(Closed) Spinoff: Student loan debt and SAHMs

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom when we have kids, but I don’t think it’ll be possible because of student loans from undergrad and grad school.  

My mom( who went to grad school) was also a Stay-At-Home Mom who homeschooled us, and she says those were the best years of her life. I would  so love to do the same but my FI’s income is much lower than mine and we wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Post # 4
6317 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@slicey19:  Well, there’s the old saying that if you ‘educate a woman, you educate the home’ (or something like that).

The point is that the only point of education isn’t to get that high paying job. And sadly, a lot of people who do have degrees can’t find a job in their field.

My mom is educated and decided to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. I think in some ways it helped my sister and I immensely, but at the same time my dad left… and my mom was screwed job-wise.

I guess what I am trying to say is that yeah we generally go to school to get better jobs, but being educated pays off in other ways too. It helps the kids when the mom is educated – she can teach them things, etc. An education proves you can stick with something. Many benefits.

I have a degree and luckily a good job was the result. I don’t plan on being a Stay-At-Home Mom after what happened w. my mom… but I don’t fault anyone who does have education and decides that they want to raise their own kids. I am not sure too many people look at education as a complete waste of money.

Post # 5
5229 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I personally think education is about getting educated, not about getting a job, and that being equiped for a job is a result of but not purpose of education. I also think that a woman should have the educaiton she would want to have if god forbid something should happen to the husband and she were left to raise and care for the family by herself. If these means incurring student loan debt, so be it. If the woman and her partner can still manage to afford their expenses and her loan debt while she works as a Stay-At-Home Mom, then she can do that. If her debt means she has to get a job, then she gets a job. A womn should never be dependant on the education of her husband to get her and her children by. I know too many women, some of them the mothers of my friends, who never finished their education because their husbands promised to provide for the family forever and didn’t want to bear the burden of the costs of her degree (either upfront or via loans) so those women never got the schooling they wanted and then the husbands left and they had to fend for themselves. 

Post # 6
2969 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Sorry, I rambled on a little…. Hopefully somewhere in here I made a point. 

I most likely will not be able to be a Stay-At-Home Mom (unfortunately, because it’s really a dream of mine). I went to college for education and am a teacher. I was so fortunate to have the help of many scholarship funds and my parents who paid the balance, since I had so many scholarships my parents contributed whatever other money was needed. I also lived at home and worked to pay for a car and other expenses while I was in college. That is not super relevant. Anyway, I do not have student loans.

My husband, on the other hand, does have student loans, yet does not use his degree, not even a little bit. This has less to do with the degree not being able to get him ahead (like majoring in something abstract that doesn’t have a clear cut career path) and more to do with the fact that he chose to major in something that he hates and now we’re both feeling the impact of that, since I have taken on his debt in marriage as we have joint funds, and am helping to pay off studnet loans that went towards a degree that is not being used. (FWIW, the degree is in graphic design and my husband is currently contemplating becoming a licensed mortage broker, so yeah, not even using it in the slightest.)

So, to get back to the question, would I perhaps regret my college choice if I was paying student loans to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. NO, not in the least. My mom was never a Stay-At-Home Mom, but she has been a single mom since I was 8 and without that college degree (plus her graduate degree and post-graduate hours) she would never have been able to give my sister and I the life that she sacrificed and worked so hard for. I do not forsee a day that I would be in her position, but life is a windy road, and you never know what could happen. Obviously as a teacher I value education, and as a product of a broken home, I value a woman having an education and the ability to support herself with a profession. What I know my husband regrets is having student loans from a degree he doesn’t use.

I guess now that I reflect back on what I’ve written it’s kind of the same thing. My husband has a degree he doesn’t use, and regrets, while a Stay-At-Home Mom can also have a degree she doesn’t use. However, I know I would never regret obtaining an education I had to work hard to pay for even if I ended up dedicating my life to my children because I value having the education in and of itself. I think my husband, as a man and someone who wants to be breadwinner, would value having the education that can afford a ceratin lifestyle, not just the education itself. I guess the difference in regret would be having different priorities, me as a mother and him as a ‘head of household’ who wants to be the breadwinner. 

Post # 7
2503 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m not planning on being a Stay-At-Home Mom but we have friends that have a significant amount of student debt and the wives are planning on being Stay-At-Home Mom. Many of them anticipate the husbands making enough to pay off both sets of loans. To be fair, we both have post-graduate degrees as do our friends, so I don’t doubt the possibility that it’s doable.

Post # 8
7039 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Education is important, yes, but if you’re someone who, say, met their spouse early on and knew you wanted to stay home….it probably would help if you went to public school vs a private one or in-state vs out of state. It’s the same reasoning I would have used had I wanted to do social work, as an example. No way would I be going to a $50,000/yr school to make $35,000/yr on the other side! You make a finite amount of money in life….”pre”spend it wisely!

Post # 9
5113 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion

I have a unique situation that I am able to work from home at a job unrelated to my grad school degree (law). Unfortunately I do have a TON of debt from getting my law degree, and it would not be feasible for me to not work at all. But I do like the idea of being a working mother. And for me, I kind of get the best of both worlds: working and staying at home to raise the baby. Obviously this wouldn’t be possible without the help of my mom who lives nearby and has promised to come over and take care of the baby a lot while I work.

But as far as your original question goes, I probably wouldn’t go to law school if I had it to do over again. Yes, I gained valuable experiences and education and training that can somewhat translate to a non-legal career, but was it worth the $$ tradeoff? No, I don’t believe it was. I am a huge supporter and fan of education, but education with a purpose. By that I mean young people should put more time and thought into their decisions whether, when, where, and how much to go to school. And parents/teachers/etc. should encourage them to make more informed choices. Student debt can be a huge burden.

Post # 10
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Would LOVE (and value in the early years) to be a Stay-At-Home Mom when we have kids… but my student loans would kill us..  It makes me very sad that I will have to choose my job over my children. 

I wish I would have made a different choice NOW.  I’m a teacher- and had I known (and REALLY understood) how much money I was taking out/how much my payments were vs. how much I was going to be making….. My education choices would have changed (live at home…. waited… Worked through college… SOMETHING!)

Post # 11
9168 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Low interest rates on student loans are a thing of the past – at least for grad school! My federal loans carry interest rates of 7 and 8% I have CCs with lower rates! Anyways, I do not think I will be a Stay-At-Home Mom because I love my job and want to use my hard earned degrees! My mom was a Stay-At-Home Mom and I valued her being around, but I just don’t think it’s for me.  I’m hoping to be able to work part-time or at least from home part time. Fiance works from home, too so we will be able to split it up I think and make it work!

Post # 12
167 posts
Blushing bee

I am in a lot of student loan debt from law school (100K).  I worked approximately two years and now I am a stay at home fiancee. 🙂 I am happy that I went to school, even if it left me owing money when Fiance and I decided I wouldn’t work anymore.  I met my Fiance at a function my law school was hosting, so I wouldn’t have met him otherwise!

Post # 13
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I went to grad school and all my loans are from that, as I had already paid off my undergrad loans.   Most would say otherwise, but I felt that going to grad school was the biggest mistake I have ever made, because I HAVE to work.  I’m in the medical field, so it’s also an area where you really cannot take a lot of time off and expect to waltz right into a job.

I assumed that I would like being a working mom, but I honestly hate it.  I would stay home in a heartbeat if I could.

Post # 14
1390 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I *personally* don’t get going to college and then being a long term Stay-At-Home Mom.  

Not just the money, but the time, the ambition and the self fulfillment.

I don’t have student debt, but if did it wouldn’t change how I feel.

Post # 15
6377 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

One of my closest friends is in this position. She went to a very expensive private school, graduated 4 years ago and has yet to really work (she was an assistant to an assistant for a few months but I don’t think that counts). By the time she returns to the work force, she’ll more than likely have been out of work for close to a decade with a blank resume so who knows how useful her degree will be. She does have debt, though thanks to her parents it’s much less than it would be, but it’s definitely still there. I often wonder how her parents feel about her being a Stay-At-Home Mom just because they forked over a great deal of money for her education and it’s kind of gone to waste at this point. I honestly don’t know how my friend feels about but if I were to put myself in her position, I would probably regret the debt. 


Post # 16
114 posts
Blushing bee

@slicey19:  I will have a LOT of education (private school undergrad, master’s, PhD) when I’m done, and I never planned to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. I always thought I would be totally career-oriented and dedicated to my work. But the older I get (and the closer to getting married/having kids I get), the more I think I’d like to take at least a few years off when the kid(s) are young. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been able to save enough that I’ll be able to pay off my student loans soon after graduation, so that’s not as much of an issue. What I’m most concerned about is how hard it’ll be to get back into the working world after taking time off to start a family!

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