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Your marriage/parenting plan when you were a young adult


Night Elf
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From the time I was 17, I wanted to be married and have a baby. I was in the beginning of my senior year in high school and I worked out a plan with my counselor to graduate a quarter early, so I got out of school in March. I immediately got a full time job and started hinting to my boyfriend I was ready to get married. However, all I really wanted was to be a housewife and SAHM. I finally got there when I was 28 and in my second marriage. Since then, I've worked a year or so here and there always for the same company who just needed me for a while. My last job was a 6-month job in a daycare about 7 years ago. It just didn't work out while I was trying to homeschool. So now, my youngest is a college freshman. My SAHM days are over, but I'm still a full-time housewife and I love it! I have no desire to ever work again and I'm perfectly content to do so. However, it remains to be seen if I can actually do that. I might need to get a part-time job when DH retires in 10 years. I'm very unhappy about the idea. Anyway, I'm in the exact position I've wanted since I was a teenager.

 

I've seen lots of posts about this topic, about some of you looking forward to going back to work, or will have a need to do so. How about those of you who plan to remain housewives? Is that really so unusual in this day and age?

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When I was a young adult I didn't want to get married or have children. I ended up getting pregnant at 23. Married the father, finished my degree, and here I am 23 years and 6 kids later. I wasn't planning on being a SAHM, but there was an incident where my child wanted to be with the babysitter over me and that really upset me. It was after that I decided to come home after I finished my degree. Wouldn't change a thing now. My youngest is 4 so I will be nigh on to 65 when I'm done homeschooling and i will enjoy my retirement and feel no guilt about never going to work outside the home. I'm going to spend my summers at the beach and sit on my butt and do absolutely nothing. The rest of the time I'm going to read all the books I couldn't being so busy with kids and enjoy the quiet and being alone as the introvert that I am. That's the plan. We will see how that turns out. Lol

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How about those of you who plan to remain housewives? Is that really so unusual in this day and age?

If my husband is gainfully employed for the next 20 years (assuming retirement at 65), there is little need for me to bring in income other than to fund luxuries like pricier vacations. Both sides of our family have workaholic tendencies and tend to retire as late as possible.

 

The plan when I was a teen would be to work and to have some savings before marriage, then continue working until having a firstborn. After which would be volunteer work to fulfill social needs. Now I am exhausted both by parenting and by seasonal allergies so when my kids are independent, I would like to go back to doing a few hours of volunteering a few days a week.

 

My husband likes us to tag along for business trips so he isn't keen for me to work in a regular job where it would be harder to just take leave every time there is a business trip.

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I could have written your post as my own. I ended up not getting married until I was 30 but the rest of plan I get. Having a child at 42 has prolonged the SAHM part of the equation but would love to be a SAHW. I loved my life from 19-30, but this is the life I've wanted since I was 12. 

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My ultimate goal in life is to create multiple streams of passive income so dh and I can both be stay at home parents. That means a lot of work now for hopefully many years of both of us being home. Dh will actually always want to work at his current job at least part-time because he is quite passionate about it but he also wants to be home most of the time.

 

So I don't think wanting to stay home is an odd idea. However, I hate being a homemaker. Cooking, cleaning, and all that jazz is just more crap work I would love to avoid. But staying home and doing things that interest me and my family is what I strive to reach someday

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I've seen lots of posts about this topic, about some of you looking forward to going back to work, or will have a need to do so. How about those of you who plan to remain housewives? Is that really so unusual in this day and age?

 

 

I don't necessarily PLAN to remain a housewife. I never intended to be one to begin with.  It may end up being the label I live under in other people's eyes.  *If* I don't need to work for pay, I probably won't, because there are so many more interesting and important things I can do for the world than take a paying job just because.  (Though it could be argued that extra money could be beneficial to my favorite causes, too.)

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When I was a young adult, I knew that some day I wanted to have a family, but first I was going to go to university, obtain a PhD, and spend 2 years abroad for a postdoc position. Then have kids. I envisioned staying home for a few years with the kids, and then gradually transitioning back to work.

I met, and started dating, my DH when I was 18.

 

The above is exactly what we did. We married just before my 25th birthday, I finished my PhD at 26, spent two years in the US, returned home pregnant, had my two children, stayed home for a while, returned to work. Just the kind of job is not what I thought I would be doing, we did not envision emigrating to another country, or homeschooling our children.

 

I love my job and cannot imagine life without it. And I am surrounded by people who feel the same.

Edited by regentrude
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I never intended to be a SAHM. When I was an older teen/young adult I pretty much lived in the moment or for the next few months. I was a totally responsible kid, I just didn't have a good vision of where I wanted to go in life other than it didn't seem to include marriage or kids. I was never the kind of girl who daydreamed about those things. I had a good but stressful job when I met DH. Our initial plan, which held for a few years, didn't include kids. Then my internal clock started ticking and I changed my mind. I eventually changed his, oldest DS came along after a struggle with infertility and by that time we were in a pretty good financial place and neither of us could imagine leaving him with strangers. So I became a SAHM and have been for 21 years now. It hasn't always been easy but I've totally enjoyed it and have always been extremely thankful that I didn't have to work outside the home. Now the boys are grown and I toy with the idea of getting a part-time job just to have something to do. But unless the right thing falls in my lap I probably won't do it. 

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It feels unusual, but I'm there with you.

 

I never really planned to be married with kids. I really didn't plan to be a housewife. My parents both had PhD's and my mom worked in an era when that wasn't all that common. However, once I was married and had kids, I desperately wanted to stay home with them and did from the time my youngest was born. I do a little consulting work and did some tutoring. Now that the kids are gone, I tutor on Tutor.com, but mostly, I'm a housewife and I'm very content.

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I always wanted to marry and have children. Dh and I started dating in high school, and I knew pretty early in that I wanted specifically to marry him. We dated through college, got pregnant, got married, and aside from two years early on, I have been at home ever since.

 

The current plan is that I will work for a little while after our youngest finishes high school, just to pad our retirement savings and/or fund college for the youngest, etc. Meanwhile, I sometimes sell quilts, and would love for that to take off, and probably will look at tutoring with Barton...but that not until after I'm done working with my own son. I simply don't have the emotional energy to take on tutoring students while also in the thick of it with my own kid.

 

I am happy with how things have turned out; I've thought of various jobs/careers over the years and am not at all opposed to working for pay outside the home....but neither am I opposed to staying home until my homeschooling days are over.

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When I was young I thought I'd go to law school, get married at 23 (clearly I didn't think through how that would work), get pregnant immediately, be a prosecuting attorney, and eventually get into politics.  I never counted on deciding I hated politics while still in college, learning that  my boyfriend had been hiding a personality disorder and significant mental illness, early terminal illness of a parent, and then getting ill myself, let alone deciding that having a stay at home parent is better for kids and for my health - both mental and physical.  I never counted on learning about homeschooling and then wishing I'd been homeschooled.  I never counted on how much a personality disorder and mental illness could significantly change what I wanted in a husband.

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When I was younger I also only wanted to be a SAHM.  We were hoping to have 4 kids.  But then 4 turned into 5 and then 6.  We actually wanted 7 or 8 by the time we had #5 but pregnancy #6 was my hardest pregnancy and we decided to be done.  In hindsight I wish I had had my last closer to his next sibling (there's 5yrs between them).  He's kind of like an only and he's lonely a lot.  Watching all his older siblings go off to college has been heart wrenching.  Now that he's 15, and has more friends at school, it's easier.   Also, at 53, I feel pretty done with this phase in life but I still have a child at home.   Even so, I do still miss having a housefull of children.  I miss it all the time.  I can't seem to make up my mind  :laugh:

 

I have gone back to school because I do regret not getting a college degree.  No one seems to understand that the college degree IS my goal, not a career.  

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From the time I was 17, I wanted to be married and have a baby. I was in the beginning of my senior year in high school and I worked out a plan with my counselor to graduate a quarter early, so I got out of school in March. I immediately got a full time job and started hinting to my boyfriend I was ready to get married. However, all I really wanted was to be a housewife and SAHM. I finally got there when I was 28 and in my second marriage. Since then, I've worked a year or so here and there always for the same company who just needed me for a while. My last job was a 6-month job in a daycare about 7 years ago. It just didn't work out while I was trying to homeschool. So now, my youngest is a college freshman. My SAHM days are over, but I'm still a full-time housewife and I love it! I have no desire to ever work again and I'm perfectly content to do so. However, it remains to be seen if I can actually do that. I might need to get a part-time job when DH retires in 10 years. I'm very unhappy about the idea. Anyway, I'm in the exact position I've wanted since I was a teenager.

 

I've seen lots of posts about this topic, about some of you looking forward to going back to work, or will have a need to do so. How about those of you who plan to remain housewives? Is that really so unusual in this day and age?

 

 

It is what I wanted too.  I did get to for about 14 years....then I went to work for just a few hours a week....and I could take ds with me...Since January 1 I've been working at least 3 full days a week.  We need the money, but it sure messes with my head because I feel everything is falling apart at home.  I would have preferred to not have to work outside the home at all until the kids were both launched out of the house.....but they are 16 and 17 now (almost) so I guess I can't complain too much.

 

Once the kids are gone I don't think I will mind 3 days a week at all.  Mostly doing it for the money though....I would prefer to be able to stay home.

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I never wanted to be a SAHW or even have my own children (maybe adopt).  WHen I was a teenager, I thought I wouldn't get married. Then I met dh in my second year of college.  We married after I graduated but before he did only because my mother was dying and wasn't expected to live long enough for him to graduate (a year behind me).  Even after we married, we originally thought we may adopt instead of having our own kids.  Well we ended up having three of our own.  I worked and went to grad school until my second was about six months.  I then decided that I would rather be home with the kids more and that I could potentially teach even without having done a dissertation in community colleges  WIthin the year, I was diagnosed with one of my autoimmune diseases and I had started homeschooling.  Between the homeschooling, my own health problems, my husband;s frequent travel, and children's health issues, part time teaching in a community college never happened.  

 

Now they are gone and I am home still.  I had hoped that I would be doing lots of volunteering at this point in my life but my health issues have precluded for now.  Because of my health, I can't work.  I just try dwelling on what I can do and not on what I can't .  I do some things around the house like gardening, taking care of plants inside and our pets, light housekeeping, and help with logistics for travel and also deal with insurance,. taxes, etc.

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LOL.  I was soooo not interested in being a SAHM (wasn't even sure I wanted kids), or a SAHW (wasn't even sure I wanted to get married), I certainly didn't intend to homeschool (I didn't know it was even legal), and I had it in my head that if I didn't get married by about 25 years old I would be so set in my ways that I'd make someone miserable getting married to them.  I LOVED my career.  LOVED it.  I never intended to leave.

 

And yet here I am, married, a SAHM, I homeschool, and I left my career behind loooong ago.  Circumstances changed, needs changed, so my priorities changed.   :lol:

 

I do think that for many having the goal from early on of being a SAHM/SAHW seems odd now.  There is a feeling from many that that isn't much of a goal.  Not for all, though.  I know lots of women who really enjoy being these things and had that as their goal all along OR had their career but found their needs and the needs of their family were better met following the SAHM path instead and were enthusiastic about the switch.  Of course, there are those that did it out of necessity but have not found it very satisfying without a career, too.

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The plan was certainly not what I ended up with.

 

17 year old plan:

Meet spouse in college.  Work for a couple of years to save money to buy house.  Move in to my palatial home.  Have 2.3 kids, a dog, and a station wagon.  Homeschooling was only something freaks did and I couldn't wait to have 6 hours a day all to myself while the kids were at school.

 

Reality.

Didn't meet dh until a year after college. 

Nothing else went as planned, except for the 2 kids and a dog. The station wagon became a mini van.

My homeschool journey is nearing the end and I will probably have to go back to work full time for health benefits.  It is not what I want to do at all but it will probably be necessary.

 

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I always knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mother. I spent quite a bit of time with the aunt who I'm named after. Her entire life was keeping beautiful, welcoming home. She did it on a shoestring but she had no other obligations. Her kids were in PS. They had no outside activities. We did go to church twice a week, but she never volunteered for anything or taught anything. She also only had 2 kids who are 7 years apart so she was not stretched super thin. I noticed that her husband also pitched in, running to the store for groceries or picking the kids up from school. I couldn't have been older than 7 when I told my sister I was going to marry a man like that.

 

When it came time to go to college, I ended up living with that aunt. I went into elementary education because I thought that if I ever had to work, it would be the least disruptive for future kids. We could be on the same campus and spend holidays and summers together. I met Dh soon after that. He spent plenty of time at my aunt's house and I made it clear that I wanted a life like that. Oh, but I'd prefer more than a shoestring to make it out of. Dh asked me to marry him when we were 18, but I pointed out that he was in no position to help me get the life I wanted.

 

I transferred to a better school after a few years and started spending time with another aunt and uncle. Both of them had very high status jobs in state politics. They also had a beautiful house. I stayed there and was nanny to their 2 young sons in the summers and after school. Dh spent a lot of time there as well, and I know there were some things that he saw that made him say, "I want this for my life."

 

But both of us saw a degree of chaos and distraction that comes from being spread too thin. Neither of us wanted that.

 

We didn't get married until we were 25. We both worked until I had my oldest. The summer she was born, the company he was working for went out of business. He asked if I would consider going back to work after the birth until he found something else. I wouldn't do it.

 

I told him that I had faith in him, and I was willing to relocate but I wasn't leaving my baby for even a minute. He never missed a paycheck but we did have to move when she was 7 days old. I know that some of you may think I was very wrong not to be more flexible, but Dh says that my never relenting on my goals has caused him to achieve more than he ever imagined he could.

 

It really helped us that we had 7 years to talk about what kind of life we wanted to have. I feel like it helps that Dh and I share the same destination. It makes everything so much easier.

 

I have worked off and on doing jobs that I could do with the kids. I have a couple of opportunities at the moment and both are appealing to me. I am reminding myself that this is the season for focusing on the little girls, and keeping a home and being available for travel. I don't want to be spread too thinly.

 

I don't think I will go back to work when the little girls grow up.

 

I'm doing a little volunteer work, I think im going to start having a monthly meal here at the house for Dh's group at work.

 

At this point in our lives, smoothing the way for him to do well at his career will pay off much more than the measly amount I can earn on my own. I balance that by keeping up with my hobbies and spending time with neighborhood friends and working on community projects so I don't get bored or resentful.

 

Things look pretty much like I pictured them except I thought my kids would be dark haired instead of blond.

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I've always loved kids, and started babysitting my brothers when I was 9 and for other families at 11. By 16 I was a FT summer nanny for 4 kids and remember saying to my mom that if I'd had a stable marriage and finances, I'd have been ready for a baby of my own. Obviously I didn't have those things at 16 so I finished high school and went off to college.

 

I started off pre-med and didn't really think about marriage & kids in the near term. though I definitely wanted them at some point. It's the norm in both my parents' social circle and my own to put off marriage & childbearing until the very late 20's or early 30's.

 

I ended up meeting DH during my freshman orientation week and that changed everything. Neither of us were particularly devout at the time (I've become more religious as I've matured) but we were both against TeA and cohabitation outside of a relationship headed for the altar. We got "pinned" (similar to a promise ring) my sophomore year and formally engaged my junior year. I realized that spending my 20's in med school and residency did not fit with my desire to marry DH and have 4 kids.

 

What I should've done at that point was finish the science pre-reqs for a direct-entry M.S. in Nursing degree. I could've been finished with grad school and fully licensed as a N.P. by 25, making good money in a career that would've offered plenty of opportunities for PT/flexible work. I wish that instead of everybody freaking out about my changing my aspirations from a M.D. to a M.R.S., they had actually offered some useful career advice on how I could balance career & family. :glare:

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My ideas about this changed over my teen years.  I always thought I would have some kids if I married, and wanted to marry.  I had some different ideas about employment, and in fact have done a number of different things, most of which I didn't really envision.  I had hoped after my BA and libraray tech diploma to work in a public or school library, in children's services, but that didn't happen for various external reasons.  I ended up woring at the natural history museum with the school loans department, which I loved, and then in the army, which had its ups and downs.

 

I didn't really imagine being at home much, but I generally quite like it. I did not at all imgine doing childcare for others or havingfive or six kids tagging around me.   I like to cook and do the shopping and I find a fair bit of creative outlook in those things, and my garden especially - cleaning not so much but that is life.  I may go back to work when the kids are older, though I don't especially feel an emotional or intellectual need to - if money was no object I'd rather do whatever I found more valuable without regard for money.  Most of the things that I think would be really useful and make use of my talents would pay me little or nothing.

Edited by Bluegoat
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I did what I wanted to do,but being pregnant while in the midst of the second wave of corporate layoffs meant I became a sahm . It would have been a two hour each way commute to another job,but the kicker was no decent daycare. My friends who weren't laid off were working opposite shifts from their spouse and meeting in the parking lot to swap the children. I had intended to go back to work when younger went to high school, but the health consequences of my inability to process the folic acid added to the food supply appeared. It took me a while to recover. At this point I have been a sahm for a year,and am running down my list of things to do as well as helping dh family with eldercare. I would have to have a lucky break to get back in my profession, so am currently thinking of business opportunities. The health care situation means we need affordable retiree health insurance, which now can't be had. It is so odd to be home with neighbors who have been retired since they were forty five. Their life is garden, work on house, play cards, elder care, watch leaves grow. I can't do that. My dhs colleagues plan on working until they qualify for medicare, due to the health insurance constraints.

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When I was in my early 20s, I was married (to XH), working as a nuclear engineer, and planned on never having kids. Ehhh, turns out I just didn't want them with XH.

 

I started staying at home right before I got pregnant with my oldest, when we decided DH would stay in the military until retirement. I stumbled into homeschooling when DS1 missed the K cutoff by just a few days and never stopped. I'm not sure what my career plans will be once the caboose is done with school. I'll be in my late 50s then, and don't see going back into my previous career field. I'm way too out-of-date, and would need to most likely get a master's degree to get back into the field. I would love to write a novel one day, in my spare time. One day?

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I think that you are just seeing posts by individuals who want and plan to make changes because that takes planning. For those who will continue to stay at home and look forward to doing so, there's not much that needs to be discussed. Their plan is already in the works.  :001_smile:

 

My life plans look nothing like what I thought about as a teen, very little like what I thought of as a young adult or even in my late twenties. But it's all good. I just keep an eye out for that next branch in the road and then go for it. 

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Don't want to rehash a lot of what I have written in other posts, but here it is.

 

I love working.  I have always had a job, even through college, and worked full time while getting my Masters' degrees.  

 

My dream was to get married and have perfect children who were well liked and did well in school, so that I could stay working without ANY problems at all.....hahahahaha!

 

I didn't get married until I was age 29, so I had about 7 years of full time employment under my belt when we married.  My husband didn't have his MA yet, so he left his job for two years, I supported us fully, and he finished his graduate degree.

 

THEN we had kids.  I had no intention of ever quitting my job.  I planned to work full time (maybe some part time with babies I told myself) until retirement.  The only reason I finally stayed home was because I had a son with special needs whose needs were not being met in the school.  

 

I stayed home 10 years, and then my younger two wanted to go to school and I went back to work as of this past August.  

 

Edited by DawnM
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My church is very big on people using their "time, treasure, and talent" to help the needy as Christ called on all of us to do. For some people, volunteering is enough but I see a need in my community that can only be filled by my holding a specific occupational license. Also, once I am working for pay, the increased income will allow us to raise our financial support of worthy causes. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with being a homemaker, just explaining why I feel called to go back to school and resume paid employment in the near future :)

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My church is very big on people using their "time, treasure, and talent" to help the needy as Christ called on all of us to do. For some people, volunteering is enough but I see a need in my community that can only be filled by my holding a specific occupational license. Also, once I am working for pay, the increased income will allow us to raise our financial support of worthy causes. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with being a homemaker, just explaining why I feel called to go back to school and resume paid employment in the near future :)

 

 

And pay for college!  That was a big one for us.  We could technically afford the local 4 year school and have them live at home, but that would be their only option.  There is NOTHING wrong with that option, but our local 4 year school doesn't have everything, and it is nice to allow them more options.

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And pay for college!  That was a big one for us.  We could technically afford the local 4 year school and have them live at home, but that would be their only option.  There is NOTHING wrong with that option, but our local 4 year school doesn't have everything, and it is nice to allow them more options.

 

Agreed. Also, given that financial aid is limited, any aid money that my children do not need since I'll be bringing in a 2nd income will be available to another student.

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We are finally at a place financially where Dh is making enough that we don't have to agonize over every purchase and our bills are getting paid on time.  We have a plan to get the kids through College with minimal costs (it's why we moved back to TN) then we'll downsize big time, preferably we'd like to be off the grid (except for internet maybe) but will accept close to it.  On top of all that DH likes having me home.  I take care of things all the little things he likes having done but doesn't have time to do, which is amazingly how I like it too.  Once the kids are grown I plan to do a lot of travelling, either with DH, who does not like to travel, or with one of the kids (I have a bunch of them to choose from). So while this is NOT the life I envisioned as a late teen it's a life I love and I don't plan on stressing myself out with a job..... They wouldn't be too cool with all the time I plan on taking off to visit/care for grand kids some day.  If we move to the West coast I could see volunteering and getting involved in the local community's LGBTQ or women's rights movement but I'm a little afraid to fly my "flag" where we live now, too many CSA flags/bumper stickers around here.

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I'm with you OP. I never really planned to have outside employment that was for monetary reasons, my businesses and such are for enjoyment but I'm a housewife through and through. My husband wanted it that way when we married and so did I. He wouldn't mind if I worked but we have never ever factored that into our financial plans except in the case of his disability or death.

 

It's been eleven years since we started that plan and we are still very happy with it. There are so many things to fill my time with if I wasn't managing kids, employment is pretty low on the list. Yes, I may start up my fiber arts studio again, audit a bunch of college classes, or do regular volunteering, but those are all things I enjoy and find enriching and money isn't really a factor.

 

We would like to get to financial independence so my husband has a similar set of choices in terms of pursuing things he loves and not having to make choices based on pay. We are working toward that with our spending and lifestyle habits :)

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I am so surprised at the number of people who were thinking about marriage and family and children in their teens!  That was not even close to being on my radar at that point.  I really didn't start thinking about it whatsoever until college and then I did decide that I'd like to be a SAHM. Can't remember when homeschooling came into the equation, but pretty early on. I have realized though that I am not super-pro-homeschooling as much as I am in favor of keeping your kids around longer and in support of strong family life.  For my kids, I pretty much want the opposite of what I had growing up. 

 

When my kids are grown, I doubt I will work full time. My health isn't super and there isn't a need at this point. I do think (even within 5 years maybe) I'd like to start tutoring. I'd love a little extra income for vacations, etc. And maybe a tiny break from my children (although, working with other people's children might not actually be as satisfying as I am thinking lol)

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I never planned to be a SAHM.  I'm only stay at home now because my daughter needs to homeschool.  I enjoyed my job well enough, but, If I never have to work again, that'd be REALLY nice. 

 

But I'm sure my husband would like to never work a day again, either.  I  know there are people who are very passionate about their work, but, neither of us are.  Feels a little unfair I 'get' to make my own schedule, not have to write progress reports, not have a boss to answer to, not have limited vacation days, etc.

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I wanted to be a SAHM since I was a kid.  I didn't meet anyone and never dated in high school or early college.  I decided to work on a degree originally in nursing, switched to education and then to early childhood education.  I never really enjoyed working much, although I liked working at a daycare enough that it was what my plan was for after getting my degree.  Then I met DH after getting my AA degree and we started dating.  We went to the same college for a while and then decided to get married.  In our discussions we decided that I would either work or do volunteer work until we had children.  Children took longer to come along than I would have liked thanks to infertility, so in those years I went back to school and trained to be a medical assistant, but then we moved and I never really got a job in that field.  I ended up doing a lot of volunteer work for our church until we finally had out first child.

 

I have no plans currently to work after the kids move out on their own, but I do plan to continue to do volunteer work.  I enjoy being home, most of the time, and making my own schedule.

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I always wanted kids, but I never had a hard core plan on when I'd have them or what would happen after I did.  I did plan on graduating college and working and I did that.  I married at 29.  I very much enjoyed my 20's and was able to do a lot of traveling and adventure and learn about the world.  After I had kids,  I did not plan to homeschool and did not do so until after my oldest went to K and 1st.  I imagined going back to work after my kids were in school.

 

I don't know what I'll do after I'm done homeschooling.  I MAY not need to go back to a traditional full time job, though I've done some contract, short term stuff and I have enjoyed that and it doesn't hurt the pocket book.  I've also done some teaching in my degree area.  I do tons of volunteer work and there are some areas I could spend tons of time volunteering. 

 

That said, life happens, and I am going to work to keep up my skills and have some direction I COULD work in should I need to do so.  You never know when you might lose your spouse or have a health crises pop up. 

Edited by WoolySocks
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Well, I always wanted a lot of kids.  Didn't intend on homeschooling, but they'd go to the best private schools, which wouldn't be a problem financially because I was going to get my degrees, and a lucrative career first, and work when I had kids.  And you don't really meet someone and get married before you're at least 30, maybe 32, right?  Right??

 

Met my future DH when I was 17 (well, knew since I was 12, but noticed him at 17; he is a few years older than me).  Engaged at 18.  Left college after 2 years to get my MRS degree instead, married at 20. Did get a job, not too bad pay given the area. Had first kid at 22. Next at 24, then 27, #4 due while I'm 30.  

 

My DH was homeschooled and for him it was always something to consider but not a for-sure thing (he didn't want it to be like his experience, basically).  After looking at the public school and other options in the area, it was clear our kids were not made to fit into those environments. So we decided to homeschool and see how it worked out. We split the duties and my flex schedule and his part-time job was enough to make it work sufficiently, and the kids thrived.

 

Worked that same job for 9 years, got laid off a year and 3 days ago. Have been helping my DH with his freelance/business since I've been home, and homeschooling has become my full-time job, along with house stuff. 

 

So overall very different -- married 10 years and expecting #4 while I'm 30, slightly different than "start looking at mate material at 30", lol -- but each decision was weighed and I'm happy with where I am.  While it would be nice to have my degree, I don't I regret the choice I made and would make the same choice again. 

 

Now, my overall plan is to keep going as is, just raising the standard in each area -- home school, house, and business. I especially need to raise the business if I want this to be permanent, so that takes most of my improvement-attention right now. Since we were expecting me to continue working for at least a couple more years while homeschooling, we had done a TON of prep in a big swoop 2 years ago, which takes a lot of the homeschool planning stress off of me for now. 

 

Knowing my personality more, and seeing the difference between what I actually wanted/who I am, and what my parents raised me to be, has been very helpful.  They still think I threw my life away, and blew all my chances at a good life (they love the grandkids though, so are mostly amicable and don't push this topic too much). This used to sting more, especially when I was younger and newly married because I was a very obedient kid (didn't go through the teenage rebel stage, literally my first rebellion from their expectations was getting married). But now I see that the path they put me on was not good for my personality and I probably would have either burnt out or just been really, really unhappy. I feel like I dodged a bullet, and thankfully dodged to something that fits me much better. 

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As a young person I didn't want to get married or have kids ever.  I don't know what happened.  :lol:

 

Now?  If I go back to work and it's not because I need money, I want it to be something I REALLY enjoy.  That will be the only reason I go back (other than really needing the money).  I'll shovel dead bodies and dinosaur poop if I need money.  Not against working.  But I've never liked any  job I've had.  They were all soul crushingly boring and awful and just doing stuff I hated.  So...I won't sign up for something like that for no good reason.

 

Not entirely sure on my plans though. 

 

 

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Up until the day I met my dh, I didn't want to get married OR have kids.  He kind of threw me for a loop...lol.  Personally, I'd go nuts if I continued to stay home now that the kids are grown.  It never was a dream of mine though. I never got a chance to do my own thing...married at 16, mom by 20.    I love my kids, and I'm glad for the time I spent raising them, but I'm excited about the next stage of life. 

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By the time I finished college, I had this vision...

 

* get married (check)

* one kid (oops... twins...)

* kid at age 27 (just missed it by a couple of months)

* co-sleep (check)

* breastfeed long term (check)

* homeschool (check)

 

I think the specifics of my decisions have changed over time, but I was super opinionated about how I wanted to do all this and it worked out mostly pretty well. I'm glad I ended up with two kids for sure.

 

I have always intended to go back to work though. I worked until the kids were 3 yo and I would have kept working but my job ended up having a natural ending, so I stopped a little earlier than intended. I do want to go back and I'm trying to decide what to do next about that. I have zero desire to get another master's degree. But I don't really want to go back into the classroom either. So I need to find another route. Not sure what that will look like though.

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I've seen lots of posts about this topic, about some of you looking forward to going back to work, or will have a need to do so. How about those of you who plan to remain housewives? Is that really so unusual in this day and age?

 

I totally agree, but I feel like, if I state it so candidly, I will inevitably be told 'well your husband might get sick or disabled or die'. Over and over. I get it, I don't know the future. But I also can't plan for the unknown. So I plan for the likelyhood that he wont get sick or disabled or die. And I don't tell anyone, because being constantly reminded DH could die actually rather upsets me. Especially since I am also disabled.

 

I wanted to be a stay at home mum of a big family since I was 10. I loved kids, I never had any desire to work a job. The only job I had a real interest in was teaching! (a job which was out of the question because I'm legally blind). Homeschooling fulfilled all the good parts of being a teacher without many of the bad parts, in my mind. 

 

I got what I wanted. I married young, we have three kids and despite some health issues after our third we are still on our way to large family status. We homeschool as a lifestyle choice (having been homeschooled ourselves, both our parents sucked at it academically, but the lifestyle and advantages stuck with us. We are just doing the academic bit totally differently).

 

I'm still far off from post-kids, but, I have no intention of going back to work. I do run some businesses from home, but that's different to me. Paid employment holds no appeal whatsoever, and DH likes having me at home, he likes the environment it creates, If we do have more kids, by the time I am finished with my last I will probably be close to grandparenthood from at least one older kid, and I want to be a big part of that too. My kids have missed out on grandparents because they're all still working long full-time hours, their only real relationship is with their great-grandparents. I want to be the involved grandma who does stuff with them and helps mother out. 

 

To be honest, I can't really have a backup plan for if something happens to DH. One would assume if he got unwell enough to no longer work he would also no longer drive. Well, I am legally blind and can't drive. Between the driving and the blindness I am ruled out of a huge number of jobs. I can work, but I am not employable, there's a key difference there, the blind have the lowest rate of employment of any high functioning disability (including high functioning downs syndrome and cerebral palsy). My only chance is with a skilled job, however my mental health situation prevented me from getting a degree when I was young, and while I am studying now (it's essentially free in my country for my situation), the distance options are mostly arts degrees, anything really practical requires practical, in person training. I LOVE what I am studying (sociology), but it has no practical purpose except as a social worker or social scientist, which I can't do because I can't drive. And even if I managed to find something, my mental health comes into play and I am not convinced I am mentally capable of outside the home employment due to the long hours of a shift (I take mental health breaks every 30-45 minutes while homeschooling).

 

Of course, I'm ok with all this because I WANT to be home. But it makes those worst case scenario conversations uncomfortable at best. If something happened we would be surviving off disability pensions for both of us and whatever home business income I can generate, there's just not much of a way around that. Saying everyone needs a plan is great, but what if 'the plan' is already in place? DH has a chronic condition and can only work part time as it is, I can only work from home, there's no going down from here, there's this or bust. So, I'll keep dreaming of the most likely scenario thanks. 

Edited by abba12
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Yeah, being in high school dreaming about being a mom at home is something I can't relate to. I had a boyfriend in high school whom I told many times I didn't want to get engaged at 18. So he waited until the day I turned 19. 😑 It was awkward because he asked me to marry him in from of a room full of people celebrating my birthday and I didn't actually say anything. I just hugged him and put the ring on. My sister, who was waiting with a camera even said, "You didn't even say yes!" I mean, I wasn't consciously refusing to say yes, but I was thinking, "soooooo not what I want right now!"

 

It was not quite a month later that I met DH, although it was still several months before I broke up with the high school boyfriend.

 

Also, I had a pretty negative view of "just" being a SAHM/W because that's what my mom did. We were poor. I didn't want to be poor and therefore, didn't want to be home if earning an income myself could help.

 

I do look forward to doing other things as my budgies leave the nest. I don't want to "just" be a SAHW. I need more feeling a part of the wider world than being only at home brings. And I say that even as a person who likes a lot of domestic activities and who doesn't crave people very much. I just want to be part of interesting things and intelligent discussion; it is the biggest thing I miss from my city law firm days pre-kids.

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During my high school years, I hadn't planned on getting married.  I didn't date and didn't see any opportunities for meeting anyone.  But I ended up marrying very stupidly (first boyfriend) at age 22 and was divorced within about 2 years (no kids).  After that I knew I would not marry again and wouldn't have kids.  I focused my attention on work and my nieces and nephews.

 

At age 37 I met my husband, married him at 39, and had 2 kids, at 41 and 42.  I worked all that time - over 20 years working till I quit to have my first child. We planned that I'd go back to work after that, because it was what everyone did, but we didn't really have the financial need then and I didn't want to leave my kids. My husband didn't like any of the daycare situations we saw, so... I stayed home. 

 

Later on homeschooling came up and so we ended up doing that.

 

I would LOVE to be a housewife when my homeschooling gig is over.  I will be 61 when my 2nd child graduates from high school.   Time to retire, as far as I'm concerned.  However, I'm not sure that will work out financially.  My husband did a mid-life career change (which included 4 years of grad school) that has not worked out well for us.  Between using savings for school, the economic downturn the year we moved, losing money on the house we sold, and our current home value still not recovered... there is a good chance that I will need to find some kind of work.   

 

I find the thought depressing and frightening, to be honest. I have not worked in so long and I feel completely unskilled.  And, it is not what I'd pictured. Honestly, my husband loves having a personal assistant (that's my joke, not what he calls me) because other than meal planning, I like running the home.  I'd like to put in a garden, etc.  But, not sure how that's going to work out.  I guess I have till June to figure something out.  

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I never had any plans re kids. I thought I'd have an important career and would out earn my husband, if I ever had one. I married at 25 but really should have waited. I am still happily married at 41 though. Never wanted kids, but I have 3. Never even thought about homeschooling but here I am. Even in my naive days, I always thought the girls who just knew they had 2 kids at age 29 and 31 were a bit misguided and naive. ETA that sounds terrible! Now that im a sahm and have no plans to go back to work, ever, I sort of envy the women who planned on this and got it! :)

Edited by MotherGoose
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I always knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mother. I spent quite a bit of time with the aunt who I'm named after. Her entire life was keeping beautiful, welcoming home. She did it on a shoestring but she had no other obligations. Her kids were in PS. They had no outside activities. We did go to church twice a week, but she never volunteered for anything or taught anything. She also only had 2 kids who are 7 years apart so she was not stretched super thin. I noticed that her husband also pitched in, running to the store for groceries or picking the kids up from school. I couldn't have been older than 7 when I told my sister I was going to marry a man like that.

 

When it came time to go to college, I ended up living with that aunt. I went into elementary education because I thought that if I ever had to work, it would be the least disruptive for future kids. We could be on the same campus and spend holidays and summers together. I met Dh soon after that. He spent plenty of time at my aunt's house and I made it clear that I wanted a life like that. Oh, but I'd prefer more than a shoestring to make it out of. Dh asked me to marry him when we were 18, but I pointed out that he was in no position to help me get the life I wanted.

 

I transferred to a better school after a few years and started spending time with another aunt and uncle. Both of them had very high status jobs in state politics. They also had a beautiful house. I stayed there and was nanny to their 2 young sons in the summers and after school. Dh spent a lot of time there as well, and I know there were some things that he saw that made him say, "I want this for my life."

 

But both of us saw a degree of chaos and distraction that comes from being spread too thin. Neither of us wanted that.

 

We didn't get married until we were 25. We both worked until I had my oldest. The summer she was born, the company he was working for went out of business. He asked if I would consider going back to work after the birth until he found something else. I wouldn't do it.

 

I told him that I had faith in him, and I was willing to relocate but I wasn't leaving my baby for even a minute. He never missed a paycheck but we did have to move when she was 7 days old. I know that some of you may think I was very wrong not to be more flexible, but Dh says that my never relenting on my goals has caused him to achieve more than he ever imagined he could.

 

It really helped us that we had 7 years to talk about what kind of life we wanted to have. I feel like it helps that Dh and I share the same destination. It makes everything so much easier.

 

I have worked off and on doing jobs that I could do with the kids. I have a couple of opportunities at the moment and both are appealing to me. I am reminding myself that this is the season for focusing on the little girls, and keeping a home and being available for travel. I don't want to be spread too thinly.

 

I don't think I will go back to work when the little girls grow up.

 

I'm doing a little volunteer work, I think im going to start having a monthly meal here at the house for Dh's group at work.

 

At this point in our lives, smoothing the way for him to do well at his career will pay off much more than the measly amount I can earn on my own. I balance that by keeping up with my hobbies and spending time with neighborhood friends and working on community projects so I don't get bored or resentful.

 

Things look pretty much like I pictured them except I thought my kids would be dark haired instead of blond.

Haha -- I figured I'd have more redheads. The very littlest looked like we finally got a redhead like DH, but the others are all blond or brunette. I also figured we'd have a couple more girls rather than five boys in a row, but such is life.

 

I always intended to get married and be a SAH mom, and I decided to Homeschool before I even went to college. I always wanted a big family. I worked for a couple of years after college before having DD, while DH went to school and then started his career, and I've been home ever since. I think the only thing that is different, really, is that I expected I'd be mostly done having babies by 30, but it turns out that nursing affects my fertility heavily, so more like a three year spacing is what we've got. The four youngest boys were all born in my 30s, and if we have a seventh, I'll be at least 40 and probably more like 41. Can't say as I really mind.

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I totally agree, but I feel like, if I state it so candidly, I will inevitably be told 'well your husband might get sick or disabled or die'. Over and over. I get it, I don't know the future. But I also can't plan for the unknown. So I plan for the likelyhood that he wont get sick or disabled or die. And I don't tell anyone, because being constantly reminded DH could die actually rather upsets me. Especially since I am also disabled.

 

I refuse to live in fear over the possibility that something may happen to DH. For now, we have excellent life insurance. When we lose that, we'll have his SS and his retirement money. If he dies before me, I'll still have those things. I do worry about losing him though. He's 11 years older than me, but I'd say he was in better health, so who knows what will happen.

 

Once when I was working, my boss, owner of a small company, was thinking of offering a way for the employees to have a retirement fund. There was a young lady who totally freaked out when I told her I wouldn't participate. She didn't realize I wasn't a salaried employee and didn't qualify for it anyway until I told her and she freaked out at that as well. She actually got very rude in the break room and told me my DH would either die one day or he would divorce me and I'd be left poor. Talk about being offended! All I could think was she must have been jilted good for her to have such a bad attitude about marriage.

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Yes, whether working or staying at home a family's financial plan should account for the needs of each member. We have insurance, etc. I know my legal rights with regard to retirement savings (though I don't anticipate needing to exercise those rights). I suppose it is a little easier for me to relax because I did get my degree before babies came along. But I've not worked full-time for many years. 

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I refuse to live in fear over the possibility that something may happen to DH. For now, we have excellent life insurance. When we lose that, we'll have his SS and his retirement money. If he dies before me, I'll still have those things. I do worry about losing him though. He's 11 years older than me, but I'd say he was in better health, so who knows what will happen.

 

Once when I was working, my boss, owner of a small company, was thinking of offering a way for the employees to have a retirement fund. There was a young lady who totally freaked out when I told her I wouldn't participate. She didn't realize I wasn't a salaried employee and didn't qualify for it anyway until I told her and she freaked out at that as well. She actually got very rude in the break room and told me my DH would either die one day or he would divorce me and I'd be left poor. Talk about being offended! All I could think was she must have been jilted good for her to have such a bad attitude about marriage.

I have to watch that even on here. We plan and do our best but I refuse to live in constant fear of my husband dying or leaving me either. Some people are just really negative about the whole thing as though it is a statistical norm among homeschooling families and anyone without a career in the hatch is doomed. We have insurance, assets that would be divided in a divorce, and I keep hoping no meteors or bad drivers hit him. I can still work and finish my degree as well. But beyond that? Eh.

 

We moms just do our best and if the worst happens we deal. That's true of so much in life, and planning can help but anxiety over all the catastrophes that could befall us is such a thief of joy and peace of mind.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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