Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.
I'm actually really struggling with this decision myself. It is so comforting to hear that there are other mamas in this boat. I know you will find a way to work the finances out. One thing that might help is to look at your net pay for last year. For example, I determined that over 1/3 of Dh's income went to alll the deductions in 2006. Looking at the net pay helped me figure out how much money we actually had to cover bills. I've also crunched our budget numbers too many times to count and figured out that we need x amount to cover all of our expenses and debts.
I'm teaching in a public school for the first time this year. Honestly I'm not in love with it. I have an MA in my subject, but none of my training is in education, and I need to go to school all day, every day this summer and 1-2 days a week after school next year to complete my certification. I feel lucky now because I don't think it is as difficult to maintain your credentials here (in NC) as the OP mentions. I carry benefits for me and the kids, but Dh is also a teacher so he is eligible for the same benefits in the event I were not working anymore.
Right now Dh and I are seriously considering a relocation and Dh has a couple of interviews at private schools in other states. One job is at a boarding school where we would live on campus rent-free, and the other is a (hopefully) higher paying job in a cheaper city (Dallas, TX) than we live in now (Raleigh).
When adjusted for daycare (2 toddlers), a higher tax bracket because of my income, and insurance (we save about $300/month), I take home somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000 a year. We are hoping that one of these jobs will be able to make up the difference and that I can stay home for a while. We already live very frugally (lived on Dh's teacher salary alone for over a year) and I won't miss the money I take home (what little of it there is).
But what bothers me most about my job situation is that I don't know what I want to do with my life as far as career. Like the OP I always assumed I would be a teacher and be very career minded. I went to grad school full-time for severals years and I enjoyed it, but how will I make that relevant to life now? I'm considering homeschooling the boys until high school (Dh is on board) but what then? I have 2 degrees and am ABD in my subject (Latin) but I don't even love teaching it that much, at least at my current school. I'm worried that if we move I'll never get a chance to finish my PhD. I feel like quitting would just be a quick fix and I would have to go back and figure this all out later. On the other hand my littles are only going to be young once. O.K., I'm rambling, but you get the idea. You are not alone, mama!
Carrie (28), wife to Mark (31), mama to identical twin cuties Ethan and Ryan (27 mo.)