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If you quit your job to stay home, did it really always work out OK?


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I'm back in this place again. By the end of the year, barring any unforeseen catastrophes, we should have the agreed-upon amount in our e-fund that I should be able to quit my job. DH keeps saying, "We'll see what happens, I don't know how things are going to turn out, I could stop making sales, etc." He also said that all last year. In the meantime, he made nearly $100K last year (an absolutely unheard of amount for us, but we were also finishing paying off CCs). This year, he's probably on track to make close to that, though I know he feels like commissions could dry up at any time.

 

But in the meantime, the time is flowing past. I don't want years to have gone by with him saying, "Let's see what happens," and suddenly my girls' childhoods are gone, you know? I know it's a massive leap of faith, and I know he's scared. But I feel like, even if he wasn't in a sales job, he could still be laid off at any time, so there's not too much difference. Plus, he keeps finding money in this job, even when there seems to be none. If he doesn't feel comfortable now, I can't imagine him ever being comfortable. He loves real estate and doesn't ever want a corporate desk job again.

 

So my real questions are, HOW did you bring yourself to make this leap? How did you bring your DH to make the leap? And if you HAVE made the leap, has it really always worked itself out somehow? That's what people keep telling me, that it always works itself out, that the Lord always provides, etc. But I can't help thinking of all the people who are losing their homes these days. It's not working out for them (and some of you, I know).

 

I guess I'm looking for a crystal ball that no one has, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this. I KNOW my girls need me to be home. I KNOW my DH will be happy with me at home--he wants things that I can't provide unless I'm home. But he also wants security that will most likely vanish if I'm home. I can't figure out how to reconcile these things!

 

TIA!

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Do you have things worked out so your income isn't needed? Are there activities that need to be quit or things that need to be sold to make sure you aren't going over budget. Have you worked on a budget to have a picture of expenses? These might be things that will help your husband feel more comfortable.

 

My dh will often make an emergency budget (every 3 months or so) that would get us through if something happened (job loss, etc...). It is a budget based on only necessary expenses (lights, gas, food, electric, mortgage). We leave out all extras (going out to eat, extra curriculars, fun money, etc...).

 

You might have already done this but if not then a detailed plan might help your husband.

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Do you have things worked out so your income isn't needed? Are there activities that need to be quit or things that need to be sold to make sure you aren't going over budget. Have you worked on a budget to have a picture of expenses? These might be things that will help your husband feel more comfortable.

 

My dh will often make an emergency budget (every 3 months or so) that would get us through if something happened (job loss, etc...). It is a budget based on only necessary expenses (lights, gas, food, electric, mortgage). We leave out all extras (going out to eat, extra curriculars, fun money, etc...).

 

You might have already done this but if not then a detailed plan might help your husband.

 

We do have that. We worked actively toward paying off our debts last year, and that was part of it. I also wouldn't quit until we have 6 months' expenses in the bank. But he only sees the what-ifs beyond that, KWIM?

 

ETA, also, I think it depresses him to look at that budget. He's not a spendthrift, but I think the idea of a life where he couldn't afford to go out for an impromptu after-work gathering and spend $50-60 whenever he feels like it depresses him. Where I'm willing to settle for learning how to mow the lawn and cooking everything from scratch, he's not...quite. And I get that, I do. I guess we're not exactly in the same place where "deprivation" is concerned.

 

Thank for the input!

Edited by melissel
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DH has always been very supportive! I'M the one who has been concerned off and on about finances, thinking maybe I should get a job to help out. But if I get a job, it's much harder to homeschool, though I know many of you are doing just that. We want for me to be here with our children, so we chose for me to stay home, and him work and trust that since God led us to homeschool, that He will provide the way. And He has! It HAS worked out, and we feel blessed beyond measure to be able to homeschool! We won't have a huge nest-egg to fall back on when we retire, but, there again, we will trust God to provide!

 

I agree to work out a budget plan! Knowing what all your expenses are and what (at least approximately) comes in each month, is important. You can work with that to stay in budget. One thing is to pay of credit card bills EVERY month! Never let them hit you with those outrageous finance charges. That right there will save a lot!

 

DH says that if I went to work, we'd pay more for gas, car repairs, schooling or day care for the kids, uniforms, higher taxes, etc., etc. PLUS, it'd be much more stressful and we wouldn't know our kids as well, or be as close as a family! So he is gung-ho about homeschooling, especially seeing the results, so far, of our 11 years of homeschooling!

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I agree with the detailed plan to help DH be more comfortable.

 

Another thing that might help is to live on DH's salary alone for a month or two (minus childcare costs and work related stuff obviously). We looked at it this way, as long as we could live on one salary it did not matter who was working. If DH was out of work, then we would both look for a job and whoever got one first worked until DH found another job with comparable pay to the one he lost.

 

Yes, it has always worked out for us, but we are willing to live on very little if need be (and we did have to cut out ALOT at two different times).

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But he only sees the what-ifs beyond that, KWIM?

 

 

I do know what you mean. My dh is very much like that. We often have discussions where we decide something will be paid off or something fixed but then when we get to the magic money number my dh is worried and we don't do it after all. Several years ago my dh want X amount in the bank and after that we would put in new windows. Well, we got to X amount and then he wanted XX amount. We got to that point and then he wanted more in the account. That was very frustrating.

 

So, yes I do understand. My dh is a lot better than he used to be but we still struggle with it.

 

Is there a plan B you can have also? Is there work you can do from home or can you get a part time evening job?

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I was trying to get a new teaching career off the ground when I got pregnant with DD1. She was born in September, thus killing anyone hiring me for that school year. DH stayed home for four months, while I took over his classes as a sub. Then we traded back.

 

I started looking for a full-time teaching job, but was not fully satisfied with our child-care options. So one day as I was on the computer looking at job-search sites, I told DH, "I'm going through the motions here, but I don't actually want a job. I'd like to stay home with DD." God love DH -- his immediate response was, "Turn off the computer then. You're done looking."

 

We live right in the city of Chicago, where real estate isn't cheap. He brings home between $60,000-$65,000. We do fine with one car, since DH can take public transit to work. Our investments are our savings. DH is pretty savvy in that arena, so we're doing alright as far as retiring someday. And we have enough liquid assets saved up to live for about 8 months. (however, DH has been a Chicago Public Schools teacher for 17 years, so it's not like he's getting fired -- we call it the *Blank* You Money, in case he needs to walk away)

 

I hope that this helps with any perspective in this decision. Good luck to you!

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Well, for us it was a bit different. Before we ttc with Tazzie, we agreed that the only way we'd have another child was if one parent was home at all times. We weren't homeschooling then, it wasn't even a blip on the radar. So, after my maternity leave ran out, I was running a dayhome...it was when *that* ended that panic set in a wee bit, and I was homeschooling at that point.

 

I did work part time now and then, just to ease some of the pressure on my dh. Like yours, he was in sales too. Not eal estate though, but still sales. It came to the point where he realized he was miserable in his career. He hated only being as good as his last deal, constantly being under pressure, and bringing all that home with him. We actually switched roles. He came home, with the idea that he'd either start his own business, or find work that flexed around my hours, and I went back to working in health care, 3-11, so that I could still homeschool. I ended up injured on the job, and am now home on Workers Comp for the last year, waiting for Comp to finally agree with my 3 drs that its a permanent condition. My dh has found a new career that he loves, in landscaping, and plans to get his apprenticeship and license in it.

 

Things have a way of working out, even if its not anywhere near how you pictured them. I wish you the best of luck! :grouphug:

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We took the "easy" way out. We were dirt poor when we got married, so we had nowhere to go but up! ;)

Seriously, the first time we filed our taxes together, our income was about 1/5th of what it was in 2008, and we managed to take care of ourselves and my son.

 

I haven't worked in over 7 years now. We live within our means, and we know for a fact that we can manage with much, much less. It would mean giving up a LOT of our luxuries, but we could do it.

 

Dh has always worried about losing his job, even before this economic mess. When I married him, I told him I'd be content to live in a cardboard box, so long as we were together. I've adjusted my standards a little bit, what with 4 kids now, and 4 pets, but the sentiment is still the same. It doesn't matter how much money we have. As long as we can afford to eat, have a place to sleep, and have clothes to wear, it's all good.

 

Now, if we couldn't afford that, I'd go get a job. Otherwise, I've never had reason to doubt our choice.

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In a word, yes. Almost five years ago, I was the primary breadwinner. After the boys were born, I had trouble returning to work (read: I hadn't slept in months and was generally incoherent), took a year's leave of absence with the blessing of my boss (very small company) and have not returned to work since.

 

In the intervening years, my husband went back to school for his master's, I am enrolled in a three-year program to be an herbalist. We are now in the process of paying off massive CC debt. We do not have six months' expenses in the bank. I budget. The mortgage is paid. The other bills are paid. Everybody eats (and mostly local, organic, at that). We are constantly reevaluating to see where we can cut back further (this month, we're dumping the cable company, going to dial-tone only on the home phone, etc) but we are enjoying the challenge, frankly.

 

However... my husband is a civil servant more than halfway to being eligible for retirement. Layoffs aren't a concern, overtime is available fairly frequently, and promotional opportunities occur annually. His experience and education have opened doors for other work on his off days (though the university he has been teaching for has yet to pay him - for work/expenses from January-March - so that hasn't been exactly lucrative and probably won't be in the future, after the state gets involved) so there are additional opportunities for income fairly frequently.

 

So, yes, everything has turned out really well, actually, and I would be fairly comfortable in your position, but I can see your husband's reservations, as well.

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I quit work when my oldest child was born 23 years ago. We had planned/saved in order for me to do this, because we both felt it was important. My dh really wanted me to be home with our children and he has worked very hard to make sure I can do that.

 

A few years ago, when times were especially tough I took a job at home as a medical transcriptionist. As soon as I could, I quit. I was doing it in the early morning hours before schooling the kids and not getting enough sleep.

 

It sounds like your situation is stable enough for you to be able to stay home if you really want to. I would have a long talk with dh about priorities (kids well-being vs. things), and have a really good budget worked out on paper (men love paper). There are probably lots of ways to save money by staying home that you haven't even thought of yet!

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You know, I just want to share that the fondest times of my life were those when I was completely at home without working even though we had very little money. Your children will grow up quickly. I know that. My baby is nearly 10! But children of all ages need their mothers IMO. I am at a place now where I have been working more than I want. It makes me sad, in fact. I want to just...stop. I could but we'd have to let go of some things that aren't necessities but that I want to have--in particular lessons for my daughters. Also, we help our oldest with her tuition. We have our home nearly paid off but this year we've also ended up owing a lot in taxes, which I am trying to pay off on cc now of all things. I will tell you this--I have never regretted being home with my children. Ever. The only things I have regretted are the choices I made that took me away from them more than I wanted. Life is full of what-ifs. There is no crystal ball that can take all uncertainty away. There will never be a time where you can have it all worked out. And I understand what you are saying about time marching on. It does march on, relentlessly.

 

I say, go for it. Insist that this is what YOU need to do for your children and make that leap because I really do not think you'll regret it. At all. I hope your husband can be supportive of this.

 

Best wishes!

Anita

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Since our oldest, who is now 13, was 4.5 months old, I have been home. There have been times when I felt the need to remove some financial pressure by going back to work. Each time, it starts nicely, manageable, but within a few months, it becomes a burden not worth carrying for the family. We end up spending in places we weren't before b/c I'm tired, or dh is burnt out as he fills the gaps my working leaves behind. So, I am home and we live on a Very low income, about 65% less than your dh makes.

 

There are definitely times when we both miss money and the opportunity to go out and drop $50-$60 whenever, but overall, the benefits that reveal themselves in our family life and home schooling opportunities really do resemble a mastercard commercial:

 

going out to eat, $50

buying new clothes regularly $100

Monthly trips to Toys-R-Us $150

unlimited opportunity to be with your family for as much time as you'd like: PRICELESS.

 

It is hard, sometimes more difficult than others, but Really, we do it and you can too.

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When I got pregnant with my 12 year old I was working and my hubby was the stay at home dad. I had mostly worked up to that point (barring some pregnancy complications and near death experiences) and frequently while going to school full time and nursing babies. I once again had complications during this pregnancy that required me to quit working. Luckily my hubby had gotten a job one month before that. I have been home with the kids pretty much since then. And things have done nothing but improve since then. I can't even imagine going back to work at this point. The last few years have been rough and we only have about two months reserve so sure I worry especially with the economy the way it is now. But we have always managed before and I have absolute faith that we can continue to do so.

 

I do remember when the 12 year old was about 2, I felt like it was time to go back to work but I was really torn about the issue. My heart just wasn't it in and I felt like I simply could not do both things equally well at the same time. I felt such an overwhelming sense of relief when I finally made the decision to stay home with the children until they were grown. That issue was one of the biggest sources of stress in my life and I have felt incredibly happy since I chose to do this. I am one of the few people in the world who can say I am doing exactly what I want to do with my life.

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I just wanted to add that we made a LOT of sacrifices to ensure that one of us was home full time. No eating out, pizza was a once every 3 or 4 mth occasion (if that!), I bought as much as I could 2nd hand, either via consignment stores or ebay for the kids clothes. Lots of excellent deals to be found that way on brand name clothes that you'd never know were 2nd hand. We still live very tight because my dh's work is seasonal, and last year he didn't have enough hours to qualify for EI, since he'd just gone to work when I'd gotten injured. I still buy as much as I can 2nd hand, including homeschooling materials.

 

It can be tough living on one income, but for us, the sacrifices are worth it. We feel that its what we're called to do.

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My kids are very thankful I've been home and so have I. It's been hard when we compare our lifestyle with the Jones'. Their boat, their big SUV, their vacations, their sports, etc.

 

When I keep my eyes at home and in praise of my husband's efforts we're in great shape;) but that's not always easy.

 

I don't think for a moment I'd be happier with something material than the time I've had with them. I'm sure it's scary for both of you but it is sooo worth it. We won't ever get this season with them again.

 

Just the stress of shopping, meal prep and laundry on top of working would bring me home, lol. JK I know it's a big decision and when we were younger I always thought me working was the answer to all our problems. Thankfully dh wouldn't hear of it and the submission to that has at times been tough.

 

It's worked out wonderfully, though we're not rich by any means. Be encouraged.

 

Also bear with your dh, it's alot of pressure on him as I'm sure you know. I never realized how much pressure they have 'till dh lost his job. For guys, work is so ingrained, taking care of their family, etc in who they are...

 

You can do it!

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Yep...it always worked out somehow. 6 years ago, when I quit working, we lived in GA and paid two mortgages and dh made 1/2 of what he does now (around $58K). We made it, though...and each year, he has gone up in the company and things have gotten easier and easier. Now, there is really no need for me to work at all. I can offer more to the kids/home by being here than I could if I were working. And dh's earnings are plenty for us. We are paying off the cars and the house and doing the best we can to become totally debt free in the next 10 years. :)

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I've been home for almost 9 years now and it has worked for us. Yes, we've made lots of adjustments and don't have the freedom to drop money whenever we want. A couple of things that might help. When I first quit it was hard to adjust to not having my "own" money that I had earned---I felt like I had to ask permission to run through a drive-through for a drink if I wanted one. We managed that by setting an amount each pay period that each of us could save or spend without accounting for it to the other. For us, it's $50 a pay period each, though when things are tight that tends to be absorbed back into the general fund. It's not as big a deal now as it was for me then and he would frequently not draw on his discretionary money when things were tight without suggesting I not pull mine because he knew it was important to me. I would save up that and any grocery/household budgeted money I'd managed to hang onto at the end of the pay period. I used that to buy things I wanted and get gifts for my husband for birthday and Yule.

 

His grandfather was in sales with an income that varied a lot seasonally. His grandmother told me once that she coped by figuring out their monthly expenses then when they had extra buying cd's in that amount that had staggered maturity dates so that one was maturing each month. If she didn't need to tap that money when it matured she would just roll it over. It gave them some stability of income throughout the year.

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I just wrote up this whole entire life story, but after reading it over, it's really hard to follow, and entirely too long, so I deleted it. So, I will just give the short edition. We are nearly in financial disaster, hanging on by a very thread, and by God's grace we are still in business for ourselves. My husband is making a major career change, which is costing us money we don't have. We have talked about me going back to work outside of the home, but ultimately we believe that it's more important for me to be home with our children than for us to be more financially comfortable. We will pay it all off eventually, but the time with our children will never be recaptured once it passes. So, we are praying that God will sustain us through this financial crisis and keep us going so that I can continue to be home with the children and home school them.

 

The thought and consideration of me going back to work outside of the home has made me even more grateful for the time I have with the children. And in response to this prospect on the horizon I would like to make some new habits...less time on-line, more time face to face with the kids. So, I better go now - finish dinner - and have some one-on-one with the littles. :D

 

God bless your efforts to make the transition to be home with your children, if that's what you and your husband choose to do. It might not bring financial security, but you'll have memories and bonds that cannot be taken away. And your husband can rest easy knowing that his children are in the best hands there is, yours.

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Yes, it has always worked out. We don't have money for many of our wants, but we have always had everything we need, and then some. (And we make less than half of the amount you mentioned, fwiw.) We've never experienced financially security, but it's been a wonderful, fulfilling, family-centered time that I wouldn't trade for anything. My kids are now 12, 8, and 6, and I love that I haven't missed a thing in their lives. When they grow up and I look back, I'll have so many precious memories, and no regrets about staying home with them.

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When I stopped working full-time, I had the higher salary and the job with the most "potential." There was no question though that we could not juggle two long commutes, and two complex careers plus children. We chose the "traditional" route, and haven't looked back.

 

Our bills are basically paid, but our house needs some work and we haven't gone on vacation in several years, not even to visit family. My father died last month, and needless to say, it set us back for me to go even though just I went and I stayed with a relative.

 

Yet, the intangibles are worth it. No regrets here.

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So far, thankfully, it's worked out.

 

Our plan was for us both to work till we had kids, then I would be a SAHM, because we both believed that was important. We were also considering homeschooling.

 

When I became pregnant with our first, unexpectedly only a few months after the honeymoon, my job's stress level had gone sky-high, I was sick as a dog, and we had a threatened miscarriage. I ended up with no choice but to resign my position. We decided we could make it on his income (software engineer for a small company being bought out by a big one), and we didn't want to risk our baby.

 

Shortly after that, the big company that bought out the little company went bankrupt. So there we were, newly married, baby on the way, a mortgage and bills to pay, and NO steady income!

 

My dh pulled us through on contract work from home, which was a big help when the baby came, actually, and later found steady employment with a local company. So we're doing okay on one income. But we sure went to shoestring budget for a time. (Thankfully, at that time, my mother was our mortgage holder, so at least we weren't really in serious risk of losing our home, since she let us drop to lower payments for a time.)

 

One thing we learned was to budget for some luxuries. If you're going to feel horribly deprived if you don't go out to eat or order pizza every now and then ... then cut a corner somewhere else and make sure you can order a pizza once in a while. It makes you feel a lot better to know you CAN do a few of those splurges, and then when you inevitably do order the pizza, you're not wracked with guilt that it wasn't in the budget.

 

We also really read through the Tightwad Gazette volumes ... didn't use most of the ideas but did find some good ones, and it got us thinking more frugally.

 

It was also probably a blessing that it was early in our marriage, while we were still establishing what our 'family' habits were, so there were changes going on anyway.

 

It certainly wasn't what we wanted to go through, but we made it, and we learned a lot. I currently have a panic disorder (triggered by my former job, actually, we think, but with a lot of underlying roots), so I can do part-time work if I had to, but probably not full time. (I did do part time at our church preschool for a couple years.) So we know we have to be able to make it on one income. That's a bit of a burden for my dh, but he shoulders that responsibility ... he feels strongly I should be home anyway. And the kids are loving homeschooling so far, which is a blessing (they are now 7.5 and 4.5).

 

Rambling on, I guess. But just want to say ... if you can find a livable budget, it works. It takes some talking to work out, to find what's important to each person and what can be let go.

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I made a decent salary (computer programmer), so it was not easy to give up. However, I had always wanted to stay home, and when DH agreed I jumped at it. I was about 4 months pregnant, so it's not like we had really prepared for it. The big thing was the car payment. We doubled up on payments so that we only had a few left once my paychecks ran out. How much did we have in savings? Zero. We've had times when money was plentiful, but more times when it's been tight. We carry a small amount of credit card debit (trying to pay it off) and a car loan. But yes, it has always worked out.

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Guest janainaz

I quit my job unplanned and unexpectedly after my first son was born nine years ago. My husband had gone to school to be a pastor, but found after Bible college he did not want to be behind a pulpit and take a salary from a church, so he had to start on a whole new path career-wise. We packed up from southern CA and moved to Arizona. I have zero regret and everything has always worked out. We did have some times that were very very tight, but we made it and we are still making it. Things have gotten better, but in an effort to keep stress low, we live a simple life.

 

We would make any necessary sacrifices to maintain our family lifestyle. We have a house, we live simply and I would give up anything to be with my kids. None of the "stuff" matters and this I have learned through different seasons of our life. The one regret I refuse to have is that of time with my kids. I really do believe when you make this decision in your heart, somehow things fall into place.

 

I watched my dad live for his retirement. The best years of his life were focused on saving money, working hard, building a nest-egg, worrying about the future. He retired this year and lost a third of his "nest-egg" due to the economy, the future is now here for him, and I wonder if he has any regret.

 

We are living for now. We are still being responsible, but now is what we have with our kids and fear has no place in decision making when it comes to precious time. It's really all we have here and I do believe putting your family first is the very best choice you could ever make. It is a huge pressure for a husband to provide. It's a leap of faith and I do watch my husband go through anxiety attacks from time-to-time. I remind him I'm willing to give up whatever is necessary and he knows that.

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Biblically, it is good for the husband to be the breadwinner and I believe God will take care of your needs when you stay home with the children. I quit just when the second child came and was so busy I never thought of working. When home you can watch ads closely and buy sales; you can cook most of the time saving large amounts of money. You don't need a fancy wardrobe and you can shop at resale stores. My husband picks up extra consulting jobs and has one now for the 7th year besides his regular work. God will provide - you will be able to laugh at the days ahead and not be fearful.

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I didn't make the decision to stay home, my company made it for me by eliminating my position when I returned from maternity leave. I had wanted to stay home but as the main bread winner with a salary very close to 6 figures (that was 13 yrs ago too) I could not imagine not having my income.

 

The first thing DH noticed with me home was that HIS stress level was lower. No longer did he have to worry about WHO would stay home if a child got sick---OR, WHO would pick up or drop off said child from day care---OR WHO would do this or that.

 

In the first 6-months I was home his salary doubled and in the next 6-months increased more than another 50% --- it was soon close to what I had been making.

 

I've been home now 13 yrs, homeschooling for 10 yrs and loving every minute. DH teases me about how easy I have it, we no longer can afford to go on the exotic vacations we used to go on when I worked but then I took my boys on a 2-month camping trip last year that I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world.

 

I'm sure that if you went back in time and asked my DH he would never, ever have agreed to me stopping work. Financially it did not make sense. He couldn't have believed either that I would be happy being home with the kids instead of working as an engineer. But I am.

 

carole

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I worked until 37 weeks pregnant and stayed home until my son was 15 months old. We managed, but ended up using all of our savings and started to put a little bit on credit card, and that was the time I knew I needed to go back. I make enough money that I only work one day a week, sometimes two.

I love my job and I'm so glad I went back. I wish I would have a bit sooner, our quality of life is better, I get to "do my own thing" once a week, and ds also enjoys when he goes to daycare. If I work on the weekend then DH watches him.

I never expected "the Lord will always provide". I guess either you have the money, or you don't, and choose to make do with or without. I wasn't comfortable with us adding debt to provide necessities for our family, especially without a safety cushion.

I especially enjoyed staying home for the first 6 months after a pregnancy, and if I do have another child I will sacrifice what I can in order to have that special time again.

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I never had a job to quit..well I worked part time, but dh was always keen that I be with our kids. When they were little I got myself a part time job because I wanted some financial autonomy.

But yes, they are teens now, I still work part time though at home now, and it has always worked out. But I think it does take a leap of faith and a trusting in your highest values, because letting fear and what ifs run your life makes your options rather limiting.

We just live within our means, and in our case, we have 2 investment properties in the country but we cant afford to buy in the city where we live, so we rent. But we just don't put money first...dh feels strongly about bringing the kids up in a good suburb, even though we have to rent, rather than buying and living in a poor suburb.

But I think many men feel the sense of responsibility of raising a family and having enough money- mine sure does. But it does work out- you just have to learn to live within your means, whatever those means are. In your case, your means are hardly limited- but setting aside savings is a great idea.

Abundance and wealth are really an attitude more than an income figure. Many people dont feel abundant with lots of money. I tihnk for many of us homeschool mums, we feel a sense of abundance and gratitude to be able to stay home with our kids, no matter our income, and that spreads out to benefit the family. Time is another form of wealth- the time to spend your kids' childhood with them, because its true, it does pass rather quickly. Life just isnt so secure. Dh and I sometimes talk about what would happen if our income dropped dramatically, but we have both lived poor before we had kids, and we are not particularly frightened of being there again. Its ok, and we trust our ability to rise from the ashes again.

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We both worked up untill 4 years ago. At that time I was down to working 2/3 time and homeschooling my days off. It got to be too much and I decided I either needed to quit and hs full time or I needed to put the kids in school and work part or full time. I was making $74K when I left plus full benefits so it wasn't an easy decision for me.

 

DH talked me in to quitting. I miss working but for us, this is the right thing for now. We take it year by year.

 

I decided that if I stayed home my "job" was to "find" money. In other words, I would try my darndest to spend as little as possible and cut coupons and get to the coupon triples sales all weekend if I had to so that we would get that extra $300/month shaved off of our grocery bill. We don't do much extra-curricular unless I can find it inexpensively. Cub/boy scouts is quite inexpensive for us and we do the extra events when we can. I found hs golf lessons for $10 for 2 hours and they can golf for free the entire 10 weeks of lessons. You get the idea.

 

My neighbor is a preschool teacher. She works 25 hours a week. My guess is she gets about $8-$10/hour (take home $6-$7/hour) but because she is busy she orders her groceries online and gets them delivered, brings home take home dinners from the drive through often, and takes expensive vacations. We just shake our heads because she easily spends an extra $700 a month on "extras" when she could stay home and cut that out and have the same income!

 

I would encourage you to check out the living like noone else dot com community.....a free Dave Ramsey forum. Lots of great advice there.

 

Dawn

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When I was newly married and expecting ds9, my husband made a fairly small salary and I made about the same. There is no way I would have been able to accept working full time with a new baby, but I felt I could handle part-time work and my employer agreed to that. My husband I started to make the adjustment by putting half my full-time salary in savings during the pregnancy.

 

Well, a few weeks before the baby was due, my employer decided that I'd have to work full-time and 50 hours during tax season. I gave him my notice on the spot without hesitation and my husband fully supported me.

 

After ds9 was born, I did do a little work at home preparing tax returns and bookkeeping, but once dd7 was born, it was too stressful to work with two little babies screaming for me outside my office door. We had just built a new house and thought, if we had to, we could refinish the basement and rent it out. Somehow things have worked out for us. We never had to rent out the basement, and we have everything we need. Our budget is very tight, but neither of us mind that.

 

I think the biggest problem I see in your situation is that your husband may not be willing to make some of the financial sacrifices you are. If it were me, I would insist that he make these sacrifices during the time that the children needed me and then return to work when they are older. Really, it sounds like you will always regret it if you don't and you have already made many sacrifices. I remember your posts from the past.

 

No job is guaranteed. My husband has been laid off by the company he works for now 3 times. It could happen again, but things have always worked out. It sounds like your husband is doing well for your family, and you just need to take a leap of faith.

 

Lisa

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Things have always worked out when we have been financially responsible. I don't believe God will bless wreckless spending by magically paying your bills for you; but if you are wise with what He gives you, in our experience, He will make sure you have the necessities. The times we have gotten in trouble financially were when we stopped following our budget and spent money without thinking. We have close personal friends who ARE wreckless with their finances, eating out, buying their kids stuff they can't afford, and they often have to get money from their parents to pay rent...they've been doing this for YEARS... They complain that God is not meeting their needs but I have counceled them that they are not being responsible and it's not God's job to bail them out.

 

That said, my husband gets worked up about finances too but things DO always work themselves out. I think it's hard for men to "let go" of the security of two jobs; but if you feel strongly that homeschooling if for you, at some point, you just have to do it.

 

:grouphug:

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My neighbor is a preschool teacher. She works 25 hours a week. My guess is she gets about $8-$10/hour (take home $6-$7/hour) but because she is busy she orders her groceries online and gets them delivered, brings home take home dinners from the drive through often, and takes expensive vacations. We just shake our heads because she easily spends an extra $700 a month on "extras" when she could stay home and cut that out and have the same income!

 

 

I don't know what your neighbor wants out of her life, but not everyone wants to stay at home. A lot of people would prefer to be working, taking vacations, getting the groceries delivered, etc.

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When I quit work five years ago, we had no money in the bank and we had lots of debt. Still, we knew it was the right choice for us for me to start homeschooling oldest and take care of our newborn.

 

No, it didn't always seem to work out--not by a longshot. I remember having to hold yard sales for grocery money because my husband was on commission (which was spotty at best.) But somehow we managed (praise God!) and five years later we have paid off all our debts (except small mortgage), and hubby has a more stable job and works long hours to make it happen.

 

It can be done, but sometimes it's a nail-biter. Still--totally worth it!

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Sorry, I should have added that she has made comments to me about how nice it must be to be able to stay at home and has complained about working.

 

Dawn

 

I don't know what your neighbor wants out of her life, but not everyone wants to stay at home. A lot of people would prefer to be working, taking vacations, getting the groceries delivered, etc.
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My DH was one of the mindset that it takes TWO incomes to make a family work these days. Well, I worked like that and also did everything at home (read as this: DH did nothing but work, fish, hunt, and live the life). I got very sick from overdoing it and ended up in the hospital. That changed DH view on things. He wanted me to stay home so I could be healthy. I have been home for 7 months now, and he is so happy. He said he can't imagine me ever going back to work full time (I still work 3 or 4 weekend shifts a month) and he wishes I would come home for good. (I work because I make good money and working just a couple of shifts provides me with spending money to buy MY things.)

 

Anyhow, our budget is tight. We do not have 6 months income in the bank. If we were waiting for that, I would NEVER be able to come home. We just had to take the leap of faith. Guess what? It HAS been fine. DH even got a 58% paycut, but we are okay. Learning to live differently, but we are happier than ever.

 

I received a piece of advice a few years ago, and it so rings true: "Sometimes the money you make isn't worth the price you pay".

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I didn't read the other replies (yet).

 

And I didn't exactly quit my job to stay home.

 

When I was pregnant with ds2 in 1990, I was laid off. Before I went back to work, I was unexpectedly expecting dd1. It was ridiculous to us that I work with 3 dc at home; we figured we'd just bite the bullet and deal with it.

 

Before dd was born, we learned about homeschooling. Dh said, "If that's what YOU want to do, YOU go right ahead." So I did. He loves it now. :001_smile:

 

At that point we were renting. Before dd was born, we had to move, but got a (not great, but) suitable larger rental.

 

Fast forward 17 years.

 

Everything has worked out well. Not EASY, but worked out well.

 

We have 3 more kids.

 

That dd is graduating at our homeschool ceremony in two weeks.

 

We bought a house in 1995. Dh has been unemployed a couple times, but it's always worked out. We've had three meals every day - not always our favorites, but reasonably nutritious food, a roof over our heads, clothes for everyone, and materials for education.

 

Hindsight is wonderful, and there are some things we'd have done differently. But looking back, we've done the best we could with what we had at the time. No regrets.

 

Everything's worked out more than fine.

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My dh is a lot like yours. He grew up in a two-income household and is used to the 'extras.' Before we had kids, we ate out 5 times a week and had lots of extras.

 

I grew up in a one-income household and knew that the time of the 'extras' would end when we had kids. To me, dropping back down to one income and eating home cooked meals and watching dimes at the grocery store was going back to 'normal.'

 

When I quit working it was a big adjustment for dh. I don't think he liked it at all. I quit when ds was born. Ds was colicky as well. DH changed into a cold, critical man. It lasted for a year. My easy-going, funny, compassionate man turned into an ogre. It was a combinations of a colicky baby, very little sleep, and the full load of earning the living that knocked his feet out from under him.

 

I don't know what changed, but right at ds's 1st birtday, my old dh came back--gentle, funny, supportive. But it was a TOUGH year. (He didn't get me a mother's day gift, christmas gift OR birthday gift that year. It was definitely one of those 'bad times' you commit to in your wedding vows.)

 

Let dh know that if he loses a job it doesn't mean he's the only one looking for work. It means that you BOTH put out resumes and look for work. The two of you get a job 'somewhere' to bring in money. You're perfectly capable of looking for work, just like he is, so if he loses a job, there are two of you to look for new work. That seemed to take the edge off for my dh.

 

Also, be sure to point out the homey extras. Clean house, less running around like chickens with heads cut off to get things done, yummy homecooked meals, and whatever else you envision.

 

And I've promised my dh that in 13 years, when I'm done hs-ing, I'll get a job and we'll eat out every single night :001_smile:.

Edited by Garga
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It has always worked for us, Carrie. I was planning on going back to work after my oldest was born. My dh had started a new job a few months prior and he climbed the ladder rather quickly. I cried every day for 3 weeks at the thought of finding a sitter for my son. I couldn't bring myself to actively look. I think I knew in my heart that I just couldn't go back. My boss wasn't surprised at all. So, after 9 years of the roller coaster that is a one income family, I can honestly say, it's worked for us.

My dh has lost jobs twice in those 9 years. We've made it work. A few things though. We started off poor so we never felt like we were missing out on things others had. We gave up the idea of "keeping up with the Jones'" very early on. The only debt we carry is our mortgage and car payment. We don't own a fancy flat screen or blue ray disc player. The only reason we bought the nice fancy computer I have now is because our 6 year old computer finally sighed its last sigh. We tell our kids what we can and can't afford.

We like our life. My dh likes me being home. He likes the way we're raising our kids and I do too. For us, it's worth it.

And there's my 2 pennies. ;)

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It sounds like you're in much better shape for the "unforeseens" than we were when I quit to homeschool. We had been thinking about it for 2 years when I finally did it - the impetus was a combination of what you mentioned - realizing the girls were growing up and I was missing the opportunity, and the fact that the company I was working for was coming apart at the seams (and finally did close doors 3 months after I left!)

 

We didn't have the savings, and still were carrying credit card debt. I've been fortunate to find a part-time position w/dh's firm to keep my foot in the door (I'm an engineer) and make a little extra $$$. But in the 4 years since I've been "home", we've paid off most of the credit cards, put away a bit of savings (still not 6 months!), and continued to add to our retirement accounts.

 

Like many others have mentioned, it's a different kind of life. We haven't completely given up eating out, or taking vacations, but we make different and more careful choices now.

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No, it doesn't always work. If the working spouse cannot earn a decent wage for whatever reason, it may not work. If you have a larger than average family, it may not work. If you don't have access to group insurance, it might not work out. There are lots of things that can make a one-income household less likely to succeed.

 

You could do everything right and still not have it work out. However, the situation you have presented makes it more likely to work out.

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I actually quit my job to find another bc the stress level had gotten too high were I was working. We didn't even have children at the time. We were concerned about me being between jobs financially, but knew I couldn't continue where I was without losing my sanity. We decided I would quit, take a month to regroup, and the start looking. We figured we had enough put back for that.

 

Well, as it turned out, we didn't even miss my income. I can't even explain it. We were making it, seems like better than before I quit, so I continued staying home to take care of some projects we never got around to doing. Time passed, things got done, and then one day I found out I was expecting. That was 14 yrs ago. Don't get me wrong, over those 14 yrs we've had lean times and fat times. It just seems to even out and we always make it through the lean times.

 

God is so good.

 

Blessings to you,

Kim

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This was "a little thing", but helpful in a big way for us. When we bought our first house, I still was working, but we were praying for the opportunity for me to leave the workforce. We made sure to buy a house which would "fit" appropriately into the income brought home solely by my husband's job. I was earning at least 40% of our total income, so the bankers would have approved much "more house" than we chose to buy. We stuck to our guns (despite "pushy" real estate agents) and bought what, two houses since then, remains the "love of my life" house. (I still miss it so much.) Later, when my entire department suddenly was eliminated, we were able to remain in the house. (with me in it, because I've been "unemployed" ever since) That was over fourteen years ago.

Edited by Orthodox6
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I wanted to be sure to come back and say thanks to all of you. Your words and stories have really bolstered me. I've been thinking hard about what many of you have said, and I agree that it's time for me to just take my stand with DH. I mentioned it to him again the other night, that we so much in the bank now, and that we should have so much by the end of the year, and then I want to quit my job. He started with the "Well, let's see" and "I just don't know how things will turn out," and I started to get depressed again :( Then Monday, as we were driving to a friend's house, he started asking me if I wanted to buy a new (to us) car, because in his recent search for a car, he learned a lot about auto auctions, yada yada, and what kind of car would I want? I said, "What I want is to quit my job!" He was like, "Oh, yeah, that's right." :001_huh:

 

So I have reached my own cutoff point. Barring anything really bad happening between now and then (and I'm fully aware that something very well COULD happen), January 1 will see me a free woman. I KNOW we will be a happier family because of it. I just need the chance to prove it to my DH!

 

Thank you all for your input. I really value the collective experience and wisdom here. I've bookmarked this thread and will come back to it when I need building up.

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