Post # 1
My husband and I are discussing having a baby. We just had a recent false alarm and it really opened my eyes to the costs of having a child. I would like to go back to work, at least part-time, if we have a child. But the cost of childcare in Chicago is outrageous. I know several people who have a nanny.
Then my husband drops a bomb on me. He says that we can afford to live off of his salary if I wanted to stay home. I’m not really comfortable asking him for money……I’m very type-A, independent, and regimented. I can’t see him being okay with me getting the occassional facial or personal training session. Plus, I love my job. I’m a nurse and I honestly get a feeling of validation by caring for patients and their families. Being a nurse is a part of my identity.
So Bees…….how did you transition from working to stay-at-home mom???? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
With all the talk of SAHM’s on the board lately I actually just had this discussion with my mom, who stayed at home when we were little and went back to work when my sister started school. She laughed at the idea that she ever had to “ask for money”. My parents have 2 joint accounts one for bills/one for living and my mom took out money as she needed it. He may have been the one getting the paycheck but the money was for the family.
Post # 4
I’m a SAHM, and I feel the same way as pp. It’s not “his” money anymore, it’s our money. I do all the grocery shopping, he pays the bills and takes care of our savings. If I want a facial, I get a facial. If I want a haircut, I get a haircut. Sure, sometimes I feel guilty about it, but it’s mom-guilt. Anything I do that isn’t family-related I feel bad about doing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve it. It’s not like I get a massage instead of using that money to buy food.
Post # 5
If you like to work, why wouldn’t you continue to do it? Especially if you consider it part of your “identity”. Sometimes it’s about more than the money. I have heard a lot of moms say they LOVE a part time job because it’s a great balance. You could always use it as a step down, too–if you find a part time job just isn’t for you, you can stay home! It doesn’t always have to be one or the other. It seems like part time nurses are always for hire!
I just don’t think I could ever see the tangible money my husband brings home as money that I can spend on non-necessities. I’d feel so weird getting my hair cut or my nails done!
eta: also in-home daycare may be an option. i was flabbergasted to find it’s like, $30/day around st louis. I’m sure Chicago is hire, but it may not be crazy expensive since it’s a by-the-day cost, versus daycare, which may not give you a lower rate.
Post # 6
you certainly don’t have to ask for money as a sahm, but you do lose some financial independence. if you ever need to leave, it’s a little more difficult when you don’t have your own income (hopefully this will never be an issue though).
part-time work might be a good option for you. i know childcare is expensive, but have you considered hiring an au pair? they’re a lot more affordable than normal daycare, but you do have to house them.
Post # 7
I don’t have any experience yet, but we’ve had similar future-based discussions. I just have a book recommendation that I absolutely love. It addresses all of these issues.
This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get The Lives We Want Today. It’s by an author named Kristin Maschka.
Post # 8
Since your job sounds very important for you, would it be possible to just pick up a few shifts nights or weekends when the hubby could be around?
Post # 9
I didn’t go to SAHM from working, but it had always been pounded into me that I had to work so I had a lot of baggage when I first started stayin home. I definitely feel obligated to keep the house mostly clean so that I am contributing SOMETHING. I also had those feelings (still do) that its HIS money, but I remind myself that he WANTS me to stay home, so he can deal with what I decide to spend money on.
However, in your case, if you love your job and it makes you happy, then I wouldn’t give it up. You already know that you love it, and right now, there really isn’t a reason other than just ’cause for you to have to stay home. I think that once you get pregnant, and if you decide that you’d prefer to be at home, then you know you always have that option to fall back on. But in the mean time, keep working since that is what you say you want. Good luck.
Post # 10
I agree with pps; if you love your job, you don’t have to quit! Daycare can be expensive, and nannies are typically at the highest end of a possible cost range, but there are many affordable options in between.
(Fingers crossed) I’ll be a SHM and full-time grad student this fall, but I don’t think money will be an issue for us. We’ve had all of our money in one pot for years, and I gave my husband the responsibiliy of managing it a long time ago. I don’t even remember “having my own money,” lol; it’s been “our money” for so long.
Post # 11
If you love your job, then don’t quit!
My mother loved her job too, and when we were little, her salary–almost all of it, went to daycare. But her working made her a better mom to us because she’s the type of woman who just needs to work. She’d be miserable as a SAHM.
Work gives a lot of people a tremendous sense of purpose, value, and a lot of people get significant joy out of it. So if working is that to you, then do consider keeping your job.
Either way, if you choose to be a SAHM and your DH controls the finances, I think that you need to have a talk with each-other about how spending is going to work. My personal belief is that if that’s the way you want to do it, then you should be given some amount for discretionary spending (provided you can afford it)–which means that within reason (we’re not talking about making outlandish purchases or spending money on yourself in lieu of car repair or something), it is YOUR money to spend and he doesn’t get to say boo–whether it’s on lattes, manicures, or Amazon. To me, it would be way too controlling for my DH to give me money and then dictate how I spent it.
Post # 12
Yeah, I don’t think I’d be able to get my nails or hair did or get facials if I wasn’t earning my own income, at least part-time. It just wouldn’t feel right. Also, if you love you job, why quit? Like @ejs4y8 said, go part-time! If you consider nursing to be part of your identity, all the sudden stopping that and being a mommy full-time might trigger an identity crisis or possibly some depression. Do what you feel is right for YOU, not what you think you SHOULD be doing, you know?
Post # 13
I’m a SAHM, and all of his paychecks go straight into our joint account. We had loooooong discussions about finances when I got pregnant, and he and I both agree that the amount of his paycheck covers not only his work, but also my ‘work’ at home taking care of our children. Otherwise we’d be paying out-of-pocket for a stranger to care for them, and neither of us is comfortable with that.
I do take care of all the bills and expenses, so I’m the one who allocates any extra money. Sometimes I can tell he’s feeling a bit resentful, like I’m spending “his” money, and then I have to dropkick him back down to earth. He knows that I’m not wasteful or impulsive about our funds, and he appreciates that I pay all the bills on time without him having to worry about them in any way.
BUT from what you said, it sounds like your DH might not be on the same page, and you seem to really love your job! I think you absolutely SHOULD work part-time, being a SAHM isn’t for everyone! One of my good friends works full-time running her own business, and she’s an amazing mom. Her DH wants her to become a SAHM b’cuz he can provide more than income alone, but she said she’s a much better mom when she feels like she’s accomplished something during the day (she gets cabin fever really easily).
Post # 14
OMG…THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My husband’s job is not really flexible, but mine definitely is. I’m just scared about being a good mom & balancing my career. I could always work evenings and/or weekends.
The DH laughs when I say “his” money. It’s my thing and not his. I just feel that he’s worked so hard and sacrificed so much for his career that it truly is HIS money. (We don’t do joint accounts for the sake of our sanities!) I just need to remember that being a mom is a 24/7/365 job, too.
We are going on vacation this next week & I will make sure we have an in-depth conversation about this whole issue. I really appreciate all of the advice. Sometimes it’s just so hard to take a good look from the outside and be subjective. Thank you for all your thoughts and comments. I truly appeciate it!
Post # 15
I’m not a SAHM yet, I’m a stay at home wife soon to be mom. Like the others said, I never have to ask for money. I actually tend to have more cash and he takes money from me! If I want something, I have our shared debit and credit cards and I buy it. He does the same. The only time we discuss purchases is if it’s really expensive, but since it’s “our money,” he also asks me before buying something big.
Post # 16
I’m so happy you posted this, because I feel exactly like you do. I totally cop to that its my issue, but its hard to wrap my brain around this ‘his money vs. our money’ thing.
I know three SAHM and only one is in an ideal situation, in that i don’t hear her complain about finances cause I think husband gives her full access. whereas the others i think have to ask their hubbies for assistance more frequently.
I never want to be in position where my hand is out. Again, I know its simply my perception, because my FH is very supportive. I can’t imagine that when the time comes that he’d be tight fisted (as long as I’m not spending money frivolously), but I definitely feel like i’m not in control if I can’t work and fill my own bank account.