Go back to work full time
Go back to work part time - about 10 hours a week
Go part time for 20ish hours a week
Stay home untill the kids go to college or forever
Stay home for a limited amount of time (several years)
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Personally that isn't my choice but I don't see why it should imply that it wasn't a personal decision agreed to by both partners. While I am not providing income I am more than making up for providing for my family in basically every other way. That is the system DH and I set in place as partners in sustaining our family and we are both comfortable with it. We both have life insurance and while I don't bring in any income if DH were to suddenly die I would be fine for at least a year where I can get my resources together and support myself and my children. I don't have any doubt I will be fine and make it on my own if I had to. But for now we are working as partners in a situation we think is optimal for our family.
I think these are good questions, the interesting thing where I live (so could be cultural) is that most sahm I know have given up a career, not just a job... the 15-20 in my circle (not close friends but general people I know) are all college educated women who left the workforce to stay home... now most of that circle is from church so that may be an interesting question as well... Also interestingly the older women from my church past child rearing age are mostly all at home still, most volunteer out in the community, schools, nursing homes, babysit for younger moms, teach occasional preschool type classes on the volunteer level... so again its a cultural norm for me to basically be a 'homemaker' forever...
Because that leads to your 2nd question... for us, gender plays a big role in our decision for our family specifically... We do believe in the traditional roles, not that mom can't work, but we would have both of us working before dh being a sahd... just not for us, he's a great daddy, but not meant to be with our kids all day every day nurturing them and what not Im sure some dads do an amazing job, but in our family it would be a disaster...not how the two of us are wired.
Again in our small circle of the world most moms I know are prepared for most of the 'what ifs' life insurance, disability insurance, retirement, college money for the kids etc. I do know thats not always the case though and it can be totally devastating to the woman and children if they loose the primary income earner. If I lost dh, our house would be paid off, and I would have enough money to stay home or job hunt for approximately 4-6 years at this point, while I may not find something in my career field I would find something to bring in money.
Im a SAHM now and love it. I worked full time when Lizzie was a baby and my MIL watched her. Now that Im home with my girls, I see how much I really missed when I worked. I will stay home until Caroline is in K and unless I have a few kids to baby sit, I will work part-time and be home before & after school.
I have worked FT all my professional life, but IŽll start being a SAHM next month. It was our choice since weŽll be moving out of state and there will be a lot of changes in our lives. IŽll stay with our two kids (and the one on the way) home until they turn 5, ideally. I donŽt know how this will turn out, maybe IŽll be tired out of my mind in a few months (very likely) and IŽll try to get them in daycare a couple of days a week, but for now IŽm very excited to be able to stay at home with them.
I have a PhD, and although weŽve always eaten home-made food and our house has been in a mildly satisfying state of cleanliness most of the time, I do wish for time to bake (my culinary passion) and to do laundry on normal hours of the day instead of when everybody else is sleeping. I know being a SAHM is going to be hard, but I want to try this.
My plan is when they start going to school, and I start really having free time, go back to work part time. Probably not in my field, since a gap of 5 years really hurts your career, but I really donŽt care. I love what I studied but having my children changed all for me, and right now my brain really canŽt process anything that is not kid related
Love my boys!!
I work because I am a better mom when I work... I have a personality that likes the excitement of my job but also enjoy my family life too. My DH is a SAHD. He loves staying home and would forever if he could. It works for us but would not work for some families. We gets tons of crap about it, but seriously I love the balance.
Last edited by kendra76; 04-23-2012 at 11:23 AM.
I voted but then duty called and i didn't get to reply! LOL!
I would totally stay at home till college or later. I am hoping DH's career path puts us in that category, which i know we are well on our way. As i have no college degree to fall back on and not sure if i want to go back to school. It took me over 10 years to pay off my student loans, why would i want to do that again? I would have to find new things to do with my time...i guess i can say one thing, but really won't know what i will do until faced with it.
Right now I am the sole financial provider for my family. My DH is a SAHD, who does an awesome job. I'd love to switch, and he would too. He was laid off right after we had our first daughter, and has had trouble finding work. I make about twice what he made, so financially it worked out for us. But still, if he found a job we would trade places. Being home with the kids is something I have always wanted to do, and still hope to one day. I would go back to work when they are in school. Like some of the others have said - my Mom stayed home with us while we were young, then returned to work when we were in school. She and my Dad, as a team, cooked all our meals, kept an organized and clean house (with our help with the chores, of course), and still went to all of our games, coached our teams and were very involved in our activities. I think I could do the same when the kids are in school.
If I had the opportunity to be home, I would absolutely love it. While I was out on maternity leave, DH picked up a job. I realized once again that I love to be a home maker - I love cooking, I love cleaning, I love being with the kids and fostering their growth. I have an awesome career and I've been lucky enough to be successful, but I would give it up to have more time to spend with my family. Now, on nights and weekends I don't want to miss a single second with my children. I also think that if I were home M-F, I'd feel more able to take a Saturday afternoon and spend a couple hours alone with DH on a date. As it is right now, I can't imagine giving up that time with my girls. I feel bad about that, because I do miss the time with my husband, and I know he needs that too.
2. I am a conservative Christian and the Bible is clear on the different roles for males and females, so we would not reverse it.
3. I have education and experience that can never be taken away from me. I have something to fall back on. We have life insurance policies. I have money saved up. I am not worried about financial issues and am not going to live my life worrying about "what-ifs" I can keep my experience current through volunteer opportunities or even very part-time work.
Financially, I will most likely return to work when the kids are in school, but that is just my dream. Maybe DH will have a huge increase in salary by then
I am pretty sure our different views on this come greatly from the way we were raised. My parents are religious, but not overly so (and I am not at all myself). I have a very "modern" view of the roles of men and women. My mother instilled this in me. I want to stay with my babies when they are little, be home with them, care for them, and cherish them. Being a SAHM calls to me. DH actually pushed it more than me, because he said he'd never seen me happier than when I was at home with Nolan on maternity leave
I also have a drive within myself though, to have a career, and a life outside of the home. Which is why we are having another baby so soon. I can finish school and stay home, all without postponing my career which is very important to me. This conversation has been enlightening for me. I know I sometimes have a hard time processing things out of the scope of my bubble. Especially since I have never actually met someone who stayed home.... indefinitely.
My chalk loving 2 1/2 y.o. boys!
One difference between Lisa and I is that we are not yet financially prepared for anything to happen to DH without my back up career. We are getting there. So if needed, I would and could go back to work if it were necessary for my family, but it would be temporary, especially when the kids are little. Our ideal situation is for DH to work and me to stay home, and we sacrifice a lot to make that happen.
If I could take my son with me to work then I would work, which is actually what I do now. I work part-time at a daycare, not my chosen career, but it allows me to get out of the house, have adult conversation, and still spend time/see my son. I am sad that I have to stop working there once this baby is born.
I voted other. We are pretty much in this situation now. DH works and it is enough to pay the bills, allow for some fun and big ticket things, but we are not "well off". We have decided that I will stay home until the kids are all in full day school. At that point I will go back to work part time, I will be looking for hours to match their school day, and I will wait until I find it. I love being a SAHM, I am in no hurry to go back to work LOL.
Last edited by TripMomma; 04-23-2012 at 10:30 PM.
Just for the record, I currently plan on returning to the workforce at some point...but I don't know when and it's not set in stone.
Missing my thoraco-omphalopagus conjoined twin boys born on 9/18/12 at 33 weeks.
Dh (teacher, 32) and I (SAHM, 31) have been married 7 years since May.
And on the financial stats, you can look them up. Over 65, twice as many women, compared to men, live in poverty. Close to half of the single mother households are below the poverty line (meaning that their kids live that way, too). We get jobs at slower rates and get less on the dollar when we do. We have less health insurance, private or govt, than men. If everything works out, you beat the stats, but knowing that this is the reality for many women, there's nothing wrong with aligning our choices with long-term best interests for ourselves and our families. Obviously, many of us are doing that, but statistics (again) say that most aren't (whether it's retirement as a couple or what happens after divorce/death). It's not why I work (the paid job) or why someone else should, but it's an elephant in the room that can't be ignored.
Last edited by ibisgirldc; 04-24-2012 at 12:11 AM.
Since I am the main bread winner and DH stays home, he knows that he would be screwed if we split up today. But it was a decision that he would stay home with the kids and I would work. My income is 3X what he made, I carry the insurance, etc. I say screw gender rolls, but again it works for us. My DH handles all the house stuff and I take care of the bills etc. he does a great job at home and I have a major respect for those of you that stay home. I just know that I could not be a SAHM.
I wonder what the stats would be on this forum alone of single income households vs dual income households and what their financial provisions look like. There are plenty of 2 income households that do not have a lot in savings, nothing in retirement or college accounts. And it's not because they make low wages....many spend more because they make more. Many are just not educated in finances. Lots of single income families live frugally and save more because they realize living off 1 income can make you vulnerable.
I agree that women need to be smart about money. Especially SAHMs need their own retirement accounts and savings accounts and everyone should have life insurance in case they do find themselves to be a single mom statistic. I wonder about the stats - certainly single MOM households are more common than single father households. I just don't see why you can't align your choices with long-term best interests on one salary. Again, not a choice I would make for myself, but I can understand it if everyone realizes what provisions will be necessary down the line.
Unless I won a really huge lottery, would keep working. Would love to do it 4 days a week instead of 5 though.
It's a personal decision between a couple but really not working puts you at a huge disadvantage...especially in terms of retirement. Or if a divorce would occur...which of course we don't want to plan for but realistically we should. I'm sure that many of those who have divorced didn't think it would happen to them.
It's also not really fair to ask one person alone to be responsible for everything financially....that is a lot of pressure on someone and I would not ask that of my DH. And after living through one unexpected job loss, I don't know how we would have survived had I not already been working.
I don't see a single thing wrong with working, as a man or a woman in the relationship, because it works for your family and you need it to be a happy healthy person or to provide enough for yourself, your partner and your kids. I don't look down on moms who use daycare whatsoever. But in discussion of this topic, not just here but irl among my friends and acquaintances, there is always someone in the mix who, in defending their choice to work, makes sweeping statements about everybody who doesn't do what they do, using statistics that don't fit for me and my family. It just isn't fair nor is it helpful in the discussion IMO.
Last edited by CoffeeCat; 04-24-2012 at 08:36 AM.
Before we had our son, we talked about me staying home until the child entered school. I got laid off 6 months before I got pregnant, but I was making more money than dh. If I hadn't gotten laid off, it may have been a different story. However, my dh carries our insurance, so it wouldn't have made sense for him to quit. I love being a sahm to our son. Once ds begins school full time, I will go back to work, either part-time or full-time.
This is a good blog post about how staying at home affects social security. http://www.reallifesupportformomsblo...home-moms.html
I don't think its "unfair" to have one person be responsible for bringing in the money. Just as I don't think its unfair for the person staying at home to be responsible for doing everything required to make a home run smoothly. In our house I do all the cleaning, budgeting/bill paying, shopping, child rearing, organizing, appointments, cooking, etc. By splitting the responsibility this way, it means we can both relax for the most part when he comes home.
While I think it is great that women are able to enter the workforce and have an education now, I also think that the volume of two income households has contributed to increasing the standard of living to a point where it is now difficult to live on "only" one income. It can be done, but I don't think it is as easy as it was back when most families lived on one income. The irony is that women who now want to stay at home feel they can't afford to.