Friday, March 03, 2006

Care hierarchy, revisited

Husband and I had a curious conversation last night. I still don't quite know how I feel about it. We've finally gotten our nerve up to go see a financial planner, and this has brought up a lot of questions for us. Like, how do we want to live? And, how do we want to pay for the girls to go to school? When do we want to retire? Big questions like that. Last night, we also finally talked specifics about my being a stay-at-home mom. I finally admitted to Husband that I felt kind of guilty for not bringing in an income. After all, in this enlightened era, why should he be the one who has to work a full-time job? (I know, I know, parenting is a more than full-time job, but I'm talking cash here.) He suprised me by replying that actually he felt guilty about my being a SAHM because it makes his life much easier. He was sort of tiptoeing around what he meant exactly, but it boiled down to this: "I like that you make all the food and keep the house clean and run the errands, and I like that you're not a raging bitch to me and the kids because you're a perpetually sleep-deprived baker." He likes that I'm his little housewifey.

Okay. Interesting. It never occurred to me that Husband would be feeling guilty about all this, too.

Despite all our stupid, middle-class angst, though, we did decide a few things. I'm going to stay home for about the next 8 years or so, which will be the time it takes to have one more baby in about another year and stay at home with that one and Bean til they go to school. After that, I'd like to return to work doing something besides pastry cheffing, but it might be part-time and it's supposed to be something I love, regardless of how much I get paid. Cue my guilt, but this was Husband's mandate, y'all!

It's all very confusing for me. Husband was raised in a very traditional family in the sense that his parents stayed married for 35+ years, and his mother stayed home with the kids til she returned to work later in life, long after they were in school. His father took care of all the financial stuff and made sure the family was well-provided for. Husband is a product of all this, and it's so remarkable to me, the daughter of a mostly-single mom who married 3 times (divorced twice), lived perpetually in deep debt, and never owned her own home til about 10 years ago. And let's not forget that my Ex seemed to believe that his perpetual unemployment was o.k. because dammit, he wasn't a "wage slave" like every other half-asleep hack out there, he was an artist! Naturally, he had no problem with me being a wage-slave, but that's ancient history.

So yeah, I guess I'm not used to someone else besides me taking care of things, taking care of us. It's taking some adjustment...

9 comments:

Rachelle said...

You have an awesome husband! Interesting he would feel guilty about it. I think either choice - working or staying home - is hard if you are used to working. I admire you for all you do!

HolyMama! said...

yea for that kind of adjustment! Totally responsible people, you two! my husband owns a financial planning company and 99% of clients are senior citizens. Way to be ahead of the game!

Mommygoth said...

Listen, girl - good daycare in the town that you live in costs $1300 a month. I investigated it when I was looking for Miss K. So, you'd be working and paying out so much of your salary to put Bean somewhere. And you'd have to arrange afterschool for Sister, which would probably also cost. The amount of $ you'd be bringing home would probably not justify the scenario.

If we could afford for D to stay home, we would.

The Daring One said...

Your husband is awesome. It's nice to have the decision on the shelf for a while too. Now you can think about what that thing is that you really love and work towards it for 8 years.

Bobita said...

I love reading your posts!

I am married to Mr. Traditional. Although I am employed full-time, I work from home more than 20 hours/week. My husband believes that because I am physically present in the house...it follows that I ought to be doing all of the housey-stuff all day. The only thing is...because I have three kids, most of my time at home is spent going back and forth between working my job...and also being Mom. It takes 3 times longer to get any work done, because for about every 1 minute spent working, 3 are spent feeding, holding, rocking, bathing, and caring for...children.

Piece of Work said...

Sounds like you two are right on the same page, that's awesome. And also awesome that you're seeing a financial planner and getting things set up for the future.
I actually love staying home much more than I thought I would--although I hate it too--so I'm kind of jealous of your 8 year scenario. I think I'll be back at work in 5 years. But hopefully part-time!

Alissa said...

your dh RULES. granted, i SAHM and my dh is a wage-slave. i, too, feel guilty over the lack of cash income i perpetuate. and despite my desire to bring in some money... let's be honest. i have no employable skills. utterly depressing...

Amber said...

Yay for the sugar daddy (in more then one way). ;) I somedays have guilt over being the SAHM too- but my dh is totally for me staying home with our children. Besides the daycare costs that mommygoth brought up his mom went back to work when his youngest brother was in elementary school and he thinks that caused a lot of not good things to happen in his family. For that reason he doesn't want me working outside the home (unless I absolutely want to- which I don't).

a nice jewish girl said...

I am sooooooo JEALOUS.
I wish i could be a stay at home anything! I would be a much happier person. I am more myself and who i want to be, in the summers that i have off from work.
Enjoy it Sugar mama!