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Old 12-26-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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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.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

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Old 12-26-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

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Old 12-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

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Old 12-26-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
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We gave up going out all the time, traveling a lot to see family/friends, trimmed the fat on our grocery budget (well, more like we trimmed the steaks! We used to spend $600-700/mo for two adults and we ate VERY well), bought a smaller, more readily affordable house in a lower COL area, and basically had to practice a LOT of restraint. For the first time in a long time, I just bought new (maternity) clothes. We do anything in our power to save money. I like to barter for things (fresh eggs, family photos haha).


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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.
daycare would totally be a luxury on some days. Like today.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:26 AM   #9
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Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

My husband and I discussed our goals and what we saw in our futures before we were married and it had been important to him that I stay home, and it was important to me. With that knowledge, we made a date to throw away the condoms because we were financially past where we wanted to be to be able to do that comfortably.

I could easily have started having children several years earlier, but we really wanted to be in a situation where the money I made wasn't missed. I was making a good amount of money but when we bought our home in 2008 it was purposely purchased with only being paid off my husband's salary, including all food and bills. What I made was for fun stuff, trips, extras, going out to dinner, shopping, etc. Do I miss this? Yes, I do. I do miss being able to going on an exotic and extravagant vacation with barely any notice because we can. But, I don't see us really doing those things with a toddler anyways, so perhaps it wouldn't be applicable to our lives as they are now. I did spend those two-three years really wanting to have a baby, though.

We are very careful with our money. I remember my dad trying to explain to me when I was young why my parents were just fine financially but my uncle's family was losing their home and having to move in with us, yet had every single latest toy on the market. Something to the effect of "We have our money because we did not spend it on silly things." That's stuck with me so I try to think about every purchase I make, even and maybe especially if it's something small. Those things add up rather quickly.

I may just be in a contemplative mood this morning, but this thread has me thinking a lot about maybe consulting or doing something part time. I still have a pretty large earning potential and although these past 15 months have been a really amazing experience and I just love being with DS all day, I do miss some of the hustle and bustle of executing a project to perfection and watching it unfold in front of me. My job was incredibly stressful, though, so I often wonder if it wasn't a blessing to have decided long ago that I would retire when I had my baby. Many late nights and wee hours of the morning putting out fires so those fires wouldn't be blazing destructive messes when I got into work in the morning.

I am rambling. Interesting to think about this, though.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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Re: What Lengths Have You/Would You Go To To Stay Home?

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Originally Posted by danner View Post
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.
I 100% agree with this. I have just recently started staying home. While I truly do love it (I can't complain that I don't need to get out of my pjs until after the baby's first nap!), it is NOT glamorous. My husband makes very good money, but we live in an extremely expensive area. We don't struggle to make ends meet, but we have a VERY modest house and will have to stay here for at least 10-15 years to make money on it because of the economy. Most of my day is spent trying to figure out ways to save money so we can meet our budget every month. There are many things that we do without, but I think you could definitely do it if you set a budget and stuck to it.
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