Author Topic: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)  (Read 3370 times)

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1197
My wife recently finished up 1.5 years of training and immediately had a job in her chosen field. On this site you'd expect someone to be stoked about the extra income. The extra income is nice of course, she kicks me $1k/month minimum (which goes directly to savings/investments) and more if she makes more as her job is wages + tips + commission.

However, that aside the REAL reason for it being so awesome is that she is OCCUPIED. See, we've clashed a *LOT* on financial issues. When she was doing the SAHM thing I figure she just wasn't intellectually stimulated and I get that. Unfortunately that turned into taking the kids to $$ things, shopping for herself, shopping for the kids and generally trying to fill the purpose void with stuff and entertainment. And as my income was large enough to do this without REAL financial distress she didn't see it as an issue where I saw it, to be blunt' as stealing time/freedom from me.

But the main thing is now she is having fun with her new career and is VERY into learning the ins and outs. She is with a good company and is a budding rockstar. This means she doesn't have time to obsess about stuff as much, and the things she does want she can buy from her own play money rather than taking it from what would otherwise go to the stache. I think over the long run the combo of her income and the trend away from spending is a powerful combo.

I bring this up because when we decided on kids one of the considerations was her income vs childcare which led to her staying home. This was on paper the right decision, and maybe even in reality. But it had some challenges that neither of us considered. My wife is a hustler by nature and being on the sidelines really led her to a place that wasn't good. I know the numbers are discussed a lot here, and mindset to an extent but usually only in fairly male-centric stoic sense. It's been interesting and often frustrating to see my partner in crimes mindset through a fairly tough period.

In any case, we're past that valley and climbing back up to a new peak!

SwordGuy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4198
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
    • Flipping Fayetteville
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 08:53:59 PM »
Good news!

ysette9

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3010
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 09:15:03 PM »
Congrats!
Having just finished up a four-month maternity leave, I can attest to how damn difficult it is staying at home with kids. Some people are blessedly cut out for it, but for us mortals who are not, I can understand coping mechanisms like buying too much crap. Going back to work was the first time I got some peace and quiet and me time in 4 months.

SC93

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 09:33:13 PM »
I spent a lot of money too when I was at home. Between buying things and eating all the time, that is why I started another business. That's how I ended up with a Porche, Massarati and and Tesla lol. Glad she actually likes what she is doing and hopefully it lasts. Good luck!! :)

Funny thing.... if I stay home I eat a lot every day. When I am working, I'm never hungry at all.....

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3373
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 03:12:43 AM »
Being home is not for everyone so kudos to her/you! especially being a win win.

friedmmj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 03:19:19 AM »
Can we trade wives? 

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4253
  • Age: 31
  • Location: New York
  • Peter Gibbons
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 04:23:00 AM »
Can we trade wives?

+2 if it falls through with friedmmj ;)

crispy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 07:19:29 AM »
I get this so much! I went back to work when my oldest was born, but decided to stay home after three months for a lot of reasons (expensive day car, a micromanaging boss, and a father with terminal cancer). I quickly got involved with and became a leader in a mom's group which was helpful. As soon as my oldest went to school, I started working at my youngest daughter's preschool because I was bored and needed some stimulation. It wasn't a money issued so much as a sanity issue for me. I am not a huge shopper, but we would go to restaurants and do expensive playdates just to get out of the house. Working where she attended school meant no childcare so it was a nice balance for a few years.

When my youngest started 1st grade, I went back to work FT. I have been back to work FT for almost three hears now and it has been good for me mentally and for our family financially. I am a driven, hardworking, competitive, social person and the job I am in now let's me thrive. I needed to get that piece of me back.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 12:24:24 PM by crispy »

Lance Burkhart

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 09:35:14 AM »
My wife was under a lot of stress from trying to find babysitters for her work days (she worked twice a week) and work itself.  Finding babysitters became another part time job.  I suggested she quit.  She did.  3 months later, she's getting another job working 1-2 days a week.  This time, she has an entire squad of babysitters lined-up.  She will remain on care.com keeping babysitting prospects lined-up.  People are flaky these days.  She had babysitters flake-out the night before they were supposed to work.   

Few women stay home to raise their children these days.  Consequently, the ones who do are lonely and starved for female interaction.  Many people do not live around family.  Boredom can be a big problem.  My sister is also getting a job after giving birth six months ago for the same reasons.  Deal with your circumstances, not those of someone else.

JustGettingStarted1980

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 10:49:41 AM »
My wife went from PT to FT after maternity leave after our 3rd child.  Great development for her.  Much more satisfied professionally and personally.

For me however, it had led to 10-15 additional hours of solo childcare per week in addition to my 50 hrs day job.  The math makes sense for her to work too, but that's just a bonus.

In truth, I'm conflicted. We will reach our FI goals maybe 18 months sooner, but my head hits the pillow at 9 pm and I'm out cold. We have a lot less time together as a couple as well. Love the kiddoes, but dinnertime + cleanup + whatever is WORK for me and is exhausting.

I guess I would say I'm less satisfied professionally and personally. Less time to recover from day work, less time for entertainment, and overall grindier grind.

This sounds a bit complainypants when I reread it, but im still figuring out how I feel about the new overall situation. For the record, I'm a big believer in splitting all duties 50-50 . I'm feeling like it's more 60/40 right now.

Facepunch away...

Noodle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 998
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 10:56:07 AM »
There is probably no such thing as a perfectly aligned couple when it comes to finances, but it seems like the pairing of an income-earning Mustachian and a stay-at-home spendypants is one of the most dangerous combinations in terms of marital harmony. Congrats on getting realigned in a way that will make everyone happier.

crispy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:35:36 PM »
My wife went from PT to FT after maternity leave after our 3rd child.  Great development for her.  Much more satisfied professionally and personally.

For me however, it had led to 10-15 additional hours of solo childcare per week in addition to my 50 hrs day job.  The math makes sense for her to work too, but that's just a bonus.

In truth, I'm conflicted. We will reach our FI goals maybe 18 months sooner, but my head hits the pillow at 9 pm and I'm out cold. We have a lot less time together as a couple as well. Love the kiddoes, but dinnertime + cleanup + whatever is WORK for me and is exhausting.

I guess I would say I'm less satisfied professionally and personally. Less time to recover from day work, less time for entertainment, and overall grindier grind.

This sounds a bit complainypants when I reread it, but im still figuring out how I feel about the new overall situation. For the record, I'm a big believer in splitting all duties 50-50 . I'm feeling like it's more 60/40 right now.

Facepunch away...

No facepunch, but food for thought. My husband is definitely doing more housework and childcare than I am right now. I was fully out of the workforce for 5 years and in a nonprofessional role for 4 years after that. I was lucky to land a decent paying professional job after nine years, but I have had to prove myself and start building a career for myself. I supported him and handled the home for years, and now we are reversing roles a bit until I get more established (unfortunately I had to !eave my first FT job after a year and a half because layoffs were imminent which meant starting over again at a new place).

I am now past my probation period at work and have done a great job. I work for state government so the work/life balance is pretty good anyway, but I was involved in a couple of big projects that required a lot of time. We are now getting more balanced. Meal planning helps a ton. It will get better as the kids get older, too. We try to make sure we aren't overscheduled with too many outside activities, too, which helps us balance everything as well.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 12:41:37 PM by crispy »

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1502
  • Location: MA
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 02:22:37 PM »
I did the SAHM thing and now I am doing the full time work thing.  If it were economically viable, I would love to do part time work, and that is what I want to move towards as I get older.  It is the best of both worlds for me.  It provides some structure and interaction so I don’t get bored, and it also leaves me with energy at the end of the day.  As a SAHM, I definitely felt a bit lost and spent a lot of money on crap.  Working full time is tiring, and I spend my weekends doing errands.  I also spend more money on things like house cleaning and eating out due to time constraints.  Working part time is the happy medium that I really want.

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1197
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 06:38:30 PM »
My wife went from PT to FT after maternity leave after our 3rd child.  Great development for her.  Much more satisfied professionally and personally.

For me however, it had led to 10-15 additional hours of solo childcare per week in addition to my 50 hrs day job.  The math makes sense for her to work too, but that's just a bonus.

In truth, I'm conflicted. We will reach our FI goals maybe 18 months sooner, but my head hits the pillow at 9 pm and I'm out cold. We have a lot less time together as a couple as well. Love the kiddoes, but dinnertime + cleanup + whatever is WORK for me and is exhausting.

I guess I would say I'm less satisfied professionally and personally. Less time to recover from day work, less time for entertainment, and overall grindier grind.

This sounds a bit complainypants when I reread it, but im still figuring out how I feel about the new overall situation. For the record, I'm a big believer in splitting all duties 50-50 . I'm feeling like it's more 60/40 right now.

Facepunch away...

I'm with your bro, same deal! Those days when I start work work at 5 or 6am and kid work at 3pm till 8pm are long. But I was built for the grind, grit is my superpower so I'm ok shouldering some additional load. I don't think 50/50, that way lies resentment. I just think equal satisfaction and I think we're at that point now. I get to mountain bike and snowboard once or twice a week, drop the kids at the gym kid care a few times so I can lift or swim.

My biggest worry now is just getting enough couples time. Pre-kids we were glued at the hip, these days we have to schedule time together.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2005
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 07:46:13 AM »
My wife went from PT to FT after maternity leave after our 3rd child.  Great development for her.  Much more satisfied professionally and personally.

For me however, it had led to 10-15 additional hours of solo childcare per week in addition to my 50 hrs day job.  The math makes sense for her to work too, but that's just a bonus.

In truth, I'm conflicted. We will reach our FI goals maybe 18 months sooner, but my head hits the pillow at 9 pm and I'm out cold. We have a lot less time together as a couple as well. Love the kiddoes, but dinnertime + cleanup + whatever is WORK for me and is exhausting.

I guess I would say I'm less satisfied professionally and personally. Less time to recover from day work, less time for entertainment, and overall grindier grind.

This sounds a bit complainypants when I reread it, but im still figuring out how I feel about the new overall situation. For the record, I'm a big believer in splitting all duties 50-50 . I'm feeling like it's more 60/40 right now.

Facepunch away...

Not a facepunch, just food for thought:  I think it is natural to compare the level of effort to what we are used to, so when the overall workload goes up, we sometimes feel like we are doing more than our fair share, even when it’s just “more” overall.  Have you talked to your wife?  I’m wondering if she would say the same thing if you asked her the same question.

I was in your wife’s position years ago.  We established a routine when DD was born - I was telecommuting part-time, so it made sense for me to take the lead with kid and house duties.  A few years later, we added DS - but this time, I was working in an office at a much more normal schedule.  But because we had already established our responsibilities and routines, DH just largely kept doing what he had always done.  I think if you had asked him at the time, he would have felt like his workload went way up, with more baths to deal with, two daycare/school dropoffs instead of one, etc.  But the reality was that since I was still doing most of the kidwork, my workload went way up between the hours and work and the extra kid/house duties.  So we were both working a lot harder overall, but comparatively, my workload increase was significantly more than his. 

Not saying that is your case at all.  But I would encourage you to look at it as the overall workload - kids plus work plus housework/chores - and see if it is really out of whack, or if you guys are both pretty equally in the suck right now.  And know that it does get better as you develop new routines and things start to feel like a new “normal.”

And zero facepunches, even to yourself.  It is hard - for me, the hardest years of my life so far - and you’ve just gotta be able to vent about it periodically to stay sane.

Blackeagle

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 121
  • Location: Wichita, KS
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 08:32:21 AM »
I was in your wife’s position years ago.  We established a routine when DD was born - I was telecommuting part-time, so it made sense for me to take the lead with kid and house duties.  A few years later, we added DS - but this time, I was working in an office at a much more normal schedule.  But because we had already established our responsibilities and routines, DH just largely kept doing what he had always done. 

It's interesting how this sort of division of labor can endure long after the initial reason for them is gone.  When I was a little kid, my Dad would make breakfast every weekday while my Mom would get me out of bed and dressed in the mornings.  Long after I didn't need any help getting up anymore, my Dad continued to be the one who made breakfast every day, even after I'd gone off to college and moved out of the house entirely. 

I'm sure that when I was a toddler I was more of a handful than making breakfast, but my Mom definitely got the better deal long term.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8793
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 04:47:52 PM »
A good metric I read about is, how much self time does each person have?  This allows for work, commute, and life and child care.  And the big kicker is, when the kids are little, both probably have about 2 minutes self time.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2005
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 10:49:27 PM »
I was in your wife’s position years ago.  We established a routine when DD was born - I was telecommuting part-time, so it made sense for me to take the lead with kid and house duties.  A few years later, we added DS - but this time, I was working in an office at a much more normal schedule.  But because we had already established our responsibilities and routines, DH just largely kept doing what he had always done. 

It's interesting how this sort of division of labor can endure long after the initial reason for them is gone.  When I was a little kid, my Dad would make breakfast every weekday while my Mom would get me out of bed and dressed in the mornings.  Long after I didn't need any help getting up anymore, my Dad continued to be the one who made breakfast every day, even after I'd gone off to college and moved out of the house entirely. 

I'm sure that when I was a toddler I was more of a handful than making breakfast, but my Mom definitely got the better deal long term.

Yep!  Our ultimate solution was to divide the kids (not, umm, literally, but who does laundry, bath, doctor’s appointments, etc.).  I gave him the choice of which kid he wanted, and when he chose DS, I wanted to do a happy dance - because all I could think was that I’d be free 4.5 years earlier! 

And yes, I have been known to play the long game.  ;-)

Playing with Fire UK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2279
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 11:14:32 PM »
This sounds a bit complainypants when I reread it, but im still figuring out how I feel about the new overall situation. For the record, I'm a big believer in splitting all duties 50-50 . I'm feeling like it's more 60/40 right now.

No facepunches, but do remember that there will be some work that your spouse does that you don't see, whereas you see (and feel, and live through) all the work that you do. It is far more memorable to spend an hour cleaning than to hear your spouse say "I spent an hour cleaning". IME, when both people are doing 50% of the work, each feels like they are doing 60%.

Not saying that the situation doesn't need to be adjusted to become more fair, but if you approach it from a place of resentment those hours of childcare will seem longer and more arduous.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8793
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: My wife going back to work is awesome! (Not for the reasons you think)
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 06:20:54 AM »
This sounds a bit complainypants when I reread it, but im still figuring out how I feel about the new overall situation. For the record, I'm a big believer in splitting all duties 50-50 . I'm feeling like it's more 60/40 right now.

No facepunches, but do remember that there will be some work that your spouse does that you don't see, whereas you see (and feel, and live through) all the work that you do. It is far more memorable to spend an hour cleaning than to hear your spouse say "I spent an hour cleaning". IME, when both people are doing 50% of the work, each feels like they are doing 60%.

Not saying that the situation doesn't need to be adjusted to become more fair, but if you approach it from a place of resentment those hours of childcare will seem longer and more arduous.

Once there are kids both spouses will be doing more work at home.  Kids create work.

Odds are there is a lot she is doing that he is not seeing.  And vice versa.  I had the long form census once, and my husband looked at all the hours I was listing for StatsCan and was amazed.  He had no idea of the hours I was putting in at home.  And they were on top of a full time job and commute.

Plus, there is the concept of emotional labour, which I tend to think of as management mental work.  Things like not just phoning to make a dentist appointment, but knowing that the phone call needs to be made.  It isn't obvious but it is there, and it is work.

Do both spouses have equal "down time"?  Where they can do what they want without needing to be on call, or worrying that something isn't being done?  It may be at home or outside, but if it is at home it needs to be uninterrupted time, not a minute grabbed here and there between family stuff.  And of course, with little kids, the big question is, who gets up in the middle of the night with them?