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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 (371-380):
by Bronze Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I think that if you choose to be a sahm you better make sure that you have something to fall back on.  With a decline in marriges, more people should protect themselves and their children from having nothing in the potential end of  relationships.

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I was a stay at home mom for ten years.  It may have been the best thing to do for the kids, but it was the worst thing I did for myself.....and marriage.  My husband took full advantage of me staying home, and I let him.  He was legitimately working insane amount of hours (70+ per week) and needing to entertain clients and customers.  As a caring, loving wife, I felt bad he had to work that much and wanted him to have fun as well and didn't complain or whine when he wanted to go out with friends to blow off steam.  And I fully expected him to understand when I needed a break from 3 kids....but that wasn't the case.  His arguments were:  Why did I need a break?  I didn't have to go to work......I can go and do whatever I want, whenever I want.  Our problem was neither one of us put any value to what I was doing.  I was miserable, but couldn't leave...I had nothing except what he brought in and I had no say over the finances.  I couldn't even find a way to siphon money from the account to squirrel away to start to an "escape" fund. Thats when I went back to work.  That was when I finally recognized that my self worth was at zero and he had taken full advantage of it.  Needless to say, my husband was not very happy when he was told, "Enough!  Things are going to change!"  When you are making this decision as a couple, make sure you set the ground rules.  Don't lose sight of what YOU are doing.  You are going to be a full time cook, maid, nurse, teacher, laundress, chauffeur and wife.  Even though you are not bringing in a salary, all of those jobs are priceless......don't let anyone tell you otherwise! 

by Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I don't know. There are an awful lot of CM'ers with no education, no job, no work history, and no money of their own who come on here and post about being stuck in miserable situations that they are powerless to leave. I feel sorry for them. Cue the "don't feel sorry for me, I chose this, I'm better than you because I solely take care of my family , I know we'll never be divorced so I don't have to worry about this" responses.

Never say never honey. I never thought we would ever get divorced either. It's happening at a rate of 53% of marriages. Christian families have the same rate. No one is infallible unfortunately.
by Ruby Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I would never  not be employed if I wasn't married to my partner. 

I have been a sahm for the better part of 24 years, although I have worked part-time for the last several years.  In hindsight, I would have either tried to stay in the workforce, at least part-time, even when my kids were small and/or continued schooling during that time.  It's very hard to get back into it once you've been out for a while.  If you are looking for a career change training or going back to school, the time when you are sahm could be perfect for doing that. 

If you choose to be a sahm, don't devalue what you do.  If you weren't around to do it, your spouse would be paying someone else a lot of money for the same job(s).  I would make sure I had my own activities/interests/hobbies - opportunities to get out and socialize without the kids, even if it meant hiring a sitter (and pissing off a husband).  It can be incredibly isolating when you are at home with small children all day. 

by Bronze Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

We will get life insurance, but I am also enrolled in school and hopefully finished long before my husband ever has any issues health wise. He is only 26. In the event of something tragic DH has the insurance set up that X amount would go to me finished schooling, X amount for living (I would work nights or while kids are in school and probably move at least to the area back home its cheaper) , and X for when the children hit adult age it will be "unfrozen" for them.

Divorce would be risky. I hope I never get divorce though. My kids would be fine but since Dh pays my school bill, insurance, home, ect  and I do not have a good job to pay for a place for the kids and I or insurance for myself, food, ect , I would be up shits creek.

by Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM
But what if he becomes sick, disabled, or passes away? These are all real things that can and do happen to families each and everyday?
by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 6:32 PM
Questions I dwell on too. Here's the thing; moms can make money from home, have a savings, budget, coupons, back up plans, and it is just plain smarter to stay home.
For example; I know a SAHM, her husband is in the army and she cares for two little ones. She has at least a years worth of income saved and they budget hard core. She does have a college degree and has done work on the side. She loves being a SAHM. After each check they out away money for emergencies as well.
Now this isn't everyone's situation, but as far as risk goes.. If you plan things accordingly and maybe take some night classes to keep up on your education, then by all means be home with your loved ones!

On a side note... I really hope not every woman is wondering when/if they will break up with their husband/boyfriend. Thinking like that will make it happen..
I think the main concern of SAHMs is simply job loss or with some death.
by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 7:04 PM

The facts are NO ONE is secure.  Married, single SAHM (or Dad), working or unemployed.  Anything could change at any given moment.  It may make some feel better to say: "I can provide for and support myself without the help or need of anyone else."  But said people could just as easily be jobless the next day.  You take risks just becoming a parent.  

Our choice was for me to stay at home.  There have been tough times but we always pulled through.  I've gone back into the workforce temporarily a few times just to help us out when we needed it.  A job has never been an issue for me to find (and not to say that it wouldn't be, I understand the economy right now).  For our family, however, my staying home with the kids is what suited our needs/wants best.  I understand and know my children better than anyone else, so why send them away to someone else?

YES!! It can be risky, scary and intimidating.  In the end, I personally feel the rewards far outweigh the concerns.

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Quoting Radarma:

 Unless the bond is made in the formative years, you don't stand a chance in hell in the later years, but you can disagree all you want. Have at it.


Quoting Tea4Tas:


Quoting Radarma:


Quoting futureshock:

If the women will be living in poverty after divorce/break up, so will the children.  So while being a stay at home mom is good for kids while it lasts, is it really worth those years when the rest of their childhoods may be spent living in poverty?

 You raise good questions; I think the benefit does outweigh the risk; to a certain extent. I believe in the value of there being a parent person physically present during a child's formative years. If the children are older and beyond this developmental stage, the balance between benefit/risk begins to shift.

Oh I totally disagree-and competent person  can change a diaper and hold a baby. The things we teach young kids are simple-share-play nice-say please and thank you. It's later on, in the teen years when things like alcohol, cigarettes, sex and drugs come into play _THEN it is vital to have a parent nearby-and to be in a safe environment with a high quality school system that has a very high graduation rate.  The grad rate at my kids high school is 95%. Move into the nearby city and it's 47%.   When my teen wants to know if a blow job is considered sex-I want to be there to answer.  THAT is more important than a few wet diapers being changed by someone else.  4 year olds don't have difficult issues-they don't have a best friend who is gay-and don't know how to react to it. They don't have a friend who got into drugs-and should that friend be supported and helped, or dumped because of her increasingly out of control lifestyle?

TEENS need their parents a lot more than a 4 year old needs a specfic parent-any loving nuturing adult can watch a 4 year old-it takes a parent for a teenager (trust me- I have had 3 so far)


Of course-but as millions of woman have proven-you can easily bond with your child AND work.  And the statistics show how much trouble kids can get into AS teenagers-because it's then that Moms are working (but  not this Mom-my senority allows me to be home whenever the hell I feel like being home.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Quoting iamcafemom83:

Are you just talking about the unmarried couples, or both?

Did you read the op?

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