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Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing, and she works full time in digital media with a large cable network. When she isn't at work, blogging, or washing someone's socks, Katie enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large and totally impractical, 113-year-old Victorian house.

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Time For Some Major Home-Work Load Balance Adjustments

By Katie Allison Granju |

In a lot of ways, Jon and I have a pretty ideal work-life balance for two parents with two full time jobs, plus four kids at home and one more on the way. Jon is able to take our three year old and our six month old to work with him at his father’s family business in a nearby town, and his mom comes to their office each day to help care for the girls. Both of us have relatively flexible employers, so when someone is sick or there is a doctor’s appointment or something, we are able to work it out. When we need back-up, we have his parents, my sister and my older kids’ dad and stepmom to step in to help us. We’re luckier than many working families, and I am very well aware of it.

But lately, it’s becoming clearer to both of us that even with the help that we have that so many working families do not, our household has gotten a bit out of whack. While our jobs are going well, and the kids seem to be doing great, our household is just not running as smoothly as it needs to. While I have never been known as a domestic goddess, even I am disturbed by how disorganized our home life has seemed lately. Between ball games, school clubs, work obligations, playdates, pediatric appointments, etc, there have been too few family meals at home, together, at the dining room table. The house is messier than it’s ever been, and we can’t quite seem to get on top of it. There are home repairs that need doing, and we desperately need to haul all of the junk out of our second floor so we can continue the remodeling we have started up there in recent years. But these things just end up taking a back seat to simply keeping up with what’s going on on any given day. Lately, I feel like we are paying attention to everything but our home, and our home life – which should be the heart of even the busiest working family.

Jon and I have discussed a lot of different options for how to get a better handle on keeping house, with all that that entails, and increasingly, we are coming to the conclusion that one of us is going to have to scale back at work and be home more – maybe even full time. Because my job with benefits, plus my freelancing are more beneficial to our family’s economic survival, we both agree that it makes better sense for Jon to be the parent who scales back,  becoming a stay at home parent who holds down the fort and keeps our home running more smoothly while I am focused on earning money.

We haven’t yet come up with an actual timetable for this change, but we both agree that this is the direction we need to go, sooner rather than later. With two teenagers and three (!!) young children in our family after the new baby arrives, we are at a point where we just have to have someone at home acting as the air traffic controller. The financial hit we will take is something we are trying to figure out, and when we do, we will begin planning for the big change to Jon’s SAHD status. Although we haven’t yet hammered out the details, just coming to an agreement about our need to make this happen has taken a big weight off of my mind.  I am still stressed when I look at all the dog hair floating around my house, and I am occasionally overwhelmed on mornings when we are trying to get everyone bundled up, lunches packed and kids hustled off to their various locations for the day. Now, however,  I am able to look forward to a day in the not so distant future when someone will be at home to at least attempt to stay on top of the dog hair, and to mornings when we don’t have to rush the little kids out the door so Mama and Daddy can get to work on time, but instead let them sleep in and eat their oatmeal while still in their pajamas.  It sounds heavenly.

So how about y’all? Have any of you transitioned to having one parent stay home part or full time? How did you make that decision? Was there a tipping point? And who stays home now  - you or your partner? Inspire me by telling me how you made this work in the comments below.

ADDENDUM: One or two commenters have pointed out that I have blogged quite a bit over the years about the financial risks that women face when they decide to stay home with their kids. One commenter suggested that I have “criticized” stay at home mothers. In fact, I have never criticized the SAH choice. What I’ve said and what I believe  is that any parent (male or female, though my writing had previously focused on women with regard to this issue) who makes the choice to take a period of time out of the paid workforce to stay home with kids needs to clearly understand the potential longterm financial risks of that choice, and should plan to mitigate those risks to the extent that she/he can. In Jon’s case, he will likely start by cutting back to part time, rather than quitting work altogether. If we decide that he will stay home full time, we will make sure he takes in some freelance work (he’s an accountant), and will work to remain engaged with professional networks, etc. If Jon wanted me to sign something recognizing the financial value of any time he stays out of the paid workforce that would protect his interests in the unlikely event that we ever divorced, I would be more than happy to do that. My point has always been that anyone who chooses to step away from the paid workforce to be at home should do so with eyes wide open regarding the financial risks. I think that in Jon’s case, we would be looking at having him stay home until our youngest is in kindergarten, at which point he would go back to work part time. In my observation, the greatest financial risks are to parents who stay home for long stretches of time – more than five years – without doing anything during that time to keep their skills and resume competitive, should they need to get back to paid work.


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About Katie Allison Granju

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Katie Allison Granju

Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing. Katie also enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large Victorian house. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie Allison's latest posts →

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83 thoughts on “Time For Some Major Home-Work Load Balance Adjustments

  1. Monika says:

    Well, right now I am what is known as a “trailing spouse” following my husband on foreign posting. The financial hit is huge, as we are at the same level, same job category, same pay. So we lost half our income in one of the most expensive cities in the world (Geneva), and I lost 4 pensionable years which I have to pay back somehow (no surprise, our debt has grown).

    My solution would be to hire a housekeeper… In this day and age, being a single-income family is economically unfeasible.

  2. Laura says:

    I thought you were going to say you were going to get a housekeeper. That is an idea. You could do that a few times a week and then have Jon home early a few afternoons a week. That could save lots of money rather than him staying home all the time. Good luck!!

  3. Jeannie says:

    I’m on mat leave right now but when I work my husband and I have weekly housecleaning. We can’t survive without it. It felt extravagant at first but then I remembered that women today are expected to have great careers AND run a home and it just isn’t possible to do both. Something has to give. Some families work great with one parent staying home and I hope Jon and you enjoy this, but while you get the details sorted why not hire someone to get rid of the dog hair and change the sheets?

  4. Joni says:

    As I was getting my daughter and son up and dressed one morning at 5am to take them to the babysitter, I was hit hard with the realization that I didn’t want to be doing that anymore. It was snowing, it was cold, and they just wanted to be home. My husband and I decided right then that we would figure out a way for me to become a stay at home Mom. You are right, it isn’t easy, and there are sacrifices, but it is so worth it. I have never regretted for a moment quitting my job to be home with our kids. That same daughter and son are now 28 and 23, and that aha moment was 22 years ago. I cherish our relationship and am forever grateful that we figured out how to make it work. Yes, we have gone without things, but truthfully, I couldn’t tell you what they were. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for us.

  5. Sonya says:

    Our decision was made when we discovered we were having twins. We looked at daycare costs vs income and staying home became an immediate option for my partner.

    Ultimately we still took a small hit on the income above projected daycare costs. The biggest impact was losing benefits. But the benefit of having a parent at home for the past 8, almost 9 years is one of the best decisions we’ve made. I’m so grateful that we had this opportunity.

  6. Christi Wampler says:

    I third getting a housekeeper, maybe even a nanny/housekeeper! You could probably find a SAHM or retiree or someone who could come into your home, clean, get lunches ready, cook, etc. for cheaper than having someone stay home from work.

  7. Sonya says:

    I agree with Joni. Often the sacrafices we end up making are things we can really do without. We just have to stop and think about it. We still spend money on things we shouldn’t. But in general we are now at a place where we determine whether or not we REALLY need an item before buying it. Our life is so simplified (in material ways) compared to 10 years ago and I love it.

  8. Melissa says:

    First – I think Jon is a gem! That is great he is willing to take the stay at home role. Secondly – I disagree that it’s unfeasible so long as your family comes to this decision together and you are willing to make sacrifices. We realized something must be done when my hours were getting longer and longer and I was expected to be working or traveling for nearly 70 hours a week. My hubby is a chef who works well into the evenings and it was becoming very logistically challenging as well as emotionally draining for me. I walked away from a big salary but we knew that our basic needs were met. The impact was felt but not as big as imagined….even with a surprise baby now in the mix. I have found that we save, spend and prioritize much wiser than we ever did with two incomes – it was true in our house – the more money we made, the more we spent. We have done without a lot of extras but our kids are dressed well, fed, and active in extra circulars, and my husband and I are both satisfied with our decision. So long as you both are confident in this decision – trust me, you can make it work!

  9. Clisby says:

    One or the other of us has stayed home ever since we had our first child We haven’t gone very long without working, though – about a year for me and a year and a half for my husband. Fortunately, I can work from home – I now telecommute full-time.

    If you weren’t having a 6th child, I’d echo what others have said about trying a housekeeper. Someone who could come in one day a week, clean thoroughly, do the laundry, and maybe even throw together a couple of meals would make life a LOT easier, and would cost less than losing one income. However, once the new baby is born, I think you’ve reached the tipping point where it’s not feasible for both of you to be working outside the home. Isn’t Jon an accountant? Perhaps he could work part-time from home if he wanted. Being a stay-at-home parent to one child wasn’t even close to a full-time job for me – I thought I was going to die of boredom before I finally went back to work half-time. But of course three is a completely different matter.

  10. Kristin says:

    Our three kids are now in school all day (thank you full-day kindergarten) so we now find much of the balancing a lot more manageable than we did when we had one in preschool and one at home, or even two in school and one in half-day preschool. But the housecleaning…it’s really a problem. I’m a pretty serious cleaner, but can live with a little clutter and dust. But, oy. Sometimes our house is just so awful I cannot stand it! So we’re leaning towards hiring someone to clean the house, I’m thinking once every other week for now, then see if that’s enough.

    Good luck figuring it all out in your situation. Given that you’ll soon have three really young ones and knowing the bills we would have faced with full-time child care when our kids were younger, having Jon stay home may very well be the most reasonable option. I worked part time until my youngest was in pre-school and we managed to cover all the child care bases with very little outside help. As for hiring someone as a housekeeper/nanny in your home, that tends not to be cheap at all. Taking your kids to someone else’s in-home day care can be really economical where I live, but in your own home watching just your kids? Pricey.

  11. Tasha / To-Fu says:

    Congratulations!

    I just recently started back to work (teaching part-time) when our second was about four months old. I couldn’t be happier.

    I was the SAHM for almost three years and it really wasn’t my bag, but that was the way the cookie crumbled since my partner had waaaaaay bigger earning power and incredible benefits. Has Jon SAHDed (can I make up that word) before? I hope he digs it and can get a strong network up and running of other SAHMs and SAHDs. That was the biggest shock for me–it can be so isolating if you don’t really get out there and find other people to support you and spend time with you and the kids. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the crap you have to do at home and forget all the other important stuff (going to the park, sitting down and building LEGOs, etc.). I’m not saying that’s what will happen to Jon, but it is my own cautionary tale.

    Oddly, now that we have in-home childcare (my job barely pays for it, but we’re all happier), the house is in better order than it ever was. I am so easily overwhelmed by the chaos and debris. So glad you are getting some relief soon!

    Is Jon looking forward to it? Have you set a date yet?

  12. sarah says:

    i think it’s wonderful that he’s staying home, katie! it sounds like it will be a huge relief for the whole family. “radical homemakers” is a great book about reclaiming domesticity from consumer culture– doing more ourselves, and making do with fewer purchased goods, can be an essentially richer, more rewarding experience for the whole family. good luck with this new phase of your interesting life!

  13. Jenny says:

    Your plan sounds good to me. I’m thrilled when any parent is at home. But . . . and this isn’t the question you asked, but allow me to stick my nose in: J and E should be handling the dog hair along with Every Single Other Scrap of housework in the house. And J could be doing at least secondary cooking plus preparing of lunches, etc. Between J and E, most of the laundry should be done without you or Jon even thinking about it. Et cetera. My two cents, anyway. Delegate.

  14. Katherine says:

    I think you have some exciting opportunities here! First and foremost, taking time to take care of home and family is an investment with many rewards, as you well know. I would also like to suggest that you have an opportunity to be an advocate by example for families with a stay-at-home partner. You have written movingly on your departure from and return to the workplace – I suggest that you put some thought and work into planning Jon’s career absence so that he does not face the same difficulties that you did if / when he returns to work. You could be a terrific example to all of us who are making these tough decisions and trying to make them fairly, so that everyone in the family benefits.

  15. julie says:

    well, soon you’ll have a newborn, a baby, and a 4-year-old so I wouldn’t do that thing that some working dads do and expect the SAH spouse to have a lot of time cooking or cleaning!

    btw now and then, I fourth the idea of a weekly housekeeper. starting this week. and dinner is something you either make a priority or you don’t. it doesn’t matter if it’s mom’s rib roast or a costco lasagna that one of your older kids is in charge of getting out of the freezer and into the oven. a bag of salad and you’re done. start small!

  16. Clisby says:

    I think Jenny is right, although it wasn’t the question you asked. You don’t seem to expect much from your kids. They could be vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, and doing laundry. They could be responsible for some basic cooking. If you do it every day, it doesn’t take much time. A load of laundry, from start to finish (folded) shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes of actual work. Cleaning a bathroom shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes. Sticking a chicken and some potatoes into the oven to bake while you throw together a salad – 15 minutes. If J and E each put in 30 minutes of concentrated housework every day you’d all be better off.

    This is separate from the decision for Jon to stay home, though. They should be doing this regardless.

  17. Larissa says:

    When our children were a toddler & an infant, my husband & I were adjusting our life insurance coverage. The young man who was helping us out looked at my current role of part-time working SmostlyAHM and calculated the cost of replacing me as the cost of a nanny & a housekeeping service. I was furious. The adult at home does so much more than sweep-up and prepare snacks. Having someone at home to be chief operating officer is a huge benefit to everyone. I hope that you and Jon can work it out in a way that is satisfying and beneficial to all of you.

  18. jzzy55 says:

    Be aware that leaving the work world for the SAHP track is not so good for his career potential should the family business not be an option when he’s ready to go back to work sometime in the future. Perhaps he could work part-time for the same reasons why many moms work part-time — because an adult needs adult work and play. Life can’t be all about dog walking, babies and appointments. It just can’t.

  19. Eliza says:

    When our two kids were tiny, we both worked a variety of part-time jobs to keep someone in the house at all times. When the youngest was 18 months old, we realized that we needed the income and benefits of someone working full-time. So I went back to work and my husband became the SAHD. Great decision for all of us. He was a fantastic caretaker and I knew my kids were in the best possible hands.

  20. Chiara says:

    im cautious financially–in fact, im trying to make a go of working from home as a telecommuting attorney with no nanny after my husband took a temporary paycut to work for the federal government. i have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and it is bit insane. i finally got wise and hired a weekly housekeeper and while im still exhausted and not sure how long i can keep up this marathon, it has made a huge difference. i vote for a weekly housekeeper and/or an au pair and see how that works before taking a hit with reducing income. i guess the good thing in jon’s situation is that in a few years he would be able to go back to the family business at the same salary…? unlike some of us who once we get off the exit ramp we are sidelined forever…?
    i disagree with the commenter who asserts that J & E should be responsible for more household chores. As one of six kids, I think its really, really unfair to expect your kids to assume major household responsibilities because the parents decided to have more kids than they really can handle. I am not saying that everyone shouldnt be pitching in but I am saying that they are only kids once and if their experience is similar to mine and some of my siblings, they may wind up resenting you and their stepfather if they need to start acting like adults any sooner. they already had to grow up so much in the last year with losing a sibling. i always said that i would never have more kids than i could financially/emotionally provide for…sometimes life gets in the way of plans. I also would say that as burdened as i felt at times as a child growing up in a large family with over-extended resources and parents, I wouldnt give up coming from my big, crazy, loving family. Best of luck to all of you. its not easy but it does get easier.

  21. Suzanne says:

    How about this: Jon telecommutes, working from home full time. A nanny/manny/housekeeper person is hired to watch the children while he works and do a bit of cleaning. That way he will save two hours a day not having to commute, the children will still have a parent there, he can still work and get paid, and your house will be managed.

  22. Agnes says:

    Do your older kids help around the house? Something I’ve observed with people I know is that kids today are not required to do the amount of chores I had to when I was a kid. A friend recently posted on FB that she is so happy when her 13 year old shovels the snow when she asks him. I thought “asks”? When I was a kid I was told to do chores and it was not negotiable. I’m the youngest of 3 and my mom had us all doing are own laundry from the time I was 10. She didn’t teach us how to do it, she posted written instructructions above the washing machine and that was it. We could read and were completely capable of doing are own laudry, no problem. It was shocking to us all when my brother, the oldest, went to college and had to teach other kids how to do laundry at the age of 18! We also mowed the lawn in the front and backyard, dusted, vacumned, cleaned bathrooms, cleaned the kitchen after dinner, emptied the dishwasher and whatever else she told us to do. We still had plently of time to do homework, play instruments, sports, watch tv, play with friends etc. I’m not talking about you Katie, but in general, I am shocked at how pampered kids today are and how little responsibility they are given or taught. By the way, we also got ourselves to school via feet or bike, which was always a mile away or more., In general, I think kids today are way too spoiled. KIds can help around they house and they should. There’s no reason kids can’t spend half a Saturday cleaning.

  23. K. C. says:

    I think it’s fantastic, Katie. Sacrifices will be made, but sacrifices are already being made, so no diff. :) I applaud you and Jon and the kids.

  24. Melissa says:

    I’m not sure it’s as easy as delegating chores to the older kids – sure it works in theory – but when you think about it – they are in school all day, do homework after school, practice or games in the evening, then dinner, bath, and bed – it leaves little time to make that reality through the week. Not saying they cannot contribute but not sure how much you can expect from them.

  25. Jenny says:

    I would love it if my husband SAH. I think he would, too. We are fortunate that we found a family situation with my mom that works for all of us.

    You mentioned in a different blog post that if you ever stayed home again you would insist on a contract. Are you and Jon pursuing that for your new situation?

    Congratulations on making such a huge decision. I am sure you both feel loads lighter. Best wishes!

  26. Jillian says:

    Housekeepers and babysitters/nannies are wonderful. They make life so much easier. But they are not the same as having a stay-at-home parent. My husband stays home with our kids and we are so fortunate to have the abililty to structure our family this way. He’s not an employee. He doesn’t have to be managed. He understands the full context of what the family needs, and when. We may not always agree, but I trust him fully.

    Sarah, you’re the second person I’ve heard reference Radical Homemakers lately. I’ve just put it on my wish list.

  27. KathrynT says:

    I think your rebalancing your home/work load is a great idea! When my kids were little I cut back to half time and my flexible work schedule allowed me to work weekends while my husband worked during the week. We only needed childcare once a week and had family help with that. I was delighted a parent was mostly with the children when they were young and happily economized.

    Given the busy life you have and the fact you will have three very young children, I think your new plan makes a lot of sense. I think some posters here forget that your older children only live with you half of the time (if I remember correctly) and are involved with sports and other activities. In a few years, when your little ones are school aged you can reevaluate and change the plan again. If part time work is an option, Jon might consider that as well.

  28. sarzini says:

    What about an au pair? Or a cleaning service? Can Jon do his job remotely or find a new job that works remotely (I know — the economy stupid!)?

    Tough decision to make financially but I hope perhaps with some suggestions here you can both find a good way to balance all on your plates.

  29. marie says:

    I hope Jon’s parents do ok with having to replace him. Sounded like a sweet situation, workplace childcare, at least less benefits than your company has to provide. Hope it all works out for them and you.

  30. Melanie says:

    In our family, I am the one who works because, like you, I had the better wage and benefits. My husband stays at home and manages the kid(s) (a 3 year old and we’re having a baby this June) and the house. It has worked out well for us. We could use extra money but I’d much rather have someone home and if we did daycare, most of my husband’s income would go to pay for that, so why bother. We unfortunately don’t have any family that lives close by.

    Since your husband works for the family business, can he do some part time work at home for extra money?

  31. Ellie says:

    It’s a very personnal arrangement. I wouldn’t stay home even if I have 4 children under 7, it is just not very rewarding. The early years of our little ones entail a sacrifice one way or another. One of my girlfriend worked while her husband took care of the baby; she was not very comfortable in that role. I agree that housekeeping is another full time job; I never tried to do everything on top of caring for the children. My house stays clean now that we are not there to create mess

  32. Christina says:

    It sounds like you are happy with your decision but if you wanted to consider another option, there are live-in au pairs. When you have several children in need of childcare they usually work out financially. Below is a link to another blog that talks about the pros and cons.

    http://snickollet.blogspot.com/2010/12/au-pair-logisticsdetails.html

    Side note, my mother first came to this country as an au pair :)

  33. I.V.S. says:

    Wasn’t it just two weeks ago (in response to Katy Read’s Salon.com post) that you were criticizing women for staying at home with their children? How come you judge SAHMs, but have no problem w/ your own spouse opting out of his career path?

  34. Julie says:

    I’m one of six and my father died when we were young. I did dinner once a week which usually meant pulling something my mom made herself and froze — you can outsource THAT now — and putting it and some potatoes in the oven and boiling some frozen peas or something like that. Total time = 10 minutes? And I had to vacuum the entire house once a week. Total time = 20 minutes? So, 30 minutes a week. Trust me, I was busy everyday after school and this was not a hardship.

    If dinner just isn’t happening, then breakfast can work too. We now have a rule that there is no screen time — tv, computers, texts, phones — before breakfast. We are not transplant doctors. There is nothing that can’t wait until 8AM. (This was actually very hard for all of us. Kids now have to leave their phones downstairs before they go to bed.) But I didn’t like all that texting cutting into sleep, and I love breakfast. I don’t enjoy cooking but I can knock out cheap and easy and healthy breakfasts that I felt good about: real oatmeal and homemade yogurt and fruit — or sometimes eggs or pancakes. It’s been a nice time for us to connect and for my kids to see how we prioritize. Our family comes first, everyday, literally.

    Which isn’t to say I don’t support a parent deciding to stay home. Of course!

  35. Karen says:

    Such a tough decision….. A lot of experts say that by the time you figure in not just childcare and housekeepers, lawn care, convenience foods, commuting costs, and work clothes among other things, the “second salary” net of taxes is not always worth it and it often makes sense for one spouse to stay home. In the other hand, in this economy it can feel a lot safer to have two salaries, in case one job suddenly disappears. So… I am sort of voting for the happy medium approach: an au pair can be about $12-14k for the year — far less than the cost of three kids in day care. And they can do cleaning and cooking related to the kids, plus driving. But, here is the cool thing: many agencies also have short term au pairs available — for say, three months. So you could totally try it out and see if it seems viable. If that does not seem like enough, then throw in a maid service once every two weeks and that would probably be another $2500/year. An alternative, as some have suggested, would be a housekeeper who could clean, do laundry, grocery shop, etc. Someone I know had a housekeeper who came two full days a week and accomplished a ton for relatively little. Jon may be a fabulous stay at home dad but I would make incremental changes if I were you, not drastic ones.

  36. Michelle says:

    Wow. I’m honestly surprised at the commentary that suggests the housecleaner is the answer to your dilemma. Usually the comments are a bit different.

    My husband is a SAHD and has been since 2007 when he was laid off. At that time, I was getting ready to travel extensively for my job. Since we have a disabled child, we decided it would be best for us for him to stay at home. We determined it was financially feasible because we’d be saving money by eliminating child care costs, reducing automobile costs (gas, maintenance), and reducing food costs (fast food for breakfast & lunch as well as many dinners). For us we had more money with him at home than when he worked! Plus the added benefits of providing quality medical care for our disabled child, “taxi service” for the kids’ activites and appointments, better grades since he helps more with homework, and someone could actually clean the house once in a while. :) Plus he could work on those “honey do” items he’d been putting off around the house.

    I think it’s exciting that Jon is willing to do it! There are ways to supplement your income. I think telecommuting would be a good option for part time work (hard to chase little ones while working full time – as I know personally). Weekends during tax season or even handling the accounting for the small company accounts are good ways to make money. This year since our kids are all in school, my hubby works part time during the school day. He will quit once school is out to return to being a SAHD. Most of the decision for his return to the work force hinged upon just getting him back with adults (children can drive you nuts sometimes) and to add to his retirement fund. I hope you can make it work. It will defintely be rewarding to you both – your sanity and Jon’s once-in-a-lifetime shot to get dedicated time with your children. Good luck to you both!!! :)

  37. Gavintiegirl says:

    Katie, I love your honesty. You are such a wonderful, multi-layered human. I wish nothing but beauty and sweetness to come to you in life. I really have nothing to add since I have one 13 year old son and my husband and I work full time and I think about quitting so I can stay home and bake more. Lol. I wish I could come to your house and help you get organized, make some hot dinners, and squish your babies. Peace to you!

  38. Alexicographer says:

    I have no idea of your family’s financial situation so I won’t try to comment on that.

    We’ve been able to do this for the past year and honestly, it’s great. My DH left the workforce (retired, with a pension and health insurance), and I’m a WOHM. My DH’s goal (and I’m quite happy with this idea) is to stay out of the workforce forever. While his pension’s not vast (and there’s NO way this would make sense absent my earning power), it’s not a trivial contribution to our household income, either, especially given its (relative) security, and in terms of lifestyle, having one person who (as others have noted) can be counted on to be the coordinating force in the household is, well, such a relief. Snow days, sick days, etc., no problem. Vacations and trips, easier to coordinate. Obviously we’re not immune to an assortment of problems … DH could be the one who get sick, we could decide we can’t stand each other, etc. etc. But in the day-to-day, well, it’s mostly fabulous. I do get a tad aggravated at times about being the one missing stuff, and even with just one kid we do rely on some paid childcare, which provides our only child with a ready opportunity to interact with other children and is pretty much essential to DH maintaining his sanity and having time to get stuff done around the house. Overall if you can swing it, I think it’s great.

  39. Leslie says:

    I always, always wanted to stay home but our first child arrived six months before my husband planned to start law school and the second three months before he finished. There was no option but for me to work, although it was only half time. The tipping point for us was much like yours–a third baby twelve months after the second! Also, he graduated and got a job. We were committed to the idea so we just did it. We never had any money before anyway. :-) I think it’s great that you are going to give this a try and I think your life will be more peaceful for sure.

  40. Rhiannon says:

    When my son was born we decided my husband would stay home, I watched too many news stories about daycares abusing kids and the cost of it over our income didn’t make it worth it. I also have the health insurance.
    Even though he would rather work and I would rather stay home it works pretty well. I’m pretty good with a budget (no premium cable, no text or Internet on the phone plan) I’m in Oregon and we get by comfortably on $30,000 a year.
    Plus it’s nice to have dinner ready when I get home and the house mostly clean.

  41. Julie says:

    I think there would be different replies had the post been different. But if the issue is the house is dirty and dinner isn’t getting made and home repairs are being neglected, then there are other ways.

    If the issue is broader — your mother-in-law is not sure about caring for 2 little ones, if Jon is unhappy at work, if Jon is DYING to do this and can go back to work in a year or two OR has dreams for a plan b after these baby years are past you — then I think we’d all be 100% no-questions-asked supportive.

    I’ve always thought SAH parenting to be like writing, you do it because you HAVE TO. Because it’s really hard. And I don’t see a lot of cooking, cleaning, home repairing happening with 2 kids under 14 months and a 4yo!

  42. Claire R says:

    Nothing to inspire here-I always had to work, and there was no spouse when I adopted my kids. But what I do have is a hearty YEA! if this is what you and Jon want to do! I know the little ones will definitely benefit, and it won’t do those “big kids” any harm, either. Good luck with all your life changes. I hope everything is smooth for you in all your upcoming transitions.

  43. Danielle says:

    When my first daughter was born, my husband and I were both working, but we made some radical changes early on. We moved back to my hometown and lived with family for two years. This enabled me to stay home with my daughter for two years, and my husband had the opportunity to start his own business. I took a full-time job when our daughter was 2, and my husband started working from home. Our daughter went to daycare 3 days a week so my husband could get some work done, and he also worked on weekends a bit while I spent time with our daughter during my free time. This was an absolutely fabulous arrangement. I make more money and have incredible benefits, so it was a no-brainer about who would be the one at home. We eventually hired a housekeeper twice a month, since I agree that taking care of kids and keeping the house spotless are close to impossible. Now, we have a baby, and we were able to hire a babysitter for 24 hours per week so my husband can get some work done. When she is 1 or so, we plan to find a small family daycare for 3 days per week. It provides me with significant peace of mind to know that someone is always available during an emergency, if there’s a sick day, etc. My husband is able to spend some time on his business, and he will be able to devote more time to it as the kids get older. We are able to afford all this, however, because I have a pretty good salary, and we live in a small city that is relatively affordable. We would not be able to do this if we lived in a bigger, more expensive city.

    I think it’s great if Jon is going to stay home, but I doubt that he will be able to take care of 3 kids under 4 and get anything else done at home. Even if C keeps going to preschool, even if she is there all day, I can’t imagine him doing much of anything besides taking care of 2 under 14 months! Work, cleaning, cooking…I don’t see it happening without his mother there to help.

  44. Stephanie says:

    We did it in 2009, after I got laid off. I looked for awhile, but I enjoyed being home and frankly, no one was hiring. We built a spreadsheet with all of our expenses, and then figured out what we needed to do to live on one income. We were lucky that my unemployment gave us the time to plan for one salary and implement the financial changes we needed to make.

  45. Matilda says:

    The first thing to do is speak to an accountant and crunch some hard numbers. You’ll get a a big tax break by being head of household and claiming Jon as a dependent, plus your little bundle on the way will add another deduction. Jon’s commuting costs, etc. Get some hard figures so you know what you’re working with.

    Having said that I concur with others who say that you can work around this another way. I agree with the poster who suggested Jon telecommute/work from home. Hire someone once a week just to do housecleaning and then get a nanny in for the mornings so Jon can work undisturbed in the mornings but still be in the house, then he can take over around 1pm. Also, very true to have your older kids take on additional responsibility. What are their current chores?

    These days, no one should absent themselves from the workforce if there’s any way around it.

  46. Lia says:

    I agree it sounds like you need someone home, but am not sure him being a fulltime SAHD is the best solution. I just know far too many SAH parents who didn’t keep up on work skills and when their marriages later ended, had a lot of trouble getting back into the workforce. I seem to recall that had happened to you too?

    Have y’all thought about massive downsizing of stuff, committments, and outside responsibilities? If the dog hair is an issue, why aren’t the older kids responsible for it? How many chores do they do? At their ages, they can be responsible for their own laundry, lunches, and getting a dinner in the oven, plus loading and unloading the dishwasher. Plus, it sure sounds like they are in a lot of activities. My husband and I work full time and our kids are limited to an activity each at a time. I am not spending every night running around until 10 p.m.

  47. Mert says:

    Jon is an accountant; he can probably crunch numbers all by himself. He works for his family’s firm; I doubt they won’t hire him back despite the hole in his resume. Katie’s older children alternate weeks with their parents, so they can’t act as regular housekeepers. Limited activities for kids because their parents can’t be arsed is ridiculous.

  48. Kathy says:

    Hire a housekeeper/ cleaning lady, to come once a week. Or however frequent that you think you need it for your household. My husband and I both work full time, and there is no way we could ever keep our house clean ourselves with 2 young children. And a dog – oh the dog hair! Ours is relatively inexpensive, when compared to the cost of our time (mine and my husbands) to fully clean our house on the weekend. We only have to do the “maintenance” items during the week – i.e. clean up spills, vacuum, wipe down surfaces in kitchen & bathrooms, etc., and my housekeeper does the heavy cleaning. If our income situation were to ever change, there would be a LOT of things that would be cut out of our budget before the housekeeper!

  49. M says:

    I’m gonna be a little bit of a snot and intend absolutley no disrespect – but wanted to share… My husband and brother-in-law often joke that the reason my sister and I are such poor housekeepers is totally due to the fact that we had a housekeeper growing up….. ; )

  50. Rebecca R-J says:

    I was given chores at home from the time I was 9 or so. It makes for a great work ethic all through life! Everyone lives in the house, everyone should contribute. I agree with those who say SAHD may not be the answer.Not yet anyway. Good luck!

  51. Matilda says:

    Even if children are only home half the week they can take on chores. And, I don’t think limiting activities has anything to do with parents being “arsed” (are you English?), it has to do with balancing the family life.

  52. Elizabeth says:

    I am a part-time SAHM (work 3 days a week, home two days), with an 18 mo old and another due any time. I love it, I love what I do and I love that I get time with my baby. We would like to have a bigger family, so I’m not sure how this arrangement will work with 3+, but for now the part-time set up works great for us. It’s definitely challenging to keep up with all the housework, grocery shopping, cooking, friends, etc, in the limited time I have to be at home with my son, but I find that if we get behind we just find a few hours on the weekend and clean as much as we can. I’m always surprised by how much we can get done in an hour or two of dedicated cleaning.

    I also agree with the commenters who suggested getting your older kids involved. And as the oldest of 6 myself, I know that of which I speak. I think it’s important that kids learn to pitch in. I will be honest, I didn’t love it as a teen, but in retrospect, it was one of the best things my parents did. We were by no means overburndened, but on Saturdays before we could go do whatever fun things we had planned, we had about an hours worth of chores to do – whatever needed doing, it always changed – and it was a great system. No drama, no surprises, every Saturday, we knew we had to help out. We also helped with folding laundry (while watching tv, no big deal) and doing dishes (we each had a night or two a week that was our dish night) and sweeping floors in traffic heavy areas (if you didn’t do dishes that night, you took 10 mins and swept the kitchen and dining room). We were responsible for our own lunches and just generally picking up after ourselves. In contrast, my husband never had to lift a finger at home his entire childhood. Ever. And when we got married, his expectations and the fact that his SAH mother waited on him his whole life caused a lot of tension – he really had no idea of or appreciation for all that went into a family – please don’t be that mom! My husband is now an extremely generous and loving husband and father, but it was not an easy first year. He agrees now that, when they are able, our kids will help out like the kids in my family were expected to.

  53. 500jerk says:

    I wish I had time to read all the comments, because I’m probably repeating other advice out there. If both of you continue to work (Jon’s mother participating in childcare just sounds too great to pass up), you need a part-time housekeeper who can do your laundry, clean up dishes, manage the minor-type repair people, and restore order to your household. You also need a cleaning crew at least once per week to scrub your house down. After 10+ years of working full-time while having young children, I now realize these services are essential. I know it’s costly, but it allows both people to pursue careers and–bonus–you avoid the mind-numbing work of keeping a house clean and running smoothly. Just my two cents!

  54. Margot says:

    I’m not sure I’m understanding all these comments about a housekeeper? It isn’t as if a housekeeper is a nanny, and with three kids under five and all the other kids/jobs/obligations a housekeeper isn’t going to ‘Keep House’ in the way that Katie described she and her family needs. Jon sounds as if he is in a flexible position and that he will be able to transition back into his workforce when he’s ready . How much of their income would go to housekeeping if he decided to buy these things instead of doing them himself?

    I think there are a lot of different variables going on, not just external such as location, local customs/culture, family or village support systems but within the family itself. I know that feeling of barely keeping my feet going fast enough on the hamster wheel. Good luck with what your family works out Katie.

  55. dewi says:

    If Jon is inheriting his fathers business eventually it’s a brilliant plan to have him be the SAH for five years. If he will need to go back out in the workforce and find a job in accounting it a horrible irresponsible idea to have him stay home. My DH tried it briefly. Horrible.
    Get a housekeeper and both work.
    Make dinner-time as a family the priority. You will never regret that, but will regret not eating supper together each night. Children and family need that type of dinner time grounding.

  56. julie says:

    Margot, I agree with you that a housekeeper isnt’ a nanny, but a lot of katie’s post was about cleaning. A SAHD with 2 babies isn’t really a housekeeper either.

    What does it cost? I pay $80 every other week. So $2,080 a year. And I live in Manhattan. Surely it’s cheaper in TN.

    If it were me, I’d ask the older kids dad/stepmom get on board with chores. An hour a week at whatever house they’re in. I think chores are important.

    Also, I dont think this is a decision to make in your first trimester. Emotions are high. Give yourself a little time. You weren’t even 100% sure it was a single baby in there last time I read. I’d get a little more info if I were you.

  57. Mert says:

    Katie’s older children spend one week with her and then one with their father. I guess they could leave the mess until J & E return. I am English, why? And I think limiting activities can be because parent’s are lazy and can’t be bothered. I also don’t see why Jon can’t just go back to the family firm when he’s ready.

  58. Jill says:

    I don’t have time (getting ready for part time work! ) to read all the comments … but my two cents is that unless Jon is a miracle worker, the house is only going to be far messier having three rug rats around the house all day! Can you imagine going grocery shopping with three baby/toddlers? I’m sure some of you have done it, but I wouldn’t be able to. I vote for getting the house cleaner, twice a week if necessary.

  59. Moi says:

    I agree that the housekeeping and the child-raising are two entirely different things. When you were a SAHM, was your house spotless? I know mine wasn’t. I think it’s actually in much better shape now that I WOH, not only because we’re not all there messing it up all day, but also because I’m forced to be more efficient since my time is so limited.

    Would Jon really and truly be happy, fulfilled and at the top of his game doing this? You guys know your own situation best. Given my own experience, I would not be comfortable with this setup, and I agree with the previous commenters who’ve said it would probably be smartest to ease into this gradually — half-days, a few days a week on and a few off, etc. — before doing anything drastic.

    And yes, family dinners (or breakfasts) are really really really important and not very time-consuming to prepare. If it comes down to that choice, I think having dinner together is a zillion more times important than staying on top of the dog hair.

  60. KathrynT says:

    I am surprised by how many commenters here don’t think Katie’s new idea is a good one. I think it makes a lot of sense if this is something Jon is enthusiastic about doing and if they will be OK financially. This family has been under enormous stress and steps to make life less chaotic and more enjoyable are important. I wonder if the responses would have been the same if Katie was to be the parent at home?

  61. heather says:

    Exciting news Katie and Jon. I admit that when I thought about the prospect of older children with active social lives, and 3 children under 4 my first thought was “I would have to quit my job! That’s not possible in my family with two full-time WOH parents.” These are the decisions that every family faces – balancing staying at home with the loss of income/stability/etc. It also sounds like Jon’s career as an accountant with a family business will take the least amount of ‘getting off the fast-track’ hit.

  62. O says:

    @KathrynT – Why are you surprised?
    Some people thrive on this type of chaotic lifestyle and clearly Katie does in the way she chooses to work and live.
    If Katie wanted to stay home it would be understandable then Jon, she is a newly grieving mother and about to have another baby in less then a year! Enough reason there to take a break and let jon focus on higher earnings for a while. Just making a sugestion!

    A WEEKLY HOUSE CLEANER . It’s insanity not to have this. Even if Jon stays home, It’s unrealistic with three babies and two adolescents to not have some type of cleaning help.

    The adolescents have the exact chaotic life style, living in two places with packed schedules when is there time for anyone in the family to do daily chores, cooking. cleaning and repairs, or eat and relax and play with each other.

    BURN OUT !

  63. julie says:

    If Katie had been the parent I would have reminded her of her own essay.

    I now realized to be an extremely risky choice to simply walk away from their own incomes and careers, and place their total financial futures – including their health care access and their ability to retire with dignity one day – into the hands of other people: their husbands.

    ____
    I actually believe this is extreme. But I am confused by her change of heart, and I don’t believe that staying at home = having a clean house and getting the family around the dinner table. I find that to be pretty old fashioned, esp from Katie. I think it’s hard to home. And I think Katie’s thought that your financial future doesn’t take a substantial hit unless you’re out of the work force for more than 5 years is just not true.

    I just don’t understand where she’s coming from here. IF she is saying she thinks all the kids would be better off, that Jon would be happier, if she would be happier, if his job is unique and he can get back in whenever he want… etc, etc., I get that. But the dog hair issue? No, I don’t get that.

  64. Rory says:

    My husband has been a SAHD for 5.5 years now. He lost his job before we had our son and I was lucky enough to have a job with great benefits and pay, so it just made sense for us. We took a lot of flack from family members on both sides on the situation, and as much as it embarrasses me to say, my side still holds it against him. As much as their attitude toward my family’s decisions hurt me, I still feel we are doing what’s best for our son by having a parent there for him instead of a non-family member raising him. So we might not get to take big vacations or buy brand new cars, but our son gets to “help” dad get supper ready or spend some one on one time with him before I get home, etc.
    I think whatever works best for your family is what you should do. Where Jon is an accountant, it would be perfect for him to do some work from home a few hours a week. Even if what he earns doing that goes toward paying someone to watch the little ones, at least he stays current in his field.

  65. Debra says:

    Best wishes in whatever you decide.

  66. Sonya says:

    So so so many people seem to encourage the SAH role combined with the work from home role. Frankly, I don’t know how one can accomplish both – with any success – at the same time.

    Between breakfast, lunch, snacks, cleanup from all that, bottle feeding, changing diapers, naps – same schedule if only you are LUCKY, balancing the needs of a pre-schooler, a baby and an infant…. plus the added (natural) expectations that the house is more orderly (which is WAY more challenging when everyone is home) and grocery shopping is complete to perform the desired meal prep and ideals that the family sit down together to a home cooked meal. Good luck fitting anything else into the day!

    There’s this myth that once you become a SAHP you suddenly have all this “free time”. I’d be happy to send you (not Katie) a box of bon bons and you can tell me when you get around to putting your feet up to enjoy them.

    My partner, hands down, works harder as a SAHP than I do working outside the home. Now that all the kids are in school full time she has re-entered the work force at a PT level and continues to hold the SAHM status. Her career path has changed, but so has our life, our priorities and our values. She LOVES this new direction. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have ever guessed this is where we would be. But I’m so glad that we were able to step back and change course.

    I’ve heard this before and I can totally see it… “Parents want to stay home with their kids when they are little but they NEED to stay home with them when they are older.” I’m hoping that we can swing it for the long haul!

    Also… the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about staying home with their kids while trying to keep up their business or careers… Super Nanny! I don’t know how many episodes I’ve watched where the kids are unruly and *unhappy* because they have no direction and no structure… because the parent is trying to work and the kids are magically supposed to make the right choices and take care of themselves.

    Becoming a SAHP isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about “saving childcare money”.

  67. Paula says:

    It sounds like you have many good options as a family!

    My husband and I work full-time now (our youngest is five), working opposite shifts to enjoy our children. It involves much dog hair on the carpets, a bit of chaos, and some marital strain in that my husband and I don’t have much time together, but it works.

    I did leave my full-time job when my youngest child was born and my mother was terminally ill. It was great to be home with the baby, to nurse without the pumping, and not to spend every vacation day and sick day on doctor’s appointments for family members. Our household ran more smoothly.

    When my oldest was born, my husband worked nights and cared for newborn during the day, only falling apart when he realized that his own snoring would wake our napping infant. Families shift around to do what works!

    I’m happy to say that my brief “time off” (if it can be called that, about a year of freelance book editing, returning to work as a part-time adjunct professor after a year) did not harm my career in any way. I am now a full professor at a college, teaching what I love, having a flexible schedule and summers off with the kids.

  68. Erika says:

    This is a great idea! My hubby is a SAHD now and homeschools our two preteen boys. Works for us. No, we don’t have extra money for fancy vacations and new cars, but my kids can enjoy a peaceful morning without the stress of all of us trying to get out of the house on time. And I never have to skip out on work to run them to appointments. Such a relief! I hope it works out for you and your family. It has been wonderful for us.

  69. Pam says:

    It’s a hard decision but one that we were finally happy to make. I, too, am the breadwinner in the family so my husband is a stay at home daddy. I was thrilled when we made it to one year! My son is almost 16 months old and I’m hoping we can go back to two working parents by the time he’s 2 and put him in a day care.
    But it’s made a world of difference not having to worry about who’s taking him to the doctor, who’s doing laundry, etc.
    The financial hit was hard, but for us it was either budget tighter or pay for day care, and that would have cost us about half of my husband’s previous salary for the year. So we buy generic, we go to Aldi, we go out once – maybe twice – a month and swap babysitting with other couples with small children.
    It can work!

  70. Laura says:

    I love in a community where there are almost as many stay at home dads as stay at home moms. Kudos to you and Jon for working this out.

    I have a good friend who is a stay at home mom and a CPA–she makes sure that the takes her needed education credits each year and little side gigs to exercise her mind. But with your household about to approach 3-under-5 status, I can see why you want to make this leap and I think it makes sense. Plus, in regards to your addendum above, I can see the rationale that it may be a lot easier for Jon to go back to work at his family firm in a couple of years than it would be for you to squeeze back into your career track were you to stay at home for a bit.

    And I’m another advocate for getting a bit of extra help when you can. I have a cleaner come for 3 hours every other week. She charges $20 an hour. Having my bathrooms spotless is priceless.

  71. Cricket says:

    I love the term “tipping point” – and I think it can be very positive. When we decided we wanted a bigger family but couldn’t afford the daycare of more than one child – that was our tipping point. We had a nanny at one point while I worked from home but it was distracting and expensive. I think it makes sense that the partner who makes the most is the one to stay in the work force. Thats what we did and it has worked. How we did it – downsized to a cheaper mortage and fewer expenses (icluding clothes, travel, dining out). Of course, you have to have faith that it will work out in the end. But life is a risk. I think this is a great family decision for you all!!! Congrats. You will be amazed how there is less stress and more enjoyment of life.

  72. Where is it says:

    Where is it that a an accountant can’t get a good job these days?

  73. mj says:

    The world is a tight place these days.

    I made the choice to leave the workforce 14 months ago for family reasons and have been trying, without even an interview, to get back into it since July. I have a graduate degree in a quantitative field and have always had the highest performance reviews possible (so I’m confident my references are excellent). I’m now in a program for professionals who want to get back into the workforce. There are 14 of us with graduate degrees (PhD’s, MBA’s, JD’s) and 10 other professionals (CPA’s & P.E.’s) and it’s humbling to see how difficult it is to find a job if you do not have a job.

    I don’t have a family business to return to and I understand that is a significant difference from what your husband faces. I also am in a field that is not readily turned over to innovative dynamic programming or to the vast, well-educated and readily accessible overseas labor pools. Some of my colleagues came from family businesses and are struggling despite that because their business is. If I were an accountant, lawyer, or even doctor, I wouldn’t be walking away these days… I would be thinking about where my field was going to be in 5 years… i.e. when my youngest was in kindergarten. No one wants to be caught in the teeth of a dinosaur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKuVICAdwB0

    The economic world is flat and the playing field is vast and level.

    Your husband has an enormous amount on his plate and a lot to consider. I feel for him.

  74. Steph says:

    I think it’s a great idea. We almost went the SAHD route, when I was pregnant with #1 and my husband was out of work at the time. However towards the end of my pregnancy he found a good job with the potential for great growth (which fortunately has happened) and we found a great daycare center. In my area of the country at least, an accountant is one of the jobs where it seems to be easier to leave and re-enter the workforce later (while not an accountant myself, I work in a related industry and with a large workforce of accountants and auditors). I really see the benefits of a stay-at-home parent and if it can work out for a family financially and otherwise, this old feminist sees it as the way to go.

  75. Clisby says:

    KathrynT: “I wonder if the responses would have been the same if Katie was to be the parent at home?”

    Speaking only for myself – no. If Katie were proposing to quit and stay home, I would say, “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?” While I’m somewhat skeptical about the wisdom of Jon quitting and staying home, it’s far more rational than the idea of Katie doing it.

  76. Alison says:

    I’m very happy you’ve made a choice that works for your family but this article has made me seriously reconsider reading your blog anymore. I’ve read many of your posts about the SAHM and felt a real sense of panic. I have to calm myself down by recognizing that this is the choice we made for OUR family and we recognize the sacrifice and risk we take every time we pay a bill. You can wrap yourself into a pretzel all you want to try and justify this decision in leiu of your previous writings but I find it very superficial. An honest statement: ‘yes I’ve gone on and on for years about the financial risk on mothers staying home to raise their small children but now we’re in the situation and –wow– I was wrong and maybe the risk is worth the reward’. That I could respect. My children are older, I’m older, and I still stay home with them and homeschool. I’ve been in the mommywar trenches for years and I’ve been over it for years. Some of the comments are condescending to SAH parents (of course) so there you go.
    And just as a side note–how is it that your parents own a business and don’t offer benefits to their employees? I know it’s probably expensive but what about sacrificing for the good of everyone?

  77. dewi says:

    How about the reality check of the stay-at-home calculator.
    http://www.parents.com/app/stayathomecalculator

  78. Jennifer says:

    Just a word of caution: the dog hair situation is not likely to improve. Who has time to clean when they have many small children underfoot? And as someone who works part-time and stays home part-time, I caution that it often ends up feeling like you do neither very well!

  79. Kara says:

    Wow, I’m completely shocked at most of the comments on here. I’m surprised that being a Stay at Home Parent is akin to being a glorified housekeeper. I think most people commenting are underestimating the time and energy it takes to successfully run a househould (not just keep it clean). After “retiring” last March after my second child was born, I have never been happier. I loved my job, but being at home and taking care of my home and children have made us all happier. Although, financially more stressful, it has made my husbands home and work life less stressful. The times he is home, weekend/evenings, are spent together as a family, not worrying about laundry, meals, cleaning and scheduling our life. I’ve approached my new “job” just as I did my previous job by working very hard at being CEO of our home.

  80. dewi says:

    @KARA “Although, the times he is home, weekend/evenings, are spent together as a family, financially more stressful, it has made my husbands home and work life less stressful not worrying about laundry, meals, cleaning and scheduling our life. ”

    You are the glorified housekeeper and no pay! I could say the same thing about our housekeeper when we both worked full-time carrer we loved.

    When we had a housekeeper/babysitter on the weekend/evenings we got to spend together as a family, it was financially more stressful to have to pay someone, and made my husband and my home and work life less stressful not worrying about laundry, meals, cleaning and scheduling.

    And best of all our paid housekeeper did a fabulous job, and liked her job and never short tempered.
    Way nicer then me when I became a full time work from home parent/housekeeper/ chauffeur/ life organizer for the family.

    Nice that you think of your self as a CEO of your home, that is a fantasy.
    How will you you support yourself?
    The danger of not continting to earn a living is too risky for any woman and her children.

  81. Kristin says:

    Again with the mommy wars! Good God women, cannot you not see how damaging these judgements are?
    How can you speculate about another’s financial situation or future career prospects are when you have no idea what there individual circumstances are?

    One thing we no for sure is that young children do not thrive on chaos. Security is essential to their healthy mental development. Children of all ages function much better when the home provides an atmosphere that allows for some routine, some down time, some family shared meal time and parents who are able to maintain some sense of balance in their own lives as well as in the lives of their children. There are many ways to achieve this, but it should be the focus above all else if you decide to have children.
    When you begin to define what providing this kind of home looks like for your particular family, all the other things will fall into place. You may try on a few scenarios and modify them later.Nothing else matters if your home is a stressful place because the parents are running in circles.
    One thing I haven’t heard mentioned in these comments is the role that the SAH Parent plays in the community. Several days ago this blog depicted the folks who help out in schools as engaged in hyper parenting. Many of those parents who do the fund raising, hold PTA board positions, assist kids who are below grade level, spread mulch on the playground etc. are full time parents, part time employed, or just plain fulfilled by giving back to their communities.
    I have done all of the above in terms of working, full time parenting young kids, working outside the home, working at home, and volunteered in the schools and in the community. My network is large, my resume is sound, I have a great job, and secure, well adjusted kids. My house is not always clean and when we need to, we conquer the dirt together!

  82. mamatried says:

    Sounds good to me. I think having your home together is a really, really good thing. In fact, I think it is more important than most anything else. It is your home! Plus, now Jon can come and hang out with us on Wed at the library storytime and then over the MS for the fountains and drink margaritas, or I mean coffee, wait he can’t have that either can he?

    I turned down a really good offer for teaching full time at the gig I have now in August. It was really hard to turn it down but I don’t want our lives to be more hectic. There will be plenty of opportunities down the line for me, for Jon, for you, for anyone who wants to take some time off for their family.

  83. dewi says:

    And another thing to worry about according to Lisa Belkins’ Motherlode blog. “Daddy Discrimination” .

    http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/daddy-discrimination/

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