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Tell me I can quit my job and be a SAHM


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I work Fri-Sun noon - midnight and have been doing this shift for 4 years. It is a good job in a high-tech field and pays great. I have a degree and wow - 18 years experience. I home school the kids Mon-Fri and my dh works Mon-Fri.

 

I am tired of it. Today, my dh took the girls to a flower and fairy parade in a nearby town. I couldn't go since I was working. When he stopped by on the way home to see me, the youngest cried. She wants us to move to the other town so that I will be too far away from work so I will have to stay home instead.

 

I started working the weekend shift so that I could spend more time with my kids.

 

Financially, we would be fine without my salary. I have always been paranoid about one of us being laid off, so our core expenses have always been within the budget of one of the jobs. We would have to downsize our cars and drop some discretionary spending, but we would adjust. Right?

 

So what is my problem? I have worked since I was 16. I was the first in my family to go to college, and I earned a full scholarship. Since I became an adult, I have never been dependent on anyone financially. In this job market if I quit my high-tech job, I may never get another one. Quitting is a one-way street. And what is with the word "quit"? I'm not a quitter.

 

Help me. It looks like it will work on paper, and my heart wants me to take the leap, but I have this problem with dependency. However, this is a good and it provides extra financial security and.....

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It sounds like you can quit and be a SAHM. I give you permission to do this if you want to. :D You said that you have this problem with dependency....instead of thinking that you are dependent on your dh's salary, remember all the things for which your dh and children depend on you. A SAHM is depended upon by so many people in her life. It is an important position that uses all the things that make you, you.

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My husband works in IT and being laid off is always a danger. It happens so often that when he comes home early on a Friday I know exactly what's happened! We always make sure to have 6 months salary in the bank. While this is always a good idea, I think that it's necessary when our only income is as tenuous at it is.

 

(Of course, right now we're broke because as soon as DH got his last job we decided to redo the kitchen and spent all of our savings on it. That job only lasted 4 months until his department got axed! So we had to spend his 2 months of unemployment pretty much entirely living on credit cards... exactly what we swore we would never have to do!)

 

I guess my point is that you should do what's right with your family. Do you do a job where you can do a little bit of freelancing or consulting? Even just very, very rarely. That way you can stay in the industry, have something on your resume, keep any contacts you have. That way, if anything ever happens or you decide you want to work again it won't be so hard to get another job?

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You CAN choose not to work at this point in your life (does that sound better than quit?)! You're not a quitter, you're a mom who is choosing to make sacrifices for her children!

 

Have you made a pros and cons list? Sometimes that helps!

 

You know yourself the best---would you get to the point of resenting your children and homeschooling because you weren't able to work? Would you get tired of being home without working? There would be things you could do at home that could fiill your time! And you'd be able to go to the next flower and fairy parade! :D

 

We're a one-income family, and have been for years. It's an adjustment at first, but oh, so worth it, imho! I know your dd's would be THRILLED! What does your dh think?

 

A lot to think about, but I think if you put your positive energy into it, you'd make a GREAT SAHM!!! :D

 

Best wishes as you make the choice!

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My husband works in IT and being laid off is always a danger. It happens so often that when he comes home early on a Friday I know exactly what's happened! We always make sure to have 6 months salary in the bank. While this is always a good idea, I think that it's necessary when our only income is as tenuous at it is.

 

(Of course, right now we're broke because as soon as DH got his last job we decided to redo the kitchen and spent all of our savings on it. That job only lasted 4 months until his department got axed! So we had to spend his 2 months of unemployment pretty much entirely living on credit cards... exactly what we swore we would never have to do!)

 

I guess my point is that you should do what's right with your family. Do you do a job where you can do a little bit of freelancing or consulting? Even just very, very rarely. That way you can stay in the industry, have something on your resume, keep any contacts you have. That way, if anything ever happens or you decide you want to work again it won't be so hard to get another job?

 

My husband is also in IT (we met at work years ago). Just last week, two people that the started the same time he did were laid off. Maybe it is the threat of him being laid off after I quit that troubles me.

 

He has never had the pressure of sole-breadwinner.

 

I used to be a tech editor for IT books. I wish I hadn't lost touch with the editors I worked for. I will have to brainstorm the freelance angle. Anybody need a freelance dba?

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You CAN choose not to work at this point in your life (does that sound better than quit?)! You're not a quitter, you're a mom who is choosing to make sacrifices for her children!

 

 

Choose not to work. That sounds better than quit.

 

Sometimes, I am happy to come to work on Fridays. It is quiet and nobody cries and no one demands my attention when I am in the bathroom. Somebody comes by and empties my trashcan for me on Sunday night and vacuums my work area.

 

A few years ago, I started to realize that we could live on one salary and then it started to feel like my priorities were all wrong. I kiss my girls when I leave from work and tell them I will see them tomorrow. They spend most of the day on Mondays sitting on my lap.

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If there is a plausible reason for you to take one, or if your company allows sabbaticals and you can come up with something 'corporate' that you can honestly say you intend to do with your sabbatical, I would try that first.

 

That way you have one foot still in the job, and can go back if you need to.

 

I really liked being home with my DD, but I had already more or less had a career at that point. I didn't feel like there was really any unfinished business left for me there. I would have stayed in my engineering job if I didn't have a child, and would have enjoyed it, but I did not feel stuck and frantic staying home because I had already achieved some measure of success and felt that I had come to a good stopping point. I know that if I had had children during my 20s it would have driven me crazy to stay home with them, but later I had that all out of my system.

 

It was difficult to accept being dependent. I had put myself through the last 2 years of college, moved across the country, established myself and my career there, moved back, bought a house (single women didn't do that so much then) and then gotten married. I had always pulled my weight or more. Right around the time I stopped getting paid I actually got nightmares!

 

I think that it is important to understand where you fall on these two issues, especially if by leaving your job you are kind of burning your bridges. Are you going to miss your career and feel bad about leaving? Are you going to hate being a dependent? Figure that stuff out as much as you can up front. Make sure that you are financially secure, with some good margin in case of emergencies. And then try getting your feet wet with a LOA. That would be my perfect world scenerio. Good luck! (PM me if you want.)

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Carol

Thanks. This helped a lot. I don't really have any unfinished business in my career. I have had the big, important job at the big, important company. I have traveled for work. I have led big projects. One of the big reason's I think I am ready to move on is that I just can't imagine that what I am doing at work is half as important as what I am missing at home.

 

I hadn't considered a leave of absence. I know that the company has a policy. I think I will go dig it up.

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One of the big reason's I think I am ready to move on is that I just can't imagine that what I am doing at work is half as important as what I am missing at home.

 

QUOTE]

 

Yes, this was exactly what I thought. I also felt that if a little child wanted her mother that that was reasonable, and that I should try to figure out how to make that work. Most of my colleagues thought that their kids should just ADJUST ALREADY and complained about them all the time. I did not know anyone at work who really liked being a mother, or who would admit it, anyway.

 

Another thing about work vs. home was that at work I was always so frantic, business-like, professional, and rushed, and at home I was on toddler time--patient, slow, polite, cheerful, smiley, calm. It was such a tough transition every day. And, at work, although I had never noticed it before, people complained 3 ways--hard, fast, and continuously. Now, I may have done so before I had DD, but I worked hard to establish a positive atmosphere at home and got very sensitized to the negativity at work. And I grew to truly hate it.

 

I really, really enjoyed being a SAHM. I would hasten to add, though, that it is not for everyone, and it is a very individual and circumstance-related decision. Even after I decide to figure out how to stay home, I had to work for about a year and a half to get financially situated to leave. The numbers do have to work or this can be pretty bad.

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It sounds like financially it could be done.

 

telecommuted and then worked part-time when my children were small, but I made the big break when my children were 3 1/2 and 5 1/2. I told my office not that I was "quitting" but that I was transitioning to a new career--full-time homeschool teacher. One of the most wordly people I worked with in that office congratulated me (!) and said her youngest daughter was asking to be homeschooled but she couldn't quit because she was a single mom. I will say that there are times I miss it, every once in a while, but the reports I wrote long ago are now shredded, I'm sure, while I'm working now on my most enduring project--my children. What I am working on with them will last forever.

 

So even though you have been teaching the children during the week, you could view it as a career change to committing to them full time.

 

Only you know what is right for your family. Listen to your heart.

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You aren't quitting, you're changing jobs.

 

Looking back, I can't imagine how I worked outside the home and parented as well. It was so worth it to leave that job. Life was better for all of us.

 

It helped me to have an emergency fund in the bank and to have other outlets for all those work skills - volunteer work did it for me.

 

Now that my youngest is 13, I'm taking some outside work in totally different field. Its great to be working outside the house a bit but I'm amazed at how it complicates my life and am grateful I took that break from it.

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Just some encouragement--

They won't want you home in a few years.

Would you rather decide then that you are ready to give it a go, and find they really don't care?

 

I remember being burned out as a young mom (actually I was depressed). I just could not stand playing with my ds. He asked constantly for me to play with him. Then he stopped asking.

 

It goes quickly.

 

It goes quickly.

 

It goes quickly.

 

Come home.

 

You will grow as a person, and you won't regret it. You can relearn skills or learn new skills later to make you "relevant" again, when they are gone. You can't get this time back. Once it's gone, that's it.

 

Live with no regrets about not being there. This is one thing you can control. :grouphug:

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I think it is important for you to consider whether, if you quit working altogether, your skills would become outdated so that you could not get another job in your field when your SAHM days are over.

 

There is much to be said for being able to support yourself and your children, should the need arise. I realize that the motivation to work is not always about being able to make money, and if yours extends beyond that, you should take that into consideration too.

 

I don't think this is a no-brainer. It's not as though your children are being neglected. You are home far more than most working Moms are, and your DH does spend time with them when you are at work.

 

I have worked part-time at a professional level job while staying home with my kids, and I know it is very difficult. I think the stress of homeschooling and working part-time is high, and if that is the case with you, then it is definitely not quitting, in the sense of giving up, to decide not to work outside the home. Frankly, unless you have household help (beyond childcare), I don't know how you do it. I would need a full-time housekeeper before I did that again.

 

I would not let emotions entirely rule this decision, is all, because the opportunity cost can be very high both now and in the future. There is nothing wrong with becoming a full-time SAHM, and I am one, but it is not utopia.

 

In this job market if I quit my high-tech job, I may never get another one.
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"Quit" is when one gives up; sounds like you're ready to move on to something more enticing. (Did you 'quit' being single, or childless/childfree--whatever is PC--or continue onto the next stage of life?)

 

DH works for a small international tech company. I'm always concerned that he'll come home one day unemployed. We've structured our lives so that we can live on less than half what he currently makes. It would require sacrifices. It sounds as if you're aware of your family sacrifices and can make due. Extra money is enticing, but being a SAHM has its bennies, too.

 

Do you desire to be a SAHM? How strongly do you value the extra income? Maybe you can work for another year (arbitrary time) and save the entire income just to prove to yourselves it's doable.

 

Good luck,

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Hi, Karen--

 

I quit my job about a decade ago to be able to homeschool my kids, although at the time I quit I was working only part-time. My job paid well (full-time it would be six figures) and involved significantly helping others. It will be difficult to go back when I'm done homeschooling, in that I don't know if I will have the energy to get back up to speed; the field has changed a lot. I had either been in school full-time or worked outside the home ever since I was five until I quit in my early 40's to homeschool.

 

Neither my dh nor I have ever regretted the decision. However, everybody is configured differently. If there is some way you could have a trial SAHM-period, that might be advisable. Also, my dh has a relatively recession-proof, lay-off proof job.

 

Given the above, for me it came down to: I can always go back to work--granted, it won't be with the experience/position I would have had if I had stayed working--but I can NEVER go back to being the mother of my children while they are young.

 

Nobody on their deathbed says: "I wish I'd spent more time at work."

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My husband is also in IT (we met at work years ago). Just last week, two people that the started the same time he did were laid off. Maybe it is the threat of him being laid off after I quit that troubles me.

 

He has never had the pressure of sole-breadwinner.

 

I used to be a tech editor for IT books. I wish I hadn't lost touch with the editors I worked for. I will have to brainstorm the freelance angle. Anybody need a freelance dba?

 

THis is what i was thinking - how secure is your DH's job.

 

I guess if you had 6 months worth of living in the bank i'd feel "ok", but with the way things are right now - and having had 2 people laid off i'd be worried.

 

A friend got laid off from her job - got another by the time she left, BUT, it was a HUGE pay cut. She now is working a second job for groceries (she's a new single mom at the same time).

 

Another friend quit her job - and hasn't had a lot of luck finding another one (both in the IT industry).

 

I'd look into taking a leave for a few months and see how it goes, and how your DH's job is looking.

 

Take that time to check into the freelance area.

 

:hug:

 

But i agree, it's NOT quitting, its just changing jobs.

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When I read the original post I thought of the term "sequencing". I've heard it described as "having it all, but not all at once". Where women have a career, but maybe delay it or take time out for a period of life. I know you say that it would be hard to go back to your particular line of work. I'm not in IT at all so I have no clue about your field...but it's possible you might find yourself in the SAHM phase for a season and then find a new career as your kids get older.

 

I think both Madeline Albright and Sandra Day O'Connor are the most cited examples of this. Albright was a SAHM until age 39. Sandra Day O'Connor delayed her career until her boys were all in school. (And has been criticized for retiring from the Supreme Court to care for her husband, which could also be seen as "sequencing".)

 

Anyway, it sounds to me like your heart is at home and if you have the ability to do it...I'd say go for it.

 

Just to add, I'm speaking as someone who works part-time. It works for me and dh now (we both work part-time and stay home part-time.) I would imagine that leaving a career isn't just quitting a job but is also about losing part of your identity. I can understand the struggle but it sounds like from your original post that you may be ready to move on to the next thing.

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In our case DH has had a very stable job, but long-term disability has always been on the horizon for him and is looking more and more likely as the days go by. He was home for five months from working dealing with medical issues and has been back now full-time for a few weeks but is literally taking it day-by-day. His current goal is to work three more years, but that seems very optimistic to me right now.

 

I chose to become an adjunct computer science professor to keep up my skills, and I've done that for the last nine years. I can tell you though that part-time employment in IT still can make it hard to return to the job market. The reality is that it's very hard to keep your edge part-time. I've been poking around with various local employers, and they're encouraging but almost universally they express some concern about 10+ years away from full-time work even though I've taken classes all along and have recent professional certifications. I interviewed for a 3/4 time telecommuting webmaster job last Tuesday, and I think I have a good chance, but the part-time work was something they asked a lot of questions about.

 

As you know, the IT industry is somewhat fickle and demanding, and from my perspective, stepping away from it is indeed a very hard decision. At some point you will lose your edge in the eyes of an employers. I'm not sure how long it would be for that to happen, but it's a very real issue. I love being with my children and frankly would have loved to completely step away from it, but with DH's medical history we were not comfortable with that. Now we are indeed facing the very real possibility of need my income on top of his disability retirement, and we have no regrets that I did keep working. It's just hard to know now if those years of part-time work will really translate into employment that will keep us going.

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I think it is important for you to consider whether, if you quit working altogether, your skills would become outdated so that you could not get another job in your field when your SAHM days are over.

 

There is much to be said for being able to support yourself and your children, should the need arise. I realize that the motivation to work is not always about being able to make money, and if yours extends beyond that, you should take that into consideration too.

 

I don't think this is a no-brainer. It's not as though your children are being neglected. You are home far more than most working Moms are, and your DH does spend time with them when you are at work.......

 

.....I would not let emotions entirely rule this decision, is all, because the opportunity cost can be very high both now and in the future. There is nothing wrong with becoming a full-time SAHM, and I am one, but it is not utopia.

 

I totally agree. Somethings to consider are what will be your age when you are through homeschooling? Will it be retirement age or will you still have 10-20 years of earning years left? How will quiting impact your retirement funds?

 

Also, is there another field you'd like to enter? You could use this time to not only to homeschool your children but also do the studying involved for a new career.

 

Assuming that you've saved a large nest egg, you could take a more active roll in studying the stock market and managing your money. That could be a part time job in itself.

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I think both Madeline Albright and Sandra Day O'Connor are the most cited examples of this.

 

Don't forget Nancy Pelosi!

 

I think everyone has to keep in mind that most of the people on this board are SAHMs, and we like it. And for many (most?) of us, it was a very easy choice. So it can be hard to see that our experiences and attitudes are not necessarily shared by everyone. Telling Karen that it is an easy or obvious choice is not necessarily true... just because it was easy and obvious for you (and for me) does not mean that it's so for everyone.

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I'd always planned to stay home w/ my kids, but the older I got, the harder the decision was. I had these degrees. (And the debt to go w/ them!) Seemed like I should use them, kwim?

 

A couple of things happened. Dd was "lost" at daycare. They found her on the playground, where she'd been left because her teacher had the wrong headcount--afternoon teacher didn't know she was there that day, so hadn't even been looking for her.

 

More relevant to your situation, though, is the number of older women I met during that time. Every. last. one. of them had had careers, & regretted them. I'd expected to find disapproval when I told strangers I was thinking of staying home & homeschooling; instead it was like a voices calling from a future that had not yet been written (for me) with warning. They unanimously said I wouldn't regret staying home.

 

I can hear them still, better when I wonder about what I'm doing. Why I'm here earning nothing when I could make enough to put dh through seminary w/out *any* financial struggle.

 

I guess it's a kind of faith, the leap you take in staying home. Less for me than you because I hadn't been working long, & the experience was some kind of lower level of hell. ;) (Hs English teacher at an inner-city school w/ admins who should be wearing the ankle bracelets instead of the dc.)

 

GL! :grouphug:

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FWIW here's my experience. I have an engineering degree and worked in engineering, then computers, for 13 years pre-children. When my kids came along, I chose to change careers. True, I don't get paid a dime for my new career, but it is far more important to both me and to the world than the job I was doing for pay. I can wait for my pay in the hereafter :) I have never regretted my career change for one minute -- wanted to pull my hair out, yes indeed, but you know that happens at every paid workplace also.

 

Now, I need to reveal that I grew up in a two-career family, and I never wanted to live that lifestyle in my own family. I saw what it did to my mom, and I lived it from the child's side. Even when I was very young and selfish and didn't want kids at all :blushing: I would have worked to set up an at-home parent if the kids had come along then (I guess it would have been one heckuv an argument for dh and me LOL). Anyway ... it was never a conflict for me -- I've seen the other side of that fence and the grass is NOT green there.

 

Praying for you to find what's best for YOUR family, not mine :)

Karen

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You sound like me, I would guess how are you with not having money of your own, how will you husband change being the only money maker. I say this because it changed my husband. He started treating me more like one of the children than a spouse. Quote "I am working x amount of hours to take care of you and the kids." How much did you spend for that? The homeschooling has been wonderful. My kids do not want me working. I want to go to work some days when he starts drilling me on spending. How much were those groceries, gas etc. He acts like I am going to spend all his money. Thats how he thinks, if I am not working its all his money instead of ours. It reminds me of my father, my dad the old fashion, mother had an allowance type. Thats why I had a career, never to live like that. Which my husband's not that bad but it does get on my very independent nerves. This has been the only negative to homeschooling for me. The benefits out way listening to my husband sound like my father. Just my 2 cents.

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it changed my husband. He started treating me more like one of the children than a spouse. Quote "I am working x amount of hours to take care of you and the kids."

 

That would be painful but it certainly isn't my experience. Because we both worked and parented, dh knows how much work parenting is. He feels like he's getting value for having the kids home and having them homeschooled. I think it's an individual thing.

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I've never regretted choosing to stay home. This doesn't mean there haven't been days or sacrifices, but this is right for us. My mother told me, she has never met a women who regretted spending time with her family. :grouphug:

 

I've kept a tiny foot in my field by volunteering here and there. There are many options to working full or even part time. This may be one of those season fazes, and your choice today isn't forever and ever.

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Wow Karen, that sounds like a great schedule. I do understand feeling bad about missing out on fun activities with the kids, but if you leave that job, I doubt you'll find another one with such a hs friendly schedule. I'm a SAHM now and I would love to have a job on the weekends. That's not possible because of dh's travel schedule and the boys' special needs, but I would love to have that outlet for myself. If you do decide to quit, I would make sure that you have at least an afternoon away from your family scheduled in (preferably carved in stone). I find that when I haven't had any alone time for a couple of weeks, I get very down and am not pleasant to be around.

 

On the economic front, I'd be leery of leaving a job at the start of what looks to be a long spell of economic uncertainty. I don't think we've seen the top of gas or food prices and unemployment will almost certainly increase over the next year.

 

I hope you can come to a decision you're comfortable with.

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