Author Topic: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?  (Read 3963 times)

Cpa Cat

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2018, 10:10:49 AM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

For some reason, no one ever asks men why they want to have children if they don't intend to be stay at home dads. It's certainly a common enough question for women who consider putting children in daycare, though. There's an implied judgment to this question that the correct way to be a mother is to be a full time caregiver. That's why someone called you out on it, whether or not you intended it that way.
There was no mention of sex in my question. I don't care if it is a mom, a dad, or both that stay home.

There's an implied sexism in your question.

You did not say, "Are you sure your husband wants children if he's willing to let you put them in daycare instead of him quitting his job to stay with them?"

You did not say, "Are you sure you and your husband want children if neither of you are willing to stay home?"

You did not say, "Are you sure your husband wants children if he's going to let someone else (paid or unpaid) raise them?"

You directed your question to a woman, because this question is reserved only for women who consider putting their children in daycare. The mere solicitation of opinions about staying at home vs daycare prompted you to question this woman on whether or not she truly wants to be a mother. But you weren't concerned about how her husband felt about it all.

Anyway - Don't mean to derail the thread. Sorry to the OP.

BeanCounter

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #51 on: August 02, 2018, 10:25:42 AM »
Typically moving to part time involves a drastic cut in hourly pay, but NOT a drastic cut in child care expense. (some childcare providers won't even consider it)
For me personally (director of finance), cutting down to part time was not an option in my current role. Possibly if I wanted to just be an analyst. Certainly if I wanted to just do bookkeeping or taxes. But both of those part time options would cut my "hourly" rate to the point where I would be barely covering childcare.

mm1970

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2018, 10:57:04 AM »
Typically moving to part time involves a drastic cut in hourly pay, but NOT a drastic cut in child care expense. (some childcare providers won't even consider it)
For me personally (director of finance), cutting down to part time was not an option in my current role. Possibly if I wanted to just be an analyst. Certainly if I wanted to just do bookkeeping or taxes. But both of those part time options would cut my "hourly" rate to the point where I would be barely covering childcare.
I think this depends a lot on the job and company and title.  Both times I switched to part time, my hourly rate did not change (in fact, the first time, it sort of went up because I went from salaried at 40+ hrs a week to hourly at the same rate.  So I got paid for every minute.)

However the first time around I waited until I had a more accepting boss for it, because the first one said "you can't be a manager at 30 hours a week".  Which is stupid, really.

But you are correct on the childcare.  I still paid for full time child care because I was doing all drop offs and pick ups.  When I returned to full time, husband and I shared them.

cats

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #53 on: August 02, 2018, 11:03:20 AM »
Typically moving to part time involves a drastic cut in hourly pay, but NOT a drastic cut in child care expense. (some childcare providers won't even consider it)
For me personally (director of finance), cutting down to part time was not an option in my current role. Possibly if I wanted to just be an analyst. Certainly if I wanted to just do bookkeeping or taxes. But both of those part time options would cut my "hourly" rate to the point where I would be barely covering childcare.

Yes, when looking at childcare options in our area, there are a lot of places that don't do PT at all (including our current carer).  Others offer PT but the rate per hour is higher (e.g. going 4 days per week costs 90% of what going 5 days per week costs, even though you are using 80% of the hours that a FT spot would).  Obviously this may still be still worth it to some families (it may ultimately wind up being worthwhile to us), but there is no denying that there is generally a financial push from both employers and childcare providers to stick with full-time work and full-time childcare.

starbuck

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2018, 11:05:03 AM »
I originally returned to work after our son was born. Staying home FT wasn't super important to me, and my MIL was our free full-time nanny. My original plan was to go full-tilt towards FIRE, which would have been about 5 years out, and then (preferably both of us) peace out of paid work for good. A second plan was to quit working after a 2nd child, which would have put us within spitting distance of FIRE and we would just coast there, maybe downshift with some PT work.

What ACTUALLY happened is that my spouse got the opportunity to pursue a childhood dream job, and it required a relocation. My employer was being a PITA about remote work so I quit. Selling our house and downsizing the new one unlocked a good amount of equity. Coupled with the giant bull market, our investment portfolio is closing in on our original FIRE number. My spouse's new job was going to be pretty demanding with some unpredictable and long hours, so if I was going to continuing employment I would be solely responsible for pick up/drop off. That plus the crush of trying to cram everything around a 40-50 hour workweek, no thanks. We took the simpler path. Even though I was the breadwinner, I didn't particularly care for my job so it was quite easy (but still a little weird) to walk away. We had lived on one income before our son was even born, so there were no budget issues facing us.

Some things I've had to work out:
-Both my spouse and I agree that my first priority is taking care of our son. I compare it to being a FT nanny that does some light cleaning and cooking. The focus is on the child, and everything I accomplish after that is just a bonus. My son points to the toilet brush and tells me that it belongs to my spouse. Most nights dinner is ready for when my spouse comes home so we can maximize family time, but sometimes it's not, or sometimes it's just a box of mac and cheese.
-With all that said, we rarely have to run errands on the weekend because most of them get done during the week.
-I'm a firm believer that you can't pour from an empty cup. I take my son to the Y so I can work out several days a week. There are some kid-centered activities that I find tedious and therefore avoid. If my kid doesn't want to nap in the afternoon, he still has a quiet time period so I can recharge. Our kid goes to 'Camp Grandma' for a 3-5 day stint about every two months.
-I'm a social person and find being a SAHP incredibly isolating if I don't make the effort to get out and meet up with other parents. And true alone time is rare. Even though your kid is napping, they're still occupying a small part of your brain space as you listen for signs of waking.
-I've worked hard to simplify our family life. I don't overschedule our kid, no way in hell am I having a 3 year old play soccer or t-ball every Saturday, our son is NOT going to preschool this fall even though he could (which is apparently shocking to all the other SAHPs we hang with.)
-Because I'm the primary parent during the week, my spouse is the primary parent on the weekends and evenings.

Hope this is helpful. I really don't know how parents survive with both working FT. I guess the answer is that it is just that - survival.

Cassie

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2018, 11:37:28 AM »
Trying to get 2 or 3 little kids out the door and arrive at work on time is exhausting. Then getting the kids home, dinner, baths and time to go to bed.  Doesn’t leave much of a life. I think the kids after the first push some people off the ledge:))

Hula Hoop

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2018, 12:27:10 PM »
Trying to get 2 or 3 little kids out the door and arrive at work on time is exhausting. Then getting the kids home, dinner, baths and time to go to bed.  Doesn’t leave much of a life. I think the kids after the first push some people off the ledge:))

I agree.  With one kid things changed but both of us working FT was still OK.  With kid #2 it has become exponentially harder.  We still work full time with no help from relatives but it's been really tough.

BeanCounter

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2018, 12:42:25 PM »
Trying to get 2 or 3 little kids out the door and arrive at work on time is exhausting. Then getting the kids home, dinner, baths and time to go to bed.  Doesn’t leave much of a life. I think the kids after the first push some people off the ledge:))

I agree.  With one kid things changed but both of us working FT was still OK.  With kid #2 it has become exponentially harder.  We still work full time with no help from relatives but it's been really tough.
Fortunately we had a bit of reprieve from this as #2 came along after number one could at least dress himself and use the potty. I wanted to have them closer together but sometimes you don’t get what you want, you get what you need.
We also have no help from family. They either live far away or are dead. It makes things harder for sure. Our older “granny nanny” that cared for the boys as infants became part of our family. So much so that she sat with me at hospice when my mom was dying. There are wonderful people out there!!

Dianalou

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2018, 12:54:43 PM »
I had to come comment because I loathe the phrase, 'someone else raising your children' and all the garbage associated with it. After my first daughter I went back to work Full-Time. It was hard, but it was also good to get some space after dealing with some awful PP depression. When we found out that we were expecting again just four months later we had good plans in place for a long maternity leave with the oldest still going to daycare a few days a week. Anti-mustachian? Sure. Did it possibly save me from having an intense bought of PPD and hurting myself? Absolutely. When my little was about a year old I told work that I didn't want to continue in my current role (just couldn't get excited about marketing anymore) and they offered to put me down to PT with a slight pay cut. I jumped at it. For us, home life had started to decline a little once we had a two and one year old. They were everywhere, the house was messy all the time, laundry stacked up and we were eating like garbage. Something had to give. My job made the choice for me. For our situation it's been great, my job bumps me back up to full time during busy periods so I bring in some extra money, and our daycare has been accommodating. Though we technically pay more for them to be part-time than full-time (per hour). I am able to get stuff done around the house so that we feel put together, but I also go to work three days a week. Bring in some cash for the family, stay employed at a very flexible company, keep up the resume, and get to talk to people about things other than snacks and their bodily functions.

I love my kids dearly, but they can be total farts. Having a two and three year old is not for the faint of heart and at the end of some days I go lock myself in my bedroom and just sit in silence while they swarm Dad for ten minutes. I think that every family is best served differently. My daycare is amazing and they do things there that I would never attempt at home (like say learning your letters by spraying shaving foam all over the table and then drawing in it!?), so in that respect it's priceless to me. My kids are phenomenal with other adults because they respect the teacher role, and they play really well with other kids (mostly). It really is endearing to see them hug their teachers, and reach for them when I leave. It makes me feel GOOD that other adults comfort and care for them. It doesn't make me feel like a failure, or jealous or less of a Mom. I'm more than willing to take the help I can! Other families really are best served by having a parent at home, homeschooling, be attentive to different needs etc. Neither is the 'right' answer. It really annoys me when people play the 'someone else raising your kids' card. When my kids cry, do they cry for Mama or Miss So & So? The phrase it takes a village to raise a child is totally true. Sometimes, you have a paid village and sometimes you don't.

So, OP - to your original question, our breaking point was just home life getting neglected and what worked for us was me working part-time and being home part time with the kids. They still get all the awesome benefits of their daycare, but they get two 'silly-days' with Mama every week, and the house is better taken care of. For right now it's working great, we'll see what the next few years old, especially as they go off to school. I seriously don't know how working parents do all the half days, late start, early release, planning days, long breaks, snow days etc. It gives me panic just thinking of it all!

Dianalou

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #59 on: August 02, 2018, 01:08:58 PM »
Kyle Schuant - That was perfectly stated!

mm1970

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2018, 04:35:37 PM »
Trying to get 2 or 3 little kids out the door and arrive at work on time is exhausting. Then getting the kids home, dinner, baths and time to go to bed.  Doesn’t leave much of a life. I think the kids after the first push some people off the ledge:))

I agree.  With one kid things changed but both of us working FT was still OK.  With kid #2 it has become exponentially harder.  We still work full time with no help from relatives but it's been really tough.
I see that with my friends too - particularly in jobs that aren't family friendly. Namely, many of the engineers quit when the companies pressured people to work full time (meaning 45 hrs or more, wink wink).  On the other hand, several of my friends with 2-3 kids had more accommodating jobs - those that were able to cut back to 20-25 hours were happy to keep working.  Some are teachers who shared a classroom, or drug/ alcohol counselors, or accountants at the university, or self-employed folks.

2 kids in 4 and under set, and the costs push people over the edge.  My kids are 6.5 years apart.  We were already out of kindergarten when #2 came along, so I never had double childcare and I had 2.5 glorious years of big kid being over 4  before we started over.  I mean, this last year they were at the same school!  And this coming year - here's a helmet and your bicycle and a lock...get thee to junior high.

okits

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2018, 05:04:57 PM »
Trying to get 2 or 3 little kids out the door and arrive at work on time is exhausting. Then getting the kids home, dinner, baths and time to go to bed.  Doesn’t leave much of a life. I think the kids after the first push some people off the ledge:))

I agree.  With one kid things changed but both of us working FT was still OK.  With kid #2 it has become exponentially harder.  We still work full time with no help from relatives but it's been really tough.
I see that with my friends too - particularly in jobs that aren't family friendly. Namely, many of the engineers quit when the companies pressured people to work full time (meaning 45 hrs or more, wink wink).  On the other hand, several of my friends with 2-3 kids had more accommodating jobs - those that were able to cut back to 20-25 hours were happy to keep working.  Some are teachers who shared a classroom, or drug/ alcohol counselors, or accountants at the university, or self-employed folks.

2 kids in 4 and under set, and the costs push people over the edge.  My kids are 6.5 years apart.  We were already out of kindergarten when #2 came along, so I never had double childcare and I had 2.5 glorious years of big kid being over 4  before we started over.  I mean, this last year they were at the same school!  And this coming year - here's a helmet and your bicycle and a lock...get thee to junior high.

@mm1970 - I am super excited for you for this!

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #62 on: August 02, 2018, 07:07:34 PM »
Yes, but note the number of women with children under 6 who are working part-time is less than either the number of women with children under 6 who are working FT or the number of women with children under 6 who are not in the labor force.
Of course. I mentioned the stats not to say that it was easy, but that evidently it was possible, because 2.4 million women had managed to do it. You'd have to speak to them to find out how they did it.

You mention talking to friends who tell you it's impossible to do paid work part-time while having kids. As with all this MMM financial stuff, there are many who can't or won't do it, it's no use speaking to them; we have to speak to the ones who were successful in whatever we'd like to do. I spoke to many couples who assured me there was no way a man could stay at home with small children, that didn't help much; I spoke to some stay-at-home dads and learned something. I spoke to many trainers who assured me there was no way I could run a successful business from my garage, that didn't help much; I spoke to some successful ones who taught me a lot.

There are many, many possibilities, and don't just think of how you can change things, but also your spouse; for example one parent doing 4x10hr days instead of 5x8hr, leaving a weekday free for the second parent to do a full day's paid work, study or whatever. Don't think just of adjusting your life, think - together - how you can both adjust your lives.

Really you have to speak to the women who managed it, they'll have the best insights. I'd say speak to the men, too, like me, but apparently they are such a small group that govts don't bother keeping stats on them.

I think starbuck had some great insights. Like her, I don't know how parents manage both working full-time. There'd be more screaming in our house, I'm sure.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 07:28:39 PM by Kyle Schuant »

historienne

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #63 on: August 02, 2018, 07:12:07 PM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.

You do realize that working parents don't leave their kids at daycare 24/7, right?  I work full time, and have zero desire to stay home with my two young kids.  Neither does my husband.  But I assure you, we are raising our kids ourselves.  To suggest otherwise is both ignorant and offensive.

FrugalToque

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #64 on: August 02, 2018, 09:09:35 PM »
If you want to pay someone else to raise your kids and you are concerned that you will be "truly miserable staying home" with them, I have to ask, are you sure that you actually want to have children? I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I do think it is a fair question.
Do you stay home with your children?

has anyone, in the history of the world, ever asked a man this question?  I mean this quite literally, ever?

https://aplus.com/a/author-lauren-groff-mom-work-life-balance-question?no_monetization=true

Quote
Mothers — especially those in the spotlight — have grown accustomed to being asked how they balance both their personal and professional pursuits. But, when The Harvard Gazette recently asked Lauren Groff, the award-winning author of Fates and Furies and Arcadia, how she juggles motherhood and her writing career, Groff respectfully declined to answer the question.

"You are a mother of two. In 10 years you have produced three novels and two short-story collections. Can you talk about your process and how you manage work and family?" Harvard staff writer Colleen Walsh asked.

"I understand that this is a question of vital importance to many people, particularly to other mothers who are artists trying to get their work done, and know that I feel for everyone in the struggle," Groff said. "But until I see a male writer asked this question, I'm going to respectfully decline to answer it."

This seems as good a spot to comment as any, but you've hit it on the head here.  Sure, Mr. and Mrs. MMM managed to retire before having a kid, but almost nobody (your truly included) manages to do that.

And although Mrs. Toque stayed home with the kiddos, I didn't, although I can take my summers off now quite easily.

During the great many years in which Toque children existed and I continued to work, however, no one ever said to me, "If you're going to keep working and not stay at home to raise your children, do you even want to have children?"

Not.  Once.

Toque.

beer-man

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #65 on: August 02, 2018, 09:48:08 PM »
My wife went back to work after our first was born for about a year before she reached her breaking point. For her( and us) it was one day when she dropped our daughter off at the babysitter's asleep(cause it was 6 am) and when she picked her up she was already asleep(7 pm) She worked 10hr shifts but had to stay a little later and then got caught in traffic. She called me in tears and at that point, we set a date 6 or so months in the future with a few goals to knock it to make it possible. We took out every debt we had in the short time frame and slowly lowered expenses so we could get by.

   7 or 8yrs later now and she is still a SAHM and we have 3 kids. She only misses work occasionally and its usually just because of an especially hard day with the kids. When she goes back she won't be able to go back to the same line of work but she is ok with that. Her frugal SAHM powers have magnified over the past 7yrs. We live a lean but full life. She is a huge support to me and knows how to fill up my love tank so I can put in 50-70hr weeks at times.
 

beer-man

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #66 on: August 02, 2018, 09:56:48 PM »
Do your research before you take a big risk like this. Reread The Feminine Mystique. Read Breadwinning, Babies, and Bargaining Power. Familiarize yourself with all the stories of former stay-at-home mothers forced to go on food stamps when they unexpectedly had to support themselves. My mother had to reenter the workplace at 50-something, and despite having a master's degree, minimum wage was the best she could do.

Unless you're already FI, dropping out of the workforce is a hugely risky choice. It will affect the power balance in your relationship in ways you likely haven't planned for and don't want. Do you really want to model for your children a relationship in which the man works and makes the major decisions, while the woman is dependent and does all the housework and childcare? Is that the kind of relationship you want your children to emulate? Do you know that stay-at-home mothers have much worse physical and mental health on average? And, the data shows kids will be fine with 2 working parents.

I know being tired sucks, but there are other solutions for that. Can you take one day a week to be alone/catch up on sleep/stay with a friend while husband cares for the kids? Can you wait a few years before having #2 (or stick with one)? Can you hire a nanny or use a babysitter more often?

Just had to comment on this ridiculous post. None of this has been our experience since my wife started staying home. She has gotten in much better shape, has a better social life, and is all around more attractive to me than when she was working.  She is also a very structured person and keeps herself on a schedule even when she could just lay around all day. At the same time she does not do all the housework, its not exactly balanced but I help out where I can when I can.
 My wife and I make major decisions together. Actually she prefers to punt most of them to me and then blames me if they backfire...lol. Open lines of communication is a key to any relationship and the fact that I make the money doesn't give me a "power play" over her. I see her as a big reason that I'm able to work as hard as I do.

firelight

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #67 on: August 02, 2018, 11:56:13 PM »
OP I know you asked for people that went from FT to SAHP, but I kept at FT and think could give a picture from the other side. We are both in tech space and work 40+ hours. We had our first 3.5 years back and other than the first two months, we were on our own. Thanks to flexible employers, we ended up doing a lot of work from home days so we could take care of our baby by ourselves for one full year. At the end of it, even though we wanted to continue taking care of baby at home, we found baby thrived with more people interaction with the same people on a regular basis (not the library reading class or baby Gymboree where the people that attend kept changing from class to class). So we put her in a high quality daycare where she loved going. DH and I also worked from home on rare days to catch up on errands and chores (mostly laundry, light cleaning during break, meal prep, etc).

We then had our second a year back. To help with the transition, both of us took longer leaves (in total one year - we both realized neither of us wanted to be full time SAHPs) and our second now goes to the same daycare sister loved. Sister is now in preschool and loving it.

So we are among the couples where both work FT, have two kids under four, have no relatives to take care of kids regularly and still are able to enjoy life. What helped us was being clear in our priorities: a sparkling clean house is less important than having fun with kids (so our toy room is crazy and garage has junk in it and I have a cleaning service come in monthly), a full-time growing career is important but working 50+ hours is not (so both DH and I are fine growing slower in our fields), a full life is important but a highly social life is not (we don't book our weekends solid and do just one activity a day with the kids, and almost always with the kids), a strong marriage and family is important but being together 24*7 is not (so even if one of us has to do the rare trip for work, we don't guilt trip or lord it over), etc.

We do a lot of lunch dates with both kids in daycare, we check in with each other before committing to anything outside, we are in constant communication throughout the day. We are also super open and respectful with each other. We are close to FI and can afford for either of us to stop working tomorrow and still hit FI comfortably. Money hasn't been the concern ever since we started trying for kids. And it's even less so now. We also do crazy level of planning to keep everything on track. I love to plan so I don't find it tedious. DH loves not planning so he doesn't mind me telling him what we need to do.

My goal is to transition to FIRE or consulting when kids get to middle school. As Beancounter said, that is the time kids need parents and parents alone. Sure, having others around helps but parents play a special role during that time. So I want to be there for my kid when it matters most.

The way we see it, the more regular dependable interaction my kids have with other adults and kids when we don't have relatives around, the better it is for my kids. A number of my friends that kept kids home ended up having kids with delayed speech issues and trust issues because the kids didn't have a lot of people to interact with. So I'm paying someone to give that interaction in their daycare to my kids as part of my raising-kids plan :)


In your situation, I'd suggest looking at all options (different employer? Less growth? More interesting work? Health issues? More rest? ) before you decide to quit completely. I found SAHPing hard socially. And with one more kid planned, the tiredness and work involved will only increase till they are in school and able to manage themselves. So quit if you must but work through all your options. And even though you can come back if you want to, it's way more hassle.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 11:59:47 PM by firelight »

Hula Hoop

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #68 on: August 03, 2018, 01:48:08 AM »
Do your research before you take a big risk like this. Reread The Feminine Mystique. Read Breadwinning, Babies, and Bargaining Power. Familiarize yourself with all the stories of former stay-at-home mothers forced to go on food stamps when they unexpectedly had to support themselves. My mother had to reenter the workplace at 50-something, and despite having a master's degree, minimum wage was the best she could do.

Unless you're already FI, dropping out of the workforce is a hugely risky choice. It will affect the power balance in your relationship in ways you likely haven't planned for and don't want. Do you really want to model for your children a relationship in which the man works and makes the major decisions, while the woman is dependent and does all the housework and childcare? Is that the kind of relationship you want your children to emulate? Do you know that stay-at-home mothers have much worse physical and mental health on average? And, the data shows kids will be fine with 2 working parents.

I know being tired sucks, but there are other solutions for that. Can you take one day a week to be alone/catch up on sleep/stay with a friend while husband cares for the kids? Can you wait a few years before having #2 (or stick with one)? Can you hire a nanny or use a babysitter more often?

Just had to comment on this ridiculous post. None of this has been our experience since my wife started staying home. She has gotten in much better shape, has a better social life, and is all around more attractive to me than when she was working.  She is also a very structured person and keeps herself on a schedule even when she could just lay around all day. At the same time she does not do all the housework, its not exactly balanced but I help out where I can when I can.
 My wife and I make major decisions together. Actually she prefers to punt most of them to me and then blames me if they backfire...lol. Open lines of communication is a key to any relationship and the fact that I make the money doesn't give me a "power play" over her. I see her as a big reason that I'm able to work as hard as I do.

This may be true in your relationship but it's definitely not true for many couples with a "traditional" division of labor.  My parents had a very bad marriage and my mother was only able to leave as she continued to work full time in a professional job (very unusual in her age demographic for women with children - she's almost 80) and was in no way financially dependent on my dad.  I was very aware of this growing up as my mother had several friends who were trapped in bad marriages as they were SAHMs and despite good educations could not re-enter the workforce with a decent salary.  My first boyfriend's mother was a SAHM whose husband (boyfriend's dad) had literally run off with the younger secretary.  Despite receiving support from the ex, she was living in poverty.  And I have a friend who is a victim of financial abuse by her husband.  She has been a SAHM for almost 20 years and has had to put up with his behaviour as she had no other option.  For the past few years she has worked minimum wage jobs at places like Target but has recently managed to get a more than minimum wage job (she's in her 50s) and is hoping to have enough money to leave the financially abusive husband very soon.

To sum up - it sounds like things have worked out well in your case.  However, parents who are thinking of dropping out of the work force should be aware of the risk they are taking before they take the plunge.

MayDay

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Re: Working parent to SAHP: What was your "breaking" point?
« Reply #69 on: August 04, 2018, 12:34:33 PM »
Trying to get 2 or 3 little kids out the door and arrive at work on time is exhausting. Then getting the kids home, dinner, baths and time to go to bed.  Doesn’t leave much of a life. I think the kids after the first push some people off the ledge:))

I agree.  With one kid things changed but both of us working FT was still OK.  With kid #2 it has become exponentially harder.  We still work full time with no help from relatives but it's been really tough.
Fortunately we had a bit of reprieve from this as #2 came along after number one could at least dress himself and use the potty. I wanted to have them closer together but sometimes you don’t get what you want, you get what you need.
We also have no help from family. They either live far away or are dead. It makes things harder for sure. Our older “granny nanny” that cared for the boys as infants became part of our family. So much so that she sat with me at hospice when my mom was dying. There are wonderful people out there!!

Ditto this! We have an amazing home schooled high schooler who cares for our kids from 7 am until she puts them on the bus at 8:30. She is cheerful, patient, doesn't yell, etc. She does 1000x better than I do at morning childcare! And I don't have to drive kids anywhere in the morning.

It's so weird to me but some people apparently just like children. She voluntarily does things with them without pay. I don't get it, but I'm happy she is in our lives!