Post # 1
So Boyfriend or Best Friend asked me to marry him yesterday. We don’t have the ring yet, but he wants to have it by the end of the month. The only things I’m worried about now are 1) our financial situation with regards to not only planning the wedding, but our living situation afterwards, and 2) telling my parents.
I don’t know if we should wait to tell them until I have the ring or not. My dad will be ecstatic. He really likes Fiance and he keeps telling us how much he’d love to see us get married (wish granted! 😛 )
My mom on the other hand, while she loves Fiance, thinks I’m way too young to be getting married and we “need to be a couple” before thinking about being a family.
Fiance and I want nothing more than to have a family. I’m not particularly attached to having a career as I see being a stay at home mom as an under-appreciated “career choice”. I realize my mother’s concern stems out of having 3 children very close together (my siblings and I are 19, 20, and 21). She is always saying that she has regrets, and I wish she would stop trying to make me feel bad about this choice! Just because she was not ready to be a mother (she was 5 months with me at the wedding) doesn’t mean I’m making a mistake by wanting to get married and start a family. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted. When most of my classmates were wanting to be doctors and lawyers, I wanted to clean the house and cook for my family. I so much valued the time that she was able to give to us by being a stay at home mom until my little brother was born (10 years after me).
I am content with a quite life as a wife and then a busy one as a mother. I have worked many different kinds of jobs in the past and have found no greater reward than in taking care of my loved ones. I find for me that it offers a greater reward than money can offer.
Our other problem is going to be money. Fiance has a job and I do not. He’s got a full-time factory job but it is minimum wage. He may be getting a promotion already and his bosses love him, but I feel guilty for not being able to contribute. My mother always refers to me as her “favorite money sponge” and I don’t want Fiance to see me as a sponge. I do have a little bit of credit card debt (under $1000) that was almost completely paid off before I had a flair up of an autoimmune disease that left me unable to work. I applied for disability and was turned down three times. I have since found a freelance job charting songs for a Rock Band company but it only pays quarterly and I do not know how much I will be making. (FI does this also).
I know it is silly to worry about things that have not happened yet, but I worry that we will not be able to find an apartment that we can afford that will also allow us to keep our pets. Our animals are a big part of our lives and neither of us is willing to part with them. They are like our family.
I don’t really have any friends my age that I can talk to that will understand so thank you bees for letting me vent… I guess my world is just kind of in a jumble right now and I don’t know where to start first. 😛
Post # 3
Unfortunately I think that just because you’d like to stay home and cook and clean, that doesn’t mean you actually can. If one income isn’t enough to support you both (and most people are in this situation), then you are going to need to work. So I’d start looking for a job that will give you some kind of regular, reliable income (as much as a job can do that these days). Yes, it sucks, and maybe one day your husband will earn enough and be willing to completely support you on his salary. But now is not that day.
As to when to tell people, that is up to you. We waited a few days to get used to the idea and until we would see people in person to tell them. Other people are on the phone within 5 minutes. Some wait until they have a ring, or a date. Your mother being upset isn’t reason enough to keep it a secret, in my opinion, since if you are old enough to decide to get married then you are old enough to deal with your mother’s reaction, no matter what it would be. And if your dad is going to be excited and supportive then that will definitely help 🙂
Post # 4
It isn’t so much really that I am unwilling to find a job, but my disability is as such that I can’t even work a typical part-time job without it seriously taking a toll on my health. I am unable to stand for more than 3 hours at a time. The work I’m doing for the charting company is all from home and it could possibly be decent money, but since we are only paid quarterly (blame Microsoft for that one) there is no way of knowing yet if it will be enough to live on or to help contribute.
I wouldn’t necessarily say we are keeping it secret so much as trying to find a way to let them know so that they will be more excited and not as much concerned. I think I just kind of let my emotions get the better of me and I didn’t make that very clear. I have been on my own before but it was before I got sick and I guess the bigger part of all of this is getting use to letting someone else take care of me instead of vice versa.
Post # 5
Congrats on your engagement!
Sorry about the autoimmune disease. FH’s left him bedridden for months once. I worry about what you guys will do if you get slammed with a lot of medical bills. This happened to us on two incomes and it was very rough going. (Not to be another mom!! haha)
I’m not saying this applies to you AT ALL, but sooo many people make big relationship mistakes at your age (myself included– I got engaged to a horrible person who I luckily got away from), so it makes sense that your mom might be a little worried about your age. It is really unfair and annoying (because obviously you’re you and not other people), but try not to take it too personally. Easier said than done, I know (again, from experience).
It seems like maybe your mom would be a more excited about your big news if she felt like you had a plan for the finances, apartment, affording kids, etc… which, conveniently, seems to be the same stuff you’re already worried about! As long as you guys are keeping it to yourselves for just a little bit, you could maybe brainstorm some ideas for how to make your situation work. Check out apartments online. Look around online for more telecommuting jobs in case this one doesn’t pan out. Have you thought about/ are you well enough to do childcare for other people’s children out of the home? You could bring in some bucks that way and it seems like something you would really enjoy.
When you decide to go ahead and tell the parents, if your mom meets your news with skepticism or questions instead of unadulterated squealing and jumping up and down, you can have answers and ideas ready as counterpoints. At which point, hopefully, she will at least be a little impressed.
Good luck and I hope you stay well!!!
Post # 6
I think you guys need to start planning for the future as a couple!
- Finances – Can you live off of Fiance salary alone? Can you maybe get a part time job or look into careers that let you work from home? How will you guys combine finances once you are married and how will you pay for rent etc. If you are on your parents insurance then you need to think about the fact that getting married may mean that Fiance and his insurance has to pick you up.
- Family – You are very young to start a family and I think your mom probably has some good concerns about that. If you and your Fiance can barely support yourself then why would you want to bring a child into that. However, just because you get married does not mean you immediately start a family. Maybe talk to your mom that you and your Fiance want to take this next step so that you can learn to live as a couple and then think about having a family.
I think the biggest thing is you guys need a plan. If you go to your parents with a plan and a budget, they will probably be more likely to support you. If you just go over there and say, “We’re Engaged” and don’t have any answers then they probably will think you are two love-struck people, acting like teenages, without consideration for the future and real life.
Post # 7
A mom here. (A youngish mom, but a mom.) I have never met a couple your age, I wouldn’t recommend waiting a few years. (I used to work with engaged couples. So I’ve met a few.) I usually feel a really young couple can benefit from a few years of establishing careers, growing as people, perhaps finishing school, etc. However, you sound mature to me, and know what you want. The first half of your post really drew me in.
However, when you started in on money concerns, your Fiance making minimum wage, and your own health concerns, I have to say, I think you’re going to need a smart plan. If you can’t stand for more than 3 hours, you might need to try for a job that allows you to sit. (There should be reasonable jobs, that under the ADA can accommodate you.) I know it’s hard finding jobs right now. But that’s just kind of how it is right now. (Also, just so you know, SAHM’s are on their feet A LOT. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kiddies… all the stuff you mentioned.)
Good luck. I’m pulling for you. There’s a way to your “white picket fence”. You just have to brainstorm how to make it happen. But please don’t discount waiting a few years to get better footing.
Post # 8
Thanks for the support guys!
Fiance and I aren’t planning on having kids for at least 2 years after we’re married so it’s not so much that we want to get started right away as we just know that we want them. 🙂
I know how much my parents struggled with three of us on only one income and that was in the 90s so I can only imagine it would be harder now. Fiance has a lot of little side projects that he does that really bring in a decent amount of money on top of his full-time job (with benefits! Yay!) so I think I was in part just kind of freaking out about not being a contributing member.
Health is always an issue and that’s something we’re going to have to discuss. I’m not chomping at the bit to have a wedding terribly soon because we still have a lot to talk about. I’m probably the most over-planning person anyone will ever meet and things like budgets are mentally entertaining for me so I love making and sticking to them.
Thank you so much for helping me address my concerns! I don’t want to rush into anything and spoil the good time because I definitely know that he’s the one worth waiting for. 🙂
Post # 9
I really don’t see how you can afford to live on a minimum wage income, let alone income that isn’t steady. Has he considered taking some classes at a community college? I actually work in a large factory (we make airplane parts here) and if your Fiance can learn something like CAD, UG, or SolidWorks modeling, he can design tooling for manufacturing equipment. It pays well, you don’t need a college degree (although an Associates in Tool Design or something like that is VERY valuable to companies that have factory equipment) AND it’d make him a much more stable employee. If you want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, your Fiance (congrats!) needs to find something that he can actually support you and a family off of. I can completely see why you are nervous about the whole situation–being unstable is never a good feeling.
Is he supportive of you wanting to stay home? Is that something you can do? Like Gerbera said, being a Stay-At-Home Mom is incredibly difficult and takes a toll on a woman. All the SAHMs I know are always exhausted. Heck, my mom was a Stay-At-Home Mom and had HELP with a nanny! If you get to the point your disability gets in the way and you need to hire some help, it could REALLY take a toll on your finances. If you DO want to continue to be a financial contributor, you could always look into office management type work. Or IT or computers….i mean, those are all heavy desk type jobs. And pay nicely. You’re still young–don’t discount throwing some education onto your plate. All of our office administrator type personnel here sit at a desk all day. Heck, I’m an engineer and I sit at a desk all day. And there’s no way my company could fire me for a disability, either–it’s not legal to do that. We have work from home benefits also–lots of companies do, you can definitely look into that. In fact, the OA on my team has fibromyalgia and stays home quite a bit. She’s still a very competent worker!
Post # 10
I’m actually 14 credits from graduating with a Business degree, but we live in a very factory and retail oriented area and to find the kind of work I’m able to do we’d have to move an hour and a half away from where we are now. It’s kind of a catch-22 in order to move we have to have the money, plus there is no way commuting an hour and a half a day to a minimum wage job would be worth it for Fiance.
What I have is called Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder on top of Renaud’s Disease. Many days it doesn’t bother me, but if it’s going to rain and it’s been building for a while or if it is actually raining or cold I am out of commission. (winter is hell). They thought it was fibromyalgia but my doctors never could give me a straight answer and instead just made sure I knew that they could not treat me and there was no cure.
Luckily where we live now (if we can find a pet-friendly apartment) rent is really cheap and the cost of living is decently low, so it’s entirely feasible to live on FI’s salary alone, I just feel guilty for not being able to contribute anything financially.