Join Date: Nov 2012
Member # 232653
I have been lucky. When my wife and I had our first son, 30 years ago, she worked for the first year. He had an amazing caregiver so it made it easy. My wife and I were both making a little more than the annual average family income at the time. She worked until we had enough to buy our first house, together. I already had a townhouse, but it had not accrued any equity. The day our house closed, was the day she quit, and never went back to work. We did it that way, because of the screwed up way home loans, and ability to pay are calculated. There was a time when we contemplated her going back to work, but after running the numbers, we were better off financially by her providing day care for some other people in the neighborhood. My wife rocked the stay at home mom thing, but had an executive level position before she quit. I was working a union warehouse job.
Now, 30 years later, I own my own business, that was started, on the side, after she quit to just give us a little more breathing room. After 7 or 8 years, it got to where it paid better than my regular job, so I quit, and she did the books.
So, what were the benefits of her staying home? My kids were always well cared for. When they were in school, she volunteered and knew every single teacher they had on a personal level. She was also able to track, and participate in whatever club they chose to be in. Two of our kids were national merit scholars, read, full university tuition, with a stipend. Three of them either have a masters, or are in the process of getting a masters or higher. One just got accepted to nursing school. They are decent human beings, and I am certain that a lot of it was just because their mom was home when they got home, was able to check up on them, and let them know she cares. Also because she was home, I was able to work when I needed to, sometimes it would be in the afternoon, sometimes overnight, and sometimes, it would be 48 hours straight, and I did not have to worry about if my kids were being properly taken care of.
Some of hte things that she did, to make sure I was involved were, if I washome, when the kids were little, I did the baths. It was just my job. There were times when I came home after a 20 hour day, and would be just in time for baths, and I would give them. It didn't seem fair at the time, but nothing about marriage is fair, it's about working together. She also made sure that I scheduled my time to go on every single field trip that my kids went on. It doesn't seem like much, but it made a difference, especially for the choir trips to Austria and Spain. Not going to lie, they were both awesome. Also, as soon as they were old enough, they would go to work with me. It was great when they were little, because they would do what they were told. It got rougher when they got older, because the work is physically demanding, and I would expect them to do their part.