SAHMs that used to have a great career…

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

 el.mc.568: My mom was a geophysicist for Chevron for almost 10 years before she left to stay home when I was born. She actually made more money than my dad did at that time, but his career improved quickly so she never went back to work. I’m not sure if that was always the plan, but obviously that field changes rapidly due to technological sdvancement so after a while she probably could not have gone back regardless.

It was fine until my brother and I were both out of the house, then she seemed (and still does, somewhat) kind of lost and frustrated. Projects will come up here and there but I think it’s been hard for her not to have a specific “purpose” to focus on every day. I have always known I would absolutely not want to work full time while raising kids, but after watching my mom go through this, I decided to start transitioning towards work that can be done remotely and within hours I set myself to pave the way for me to have the best of both worlds – a rewarding professional life and career but enough freedom and control so I am not stuck under some companies rules, hours, and office location when I want to be able to balance raising kids.

I started in law and then transitioned into marketing, so it was not a super easy switch. But thanks to my amazing husband, i was able to take the plunge and give it a shot. I am now completely self employed and freelance as I want to, during the hours and from the locations that I want to. It’s great! Even without kids, I love this lifestyle so much more. We can even travel for weeks or even months at a time because we can now both work remotely. Next year I am actually poised to make more money than I did at my last salaried job because I’ve been able to adjust my prices myself and increase them as my reputation and portfolio grows, as opposed to sitting around hoping for a promotion based on other people’s whims even when my work deserved it.

I will say, it’s definitely lest prestigious sounding than my past jobs, and especially when I was just starting out I sometimes felt silly having worked for a degree from a top undergrad and a JD from a top law school, yet i was making basically no money. But, that changed with (a LOT of) hard work and now I feel absolutely fabulous about leaving and hope I never have to go back to a salaried corporate office job again, kids or no! I’ve become so spoiled with being able to control how my time is spent throughout the day, not have to deal with annoying coworkers, no commute, etc. I’m able to fit workouts in better, get errands done, take care of my puppy, etc with so much less stress. Judging by how much better I have been able to manage the household as a result, I have no doubt in another year or so I’ll be ready to add a kid into the mix.

As for your other questions, we did have to be frugal for a while when I first quit, as it was definitely a bit of a shock losing a big chunk of annual income. Fortunately, my husband’s businesses have been doing well which has given me the luxury of having lots of time to figure my situation out. If we’d had to dip into savings or live paycheck to paycheck, I’m not sure I would have done it.

Regarding contingency plans, my husband has a massive life insurance policy and a few other policies that cover disability type situations that would keep me/us able to live the same way or even better actually should something happen to him. Great policies are not that expensive for young healthy people, so I definitely tell encourage you to look into that. We also have a prenuptial agreement that protects us both and in my case, would ensure good support for me should anything happen to the marriage (incredibly unlikely, but I think all marriages should have one – it’s the lawyer in me). We also save a significant portion of our income each month and have a very healthy savings. 

I am not sure what your field is, but maybe there are options for where you could transition to a part time or full time hours/freelance situation that would allow the best of both worlds? Even without having kids, I’d highly recommend it. I wanted to start well before we had kids so I could be established and have a steady client flow and solid reputation, as well as so I could get used to the different lifestyle BEFORE introducing a kid. It’s worked well.

Post # 3
Member
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

polyblonde:  I could have written your post! I absolutely LOVE being self-employed. I work in PR/marketing. 

Post # 4
Member
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

WithTheMostess:  right!??! I can’t imagine ever going back!! Do you plan to keep freelancing/consulting while you have kids?

Post # 5
Member
6749 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I worked full time up until 9 months ago (my kids were 10 and 2 when I quit). I worked in hospice care which was extremely fulfilling work. I have a college degree, but it was not directly related to my job. My DH and I came to a point where his career was really taking off, whereas mine had pretty much reached its potential. There was more upcoming travel involved for his career- which is hard with 2 parents working full time. So I became a SAHM- and we are all so much happier for it. Financially, it was not too hard a transition. I made a decent salary, but what we save in day care/aftercare was a significant chunk of it anyway. Obviously, DH makes a good salary and we do not live in an expensive area. DH and I agree I probably won’t go back to work for the foreseeable future unless circumstances warrant it. We have a lot of life insurance on my DH- enough to pay off our house and cars and let me have a year or so before I needed to go back to work. All in all, I am very happy with my decision. 

Post # 6
Member
2311 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I am in IT and I worked for the Govt. It wasn’t a spectacular career so to speak as I am trying to change it. However, SAHM as I am right now due to circumstances isn’t what I want to do forever. I prefer to go back to work as I do feel that I ned a break from the household activities. But I prefer to SAH until next cpl of years or try to find late evening part time work so that hubby or my mum can look after the bub. Day care is INSANELY expensive here and I feel that going back to work full time will only get me half my pay and rest just to fuel day care but without the peace of mind. And plus the stresses of work, commute, taking time off, etc.

Post # 7
Member
2690 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I was just starting out in my career as a newspaper journalist/reporter.  I lvoed that job but I moved and had to quit.  I would never had quit otherwise.  I think about maybe doing something similar here but I just don’t know.  Right now we are finaically doing OK.  It could be better but we make do.  We deifintly aren’t suffering or anything but we’re not rolling in dough either. We have our really great days and our not so good ones.  But we love our life so we won’t change much anytime soon (meaning I won’t be going back to work anytime soon, UNLESS somethng amazing falls into my lap that is LOL).

Post # 8
Member
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

polyblonde:  sorry for the delay with my response! I didn’t get a message notification! Anyways, YES I do plan to keep consulting part time (at most) when we have kids. We’ll see how it all plays out! How about you?

Post # 9
Member
2449 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I left a career as a buyer for the second largest distributor in the world. I had a liberal arts business degree. It wasn’t a big deal for me to leave because my husband is the breadwinner. I made a very comfortable salary but we are more traditional and his career comes first because it’s a very specialized field (he’s in the film industry). There was just no way we could have handled baby and both of us working. Plus, my heart was just not into it anymore after my son was born. I love getting up each morning and just dealing with my little one. I have no schedule (aside from the baby classes we take), I can enjoy the weather if it’s nice, I can have a 2 hour “lunch” if I want, I take a nap every morning at 9am, I have no one to report to. The downside is that every day blends into the next – there are no weekends or days off. I get “me time” after my son goes to bed and it’s usually spent doing laundry, cooking dinner, or various other chores. Sometimes I feel like it would be nice to have more adult interaction, even though I do have plenty of “stroller mom” friends. We do fine financially- but my husband is in a union and we get excellent inexpensive healthcare and he has a pension once he makes a certain amount, which he usually does in the first 2-3 months out of the year. I don’t follow a budget but I also don’t go around buying $2,000 handbags, you know? I have honestly never thought about what would happen if my husband was unable to work – I imagine I would be taken care of through his union and our savings. 

Post # 10
Member
387 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I am attorney and I worked in the tax department of a corporation before I had my daughter.  I had 100% planned on going back after she was born. However  a tornado hit our home 3 weeks before she was born (6 weeks after our home flooded from another storm). We were living in a Residence Inn with our 65 lb german shepherd when our daughter was born and we were there for 4 months (first 3 months of her life). Due to that, I had a really emotionally rough maternity leave and just couldn’t bring myself to go back. It was all too much at once for me. So we decided I was going to stay home and I started my own law practice from home. So far it’s been really slow going business wise but I absolutely love staying home. It’s definitely rough financially for us (darn student loans) but we’re making it work. We’re now planning on me staying home at least until we’re finished having kids and they’re all in school. If I go back to a full time job outside the home after that will depend on whether or not my practice goes well. I will say that sometimes I do crave time away. Even just a trip to the store without the baby. So I leave her with my mom or on weekends with my husband and go take a few hours to myself. And we make sure to go to at least one activity (play group, support group, babywearing group, etc.) per week.

Post # 11
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I was making about $35k working part time when I quit to be a SAHM so it wasn’t a huge loss of income.  My fiance makes a little over 100k.  I was married the first time around to a loser; although he worked my job (at that time I worked for the same company but full time) paid the bills, he always had some bogus explanation about where his money was going and hardly ever paid anything.  After I divorced I was a single mom with no support doing it all on my own.  Those experiences have made me somewhat of a worry wart about money and my fiance has to reassure me often that we are fine.  Still, I haven’t stopped looking for ways here and there of how to work from home.  I love being a SAHM but I do have a college degree and could more than likely go back to my old job (good company that seems to like rehires) if need be.

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