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Is choosing to be a stay at home mom just a bad idea? Is it too risky?

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I am talking about what happens in the case of divorce/break up (or death/disability).  Many women who choose to become stay at home mothers, even if they have a college education and job experience, are going to have a difficult time getting back on their feet financially.  It is one thing to be married to a man with a decent income because in that case a woman may get enough child support plus alimony plus half of everything else to live comfortably, but that depends upon the length of the marriage and other factors, etc.  However, so many women are living UNMARRIED with their children's fathers and some with men who are not related to their children and they will get absolutely NOTHING for themselves once that relationship ends. 

Is it just too risky?

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Replies (151-160):
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:02 PM

I am a SAHM who is not yet married to her man, BUT I have a nursing license and I am currently going to college for a second career.  So, if we broke up, I would be fine.  The kids would be fine.  We wouldn't be living in poverty.  Most likely financially better, because I made more than him.  Not to mention, the savings are all in my name only.  Yeah, he wouldn't be wise to leave.  LOL  I hadn't even thought about that until now. 

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Never thought of it. I'm a working mum. I don't like the idea of relying on my DH for money or my welfare. If I was to lose my job, I would probably have an anxiety attack.
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by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM

the question  has 1000 answers depending on a case by case situtaion really. im a SAHM &  yes i  feel " it will neverhappen to me" yupi said it, shoot me.  but im married, my dh has a good income, not rich my  any means but we  do ok  i guess & we have 2 kids together & been married 8 1/2 yrs together 14 1/2 yrs we took out time to make our marriage solid & we planned out babies as well. if by chance we got divorced.. he'd have to help & i am  a smart, able person who can  get a job if needed but  honestlty,   i dont plan for that. my dh wokrs in nyc in tall rise buildings, we have a mortage  we have more obvious realiztic things we  plan & worry for..  being a sahm & saving on daycare  is not one of them. what about the moms that work a6 arent a sahm &  then they get divorced or left & have  less $ for daycare while  they work?  do they need to leave their jobs? how  will they afford daycare and work? this has too many variables IMO

by New Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:10 PM

This is a great topic, and one that I've considered, and re-considered over the last few years. It's scary to become a SAHM. I have a college education, which I sacrificed for on my own dime not my Mommy & Daddy's. I was completely financially independent, working for an investment bank (although what's that mean nowadays), before I got married. However, when I chose to become a mother my husband and I made the choice. We wanted someone to stay home, and since he is older and had more actual work experience, he could command a higher salary. I also got laid off at 16 weeks pregnant, so we felt that the choice had already been made for us. 

Don't let anyone fool you, it is scary, and when times get tough, it's downright horrifying. We went through unemployment this past year, and it was awful. We barely scraped through, but we came out even better on the other end, both financially and emotionally. I keep myself relevant by taking on part time work as a virtual project manager. I write a blog. I continue to try and find time to write. 

There's all of these "what if's" that people are throwing around. Death, divorce, disability...but there really is only one of these you can prevent, and that's only if you're both trying your hardest. We can live life being scared, or we can choose to embrace the lives we've chosen. Sure, he can trade me in for a hotter, younger, model who chooses to wear something sexier than flannel pajamas, but he might just love the hell out of me no matter what I'm wearing. He might get hit by a car, but then again, there's something more than just financial survival I'd be worried about, like raising a little girl who would never get to see her father again, or never getting to see my soulmate again. He might lose a leg in some freak accident, but then I'd be thinking about how to help my husband feel like a man again, not the money. We're not rich people. We're just barely middle class, but I'll tell you, from where we came from to where we are now, I've learned that money can always be earned. 

Maybe I'm naiive, but I have faith. Faith that this sacrifice I'm making now, will be worth it. My daughter will have the attention a gifted child like she is needs. My husband will have the support in his career he needs to get to a place where we can support my own endeavors. Some times it sucks. Some times it's lonely, but this is my investment into my future. 

Is it risky? Hell yes. I don't reccomend this to anyone with a weak constitution. You need to be tough to be a SAHM. There's no other way to do it, because not only do you deal with the all of the fears of failure, but then other people will criticize your choice. Other people will try to poke holes in your faith. Other people will try and judge you. This is one of the hardest jobs I've ever had in the world, and I'd never trade it in. 

by Ruby Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:31 PM
1 mom liked this

No one said anything about not taking chances just because he might die.  You should though have a plan for the what if he dies young because trust me it can happen.  Your life can change at the drop of a hat.  Everyone needs a plan, life insurance policy.

Quoting jonnlilithsmom:

knowing what you'll do if he dies is one thing, but going through life refusing to take chances that can make you happy because he might is no life I want to live

Quoting Peanutx3:

Wow. Trust me when I tell you that you should have a "what if he dies young" plan.

Quoting jonnlilithsmom:

I guess that would be because I don't feel like I need to live as though my life is going to fall apart at any moment... EVERYONE DIES eventually and if you are making such long term choices based on "what if X dies too young..." or "he might be hurt" you might as well decide not to marry or have kids in the first place...

"do it on your own, or not at all" would be a terrible way to live, IMO

Quoting Sisteract: 

You've ignored 2 of the 3 Ds:

Death and Disability

Quoting jonnlilithsmom:

seems to me, if your man has the kind of job that allows you to stay at home, but you're feeling like you can't because you can't trust him to stick around, then you might want to reconsider having kids with him in the first place

by Ruby Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:52 AM
I could write a book :)

I had no clue that I would change into a different person by the time I hit my 30's. We started out together as kids - and we were great - not so much as grown ups. It's all my fault though. He stayed the same. I did something immature and stupid because I resented him. I blamed him for never really getting to just be young and carefree.

It's not like he forced me to marry so young. I knew walking down the aisle "this is a mistake". 15 years later I struck up an online relationship with another man - never met him. That's when things went to shit.

I'm still ashamed for hurting my ex.
Quoting futureshock:

Quoting Stephanie329:

I'd rather hear someone being realistic like this, rather than a false bravado. I was one who just knew I'd be married "forever and ever". Yeah, not so much.

I fully intend on staying married to my 2nd husband. However, I am 20 years older and 40 years wiser :)

Quoting MyJaidonreturns:

I see what you are saying. I honestly dont rule out the possibility that me and my husband MAY separate. I dont know what the future holds but right now we are happy and I dont plan on leaving any time soon.

Quoting GotSomeKids:

Very true.  And, we've planned for that.  We've actually planned for if either one of us passes away and what we would like each other to do.  But, honestly, that is a little different than what the OP was talking about.  The OP was talking divorce/breakup.

I suppose it also depends on how the individual looks at it.  I've been a SAHM for 10 years.  While, I do things that are my own (I volunteer a lot), what I do also keeps me valid in my degree field.  Not to mention I have finished my schooling as well.  But, I don't do these things because I'm worried about if we divorce (almost 15 years and no plans to do so yet).  I do these things to keep myself relevent in the field and to better myself.  The side effect is being prepared for a bad event in life.  But, I don't do it "just in case".

Quoting MyJaidonreturns:

Well, if my husband died, or wasnt able to work, I would still need an alternative plan to ensure my family would be fine. The,plan wouldnt be too much different from an "escape" plan. Doesnt really mean a couple is having marital problems. Just like people with fire escape plans for their home arent really anticipating an actual fire.

Quoting GotSomeKids:

While it's good to have a plan, I always wonder if people with an "escape" plan are one foot out the door anyway.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

Quoting MyJaidonreturns:

It is very risky. I worry about my escape plan a lot, even though my marriage is going well. For now, I will just see this as my way of preparing for my next move and continue to work on my degree.

In my escape fantasy I am the only one leaving, laughing the whole way there. lol

If it isn't too personal, could you share what went wrong?  You're right, so many people claim that they will never get divorced and then unfortunately it happens.

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by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 8:13 AM
1 mom liked this

Quoting Luv.My.Kidz:

Every woman should have some income coming in.... I don't care what the man says. Be it a hobby, Avon, Mary Kay, etc. She needs something to put some money aside for just incase, not just incase the marriage fails, but just incase the husband passes and insurance doesn't cover what it's supposed to.

LOL to the black, as if that's ALWAYS the situation.

This makes you sound like you believe all men have that much control over their wives.

by New Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 8:34 AM
1 mom liked this
Yes it is risky! I'm a stay at home mom and although I have faith the my hubby n I will be together for a while I often wonder about what would happen if we did divorce or if he passed away, or got injured to where he could no longer work. I've seen tons of single moms make it. And the reality is, everything is risky, you have to choose which level of risky you want. My mom always suggests that I have a extra bank account and put money aside for just in case.
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Quoting Stephanie329:

I could write a book :)

I had no clue that I would change into a different person by the time I hit my 30's. We started out together as kids - and we were great - not so much as grown ups. It's all my fault though. He stayed the same. I did something immature and stupid because I resented him. I blamed him for never really getting to just be young and carefree.

Sadly, I've watched many marriages end. My sister has a friend who is going on 21 years of marriage, and they need a Dr. Phil intervention.

I really admire couples who marry young and stay married and work through the changes. Like you, by the time I was 30 I was a totally different woman than I was at 25.

by Babushka Blockparty on Oct. 9, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Oh yeah it's fucken risky. I'm not gonna lie. Changing from a high 2-income household to a median one-income household was tough for me.

But it was worth it for my daughter.

I also have a great support network in the event of a divorce, and I'm employable, so I'm not worried.


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