Help me decide to stay or quit. : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Hi, I'm Chris and I've been lurking and loving this board for some time. I'm married, 41, boy 14, two girls 9 & 11. We are in Kentucky. I have to decide in the next two weeks if I should keep my job, every year you have to sign a contract.

I started working 3 years ago to get insurance for the family plus the small amount of extra cash. Now my husband has a job with insurance plus a decent pay raise. I make $830 a month, 12 months a year, Flex plan of $3000 a year, and free tuition($360 total) for kids.

I work in the high school library as an aide at my kids school. We are a year round school so we get breaks scattered throughout the year. I am on my kids schedule. (Today is a snow day so I'm home.) The good thing is, I'm where they spend their days. My boss is great. There is alot that is good about this, as far as jobs go I don't know of one that would work better for us.

But I LOVE to be home. I LOVE to care for my home, yard, animals, family...I haven't had a garden in 3 years! Weekends are all about chores - never fun. I want to cook them wonderful dinners and have the energy to roll the girls hair at night. I want to BE fun again. We are mostly about work, not alot of fun being had here.

But I feel fear. What if DH gets laid off? Will the loss of income be felt more than I anticipate? Will I have to go back to work and never be able to find something that fits as well???

Also I wonder if it's fair for me to quit and DH has to keep plugging along.

One more thing-we are totally debt free with 6 months emergency savings and we fully fund our retirement plans.

I look forward to hearing from you. There are some opinions on this board that I've come to respect. The rest of you just be nice:)!!! Chris

-- Chris (, March 04, 2002


Debt free and money saved! What are you waiting for? Are you qualified to be a substitute teacher? Better money and more free time. Can you grow enough chickens, rabbits, veggies to use or sell to replace the present income? A what about the cost of traveling to work, lunch, clothing, ect? You might actually save money by not working; crunch the numbers and see.

-- mitch hearn (, March 04, 2002.


HI! My kids go to year round school too and we LOVE it!! But, about your job, can you talk the school into doing a job share type situation. One thing about year round, they are much more open to non- traditional options. At our school we have some who work T/TH and the other works M/W/F. There are also a few who work the morning shift and someone else who would like to work part-time works the afternoon. You might lose your insurance, but that seems to be a non- issue since your husband has been able to get it. Talk it over with your family and together maybe you can come up with a good proposal for your principal.

-- Ivy in NW AR (, March 04, 2002.

I agree with Mitch, run the numbers!! Working is more expensive than you think. Here is something to try for a few months while you make up your mind. Try to live just on your husbands salary and bank 100% of yours. This will give you some extra money put back, and let you know if you can live on hubby's pay. I hope I never have to go back to work again!! It was SO stressful and I do anything I can to save money and it is fun too!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, March 04, 2002.

I will tell you the reason I dont work. I use to be a prof chef. Made great money. Worked from 3 to 10 4 days per week and 5 to 11 on saturdays. I didnt have to pay a sitter, cause my mother in law would take the kids as soon as she got home from work. I was the boss, and loved it. I had complete artistic and culinary freedom. What I said was the law, ( this was a perk, when working in this industry). BUT......

I missed making dinner for my family. I missed reading bedtime stories and giving the girls bathes. Tucking them in and praying together. I missed when they were sick, ( kids seem to be the sickest at night...LOL ). I missed family game night, and wensday church services.

Finally one day, a blessing from god, I was hurt. Had to have surgery on both of my hands. After the surgery ( one year recovery ), I decided it wasnt worth it. My job was there, waiting for me to return and make the kitchen hum like a well oiled machine. But my heart was at home.

" Home is where the heart is" .... Hope this helps.

-- Kristean Thompson (, March 04, 2002.

Hi Chris! I understand your's a lot easier when you hate your job or are unhappy with your boss! For what it's worth, here's an opinion from an older and hopefully wiser person (not wiser than YOU, wiser than I was at your age)....we all get just a single chance at living here on earth..nobody gets to come back and do it it is a question of what is important to you..since you are debt free, then why not stay at home? When you r husbamd comes home at night, you will have the opportunity to be of greater suport and caring to him because you will have spent your day planning ahead to supper and home comforts...when at home gardening, etc. you still are very much doing your part to support the family..price all those nice veggies covered in wax and sprayed with who knows what at the supermarket.How much are you spending in clothes, lunches, gas, fast-food to make supper, etc. when you work? The one thing I regret the most about my choices when my children were at home was not being a mom at home...I had a great career and terrific pay..loved it..yet, the concept of the love and security a mother can give to her family by being at home is immeasurable, and IMHO, worth more than all the gold in the world. How cool to be able to sit at the supper table and ask your children how their day was at school..(now, you pretty much already know) give your husband and children all of your efforts instead of part is incredibly fullfilling....there is no reading of tea leaves either...if your husband were to lose his position and you were still what? He would still be looking for another job and there would still be stress over it, whether you were at home or not. I guess the bottom line is, talk to your husband..if you both agree that this would be wonderful, then go ahead and enjoy yourself and your family full time.....God bless.

-- lesley (, March 04, 2002.

When you crunch those numbers, don't forget to see what your taxes will be with just one income. You may get a tax break: some people do.

-- Terri (, March 04, 2002.

Chris,I cant answer your question but I understand how you feel I think.My husband is an OTR truck driver we want him home but the "security" of his job keeps him where he is.Our 2 year old cries when he leaves and the three older children want him home too.We too feel we are missing out on life all for money and "security".I am a stay at home Mom I home school and every thing else that needs done.I keep thinking about when we are older will I have good memories enough to carry me through those years are will i have regrets because of wasted time chasing "security"?Okay ,the florist just knocked on my door and delivered us a bouqet(?)of flowers from my husband the card says to smile ,we were all feeling pretty blue this morning when he left ,should make our decision easier.willa in IL.

-- willa in IL. (, March 04, 2002.

One question how long before your husband could join you in retirement. Being a stay at home mom is one of the greatest, most rewarding jobs in the world. But you are home when the children are there and around where they are when they are at school and face it even being at school you would worry a little bit if you were not there. I would look at the possibility if you work untill the children graduate, sunk all your earnings into retirement plans could your husband take early retirement and both of you be free to do all the things you want. Me and the wife worked off the farm untill we could set up our retirement so that after my death she will still draw the same amount for her life. We retired me at 56 her at 42 and for the past four years have both retired and if we want to go where ever we can, as long as we get someone to feed the dogs. I know it would be nice to be at home with the dinner all fixed but look at all your options, talk to the husband see what he thinks and how soon you both working would get both of you home retired, homesteading for good.

-- David in North Al. (, March 04, 2002.

I also agree with Mitch. Your income is not so great that you probably wouldn't do just as well by staying home. By the time you cut out extra transportation costs, extra clothes, extra meals, etc. and add the benefits of staying home, you'd likely come out ahead. There is a website, the Dollar Stretcher ( that has some great info on 2 incomes v.s. one. I believe they even have an online calculator to help you compare the costs. For some reason I can't access their site right now but it is usuallly easy to get to. There are many other sites with wonderful info on saving money, I can give the the URLs to many of them and I'm sure most people on this forum can add to my list. Or simply do a web search using key words like tightwad, frugal, pennypincher, simple living, etc. If you want to stay home, you can make it happen.

-- Lenette (, March 04, 2002.

If your debt free I don't think there is a decision! As I see it the chose is --family and home...or money????

You won't ever look back and regret spending the rest of your life with your family -- you will look back and regret spending the rest of your life at your job.

-- Karen (, March 04, 2002.

"Also I wonder if it's fair for me to quit and DH has to keep plugging along"

Chris, when faced with a somewhat similar decision this is what I did. I sat my husband down and asked him point blank, "would you resent it if I quit while you are still working, and if you change your mind (after he had told me know) would you tell me??"

We have never regreted the decision to have me be here on the homestead full time. It makes a huge difference in how smoothly things operate, both in the house and outside. In fact it is my husband who gets a very panicy look on his face if I even mention perhaps I should go back to work.

I sure don't get the feeling that you are wanting to just stay home and eat bon-bons and watch the soaps. We all too often discount the value of our efforts in the home, just because we have no dollars in hand to show.

-- diane (, March 04, 2002.

blushing........I sure wish I would learn to proofread better. He told me NO, he would not resent it. :>)

-- diane (, March 04, 2002.

Chris - Be Brave!

I loved my job when I quit it & it was hard - I missed it for a couple weeks. I still miss is in a way - BUT...

After a while I realized - my house was clean and organized! there was a square meal on the table for my husband! my daughter made me laugh every day! I'm not missing any of her 'milestones'! I can volunteer at church! I will have a great garden this year! and more!

Plus, it wasn't worth it for me to get dressed (clothing costs), drive (gas, car ins.) to work, eat lunch (more $$), pay the babysitter (more $$) - I still made money, but not enough to make it worth missing all the stuff I mentioned in the paragraph above.

You can live your life forever worrying about the things that never happen (layoffs, etc.) - Live your life with what you KNOW.


-- heather (, March 04, 2002.

Well, I wrote something dumb in my previous posting.... "I still made money, but not enough to make it worth missing all the stuff I mentioned in the paragraph above."

To me - NO AMOUNT of money would "make it worth missing" that stuff!


-- heather (, March 04, 2002.

Chris, I really do know what it is like to want to stay at home. I noticed ;the ages of your children and the financial situation you are in. Which is great. I noticed that you have 6 months of emergency money put aside. If I were in your shoes, I would probably try to get at least a years worth ofliving expenses in case of your husband being laid off or something else happens to stop the inflow of money.

-- evelyn (, March 04, 2002.

I quit working when my first was born, and have been thinking about going back so my husband doesn't have to work so hard and we can do more around here, so I understand the dilemma. I don't WANT to go back to work, but I feel sometimes that I OUGHT to go back to work, at least for a few years.

If I had a job and was earning less than $25,000 a year, I would definitely quit. If I had a job and was earning $30,000 or $40,000 a year, I would hire a housekeeper to come in and take care of the general stuff (change the beds, vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom) and go on, putting back as much as I could so I could quit in a few years with NO change in lifestyle (except to ditch the housekeeper!)

-- Christine in OK (, March 04, 2002.

I read this somewhere...You never hear of a person at the end of his life saying "I wish I'd stayed at the office more" Its usually regret for not spending more time at home with the family. Blessings Peggy

-- peggy (, March 04, 2002.

Quit work 10 yrs. ago when oldest was in 4th grade and youngest in Kindergarten. Haven't regretted it for a moment. Hung in there and paid off our house and even made it through DH's layoff and pay cut.

Oldest is in college now. I tutor PT at local college and help a friend in her business while my youngest is in school. Gives me a little income. I can plan my hours around hers and am always here after school and holidays! Being home is so wonderful!

-- connie in nm (, March 05, 2002.

Thank you all! I think what I was looking for was confirmation that my decision was a good one and that's what I hear from you. I read Mother Earth News when I was 17, found a book (5 Acres and Independence)as a newly married 22 yr old which I reread many times. I've been a student of Your Money or Your Life, Tightwad, Dave Ramsey for a long time. Husband wants whatever I want and I know my heart is at home, not at a job. So that's what I will choose!

Kind of funny- my DH said that asking you all what you thought reminded him of the saying "preaching to the choir" but more like "asking the choir for a song!" ha ha Thanks again, Chris

-- chris (, March 05, 2002.

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