Author Topic: How to convince my husband to quit his job?  (Read 14868 times)

Iplawyer

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #50 on: March 07, 2017, 06:34:17 AM »
OP - yes you are selfish for wanting him to quit his job if he doesn't want to quit.  If you want more quality time with him - you are going to have to be the one to make it happen.  I suggested all kinds of things to support you - ie more help with the kids and outsourcing everything - so that you could have more time for yourself to become less stressed.  You even admitted that there is more stuff you can outsource.  So do it.  And I suggest counseling. Sometimes long coffee breaks aren't enough.  It seems like your dreams have diverged somewhat and you need some help.  I did not suggest counseling to get a divorce - but to somehow reconcile where you are together.  But this type of stress can cause marital strife and divorce if it goes unchecked. 

Given I've been through some of this - I was trying to give you advice that has worked for me.  And I honestly do think you are being selfish to insist he quit something he loves - even if he had a different dream to start with.  People evolve and change.  And maybe he could not have his current dream without you doing what you are doing.  That is why I think you need counseling.

I do think that you are going to be unhappy as long as you only see a happy future if he quits.  There must be some happy future you can visualize if he stays in his job.  A counselor can help with that. 

We both have multiple degrees are professionally successful.  But we've each been ON and OFF over the years.  So I'm not saying this to underplay your professional degrees - at all.  I'm just being realistic about the situation.

golden1

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #51 on: March 07, 2017, 06:59:43 AM »
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And the real reason I wanted to post is because of your comments above about how little ones are so exhausting.  I hate to break it to you, but I think big ones are even MORE exhausting. 

Yeah....I have found now that mine are 14 and 12, they are exhausting in different ways.  They have problems that are much harder to solve. 

Interesting post and interesting perspectives.  I think there are a lot of people making a lot of assumptions here (typical in a personals type post).  The honest conversation is the most important thing I think - you need to find out if your dreams really have diverged and if you can make peace with that and work around that.  I have been married for 21 years, and you can make all sorts of plans, but people change sometimes.  It sucks when the changes result in you growing apart in some ways, but it doesn't mean the marriage is over.  It just means that you have to evaluate if the relationship is worth altering certain aspects of your life for, because in some cases, losing that relationship is worse than giving up on personal aspirations.  It's a toughie, and I think it happens more often than people imagine. 

Laura33

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #52 on: March 07, 2017, 07:12:52 AM »
What Alps said.  Our priorities are what we do and how we spend our time, not what we say. 

The sense I get -- and I could be wrong -- is that you guys both had a passion for your area of study, but you gave it up to chase the higher income from rentals so you could achieve FIRE quickly, which would then allow him to quit when the kids came.  And now you did your part -- you took the hit for the team -- and you guys have climbed the mountain, and now he's changing the deal.  So now you have twice as much work at home as you planned (sole SAHP instead of one of two), AND you are still stuck with your "job" that you took to achieve FIRE (the rentals), which you still don't love the way you did ecology.

So, first, you have every right to be frustrated, because you made significant sacrifices for a larger goal, and now it feels like a bait and switch -- your "temporary" sacrifice has become permanent, while he has the freedom to continue to pursue the actual passion that you gave up.  This is definitely worth some frank discussions and perhaps a counselor to help you talk to each other.  But the fundamental problem is that you can't "fix" that frustration by finding a way to force him to quit.  He is telling you who he is and what he really wants out of life -- and, apparently, that is not to stay home and shoulder half of the load of two young kids, it is to keep pursuing the passion of the tenure-track position he spent the last X years of his life chasing.  IOW, you both believe in the value of a SAHP in theory, but he doesn't actually value it highly enough to do it himself.  But, of course, now you have actual kids, not just theoretical ones, and since he's not willing to SAH, by default that all falls on you, so you feel stuck in a role you never chose.

The only person you control here is you.  Yes, talk to him, find out what his goals really are -- not the pretty things you say to keep your partner happy, but what is his dream life, right now and for the next ten years?  And then work with that to figure out what you need to do for *you* to be happy.  Option 1 is to work on accepting what you currently have (i.e., that you are the sole SAHP with all of those responsibilities) and finding the positive in that (e.g., planning lots of travel on breaks -- when my mom was getting her Ph.D, our summer vacations were camping wherever her research was; using your FI to relieve a lot of the political pressure to work every night, join stupid committees, etc.).  Option 2 is to change what you're doing on your end to get more joy in your life.  In my experience, I feel the most stressed and overwhelmed when my days are filled with things I don't enjoy; honestly, for me, SAHM + 10 hrs/wk managing rental properties would be a version of hell (one of the reasons I still work a day job!).  :-)  Is there something you can do in your field that would bring you more daily satisfaction (and is that worth the time away from your kids at this point)?  There's no right answer here, btw.  If you decide that adding something else is too much for now, then revert to option 1, and find a way to be happy about your current role. 

The point is that you *do* have choices -- you are not stuck at all.  Yes, your options are more limited by his desire to continue to work, and especially in a challenging position.  But you can choose to pursue your own passion and send the kids to daycare; you can choose to embrace the role you find yourself in; or you can choose something in-between, with a little more paid help/support at home and a little more outside focus on something that brings you joy as an independent adult human being.

sleepyguy

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2017, 07:40:59 AM »
"I don't like our life."

Hmmm... bit harsh I think.  I'll keep it short... you won't change his decision and if you "force" him... I'll say it's all but done.

I think you're a bit to inflexible in that saying "isn't that anti-MMM?"... does it matter?  You say end of the day you feel tired and exhuased, etc.  Well the start outsourcing some of the things.   Put the kids in 1/2 day daycare.  Outsource house cleaning once very 2 weeks.  Pay for Lawn service.  Yes it's all anti-MMM but who cares... it keeps your sanity and your marriage. 

Have a talk with your husband obviously... could be he'll change his mind in the coming years... personally I don't think he will but maybe there is a common ground of part-time hrs.

It probably feels he chose his career over family... he didn't.  It's his passion and he's good at it, which is why he wants to continue to do so.  He feels he can manage the balance of work/family life.

Case

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2017, 08:00:59 AM »
Sorry for not updating/replying sooner- got busy ;)

I'm going to try to answer everyone's questions without writing an epic here.
Thanks for all of the thoughtful advice from everyone.  To those of you that straight out told me we should just get divorced- your opinion(s) are borderline offensive and largely worthless (just saying).  I realize it's hard to convey a 10 year relationship in a few paragraphs, but separation /divorce is not something either of us are remotely interested in. at all.

A few clarifications that many have mis-interpreted:
We BOTH want our children to have at least one stay at home parent.  It's not like I have no education and nothing better to do.  We met as colleagues getting our Master's degrees.  I have a Master's and he has a PhD.  He has said before that if I absolutely wanted to go back to work he would quit and be a SAHD (though he *really* doesn't want to do that).  So those that said that he is essentially living his dream with or without me are incorrect.  Both of us had "the dream" to have children and raise them together.  He would not be able to have his career without me being a SAHM. 

I only work 5-10 hours a week managing the entire rental business and all of the finances for the family.  Everything is already outsourced as much as possible.  5-10 hours a week is pretty minimal considering the amount of income the rentals are bringing in, and that we are actively investing each year.  I basically spend this time reviewing docs, signing things, putting in offers on new RE transactions, and fielding conversations from my various contacts (lawyer, management company, accountant, and real estate agent).

I don't plan to ever go back to work at a standard job.  When I feel as though I have ample free time, I'll put more time into growing the rentals.  If that isn't fulfilling I'll volunteer time doing something that is, since money won't be a driver.  If that feels too menial I can always start a non-profit for something that engages me (thinking out loud here).

My husband and I are very open and honest.  I love the suggestion(s) to sit down and have a long conversation without kids.  My in-laws will be here at the end of the month and we will be able to have some kid-free time.  In the past we have written down our 3, 5, and 10 year goals for family, personal, and financial attainment.  I think we'll do this and then see where we align and can compromise.

Now, to address certain individuals:

historienne & Genevieve- thanks for the advice and article.  Yes, there are opportunities for travel.  When he gets tenure there is an option for a 2-yr sabbatical anywhere we want (for the most part).  There are also conferences a few times a year but those are very stressful events and bringing the family along seems silly when the destinations aren't usually that enticing.

Noodle- Yes, we moved for the job.  I agree, our situation is temporary.  I realize things will become vastly easier once the kids start school and once my husband gets tenure (potentially).  It just sucks that the hardest parenting part (physically/time wise) is overlapping with the hardest stage in his career.

farmerj- See above, but rentals themselves are only about 5 hrs/wk.  Entirety of managing our finances and rental investments is 5-10 hours a week.  I am pretty much unwilling to sell off something that is earning a substantial salary for an input of 5 hrs / week ;).  It's my one "adult" thing I get to do now, and the freedom of not "having" to work (whether or not he chooses to) is something we both can't let go of.

Hargrove- achieving FIRE is a series of compromises.  No one (except that ERE guy) is working every free minute and eating rice and beans for every meal.  We both obtained graduate degrees in ecology, like you said, not a good choice for FIRE.  That was the one major compromise we made because it was important to us to not sacrifice our passions for FIRE.  I eventually quit when we decided to prioritize starting a family, but we always had our side job / hobby of remodeling, flipping, and rentals.  When we attained enough financial stability for me to quit I focused on building up the rentals so hubby could eventually quit too.  Everyone can look at the life choices of someone who is FIRE and point out non-FIRE choices.  Doesn't mean we didn't aggressively and thoughtfully work towards FIRE. And BTW, we did it on a single salary (because when he was doing his PhD I was working, then he got a job and I quit).  Not bragging, just saying we definitely did the live/spend minimally, save and aggressively invest strategy.

Retire-Canada
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Nothing would prevent her husband from using his education to do something rewarding that is compatible with less than FT work and could be done remotely. She's not saying stop working 100%. She's saying you don't need to work for money so prioritize you wife and kids over work. That seems pretty reasonable.
YES. YES. YES!!! (and thank you for saying so :)

Travelling Bioligst-
It's so nice to hear from someone in a similar situation (though who has progressed past our point) and can see the light at the end of the tunnel and also offer support through solidarity. Tons of good suggestions and food for thought- thank you.

clairebonk-
Hahaha, your post is amazing!  Basically speaking my mind in alot of ways.  The manny idea is not bad!  The things I can never get to, like changing the oil, picking up the dog poo in the back, and now that we have two kids, doing more active stuff with the older one since the younger one is still so little.  We have a "nanny" that comes 4 hrs/week to our home, but I have mixed feelings about it, because she is doing "my" job while I do "other work".  We never evolved to raise kids by ourselves (e.g. one woman raising children without other women).  We live far from any family and are "alone" aside from my girlfriends that are all as worn thin as I am.  I'll respond to your pm now... :)

Iplawyer-
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Are you managing the properties?  Otherwise, why is your life so stressful?  Millions and Millions of people make this work without being as stressed as you seem to be.  And it is selfish of you to want him to quit. 
So, in short, OUTSOURCE everything possible, including the property management.  You are stealing time from your relationship with your husband by trying to continue to do that.
mmkay.  I'm trying to take your suggestions in the best light possible, but I seriously cannot move past these words.  First to answer your question- yes, I have a property management company.  However, when you get to a certain number of rentals you still have to invest some time in managing, even if you have a property mgmt. company (especially if you are actively acquiring property each year).  I work about 5 hrs/week on rentals.
So it is selfish for me to want him to quit, but I am "stealing" time from my relationship with my husband if I pursue a career (even a career from home that I squeeze into the cracks of my life)?
I never said it was *so* stressful.  I just said it was stressful.  As stressed as any other stay-at-home parent is with two young kids and a partner working all the time away from home.  I just think it's silly for us to be "like everyone else" when we don't have to live that life of stress.

If I am reading your posts up to this point correctly, it seems that your husband has somewhat duped you.  You seem have had a very clear plan about FIRE which you executed with precision are ready to reap the rewards.  It sounds like if your husband was once on-board with that plan, he is no longer or as at least trying to compromise.  You might as well bring this conversation to the surface with him.

It may be that he has realized his academic job is addictive and he no longer wants to give up after coming so far. This would especially make sense after tenure.  Fair warning that he may NEVER give up his job; this is the nature of people going into academics.

Academia, generally speaking, does not have a lot of Mustachians because although they might be onboard with FI, they seldom want to RE.  This is because the lifestyles and goals of academics are very much unaligned RE (FI too, acutally).  As you know, there is a looooong period of education with accumulated debt or low pay, followed by postdocs and then a 5 year tenure probationary period.  You have to keep in mind that the market has a HUGE surplus of PhDs that are applying for academic jobs, and so competition is fierce.  In my field, it's not uncommon for people to apply for many many jobs before landing a hit, and a large number of people get stuck as adjunct professors which are basically low paid profs with no job security.
I originally wanted to become an academic, but upon realizing this (and a few other reasons) I instead pursued an industry job where the high pay would help with my FIRE goals.  I bring up this contrast because if your husband still shared your goal, perhaps he could be thinking this way.

This obviously doesn't have to mean the end of your marriage or anything so drastic, but it does mean that you might need to change your goals in life.  If you had envisioned a life of freedom where your partner helped you raise your children, etc... and you had fun vacations to Mexico/Canada, that might not be realistic anymore.  Instead, your vacations might be to wherever he has conferences (in which case it's a work trip for him and not entirely vacation... I've done this, it's not as amazing as you'd hope).  Your husband can probably still handle some parenting after work is done at the end of hte day, but he might be working nights a lot to make up for the lost time. 

What is clear is that you urgently need a frank discussion with your husband what your life goals and objectives and how to realign them.  It sounds like you are making sacrifices to accommodate his life goals which are now only for him and not aligned to you or your children.  As others have said, it is tricky, you can't expect him to quit before tenure; that would be a crazy waste of so much hard work.  But it would be more reasonable to say "after tenure, you must seriously dial back the workload and it's 40 hour weeks only".

Does your husband do research or only teach?  If he has a research group, then it gets even more complicated.  He'll have students attached to him for multiple years (5+ if it's PhD programs), and quitting wont be so easy (from a moral perspective).

Miss Growing Green

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2017, 01:20:35 PM »
I think what I'm coming to realize (thanks Laura33 for the amazing reflection) is that I kind of always viewed achieving FIRE as the main strategy, with his career as the fall-back plan, and he was viewing his career as the main strategy with FIRE as the fall-back plan.  Now we are in a situation where we each want to implement our ideal lives and trying to find common ground where they overlap and compromise can happen.
Part of the issue is that we are newly FI.  It's only been about a year since we really achieved FI, so I realize I may be jumping the gun a bit (I've always been quicker to make decisions than him).
We did have a long talk (not as long as it will need to be, and too late in the day to be 100% focused), but he is open to other ideas.  He doesn't want to be a full time SAHD, as in, both of us at home together all day with the kids.  Thankfully, that's not exactly what I envisioned either.  I told him I would be happy for him to be "gone" 20 ish hrs/wk doing whatever (be it work, friends, hobbies, travel, etc).  For myself, I'd like a couple half days a week totally to myself.  Weekends and evenings would still be family time.  This sounded intriguing to him, but he still isn't as on board as I am.  He wants to give his career a minimum one full year where he really immerses himself, tries it out, and decides if it's for him.  Do I think this is a fair request?  Yes.  Am I still losing my mind "hanging around" for a year? Yes.
I'll talk with him again, but maybe in the interim I can plan some travel during the weeks with just me and the kids.  I know it will be super hard to travel alone with two little ones, but I think it's worth a try.  Maybe I'll still enjoy it more than the current set up.  Maybe he will decide traveling more with us is something he doesn't want to miss out on.
I'm pretty good at keeping my head down and working towards a goal.  If he told me- "I will for sure quit in three years." I could be totally happy right now.  It's the not knowing and wondering if I will always be waiting that is hard.  I know it isn't always easy to know what you are going to want in the future.  Heck, I never expected being a mother and stay at home mom to be the way that it is.  It's hard to predict these major life changes and how we will feel about them as we age.
Thankfully, I married someone who is very open-minded.  I think as long as we keep communication open and are trying to be aware of each others happiness we will be okay.  Thank you for everyone that reminded me about MY choices and how the only person I can control is myself. 

Sydneystache:
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Can he take some parental/carers leave or is that a no-go until tenure?

We talked about this.  According to my husband we "could have" taken maybe a semester off when our second was born but we can't really anymore, feasibly.  I mean anything is *possible*, but he said feasibly, it's not an option.

Alps- Yep, you're right.  Can't really argue with anything you said and actions do speak louder than words.  I will tell you though, that (as you know) academia is extremely demanding and when your peers all appear to be doing more than you, everything is a spectrum of compromises.  From his perspective he is doing the bare minimum he needs to be happy in his job, and I can't really speak to that because I'm not him.

Iplawyer- Just to clarify, we both want to spend more time together, not just me.  We both feel tired and stressed, not just me.  We are both looking for ways to improve our situation so everyone is happier.  I also said I would be happy with him dialing work back (not just quitting).  Why is it okay to tell me to 100% drop my part-time job but asking him to drop his is unreasonable? 

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And I honestly do think you are being selfish to insist he quit something he loves - even if he had a different dream to start with.
I'm never going to "insist" he quit.  My OP was asking for ways to help him see my side of things.  to convince him.  I've heard you say multiple times that I should quit / outsource the rental business.  You've asked how much time that takes and told me to outsource it.  I find it funny that so many people are asking about our rentals, which are what allow us to be FI, and saying to sell / get rid of them. 
Not one person has asked how much he works or how much time his job is taking.  It's just a hands down, "you can't ask him to quit".  That sort of feels like a double-standard.  My job is up for axing but his isn't.

sleepyguy-
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I think you're a bit to inflexible in that saying "isn't that anti-MMM?"... does it matter?  You say end of the day you feel tired and exhuased, etc.  Well the start outsourcing some of the things.   Put the kids in 1/2 day daycare.  Outsource house cleaning once very 2 weeks.  Pay for Lawn service.

You may have missed it but I already outsource a bunch.  All the things you listed (except daycare- we do have a part time mother's helper for the older child).   

Case-
Thank you for the thoughtful reflection; I really appreciate it
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Does your husband do research or only teach?  If he has a research group, then it gets even more complicated.  He'll have students attached to him for multiple years (5+ if it's PhD programs), and quitting wont be so easy (from a moral perspective).
He is supposed to be 70% research and 30% teaching, but his teaching duties were waived for his first year.  So, yeah, next year might be rough...

Retire-Canada

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2017, 01:40:34 PM »
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And I honestly do think you are being selfish to insist he quit something he loves - even if he had a different dream to start with.
I'm never going to "insist" he quit.  My OP was asking for ways to help him see my side of things.  to convince him.  I've heard you say multiple times that I should quit / outsource the rental business.  You've asked how much time that takes and told me to outsource it.  I find it funny that so many people are asking about our rentals, which are what allow us to be FI, and saying to sell / get rid of them. 
Not one person has asked how much he works or how much time his job is taking.  It's just a hands down, "you can't ask him to quit".  That sort of feels like a double-standard.  My job is up for axing but his isn't.

I don't think you are being unreasonable. You didn't just pop two kids out of you on your own and it's not just your job to stay home and raise them or hire someone to help you. It's equally his job to help raise them and ya it may be inconvenient or not ideal with his career, but that's just too freaking bad. Sadly you are in a male dominated society that see's your role as less valuable as his.

Based on the discussions you've had so far it sounds like he's open to compromise and that's great. He wants one year to give his career a try...okay...then come up with a list of what his contribution to the family in non-money terms looks like for the next year that seems fair to you. If you don't need the money then the typical bread winner argument goes out the window. He's working because he likes it. Awesome. You should have an equal amount of your life that you like. Draw up what that looks like. If hiring some care giving/housekeeping help makes sense factor that in as well. Once you have something that seems balanced talk to him about it and negotiate.

If he can give his career a try and be an equal partner in the family that's ideal. If he says he can't do both than he's got to decide what's more important to him.

I think one of the really interesting things about FI is when people no longer need to work for money you get to see what is real and what is BS about their life. You can say anything, but it's what you do that really counts and communicates to the world what your priorities are.

Case

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #57 on: March 07, 2017, 02:44:24 PM »
I think what I'm coming to realize (thanks Laura33 for the amazing reflection) is that I kind of always viewed achieving FIRE as the main strategy, with his career as the fall-back plan, and he was viewing his career as the main strategy with FIRE as the fall-back plan.  Now we are in a situation where we each want to implement our ideal lives and trying to find common ground where they overlap and compromise can happen.
Part of the issue is that we are newly FI.  It's only been about a year since we really achieved FI, so I realize I may be jumping the gun a bit (I've always been quicker to make decisions than him).
We did have a long talk (not as long as it will need to be, and too late in the day to be 100% focused), but he is open to other ideas.  He doesn't want to be a full time SAHD, as in, both of us at home together all day with the kids.  Thankfully, that's not exactly what I envisioned either.  I told him I would be happy for him to be "gone" 20 ish hrs/wk doing whatever (be it work, friends, hobbies, travel, etc).  For myself, I'd like a couple half days a week totally to myself.  Weekends and evenings would still be family time.  This sounded intriguing to him, but he still isn't as on board as I am.  He wants to give his career a minimum one full year where he really immerses himself, tries it out, and decides if it's for him.  Do I think this is a fair request?  Yes.  Am I still losing my mind "hanging around" for a year? Yes.
I'll talk with him again, but maybe in the interim I can plan some travel during the weeks with just me and the kids.  I know it will be super hard to travel alone with two little ones, but I think it's worth a try.  Maybe I'll still enjoy it more than the current set up.  Maybe he will decide traveling more with us is something he doesn't want to miss out on.
I'm pretty good at keeping my head down and working towards a goal.  If he told me- "I will for sure quit in three years." I could be totally happy right now.  It's the not knowing and wondering if I will always be waiting that is hard.  I know it isn't always easy to know what you are going to want in the future.  Heck, I never expected being a mother and stay at home mom to be the way that it is.  It's hard to predict these major life changes and how we will feel about them as we age.
Thankfully, I married someone who is very open-minded.  I think as long as we keep communication open and are trying to be aware of each others happiness we will be okay.  Thank you for everyone that reminded me about MY choices and how the only person I can control is myself. 

Sydneystache:
Quote
Can he take some parental/carers leave or is that a no-go until tenure?

We talked about this.  According to my husband we "could have" taken maybe a semester off when our second was born but we can't really anymore, feasibly.  I mean anything is *possible*, but he said feasibly, it's not an option.

Alps- Yep, you're right.  Can't really argue with anything you said and actions do speak louder than words.  I will tell you though, that (as you know) academia is extremely demanding and when your peers all appear to be doing more than you, everything is a spectrum of compromises.  From his perspective he is doing the bare minimum he needs to be happy in his job, and I can't really speak to that because I'm not him.

Iplawyer- Just to clarify, we both want to spend more time together, not just me.  We both feel tired and stressed, not just me.  We are both looking for ways to improve our situation so everyone is happier.  I also said I would be happy with him dialing work back (not just quitting).  Why is it okay to tell me to 100% drop my part-time job but asking him to drop his is unreasonable? 

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And I honestly do think you are being selfish to insist he quit something he loves - even if he had a different dream to start with.
I'm never going to "insist" he quit.  My OP was asking for ways to help him see my side of things.  to convince him.  I've heard you say multiple times that I should quit / outsource the rental business.  You've asked how much time that takes and told me to outsource it.  I find it funny that so many people are asking about our rentals, which are what allow us to be FI, and saying to sell / get rid of them. 
Not one person has asked how much he works or how much time his job is taking.  It's just a hands down, "you can't ask him to quit".  That sort of feels like a double-standard.  My job is up for axing but his isn't.

sleepyguy-
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I think you're a bit to inflexible in that saying "isn't that anti-MMM?"... does it matter?  You say end of the day you feel tired and exhuased, etc.  Well the start outsourcing some of the things.   Put the kids in 1/2 day daycare.  Outsource house cleaning once very 2 weeks.  Pay for Lawn service.

You may have missed it but I already outsource a bunch.  All the things you listed (except daycare- we do have a part time mother's helper for the older child).   

Case-
Thank you for the thoughtful reflection; I really appreciate it
Quote
Does your husband do research or only teach?  If he has a research group, then it gets even more complicated.  He'll have students attached to him for multiple years (5+ if it's PhD programs), and quitting wont be so easy (from a moral perspective).
He is supposed to be 70% research and 30% teaching, but his teaching duties were waived for his first year.  So, yeah, next year might be rough...

If your husband is mostly a research professor, and especially if he is at an R1 school (research is the top priority, not education of undergrads... these tend to be the top schools), then you need to accelerate that talk with him even more.  The type of people in these roles in most case are Type A and their job will always be there life. 

You might indicate to him that it's great that he wants to pursue this life of academic fulfillment, but that it is very time consuming and does not involve you, your family, or your dreams.  Since your dreams presumably involved him, he is leaving you on the curb.

The component to a successful relationshipis co-alligning your goals.  Your job is to let him know that you perceive his goals changing, and also un-alligning with yours.

At the very least he should be on board with taking equal care of the kids.  Next step is remembering that you'd like to have dreams/goals to fulfill together.  Being a SATM is totally ok, but expecting your spouse to do that is so 20th century.  If you want/need help, it is his job to provide it, especially since he's not the major breadwinner at this time.

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #58 on: March 07, 2017, 03:21:26 PM »
OP, you've done a pretty awesome job of taking on board and responding to the comments here, and on opening a dialogue with your spouse and being flexible about your family arrangements.

I have a couple of thoughts I haven't seen mentioned yet -

1.  I don't think you are FIREd.  I think you have been clever and hard-working and have built up a business which is very profitable for the hours of work you put in.  You are a business owner and manager who works at her business most days of the week.  Don't undersell what you are continuing to do on this side of your life.

2.  I think you should try to do your business work during business hours.  As it is, with you working in the evening and your spouse presumably looking after the kids while you do that, you are limiting the family time you have together and not giving your spouse much of an incentive to cut out his evening work -he may well be thinking "if my wife is working in the evenings, why shouldn't I?  If you add in some extra childcare to match the time you spend on your business during the day, it will give you back your evenings together as a family for that quality time together that you value.

Best of luck.

Cali Nonya

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #59 on: March 07, 2017, 03:42:39 PM »
I'm kind of curious about Miss Growing Green's comment about it feeling like a double standard.  I'm sort of in the opposite case (female professional wanting to keep working).

Just a double standard from the M-F side or more just the working vrs non-working? 

Other than that I am not going to opine at all since if I had a clue about how to make someone else see my side of things I'd be ruling the world (j/k).

Laura33

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #60 on: March 07, 2017, 03:59:33 PM »
I'm pretty good at keeping my head down and working towards a goal.  If he told me- "I will for sure quit in three years." I could be totally happy right now.  It's the not knowing and wondering if I will always be waiting that is hard.  I know it isn't always easy to know what you are going to want in the future.  Heck, I never expected being a mother and stay at home mom to be the way that it is.  It's hard to predict these major life changes and how we will feel about them as we age.
Thankfully, I married someone who is very open-minded.  I think as long as we keep communication open and are trying to be aware of each others happiness we will be okay.  Thank you for everyone that reminded me about MY choices and how the only person I can control is myself. 

I have to say, this really resonated with me.  We had a period (mid-first-tech-crash) where we ended up stuck somewhere away from my job, away from my family/friends/support group, and with a 6-week-old infant.  I did my absolute best to make the best of it, and I just couldn't do it -- I was miserable.  What saved me was DH agreeing that there would be an end date:  he agreed that as soon as the economy turned around, he'd look for a job back where I wanted to be.  [As an aside, it was a totally classic conversation.  Me: 10 minutes of well-planned-out, carefully chosen words, trying not to cry, explaining everything, "I know it can't be now, I just need to know it will be sometime."  Him:  "ok."]  But his immediate agreement mattered more than anything else -- because it told me he had my back, and my happiness was as important to him as his was to me.  And that helped me make it through another two years there.

Sydneystache

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2017, 04:13:38 PM »
I'm kind of curious about Miss Growing Green's comment about it feeling like a double standard.  I'm sort of in the opposite case (female professional wanting to keep working).

Just a double standard from the M-F side or more just the working vrs non-working? 

Other than that I am not going to opine at all since if I had a clue about how to make someone else see my side of things I'd be ruling the world (j/k).

A high flying dynamic couple I know faced this. Their children had flown the nest - he retired early, she didn't; she became a CEO in New York and he bummed around in Sydney, got bored, found another job while waiting for her contract to finish. The company that hired him was shocked as he was a gift horse candidate but he told them it was for only a limited time until his wife was ready to retire. He did a lot of commuting between Sydney and New York but he also had that certainty she was going to finish her contract after 5 years and return to Sydney.

She then retired and they both travel now doing all sorts of adventurous stuff. It is a series of compromises but I have a feeling they may be the exception rather than the rule. She would have spent most of her working career putting up with sexist shit and her dream to be CEO was probably part of it - pinnacle of career and all that. And he supported her eventhough in their peer group I am sure he would have been put down by some traditional male attitudes.

Another couple I am acquainted with (don't know them as well as couple 1), the husband says his wife spent all these decades looking after the home, kids etc that he was happy to be her handbag now.

Back to the OP - is there a Plan B if he does not get tenure? He shouldn't compare his situation to his colleagues as appearances can deceive and if comparison is the thief of happiness, how many of his colleagues have a SAHM who manages a property portfolio that is giving them a massive FIRE opportunity without the workplace bullshit?

I can't help but be reminded me of the scene from "Devil Wears Prada": a million girls would kill for your job (or something along those lines). And in the end, the job experience was once-in-a-lifetime but it ended up destroying everything else in the character's life.

Case

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #62 on: March 07, 2017, 04:14:49 PM »
I think what I'm coming to realize (thanks Laura33 for the amazing reflection) is that I kind of always viewed achieving FIRE as the main strategy, with his career as the fall-back plan, and he was viewing his career as the main strategy with FIRE as the fall-back plan.  Now we are in a situation where we each want to implement our ideal lives and trying to find common ground where they overlap and compromise can happen.
Part of the issue is that we are newly FI.  It's only been about a year since we really achieved FI, so I realize I may be jumping the gun a bit (I've always been quicker to make decisions than him).
We did have a long talk (not as long as it will need to be, and too late in the day to be 100% focused), but he is open to other ideas.  He doesn't want to be a full time SAHD, as in, both of us at home together all day with the kids.  Thankfully, that's not exactly what I envisioned either.  I told him I would be happy for him to be "gone" 20 ish hrs/wk doing whatever (be it work, friends, hobbies, travel, etc).  For myself, I'd like a couple half days a week totally to myself.  Weekends and evenings would still be family time.  This sounded intriguing to him, but he still isn't as on board as I am.  He wants to give his career a minimum one full year where he really immerses himself, tries it out, and decides if it's for him.  Do I think this is a fair request?  Yes.  Am I still losing my mind "hanging around" for a year? Yes.
I'll talk with him again, but maybe in the interim I can plan some travel during the weeks with just me and the kids.  I know it will be super hard to travel alone with two little ones, but I think it's worth a try.  Maybe I'll still enjoy it more than the current set up.  Maybe he will decide traveling more with us is something he doesn't want to miss out on.
I'm pretty good at keeping my head down and working towards a goal.  If he told me- "I will for sure quit in three years." I could be totally happy right now.  It's the not knowing and wondering if I will always be waiting that is hard.  I know it isn't always easy to know what you are going to want in the future.  Heck, I never expected being a mother and stay at home mom to be the way that it is.  It's hard to predict these major life changes and how we will feel about them as we age.
Thankfully, I married someone who is very open-minded.  I think as long as we keep communication open and are trying to be aware of each others happiness we will be okay.  Thank you for everyone that reminded me about MY choices and how the only person I can control is myself. 

Sydneystache:
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Can he take some parental/carers leave or is that a no-go until tenure?

We talked about this.  According to my husband we "could have" taken maybe a semester off when our second was born but we can't really anymore, feasibly.  I mean anything is *possible*, but he said feasibly, it's not an option.

Alps- Yep, you're right.  Can't really argue with anything you said and actions do speak louder than words.  I will tell you though, that (as you know) academia is extremely demanding and when your peers all appear to be doing more than you, everything is a spectrum of compromises.  From his perspective he is doing the bare minimum he needs to be happy in his job, and I can't really speak to that because I'm not him.

Iplawyer- Just to clarify, we both want to spend more time together, not just me.  We both feel tired and stressed, not just me.  We are both looking for ways to improve our situation so everyone is happier.  I also said I would be happy with him dialing work back (not just quitting).  Why is it okay to tell me to 100% drop my part-time job but asking him to drop his is unreasonable? 

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And I honestly do think you are being selfish to insist he quit something he loves - even if he had a different dream to start with.
I'm never going to "insist" he quit.  My OP was asking for ways to help him see my side of things.  to convince him.  I've heard you say multiple times that I should quit / outsource the rental business.  You've asked how much time that takes and told me to outsource it.  I find it funny that so many people are asking about our rentals, which are what allow us to be FI, and saying to sell / get rid of them. 
Not one person has asked how much he works or how much time his job is taking.  It's just a hands down, "you can't ask him to quit".  That sort of feels like a double-standard.  My job is up for axing but his isn't.

sleepyguy-
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I think you're a bit to inflexible in that saying "isn't that anti-MMM?"... does it matter?  You say end of the day you feel tired and exhuased, etc.  Well the start outsourcing some of the things.   Put the kids in 1/2 day daycare.  Outsource house cleaning once very 2 weeks.  Pay for Lawn service.

You may have missed it but I already outsource a bunch.  All the things you listed (except daycare- we do have a part time mother's helper for the older child).   

Case-
Thank you for the thoughtful reflection; I really appreciate it
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Does your husband do research or only teach?  If he has a research group, then it gets even more complicated.  He'll have students attached to him for multiple years (5+ if it's PhD programs), and quitting wont be so easy (from a moral perspective).
He is supposed to be 70% research and 30% teaching, but his teaching duties were waived for his first year.  So, yeah, next year might be rough...

Something else I wanted to share with you, maybe to share with your husband:

Based on my experience (chemist speaking), some of the benefits of going the academic route are questionable.  Academics often tout their intellectual freedom, to work on what they want, as being a major plus.  But in industrial research in chemistry (not sure about ecology), you have plenty of opportunity to work on very interesting, fulfilling problems.  In fact, the industrial chemists often work on more important, more impactful problems.  So many academics pigeon-hole themselves into narrow scope areas of research which are entirely academic curiosities and don't matter to the world outside of academics.  Only a small handful end up having actual impact.  Compound that with the reality the funding sources are becoming stricter and stricter which encroaches into intellectual freedom... as soon as you abandon the lame excuse of 'intellectual freedom', the sooner you can open your eyes.

Once you accept that a very satisfying career can be had elsewhere, then he could instead look into a job elsewhere where he makes more money, isn't attached to an institution, and perhaps can more easily share your dreams of a fun FI life.

Better reasons to go into academics are if you have a passion for teaching, and/or a passion to exclusively control your own research group.  If he envisions himself having his own research group, training students, and this is his dream, then he has found the right place.

ChpBstrd

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2017, 04:23:56 PM »
I have a 2.5 year old, an MBA, and once planned to become an academic until I learned more about that career path.

I see two assumptions to reconsider:

1) What's the reasonable thing to do if money is no object: For you, it's family, fun, and travel. For him, it's being a professor. If he won the lottery, he'd be a professor. During my aborted doctoral program, I learned that the only people who become professors are those who absolutely want to do nothing else more in this world. This work is their idea of a good time. Not my cup of tea, although I still read the occasional research paper. This is the differing dreams problem others have pointed out. My DW and I also have differing dreams. I want to FIRE ASAP. She wants to SAHM now but accepts this as impossible because I don't earn enough.

2) It's best to spend lots of time with kids: Do some googling ( "early childhood education") and you'll find lots of research showing that kids in a quality preschool tend to develop better socially and -  umm - academically than kids who spend all day with one SAHP. All that societal guilt and your ideas about what being a good parent is about may be based on assumptions not supported by the evidence. It's more important that you are well off financially, not stressed all the time, and modeling a good relationship. What if you found a part-time or flexible day care option that could free up your time and reduce your stress for the next couple of years? It costs money, yes, but the kids would benefit from the socialization and curriculum (yes, they have a curriculum!). Not to mention the benefits to you and your marriage.

My kid started day care at 3 mos. Around her 2nd birthday she started singing the ABC's. Her vocabulary amd social skills are a year or two ahead of normal. Nice!

One last note - six months of counseling every other week has done wonders for my relationship. Get over the taboo and try it. Just shop carefully.

MayDay

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #64 on: March 07, 2017, 05:14:01 PM »
I will ditto the PP who suggested hiring daytime care for BOTH kids- so you can get stuff done during work hours and then have family time at night.

Your kids will get more than enough time with you to have the value of a SAHP if they go to a sitter or a daycare center for 10 hours a week.  Heck, make it 15 hours a week (3 long mornings or 2 full days) so you have time to do "you things".

Or, hire an actual nanny who would travel with you to help with the kids if you want to go on a M-F trip without your H. 

I get that you want to be around for your kids.  But there is SO SO SO much room between working full time+ and never seeing your kids, and having little to no childcare.  I know you have a mothers helper or sitter for your older child, but that is still ZERO time with no children.  '

You don't need to feel guilty for dumping them BOTH at a sitter for 10-15 hours a week while you pick your nose or whatever.  Parenting small children can suck donkey balls, and there is no need to torture yourself by doing it 24/7 if you can afford to hire out some childcare help.  Especially since, as several PP have noted, yours are old enough to get a lot of social benefit from it.

But I will say that the *idea* of traveling with small people is not as fun as the *reality*.  I cannot count the number of people who say they want to travel, and then they get an actual child who does things like:  not sleep on trips (or ever)* or decides not to poop until he/she gets home from a trip** or whatever.  You go through a few of those adventures, and even if your H was there, you might decide to just stay home until they are about 4.

*My child did not sleep on trips until he was 3-4.

** That same child decided not to poop on a trip once.  It did not end well.  After the great poop adventure we just stayed home for a couple years.

former player

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #65 on: March 07, 2017, 05:28:30 PM »
One further thought: why are you in suburbia?  You don't have to worry about the kids' schools yet, so might a town centre loft, or some other quirky housing type or location, feel better for you?

ChpBstrd

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #66 on: March 07, 2017, 05:51:08 PM »
I have a 2.5 year old, an MBA, and once planned to become an academic until I learned more about that career path.

I see two assumptions to reconsider:

1) What's the reasonable thing to do if money is no object: For you, it's family, fun, and travel. For him, it's being a professor. If he won the lottery, he'd be a professor. During my aborted doctoral program, I learned that the only people who become professors are those who absolutely want to do nothing else more in this world. This work is their idea of a good time. Not my cup of tea, although I still read the occasional research paper. This is the differing dreams problem others have pointed out. My DW and I also have differing dreams. I want to FIRE ASAP. She wants to SAHM now but accepts this as impossible because I don't earn enough.

2) It's best to spend lots of time with kids: Do some googling ( "early childhood education") and you'll find lots of research showing that kids in a quality preschool tend to develop better socially and -  umm - academically than kids who spend all day with one SAHP. All that societal guilt and your ideas about what being a good parent is about may be based on assumptions not supported by the evidence. It's more important that you are well off financially, not stressed all the time, and modeling a good relationship. What if you found a part-time or flexible day care option that could free up your time and reduce your stress for the next couple of years? It costs money, yes, but the kids would benefit from the socialization and curriculum (yes, they have a curriculum!). Not to mention the benefits to you and your marriage.

My kid started day care at 3 mos. Around her 2nd birthday she started singing the ABC's. Her vocabulary amd social skills are a year or two ahead of normal. Nice!

One last note - six months of counseling every other week has done wonders for my relationship. Get over the taboo and try it. Just shop carefully.

Forgot a third assumption:

3) It's less stressful and more fun when everyone is at home together. Actually, my DW and I argue more on the weekends than the work week. We argue about household crap. The kid's whining is no more tolerable with someone else there to hear it.

Alps

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #67 on: March 07, 2017, 11:20:12 PM »
First I want to second everybodys recommendation for more childcare. I have some additional childcare just for me to be at home, alone, in peace and quiet, and it has done a LOT to make me feel better about life.

He wants to give his career a minimum one full year where he really immerses himself, tries it out, and decides if it's for him.  Do I think this is a fair request?  Yes.  Am I still losing my mind "hanging around" for a year? Yes.

I think it's great that you guys are already talking and digging into the hard issues. But I can't help but be nitpicky here - your husband knows he's already "dug in" for half a year, right? So if he now says "just one year" he really means "one year from now, at least 1.5 years". Just sayin'. I actually think it makes sense to try out this kind of job for 2-3 years and not less, but not calling it as it is seems evasive to me.

Alps- Yep, you're right.  Can't really argue with anything you said and actions do speak louder than words.  I will tell you though, that (as you know) academia is extremely demanding and when your peers all appear to be doing more than you, everything is a spectrum of compromises.  From his perspective he is doing the bare minimum he needs to be happy in his job, and I can't really speak to that because I'm not him.

Yes, you can't know, but *seems* is the operative word here.. more time in the office != higher productivity, and even more papers != higher productivity (in an "original research" sense). We had a guy who finished in 3 years (in Europe that's not as outlandish as it'd be in the States, but still fast) with 5? 6? publications. Yet when I mentioned it to my advisor he was really dismissive and said that those papers were all the same and very simple. So there's that.

So many academics pigeon-hole themselves into narrow scope areas of research which are entirely academic curiosities and don't matter to the world outside of academics.  Only a small handful end up having actual impact.  Compound that with the reality the funding sources are becoming stricter and stricter which encroaches into intellectual freedom... as soon as you abandon the lame excuse of 'intellectual freedom', the sooner you can open your eyes.

Yeah, I agree completely. It is possible to work in a way to have "complete academic freedom" (see postdoc guy from my other post) but this usually won't end in tenure because you won't have published much/anything of interest to others. The successful people operate more like: 1) you choose what you like to do, i.e. general field of research, and then 2) optimize your actual research to what you know about the funding agencies' current main topics. Which incidentally change every few years. 3) publish the crap out of your research - you get an intuition about what amount of new findings are juuuust enough to get published. Once in a while you'd want to throw in a more meaty paper though, since some of the few other people in your exact slice of your research field will know about the relative paper qualities. Then you can combine two "just enough" papers into one. (for all academics reading this: I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but not much!)

If you truly want to immerse yourself in one specific problem and really explore it in-depth and along all possible angles... well, most people in academia would still have to do that in their free time (and I'm sure many of them do) because that kind of research doesn't mesh well with publishing expectations, even though much better papers are likely to come from this approach. In my opinion this is the draw of the emeritus status and why many profs don't retire properly - nobody bothers you anymore, but you have all the time and other resources you need to finally look into whatever problems you didn't have time for when you were a full professor, for as long as you want! It's like the dessert after the main course. But yeah, if you have kids, this type of research goes into the "hobby" category, sorry.

3) It's less stressful and more fun when everyone is at home together. Actually, my DW and I argue more on the weekends than the work week. We argue about household crap. The kid's whining is no more tolerable with someone else there to hear it.

Hahaha I love you right now. Though I will say that having both spouses home makes it possible for you to go "f*** this" and just leave/sleep for a while.

Alps

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #68 on: March 07, 2017, 11:26:16 PM »
Alps- Yep, you're right.  Can't really argue with anything you said and actions do speak louder than words.  I will tell you though, that (as you know) academia is extremely demanding and when your peers all appear to be doing more than you, everything is a spectrum of compromises.  From his perspective he is doing the bare minimum he needs to be happy in his job, and I can't really speak to that because I'm not him.

Yes, you can't know, but *seems* is the operative word here.. more time in the office != higher productivity, and even more papers != higher productivity (in an "original research" sense). We had a guy who finished in 3 years (in Europe that's not as outlandish as it'd be in the States, but still fast) with 5? 6? publications. Yet when I mentioned it to my advisor he was really dismissive and said that those papers were all the same and very simple. So there's that.

I forgot: and if he really is struggling and just barely making it with this amount of work, which is of course entirely possible, then this is not the right career choice for him in his current circumstances (small kids, unhappy spouse). Then he *would* choose his dream job over both you and his kids, which would be super crappy of him. Remember that he is not even teaching right now! Things will NOT get better next year workload-wise, they will get much worse.

Miss Growing Green

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2017, 05:19:03 PM »
Thanks again for the plethora of helpful advice.  I'm really starting to explore myself and conversations with my husband in ways I hadn't thought of before.

Quite a few of you have mentioned hiring more childcare.  I *promise* I'm not trying to shoot down every idea that gets thrown at me.  I'm willing to consider a bit more childcare, but honestly, it's something that nobody (myself, husband, or kids, feel very comfortable with).  I would be open to having someone work alongside me and help, but the idea of dropping the kids somewhere just doesn't resonate with me.  I realize parenting decisions can be extremely personal (and hence, many people can get quickly fired up about them).  I'll say upfront this is my own personal choice and does not imply any judgement on what anyone else is choosing to do.
ChipBstrd- in regards to your 2) assumption:
Quote
2) It's best to spend lots of time with kids: Do some googling ( "early childhood education") and you'll find lots of research showing that kids in a quality preschool tend to develop better socially and -  umm - academically than kids who spend all day with one SAHP. All that societal guilt and your ideas about what being a good parent is about may be based on assumptions not supported by the evidence. It's more important that you are well off financially, not stressed all the time, and modeling a good relationship. What if you found a part-time or flexible day care option that could free up your time and reduce your stress for the next couple of years? It costs money, yes, but the kids would benefit from the socialization and curriculum (yes, they have a curriculum!). Not to mention the benefits to you and your marriage.

I agree with a lot about what you said- a balance between being there for your kids and maintaining sanity and lowering stress when you are around them.
This is kind of an aside, but there are so many versions of being a SAHP.  On one end of the spectrum there is the parent who sits and home and does her own thing while the kids veg on the tv.  Of course that child is going to perform below a child who is placed in a quality preschool.  On the other end of the spectrum (where I feel I fall) is the parent who develops their own "curriculum" and makes opportunities to engage and teach their own child.  We have 3 days/week that we schedule socializing with peers (usually in an outdoor, gross motor environment), one day a week where we do something educational-focused (children's museum, desert museum, planetarium, etc), multiple "library story times" each week, and our home time is filled with helping me cook, doing crafts, reading books, building things (forts, towers), and just free playing.  We have little to no media time.  The mother's helper that comes 4 hrs/week brings her daughter and my son gets one on one interaction with a friend his age. I myself treat raising my children as an actual job, and often spend my free time during naps reading various child development and psychology books.  From what I've read and concluded, children younger than age 7 do not need strict "school-like" curricula, and will develop on par or exceed "schooled" children if they are given a stimulating environment, an engaged parent, and allowed to free play.

Anyway, that was a huge rant, but boils down to the idea that leaving my children with someone who is not as invested as I am, compounded with valid concerns about what can happen in childcare settings makes it a hard thing for me to be on board with.  I understand there is a balance, and as they get older, of course I will be more flexible with this rule (not trying to home school & shelter through adulthood, heh).  We practice attachment parenting pretty rigorously and don't ascribe to many standard American ideals about leaving kids in daycare all day (sorry, not meant to be offensive). 

Alright, to quickly answer questions/respond:
former player-
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I have a couple of thoughts I haven't seen mentioned yet -

1.  I don't think you are FIREd.  I think you have been clever and hard-working and have built up a business which is very profitable for the hours of work you put in.  You are a business owner and manager who works at her business most days of the week.  Don't undersell what you are continuing to do on this side of your life.

2.  I think you should try to do your business work during business hours.  As it is, with you working in the evening and your spouse presumably looking after the kids while you do that, you are limiting the family time you have together and not giving your spouse much of an incentive to cut out his evening work -he may well be thinking "if my wife is working in the evenings, why shouldn't I?  If you add in some extra childcare to match the time you spend on your business during the day, it will give you back your evenings together as a family for that quality time together that you value.
1. Thanks, and good point.
2. Good advice.  I am trying to get more done during the day.  Unfortunately, it feels like sacrificing "kid/parenting time" for evening time.  Just for clarification though, I do work after both kids are asleep (usually after 9 pm :/)

Cali Nonya-
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I'm kind of curious about Miss Growing Green's comment about it feeling like a double standard.  I'm sort of in the opposite case (female professional wanting to keep working).

Just a double standard from the M-F side or more just the working vrs non-working?

I meant a double standard from the Male-Female side.  I feel like we are both working (because raising kids IS a job :).

Sydneystache-
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Back to the OP - is there a Plan B if he does not get tenure? He shouldn't compare his situation to his colleagues as appearances can deceive and if comparison is the thief of happiness, how many of his colleagues have a SAHM who manages a property portfolio that is giving them a massive FIRE opportunity without the workplace bullshit? 
Plan B (we have always agreed on this... I think, haha) is to "retire" at least until the kids both start school regularly.  We can then (both) look for meaningful part-time work.  I don't think he is at risk for not getting tenure though... he's kinda top of his field / over-achiever

Case-
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Based on my experience (chemist speaking), some of the benefits of going the academic route are questionable.  Academics often tout their intellectual freedom, to work on what they want, as being a major plus.  But in industrial research in chemistry (not sure about ecology), you have plenty of opportunity to work on very interesting, fulfilling problems.  In fact, the industrial chemists often work on more important, more impactful problems.  So many academics pigeon-hole themselves into narrow scope areas of research which are entirely academic curiosities and don't matter to the world outside of academics.  Only a small handful end up having actual impact.  Compound that with the reality the funding sources are becoming stricter and stricter which encroaches into intellectual freedom... as soon as you abandon the lame excuse of 'intellectual freedom', the sooner you can open your eyes.
This is something we have talked about before.  In all the possible fields of science, he's in one of the most impactful, and his work is extremely relevant and useful (he is a climate change scientist- gathers satellite data and model predictions for future climate changes at a global scale).  But even knowing this, we both have talked about how little impact he will likely have on the world (especially depressing given the current administration).

MayDay-
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But I will say that the *idea* of traveling with small people is not as fun as the *reality*.  I cannot count the number of people who say they want to travel, and then they get an actual child who does things like:  not sleep on trips (or ever)* or decides not to poop until he/she gets home from a trip** or whatever.  You go through a few of those adventures, and even if your H was there, you might decide to just stay home until they are about 4.
Hahaha!  We have experienced the poop thing too!  I actually had to delete an AirBnB account because of a huge poop disaster with our oldest when we were in Costa Rica.  Won't go into the details but the unforgiving host left us a negative review :P

former player-
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One further thought: why are you in suburbia?  You don't have to worry about the kids' schools yet, so might a town centre loft, or some other quirky housing type or location, feel better for you?
Good idea.  We chose this location when we had 5 days to find housing here, but this summer are relocating VERY close to the university for a change of environment and to save on commuting time (I'll take any time I can get!)

Alps-
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Remember that he is not even teaching right now! Things will NOT get better next year workload-wise, they will get much worse.
I posed this thought to him after reading your comment and he thought work would be equal or easier... he posed the argument that he is preparing his (one) course this year, and his lab will be mostly set up this year, and all the "initial social obligations" of starting a new job will be done with by the second year.  Clearly we are both in uncharted territory though, so this was just his best guess.

former player

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2017, 07:07:18 PM »
I am trying to get more done during the day.  Unfortunately, it feels like sacrificing "kid/parenting time" for evening time.  Just for clarification though, I do work after both kids are asleep (usually after 9 pm :/)
I'm going to push back on this one.  You should not be doing your business work after 9pm.  This is a major reason why you are feeling tired, stressed, extremely busy and never have any time for yourself or your spouse.    At this time of night, with the kids asleep, you should be spending quality time with your husband and winding yourself down towards a good night's sleep.

Also, your children are not going to miss out on anything noticeable if you have someone come to the house to watch them for five hours a week while you get on with work during daylight hours.  You, your children and your relationship with your spouse are all going to do much better if you are not feeling tired and stressed, and if you can give quality time to yourself and to your relationship with your husband as well as to your children.  At the moment it seems to me as though you are giving all your quality time to your children and none to yourself or your husband.

Raising children is a marathon not a sprint.  Take a breath, slow down, take time.  Modelling a healthy lifestyle and a strong parental relationship is as important an experience for your children as all the other things you are teaching them.


Miss Growing Green

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #71 on: March 09, 2017, 07:31:08 PM »
Fair enough.
If I look critically at the time I spend working, it's 20-30 minutes each day during business hours for business calls / emails.  Probably another 20-30 minutes each evening for night-time work which primarily involves accounting (can be done anytime).  This is all variable though... sometimes I'll go weeks with no work, other times it's a few hours in a day when something major happens.
Anyway, I agree, if I got more done during the day I would be less tired at night.  There's no reason I can't have someone come watch both kids in the house while I work in the office for a 3-hour stretch and get all the paperwork done for the week.
That doesn't really change the fact that I already feel like I spend at least half my nights "doing my own thing" while husband works on his computer.  I guess if we could both agree to not do evening work it would make sense.  Thanks for the advice.

ChpBstrd

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2017, 08:27:58 PM »
It's no problem if you prefer to SAHM and/or homeschool, but like everything else, this involves a sacrifice of time. The business also involves a small sacrifice of time. Sleep, friendships, and marriages also require time. Having a home, or any physical asset, costs time. Maintaining your health costs time. Most of us skimp on at least a couple of the above, and wish we could have more of the good thing we don't have time for.

The various suggestions to (a) get childcare help, or (b) sell the business and invest passively in securities, reflect our realization that there are not enough hours in the day to do it all. You could operate at peak efficiency and still not have enough time if you've bitten off more than you can chew (more specifically, more than the clock can chew). The only way out is to drop something.

(Or, I suppose, you could also accept this overworked lifestyle as the best among all other options. It sounds like a pretty nice life, and if it was my life I would change a few things to suit my tastes. But you've made all the decisions to arrive at this point, so maybe you got exactly the life you engineered, and you're super-lucky / super-talented to be able to do so.)

Your business sounds like a sweet deal. I'd be reluctant to convert it into stocks/bonds for the sake of saving a few hours a week.

The childcare thing... eh, personally I'd challenge the assumptions, but if it's off the table from your perspective, it's off the table.

All that's left to recommend are shorter showers, not washing clothes after just one wear, or automatic bill pay! With the big items off the table, there's not much else that can be done. It's either big change or acceptance.

Scortius

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2017, 08:44:53 PM »
Not a whole lot to add, but I will say that we're in a similar situation and in many ways we feel trapped when everyone else would think of how fortunate we are (and we are at that).  There isn't a quick and easy answer, and honestly it's really fucking tough!  That said, I do know it will get better, and you need to realize that too.

Our quick background.  Wife and I met in grad school and we had two kids while we both pursued our PhDs.  When we met, she was way ahead of me.  That changed very quickly once the kids came and I finally finished last year and got a very good job.  Meanwhile, my wife found a fantastic opportunity of her own that allowed her to make good money from home, but between that and the kids, there's no more time for her for anything else.  It's tough because it was always the idea that we'd get me through, and then we'd focus on her, but of course that never works the way you imagine because now my job keeps me from being home with the flexibility I used to have in grad school.

Our kids are now 4.5 and 1.5.  Holy crap, it's tough.  It's so damn difficult to get to the end of the day and have any spare brain power to talk to each other or do something that needs doing.  I'm sure it's the same for you.  We have our oldest in half-day preschool and I would highly recommend something like that for you at the very least.  It's good for our daughter and it's good for my wife too.  Once my son turns 2, he'll go half days as well, and I desperately hope that we will finally start to see some improvements for my wife.

But, until then, my wife still has her PhD hanging over her head, a job that's too good to walk away from, and a husband who hopefully tries his best, but can only do so much while working full-time.  My wife doesn't care about her studies, but I know if she quit her PhD after everything it would haunt her, I just don't know how to get her the time she needs to finish.

That said, I do know that as my youngest hits 2, and then 3, things will get easier for her.  No more sleepless nights.  Time at home with no children at all!  Soon they'll be in public school and I hope to look back on this stage thinking of it as our trial by fire.  I hope the same for you!

As for your husband, walking away from a tenure-track job is a tough tough thing to ask for.  You could talk about supporting him up until he gets tenure, and then asking him to take a step back, but that may be too late.  You could maybe talk to him about maintaining an appointment with his department, but only working and doing research at his leisure.  I imagine it also depends on his funding situation.  It's hard to walk away from grants that other faculty and students depend on for salary and stipends.  On the other hand, a tenured professor may be one of the more secure, best paying, and flexible jobs available in the US... given that the professor is willing to take a step back from the pre-tenure push.  This won't be a problem fixed over a single nights chat, but I hope over time you and your husband can come to a place of mutual acceptance.

FIFoFum

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2017, 10:41:31 PM »
Tenure is roughly a 7 year clock. It takes 3 years to be remotely "settled in" - courses are way harder the first time you teach them, for people with labs/grad students to manage, that takes time, grants are often multi-year processes, etc. I am not sure where this "1 year to try it" idea comes from. It's not realistic about what it means to try out academia. 

Also, your version of stay at home parenting is essentially creating pre-school/enrichment full-time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I appreciate your honest discussion about what is important to you, what you value, and being true to that. My perspective is that if I'm someone who is working a tenure track job as junior faculty at an R1 university (which I once upon a time actually was), there is no way I'd trade my professor job to be a preschool counselor/teacher, even for my own kids. I don't know any people - of any gender - who landed tenure track jobs who would make that call either in the first 5+ years of the job.

I'd be realistic about where the check-in points may come for your spouse to opt out of this life. They are likely to be a lot further down the road than you are considering.

bugbaby

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2017, 11:34:06 PM »
A person's profession is often a core part of their identity. That has historically always been so, especially for men (women commonly gained social identity via marriage and motherhood in addition to any profession).

Regardless of whether at one time he thought he'd be willing to give that up, I just don't see how it's fair to demand it, ever.

That's a separate discussion from finances.


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cats

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Re: How to convince my husband to quit his job?
« Reply #76 on: March 10, 2017, 05:51:48 AM »
I know you have said you aren't interested in daycare/preschool yet, but I still think you should consider it :) As I was reading about all the things you do for your kids (really treating parenting like a job), I wondered if your husband would insist on doing the same if the tables were reversed.  Or do you think he might be a little more "average"?  If you think he would fall more towards the middle of the parenting engagement spectrum, putting your older kid in a good play-based preschool for a few mornings a week really might not be that different from the level of engagement your child would get if he were getting more of the day-to-day parenting from your husband.  I'm not saying you have to look into daycare/preschool, but if I were you I would at least look around at what the local options are and see if there are any you feel comfortable with. 

Aside from that, I agree with the sentiment many others have posted--that it's unlikely someone capable of landing a tenure track job is just going to walk away from it.  I have a PhD myself and chose to go into industry, partly for the money, but mostly because I just didn't have the passion for research I saw in colleagues who were willing/able to negotiate the academic job search.  For the folks who can do it, it really is something of a calling.