Stay at Home Moms

Soon to SAH, feeling lost...

Hi everyone. I'm a lurker--I didn't feel right posting here if I wasn't a SAHM, but odd's are, I'll be joining you in about a month. Right now I have mixed emotions over the possibility of SAH. I need a place to pour out my heart a little, and I'm thinking that maybe you wise ladies can over some insight. IF you can get through this super long post, that is. (BTW, I may have to DD this at some point, just to make sure that a possible employer wouldnt come across it. We'll see.)

For the past few years, I've known that when I have young kids, I'd like to try staying home with them. My mom was a SAHM, and I'd like to experience that too--at least for a year or two. My husband was less excited about me SAHM at first (he's the type who likes to share in the both housework and wage earning, and he was not happy about being the family's only financial support). However, once he realized how much work a young child can be (and how much daycare would cost) he began to accept that my SAH might be the best thing for the family.

Anyway, I'm a teacher, and when I was pregnant with LO#1, I l realized I had the opportunity for part time work: teaching 3 classes instead of 5. It was a demanding job, but it paid very well for pt and it allowed me to stay at a really great school (as much as I wanted to SAH, I hated the idea of walking away from one of the best schools in our state, especially at a time when teaching work is so hard to come by). I told my husband that I wanted to try working part time when we had our baby. He was surprised, but thought it was a great idea. We weighed my part time salary against the cost of part time day care, and we both felt that financially, it was worth me staying at work. We decided that I would try to work pt for about two more years, and then consider staying home when we had a second baby. DH was thrilled because it meant that we'd have two salaries longer, and I was happy because I'd have the best of both worlds for a while, with a great chance of getting to SAH later.

Unfortunately, things haven't gone exactly as planned. I found out a month ago that my school is not renewing my contract for next year, which means that come the end of June, I'm out of a job. We're thinking about TTC maybe in Nov or Dec, which means that if I could have had my way, I would have stayed for one more year at work. But now, I'm getting kicked out earlier than I'd like.

Bottom line is, we can afford for me to stay home now. We did the math (and we're also seeing a financial advisor) so we know we can cover the cost of our monthly bills on DH's salary. And that's not taking into account some of the extra income we'll likely have (DH's freelance work and bonuses, unemployment pay, etc.) Plus, years ago, we set aside a special "baby fund" in addition to our regular savings, that we had planned to use for any serious expenses that would come along with our first baby. We haven't had to touch the money yet, and we could certainly use it to cover a few things if I did not have a salary coming in. So again, we're not going to end up in the poor house if I don't work for a little while. THe problem is, we don't want to just get by; we also want to get ahead. We would like to continue saving for a little while, and we'd like to upgrade to a bigger house when LO#2 eventually comes along. My working for one more year would have been a great step towards helping us do all that.  

My DH thinks I should look for a new job for one year--something as similar as possible to what I already have (daily pt time hours, same pay, etc.). He says that if I can't find something, then of course I'll stay home--but he considers SAH sort of a worst case scenario, at the this point. Ideally, he'd like me to bring in one more year of pay before we have a second baby. On the other hand, he would prefer that I not work full time, as he thinks that will put too much strain on both of us (he'd have to pick up a lot more of the slack if I worked full time, and he knows that).

On my end, I have no idea what to do. I'm not thrilled about the prospect of starting teaching at a brand new school, knowing that I probably wouldn't be there for more than a year and knowing that I might be getting fairly soon after starting. Still, if I could find a part time teaching job I would take it, but the real problem is that jobs like that are few and far between. And the ones that are out there probably have hundreds of applicants vying for them (it's not a great time to be a teacher in our state). I could try to get a full time job, and just accept that life will be pretty miserable and stressful for one year, but I don't think that's the best thing for our family--and that's IF I could even find a full time job. I've sent out a couple of resumes already, and have yet to hear anything.

I would be fine with working PT outside of my field, just to bring in extra cash, but I'm not sure what I could do. Most of the things I'm looking into wouldn't pay enough to cover the cost of child care.  I thought about working at night and on weekends when DH is home, but DH doesn't love that idea because he knows it will put a strain on our relationship. At one point, DH actually saw me looking into customer service jobs, and he sat me down and said that he didn't want me doing that kind of work if it was going to make me miserable. I told him that he's sending me mixed signals here: he wants me to work, but he doesn't want me doing this job or that job, working at night, working too many hours, etc. That doesn't leave me with a whole lot of options here.

On top of all that, I'm just feeling sad. It's never fun to lose a job. Honestly, I feel like I let my family down. I would still love to stay home with my LO and future LO #2, but I don't want to do it if it costs my family a better house and some other nice things. I don't know...right now, I just don't know what to do.

RIght now, I could use some help sort of organizing my thoughts (as you can tell from this long, rambling post). Any ideas, ladies? 

 

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Re: Soon to SAH, feeling lost...

  • I'm sorry you are feeling lost. I'm not sure if I'm going to be any help but I'll try.

    I only have two thoughts for you. The first is I thought that schools doen't really respond to resumes until July because that is normally when current teachers need to let them know if they are coming back. Maybe that is why you haven't heard anything yet. Try to be patient and just keep sending out your resumes.

    I don't know what grade you teach but maybe you could look at working at a daycare type school. I have heard that they don't charge teachers for their own kids. It might be worth looking into.

    Being unemployed can be difficult. It doesn't have to be permanent. Maybe SAH until your LO(s) are 1 or 2 years old and then go back to work. A couple of years of SAH may set you back on your financial goals but it doesn't have to stop them completely.

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  • I'll admit that I only skimmed the end but I have a few thoughts. 

    You can't collect unemployment unless you're actively seeking work and willing to accept any reasonable job offers. So I'm not sure you can count on unemployment.

    Also, relying on savings isn't a good idea for long term. I k ow what you mean about not wanting to just survive, b is there anywhere you can cut your budget to SAH? The bottom line is that if you can't pay all your bills while not sacrificing retirement, savings, etc. then SAH isnt a good idea. 


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  • image QueSyrah:

    I'll admit that I only skimmed the end but I have a few thoughts. 

    You can't collect unemployment unless you're actively seeking work and willing to accept any reasonable job offers. So I'm not sure you can count on unemployment.

    Also, relying on savings isn't a good idea for long term. I k ow what you mean about not wanting to just survive, b is there anywhere you can cut your budget to SAH? The bottom line is that if you can't pay all your bills while not sacrificing retirement, savings, etc. then SAH isnt a good idea. 

    Don't blame you for skimming, but let me clarify a few things:

    I'm not "counting" on unemployment. As I said, we can afford to live on DH's salary. The unemployment would be extra. And if I were offered a "reasonable" job I would probably take it and try to stay working for a little longer, so that would solve that problem.

    Also, I agree that relying on savings to SAH isn't a good idea, but that's not what I'm proposing. The "baby fund," I'm talking about is actually money that DH inherited several years ago from his grandmother, plus some extra that the IL's gave us when we got married to put towards a down payment on a house. We put all the money into one account, used 2/3 of it to buy our current house, and invested the rest. We have been viewing it ever since as an extra cushion of money that we could fall back on if we had any unforeseen expenses with a first child. Again, this fund is separate from our savings and retirement accounts; we would not need to touch those. 

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  • NVandGZNVandGZ
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    First off, I'm usually not on this board, and first time I've posted here.

    But, our situations are pretty similar, albeit, not exactly.

    I've worked part time as a teacher as well. Last year I held 2 part time teaching jobs, plus my freelance teaching (weekly lessons w/ 10-20 kids depending on what point in time you're talking about). End of last year I found out job #1 was changing my hours for this year, and I had to give up job #2. I wasn't too happy with neither place helping the situation. I got PG over the summer with DS1, worked up until he came in March this year. Maybe 2 weeks before I was due, they told me my contract was not being renewed either. I won't get into why, but DH (teacher as well) and I both thought it was a load of crap for so many reasons.

    I took my maternity leave, and tomorrow is the last day of work. I'm a little bitter over how everything has turned out with this job.

    We are also looking to move soon, TTC for #2 somepoint in the future, and everything you said. All of which would be easier if I were working PT or FT next year. Right after I found out I felt like I had let DH down as well. 

    On the other hand, a part of me wonders if this is for the best anyways. I feel so disheartened with the teaching world, and I feel the chances of my landing a job in what I want to teach in the first place are slim to none. A part of me would like to stay home with LO right now too.  

    DH has asked about applying for jobs, but hasn't really pushed me to.

     Not sure what the point of this is other than saying I can totally relate, and it stinks. 

    Maybe the only useful suggestion is to maybe start tutoring? DH and I both bring in quite a bit extra income from teaching music lessons after school. And I'll continue with that,  

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  • image NVandGZ:

    First off, I'm usually not on this board, and first time I've posted here.

    But, our situations are pretty similar, albeit, not exactly.

    I've worked part time as a teacher as well. Last year I held 2 part time teaching jobs, plus my freelance teaching (weekly lessons w/ 10-20 kids depending on what point in time you're talking about). End of last year I found out job #1 was changing my hours for this year, and I had to give up job #2. I wasn't too happy with neither place helping the situation. I got PG over the summer with DS1, worked up until he came in March this year. Maybe 2 weeks before I was due, they told me my contract was not being renewed either. I won't get into why, but DH (teacher as well) and I both thought it was a load of crap for so many reasons.

    I took my maternity leave, and tomorrow is the last day of work. I'm a little bitter over how everything has turned out with this job.

    We are also looking to move soon, TTC for #2 somepoint in the future, and everything you said. All of which would be easier if I were working PT or FT next year. Right after I found out I felt like I had let DH down as well. 

    On the other hand, a part of me wonders if this is for the best anyways. I feel so disheartened with the teaching world, and I feel the chances of my landing a job in what I want to teach in the first place are slim to none. A part of me would like to stay home with LO right now too.  

    DH has asked about applying for jobs, but hasn't really pushed me to.

     Not sure what the point of this is other than saying I can totally relate, and it stinks. 

    Maybe the only useful suggestion is to maybe start tutoring? DH and I both bring in quite a bit extra income from teaching music lessons after school. And I'll continue with that,  

    Wow, yes, it does sound like we have a lot in common! Like you, I just feel disheartened with teaching in general. My job was eliminated from another school about three years ago, and now here I am, back to square one again. It makes me feel very hesitant to start at another school and go through all the disappointment again. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel a little bit better knowing i'm not the only one dealing with this!

    I have thought about tutoring...I haven't had much luck finding private tutoring students in the past, but I'd be open to giving it a shot again...

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  • NVandGZNVandGZ
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    It does take a while to build a student base. I actually started freelancing entirely the year before we got married. I traveled around a lot to do so, but it also helped build a student base where DH was. I think I had between 5-10 students in that area then. Last year between 10-15. This year it has been between 15-20 before I took some time off with LO. So it's slow growth, but steady. I do tend to teach a lot of students from DH's school, but that's also the biggest school in the area. 

    It's nice to set my own schedule though. Of course there are other drawbacks, but it's just a trade off. I like it better than teaching in the schools at this point, but maybe I'll come around again to that.  

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