Do any fem. nurses here have Stay at Home husbands/SOs ?

  1. I know, i ask tons of questions - but i can't help it. I want to know.

    Do any of you have husbands who are staying at home looking after children and u are the breadwinner?

    I'm 27, my son is 3 and my husband is 45. He's been working for the same company for 25 years and is tired of working.
    I, on another have, have a lot of ambition for working and studying. I've been pretty much staying home with my son for the first 2 years (working only a few hours a week, so I don;t go insane from being SAHM), now i'm ready to go out and take care of my career.
    I would really love to have another child before I'm 35, I am also planning on continuing my education after nursing school.
    I am hoping i can have another baby and have my husband try being SAH dad.

    where we live things are relatively cheap - my dh makes about 50K a year, on that salary we live in a nice development, pretty big house ( still have mortgage payments), both have good cars, able to go on vacations once a year and i don't feel myself stranded for money, but then again, I don't need much to be happy.

    anyway, my question is this - Is it realisticly possible for me to switch roles with dh after nursing school? (ps - i will also have loans to pay , about 15 K)

    Thanks for any infromation!!
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  2. 73 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    NO quite the opposite. MY career is on the back-burner and right now, 2nd-fiddle to my dh's Air Force career. The military makes such that there is really no choice here if you want your kids to have any kind of home life. But, he retires in 4 years and then I assume, it will be up to me to be main breadwinner. Hope by then, I will be ready. Anyhow, I digress, OF COURSE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. With two MATURE adults and a bit of (no a lot) of sacrifice, you can make it work. If you want one parent to be a SAH one, you got to be prepared to live very modestly, like we do. I mean, military pay does NOT afford a very glamorous lifestyle, rather far from it...for us. But, we have been willing for the last 10 years to make it work so the kids are with at least one of us at all times. It is the only way we can live with ourselves. We feel like we have one chance only to have them while they are growing up.

    WE do w/o a LOT of "necessities" others have as a result.....live in a tiny house, wear not-too-great-clothes, eat meals made from scratch, never go to first-run movies. ...yada yada.....

    I work the nightshift while dh is home, on weekends. AND I DID graduate nursing school while raising a child and with dh gone 5 months. I would not care to repeat that but... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE if you PUT YOUR MIND TO IT! That old cliche is very true. But, look at it VERY critically and discuss what each of you is willing to do to keep the household running. Try to address these concerns ahead of time to head off trouble down the road. Having kids changes your marriage and lives more than I could ever say here.... that is the understatement of the century. It just takes a lot of sacrifice and willingness to work HARD!!!! Good luck to you!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 31, '02
  4. by   Huganurse
    I had been the breadwinner in my family for many years. I no longer am, thank goodness. They are only little once and YOU only have ONE chance to raise them and watch them grow. Missing milestones, having the kids go to someone else when they need comfort, etc. Giving all that up is more than you might think. IMO.
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  5. by   RNinICU
    I'm in that situation now, and my husband and I both hate it. Hubby worked for the same company for twenty five years, and then the company went bankrupt. Employment opportunities in our area are almost non-existent, and no one wants to hire a middle aged man. He wasn't able to find anything other than minimum wage jobs, so went back to college. When he started college, the prospects were good in the field he chose, but since September 11, all that changed. He now has adegree, and still hasn't found a job. It's very frustrating for both of us. Our income was cut in half, so I have been working tons of overtime to keep up the payments on the house and two cars. He is not the stay at home type, and has been doing some volunteer work to fill his time, but that doesn't help with the bills. Right now he is working at a convenience store part time for minimum wage, and he hates it. And believe me, I don't enjoy the responsibility of being the primary wage earner. He sends out at least 20 resumes a week, and we hope he will find something soon, but until then we just have to deal with it. We have a strong relationship, and have been OK with the stress, but it is not easy.
  6. by   bellehill
    What a great post! In a few weeks I am going to be the primary breadwinner in our house. We have no children so it isn't a matter of being a stay-at-home parent, my husband is losing his job. I am very nervous about maintaining the household on my salary. The Economy in my area is very bad, I don't know how long it will take for him to find another job-that is what really scares me. Thankfully he has resigned himself to working just about anywhere (within reason).

    Thank you so much for your info and honesty about the stress and relationship issues.
  7. by   live4today
    Hmmmm...now that's a TEN FOOT question, indeed! Now, I don't smoke but I couldn't resist putting that cute little sign here to make my point. If my hubby EVER stayed home while I became the breadwinner, that would certainly drive me to smoke! My next little sign is the 'no-no' sign because IMHO, my straight up response to a question like that would be a great big NO_NO!!!

    NO MAN should sit on his duff and allow his wife to become the sole breadwinner of the family. Maybe I'm calling on my traditional and spiritual beliefs here, but IMHO, the man is to be the breadwinner of the family. If the woman decides to earn a living and have a career, that should NOT excuse the man from performing ALL breadwinner responsibilities. There's NO NEED for a woman to EVER step into the shoes of a man when she's got one around to wear those shoes quite well for the entire family.

    When I worked, I was forced to be the sole breadwinner - by divorce. Now, if I choose to work, it will be because I want to. If I am forced to work to support myself AND a man, the man can hit the road - IMHO - because I can do bad all by myself. I expect a man to always be a man in my presence and in our marriage, and I have NO desire to EVER switch roles with a man in our marriage. If he 'aint' workin', he aint sleepin' under my roof! I could preach on about this after many moons of being married - not once but twice - but I'll spare the young hearts here of the drama.

    Why should you wear yourself out at 27 to let a 45 year old stay home and rake in the benefits of your hard earned labor? If his body aint broke, it ought to be workin', workin', workin'!!! :stone
    Last edit by live4today on May 31, '02
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Ok I have to chime in here, so pls forgive me but......

    What if the 45-year-old is taking care of the CHILD??? I have NO problem with the MAN being the at-home parent if that is what it takes for the child to be at home with a loving mommy or daddy, rather than in daycare for 10 or 12 hours a day.

    If memory serves, I believe she said she is a MOMMY? So what is wrong having daddy to take care of the home and hearth? **What about EQUAL rights** I think it should go both ways. Maybe a woman WANTS a career out of the home???? Maybe staying at HOME would "wear her out" more than working out of the home? Maybe he would be helping by keeping the house, caring for the wee one, and cooking her meals? Sometimes, I wish I had those things! I get worn out being the one at home all week, myself. AND: Not EVERY woman wants to stay in the kitchen! Maybe a man wants to be the at-home parent?

    What makes ANYONE believe being the AT HOME PARENT IS THE EASIER JOB????? I wonder all the time! Just cause I am "at home" does NOT mean I am NOT WORKIN... WORKIN ...WORKIN...my "work" day begins at 6 and ends somewhere around 10, if I am lucky!!!!! And, that is during the week....I work 12s at the hospital on weekends. Anyhow, I say, let 'em do what works!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 31, '02
  9. by   colleen10
    Hi Anagray,

    I say that if both of you are willing to make it work give it a shot. Maybe your husband could take a sabaticle from his job to test the waters just in case things don't work.

    You say that DH makes $50,000.00 a year but I wonder if you would be able to bring that much in or anything close to it once you get through school and are working.

    I don't know about your area, but in my area the only nurses that make that much are the ones who are working extra shifts. Here, for a nurse to make that one she would definately have to have further education and be employed as a manager, phys. asstant, etc.

    So, maybe if after you continue your education you could be the sole provider but I would check to see salaries in your area to see if you could swing it right after you graduate.

    Keep us posted!
  10. by   hapeewendy
    sometimes it isnt as easy as pinning things down to the man "sitting on his duff"
    and not working
    although I am not married, my boyfriend is now unemployed, he was laid off, and its not for lack of wanting to work, its lack of finding a job.....
    when a person is laid off or becomes unemployed there is a blow to their self esteem and confidence, you feel pressure, and stress just as much as the stresses that come from the working world.
    I would not mind one bit if my significant other stayed at home while I worked.
    I'm glad that I have gone beyond the traditional relationship beliefs because the notion of me having to stay home with kids while my husband makes a living and makes all the money just doesnt cut it for me. I like the independence of earning my own living and wouldnt begrudge my partner one bit if he was unemployed or was able to stay home and raise our children.
  11. by   live4today
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    Ok I have to chime in here, so pls forgive me but......

    What if the 45-year-old is taking care of the CHILD??? I have NO problem with the MAN being the at-home parent if that is what it takes for the child to be at home with a loving mommy or daddy, rather than in daycare for 10 or 12 hours a day.

    If memory serves, I believe she said she is a MOMMY? So what is wrong having daddy to take care of the home and hearth? **What about EQUAL rights** I think it should go both ways. Maybe a woman WANTS a career out of the home???? Maybe staying at HOME would "wear her out" more than working out of the home? Maybe he would be helping by keeping the house, caring for the wee one, and cooking her meals? Sometimes, I wish I had those things! I get worn out being the one at home all week, myself. AND: Not EVERY woman wants to stay in the kitchen! Maybe a man wants to be the at-home parent?

    What makes ANYONE believe being the AT HOME PARENT IS THE EASIER JOB????? I wonder all the time! Just cause I am "at home" does NOT mean I am NOT WORKIN... WORKIN ...WORKIN...my "work" day begins at 6 and ends somewhere around 10, if I am lucky!!!!! And, that is during the week....I work 12s at the hospital on weekends. Anyhow, I say, let 'em do what works!
    First let me say that motherhood IS without a shadow of a doubt THEE hardest job on Earth, and I'm not saying that just because I raised three fine kids myself! I'm saying that because it's TRUE!
    Society couldn't pay a salary high enough to a mother to compensate her for all she sacrifices for her children, not to mention those sacrifices she makes as a wife. With that said....

    No woman should feel guilty for staying home to raise their children. I sure as hell didn't! I wouldn't have had it any other way, but when the children's father flew the castle I had kept for him for almost twenty years, I was forced to become both mother, father, breadwinner, and everything in between...now that job was even tougher because my energies were all over the place. When the last child left the nest, I was so exhausted that I cried for weeks on end. Today, even though remarried and living with spouse and doggie only, I only do what I FEEL like doing. My husband financially supports us 100% on a soldier's salary no less. Even when I worked as a nurse, he never took any money from me. He traditionally believes - as I do - that is the man's responsibility to financially support his family whether or not his wife decides to work or build her own career. I want to return to nursing after my arm injury improves because I am a damn good nurse who loves being a nurse. I'm not going back to work as a nurse to support anyone but MYSELF. Support a man? NOT IN THIS LIFE OR ANY OTHER LIFE!!! If he can move his body, he'd better be drawing a paycheck for the support of his family. :chuckle

    I agree that if that particular 'family arrangement' works for a couple, then they should go with what feels good to them. We can only live out our own drama in life, so what is good for one, may not be good for another.
    Last edit by live4today on May 31, '02
  12. by   amblessing
    As soon as I graduate, which won't be until May 2004, my husband wants to become Mr. Mom! I say go for it, because my kids will be 13 and 15 then! He can have the turbulent teenage years! My hubby will be 50 in 2004 and I will be 40! I won't make nearly what he makes, but we hope to have our house paid off by then.
  13. by   disher
    After working for 20 years my husband became sick and couldn't work. He has been a stay at home Dad for the 2 years. There are both pros and cons.
    Pros
    -although my son liked daycare he did not like spending long hours there. If I was delayed at work he used to complain "you made me have a long day" ... the guilt was hard to live with. Now that we aren't all rushing around all the time we are all happier.
    Another pro is I don't do laundry or make meals anymore
    Cons- sole income is a disappointment because we want to do other things besides have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies. We are thankful to have all of these things, but its easy to feel burnt out if you cannot enjoy the benefits of hard work.
    -Had to get used to my husbands cooking which is somewhat worse then mine and mine was pretty poor . Also we have different standards of house cleanliness but I have learned to ignore this otherwise I would have gone crazy. And then we'd have zero income
    Anyways I'm not sure you can prepare yourself for this type of transition (I was just thrown into it) but you do get used to it. And remember it could be worse. I tell myself that every day when I see my patients and their families struggling with the crisis fate has thrown at them.
  14. by   TracyB,RN
    Yep, I work while my dear hubby stays home to care for his Gram & our 2 girls. He was laid off last year, but did such a good job, I let him stay home Well, actually, the circumstances just went that way. He has been a stay at home dad & caregiver for the past year. He cooks, cleans, & does laundry on top of all that caregiving. He was sent from above.

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