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badmisterkitty 12-26-2012 03:00 PM

What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?
I WOH because I "have to." We bought a house when I was pregnant with our first child with the idea that I would always want to work. We need my salary in order to pay all of our bills, namely our largest bill, the mortgage.

I didn't think I'd have the desire to stay home, but sometimes I wish I could. I don't see us selling the house and moving into a cheaper place just so that I can stay home, though. In fact, moving into a cheaper place would only save us a couple hundred dollars and wouldn't be enough.

I'm not really venting or looking for advice, but I know lots of moms on here (and a few dads) stay home, even with very small incomes. I'm curious to what lengths you went to to stay home.

SaraElise 12-26-2012 03:18 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?
Because of childcare expenses, it's cheaper for me to stay home and work 2 part time jobs (I teach ballet on the weekends and watch a little boy during the week) than it was for me to pay for childcare on a teacher's salary. I don't make much, but I make more money with those 2 jobs I can do while staying home with my kids than I would have left over after paying full time child care for 3 kids.

We do without a lot anyway, no cable, no data packages on our phones, rarely eating out, no big vacations, old clunky vehicles most other people wouldn't want to drive. But I never really feel like we are doing without things, just being wise with our money and choices.

We planned from the beginning that my income would always be "extra" and put into savings, or to pay for childcare, so we budgeted our mortgage on my husband's income only which really helped us in the long run.

Mom2Connor 12-26-2012 03:30 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?
My DH makes decent money, middle class living here. We sacrific a lot, in comparison to friends who work similar jobs but have a spouse who works another middle income job.

We don't really vacation. We can afford to take a week long normal vacation somewhere nice, like FL or such. Not like a 6 grand Disney vacation. We actually haven't ever gotten to do this while together, but we've taken several weekend local "stay cations" (camping, and downtown one night to a concert and nice hotel).

We don't have big x-mas's (though DS gets plenty to play with, make no mistake, LOL), and can't really afford to go into debt to buy many others gifts. I have a huge extended family, it's all or nothing so other than my mom, dad, and nephew, we don't do gifts. We do get DH's mother and brother some small as well like my immediate family.

We eat on a budget, but that said we could do better if I cooked more meals at home. We eat lunch out once or twice a week usually (like $20 lunches for both of us) and only do dinner date nights out a few times a year.

I shop a lot of sales, I don't just buy off the rack brand new stuff that isn't on sale with a coupon. I shop a lot of clearance racks year round so DS wears new, nice stuff. I don't mind used but I can find it cheaper new honestly than places like OUAC and I don't have much luck with garage sales unless it's a big advertised kid sale since gas it so expensive nowadays. Since I'm a SAHM I shop the mall regularly and watch prices/sales/clearance and have no problem having tons of clothes for DS.

When I bought this house, I was single and single income with the same job as my now DH. So in that regard, we can afford this house. I would not be opposed to selling a house and moving if it wasn't going to cost a fortune to do so and if I wasn't moving to an area I wasn't comfortable with.

I just can't get over how sad it is that people I know with kids my DS's age that work regular M-F jobs don't really see their kids other than weekends. My one friend with one DS's age and an 8 month old drops them off to daycare first thing in the AM (they eat breakfast there and everything) and by the time they pick them up, the kids go to bed a couple hrs later. I would move heaven and earth to do it, a bigger house, newer cars, etc is not as important to me as being with my kids to see them grow up.

Icryinbaseball 12-26-2012 03:30 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

Icryinbaseball 12-26-2012 03:33 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

Icryinbaseball 12-26-2012 03:43 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

danielle 12-26-2012 03:51 PM

We bought a house my husband could afford on his salary alone should babies happen (oh yeah, they happened) and now live a lifestyle in budget. I don't feel like we're sacrificing because me being a sahm is really the only path to happiness for us. We were just able to plan for it.

It isn't a luxury though. Not trying to start an argument, but sometimes the thought of someone else putting up with my 17 month old seems like it would be a luxury. Being 24/7 is not easy and when people say something about "the luxury of staying home" I bristle. I wish it felt glamorous. :)

doodah 12-26-2012 03:56 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?
well we still havent figured it out. I take care of four daycare kids in addition to my own four kids and we barely make ends meet as it. No extras whatsoever. I never pay full price for anything and most of what the kids own is second hand. I cannot remember the last time I bought anything for myself....besides the second hand nursing bras I just bought. there are lots of daily sacrifices to be sure. like you said, it would be more than just moving into a smaller house. it just depends on how much you want it.

EmmaGM 12-26-2012 04:20 PM

I got pregnant straight out of college and we always intended for me to stay home. Since we never lived on two incomes there was no adjustment and its been easy in that regard.

Everything I can do to save a few pennies I do. We cloth diaper, family cloth, homemade detergent, no cable, don't eat out much. We live in a tiny apartment and we're about to move in with a very generous friend so we can have more space in a house.

There is not much I wouldn't do or wouldn't give up to stay home. It's very important to us.

badmisterkitty 12-26-2012 04:27 PM

Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?
Thanks for sharing.

Again, I'm not really venting or looking for advice. Just seeing to what extremes people have gone. Our house is the reason I keep working. It's a modest home, perhaps even on the small side. A decent apartment in this city costs the same amount as our mortgage, taxes, etc. I don't really know what I'm trying to get at here, maybe just simply - would you sell your modest home and move into a cruddy apartment just to stay home? Or would you stay in your modest home and to provide a better environment for your kids to grow up?

We are in a weird income range. Middle class, for sure. DH and I make about the same salary and one salary covers daycare costs & the mortgage and the other one covers everything else with a little bit extra every month. Some of it is saved, some spent. So getting rid of one income just doesn't work.

And I just wanted to comment on the part where parents only see their kids for a couple of hours at night and weekends.....those 3-4 hours I spend with my kids at night (plus the 2 every morning) are pure quality. The mornings are a little hectic, but those 5-6 hours I spend with my kids every day I try to be totally focussed on them. So I don't feel a lot of guilt about not being their everything all day. And my DH picks the kids up about 2 hours before I get home, so I feel like they are getting plenty of mom and dad time.

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