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Old 12-11-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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Quitting a great job to stay home

I could use input and advice from anyone who has done this. I've been with my company for 12 years, have a great work environment, fairly flexible schedule, good pay/benefits/401k, etc. I have worked my way up from receptionist to manager. But I'm on call all the time and even on a reduced schedule of 30 hours/week, I spend my day off dealing with work, it never goes away.

Financially we can do it, but it will require a huge lifestyle change and means giving up my current 401k contribution/match. DH is a teacher, but in the highest-paying district in our area, we have no debt and our expenses are few.

Besides finances, what other things should I consider in quitting? I realize I will need to get on DH's insurance. We're planning a trial phase of living off just DH's income starting Jan 1st, only daycare expense will come out of my paycheck.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

I left a wonderful job making very good money to be home with my girls. It was an adjustment, both financially and emotionally. My identity was very much tied up in my profession, I absolutely LOVED what I did, but like you it was too much. I was always home late, working crazy hours, always devoted to the job. I miss it almost every single day, but now I can devote myself completely to the girls and their goings ons, it's better. I look forward to the day I can get back to it, but I'm happy now. My suggestion after looking at the finance aspect of it, is to look at the emotional aspect of it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:17 AM   #3
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

I left a wonderful job that I loved to be home with my children.

I have heard many women say that they regret that they didn't stay home with their children. I've never once heard a mother say she regretted that she was home.

You only get one chance at this. It is totally worth the sacrifices.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threekstrio
I left a wonderful job that I loved to be home with my children.

I have heard many women say that they regret that they didn't stay home with their children. I've never once heard a mother say she regretted that she was home.

You only get one chance at this. It is totally worth the sacrifices.
This is the darn truth!

Eta: I didn't think of all those little questions - we have job security and bills are paid on one income. I do direct sales and bring in a small bit of extra money but I knew I would regret not staying home. Babies are little for only so long. I still get some adult interaction but I don't need tons. I figure all of those pesky questions are secondary to my babies.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

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Originally Posted by threekstrio View Post
I left a wonderful job that I loved to be home with my children.

I have heard many women say that they regret that they didn't stay home with their children. I've never once heard a mother say she regretted that she was home.

You only get one chance at this. It is totally worth the sacrifices.

I agree!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

You should also consider what you will do when the children are in school or grown.

How will you remain competitive in the job market? Will you need to go back for a degree?

How will it impact your retirement? Obviously your employer match will disappear as will your contribution. Will you be able to contribute to a Roth? Your SS retirement calculation is determined, in part, by your top earning 35 of years in the workforce. A few years of $0 earnings will negatively impact it.

What kinds of adult interaction will you plan for yourself to stay sane? Can you afford those costs?

Does your employer offer other benefits (health ins, life ins, tuition remission) that you will be giving up? Does DH have an equivalent?

Do you have savings in case DH is laid off? How likely is that? Teaching is not a secure profession in my area.

Is there a way to adjust your current work schedule to be more enjoyable? Example, only check voicemail and e-mail at 8am, 12pm, and 5pm on your days off. Use the out-of-office feature on your work e-mail. Block your calendar on your days off so you cannot be scheduled for a meeting. Teach someone else how to handle particularly recurrent, emergent or annoying situations. Leave typed instructions on how to handle problems. Negotiate for more vacation time or less weekly hours. A lot of this depends on your company and type of work.

I am in a similar position but cannot come to terms with giving up the security of a second job, benefits, and professional fulfillment that it brings. Obviously, this is a very personal decision.

Last edited by schmerna; 12-12-2012 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:21 AM   #7
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

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Originally Posted by schmerna View Post
You should also consider what you will do when the children are in school or grown.

How will you remain competitive in the job market? Will you need to go back for a degree?

How will it impact your retirement? Obviously your employer match will disappear as will your contribution. Will you be able to contribute to a Roth? Your SS retirement calculation is determined, in part, by your top earning 35 of years in the workforce. A few years of $0 earnings will negatively impact it.

What kinds of adult interaction will you plan for yourself to stay sane? Can you afford those costs?

Does your employer offer other benefits (health ins, life ins, tuition remission) that you will be giving up? Does DH have an equivalent?

Do you have savings in case DH is laid off? How likely is that? Teaching is not a secure profession in my area.

Is there a way to adjust your current work schedule to be more enjoyable? Example, only check voicemail and e-mail at 8am, 12pm, and 5pm on your days off. Use the out-of-office feature on your work e-mail. Block your calendar on your days off so you cannot be scheduled for a meeting. Teach someone else how to handle particularly recurrent, emergent or annoying situations. Leave typed instructions on how to handle problems. Negotiate for more vacation time or less weekly hours. A lot of this depends on your company and type of work.

I am in a similar position but cannot come to terms with giving up the security of a second job, benefits, and professional fulfillment that it brings. Obviously, this is a very personal decision.


There is also the what if the marriage dissolves? Will you be able to enter the work force with a decent job quickly?

If you are smart you not only have to live on DH's salary but his salary also has to cover your ability to contribute the amount you did to a IRA and make up for the SS you are loosing out on along with additional health care costs if there are any.

Even if you choose to leave I would still do as schmerna suggested and try to 'fix' the current work problems. You just don't need to be available 24-7 unless you own the business or are being paid for the work
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

I am a WOHM currently on Maternity leave, and have pondered this same thing (although I am the main income earner, and it's mainly daydreaming for me!).

I would consider the following:
- While I would love to be at home with my kids, a huge portion of my identity is my career, and I would miss the adult interaction. I find that SAHMs around here are very different from me, and I would feel a little uncomfortable in playdates or preschool circles.
- It would be nice to spend time home with small children, and I am sure I wouldn't regret it, BUT if I work now I can earn the position and ability to have a lot more flexibility later when the kids are teenagers and more apt to get themselves into trouble without parents around.
- Making a retirement contribution early in your life is way more advantageous that trying to make-up for time lost later. Income contributed now makes more money!
- How hard is your industry to keep up with. For me, there are advances in technology and new regulations which require that I keep up to date. If I were to leave and try to get re-hired later, I would have to compete against people who know more than me about the current methods and regs, and that would work against me. If your industry is hard to get into, you definitely want to think about this one!
- I am LUCKY to have a good, decent paying job in this economy which enables me to support my family. I would only quit if we were doing REALLY WELL income-wise with only DH.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

Thanks for all this ladies! It's always in the back of my mind too, especially because I'm surounded by SAHMs and sometimes feel guilty for working/sending kids to daycare. I feel crazy busy sometimes, but also need to remind myself that I need to get out and interact with adults and stay busy, otherwise I will quite likely deal with depression. Somedays it's a circle arguement in my head :-S
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Re: Quitting a great job to stay home

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Originally Posted by NorwexMa View Post
Thanks for all this ladies! It's always in the back of my mind too, especially because I'm surounded by SAHMs and sometimes feel guilty for working/sending kids to daycare. I feel crazy busy sometimes, but also need to remind myself that I need to get out and interact with adults and stay busy, otherwise I will quite likely deal with depression. Somedays it's a circle arguement in my head :-S
Good luck with your decision. It sounds like you have time to plan, think and then decide.
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