'll be going into will require 2-3 days of travel each week for one month. Honestly, I think she is concerned I won't be able to care for my daughter, and she is worried daughter won't be so attached to her when she returns.

I keep asking her to just tough out the 1 month project, then find something local or make the decision to quit at that point once she is back in the swing of things. I've also explained I'm not comfortable becoming the sole bread winner and that I have dreams of retiring in 10 years. I make a little more than she does, but she has a pretty high salary.

I have concerns similar to what someone posted early in this thread - that she'll become a stereotypical stay at home mom and just watch TV all day. I've already noticed she's becoming more entitled and has been doing less around the house. I'm having to pick up the slack when it comes to cooking, cleaning, maintenance, etc. We used to be pretty much 50-50 on household chores, now we're probably 70-30 or 80-20. This means I see my daughter even less when I get home from work because I need to take care of those things. It seems like she has come to believe her only responsibility is the baby and nothing else.

I'm kind of at the end of my rope. I don't know what to do. Anytime I bring up household chores she gets super defensive and acts like I'm asking to have dinner on the table at 5 everyday and a sparkling house. I'm not. Just cook 2-3 days a week and help me pick up/do laundry so I'm not doing it all. Anytime I bring up her job she shuts down and just says, "well if that's what you want me to do."

Assuming for a minute you are indeed doing 80%, who is looking after your daughter while you do this?? I assume it's your wife, in which case you are splitting the work evenly, its just that shes taken more of the childcare and you've taken more of the other stuff

StacheyStache

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2017, 05:21:47 AM »
This is something my wife and I have been struggling with the last few days. We had our daughter in May 2016. My wife got 4 months paid leave. We had multiple discussions about what to do after her leave was up. I made it clear to her that I was fine with her leaving her job to be a SAHM, but she needed to make the decision ASAP so we could plan for it.

After her four months were up, she decided to take more time off, another 8 months unpaid. I'm totally fine with that and was glad her job gave her that flexibility. I was happy she could be with the baby during that crucial time. We had multiple discussions during those 8 months about her quitting to be SAHM; again, my message was clear, it's okay if that's what you want, but make the decision now so we can plan. She kept saying she wanted to go back. I can't afford to pay for the daycare on top of all the other bills.

So here we are slightly over a year later, and her manager is trying to find a role for her to come back to work. She works for a consulting company, so projects are generally very flexible. My wife is freaking out and saying she doesn't want to go back. She wants to quit and stay home with the baby.

<b>Our daughter started daycare about 2 months ago.</b> We had to start then because we weren't sure of my wife's on-boarding schedule and the daycare had an 8 month wait to get in. So we've got a sunk cost of 2200 for two months of daycare and now my wife doesn't want to go back.

Going back is hard for her because the role she'll be going into will require 2-3 days of travel each week for one month. Honestly, I think she is concerned I won't be able to care for my daughter, and she is worried daughter won't be so attached to her when she returns.

I keep asking her to just tough out the 1 month project, then find something local or make the decision to quit at that point once she is back in the swing of things. I've also explained I'm not comfortable becoming the sole bread winner and that I have dreams of retiring in 10 years. I make a little more than she does, but she has a pretty high salary.

I have concerns similar to what someone posted early in this thread - that she'll become a stereotypical stay at home mom and just watch TV all day. I've already noticed she's becoming more entitled and has been doing less around the house. I'm having to pick up the slack when it comes to cooking, cleaning, maintenance, etc. We used to be pretty much 50-50 on household chores, now we're probably 70-30 or 80-20. This means I see my daughter even less when I get home from work because I need to take care of those things. It seems like she has come to believe her only responsibility is the baby and nothing else.

I'm kind of at the end of my rope. I don't know what to do. Anytime I bring up household chores she gets super defensive and acts like I'm asking to have dinner on the table at 5 everyday and a sparkling house. I'm not. Just cook 2-3 days a week and help me pick up/do laundry so I'm not doing it all. Anytime I bring up her job she shuts down and just says, "well if that's what you want me to do."

Assuming for a minute you are indeed doing 80%, who is looking after your daughter while you do this?? I assume it's your wife, in which case you are splitting the work evenly, its just that shes taken more of the childcare and you've taken more of the other stuff

I disagree; daughter's in day care.  Mom can do her 50% of the housework while daughter is in daycare and still have time for herself (sorry but I don't believe that 50% of household chores takes a full day to do).  Meanwhile, dad has a full day of work (not having time for himself AND not seeing kid) then comes home to housework (and still not spending meaningful time with kid) that mom didn't do while daughter's in daycare because she was doing....what exactly?  Dad is clearly getting the short end of the stick.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2017, 11:18:33 AM »
Assuming for a minute you are indeed doing 80%, who is looking after your daughter while you do this?? I assume it's your wife, in which case you are splitting the work evenly, its just that shes taken more of the childcare and you've taken more of the other stuff

You're missing the point. I would rather take care of my daughter while she does house work. I don't get to see her all day...my wife gets to spend the entire day with her. We should be switching. Let me watch my daughter while she does the work.

Poundwise

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2017, 11:51:39 AM »
Quick take, haven't read all the responses yet. Have been SAHP for over a decade, husband has fulfilling job that pays bills, but not headed toward early retirement despite frugality.

After about 4 years out of the workforce, took an opportunity to work from home as a programmer, pulled in decent money working part time for a few years, but imploded after expanding to full time then having third child and family illness.  Now happy to not be employed for a while... do a lot of volunteer work.  Looking forward to some part time employ when youngest goes to school.

Pretty happy, have no trouble losing my identity. Feel that part time work (<30 hours), especially flex time and telecommute with older kids, was a sweet spot for me. Found it was easy to keep working with an infant but it gets very tough between ages 1-3.5 because the kids want attention. As for housework/organization/kids, I do the greater share, imperfectly, but it's not really a problem.  My husband and I generally don't wrangle because we know that we are both putting in more than an honest day's work and don't begrudge each other a couple of hours a day to kick back.  Sometimes he or I get lazy for a spell and the other picks up slack for a while, then starts getting cranky.  We get over it.  Mutual hard work  <=> mutual respect.

-- edit to answer op's questions more directly: made the decision because I couldn't bear to leave baby, since babies don't ask for much, they just want to be with one loving caregiver that first year.  Years 2-4 for my first child were the hardest as preschoolers can be very demanding and messy, we did wonder where it was all going, and my husband was then very junior in his job so money was an issue. I spent a lot of time pinching pennies and wondering if this all there was to life. 

-- second edit: wow, didn't realize this was a 3 year old thread!  Well, if this helps somebody new...
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 12:05:15 PM by Poundwise »

TVRodriguez

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2017, 11:56:53 AM »
Assuming for a minute you are indeed doing 80%, who is looking after your daughter while you do this?? I assume it's your wife, in which case you are splitting the work evenly, its just that shes taken more of the childcare and you've taken more of the other stuff

You're missing the point. I would rather take care of my daughter while she does house work. I don't get to see her all day...my wife gets to spend the entire day with her. We should be switching. Let me watch my daughter while she does the work.

1. This is a situation where a housekeeper (weekly or monthly) could be helpful, despite the expense, especially if W goes back to work close to full time.  Maybe it will be a temporary increase in expenses, but it could ease the tension for a while.  (I love my housekeeper so much--she is well worth the expense for me.)

2. You mention in an earlier post that your wife seems unhappy when you mention her going back to work and says "well, if that's what you want me to do."  Personally, I was not thrilled about going back to work after my maternity leaves.  I got over it, but it's not like it was rainbows and puppy dogs on my last days at home and first days at work.  I cried.  It sucked.  I didn't love my job at that point and it was stressful.  I was mad that I made too much money and we had too much debt for it to make sense for me to quit.  But I also knew that I wanted to be a working mom.  I went with my head.  My husband was incredibly supportive (when I told him that I'd be mad at him for a while, he just nodded), and he probably picked up some slack at home to make the transition easier for me.  He did say, "I'd like to stay home, too."  I dunno what my point is.  I guess be patient but if you both had a plan going in then I don't think it's wrong for you to stick to that plan.

skp

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2017, 12:09:19 PM »
I don't get the emphasis people place on doing housework.  In the grand scheme of things its just a part of what it takes to keep a household running.  My husband and I "split" the chores.  I always did all the cleaning, he does the grocery shopping, cooking, yard work and shopping.  I don't think a person appreciates what another  person does until they have to do it all.  My mother is elderly, and my sister and I are trying to keep her in her home.   We split off weeks, we both do everything (just at different times of the year).  My mother has a small house and a small yard.  Maybe I have lower housecleaning standards, but It honestly takes me more time to do the yardwork than the cleaning.  Laundry and cooking, grocery shopping IMO take as much time as housecleaning.  Ive always thought that the ideal situation was that both parents work part time and alternate their schedules so that they can get their share of the chores done and both get to do the parenting.

 I totally get being resentful of having to work, come home and clean, and not have anytime to do any type of parenting whatsoever.
I totally get being resentful of paying for daycare, when your wife can't make up her mind as to what she wants.  But I do have to wonder- Are you sure she has told you that she doesn't want to work and you just don't want to hear her?
 


CNM

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2017, 01:55:55 PM »
I'll also throw this consideration out there:

I recently had a candid discussion with a professional peer.  He is the sole breadwinner for his family (which includes a SAHM and 2 elementary aged kids).  Even though he has been doing this for many years, he feels very constrained in his career.  He has a very hard time considering a change in employment, or careers, or really ANYTHING that could possibly jeopardize his income.  Because if he loses his salary or takes a large hit in salary, there is no one to pick up that slack.  It's basically an "all eggs in one basket" problem.

This. Great reason to target FI, because then you don't care if those paychecks stop coming.

I think they they were "FI" meaning debt free, but FI is a long way from "RE" particularly with a large family.  By RE I mean to be so financially independent that the sole income earner (husband) can quit his job. 

That's one significant risk allocation problem with 1 person households.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2017, 11:02:44 AM »
...Ive always thought that the ideal situation was that both parents work part time and alternate their schedules so that they can get their share of the chores done and both get to do the parenting.

...But I do have to wonder- Are you sure she has told you that she doesn't want to work and you just don't want to hear her?

First point, yes I agree 100%. That is what I want to get to, but my wife seems to have a different perspective.

Second point, that's part of the problem. She won't tell me what she wants. Honestly, I think it is because she doesn't know. I've made it abundantly clear it's fine if she stays home, but a. she needs to decide NOW so we can plan and budget for it and b. she needs to start picking up some of the slack when it comes to chores & grocery shopping. If I'm sacrificing and becoming the sole bread winner, I need to work harder/longer at my job. That leaves me less time to spend with my daughter. She is needs make an effort to understand that and  help me deal with it so I can maximize my time with her and the kid.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2017, 11:04:22 AM »
1. This is a situation where a housekeeper (weekly or monthly) could be helpful, despite the expense, especially if W goes back to work close to full time.  Maybe it will be a temporary increase in expenses, but it could ease the tension for a while.  (I love my housekeeper so much--she is well worth the expense for me.)

If she does go back to work, we are definitely hiring a housekeeper. We had one for about 2 months after the baby since everything was crazy. If she isn't working, we can't afford one long term. If she works, we can afford it.

cheapass

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2017, 12:52:50 PM »
I think they they were "FI" meaning debt free, but FI is a long way from "RE" particularly with a large family.  By RE I mean to be so financially independent that the sole income earner (husband) can quit his job. 

That's one significant risk allocation problem with 1 person households.

FI = financially independent, not debt free. Debt free is great, but doesn't mean they can continue their current lifestyle indefinitely without ever earning another dollar. That's FI.

RE is an option once one becomes FI.
Every single decision you make with money either shortens or lengthens your working career.

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #62 on: August 05, 2017, 06:10:08 AM »
Love all the stay at home dads on this thread. DH is the stay at home parent for us. It works out, for the most part. Some days can be pretty exhausting for him with a boisterous 2 year old and a very active 5 year old. He works hard.

We don't really know any other stay at home dads. Even SAHMs are somewhat rare in our HCOL area. Most families put their kids in daycare from age 3 months. So we feel like weirdos.

We decided to go for the SAHD life when I was on maternity leave with my second. I had serious qualms about returning to work and leaving my baby with a stranger all day. Leaving her with the only other person in the world that loved her as much I did: no-brainer. (I also made more money than DH by a considerable margin.)

Financially, it's been fine. Better than fine. Net worth has been growing and we are still saving money each month. Maybe it pushes back our FI date by a few years, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2017, 06:11:09 AM »
My wife and I had an interesting conversation last night as a follow up to my previous post on spending to "get away" from the stressors of parenthood. Not a new one I'm sure, but with Mustachianism we could consider one of us staying home with our young ones until they reach school age. We wouldn't have very much "extra" money, wouldn't contribute as much to our 401/503b, but we would perhaps work a job that isn't super fulfilling right now, feel less rushed in life, cook at home more, and have more quality time with our children.

Anyone else out there done this after becoming more mustachian, and if so, I'm curious, what were your pros and cons of taking this step and how did you end up making the decision?

OP - what did you end up doing since you posted back in 2013?

onemorebike

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #64 on: August 05, 2017, 06:45:53 AM »
Ha! Funny, when I got a notification on this thread I could hardly remember having started it!

We split the difference and life has been spectacular. Initially, I briefly tried on another job,  but we ultimately sold our home and our rental property in CO and moved back to MN where most of my family lives. We were able to decrease our expenses in the process. My wife, who was a nurse, took a 32 hr/wk job in the school district where my oldest (and now, four years later, my youngest :) ) go to school. This, alone, has had a huge impact. My wife is off during their breaks and during the Summers, which means instead of hustling to find care givers my family is trotting around to beaches, biking, playing in parks and camping for most of the Summer. (not gonna lie, I get a little jealous) During the school year, I drop the girls at school before work and my wife picks them up after her work - between that and the vacation/break scenario above our set up has been pretty ideal. My new work, of course, has had something to do with that.

I spent the first year and change trying on being an independent contractor and juggling several jobs but having more flexibility in life. Ultimately I landed in a FT position with the state where the benefits, stability, work and flexibility make it hard to think about staying home any more - especially because the type of work is right in line with what I was doing in the nonprofits! Without the stress of working in leadership roles in the nonprofits, the flexibility of both of our schedules, family around to support us, lower expenses and having a higher quality of life the near full time work has been just fine by us.

We've let our belts out a little bit financially, trying to invest a little more in experiences than we were accustom to but the difference in our emotional well being is palpable. Despite my thoughts in the original post, I don't think we'll RE as a result of us both working but I think we are leading a very happy existence, saving a good amount of money, and enjoy being together as a family more than ever.

Thank you for asking!

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Stay at Home?
« Reply #65 on: August 05, 2017, 08:04:42 PM »
Cool, sounds like you've set up a very happy work/life balance. I'm a little envious. Thanks for the update!