Quitting a full-time job to become a stay-at-home mom isn’t an easy decision. When I decided to resign from my TV weather gig last year, I felt like I was giving up a part of my identity. However, the benefit of being there for my family far outweighed my lucrative job. But it didn’t take long for my spouse to become sick of me being a SAHM.
Even though I could no longer work full-time, my boss offered me the opportunity to fill-in from time to time. That meant making some extra bucks to cover our finances. But the downside to being a freelancer is that it doesn’t provide a steady paycheck.
And since there wasn’t an immediate need, I wasn’t called for about three months. So it didn’t take long for my husband to feel financial pressure, which is something that many people go through in this type of situation.
I recently read an article on The Guardian, where an anonymous father wrote about the pressure he feels because his wife refuses to go back to work.
He says that both of their kids have been in school full-time for years, with their first born heading off to college soon. Despite having grown children, his wife has never returned to work. And after all these years, he’s noticed a decline in his health.
“My stress level has increased dramatically with added responsibilities at work and my health has deteriorated. People who haven’t seen me for years flinch when we meet again and I’ve attended more than one event at which I have overheard someone remarking on how much I’ve aged,” he said.
For the anonymous dad's wife, I hope she doesn't keep her head buried in the sand.
He added that while he appreciates all the work his wife has done inside of the home, he’s pleading with her to relieve him of some of the financial burden, and make their marriage more of a partnership. Clearly, there’s a lot of built up resentment toward his wife.
“It has become clear that you are OK with my working myself to death at a high-stress career that I increasingly hate, as long as you don’t have to return to the workforce.
You keep busy volunteering, exercising and pursuing a variety of hobbies. You socialize with similarly situated women who also choose to remain outside the paid workforce. You all complain about various financial pressures, but never once consider, at least audibly, that you could alleviate the stress on both your budgets and your burnt-out husbands by earning some money yourselves,” he explains.
This article brought me back to our family dilemma. Granted, our children are much younger. However, I can understand the frustration of feeling the brunt of the financial burden, which begs the question: What should you do if your spouse is sick of you being a stay-at-home?
Some people may say that being a stay-at-home parent is enough of a financial contribution. Even if your children don't require childcare, there are still other things to consider. In fact, when you do the math, you may realize that the cost of replacing a stay-at-home mom could cost a pretty penny and added stress, too. Meal planning alone takes a lot of scheduling; the cost of a chef is about $9,487 a year, which doesn't factor in buying and delivering groceries. As far as cleaning and managing the home is concerned, that could run approximately $29,154 annually, depending on the size of each room.
But for me, the answer was simple. As the saying goes, “A happy wife, happy life.” Well, I think the same rings true for husbands, too. That said, it was important for me to meet my husband half way because I'm able to.
In addition to occasionally filling in as a meteorologist, I also supplement our income with blogging opportunities. It allows me to have a healthy balance. I’m able to spend more time with my family as well as contribute to our finances.
It's true that not all stay-at-home moms "keep busy volunteering, exercising and pursuing a variety of hobbies," but if that's the case for the anonymous dad's wife, I hope she doesn't keep her head buried in the sand. To parents who are thinking of quitting their full-time job to stay home with the children, think long and hard about that decision—before your spouse unleashes his resentment for all the world to see.