I’m trying to get Girl Ninja to quit her job!

Girl Ninja is in her second year of teaching private school. She loves it. The parents are more involved. The administration is uber-supportive. And she has 22 kids in her class instead of 30. There are really only two downsides to her teaching at a private school.

1. The benefits are worse. She only gets two personal days for the whole school year. She obviously gets a ton of time off in the summer and around Xmas break, but only having two vacation days to use from September to June is annoying. What’s more, her school breaks are always during the most expensive times to travel (Thanksgiving, Spring Break, Xmas).

2. She took a huge pay cut. A $12,000 pay cut to be exact. Fortunately we are in a position that we don’t need that extra money, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it sure would be nice. Think of how many california burritos I could buy with that! The correct answer is 2,400 burritos!

Each year, around March, current teachers are given the option to renew their contract with the school. I begged her last year to quit. As expected, she completely ignored my advice and signed on for her second year.


In about a month, her school will ask her if she wants to come back for a third year. This time I’m determined to get her to say “No thanks.”

I know what you all are thinking. You assume I want Girl Ninja to quit her private school job so she can go back to public school and make a boat-load more money. You’re wrong. I actually want GN to quit and become a substitute teacher… which pays even less than her private school gig.

We’re two and a half years in to this thing called marriage, and I suspect within the next 12 months GN is going to get baby fever. With the very real possibility of only being baby-free for another year or two, I want to take advantage of the time we have together, just the two of us.

My job has some pretty awesome perks. One of them is being able to travel all around the world. Only downside to this international travel is that it requires a minimum 6 week trip. We already lived apart for 4 months during our first year of marriage, and I spent another two months away from her last year. That’s too much long distance marriage-ing for my liking.

I usually have an opportunity to go abroad once each quarter. With the way things currently are, I can only volunteer for stuff in the summer since that is when she is off.

Come on Girl Ninja!!!!

I have to win the award for “Best Husband To Have Ever Existed, Ever” for begging my wife to quit her job so we can travel the world together, right?! Crazy thing is, she loves her job so much she isn’t sold on the idea. She’s considering going back for round three!!!!

Any of you ever loved your job so much you passed up some pretty sweet opportunities? How can I trick/bribe/convince her to quit?!

Oh, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you part of me wants her to quit so she will make the bed each morning. She leaves before me so I have to make it every day. I hate doing it. A lot. So if she was a stay-at-home-wife she would have no excuse not to make the bed. I mean, look at how many pillows I have to put on and take off the bed each day…

pillows on ground

54 thoughts on “I’m trying to get Girl Ninja to quit her job!”

  1. There seem to be a lot of different factors here. I assume that a substitute job is less secure and more variable than a regular position. Can your financial goals (esp. with the big house purchase looming) be satisfied at the current time with that much more variability? What are GN’s career goals, before and after kids, and how would this change impact them? What’s the difference in price of vacations at off-peak times vs. on-peak times and the difference of the two possible salaries? How much is the salary bump for going on these international trips?

    There’s also no guarantee that kids will appear in the next year or two – even if you wanted kids then, if they weren’t born for five or six years OR if they arrived on scene earlier than expected for whatever reason, how would both of you feel about how you spent those years? I think your shot at convincing would be to map out the next few years through several different scenarios for both of you and see which you would regret more as a couple if you didn’t go for it. Both of you have professional and personal outcomes at stake here. But that might not get you the result you want.

  2. Holy crap that’s a lot of pillows!! You could sell them and retire on the profits! LOL

    Perhaps convince her by traveling somewhere she can learn more about teaching seeing as though she loves it so much. You might also want to further probe her on if there’s any other reasons why she doesn’t want to quit. It could be a deeper hidden reasons like she doesn’t want to be unemployed because she’ll feel less valued. Or maybe she is scared that if she quits her job now she won’t get another as good ever again.

  3. Have you talked with her specifically about the kiddo question?

    She might have a different attitude Instead of let me spend this time with you and me alone, it might be “I want to work in this job i love until we have kids, and then we (NG plus baby) can travel with you…

    She might not know why you’re trying to phase her out of the workplace…

  4. I love the picture today!

    You can *plan* to have kids all you want. I *planned* to have kids three years ago – but that didn’t happen, so that plan changed and we went to Asia for the summer (we are both teachers) – and now we want to see the world instead of wasting our 20s on having kids. Maybe we will have kids when we hit our thirties.

    The other thing to consider is: does she want to be a stay at home mom for years? I don’t know about your job market, but teaching is VERY hard to get into in my state. There are lots of teachers being laid off, and I wouldn’t consider giving up my job if I wanted one in the future. My district has a clause about a one year unpaid sebatical. (it’s a k-12 building). I wonder if that would be an option for you – it would allow her to just take a one year break, go travel, get the travel bug and never stop traveling, I mean, have a baby.

    anyway, good luck!

  5. Too many pillows for sure…
    I tend to agree with the commenters above (below?). I think you need to talk over having a baby, the desired timing and etc. You may have a different idea about what she really thinks.

    Will you be able to compensate for the lost income if she becomes a substitue?
    How would you feel if you were pressurized to quit a job you absolutely loved for selfish (in a good way) reasons?
    Does GN like being away from home for prolonged periods of time?
    It seems to me there are many things you need to discuss… Good Luck! (To both of you!)

  6. I think you have to allow her to do what she wants for at least another year. You are coming across here as rather selfish, and (sorry to say) sexist. So what if peak travel is a bit more expensive. At most I would compromise on the number of pillows; a few more couldn’t possibly hurt.

      • I have to agree with the two comments above here. Even if it’s coming from a good place (you want to spend more time with NG), you’re being selfish. You’re making her profession seem inferior to yours by begging her to quit her job at each contract renewal. I think it’s great that she has found something she loves so much that she can say no to your great travel opportunities.

        Your job’s perks are traveling abroad. You’re wife’s perks are seeing her students blossom under her guidance. You chose a profession that requires travel. She chose a profession that is stationary. You both have to live with the consequences of each job’s perks/pitfalls. It’s not a compromise if she has to uproot herself to be with you.

        Obviously she knows at some point she will no longer be teaching to be a stay at home mom. That will be a big turning point in her career. You should respect the choice she’s making now and not make her feel bad about it!

        • Yup. Leaving the salary differential aside, turn the tables and see how you would react if Girl Ninja (or Woman Ninja if you prefer) would try to get you to quit your job so you could spend more time making the bed and arranging the pillows. Let her do what she wants. If and when she wants to quit, that’s her decision.

          • I can’t quit my job. If girl ninja made enough then I would quit in a second and probably take up a new career field (medical sales). You can’t ignore salary differential because its my salary that will provide for our family when GN decides she wants to be a stay at home mom.

            As for the pillow situation, obviously i was being dramatic. Although I do hate having so many pillows on our bed, and since I make the bed 80% of the time, I think it’s okay to want her to make the bed if she gets out of it last. It’s not about sexism as much as it is I hate making the bed. Kinda like she hates taking out the garbage so I always do that.

            • C’mon, you’re being disingenuous here. Yes, I know you earn far more than she does, and my “leaving the salary differential aside” was plainly a hypothetical. I refer you back to my original post (#6) from this morning for what I (and several others) consider the essential point.

              • Obviously she gets to do what she wants. My cartoon is actually pretty accurate for how things go around here. I have my opinion, but Girl Ninja is free to do what she wants. That’s why she is teaching this year, because she didn’t take me up on my proposal for her to quit last year. Perhaps this truth got lost in my sarcasm and dramatic wording.

    • I agree with Larry here on the first part and I nearly put that in my comment. Maybe Ninja is exaggerating the situation to provoke a response from his readers, but it still bugged me. The entire post is on how this will affect him, without seeming to present GN’s side at all. I’d be mad if my boyfriend wanted me to quit my job, I have to say.

    • I actually agree with Larry on this one. I know you’re joking about the pillows/her making the bed, but in today’s world you’re not going to get much pity (not that you’re looking for it) from people about having time off for the holidays. From the sounds of it, she could continue to work as she pleases, and you could schedule a sweet vacation/foreign assignment during the summer when she is off.

      Sounds like a win-win situation?

  7. It seems like you are just trying to get her to do what you want and refusing to accept what she wants. I do this all the time in my marriage, too, but that doesn’t make it okay.

    You will still have a job and will be spending about the same amount of time with her, at home or abroad, because you’ll still be occupied all day. Maybe she doesn’t want to hang out all day alone in a foreign country while you work.

    Why have her quit before her baby fever has even started? You have time for that to set is as well as time before you start trying to have a kid as well as the time it takes to get pregnant as well as the pregnancy itself to spend alone together. Let her enjoy another year of teaching and re-evaluate what stage you two are in next year at this time.

    And for goodness sakes, if GN is the one who wants all those pillows she should be the one to make the bed! That is just ridiculous!

    • I agree with Emily. One we never make the bed, and I don’t mind at all.
      Two, how do you know she will get baby fever in a year or two? And maybe she really enjoys teaching. You two are young, no need to rush things!

        • Well! You should have mentioned she already has baby fever.

          I thought she didn’t have it yet!

          Girl Ninja, if you already have baby fever, take time off and travel the world with Ninja. You won’t regret it! Think of all the countless stories you will be able to tell your children.
          Plus, just because you quite your job in Seattle doesn’t mean you can’t “teach” in foreign countries. You could volunteer, become a short term missionary. That way you stay occupied while Ninja works.

          • Haha, yeah I could have made that more apparent. We have a date in mind of when we would stop preventing pregnancy, and that date falls in 2013. Just feel weird about sharing that date 😉

  8. I have never understood women and their affection for multiple pillows. I don’t know if I would EVER make that bed. The rule in my house is the last one OUT of the bed makes it. Thankfully, I am an early riser and Mrs. Vie is not…..

    I understand your desire to have GN quit her job so you two won’t be apart, but the biggest part of marraige is compromise. How would you feel if she asked you to switch to a job where you never had to travel?

  9. Man, if it were reversed and my wife was saying this to me, I’d drop my hammer and socket wrenches in a second and say, “okay, yep, no problem…and I’ll even make the bed.” But some people really love their jobs (???).

    Seriously though dude, its’ a tough one. It’s great she likes her job, and it’s great that your wife isn’t lazy and wants to work. When she starts popping out babies, does she want to be a stay at home mom? I think that woudl really answer the question. If yes, then quit now and substitute, GN! And if not, then keep on workin’ where you love, don’t lose the cool job.

  10. Wouldn’t her salary more than make up for the price increase of traveling during those breaks?

    Finding a career and a job you love isn’t easy, so I understand why GN would want to keep on doing what she’s doing. And even once she has a bun in the oven, you guys have 9 months of waiting around. She may even want to teach during the pregnancy.

  11. Save very hard and play hard in your twenties – I totally agree with! I think coming up with a compromise like taking that 6 week around the world trip in the summer! Travel a lot and go out a lot when you’re a couple even weekend trips. Things are different when you have a family. When your kids are in school, if you have them, you’ll have to work around their schooling anyway when you travel. Instead of exotic locales of which we’ve been to many in our twenties, many of our vacays are now family friendly places like Myrtle Beach and Florida. Once they’re a little older we can try for more exotic again but then it’s more $$$.

  12. Aside from all the allegations of possible sexism, lack of communication, and reluctance to compromise (which I agree with), in this market I wouldn’t have her quit until after you bought a house. Even if you’re planning on buying less than you can “afford” according to their formulas, they are going to want to see as much income as possible, I think.

  13. It seems that you need to speak with her about having kids. My wife and I were on the same page, but life got in the way and we waited 3 more years before our son was born. I think a deep conversation needs to be had.

  14. My wife falls into this category. She is an RN who loves her career (44 years). I asked her when will she retire because I will again in less than 5 years. Her answer was what will I do? I said you need to think about that. If not at 69 years old, when?

  15. This is a bit troubling for me. There seems to be a real communication breakdown, and it seems like neither one of you is particularly respecting what the other wants.

    What happens if she signs a teaching contract, but is pregnant and needs to take maternity leave at the end of it, contract or no?

    What is her timetable for wanting to start getting pregnant?

    I know you guys aren’t particularly old (we’re the same age, I think?) but still, women in their later 20s can take longer than women in their earlier 20s to get pregnant, and even if there’s nothing actually ‘wrong’, it can still take longer than you might expect.

    I’m a SAHM to two kids. And if it were me, and my husband made me this offer, I would take it. It is much harder to travel to exotic places with little kids. It’s hard to do much of anything adult-y in the baby’s first year or so. It’s hard to appreciate just how demanding they can be. It would be nice to take a sabbatical and travel and have that time together.

    But. Your wife doesn’t want that, and she has her reasons. I hope you two can come to a point where you understand each other and your expectations for one another are clear. Does she really and truly want to be a SAHM? Or would she want to be a working mom? And so many questions here.

    Hopefully this issue isn’t as big as it sounds, but if it is, I do hope you’ll work through it.

  16. To me it is simple- she is finding a balance between working/contributing to the household and making herself happy. You are the doing the same thing but with working & traveling.

    I know very few people who actually enjoy substitute teaching. You don’t know what the hours are, you generally are disrespected, you rarely form same bonds with student & other teachers, and there is a long list of rules about substituting that will make you tear your hair out. On the other hand though, I RUN from pregnant teachers! In the last two years our daughter has had both of her classroom teachers have babies in the spring. It was a nightmare with the subs during maternity leave. Both years we were told that our daughter’s class all fell behind as a whole. And this year the choir teacher is pregnant and about half of the choir practices have been cancelled (that we pay for). I realize I cannot blame the pregnant teachers but more the administration for having crappy transitions or lack thereof.

    Kudos to Ninja Girl for being a teacher. It is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. And it is one the few professions that we can truly say it will impact all of our futures for the greater.

  17. Those pillows!!! Please tell me you don’t have to put all that on your bed just to take it all of at night again??

    I think you should continue as you’ve been doing – ask her. If she says no, then its money in the bank and if she says yes, then you get to travel the world with her. I’m sure you want her to be happy (I love your personal posts, by the way), so if teaching is what does it, then well…happy wife, happy life!

  18. Maybe GN’s real worry is that you work from home so she will be there all day with you!
    Kidding of course.

    It is just awesome that you can have this for a problem when most Americans discuss money it is due to lack of it and there is no wrong choice here.

  19. I never interpreted this post to be selfish and force his will upon her to quit. Very interesting to see how this turned out.

    I read it the exact way he wrote it. There is an awesome opportunity awaiting for her to leave her job and travel before they have a family and things get difficult.

      • I’ve been sitting here scratching my head over everyone freaking out. I feel like you and GN have a great relationship with tons of communication and that there is no way you would come here to mention something you haven’t discussed with her at length.

        I’m in a rather similar situation, my fiance wants me to quit my job because I really don’t make a lot of money. I would be happier if I could do a slightly different version of my job that can only be achieved by volunteering. I’ve yet to take him up on his offer though because of pride, I have some personal financial matters I’d like to square away without help from anyone else first. As soon as I accomplish them though I’d be happy to wave good-bye to my income in order for a happier existence, I always wanted to be a stay at home mom anyway, might as well start a bit earlier and enjoy the quality time.

  20. I only probably saw the intent because I am naive and always think people are true to their word.

    Also, I see the writing on the wall in my own life. My wife is also a teacher, so traveling during the school year is hard with only certain weekends available. Not to mention her district has it so they can not take off the day before/after a holiday weekend. But where I really see the writing is that we have our first child on the way and we are going to want to spend all our time with him/her then traveling.

  21. Not the pillows! Haha, but really. I’d quit in a heartbeat if my husband asked me to travel the world with him. Yeah, money would be a little tighter, but then you could truly experience life more, but that is just me.

  22. I had my wife quit a job once because her boss was a creeper (drinking in the back with some young chick who wasn’t his wife). She wanted to work to provide an income, but it was much better to take the pay cut and get her away from that D-Bag. When she got pregnant, that’s when we kicked our savings into high gear for her to quit. She left at 8 months, and she has no plans of going back.

    It’s a noble thing to provide for your family, and it sounds like you’ve got that desire built in. Currenlty, I work 3 jobs to pay the bills and have my wife at home with out little guy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    And, as others have noted, it’s MUCH tougher to travel internationally with young ones. I think GN should take you up on this 🙂

  23. Ninja, quite clear to me too that your intention here was all good. You don’t sound selfish at all, just sound like a husband who loves his wife and wants to be with her! Girl Ninja, only you can know what’s best for you, but the years fly by the longer you’ve been married, especially after kids. I don’t know one person who looked back at age 70 and said “I wish I would’ve worked more”. I’d say, quit the job and have some fun, just the two of you, before you have fun with the 3, 4, 5 or more of you. Still super fun, just a different kind of fun. Good luck, whatever your decision!

  24. ROTFLMAO…..
    I’m away from this blog for MONTHS and the first time I check in…. here’s Ninja acting like a self-centered big baby again!!! He said it right there in his post SHE LIKES HER JOB!!!! Why in the world would someone want to convince their spouse to quit doing something they love AND that is so helpful to many children out in the world. Oh, that’s right…….. because Ninja is a jerk, I forgot. 😉

    Nice to see that some things never change, though. Feels like coming home, reading some stupid selfish thing written by Ninja. Still littering all over other people’s lawns, Ninja??

  25. Just curious what other tasks will GN become responsible for bc she’s always at home? If that means all cooking cleaning shopping etc then I understand. Otherwise I would love to have the flexibility to quit my job and go on cool trips w a secret agent.

  26. I don’t think I would quit my job to become (essentially) a stay-at-home wife. It’s not that I really love my job, but I do rather enjoy the independence of having my own income, responsibilities, the feeling of getting a job done right… that sort of thing, which would be hard to achieve with arranging pillow.

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