Author Topic: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?  (Read 16054 times)

Jules13

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2015, 04:26:01 PM »
I have been a SAHM since 2005.  I worked prior to that and my husband's salary is now larger than both of our salaries were at that time.  But, even then, it wasn't that difficult.  I was actually shocked how much money I was spending while I was working.  I didn't even realize it until I wasn't anymore. 

By staying at home, I had more time to focus on 'keeping' our money.  We don't do a lot of convenience items for example, that are always more expensive.  Now that both the kids are in school I volunteer a lot with the school and work on projects that need to be completed at home that we'd have to pay someone to do if I were working.  Only so much time in a day. 

I've thought about going back to work part-time, but finding that kind of work with pay that's worth the hassle is hard when you've been out of the workforce for 9+ years!  Plus, my 3rd grader wants to be homeschooled in 5th grade.  So, I might just take some classes in something that I'm interested in pursuing once my kids aren't interested in hanging out with me anymore.  Right now, they still are...and I'll take it!

Ozstache

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2015, 04:33:37 PM »
My wife stayed at home to look after our two boys up until they were school age. Even after this, she only worked casual hours in low paying jobs while the kids were at school so that at least one of us was always around when the kids were not at school and has continued this approach to this day. This did not stop us achieving FIRE in our mid-late 40's, so I am always amused when someone tells me how tough they have it financially when both partners are working are working full time in high paying jobs.

falcondisruptor

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2015, 05:03:36 PM »
I'm a stay at home mom to an almost three year old.  No plans to go back to work. 

I left my 9-5 job to work for myself and I sorta considered that my semi-retirement.  When I closed shop to be a mom I sorta considered that my full retirement.  Can't wait to see how I feel when she starts school and I've got my days to myself!

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2015, 05:57:24 PM »
I spent seven years as a freelance writer/consultant, starting when my first child was born.  It was fantastic.  I worked about 20 hours per week.

justajane

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2015, 06:25:39 PM »
I had my first two kids in graduate school and then decided not to pursue a career in academia but instead become a stay at home mom. Six years later, I do not regret this choice. We now have another kid, and frankly having a dual income home with three kids would be extremely stressful. I like the clarity that my husband and I currently have. If one of the kids is sick, I go get him and stay home with him. I take them to their doctor's appointments. There's no trying to manage each others' work schedules. I just do it.

Having said that, for the past three years, I have worked part-time as a freelance editor. This income pays for some part-time childcare that I avail myself of and preschool for our middle son. I think part-time work is ideal for the primary caregiver. It enables you to still have an identity outside of your children and the household. It also maintains a work history for you if you do want to reenter the workforce at some point.

I also insisted that I open my own Roth IRA a few years back, and we have been regularly contributing to that. It's easy to feel extremely vulnerable as the stay at home parent. I worry less about divorce than I do about death. We have a pretty hefty life insurance on my husband so that if he did pass away, I wouldn't have to worry as much about supporting three children. I would still get a job but wouldn't feel the pressure to earn that much, especially considering how little work history I have.

Jacana

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2015, 06:58:59 PM »
Still home now with our 2.5 year old, and probably will through #2 possibly arriving in a few years (or maybe not).

Our decision 3 years ago was based on the following:
1. His salary beats the pants off any salary I could hope to find (by 2-3x), despite me having the higher degree (MS).
2. He is currently getting his MS while working full time, and me being home takes so much stress off our family in general to make that possible.
3. I didn't like my job 3 years ago anyway. I worked outside my field on a crazy schedule with regular weekend shifts and a shitty commute for not much money, he traveled frequently for work in his old job for weeks at a time, and it is pretty hard to find reliable daycare options on weekends or before 6 am.
4. Daycare is frickin expensive here!
5. We could.

#5 was the most important. We were 'lucky' to have that option according to friends/coworkers in the area. Lucky meaning we were careful to maintain a modest lifestyle... most of our high-earning DINK friends in this HCOL area feel trapped and will never have the option of SAH because of their choices even though they tell me they wish they could SAH with future offspring. Friends with dual low salaries like at my old job truly don't have that option though, and yes for them both salaries were necessary to lead even a modest/frugal lifestyle in this area.

I love my field, I miss the jobs I used to have before moving to this area for his job, and I miss being good at what I did. It killed my career for sure. I also miss being warm. Stupid winter. But when I'm looking to go back to work, I can go back to the basics pretty easily and work my way back up. Or we may be at a point where I can simply volunteer instead and that would be even better! And I love the opportunities I have to simply be with my daughter, take care of everything easily, take her to fun places, and see her in all her hilarious glory every day.

sleepyguy

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2015, 07:13:50 PM »
In Canada we are allowed 1 year (shared) off to raise two young ones (you get unemployment insurance payments).  We did with both our kids, she took the bulk consisting of 10 mths for each, while I took 2 off for each.

Going to be fantastic in 5-7yrs time when one (or both) of use work part-time to spend more time with the kids while they are still young.

Write Thyme

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #57 on: February 10, 2015, 01:14:45 PM »
Great thread!

I've love to be a SAHM, but we can't currently afford it. I'm trying to get our finances in order so maybe in a year or two I can afford to drop down to a part time job. Our parents are not good with money so we have to learn everything ourselves.

hodedofome

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Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2015, 08:41:52 PM »
Yes I & most of my friends did. It was the 1980's but not that much was really different. Many people had 2 incomes, put kids in daycare & had lots of fancy things.  You would hear people say that they could not make it on 1 income. Well you could if you  drove old cars, took a driving vacation, lived in an older home & were frugal.  I think some people think that it is a new thing to think you need 2 incomes but it is not. It has been around for awhile.

I have the exact same thoughts. You can make it on one income but you can't have *that* car, that house and that vacation.

It's worth every extra year it takes me to retire early. I'm willing to make any sacrifice necessary so that one of us is at home raising our kids, instead of someone else raising them. From day one my wife and I planned for one of us to quit our job when we started having kids.

FWIW my wife and most of her close girlfriends are stay at home moms but also have part time jobs. One is a part time doctor, another is a part time professor while others work from home doing multi level marketing or photography or something like that. My wife had no job for 3 years but something fell into her lap last year.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 08:47:09 PM by hodedofome »

cmharper

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2015, 10:36:06 PM »
My husband has stayed home with our (now 8 year old) twins since they were 5. My MIL watched them from 6 months old to 5 years old, for a budget friendly amount each month. No way we wanted to pay the outrageous daycare fees, and wanted them to be with family during that time. It was a difficult transition at first for him, but now he LOVES it and makes the hectic home schedule much easier to deal with for me personally after a long day (even though still tiring).

I work full time and they pay me stupid, great money for something I love to do, but I'm tiring of the corporate culture and 9-5 chains. I long to raise livestock, plant a garden and learn woodworking. He's very handy and mechanical, so he does all the car repairs, property maintenance, etc and takes the kids to most of their after school activities during the week (which we limit to keep our sanity).

It's been great peace of mind and cost saving for us. Having 2 kids does not lend itself to MMM 100% strict adherence, but we're much better off now than just 2 years ago after I found this forum.

N

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #60 on: February 11, 2015, 12:07:08 AM »
I never went back to full time paid work after I had my first baby, almost 11 years ago. Now I have an almost 11 and a 7 yo. And we homeschool. Over the years I have done some childcare in my home to earn income and we both have had side gigs that net a couple hundred dollars a month each, but for the most part, Im a homemaker. Ideally I figure that in 5-10 years I will be working more or have better paying side gigs.

SomedayStache

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #61 on: February 11, 2015, 11:25:32 AM »
I'm an engineer.  My husband is a cook at a short order diner.  Therefore when we had our first child in  2008 it  was logical that he would stay at home.

Now we are at 3 kiddos and hubbie only works a few hours on the weekends.  (He opens the diner Saturday/Sunday mornings so the owner can get a chance to sleep in.)  He made <$5000 doing this over the course of last year.  So it's very much not worth the time...but the alternative would be paying a therapist for him as this is his 'escape'.  So even though he works a tiny bit I consider him a stay at home dad.  (Our eventual goal is for him to make some money using our 2 acres to urban homestead.  Right now it's just a really really expensive hobby).

I found MMM when pregnant with #3 and desperately searching for some way out of full-time employment.  I've never been one for gender roles but damn it sucks to be the mom and go back to work when your baby is a few weeks old.  No matter how dedicated a stay-at-home dad can't produce milk and therefore the middle of the night feedings still fall solidly to me (though hubbie does wake up and bring the baby to me).  The pump breaks at work are not something that my husband would have to negotiate if HE were the one working.  And he would never have to excuse himself from a work meeting to go throw up due to pregnancy sickness.  Blah.  I got quite bitter at him for a while because I wanted to be the one to stay at home!

I found MMM and then spiraled into a depression because I could see the way out (massive savings) but with our family of 5 on my income there wasn't a way to get there fast enough for me.

Now my youngest is 16 months and I'm finding a way back to happiness.  I can read MMM again and realize that, hey, actually we are sort of living the dream already.  My husband is kind of 'retired'.  I do kind of like my job.   Our lives are pretty awesome.  If there had been a way I could have waited to return to work full-time until my kiddos were over one year old things would have been infinitely better and easier for me.  I'm still exceedingly happy that one of us gets to stay home.  It’s difficult enough to work full-time with kids and a stay-at-home parent.  I cannot conceive of both parents working full-time.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 12:36:18 PM by SomedayStache »

mm1970

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #62 on: February 11, 2015, 11:46:26 AM »
Yes I & most of my friends did. It was the 1980's but not that much was really different. Many people had 2 incomes, put kids in daycare & had lots of fancy things.  You would hear people say that they could not make it on 1 income. Well you could if you  drove old cars, took a driving vacation, lived in an older home & were frugal.  I think some people think that it is a new thing to think you need 2 incomes but it is not. It has been around for awhile.

I have the exact same thoughts. You can make it on one income but you can't have *that* car, that house and that vacation.

It's worth every extra year it takes me to retire early. I'm willing to make any sacrifice necessary so that one of us is at home raising our kids, instead of someone else raising them. From day one my wife and I planned for one of us to quit our job when we started having kids.

FWIW my wife and most of her close girlfriends are stay at home moms but also have part time jobs. One is a part time doctor, another is a part time professor while others work from home doing multi level marketing or photography or something like that. My wife had no job for 3 years but something fell into her lap last year.
Note: if they have part time jobs, they are not SAHMs.  They are PT working moms.

Note #2: Daycares do not raise children.  A better, more accurate, and less offensive way to put this would be "I was willing to make any sacrifice for me or my spouse to stay at home with our children because we really wanted to do that."

mm1970

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #63 on: February 11, 2015, 11:48:26 AM »
I'm an engineer.  My husband is a cook at a short order diner.  Therefore when we had our first child in  2008 it  was logical that he would stay at home.

Now we are at 3 kiddos and hubbie only works a few hours on the weekends.  (He opens the diner Saturday/Sunday mornings so the owner can get a chance to sleep in.)  He made <$5000 doing this over the course of last year.  So it's very much not worth the time...but the alternative would be paying a therapist for him as this is his 'escape'.  So even though he works a tiny bit I consider him a stay at home dad.

I found MMM when pregnant with #3 and desperately searching for some way out of full-time employment.  I've never been one for gender roles but damn it sucks to be the mom and go back to work when your baby is a few weeks old.  No matter how dedicated a stay-at-home dad can't produce milk and therefore the middle of the night feedings still fall solidly to me (though hubbie does wake up and bring the baby to me).  The pump breaks at work are not something that my husband would have to negotiate if HE were the one working.  And he would never have to excuse himself from a work meeting to go throw up due to pregnancy sickness.  Blah.  I got quite bitter at him for a while because I wanted to be the one to stay at home!

I found MMM and then spiraled into a depression because I could see the way out (massive savings) but with our family of 5 on my income there wasn't a way to get there fast enough for me.

Now my youngest is 16 months and I'm finding a way back to happiness.  I can read MMM again and realize that, hey, actually we are sort of living the dream already.  My husband is kind of 'retired'.  I do kind of like my job.   Our lives are pretty awesome.  If there had been a way I could have waited to return to work full-time until my kiddos were over one year old things would have been infinitely better and easier for me.  I'm still exceedingly happy that one of us gets to stay home.  It’s difficult enough to work full-time with kids and a stay-at-home parent.  I cannot conceive of both parents working full-time.
Yeah, some of that is just that it really really sucks to be working and pumping and not sleeping. It's awful.  Around age two you start sleeping most of the time, and then you can see the light att he end of the tunnel.

hops

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #64 on: February 11, 2015, 11:59:48 AM »
Quote
I've never been one for gender roles but damn it sucks to be the mom and go back to work when your baby is a few weeks old.  No matter how dedicated a stay-at-home dad can't produce milk and therefore the middle of the night feedings still fall solidly to me (though hubbie does wake up and bring the baby to me).  The pump breaks at work are not something that my husband would have to negotiate if HE were the one working.  And he would never have to excuse himself from a work meeting to go throw up due to pregnancy sickness.  Blah.  I got quite bitter at him for a while because I wanted to be the one to stay at home!

This is what I've started to worry about! My fiancée has always been very driven in her career and because she out-earns me quite handily (she's a doctor, I manage a tiny business), we've agreed that in a couple years when we start a family, I'll stay home with the kids. Her schedule is already so crazy that if we both worked full-time, bedlam might erupt. We're both women but she'll be the one giving birth and I expect her feelings about returning to work will be more complicated than she anticipates.

SomedayStache

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #65 on: February 11, 2015, 12:05:27 PM »
We're both women but she'll be the one giving birth and I expect her feelings about returning to work will be more complicated than she anticipates.

I was totally blindsided by my feelings about returning to work.  I've always been ambitious and driven and didn't expect having babies to change me....well it did.  But I can make 80,000 a year working 40 hours per week at a fairly flexible job while my husband can make $11 an hour at a very inflexible job.  It was so bad that we did sit down and discuss my staying at home.  He's willing to work as many crappy jobs as it takes to pay the bills, but then we'd NEVER see each other.  So here we are. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #66 on: February 11, 2015, 12:14:21 PM »
I've said it elsewhere on the forum but this is a topical thread so I'll say it again. We had a deposit on a nice daycare near us, and my wife managed to get 10 weeks before going back to work. At about 5 weeks she said she couldn't do it. I had been dreading her returning to work but trying to keep my feelings down about it. I'd been reading MMM, so we took a look at our assets and my income (higher of the two), downsized our lifestyle, and made it work.

rocketman48097

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #67 on: February 11, 2015, 12:24:52 PM »
Where I live it's very common, but I live in an affluent area in the South, which also has very low state taxes too.  So perhaps it's more possible here because property taxes are so low and there is no state income tax. 

Helvegen

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #68 on: February 11, 2015, 01:36:14 PM »
We both stayed at home alternately, pretty much completely out of circumstance. I stayed home the first year, he did the second, we both worked PT third and fourth, and then he went to work FT the fifth, and I stayed home fifth-eighth year. I just recently went back to FT work this past summer. It wasn't fantastic in the early years, but we made it work. We learned to live below what my husband was bringing home at his FT job and whatever money I make now in my FT job is complete gravy and is basically all saved.

I think in some ways our quality of life definitely slipped for more money, but I don't see me working FT as a permanent fixture (hope not for him either!).

Cassie

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #69 on: February 11, 2015, 05:01:38 PM »
I went from only having a high school diploma to having bachelor &  2 master's degrees during that period.  Then I went back to work f.t. when my kids were 12, 15 & 19.  I always felt like I got to have it all but just not all at the same time. 2 parents working f.t. with small kids is so stressful & does not lead to a very high quality of life for many people.  Some people do it fine but it just wasn't for me.  Being a SAHP once the kids were in school would have been boring but I was a f.t. college student during those years.  I think everyone needs to do what works for them best.  It is nice to have the financial choice but that comes from being frugal-not by being rich.

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Re: Did You Or Your Significant Other Take Time Off Work To Raise Your Kids?
« Reply #70 on: February 11, 2015, 05:35:48 PM »
I have been very part time the last 18 years. It started due to having children but continued due to severely injuring my spine in an accident. I am very grateful I had that time with our children. We have never had a large income so it took  a lot of creativity at times. My babies are both in college now.