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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 (381-390):
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 5:43 AM

It is risky but what aspect of life isn't. I had to take care of myself before I meet my husband and I'm confident I could take care of myself and my son if anything would ever happen.

I may not be a perfect wife or mother but I am perfect in the eyes of my son and my husband and that is all that matters.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Quoting G2Mama:

I can only speak for my-self.  I have a 10 year old with my ex-husband and my dh and I had a baby girl February 14.  I taught public school (3rd grade) for 11 years before dd was born.  DH and I have been together for 3 years now and when I was teaching our lives were so hectic and stressful mainly because of the time and committment involved with my job.  I am very committed to my husband as he is to me so I have no worries about divorce, if I thought we would divorce (especially after we both have been married before) I would not have had a baby with him.  We are both aware of why our marriages failed the first time and are very dedicated to making it work.  I love staying home, my family is so much happier and healthier with me taking care of their needs.  There is always a risk in everything you do, thats why you save, prepare, and have life insurance.  Being able to provide for family by being a sahm is well worth any risk.

At least you have an education and a career that you could go back to, too many women don't have either.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Quoting Ziva65:

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)


I was thinking this too, sure it's important to be there in the teen years, but what teen will talk with and open up to a parent with whom they have no relationship? The relationship and trust needs to be built up, and not wait for the teen years. Actually as Radarma was saying, my teens now are very secure and make wise choices, because of the early years.

 I have 4 teens's about relationship, regardless if a mom is working or not. I know SAH mom's who spend their time at the country club, and the kids are out partying and drinking and getting in trouble with the police. Moms always gone playing tennis or paryting herself...

 I don't see them as mutually exclusive though, it doesn't mean working moms have no relationship with their kids whether young or teens.

Do working fathers not have a close bond with their children, though?

by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:07 AM
1 mom liked this

Quoting butterflycircle:

I am a sahm my husband and I have been married for 4 1/2 yrs. Through that time we have together bought  a house and two cars. I have a degree but am not using it. We don't believe in devorce and we strongly believe in God. I worried about this a lot before we were married when I had my baby at 17 which is why I got my GED and my degree. If we did get a divorce or something happened to him we/i would be in a hard spot. We have 3 children to think about and I don't have job experience, but I just remain faithful that God will provide and we will be ok. We don't have a lot now, but we have what we need always.

What does this say about women for whom God did not provide?  Does he just not like them?

but I just remain faithful that God will provide and we will be ok.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Quoting SarahsAMommy:

I'm divorced and I only get child support. It's enough to cover most my bills. But I worked up until July when I could no longer move around easy do to being pregnant. I'm still staying home and my baby is  10 weeks old. Her father helps me with the bills I can't pay, so we call that his child support since we don't live together. I think it all depends on the relationship and if you trust the guy to man up if you ever ended up not together. With my ex everything ended up in court. This time, that hasn't been needed. Not saying it won't but I'd like to think that it won't since we have an agreement.

Are you talking about two different relationships here, one marriage and one in which you were not married?

Did you break up while pregnant?

by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Quoting tmedwick:

I think it depends on which state u live in also cuz where I'm from ive heard if you are married and a stay at home mom and you end up getting a divorce the soon to be ex husband has to pay you as much as he was before, meaning that you are able to have a comfortable living without a job since that was the arrangment you had when u were married. But that could be all wrong, that is just what I've heard.


What does this mean?

the soon to be ex husband has to pay you as much as he was before,

by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:12 AM

Quoting Goinutswit3:

Of course its risky. Ive always been independent from my husband financiallybut since i just gave birth to a beautifull baby girl im needn $$ since im not workn all of a sudden he can not believe i had the nerve to ask him for gas $$. Its my fault i believe. Never depend on a man i wat im teachn my daughter

Are you legally married to this man?

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Quoting avesmom06:

So I guess i'm not a real mom since I am not married? I'm just playing a mom? I will be taken care of by him, I am on his health insurance, He has me on his life insurance. Oh but we are just playing house huh? He is not planning on walking out of the door ever! A "real" husdband can do that too. Just because two people are not married does not make their relationship and less important than those that are. Some people just chose not marry. It's not hurting anybody. My kids are happy healthy and loved, they see a loving home where mommy and daddy care for them and they see how much mommy and daddy love eachother. How different are we than a married couple? The only is we don't have a piece of paper saying that we are "legally" married. We work hard at our relationship just like "real" husbands and wives do. We are not playing that we love each other, we are not playing mommy and daddy. we have a life that we have built together over the last 5 years, every day he tells me he loves me, every day before he goes to work he gives me kiss and every night when he gets home he gives me and hug and a kiss and tells me about his day while we eat dinner. What is so different about my marriage than your "legal' one? nothing excpet for the fact that every day we chose to be together because we want to be not because we are forced to be by some paper. So no we are not "playing house" we are living our life together just like you and your husband and every other husband and wife out there. So do not judge someone just because they are not doing what you think is "right" we are doing what works for us.

Quoting Tea4Tas:


Quoting avesmom06:

I agree! Stay at home moms get such a bad rap, like we are just second class citizens that can't do anything but stay home. If we are strong enough to take care of children, which some people aren't then we are strong enough to know how to handle a situation if it comes to pass. I am tired of people looking down on us, especially the ones that aren't married. Why does a piece of paper have to tell me that I have a husband. I have a man that takes care of me and my children, he comes home to me every night, gives his kids hugs and kisses, loves me. Isn't that a husband? It gets so exhausting trying to explain to people that just because we aren't "legally" married doesn't mean we don't have a marriage. And being a stay at home is something that moms enjoy doing, we should not be looked down upon for it. We are people too.

Sure you are people. You are an unmarried woman playing house. He can walk out the door and not look back. If he dies-you get no social security benefits.  A husband is someone who cares enough for your future and his kids future to go to the effort of marrying you.

Oh and how do you handle no income and no job history for 10 years?  What do you do if he walks out the door leaving you with no  money-and the mortgage is due?  how does strength solve that?


Tell that to SS when you want to collect your spousal benefit-Oh wait-you aren't MARRIED. Tell it to the hospital when a medical decision needs to be made and you can't make it because you aren't MARRIED.

That piece of paper NEVER forced anyone to stay together-it just gives VERY important legal rights-to protect the FAMILY.  And if that isn't important enough of a reason for you to get married -the securtity of your family, then I don't know what to tell you.


by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Yes of course
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Quoting futureshock:

I didn't address working fathers, to keep inline with the post. as I noted though, it doesn't matter if one is working or not, it's about the relationship. Sure working father too can absolutely have a good relationship with their children. I was addressing a previous posters comment that later teen years were more important than younger years, which I don't believe is an absolute.
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