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futureshock
Is choosing to be a stay at home mom just a bad idea? Is it too risky?
October 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I am talking about what happens in the case of divorce/break up (or death/disability).  Many women who choose to become stay at home mothers, even if they have a college education and job experience, are going to have a difficult time getting back on their feet financially.  It is one thing to be married to a man with a decent income because in that case a woman may get enough child support plus alimony plus half of everything else to live comfortably, but that depends upon the length of the marriage and other factors, etc.  However, so many women are living UNMARRIED with their children's fathers and some with men who are not related to their children and they will get absolutely NOTHING for themselves once that relationship ends. 

Is it just too risky?

Replies

  • jhslove
    by jhslove
    October 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    I think that if you have a legal arrangement set up that ensures that the children will be protected/cared for in the event of divorce, then it's risky, but not necessarily TOO risky. I think that's a decision that every family has to make for themselves. I know several women who left the workforce when they became mothers, but they have college (and, in many cases, graduate) degrees, have worked for several years, and most of them are keeping up with professional development in their fields because they know that they may need to go back to work at any point.

    However, I DO think it's very dangerous to be a SAHM and never go to college or get trained in a marketable skill that can be used to support yourself if something happened. If a woman goes to college, works for a few years to build a resume, and then decides to stay at home, then that's one thing. But I know someone who is a SAHM to four boys. She never went to college and has never worked outside the home, and her husband makes a decent income, but as the sole support for 6 people, it's a stretch. They're okay as long as he has a job, but if he ever lost his job or if they got divorced, things would be extremely difficult very quickly. Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable with taking such a big risk with the livelihoods of my children.

    In terms of making yourself completely dependent on someone who you're not even married to and who would have no legal obligation to you in case of a break-up? I'm sorry, but I just don't understand why anyone would do that. That is way, WAY too dangerous in my opinion.

    Personally, I think it's very dangerous to ever put yourself in a position where you're DEPENDENT on another person for your livelihood.

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    October 8, 2012 at 1:16 PM


    Quoting jhslove:

    Personally, I think it's very dangerous to ever put yourself in a position where you're DEPENDENT on another person for your livelihood.

    Currently my children and I are financially dependant upon my husband. My husband is dependant upon me for everything else. He says "Mom is the life line, don't break her!"

  • MissElissa21
    October 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM
    No, but we don't own much. He would move into his mom's and take the tv and computer and his clothes. He doesn't want anything else. The condo we rent is owned by my mom and her siblings, so I would keep it and the only thing we might fight about would be is dd. She is mine from a previous relationship, and he has raised her since she was 1 (the past 5 years). I guess we should talk about that one day. Ds is his and we would share custody. We have discussed most aspects of divorcing, many before we were married. We are solid though, honestly, we have minimal issues, and are very happy and functional together.

    Quoting futureshock:


    Quoting MissElissa21:

    It's too risky for me, so I work. Hubby stays home with the kids, but he needs to go back to work lol. I hate being a 1 income family. If we divorced, he would be screwed, everything is mine from before we were married, and we haven't been married long enough for alimony (only 3 1/2 years)

    Do you have a prenup?

  • futureshock
    October 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Gotcha.

    Quoting MyJaidonreturns:

    Dont get me wrong, he loves the kids. He helps out in the home a lot, when hes here. Hes always gone for training and deployments though.


    Quoting futureshock:


    Quoting MyJaidonreturns:

    Mine too!!! While the husband and the kids look at each other like strangers in their own home.





    Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


    Quoting MyJaidonreturns:

    It is very risky. I worry about my escape plan a lot, even though my marriage is going well. For now, I will just see this as my way of preparing for my next move and continue to work on my degree.

    In my escape fantasy I am the only one leaving, laughing the whole way there. lol



    Why isn't he close with the kids? 



  • futureshock
    October 8, 2012 at 1:36 PM


    Quoting Cymbeline:

    It is incredibly risky.

    It took me quite a while to be employed after staying at home for a while, because of the gap in my work history. I ended up under employed for a bit because of it.

    Thankfully, I had all of that sorted before my divorce, and was able to leave without struggling. In fact, I'm doing better financially on one income, than we did on two, because I manage money well. He, on the other hand, was irresponsible and seemed to be adept at acquiring unecessary debt.

    I strongly encourage SAHMs to, at the very least, work part time. This will make you less likely to struggle to find work when the time comes, and you're less likely to be under employed.

    Thank-you for sharing your real life experience.

  • futureshock
    October 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM


    Quoting GLWerth:

    There is very little in life that doesn't carry risk.

    I went into this with my eyes wide open and, while there are risks, there are also benefits to staying home with my kids.

    So, in your opinion, OP, should women never stay home because of the chance that there might be an issue down the road? I'm curious as to what brought this up.

    I've been thinking about it a lot because of my friend's situation that I explained in the op.

  • futureshock
    October 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM


    Quoting AlekD:

    Its risky not to, as well. Lets just say I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my kids.

    This is a perfect example of why strong marriages are so important. People in this thread have said that it would be presumptuous to imply that just not getting divorced is the best answer, but that's inescapable. These days, for a lot of people, marriage isn't much more than a social contract that allows one easy access to another persons body and friendly companionship. If people realized that marriage is SO MUCH MORE important than that, especially when children are involved, perhaps they wouldn't enter into marriage so quickly and thoughtlessly and this problem would diminish.

    VERY WELL SAID!!!

  • Cymbeline
    October 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM


    Quoting futureshock:


    Quoting Cymbeline:

    It is incredibly risky.

    It took me quite a while to be employed after staying at home for a while, because of the gap in my work history. I ended up under employed for a bit because of it.

    Thankfully, I had all of that sorted before my divorce, and was able to leave without struggling. In fact, I'm doing better financially on one income, than we did on two, because I manage money well. He, on the other hand, was irresponsible and seemed to be adept at acquiring unecessary debt.

    I strongly encourage SAHMs to, at the very least, work part time. This will make you less likely to struggle to find work when the time comes, and you're less likely to be under employed.

    Thank-you for sharing your real life experience.

    You're welcome. Sometimes, sharing personal experience better highlights the risks involved.

    I cannot imagine staying at home while simply playing house with the father of my child. The risks involved there are even greater.

    Some may find that offensive, but it's the truth.

  • futureshock
    October 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM


    Quoting MissElissa21:

    No, but we don't own much. He would move into his mom's and take the tv and computer and his clothes. He doesn't want anything else. The condo we rent is owned by my mom and her siblings, so I would keep it and the only thing we might fight about would be is dd. She is mine from a previous relationship, and he has raised her since she was 1 (the past 5 years). I guess we should talk about that one day. Ds is his and we would share custody. We have discussed most aspects of divorcing, many before we were married. We are solid though, honestly, we have minimal issues, and are very happy and functional together.

    Quoting futureshock:


    Quoting MissElissa21:

    It's too risky for me, so I work. Hubby stays home with the kids, but he needs to go back to work lol. I hate being a 1 income family. If we divorced, he would be screwed, everything is mine from before we were married, and we haven't been married long enough for alimony (only 3 1/2 years)

    Do you have a prenup?

    That is good news about the condo, lol.  Will he eventually adopt your dd?

  • GLWerth
    by GLWerth
    October 8, 2012 at 1:43 PM


    Quoting futureshock:


    Quoting GLWerth:

    There is very little in life that doesn't carry risk.

    I went into this with my eyes wide open and, while there are risks, there are also benefits to staying home with my kids.

    So, in your opinion, OP, should women never stay home because of the chance that there might be an issue down the road? I'm curious as to what brought this up.

    I've been thinking about it a lot because of my friend's situation that I explained in the op.

    As I read responses you talked about your friend's situation. It is sad, but it isn't the way things always have to go.

    Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. Sometimes, you have to trust in someone.

    For myself, I can't live my life bogged down by "what ifs". You lose too much by always waiting for the other shoe to drop. If anything happens, I'll deal and it might be hard for a while, but I'd manage and come through. I'm a smart, resourceful mama.

    And I'm sorry about your friend. I'm sure she's in her own personal hell right now.

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