Author Topic: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!  (Read 16131 times)

former player

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #50 on: March 07, 2015, 12:56:49 PM »
To be honest, I'm feeling a bit sorry for OP's husband.  He thought he was getting an intellectually engaged, educated and dynamic person with ideas about making their way in life in an interesting way, and has ended up with a stay-at-home wife with an expensive education she doesn't use, who isn't bringing in any money and who pressured him into having kids before he wanted - he's basically ended up with someone who is channelling the life his grandmother probably led in the 1950s, while he is working far too hard in a brutal environment (I've heard about Amazon as a place of work: I'd be looking hard at early retirement too if I worked there).

I can understand why so many people here have suggested working on communication.  But honestly, I don't think that's the solution: more talking is just going to leave things as they are, and things as they are are not working.  I think the solution is for OP to (wo)man up and actually do something that helps their family more than just being a stay at home mom.  The obvious easy win is being paid for childcare.  Unfortunately, if OP is spending much of her time at home buried in her earphones and listening to anything other than her own kids (do they have an electronic babysitter, too?), I'm not sure it's a good answer.  So the other answer is to get moving on the writing career, which is done by applying bum to seat and writing out the words.

Also, if she is not careful, OP will end up in her mid-forties with both kids off her hands, a husband who is still resentful (if he is still around) and not a single clue about making her own financial way in the world and no achievements to her name.  That's not a good look for any woman.

Emilyngh

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #51 on: March 07, 2015, 01:13:39 PM »
To be honest, I'm feeling a bit sorry for OP's husband.  He thought he was getting an intellectually engaged, educated and dynamic person with ideas about making their way in life in an interesting way, and has ended up with a stay-at-home wife with an expensive education she doesn't use, who isn't bringing in any money and who pressured him into having kids before he wanted - he's basically ended up with someone who is channelling the life his grandmother probably led in the 1950s, while he is working far too hard in a brutal environment (I've heard about Amazon as a place of work: I'd be looking hard at early retirement too if I worked there).

Unfortunately, if OP is spending much of her time at home buried in her earphones and listening to anything other than her own kids (do they have an electronic babysitter, too?), I'm not sure it's a good answer.  So the other answer is to get moving on the writing career, which is done by applying bum to seat and writing out the words.

FTR, being a SAHP in no way is mutually exclusive from being intellectually engaged, educated and dynamic.   Nor is it channeling the life of ones grandmother in the 1950s.   And I'm very confused regarding what the earphones comment has to do with anything, let alone the "electronic babysitter" unless it's just an attempt to pull-in an irrelevant put-down through questioning her mothering?

Also, if she is not careful, OP will end up in her mid-forties with both kids off her hands, a husband who is still resentful (if he is still around) and not a single clue about making her own financial way in the world and no achievements to her name.  That's not a good look for any woman.

Well, the flip of this is that if her DH isn't careful he can wind up in his mid-forties with a wife who's resentful (if she's still around, in which case he might be even more resentful with hefty child support and alimony payments).   Although, I absolutely disagree that being a SAHP counts as "no achievements to her name."   Isn't this the MMM board where paid work is not automatically valued as some end-all-be-all?   

And whaaaat-the-fuck regarding the "good look for a woman" comment?   Who the fuck cares about about how they "look" to others, especially to men (which is what the comment seems to imply) unless you are again just trying to make some kind of sexist dig.

The OP may have some things to work on, but clearly so does her DH.   Responding to her post asking for help by putting down the work of SAHPs and basically implying that choosing to be one makes her "unintellectually engaged," achievement-less, and not "looking good" (what-ever-the-fuck that was referring) is pretty shitty.   IMHO of course. 

frugaldrummer

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #52 on: March 07, 2015, 01:31:40 PM »
I've been a SAHM and a highly paid professional in a prestigious occupation. SAHM is harder, hands down. And if both partners value a SAHM, that's great.
Unfortunately my ex didn't value it, I'm sure he imagined I was home eating bon bons while he slaved away, and the resentments on both sides were corrosive to our marriage.

The power dynamics around money would surely be better if OP could bring in some income. And if not, at least she could do a bang up job of controlling costs. 

former player

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2015, 02:44:26 PM »
To be honest, I'm feeling a bit sorry for OP's husband.  He thought he was getting an intellectually engaged, educated and dynamic person with ideas about making their way in life in an interesting way, and has ended up with a stay-at-home wife with an expensive education she doesn't use, who isn't bringing in any money and who pressured him into having kids before he wanted - he's basically ended up with someone who is channelling the life his grandmother probably led in the 1950s, while he is working far too hard in a brutal environment (I've heard about Amazon as a place of work: I'd be looking hard at early retirement too if I worked there).

Unfortunately, if OP is spending much of her time at home buried in her earphones and listening to anything other than her own kids (do they have an electronic babysitter, too?), I'm not sure it's a good answer.  So the other answer is to get moving on the writing career, which is done by applying bum to seat and writing out the words.
FTR, being a SAHP in no way is mutually exclusive from being intellectually engaged, educated and dynamic.   Nor is it channeling the life of ones grandmother in the 1950s.
 
I agree I'm doling out a facepunch here, but what I'm getting from OP's posts is someone who has a good education they never used, who made the choice to work in a teashop rather than go after a career job, who got married and had kids in their 20s, who is a SAHM with no income other than that of her full-time working husbands's.  That puts OP clearly in a demographic that was the norm several decades ago. 

And I'm very confused regarding what the earphones comment has to do with anything, let alone the "electronic babysitter" unless it's just an attempt to pull-in an irrelevant put-down through questioning her mothering?

I got the earphones thing from this quote
"--I currently spend much of my day with my headphones in one ear listening to podcasts, audiobooks, YouTube videos, etc, it's one of the few things I can do with the little ones underfoot!"

Also, if she is not careful, OP will end up in her mid-forties with both kids off her hands, a husband who is still resentful (if he is still around) and not a single clue about making her own financial way in the world and no achievements to her name.  That's not a good look for any woman.
Well, the flip of this is that if her DH isn't careful he can wind up in his mid-forties with a wife who's resentful (if she's still around, in which case he might be even more resentful with hefty child support and alimony payments).   Although, I absolutely disagree that being a SAHP counts as "no achievements to her name."   Isn't this the MMM board where paid work is not automatically valued as some end-all-be-all?   

And whaaaat-the-fuck regarding the "good look for a woman" comment?   Who the fuck cares about about how they "look" to others, especially to men (which is what the comment seems to imply) unless you are again just trying to make some kind of sexist dig.'

I agree that the way things are going for OP at the moment don't seem long-term wonderful for either party to the marriage.  SAHP is a team job, not one which the OP can claim for herself alone.  And MMM says paid work is not automatically valued as some end-all-be-all, but earning your own way in the world is so valued.

The OP may have some things to work on, but clearly so does her DH.   Responding to her post asking for help by putting down the work of SAHPs and basically implying that choosing to be one makes her "unintellectually engaged," achievement-less, and not "looking good" (what-ever-the-fuck that was referring) is pretty shitty.   IMHO of course.
I agree both parties to the marriage have something to work on.  I'm not putting down the work of SAHPs, but both OP and OP's husband seem to think there is an issue with her not using her education and potential to its best effect on behalf of the family.  And my final sentence was intended to suggest that if OP can start her way to earning money in her 20s it will be a lot easier for her than starting in a minimum wage job in her 40s with no pension and few prospects - the earnings differential between men and women still at work in late middle age is frightening for any woman to contemplate.

justajane

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2015, 07:05:10 PM »
To be honest, I'm feeling a bit sorry for OP's husband.  He thought he was getting an intellectually engaged, educated and dynamic person with ideas about making their way in life in an interesting way, and has ended up with a stay-at-home wife with an expensive education she doesn't use, who isn't bringing in any money and who pressured him into having kids before he wanted - he's basically ended up with someone who is channelling the life his grandmother probably led in the 1950s, while he is working far too hard in a brutal environment (I've heard about Amazon as a place of work: I'd be looking hard at early retirement too if I worked there).

I can understand why so many people here have suggested working on communication.  But honestly, I don't think that's the solution: more talking is just going to leave things as they are, and things as they are are not working.  I think the solution is for OP to (wo)man up and actually do something that helps their family more than just being a stay at home mom.  The obvious easy win is being paid for childcare.  Unfortunately, if OP is spending much of her time at home buried in her earphones and listening to anything other than her own kids (do they have an electronic babysitter, too?), I'm not sure it's a good answer.  So the other answer is to get moving on the writing career, which is done by applying bum to seat and writing out the words.

Also, if she is not careful, OP will end up in her mid-forties with both kids off her hands, a husband who is still resentful (if he is still around) and not a single clue about making her own financial way in the world and no achievements to her name.  That's not a good look for any woman.

Ugh, this is just across the board awful and unnecessarily nasty.

urbanista

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2015, 03:07:18 AM »
working far too hard in a brutal environment (I've heard about Amazon as a place of work: I'd be looking hard at early retirement too if I worked there).

Oh, cry me a river. If he is so good that Amazon hired him, he would have absolutely no issues getting another, less stressful job. So, if he stays there, it means he likes it.

I am a woman juggling a full-time work, 75% load in a graduate school in a highly challenging major (I take a couple of advanced CS classes, they seem like a walk in the park in comparison with my major), 90% of home chores with raising a 3 year old. The hardest thing of all is parenting. I would love to get a SAHP to do most of the parenting and all the house work for me. Unfortunately, DH would never agree to that. Because it's hard!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 03:11:50 AM by urbanista »

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2015, 03:50:46 AM »
Ugh, this is just across the board awful and unnecessarily nasty.
Possibly.  But I'm not getting a good feeling from the OP's posts.  Her maths about her age/dates in her first post has got to be wrong.  There are inconsistencies in her various statements about the early course of her relationship/marriage.  She appears to have deliberately got pregnant aged 23/24, quite possibly before she and her husband were married and certainly when she knew her husband wanted to wait until they were financially secure.  She has got a BA in English but never earned the money to pay back her student loans.  She has several times lost money on "businesses" (MLM, maybe?) and needed her husband to bail her out.  She says her main skill is writing, but didn't pursue an opportunity to be a technical writer at Amazon, says "shoot me" if she ever has to apply those writing skills to writing code, and doesn't appear to be currently writing anything.   She is proposing not to earn any money for the next 4-5 years, but is asking about spending money now on artsy hobbyist things which could become a "career" in 4-5 years.   She says that if she does earn money she wants to put it towards her priorities rather than putting it in the family budget.  She states that her husband is an honorable, loyal, hard-working, sweet, loving husband and father who has been burned one too many times, who finds it impossible to trust her, that he feels betrayed and that it's a wound which won't heal.

The regular grocery bills are unmustachian and even then sometimes she lets them get away from her.  She says she saves money buying at Goodwill and then says she buys unnecessary stuff there.  She says she gets angry and has outbursts demanding money.   She says she pulls her weight with the housekeeping but says her husband came home from work and had to make dinner from scratch.  Her questions when she came on the forum were all about asking for permission to spend more money.

Most of that seems to me to be the opposite of mustachian and deserving of facepunches.  It also puts the OP in a vulnerable position: no money of her own, no viable plan for earning money of her own, no apparently real intention to buckle down and do so in the future once her kids are a bit older, no solid marriage partnership as backup.  I hope her marriage works out (it sounds as though she has married a hard-working, good man) but there seem to me to be fundamental problems with the marriage and if it doesn't work out, without some serious attitude changes I think her financial future would not be looking good.

Cornelia

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2015, 08:30:46 AM »
As a SAMH of a 5 and 2 year old, I totally hear you on the sanity/wanting to find a creative outlet etc. I remember having some very hard days when I felt the endless cycle of mothering two very small kiddos had drained all the artistic/creative out of me and I couldn't find any opportunity to just focus (ah! sweet focus, something we take for granted when we don't have kids, and when you do have kiddos, especially high needs ones, even going to the bathroom by yourself is a blessing) When times are tough and I feel my sense of purpose/self/etc. slipping I just remind myself this is a season of life. My kids are growing up so fast! My 2 year old will, eventually not nurse and will sleep through the night. They will need me just a little less as time marches on, and I will get a little more of my time back. This physically and mentally demanding time with little ones will pass, hang in there!

If you are a writer- then write! Writing is free (wahoo!) and if you feel that you don't have time to write, maybe just dedicate one month a year to it for now. Have you heard of Nanowrimo? (National Novel writing month?) It's a bunch of crazy people that decide to write a 50 000 word novel in the month of November. There is a great support community on their forums, and may even be a local group around where you live so you could go to write-ins on weekends in Nov. when your Dh is at home and can watch the kids. I have been doing Nanowrimo for the last 8 years and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I even have a few passable novels that when I have a bit more time, I intend to make presentable and self-publish on Amazon Kindle (also free, or close to free!).

About the kiddos education (ie. Montessori, preschool, college fund etc.) definitely something you and your DH should talk about and decide a plan of action. Our oldest is in Montessori, and it was a big joint decision. We decided the values are worth it to us to get her started on the right foot. We only contribute a little to the college fund, and have no intention of paying their whole way through post-secondary. It's give and take- what are the values your family wants to instill?

mm1970

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2015, 09:14:19 AM »
Technically, the ship never existed, since we agreed early in our relationship one of us would stay at home with the kids, and we both always wanted kids (he actually wanted MORE kids than I did, but he changed his tune recently now that we have 2 ;)

To be fair to him, the one point that he still struggles with was that he wanted to wait a few more years to start the family so we could be in a better position financially before they came, and I did not want to wait. You can guess who 'won' that one--for better or for worse, we are happy with it now--he was even the one that pushed to get pregnant with #2 when we did--but he is still regretful that we weren't better off before we started on the 'family path,' and I struggle with that, too. I was just afraid there was never going to be a 'right time' and that it would get pushed off forever, but I think that was unfounded fear because he really DID want a family and IS a wonderful dad.
Yeah I understand what you are saying. But, get over it? The kids are here. Sure the timeline wasn't ideal. Water under the bridge. Now, I'm not a fan of women who trick men and get pregnant (not saying you did that!) But he could have easily held off having kids if he wanted to with BC.

Make a new plan. He should stop dwelling on the old one. I think people underestimate the value of a SAHP.

adkarmol

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2015, 09:58:34 AM »
 
Her maths about her age/dates in her first post has got to be wrong.  There are inconsistencies in her various statements about the early course of her relationship/marriage.  She appears to have deliberately got pregnant aged 23/24, quite possibly before she and her husband were married and certainly when she knew her husband wanted to wait until they were financially secure.  She has got a BA in English but never earned the money to pay back her student loans.  She has several times lost money on "businesses" (MLM, maybe?) and needed her husband to bail her out.  She says her main skill is writing, but didn't pursue an opportunity to be a technical writer at Amazon, says "shoot me" if she ever has to apply those writing skills to writing code, and doesn't appear to be currently writing anything.   She is proposing not to earn any money for the next 4-5 years, but is asking about spending money now on artsy hobbyist things which could become a "career" in 4-5 years.   She says that if she does earn money she wants to put it towards her priorities rather than putting it in the family budget.  She states that her husband is an honorable, loyal, hard-working, sweet, loving husband and father who has been burned one too many times, who finds it impossible to trust her, that he feels betrayed and that it's a wound which won't heal.

The regular grocery bills are unmustachian and even then sometimes she lets them get away from her.  She says she saves money buying at Goodwill and then says she buys unnecessary stuff there.  She says she gets angry and has outbursts demanding money.   She says she pulls her weight with the housekeeping but says her husband came home from work and had to make dinner from scratch.  Her questions when she came on the forum were all about asking for permission to spend more money.

Ok, ok, ok, OP here:
Former player, I appreciate you standing up for my husband--I really do--but some of your accusations are just a little strong. Some of them are right, I DO deserve some face punches, but some are just a little... low, and in my opinion, seem to indicate some personal background that causes assumptions that are not relevant to our situation.

1) DH & I met October 31, 2008.
We moved to Albuquerque, NM in September, 2009.
Married August 14th, 2010.
Our daughter was born August 11th, 2012.
Moved to Seattle, WA January, 2014.
Our son was born July 29th, 2014.

2) Yes, DH did bail me out. No arguments there. One venture, DH was a part of and we both sort of screwed that one up, but the bulk of that failure still also rests on me, plus the others. (For example, I started a web & graphic design company with someone that then backed out on me in a matter of months and left us with the bill. I count myself responsible for that failure for many reasons.)

3) I did not turn down a tech writer job at Amazon. We were living in New Mexico at the time, it was for a staffing firm that was associated with the facility DH worked for on the air force base. And I had the chance for a second interview I turned down, not a job offer. Doesn't diminish my responsibility or fault, but that's the exact truth in case you were wondering.

4) I have not spent any family money on any personal or artistic pursuits since 2011, including childcare. (We literally have not spent a dime on childcare. We only go on dates when family visits from across the country a few times a year.)

5) The scratch meal DH prepared last week was the first time in foreseeable memory that I had not had something available for dinner, and he was happy to do it. He does not do any housework besides helping me with the kids when he is home.

6) I am an intellectually-engaged, dynamic, and educated person. I graduated with my degree with Distinction (3.8 GPA) from the University of Michigan, and find being a stay-at-home mom extremely difficult because of the isolation and lack of adult interaction and intellectual stimulation. That is why I like to have my earbuds in one ear, so I can still learn and grow WHILE I am doing my job of taking care of my children and my house (I actually find I am MORE productive when I am engaged mentally in something interesting because it is exciting and energizing to be learning and engaged). I have taken time to surround myself with other intelligent, educated, interesting mothers so that our playdates can be rewarding for both me and my kids.

I have been misguided, thoughtless, and depressed (have had low-grade depression since I was 10, seen countless therapists, diagnosed with PPD after my daughter was born but refused meds, and have since overcome it completely since 2012 with diet, exercise, and vitamins--I am a new person), but I have gone a long way towards maturing and taking responsibility for my past failures. Part of my desire for some breaks is so I can actually BE that person my husband fell in love with, and that is unfortunately an all-too-common problem for a stay-at-home parent, becoming subsumed by exhaustion and 'kid stuff.' I love my children with all my heart and soul, but I am a person in my own right as well, and am seeking ways to find my way back to myself in ways that won't affect my family until they can be a source of financial contribution.

5) I see how everyone's 'pseudo/wannabe-writer red flags' are going up right now (I have one of those, too). I did do NANOWRIMO a few years ago, and at one point, I was writing full-time (my daughter was an amazing napper for a while!). I am NOT one of those 'I have so many good ideas if only I could put them on paper!' people (ugh). (My favorite book on art is Steven Pressfield's The War of Art--what a delicious kick in the pants!) That time period when I was writing full-time, though it was only a few months, I almost had a piece accepted into a publication. Not great, but I was personally emailed by the editor saying she loved it, so that was nice. Unfortunately, the move to Seattle (I stayed behind in New Mexico for a month while DH started his new job in Seattle to manage the preparations to sell our house) and the birth of my son has temporarily taken my time to work down to zero. (I was still writing when he was first born, but it quickly got too difficult. At the height of my pregnancy last summer while chasing my 2 year old around and getting moved into our rental house, I didn't get much done. So sue me.)

I have been published previous to our marriage as well, but I am currently starting to look at fiction as something I will keep as just a hobby until we reach FIRE, and will probably focus on blogs and non-fiction as a more reasonably-profitable pursuit (currently have a lot of material for a blog and/or book(s) in the works, including a 'guide to thrift shopping,' and have been talking with DH about some app and web development collaborations).

6) I am not proposing to spend any money on my artistic pursuits, and that includes childcare.

DH and I talked last night, and here is the plan:
I will do my JOB managing the home, kids, and finances (because it is a more-than-full-time job, as others have also said) until they are both in school. I will 'figure myself out' and get work done towards my own pursuits on my own time and with my own discretionary funds during this time. When the kids both go to school, at that point, I will either have a clear plan and some work already done towards my own career and 'scale it up,' or if it is not already at point of profitability, I will set aside my own work and take on the responsibility of getting a job to at LEAST get our spending/saving ratio to 60/40, whatever that means at that point (wherever DH's base salary and our spending is at).
 
In the past few days, with the help of this forum, I have come up with ways to save the family a lot more money in the mean time, and we are going to pursue twice-monthly childcare for our 2 year old so that I can get some things done (I have done the math, and even with paid childcare, I can still save the family a lot--we make mistakes when we are stressed that I can fix with just a little time without my older child underfoot, plus she would hugely benefit from that time with other kids, as others have said.) I have also begun to form a neighborhood babysitting co-op this past week, so I may be able to get that childcare for free in return for watching other children part of the week.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 10:10:59 AM by adkarmol »

Cpa Cat

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2015, 11:11:03 AM »
Have you looked at Elance for writing? I understand that the competition can be fierce among writers on that site, but that it is possible to make money. There are some great guides to working Elance that have been written specifically by writers, for writers.

Also, there is a free membership, which allows you access to one category (all you need), and gives a limited number of opportunities to bid on jobs. For someone casual, that's probably all you need.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 06:53:01 PM by Cpa Cat »

lise

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #61 on: March 08, 2015, 11:13:17 AM »
Adkarmol - I like that your latest post has a plan at the end!  I hate that you had to explain yourself in so much detail to another poster ... but it was a good read - you are a good writer... ;-)  I often stop 3 sentences in on a length post. 

KCM5

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #62 on: March 09, 2015, 07:45:34 AM »
Regarding the babysitting coop - the one I'm a part of using sittingaround.com to organize. Its free and pretty easy to use. And I think the coop is a great idea. Getting a break from full time child care is really important and while we also have no family around, we use our babysitting coop about every other month or so and it really makes a difference. Also, the coop kind of creates a community so you're comfortable and know the other families involved.

ysette9

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #63 on: March 09, 2015, 09:01:35 AM »
I really feel for you, OP. Your situation sounds incredibly tough to the point of almost being untenable in my opinion, and you seem to be maintaining a great attitude. Even defending yourself against some truly mean-spirited attacks here on this thread was done with more grace than I could have mustered in the same position.

My overall impression of your posts is that you are suffering from a lack of self esteem which makes your husband able to act like the big boss in the household. Personally I didn't have much self esteem or sense when I graduated from college in my early 20s. Time and setting out on a productive career has done wonders for that. If you can manage to swing it between all of your other responsibilities (I totally agree with other posters that being the stay-at-home parent is the harder job), I strongly encourage you to pursue some kind of career. Yes, it would be nice to bring in some money, but I honestly think the most important part is for you to build that sense of personal identity and self worth. It would completely change the dynamics of your relationship. Your husband might respect you more but more importantly, YOU would respect you more and not let him throw more than his fair share of weight around.

Incidentally, I now have a 9-month old and have really had my eyes opened to how hard it is to care for a little dependent being. I can remember being home on maternity leave, sitting in a chair with my baby, crying for being so totally overwhelmed, and thinking that engineering at Cal and Stanford (where I went for undergrad and grad) was far easier than caring for this little loaf of bread. Until you have been in this situation yourself, it is close to impossible to imagine how hard it really is.

CestMoi

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2015, 04:06:21 PM »
Re: I thought he was my knight in shining armor/patron who was going to support all my big artistic dreams

Was your husband (then-boyfriend) aware of and on board with this expectation? Self-sufficiency is a kind of mantra for me. I don't think it's a good idea for anyone to rely on others to facilitate their dreams. If you’re self-sufficient, then any outside help you happen to receive is gravy.

I know from my own experience how difficult it is to battle depression and be a creative in the working world. But it can be done. Start small and build from there. The mistakes you made in the past are over. Focus on improving things; focus on your goals of self-realization.

Some creatives wouldn't have taken my approach to working and postponing what I love doing for years, in order to ultimately be able to do it freely. When I finally do what I love on my own terms, I won't consider it work in the same sense I consider going to a corporate job every day for twenty-odd years to be difficult work. While doing what I love should be challenging, it won't be "work" to me. One secret is finding the work that isn't "work" for you, whatever that is, and making it happen responsibly. But it's not a competition. There's no prize waiting for the person who can prove they had it the toughest.

adkarmol

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #65 on: March 09, 2015, 04:34:00 PM »
Re: I thought he was my knight in shining armor/patron who was going to support all my big artistic dreams

Was your husband (then-boyfriend) aware of and on board with this expectation? Self-sufficiency is a kind of mantra for me. I don't think it's a good idea for anyone to rely on others to facilitate their dreams. If you’re self-sufficient, then any outside help you happen to receive is gravy.

I know from my own experience how difficult it is to battle depression and be a creative in the working world. But it can be done. Start small and build from there. The mistakes you made in the past are over. Focus on improving things; focus on your goals of self-realization.

Some creatives wouldn't have taken my approach to working and postponing what I love doing for years, in order to ultimately be able to do it freely. When I finally do what I love on my own terms, I won't consider it work in the same sense I consider going to a corporate job every day for twenty-odd years to be difficult work. While doing what I love should be challenging, it won't be "work" to me. One secret is finding the work that isn't "work" for you, whatever that is, and making it happen responsibly. But it's not a competition. There's no prize waiting for the person who can prove they had it the toughest.

DH and I both remember this conversation we had soon after we met that went something like this:
Me: "One of my dreams is to own an art gallery" (I have worked at many).
DH: "We will do whatever it takes to make that happen. If we have to live over the gallery while you get it going, that's what we'll do."

The problem is, we were in two different worlds. He was hyper-realistic, late-twenties, had already had had a job he wasn't happy with so he went back for the MA to get to something much better, and was just about done with his MA and about to have the career he'd dreamed about since he knew what a computer was (or however he'd describe it :). I was a depressed-but-enthusiastic artsy type, young twentysomething, just about to graduate with $24k in loans and a degree I knew meant nothing (people always told me 'just get the degree, you'll be happy you did'--I always hated college, and went to a total of 4 different schools in 4.5 years, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago). Part of depression for me was the implicit, self-sabotaging belief that 'once someone else saves me, that means I'm worth saving, and will not be depressed anymore.' But even so, I always have had big dreams and drive, I just didn't know how to actually DO it in a 'feet on the ground'/healthy way. I am a 'follow your passions' Montessori kid, and I understood the 'big picture,' but not how the world really works.

So you can see where the miscommunications could go totally haywire. When we were preparing to move after he got the job offer in Albuquerque, he started asking me about getting a job, and I was like... Uh... Didn't you say you would support my dreams? Don't you know art takes time and space and can't be rushed? Blah, blah, blah. And he, alternately, was like... Uh... Didn't you say you had all this drive and all these dreams? How do you expect to make them come true if you don't work to pay for it? Blah, blah, blah. (He doesn't understand what it means to work and live as a creative person, and I only now am getting a small clue about what it means to be a super-driven, high-powered career person. We are as opposite as it gets.)

Now, I see that no one can 'save' me but me, and my life and self-worth has steadily been on the rise as I do actual, daily, real work towards actual, daily, real goals that are still in line with those big dreams. That was a huge contributor to the depression ebbing, and I partially credit my husband for, if not always well-communicated, teaching me this truth. I think that's why we are still together and in love: Underneath him appearing to 'control' me and tell me what to do, he was trying to help me find my self-worth, he just didn't know how to say it in a way that I understood for a long time.


iknowiyam

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Re: Wife of a Sole-Breadwinner Mustachian: Mom Seeking Advice!
« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2015, 04:48:01 PM »
1. I think you guys would benefit from an understanding relationship therapist.
This. You mention your spouse not trusting you and saying you "owe" him -- these are problems that definitely need to be worked through! I think all of the other issues (more time away from kids, launching an art career) can be handled much more easily when you guys rebuild a "Team Us", where sacrifices are not made to the other person but to the relationship.

Agree. Too many people think of therapy as a last resort and not the first step to something better. My husband is contributing more and more to our finances as I contribute less now... I feel bad but not because of anything he has said or done. It is our money, he would say.

Also, you may be interested in the many women's rights and feminist articles out there explaining and even calculating the amount money worth of free labour women provide on a national and global scale. Still, this may add fuel the fire rather than helping... so maybe save it until the counseling is underway.