Wife quitting work and staying at home with baby

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Bob McLaughlin, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    3
    Real Name:
    Bob
    Please share your stories if your wife quit her job after having a baby. It's going to be interesting living on one income after living the past 7 years with two incomes and no kids!

    We had our baby last fall and although my wife took a two-month break, she intended to return to her full-time job and have the baby go to daycare. The first month went well, actually, not as big as adjustment as she'd thought. But then January came and all hell broke loose in her office due to changes in Medicare law (she works for a health insurance company). Mandatory overtime, no excuses. She put in 80 hours overtime in January alone, weekends included. I was spending most of my time at home alone with the baby, trying to keep up with the household chores as best as I could. Not easy because this is the busiest time of the year for my job as well (I'm in accounting).

    Long story short, my wife wasn't getting to spend much time with the baby and none of us were happy with the situation, so we agreed she should quit.

    Now we have to be more careful with money. Survival won't be an issue, but my era of instant gratification is probably over. Then again, that may have been over as soon as we had the kid! But I am glad that my wife will get to stay at home and take care of the baby, and actually have time to make dinner and do the laundry too!

    Anyone have similar experiences or advice?
     
  2. Quincy

    Quincy Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 1999
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    1
    My wife didn't actually quit her job when my son was born she was actually laid off about a month before. That actually worked out pretty well because she could collect unemployment and take care of our newborn. Well fast forward two years and she hasn't gone back to work. We had to make some life adjustments due to only one paycheck but I think all in all its turned out pretty well. I never have been big on daycare(don't feel like kids get enough attention, not to mention all the germs floating around). My wife did join a moms group off of the internet where other stay at home moms get together and let the kids play with each other so they can have interaction with people besides mom and dad.
     
  3. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    3
    Real Name:
    Bob
    My wife would be interested in that website, Quincy, do you have a link? That was one of her fears, that the baby would lose interaction with other kids and she would lose interaction with other adults.
     
  4. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Messages:
    7,126
    Likes Received:
    71
    Bob, As a father of three (ages 11,8 & 3). My wife took a few months off at first. At the time she was working part-time as a teacher. She worked 3 days a week from 9-2. Luckily, my Mom was able to watch the kids until they were old enough for preschool.


    I want to see you tell her the part about the dinner & laundry. [​IMG]


    And a bit of advice. Don't rush them to grow up (ie-walking,talking). Because before you know it they will be and you will wonder where the years went...Besides, once they start talking this is what your car ride will sound like...

    http://www.phattie.net/dawg_wavs/sim...wethereyet.wav
    [​IMG]

    Good luck
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 1997
    Messages:
    6,788
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife made a similar decision when our first son was born. In the end, the math didn't work out for her to work.

    The cost of having her work was this:

    $200-$300/week in daycare
    Cost of gas (about $40/week at the time)
    Cost of her lunches, as she would be far more likely to grab a "fast food" lunch at least once a week or to go out with other workers.

    etc.

    In the end, we figured that the additional income would "help" on paper, but as far as it really went, she would be earning 1/2 of what she would have ever accepted with all factors figured in. So, she stayed home. Now that the kids are both getting older, her going back to work becomes much more of an option, they are both in school full time next year, and so then it starts to make a lot of sense.
     
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,517
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Lee Summit, Missouri
    Real Name:
    Matt
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    DOUBLE POST
     
  8. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    The ACLU will hear about this!
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife quit did not work for over three years after our son was born. And then worked only part time for another couple of years.

    We have both always thought that was the best decision we ever made. True enough, we no longer took vacations to foreign climes and overall operated on a vastly different budget. But all these years later that money seems not at all important.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've been thinking about it. We have a great babysitter, she takes care of our kid very well. The part about germs is true, but OTOH, how else to develop resistances (parents included... in more than one way [​IMG] )

    But, these are years we will never have again. And with the discussions about a second, well, that definitely changes priorities.

    As far as 'instant gratification' - forget it. But, you will get a small kid giving you a bright smile when you come home, want to be close and play with you specifically, eventually hand out hugs, etc. And, when I felt like s..t last night, and my wife took care of me - my son 'helped' by repeating her actions. Great stuff, fun stuff, life takes a whole new course - and 'I.'G.' doesn't compare in the slightest. I don't really miss it, although budgeting will never be the same.
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    After doind the same math we came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth my wife going back to work either...at least not in her old job. She now runs a home based business on the side and may do some evening work in her old job this fall but otherwise its just not worth it for us to pay daycare for two kids.
     
  12. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    3
    Real Name:
    Bob
    Thanks for the responses guys. It is true about not being able to get time back, that was what was bothering my wife the most. The baby rolled over by herself the other day, and I think my wife realized how fast she was growing up, and she didn't want to lose that time forever.

    (As for my wife doing the laundry and dinner, those are just her chores, that's not meant to be a sexist remark. After all, it's my chore to do the dishes and vaccuuming!)
     
  13. Lucia Duran

    Lucia Duran Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nothing was more important for me than to be there for my kids and to spend my days with them when they were little. Now that they are in school, I run my own business from home. Best decision I ever made to be a SAHM and now a WAHM.
     
  14. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Doug Miller


    Ha, yah, that will happen. I don't know about the rest of you, but the minute my first arrived I've been doing more housework than when I was a teenager living at home.

    In terms of the topic, my wife will be leaving her job on April 15th. Last year we decided that Megan should have someone to grow up with. Going through the pros/cons of having another kid, work was a key topic. I did the math about 10 times over, counting in things like savings, along with potential expense cuts, etc. Next thing I know, my wife is pregnant, and we're moving for my job. It was good timing for the promotion, because the (small) raise gave us alittle cushion. Unfortunately, the new house was also 30% more expensive than the old one.

    We felt that it was more valuable for my wife to be able to not only spend time with the new baby, but help Megan adjust to the new sibling, than it was for her to have a job. When we factored in what daycare and daily expenses for her were, it just didn't make sense. In the math, we're probably going to go backwards every month in terms of income, so we looked at how long we could afford to go backwards before it was time for Amy to get a new job.

    The instant gratification part of things will be the biggest adjustment. My wife and I are used to going a place or two every year, and I'm used to a solo trip a year for baseball. Those are temporarilly out the window and will take some getting used to, but it's worth it.

    Doug
     
  15. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife and I made the decision back in '97 that she would quit her job and be a SAHM when the time came to start a family. So the house we bought, the new car we bought, etc was all based on one income (mine). We bought our house in '97 and when she became pregnant in '98 she quit once she was in her 7th or 8th month.

    We had our kids in '99 and '01 and let me tell you it has at times been a struggle but we've always managed. It was tough at first, my wife was making about $55K year and to pull that right out meant some lifestyle adjustments for sure. But as the years went on we survived, I got a promotion or two and we did just fine. Neither one of us would change our decision, having my wife at home with the kids was a comfort to me as well.

    About 18 months ago my wife started go to school to be a hairdresser and now that she's graduated, she loves it. No more rushing around getting to an office. The haircutting field is very flexible with hours and once our youngest starts school full time she can put in even more hours.

    The best thing about all of this is now the money she makes is like a bonus. We got along from '98 to '05 on one salary and to have that extra income now helps a great deal.

    So hang in there, it does get easier. If you plan on having more children don't wait too long, that will just postpone her going back into the workplace. Or maybe she'll do what my wife did and quit the corporate/office lifestyle for good and find an occupation she really enjoys which has a flexible work schedule.

    Good Luck.
     
  16. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    We did the same thing as you Bob and haven't regretted it. The biggest adjustment by far was the loss of income and how that affected our day to day living.

    The problem is no matter how it looks on paper, kids are way more expensive than you ever estimate. One or two (even mild) medical conditions and your budget is totally blown. Like our 2 year old broke his leg in tumbling class last Nov, all said and done it cost us $800 in medical bills. That's one broken bone with full HMO insurance via my job. Ouch. My other son has asthma problems, again about $500 to fully diagnose and $200 since then in medicines.

    So keep those factors in mind, but spending times with your kids is truly priceless. We do well now, but there was definitely a financially rough 'adjustment' period.
     
  17. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    1
    My spouse tried working at first. Eventually we realized the hassles of her working were not worth the income. Within two years she quit. She had worked swing shift at a hospital. They took gross advantage of her and she sometimes didn't get home until after 3AM. I had to be a bit of a dick, but she finally agreed to quit.

    We managed to make ends meet. In fact we've done quite well. Now that my youngest is nearly ready for school the hard part is convincing my wife to go back to work!

    Meanwhile, my kids are well ajusted and doing well in school. My oldest would have been OK with preschool, but the middle one would have been scarred for life I'm afraid. (and my youngest would have taken over the place) I am eternally grateful we didn't have to resort to daycare.
     
  18. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0


    My wife and I don't have kids yet. However, we've already discussed that one of us will be staying at home when we do. We are finishing up grad school right now, but once we hit the "real" world we plan to live entirely off of one person's salary while putting the other person's into savings (emergency fund, house fund, car fund, etc). We hope that living off one person's income during that time will allow for an easier transition when we do have kids.
     
  19. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    6,283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Ron
    That's excellent Bob.

    My wife quite here job 10 years ago and has been a stay at home mom since then. It has been a blessing and as long as we can make it work we will.

    We did sell off our expensive cars and paid cash for lesser models to avoid car payments. We paid off any outstanding debts as well. All we had was our mortgage. Believe it or not, in those 10 years we were able to pay that off as well.

    There is no greater priority then raising the kids you bring into this world. I don't understand people who have their nice big house, fancy cars and expensive crap and pay someone else to raise their kids becuase they need to work to pay for their expensive stuff. Priorities way out of wack.
     

Share This Page