Not a mom yet, but in a way, I’m a “stay at home wife.” Let me explain further:
I work from home. Specifically, I freelance. I usually have at least two irons in the fire available at all times. In the past, that was doing search engine evaluation work; more often now, it’s freelance writing. Sometimes, the pool does dry up – that’s the nature of this business – but then I look elsewhere. I can earn a reasonable side income – and if I’m putting more effort into it, I can make a full-time income off of it.
It also helps that my husband is in the tech field (freelance coders are all the rage!), so if he were to lose his job tomorrow, he could immediately get back into the fold and make money while earning unemployment.
When I get pregnant, we’ve also agreed to max out his life insurance policy through work. He has a 401K. At that point, if he were to die, his funeral and our house would be paid off. I would have living expenses for maybe 5 – 10 years (depending on if I worked as well during that time or not)…and enough money left over to pursue more training. Essentially, it would give me enough time to get back into the game.
I really do suggest freelancing if it’s at all related to your field. I have flexibility, but I also have something to put on that resume – there won’t be years of gaps.
I love my husband, but I’m aware that I don’t know what the future could bring – maybe we would divorce.
I spent enough years watching the very immature and petty 30+ years of marriage my parents have had. The co-dependence and absurdity of it all belongs in a sitcom. My mom gave up everything, including her desire to get into the medical field, and got married. She’s carried that resentment with her ever since and apparently always regretted being a housewife and a stay-at-home mom. Of course, that woman’s got other problems to explain her behavior, and not just lost dreams.
I do think though that she would have been much happier – he would as well – if they had divorced early on. If she had her own income, I think she would have done it. I still laugh when I hear she’s threatened my dad with, “I’m going to leave you and go live with my aunt and she’ll take care of me!” O.O
So, I don’t know if I’d ever be willing to permanently stop working in some capacity for any stretch of time – if it’s in my control, of course. I’ve been unemployed in the past.
But I like the security of knowing, even if I’m only freelancing a few hours a week, I am still actively WORKING.