Homeforward thinkingMale = Income, Woman = Kitchen

Male = Income, Woman = Kitchen

I approximate mine and Girl Ninja’s combined income will be between $80,000 and $100,000 per year when we get hitched in August. At that point I will have just turned 25 and she will be 23. We will barely be in our mid twenties and could be potentially earning a six-figure income. That makes me very, very, very excited.

As we begin to plan out the rest of our lives, we have started discussing what we want our family model to look like. While I would like to explore the idea of adopting a 30 year old millionaire, Girl Ninja is really set on having babies of our own (I know selfish, right?). Kids come with a good deal of responsibility (so I hear). Neither of us are big fans of the idea of childcare, so one of us will be a stay at home parent… and by one of us I mean Girl Ninja will be 🙂

We were both raised in households in which Dad worked hard and made a decent income and Mom was able to stay at home and watch Oprah and do pilates (that’s all stay-at-home mom’s do, right?). Both of our mother’s did, however, begin working at least part time once the kids were old enough to go school. Girl Ninja and I have begun mapping out what we think would be the best for our particular situation and here is what we have come up with thus far…

  • Begin exploring the option of baby ninjas after two years of newlywed bliss. (yay newlyweds)
  • As Baby Ninja #1 comes along, the wifey will quit her job as a teacher and become a full time stay-at-home mom.(yay babies)
  • Our income will take an immediate $40,000 a year hit (boo loss of income)
  • Babies our expensive!!! (boo increase in cost of living)
  • As Baby Ninja #17 finally enters kindergarten, we will begin to explore GN going back to work (yay possible income boost!)

Girl Ninja totally wants to be a full time mom, and I am in full support of that decision. I’d be lying if I said having a loss of income, and a rise of expenses didn’t stress me out, but at the end of the day I think all will be okay. We want a very traditional, cookie cutter, leave it to beaver type household. Man works and builds things, woman makes dinner and cares for children.

I know in today’s culture, many woman have little or no desire to be a stay at home mom. They want to work just as hard (if not harder) than their male counterparts. That’s just not how Girl Ninja and I were raised, and not how we envision our family. So now I turn the soapbox over to you and ask what was your parents family model when you were growing up? If you’re married, What does your household look like? If you aren’t married, what do you envision for your future? For those of you that have a parent stay at home, was it hard to adjust to the lost income? For those that both parents stay working, was it hard to put your child in prison daycare? As always, any help/advice/insight is GREATLY appreciated.

p.s. whoever said all babies are cute, lied, as evidenced by the following picture…



  1. This is something I worry about in the future. My bf (soon to be hubby), are only 25, We make 6 fig together, however 60% of that income is from me. So, for me to be a stay at home mother, would be a huge financial hit on us. I hate to think that I would have to put my future babies in daycare (why would I want someone else raising my baby). My mother was a stay at home mom and looking back at that, I'm very grateful she was. Actually, I think that my hubby should be the stay at home dad. That way, we have a constant parent at home and still a livable income. I feel, "why should it be always the woman's role?" Especially, if financially it makes more sense for the dad to stay at home.

  2. It is good that you are setting out your expectations and wishes ahead of time. It means less disagreement down the road. My wife and I both work and we take our kids to childcare during the day. In the end it is super expensive but it is what works for us. My wife is very career oriented and just isn't suited to the SAHM lifestyle. I would totally be a stay at home dad but financially we can't swing that since I make a good bit more than my old lady.

  3. Knowing that you can live on just your salary, achieving your mutual financial goals is key to this situation – aside from the relationship issues…Once you've settled into the new household after your wedding and get your SL paid down, seriously live on just your income – banking GirlNinja's. If you can't do that (and after your 12K raise this year and accounting forthe increase in costs that babies bring), you need to reevaluate. Also, be prepared for changes in how you and/or Girl feel about it – my sis was 100% certain she would be an awesome SAHM, planned on it, quit her job, and really didn't find the fulfillment she expected. She stayed home about 8 months with baby#1 then found another job…There's a LOT of emotion in these choices – and feelings can change. My 2 cents!

  4. I am a stay at home mom. I was making more that my husband before I quit. So, this can be done. Living on one income and no debt is the key. I would suggest you plan on Girl Ninja being home long term (but, maybe if you are planning 17 baby ninjas you are!). I did not quit work until The Youngest was born. Then, it was about time for The Oldest to start kindergarten, but I had just quit to be home with them, so I wanted him home with me. We decided to homeschool him for the first few years and now, 9 years later, we love it! So, I would suggest keeping all option available by not committing her future income and by her keeping her teaching credentials up to date.

  5. GOO! That picture at the end just about made me have a mess on myself. My wife (23) and I (27) were married when we were 19 and 23, respectively. Right off the bat we had kids and now have 3 (yay babies). I work full time and she has not worked a day since we got married. I make about $60K, so we are about in the same place that you guys will be. All I can say is that there are ways to make babies less expensive, but you still must know that they cost money. If nothing else, the one thing that we have always figured out is how to afford what the kids needed. I am not going to shout out any advise, because unsolicited advice is really just criticism, but if you want to know more, just email me and we can chat. We were both raised by single parents, me by my mom (dad wasn't ever in the picture) and her mostly by her mom. That being said, we just had to set the rules and expectations early. Actually, I think on any given day she probably does about 7x the work that I do – no joke. Anyway, before this comment turns into a post itself, I will duck out and leave you with one final thought — yay babies! <— love that! 🙂

  6. I'm an only child and was raised in a family where both parents worked full time. At the time, they didn't make as much money and simply could not afford staying at home. I had a lot of babysitters, went to preschool, was pretty independent as I grew older. I had to take to doing work and chores around the house. It builds character, I tell ya! My fiance was almost in the same boat. His brother and sister are considerably older than him, so he grew up alone for the most part, as well.

    Neither my fiance or I have ever wanted kids. That was a topic on our first date, so it's been brought up well in advance. We live together and have combined the finances, so we're technically already earning a combined 6 figure income. I don't think either of us would like to lose our career/professional identity or lose the ability to travel or have fun at our unpaid side gig (emergency repsonders). We'd rather invest the savings and be better providers to our parents and the community.

  7. Parents were divorced, so mom worked while her five kids (at the time) were raised by the oldest child… who was, you guessed it, ME. Yes, as early as like AGE 11.

    Boyfriend & I both do not want children (yeah, us!). I also like that we already have a six-figure combined income. And I do not want any of that going to anything other than a pet cat.

  8. I grew up in a home where both parents work and I went to a day-home. She was like an aunt to me and I loved her.

    Then, when I was in grade 8 my dad was laid off. At this point I was able to take care of myself and no longer needed a day home but my younger sister was only in grade 2. So, my dad became a stay at home dad. He never returned to the workforce but my mom is still working.

    For myself, when we have kids we will both continue to work. We simply can't afford housing without two incomes.

  9. My mom worked part time for a while, then stayed home and provided in-home day care to other kids while my brother and I were little, and then returned to running her own business when we were both in school. My dad worked full time throughout. Fortunately, my parents' business/jobs had a fair bit of flexibility, so we never had to go to daycare, and they always managed to come to our school events/sports, make dinner, put us to bed etc. In retrospect, I realize that this had a cost-Mom or Dad were often in the home office after we went to sleep, putting in the hours that he had taken to spend time with us. Plus, my parents probably could have made a lot more money if they had relinquished this flexibility, but they valued it. I certainly appreciate having two very involved parents, and I also appreciated the role model my mom provided as an independent small-business owner.

    DH and I are still torn on the kids issue-I have a career I adore, and don't want to stop to stay home with kids. Plus, I make half again more than DH at this point, so it's a tough call financially. Years ago he said he'd stay home with the kids, but since witnessing the reality of what that means via friends/family, he's not sure if he's up for it either. I don't have a problem with daycare ideologically, (I'll try not to open up that debate-it's a doozy-but maybe you already did by analogizing it to prison…) but the costs are certainly prohibitive. I'm noodling on whether its possible to make our jobs more flexible to allow for a similar arrangement as I grew up with, perhaps with a bit of daycare involved… Lots of questions remain. I'm kind of envious (but happy for you) that you and Girl Ninja have it all figured out!

  10. I am a SAHM and wouldn't have it any other way. Growing up both my parents worked full-time just to make ends meet and I always felt their jobs were more important than my brother & I. Being the oldest I basically raised my younger brother. All my life I grew up thinking that SAHMs were "lucky" or "lazy" only to realize that was my own mother's jealousy speaking. Before kids I had gone to college and worked full-time climbing the corporate ladder at great speed and shocked everyone when I quit after my second child was born.

    My husband on the other hand had a SAHM and resented that fact that she did not work because there never seemed to be enough money. He grew up with 4 sisters and very poorly that trips to the food bank were very common until his teenage years when his mom starting working.

    When faced with the decision to go back to work or be a SAHM it came down to the math & feelings we had towards our parents when we were younger. Even though my husband's family was poor his mother taught him so many life skills he would have not learned otherwise if she worked. (Thank goodness for that as he's a fantastic cook and well, my mom taught me how to use a microwave). I was passed from babysitter to babysitter that could have not cared less about kids, just money.

    We are successful on one income because we have balance in our lives. Our parents both had their finances out-of-whack and that's exactly why either situation did not work in our families growing up. Yes, we still have debt but we are on a plan that allows us to pay it off and when it is done with that money will be rolled into savings so regardless we are used to living without it. My kids are happy and intelligent and I am proud that I helped develop that in them. I am no longer stressed about work/housework/money/etc., I am happy.

    Am I the perfect housewife/mother? Heck no. But I can tell you that I AM a better wife and I AM a better mother because I stay at home. I am learning a whole new set of skills as I go that my mother did not teach me like how to interact/educate small children, cook healthy meals and plan our finances. I would have not had the time, energy or desire if I worked full-time to learn these skills. To me the most important things in life are your physical health, mental health and financial health. They MUST be in balance.

    I am one of the few people I know that is a SAHM. I often get treated like a second class citizen because I am "just a stay-at-home mom". My kids are 4 and 2 so when they both attend school full-time I am anticipating this to be worse if I chose to continue not to work. Right now I have no plans or desire to go back to work when they are in school. I plan to use that precious time to further educate myself in my "job" as a "housewife" like experimenting with cooking, gardening, sewing, tax returns, etc. so that I have the skills to do it myself instead of using my husband's income to fund these services from other people. I still struggle with this negativity from others but I am slowing getting over what other people think of me and my choices.

    I admire the fact that you and your fiance are discussing your future in such detail before you get married, most couples don't do this. I think that you both would benefit from reading "The Two Income Trap" by Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi, they make a lot of great points in this book that affirm the SAHM decision.

    • And this is why I want to secretly become a SAHM. I won't have the time to learn all of those things you mentioned, which I believe are great things for a wife/mom to know.

    • Maybe I am mis-reading your post. If it draws a conclusion between working parents and bad parents I don't think that's fair. I agree with making a personal choice based on your experience, but I wouldn't agree with others making a personal choice based on your experience.

      • @ ImAfuziPlatypus – I am sorry if I offended you in any way that was not my intention. I am NOT saying that if you chose to work instead of being a SAHM that you are a bad parent. I know a lot of GREAT mothers who work full-time and they all have happy, healthy children. My main point is to have balance in your life and based on my life experience this was the right choice for me, my husband and my children. This choice fulfills me but it's not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that.

        In fact, when my first child was born I went back to work early (my son was 2 months old) and regretted everyday of it. I worked for 6 months full-time and was lucky enough to finally job-share my position (one week on, one week off) which I did until I was ready to give birth to my second child 18 months later. After my maternity leave ended with my second child financially we were in a position where I had the option to be a SAHM.

        I been on both sides (the working mom vs. the SAHM) and if push came to shove I would go back to work. I strongly believe that if you are planning on becoming a parent you should look at all angles – your childhood experience, your marriage, your finances, your desires (as yourself not just a "mom" or "wife") and make the best decision for YOUR family.

  11. I am a full-time SAHM/WAHM (or future WAHM, 7 weeks to go).

    We live off of DH's salary (and practiced doing so before the final run). I make between $300-500 a month from my home business and it's just gravy because we can live and save quite comfortably off of DH's salary. I also contribute to the household 'income' by further reducing expenses (cooking at home vs going out, clipping coupons, repairing clothes/items so we don't have to replace, etc). When my kids reach school age, I do intend to find part-time work outside the home while they are in school.

    I came from a two career home, but my mother stayed home with us the first two years. We also had the good fortune of having a close family friend watch me when she had to go back to work, so I was in a 'home-like' environment. Both my parents were teachers, which was a good arrangement once I went to school because my mother (an elementary school teacher) left for work about when I had to go to school and my father (a high school teacher) got home about when I did and was able to do the chores and cooking because my mother usually didn't get home until around 5 or 6. I will say that my mother working provided a whole mess of opportunities we might have missed if my father was the sole bread-winner.

    I will also share my mom's wisdom with you. Girl Ninja needs to keep her certification and continuing education up to date while she stays at home. Teaching positions can be few and far between, so she needs to make sure she stays just as qualified as the newbies who will be applying when she goes back to work.

  12. First of all, mad props on thoroughly discussing your finances and future plans regarding kids. Shockingly, a lot of people don't do this which is why the divorce rate is so high in America – marriages are built on false hopes and promises.

    My parents did the dual income thing with three of us until my mother had a stroke (she's alive and well, thankfully) and had to go on disability. It's really a one income situation even though my mother receives disability income because her payments are so small.

    In the future, I'm hoping to do the dual income thing. I would love to work and raise my kids but I don't know how I'm going to accomplish it. The BF would love for me to become a full time SAHM, except he too is worried about how that will work out, so he is putting that idea on the backburner. I guess we're thinking about crossing that bridge when we get to it. Either way, we both have our future family as our number 1 priority. If we both felt like someone needed to stay home and take care of the kids, I wouldn't hesitate to quit my job and stay home.

  13. Oh boy, this is something DH and I have been thinking about for a while now! I was raised with a Dad who worked full-time (without a college degree) and ended up working his way up to making a six figure income. My mother was a stay at home mom, and always knew that was what she wanted to do. However, she did work an hour or two a day doing billing, etc for my grandfather's shop largly ran a part-time home-based business when I was in junior high and high school.

    When I started college I never wanted to be a SAHM because I wanted to be independent, and I honestly didn't think I would be a very good mother. However, after earning my engineering degree, working for 4 years, and being married for 6, my feelings have changed. What I want more than anything is to be able to work part time (hopefully mostly from my house), manage our household, have 3-4 children, and volunteer my time. Where we live I will most likely always make more as a licensed engineer than my husband will as an RN (unless he works well over full time, or works nights) but because we are currently living on half of my income, it shouldn't be a problem for us.

  14. It's great that you and Girl Ninja are talking about these things before you say your "I Dos." Good for you two!

    Both of my parents worked, and I have to say it would have been nice to have my mother at home with us. She missed a lot of sports games, school plays, etc. because she was the breadwinner and worked 60 hour weeks. So I agree with Girl Ninja… It would be great if she was able to stay home with the baby ninjas.

    D and I don't plan to have children, so we'll both be working. But maybe I could be a stay at home mom for our pets? If I was going to have children, I would want to a break from work to watch my children grow up if it was at all possible.

  15. Ninja,

    Considering that you have stated you can work at home in your underwear a lot, why can't you work it out so you're home with Baby Ninja on the days Wife Ninja is called for substitute teaching assignments?

  16. I'm going ask something I've always wondered but have been scared to say out loud for fear of being eaten alive… why do so many women who want nothing more in the world than to be stay at home moms go to college?

    I mean that as a real question – I hate that I think it and I'd really like someone to give me a reason that convinces me that all women should go to college regardless of their life choices.

    As a 26 y.o. woman with a B.A. and working towards a Master's part time while pursuing my career (my dream) full time, I can't imagine a woman deciding to give up her career to have children. However, even if I put aside my personal biases, it seems strange for some women to take out tens of thousands of dollars of debt to earn an education they will never use. Am I crazy?

    • Most women today have a work period of time prior to having a family, so the fact a woman wants to have a family later should not prevent her from having a better paying job with career goals to help set her family on the right path.
      By having a degree most women will make more money than the SAHM who never got a degree. Just because you have a goal to stay at home with your children does not mean you do not want a life and a standard of living prior to and after they are a part of your family.
      After all if a SAHM does her job right the baby ninja's leave the nest (GO DEBT NINJA) become productive members of society and then she can continue in her career path. I am only in my 40's so I will be working for many years to come and would never have achieved the level of success I have without that piece of paper especially with all that time I was not building a resume but building my family!
      So do you think a man should not get a degree if wants to be the stay at home parent?…sorry but I had to ask that one.

    • A) Because most of us don't get married straight out of college.

      B) Because many SAHM go back to work once their kids are in school.

      C) If we get divorced or become a widow, we need to be able to provide for our kids.

    • I got asked this question frequently while I was earning my B.A. because I wasn't afraid to say I wanted to be a SAHM in the future. To be honest, I always got mad at the person asking because I always thought the answer was obvious. (but I'm not mad at you, I don't know you). The most logical reason why women who want to be SAHMs get a college degree is because we aren't stupid enough to think that everything is going to work out perfectly. With a divorce rate hovering at 50% and the knowledge that you could become single at any point due to divorce, death of your spouse, etc, you need to have a contingency plan in mind. I know that if I were to lose my husband after we have kids, I know that I will be able to go find a job and support my children without needing to go on welfare.

      In addition, I got a degree because I WANTED to. The way I was raised, you got an education because you wanted to learn. Being able to make more money was a nice side effect, but I didn't go to college because I wanted to climb the corporate ladder, I went because I wanted to, and I pay off my student loans because its the trade-off I made to study what I wanted.

      • Thanks to all, for replying to my question. I think you have good points – especially regarding being able to provide for yourselves and your families in case of divorce, unemployment of a spouse, etc. Thanks for changing my mind – that's exactly what I was looking for.

        To answer Mom Ninja's questions about stay at home dads… sure – if one follows the logic I was using regarding moms, why would a dad be any different? However, now that I understand the reasons behind this decision, I refer you to the paragraph above.


    • As a 55 year-old former SAHM, may I give my input?
      First, the going into "tens of thousands of dollars of debt" part of going to school yet, wanting to be a SAH-anything is a bit of a scare. Uggh! Next, I am not going to attempt to convince anyone that everyone should go to college. There are ways to get a good education without jeopardizing one’s financial future. Ask my three. “Debt-free after three” was my educational goal.
      That said, there are plenty of good reasons to be prepared by attending college. One, I went to school to prepare myself to be the best prepared mother I could be. It came in handy when I decided to stay at home with my girls. The knowledge I gained in college helped prepare me to teach them. That's right, I home-educated my three after I decided to take a break from teaching to stay home to give them a stable, involved home life while their daddy continued to teach school.
      Next, after a setback for Hubby, I was prepared to pick up the burden and give him a break to recuperate. My diploma gave me what I needed to be prepared in case of emergency.
      Stay-at-Home should not be equated with ignorant.
      Thanks, and you are not crazy. 🙂

  17. My mom was a teacher while I was growing up. I never went to daycare because whe started teaching again after I went to school (I was the youngest).
    My wife and I have three kids now and she works 3 nights a week (12 hr shift) at a hospital. She was a teacher but her job works for us because we don’t need daycare. She would love to be a SAHM but we also like eating and living in a house so she has to work. We are getting to a better place financially but we had to overcome unemployment and the fact that it took me seven years after college to find a decent job.
    Another benefit if your wife can be a SAHM is that when you do have babies the loss of income to a two income family is pretty rough.

  18. Growing up, my dad worked (he had his own business) and my mom stayed home with my older brother and I. However, once my brother went back to school, my mom took a part time job in the morning and my great grandmother watched me. I'm only 20 and a wedding or a family is not in my immediate family, but ideally I'd work and my husband would be a stay at home dad.

  19. I hope to marry a sugar mama and become a stay at home dad. But if that doesn't happen (I'm kidding by the way) I plan on working, plan on having a wife who works and wants to work as well and can figure out other options when the kids would roll around. I am 24 and have no interest in getting married or kids anytime soon.

  20. Despite dating for 6 years, bf and I are at least 4 years away from marriage, much less kids. Starting this fall, he'll be going to law school at night while working full time so I'm keen on waiting until he's finished.

    We have talked about how we would handle working once we have kids. I want to go to freelance work at some point anyway so I've offered to stay at home and do freelance work as able while the kids are young. Once they get older, I want to expand the freelance work into my own business.

    However, I've told bf this is based on him getting a cushy job as an attorney which will allow us to live and pay off his student loans. If he goes into a government job that only pays $60-$70K a year, he gets to stay home with the kids as I will likely be making six figures on my own by the time we get married. It makes no sense for me to stay home if I make more just because I'm the woman. My bf would be a great stay-at-home dad. He's better about cooking and cleaning than me anyway.

  21. So, BF and I are getting married next year. Both of our parents worked full-time. As he said, and of which I agree, "I'm marrying an attorney and would like you to work as one." I'm an attorney and have the 6-figure debt to prove it, and don't like kids enough to stay at home with them full-time. It's going to be hard to stay home for 12 weeks. Thankfully I'm marrying a pediatrician, he likes kids :D. If we want to be even remotely comfortable (we have a mortgage's worth of debt, but no home), we better both work, and my field of law isn't really conducive to part-time. And speaking of my field of law, given that I work with and against many SAHM's (I'm a family law attorney, read: divorce), I'd MUCH rather work.

  22. My mom was a part-time SAHM. She taught community college math in the evening when my dad was home, she did taxes every year, earned her masters degree in education, all while taking care of her 3 kids as well as a whole slew of foster children that lived with us as well. All of this other work allowed my mom to be at home during the day with us without losing her mind. She finally went back to work when I was 13 because my father had been laid-off. (I am the youngest). I hope to someday be a SAHM like her and constantly be busy improving myself, because I can't stand Oprah. 😉

    The other main reason I expect I may actually need to be a SAHM is because my husband is a pilot, which means he can't always be there to help when the kids get sick, have school events, etc. But because of his schedule, I may be able to keep a flexible work schedule and still work part-time. We haven't decided what exactly we will do, because a lot of it will depend on our debt and job flexibility, but I do hope to be able to stay at home if at all possible.

  23. The idea of staying home 24-7 with a kid (or *shiver* kids) makes me a little ill. 🙁 Entrapment!!

    That said, my mom was a SAHM and she did a great job with me. It also irreparably damaged her career (she was a professor at a large university). And my dad eventually was resentful of the fact that he was the primary breadwinner. And now they're divorced. My mom has been struggling to find work for years.

    Bf makes 6 figures and I (hopefully, eventually) will too… after I graduate. Like Ronnie, I'll have a 6 figure debt, and I'd like to eventually buy a house. We need to both work. I would happily take the kid to daycare.

    Assuming someone had to stay home, it would need to be bf. He's MUCH better with kids. They love him. I want to kick them. haha! 😛

    • I see that SO much, and that's part of the reason why I don't want to stop working. Au pairs are pretty common in my area, so if we have the income we'll probably get one. Interestingly enough, neither of us were in daycare. His mom was the school principal, so he and his brother stayed with her after school, and my dad worked night shift so he was always home after school. And yet everyone worked full time. Strange.

      • An au pair would work too… I would install some wireless cameras in the house and spy on things every once in awhile. 😉

        My bf also had a SAHM. His mom's situation was even worse, because she and his dad married young, and they decided she would drop out of college to raise the kids. And then she was dumped for someone else 4 years later. At least my mom was able to get her Master's.

        I worked in family law at the end of undergrad, and I saw that all the time too… God, family law is depressing.

  24. I think a lot of women do want to stay home with kids, but are afraid to say so because of the lack of importance society puts on that job.

  25. I look forward to working full-time. Maternity leave will be enough for me to be home with the kids. I think day care will be what happens for the rest of the time. Full-time kindergarten is coming soon, so really we only have to find child care for them for 3 years.

    My mom quit after my youngest brother (4 years younger) and then went back to work at a different job once he was in grade 1 (I think), my dad always worked full-time. My boyfriend had a work at home dad, with a full-time working mom. I think we will both work full-time. I will be the one to stay at home with the kids when they are sick, and be a stay at home mom on holidays and summer vacation.

    I look forward to it, but it's still a while away.

  26. If that's her plan, then it's good she has a career that can handle a gap like that. Many can't but teaching can, I think.

  27. The wife and I are probably not going to have kids (her words). We are going to work hard, and save up, and retire early, and be stay-at-home spouses together.

  28. Our total income will break $170M this year, so thank the world for Roth IRA conversion loop holes! We plan to both work full time, she is an occupational therapist, I am a banker. We both enjoy our careers, and hopefully have lots of runway left. I grew up with divorced parents who both worked full time as a nurse/lawyer and stock broker. I turned out just fine after 3 years of intensive therapy :). All joking aside, life is the longest thing we will know on this earth, make the most of it. If you want to stay at home with the kids, arrange your life to accomidate that. If you enjoy working towards other life goals while raising a family, be unapologetic and make it happen! It all comes down to genetics in the end anyway. Peace!

  29. My Mom was a STAM and I wouldn't have changed that for the world! She is my best friend and I am so glad she was always there for me and younger brother. One day (when I'm not single…aka married w/ children!) I'll be the STAM for my children and I can't wait 😀

  30. I grew up in a very traditional household – Dad went to work and Mom stayed at home with us until we were old enough for her to go to college and get a job.

    I would really like for either me or Chad (my husband) to stay home with our kids. I just kind of don't want it to be me (though Oprah + pilates sounds awesome), and since I have an advanced degree and will probably always out-earn him, it probably never will be. Ultimately, our finances will have to dictate what we do. I'm struggling to maintain my financial sanity on one income now when it's just he 2 of us – I can't imagine trying with the added expense of a child!

  31. My goal is to command a good enough salary where my wife (when/if that time ever comes) will be able to stay at home with the kids for as long as she wants. I think it's a great way for kids to grow up. I didn't have that experience so I don't know the true benefits/consequences of that side exactly, but from what I've seen from extended family and friends, if the family manages and is not stressed because of money, it works.

    The benefits of having a stay at home parent while making ends meet financially comfortably far outweigh two parents making bank while juggling their kids. However, if financially, it would be tighter, it'll have to be determined by what everyone is willing to sacrifice. That's when people's principles, engraved by experiences, come into play.

  32. mom worked full time AND did everything around the house cooked, cleaned, etc. Dad was a drunk and was out of work alot. Fast forward to my life, 2 FT incomes, 2 kids..nicer husband who does stuff and is not a drunk.

    Was also scared of leaving kid with "stranger". Biggest learning was that I was very arrogant to think I am the only one who knows how to raise a kid. In fact, I have 0 experience raising kids and my home daycare person has raised hundreds (over 25 years experience). She put them on a schedule, structures their time, automatic play groups, knows cpr, teaches them stuff. Having taken 12 weeks off with both kids and done none of those things, I know my kids have a much more orderly life than it would be if I had them 24/7.

    My income is 4x my daycare cost, so for us, it's a no brainer to stay working to do things like fund retirement, college funds, pay off house, go on vacations. If said daycare provider wasn't unbelievably awesome at her job or I made a lot less, then my story would be very different.

  33. Having dead beat dad did influence my drive to be able to take care of myself financially as mom was sole breadwinner. We have always been able to live off 1 salary if needed.

  34. You know I love your posts but I find this one really upsetting! It isn't nice to assume because a woman doesn't want to stay home she is putting the baby in prison/daycare! Doesn't that seem mean? While your wife is fine with giving up her education and all the money spent on college/grad school I am not… but I do not think that makes me a bad person! Grrrr… BTW I was raised by a single mom, who worked but always made dinner/time for me. While I know that I don't want to be a single mom, I don't think I want to be a stay at home mom for more than the first 6 months. And there is nothing wrong with a father staying at home.

  35. woah – you know how to get the comments going!

    My parents always both worked making roughly equal salaries. When we were quite young they arranged their shifts so one could be home with us always. As we got older, we had a baby-sitter — we were lucky enough to have the same one for years, she had 3 babies of her own while "watching" us, and it was a second family. I went to daycare when I was little too.

    We're 25 and 27, getting married in <3 months, and so far, I plan to work, have babies around 30 and decide from there. It is assumed we'll both work, though perhaps there will be a few years off in there. Or maybe more than a few — it really depends on many many things.

  36. My husband and I have 4 kids. I worked when the 3 oldest were very young and stayed home once my oldest started kindergarten. We were very young parents, so I never got my BA. When our youngest (now 8) started kindergarten, I went back to college and will finally graduate in June. If I had to do it all over again, i would have never stopped working. I am approaching 40 and have virtually no job experience other than retail, which I cannot stand. My degree is in Environmental Science…. We'll see what happens. 🙂

  37. I'm 25, a mom to 3 (5yr, 4yr & 2yr), and work full-time.
    1. I would LOVE to be a stay-at-home-mom, BUT while I love my kids, I'm not sure I could handle being with them all. day. long. My husband would be happy as a stay-at-home-dad and would me much more sane. I have anxiety problems, he doesn't. When you have kids being a parent should be your #1 job, everything else should come after that.
    2. We make over $120k a year plus the child support that I receive from my ex-husband for my oldest 2 children. We live an indulgent life according to some, but don't to extravagant things and only recently took our first vacation/honeymoon (we've been married 3 years!). We live paycheck-to-paycheck 90% of the time. Some of this is due to mismanaging our money but most of it is that we actually use most of our money for the necessities. Children are expensive. The daycare receives just shy of $1,400 from my family (including my ex's portion) PER MONTH, but net twice what my husband and I spend on childcare per month so there would be additional things that would have to be cut from our budget before we broke even.
    3. Both of our parents worked full-time. There was a point where my husband's mom didn't work but it was for medical reasons not by choice. His dad was a senior office at a major company and made A LOT of money. Sadly, that ended about 15 years ago.
    4. Currently we are in fact trying to work out a way for me to stay home (my husband's salary is more than twice what mine is) but not for a financial standpoint; with 3 kids, there is a plethora of appointments, activities, illness and it seems that once a week one of us is taking off for some reason or another tending to the kiddos.

    Good Luck!

  38. Hi Ninja
    I am a sahm to 2 year old twins and I LOVE it! I wish my husband and I had the foresight that you do. We totally make the 1 salary work, but it would have been genius to always have lived on his salary alone. I worked as a teacher for 3 years before the kids arrived and that would have been $120k straight extra in our accounts if we had stashed it away. My advice would be to live on your income alone from the get go, that way when you have a bambino, or two, transitioning 'down' to one income won't be an issue.

  39. Part I
    Your wife has to be extremely careful projecting how she will feel about being a SAHM a couple of years into it.

    My husband has always earned twice my salary (he’s in business; I’m a public servant) and we wanted one parent to be with the children when they were young, so it was a family financial decision that he continued working while I stayed home to raise the children. It made sense to me at the time.

    I'm going on my 9th year of depression because I never realized when making the decision to become a SAHM that my self esteem and sense of well-being depended very much on the validation of a paycheck, promotions at work and the adult company of intelligent, creative people. The smiles of my gorgeous little children are wonderful, but they just don't cut it for me.

    Many people will think that I am terrible for admitting that, but I can only tell you my experience. I wish more SAHM moms would risk being unpopular in order to tell it like it is (for some).

  40. Part II
    Now that both my children are at school, I've lost a tremendous amount of seniority, and it's seriously messed with my psyche. It is very, very hard for me to take the steps that will get me back into the workforce because I see my loss of seniority and absence from ongoing professional development opportunities as a humiliating exercise in battling against forces that are way beyond my control. One of the most awful things is that in order to go back, I will have to be mentored by someone whom I mentored 12 years ago when they were first starting out.

    I don't say that this will be your wife's experience, but I wish more women knew that being a SAHM is not all PTA meetings, coffee mornings and long walks with cheerful girlfriends. Sometimes it's seriously detrimental to the mental health of previously highly capable women.

    Good luck with your decision. Whichever one you make, I hope it’s the right one for your wife.

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