Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
lotofquestions
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:41 am

Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lotofquestions » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:20 pm

Hi:
Lately, I have spent sometime to review my finance, therefore my life. I have been a breadwinner for a very longtime because my husband is not in a field that can make money. I also have a big related family back home (outside of US) to support. I have been working 2 jobs ( 1 full and 1 part-time) for the last 17 years.
After graduated, I obtained a professional management job. I stepped down after having my first child and chose a position that offers me a better schedule with my child.
Second child came and now they are both teenagers.

As I stepped down to a regular position, I studied and obtained my MBA online (paid my employer). I turned down the offer for a new job, afraid that I will neglect my daughters with meeting and job responsibilities.

Two years from graduating with an MBA, I am still not doing anything with it. I even cut down to 2 part- time jobs. Benefits: flexible hours, less stress, only work when kids in school, time to drive kids to and from school, go anywhere with them (I still work full time hours, but at my own desired schedule). Therefore, no change in finance situation here. My kids are doing very well in school and other activities. However, I am very unhappy when thinking about my career. I also worry that my decision now will hurt my family later if there is a reduction in workforce.

I wonder if anyone has done the same? I am seeking advice/thoughts from working and non-working Mom out there!

Thank you for reading!

User avatar
JDCarpenter
Posts: 1293
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:42 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby JDCarpenter » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:02 am

I am not a mom, but "sacrificed" my law career to stay home with kids so wife could continue on trajectory. (Came back in at very good pay when youngest started driving, but obviously nowhere near same level as "could have been.")

With two teens, who presumably have most of their days occupied, could your husband take on more of the primary parenting role--particularly since he is on lower pay track than you? That would free you up to take full advantage of the MBA opportunities. My fear is that you will end up having a hard time taking advantage of whatever benefits that degree would otherwise yield you.
Edit Signature

staythecourse
Posts: 4490
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby staythecourse » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:24 am

Not a mom, but married to an amazing one. :D

My wife works full time and only wishes she could have more time to spend with the baby and toddler (not in a field you can do part time).

The older I get the more I realize it is natural to always regret lost opportunities no matter which side you are looking at the situation. If it was an alternate universe and you were working with a larger commitment I would bet you would be on here questioning if you should make your work life more flexible to spend with your children as they are growing.

If your finances are fine (as they seem to be) AND you can't predict the future (which you can't) then don't worry about it. The whole reason to work is to make money to do the stuff you enjoy and it seems you have hit the mark perfect. Congrats.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

10YearPlan
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:58 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby 10YearPlan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:29 am

Working mom here. While my situation is very different than yours, I wanted to reply because I don't think there are a huge number of working moms on this board. Hope I am wrong about that, but if they're on here, they're very stealthy in my opinion.

In my case, I never left the working world and continued to work FT+ after each kid, so, from that perspective, you could say that my career never skipped a beat. That said, I certainly have been far less aggressive about pursuing promotions than I probably would have been if I had no kids. I didn't do this intentionally, per se, but having kids definitely shaped my decisions which impacted my career trajectory. For example, while I travel, I didn't want to travel as much as some of my colleagues, and promotions always seem to involve more travel somehow, so I haven't been as focused on upward mobility as I probably should have been.

Also in my case, my husband and I are pretty much equal, compensation-wise. But his job is a tad more flexible so he usually runs point on kid-related things during the work day and I do most of the running around at night. On weekends, we divide and conquer. I can say this, if he was not a true partner to me, I would not have been able to manage to do all that I do.

All in all, I am happy to be a working mom. It's not easy, but nothing is. My advice to you is have a heart to heart with your husband and discuss going back to work FT. One FT job that you can focus on 110% will trump any number of part time jobs. In my experience, many employers are flexible and more family friendly than in years past. Look for jobs in which you can work from home a few days a week or FT. They exist. In some cases, you have to earn that flexibility through performance, but it is achievable.

MnyGrl
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:44 pm
Location: DC

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby MnyGrl » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:02 am

Hi,

I'm a working mom and also I'm divorced, so I'm the breadwinner by default (no alimony). I have two kids and make under 100K in a very HCOL area. My mortgage is about 50 percent of my take-home, but I have a lot of savings to fall back on if anything goes wrong. :happy

I could be making more, but have a very family-friendly job close to my kids' schools, and I like that for now. I don't know how old you are, but if your kids are teenagers now, theoretically they may leave the nest in a very few years and you can put that MBA to better use then?

I think I would be somewhat resentful in your situation if I had an able-bodied partner who wasn't working - especially when kids are at school full-time, and you are having to work two jobs.

lotofquestions
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lotofquestions » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:30 am

JDCarpenter wrote:
With two teens, who presumably have most of their days occupied, could your husband take on more of the primary parenting role--particularly since he is on lower pay track than you? That would free you up to take full advantage of the MBA opportunities. My fear is that you will end up having a hard time taking advantage of whatever benefits that degree would otherwise yield you.


Unfortunately, I have a type A personality. I do everything, most myself, to make sure they are perfect. I also so a "tiger mom". I also have my parents (80s) live with me so I can take care of them. My husband is not happy about it, so it's better for him to be at work.

I am so glad that you understand my point/fear. Maybe, I should try my luck again?
Thanks for responding to my post!

lotofquestions
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:41 am

Career and family: decision?

Postby lotofquestions » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:32 am

lotofquestions wrote:Hi:
Lately, I have spent sometime to review my finance, therefore my life. I have been a breadwinner for a very longtime because my husband is not in a field that can make money. I also have a big related family back home (outside of US) to support. I have been working 2 jobs ( 1 full and 1 part-time) for the last 17 years.
After graduated, I obtained a professional management job. I stepped down after having my first child and chose a position that offers me a better schedule with my child.
Second child came and now they are both teenagers.

As I stepped down to a regular position, I studied and obtained my MBA online (paid my employer). I turned down the offer for a new job, afraid that I will neglect my daughters with meeting and job responsibilities.

Two years from graduating with an MBA, I am still not doing anything with it. I even cut down to 2 part- time jobs. Benefits: flexible hours, less stress, only work when kids in school, time to drive kids to and from school, go anywhere with them (I still work full time hours, but at my own desired schedule). Therefore, no change in finance situation here. My kids are doing very well in school and other activities. However, I am very unhappy when thinking about my career. I also worry that my decision now will hurt my family later if there is a reduction in workforce.

I wonder if anyone has done the same? I am seeking advice/thoughts from working and non-working Mom out there!

Thank you for reading!

fposte
Posts: 875
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby fposte » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:43 am

lotofquestions wrote:Unfortunately, I have a type A personality. I do everything, most myself, to make sure they are perfect.


What if he did them less perfectly but it meant you could have a career you found more satisfying?

I think that people can sometimes do it all, but often not exactly in the way they want :-). The idea of "good enough" can be a really healthy one. Currently it looks like you're focusing your type-A drive on the household arrangements and the career is the "good enough." So one option is to own that and say it's okay, that's a decision you've made for your family, and be at peace with it. Another is to say it's time that the career got the full brunt of your impressive energy and that the household can deal with "good enough."

If you lost one of your jobs, I suspect, from the sound of you, you'd get another one soon enough. Or your family would adapt, as millions do, to having less money for a while. These are changes, not tragedies.

User avatar
JDCarpenter
Posts: 1293
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:42 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby JDCarpenter » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:52 am

lotofquestions wrote:...

Unfortunately, I have a type A personality. I do everything, most myself, to make sure they are perfect. I also so a "tiger mom". I also have my parents (80s) live with me so I can take care of them. My husband is not happy about it, so it's better for him to be at work.

...


Any way to work on this? DW was honors med grad and most would say type A (heck, she still personally cleans our toilets to get it done right on a budget!). I was first in law school class, which kind of goes there--and I insisted on doing the woodworking (and much more) in our house to ensure that it was done right. But we both worked on focusing that personality trait on a limited number of things....

Maybe we were never really Type A though--just looked that way to others? In any event, if you deem these other items to be as important (or more) than advancing career, there is nothing wrong with that--just can't expect to have career flourish as much as it otherwise would.
Edit Signature

stoptothink
Posts: 3461
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby stoptothink » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:21 am

Another not mom, but married to one (obviously). I make plenty to support us and my wife tried to stay home after our 2nd was born, but about 2-months in she was absolutely miserable. Say what you want about how amazing it is to stay at home and raise your children, but she was bored to death and bordering on depression. She went back to work and is so much happier, and a much better mother (and wife) as a result, and our children (5 and 2) are absolutely flourishing. She gets a ton of judgement at her job because she is so driven and prefers working, it is still expected in our culture (LDS) for women to be SAHM. This has also effected her in the workforce as she had to fight to become the first female in her company's history to be part of the enterprise sales team and is often treated like a secretary by her co-workers who she is exponentially more productive (and higher paid) than. FWIW, she is also in school full-time so I do 90% of the housework, cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc.

It's a very individual decision. Because she chooses to work, neither one of us will have to work by the time our kids are in high school - those may be the even more important years. I also think she is setting a great example for our daughter by being so driven in her career and academic pursuits. I absolutely hate the norm in our culture that woman are just expected to have their entire identity tied to their husband and children. I have seen the horrible results that can come from that; all I have to do is look at my MIL, who is absolutely lost now that her kids are out of the house and she is useless in the workforce at a time when they the are on the verge of financial catastrophe.

delamer
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family

Postby delamer » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:52 am

Recently retired working mother here.

The vast majority of working mothers end up making some kind if trade-off between having career success, maximizing earnings, being a mother, being a wife, being a friend, caring for extended family, having personal time. I have never seen two mothers handle those trade-offs in exactly the same way, in part because everyone's situation is unique. For instance, I worked part-time (28-32 hours a week) for several years to make it easier to juggle my responsibilities. But I had a stable job that I knew I could convert to full-time, plus a stable marriage with a husband who had a good, secure job. If one of those factors had been different, I might have made another decision. Maybe I would have worked full-time if my husband's job had been shaky.

The only specfic suggestion that I have is that you make sure that you have a really good handle on your family's finances. Would your husband's income cover your basic expenses (mortgage, food, healthcare) if you lost one of your jobs? Do you have an emergency fund set aside to cover expenses if one of you is unemployed for 6 months? Are you spending money wisely -- not driving a Lexus when a Toyota will do? The more easily you can manage your core expenses, the better you'll sleep at night and the more you can make decisions out of optimism rather than fear.

lostinjersey
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lostinjersey » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:12 am

Working mom here, mid-career. I have always worked full-time and so has my husband. We are both mid level managers with MBAs. I currently work from home with a lot of flexibility and get to pick up my daughter from the bus, take her to activities in the afternoon, and run the errands - sort of like a SAHM. Best of both worlds if you will.

That said, it sounds to me like you are regretting not using your MBA and 'going for it' with respect to your career. As a pp eloquently stated, there will always be some 'what-ifs' and regrets when it comes to being a working mom. But if your kids are teenagers, I would think you could safely lean in, if not now then very soon. You're going to have a lot more free time on your hands soon, and if you want to use it to ramp up your career, you totally should! Careers these days take a lot of forms, not just the stairsteps upward that we're taught. There's nothing wrong with having a flexible job (or two) while the kids are young, and then taking on more challenging roles when they're older - I know lots of women who have done this. Whatever works for you and your family is all that matters.

10YearPlan
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:58 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby 10YearPlan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:21 am

maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


I am personally not offended by this because I am totally comfortable with my choices and they work beautifully for my family. I also know your opinion is pretty widely held. But I only ask you to consider whether your husband is "putting his career above" his child and why that would/would not be okay. I feel that women hold themselves (or are held) a an unrealistic parenting standard at times and that is something I just need to point out periodically.

OP, you're at an exciting fork in the road, in my opinion. I understand being a Type A and having Tiger Mom tendencies, as I also have them. My husband will never do things exactly as I would have, and it was hard at first, but I have now come to realize that there's no such thing as "one right way" to do something in life. Except for loading the dishwasher, which he does all wrong. ;)

fourkids
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:40 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby fourkids » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:42 am

maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


I too put my children before my career... and that's why I work full-time.
OP- I'm fairly similar to you. Type A, MBA, likes my career. I've grown my career to where I have a high level position and flexibility and fully funded 529s and retirement accounts.
It's generally crazy in our house, but my kids appreciate that I work and respect and admire and love me.

You may want to switch to 1 full-time job instead of 2 part-time. You'll get more challenge, responsibility, money and upward trajectory.
Your kids are older, so more self-sufficient, and your parents live with you. Use them more to help out with the kids after school. They'll appreciate the quality time with the grandkids. Also, possibly hire an afterschool house assistant to help with grocery shopping, laundry, prepping dinner and all the other junk that takes time away from your family or your job.

You've put everyone's needs ahead of your own for a long time. It's ok and good to start focusing on your long-term goals and needs.

User avatar
SkierMom
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Northern CAli

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby SkierMom » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:44 am

I feel your angst. Fellow Tiger Mom, here.

We have an upper level position opened up with my Division. With our kids going into High School, I don't think I could Lean In and excel at that position, and I don't think I'll go for it. I am the family breadwinner, CFO, Educational Administrator, Travel Agent, Psychologist, Coach, and Financial Adviser. With Common Core, I am tutoring my kids with Singapore Math every night. I find that this is more cost-effective and efficient than sending them to the neighborhood Charter or Private school. I see my tutoring and family educational needs increasing in the next 6 high school years, not decreasing.

The pride I have in my family and marriage prevent me from being disappointed when I read about the accomplishments of my cohorts in the alumni newsletter. At the same time, I get unsettled at the dissonance of living in the moment and being happy with the present and daydreaming about my future self (after kids' high school graduation) in a high-powered position or something entirely different in a new city or new state.

10YearPlan
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:58 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby 10YearPlan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:49 am

fourkids wrote:
maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


I too put my children before my career... and that's why I work full-time.
OP- I'm fairly similar to you. Type A, MBA, likes my career. I've grown my career to where I have a high level position and flexibility and fully funded 529s and retirement accounts.
It's generally crazy in our house, but my kids appreciate that I work and respect and admire and love me.

You may want to switch to 1 full-time job instead of 2 part-time. You'll get more challenge, responsibility, money and upward trajectory.
Your kids are older, so more self-sufficient, and your parents live with you. Use them more to help out with the kids after school. They'll appreciate the quality time with the grandkids. Also, possibly hire an afterschool house assistant to help with grocery shopping, laundry, prepping dinner and all the other junk that takes time away from your family or your job.

You've put everyone's needs ahead of your own for a long time. It's ok and good to start focusing on your long-term goals and needs.


This is excellent advice!

User avatar
SkierMom
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Northern CAli

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby SkierMom » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:57 am

As an addendum, I've found that you do need to let a few things go. Obviously this is difficult for Tiger Moms.

I've let the breakfast dishes in the sink/un-emptied dishwasher thing go. But making the kids lunches.......on what planet is a cold hot dog and beef jerky a fantastic lunch for 6th grader? :oops: They are going to school, not a fishing expedition.

kithwang
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:35 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby kithwang » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:47 pm

Working mom. Full-time job. Type A but learning to let things go such as my house can be a mess. I have a good balance right now.

My question to you. Can you go down to 1 part-time job and use your MBA to start your own company?

Easy Rhino
Posts: 3160
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:13 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby Easy Rhino » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:48 pm

Just wanted to mention that whatever you decide to do, profession-wise, doesn't have to use your MBA degree. Do what you want to do and can be successful at. As long as you're happy with it, it doesn't matter if the MBA is a 'sunk cost'.

Afty
Posts: 432
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby Afty » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:38 pm

I’m not a working mom, but I’m married to one. :) It sounds like you’ve taken everything on yourself -- work/breadwinning, home, and childcare. Not only are you heavily involved in your own kids’ lives, you’re taking care of your parents plus relatives back home. There’s only so much one person can do, so you’ve (reasonably) chosen to prioritize family over career.

First thought: At least you feel like you are doing a good job with your family. My wife often feels like she is doing a mediocre job at everything.

Second thought: Maybe you should let your husband handle more of the child care duties. In our house, I want to be an equal partner in raising our children, and I want to be able to take over when my wife needs to work. But that also means that she needs to give up control when I’m on primary parent duty. That was initially very hard for her, but now we have a rule in our house that there is “no judging” when one of us is parenting alone. If I need to feed them Chick-Fil-A for dinner like I did last night, or let them watch TV so that I can have 20 minutes to do the dishes, then so be it. The kids will be fine, I promise.

You might also consider handing over some household tasks to your husband and/or kids. For example, I’m in charge of laundry, weekend meals, and finances. We split some other tasks like grocery shopping and weekday cooking. Your kids are teenagers; they should be able to help too.

Finally, consider just letting some things go. How much does it really matter if the house is a mess, or the laundry doesn’t get done until the weekend, or the sinks are a little dirty? Someone else mentioned leaving breakfast dishes in the sink; I did that this morning :) . It’s not ideal, but you have limited time and have to prioritize.

One other thought: Be careful with the Tiger Mom stuff. My mom was a Tiger Mom, and it worked great through high school and I got into a top college. But I had a really hard time in college. Without my mom looking over my shoulder, I slacked off, played too many video games, and stayed up all night. My grades suffered, and it took me years to develop the self-motivation and self-discipline you need to succeed once you’re out from under your parents’ thumb.

User avatar
rcjchicity
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby rcjchicity » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:34 pm

My husband and I both debate how much we should be working currently with our young kids (3 & 1 y/o).

My job has normal hours, flexibility with being able to occasionally work from home, on-site daycare, great benefits. But, it is often emotionally draining and suffers from scope creep where I'm frequently asked to weigh in on issues that aren't really in my core job description. After wrestling for an hour at home with a screaming 3 y/o to get dressed, brush teeth, etc., the last thing I'm ready to deal with upon getting to work is solving everyone else's problems. I'm finding myself more and more passing on leadership opportunities in favor of being more a worker bee.

My husband's job requires working evenings, weekends, overnights, holidays, and often long shifts (ER physician). That type of schedule is not something he wants to do for decades to come.

Since we're older parents, and are (hopefully) on a path for early retirement at our current full-time work pace, that would correspond with when the kids are in high school. But if we cut back work now, we'd likely need to continue working longer. It's not a decision that we can easily answer. As we're both able to spend a lot of time with the kids (me more than him), we don't think our current situation is terrible. But not 100% sure what the best option is for us, and will probably always second guess decisions we do make.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby celia » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:01 pm

Former working mom. Retired from a full-time paid job and retired from being a "mom".

In a perfect world, every time a new opportunity or change presents itself, it seems like it should be discussed with your spouse, to at least get a buy-in that it is the best decision for the family and you/your spouse need to give up something you want in order to make the change work. You didn't mention (that I noticed) if your husband ever gave up something for the benefit of the family or provided some of the child care. If not, you are burdened with the lion's share of the responsibility and having to adapt and the two of you could start by talking about that.

As far as not using the MBA, have you considered how close to retirement you are and what you might do in the future with that MBA? Now, "retirement" might mean getting another full-time job you like (I once worked with an older lady who "retired" about 3 times--twice from my company--instead of resigning) or it could mean doing volunteer work. You might start out with various volunteer positions to see if you like the organization overall and then work in managing it. You could even start up another non-profit for a cause you care about, but this is best done after learning from other non-profits to see how they are run and how they solve difficult problems (funding, liability issues, attracting volunteers).

It appears you still have a lot of opportunities left and time to make some of your dreams come true. Why don't you and your husband each write down (separate from each other) your dreams/goals on index cards and share them with each other after dinner some night? Make it a date night! Tell why each thing is important to yourselves, and then use this to make plans you both agree on. (The index cards are meant to help make it easier to sort/sift through the stack.) Of course, you both can't have everything ("we should downsize and move east" vs the other person's "we should move to a bigger house out west"), but can you prioritize the top three things you both want to make a priority? When you have common goals, it is easier to work towards them if you are both on the same page making them happen.
Last edited by celia on Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
leeks
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby leeks » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:05 pm

I don't have teenagers yet but, having been a teenager, my suggestion is for you and your husband to have this conversation with your children if it is not already something you discuss with them. It may be interesting for you to hear their perspectives. They may be eager to take on more independence if you started to focus more on work. They may have ideas about school/activity logistics if your work schedule were to change. There may be opportunities for them to contribute more to household tasks like cooking/cleaning/laundry (and caring for their grandparents, if applicable) that could free up some of your time. Even if you get only non-useful annoying teenager responses, it will be valuable for them to have heard how their parents thought about balancing career and family as they will be making these choices themselves some day.

I'm still close to the beginning of this journey as a stay-at-home mother of a toddler and baby. I feel very fortunate that I have the luxury (financial stability, supportive partner) of choosing to be home with them. I do think that having a parent as primary caregiver adds value to their development beyond what they would get from a nanny or full-time daycare. I am well aware of how this will limit my career, and I do wonder sometimes if my masters degree was wasted money/effort, but it feels like the best situation for our family. I don't know yet how we will make the balance when our children are school-aged.

Leemiller
Posts: 812
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:42 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby Leemiller » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:35 pm

As the mother of two girls, I feel that it is important that I model career success. I also would wish for them to be financially independent when they are older. Based on those goals, I structure my life. I am also planning for more flexibility as they are pre-teens and teens.

I went from government to private practice after the birth of my first child but I had a nanny, housekeeper, and awesome husband. It is very difficult for working parents who don't have some support from family or otherwise. I could be wrong, but I get the sense you're not really sure what you want or where you want to be in five years. In some ways it is easier to decide what we want from other - leading to being a Tiger Mom - than for ourselves. If you start planning where you want to go, you can make the changes to facilitate getting there.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 5951
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:44 pm

Leemiller wrote:As the mother of two girls, I feel that it is important that I model career success. I also would wish for them to be financially independent when they are older. Based on those goals, I structure my life. I am also planning for more flexibility as they are pre-teens and teens.

I think it's not just for the girls. DW and I didn't decide on my becoming a SAHD for the modeling we would provide, although we knew that it wouldn't hurt. One of our kids' GF recently told him that everyone at their school (Yale, many liberals) talks about being feminists, but that he grew up, organically, with feminist views, and they have been internalized. :beer

stoptothink
Posts: 3461
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby stoptothink » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:51 pm

Afty wrote: Second thought: Maybe you should let your husband handle more of the child care duties. In our house, I want to be an equal partner in raising our children, and I want to be able to take over when my wife needs to work. But that also means that she needs to give up control when I’m on primary parent duty. That was initially very hard for her, but now we have a rule in our house that there is “no judging” when one of us is parenting alone. If I need to feed them Chick-Fil-A for dinner like I did last night, or let them watch TV so that I can have 20 minutes to do the dishes, then so be it. The kids will be fine, I promise.

You might also consider handing over some household tasks to your husband and/or kids. For example, I’m in charge of laundry, weekend meals, and finances. We split some other tasks like grocery shopping and weekday cooking. Your kids are teenagers; they should be able to help too.


You would figure this would be common sense, but apparently it isn't. With my wife working full-time and also being a full-time student, I handle the huge majority of household responsibilities (I also have a demanding director-level job in a megacorp). I handle all the laundry, shopping, and the overwhelming majority of cleaning, cooking, transporting, and watching of our 5 and 2yr olds. I'm not better at it than the wife, but it's what has to be done to reach our goals. When my wife mentions that this is one of the reasons she is able to handle her large work and school load, she often gets odd responses. I find it sad that so many husbands/fathers aren't willing to take upon larger household responsibilities or that their wives won't allow it.

perl
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:46 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby perl » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:06 pm

I'm a full-time working mom. Kids make things hard, no doubt.

There's a big red flag in your post: you say your husband doesn't like it. What doesn't he like? Your parents living with you, or something else?

Here are the things you say that worry me:
- You state that you have to financially support not just your immediate family, but your extended family.
- You say you are a tiger mom and very involved in your kids' lives, but they are teenagers and will be leaving the nest soon.
- Your parents live with you so that you can take care of them, being an elder caregiver can take an enormous toll on people.
- You say you are type A and want everything to be perfect.
- You say your husband can't take on more responsibilities because he doesn't do a good enough job.
- You say your husband works more to get away from whatever it is that he doesn't like.

All of this sounds like a recipe for getting burned out. You sound like you're trying to do everything perfectly, but it's impossible, but you can't say no to anything. What about you? What do you do for your own well being?

And how much are you investing in your marriage? Will it be good when your kids and parents aren't in your household anymore? If he doesn't help out and doesn't like being at home, should you be married?

If I were you I would take a big step back and think hard about what you most care about and how you want to focus your life. There's a self help book that sounds silly but is really good for this, called the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

lotofquestions
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lotofquestions » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:51 pm

kithwang wrote:Working mom. Full-time job. Type A but learning to let things go such as my house can be a mess. I have a good balance right now.

My question to you. Can you go down to 1 part-time job and use your MBA to start your own company?

My kids have been telling me that "start your own business, Mommy". I can't (or I am afraid) because I know it will consume my time and energy that I need for my kids.

JGoneRiding
Posts: 690
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby JGoneRiding » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:49 pm

maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


So glad you are able to take that position. I do hope you realize though that that bolded statement is offensive to every full time working mother and that not all Mom's are in that option, and saying "don't take offense" doesn't make it any less annoying.

I still have 9 more weeks before I am "mom" but already he is changing my life. The fact is if I don't earn the money it isn't there, my husband like the OP's isn't able to make more its just not his field. I knew that when I married him. I told him I never expected him to make more just expected him to work consistently (not an issue he has amazing work ethic) I make 2.5-3x as much as my husband if I am working at full capacity. I can make 1500 in a good weekend being on-call--I just hate people by the end of it. He makes 1500 in 2 full weeks of full time labor.

I am taking a significant pay cut and change of position to have this baby--about 15-20k maybe slightly more a year--this equals close to half my husbands total salary. That said I am a firm believer in "good enough" and have no intention of "trying to do it all"

I think I have benefited greatly though from being 10 yrs in and having accomplished my career goals, so backing off a little is ok for me without feeling like I am passing up a good career. That said putting my kid first still involves a very demanding career, and a lot of away hours--or he doesn't get a nice house in a great neighborhood with medical care coverage its a simple as that. Still haven't figured out how the pay cut will affect retirement savings, for now I am trying to hold on to maxing it

lgerla
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:07 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lgerla » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:19 pm

Like most working mothers, your situation will change periodically depending on family life and work opportunities.

It sounds like you are thinking of/preparing for the next stage. That's natural.

Your kids and all of their activities will take up as much time as you have available to give them. Especially as teenagers. If you want to "use" your MBA, start applying to jobs and see which ones interest you. Go on some interviews. You don't have to take any jobs that are offered if they don't feel great. It's near the end of the school year, so you can end some of your commitments or not sign up for next year. Your older children will continue to thrive and be just as happy for the time you are able to spend with them.

I wouldn't fret about not "using" the MBA. Whatever new job you may want to take, having that degree will justify a higher salary.

I was a SAHM when my oldest two were in high school and I was very involved in their sports and attending parent activities. I loved it and was happy to do it.

Life changes (divorce, moving) made going back to work an imperative. The older two watched the younger two when they got home from school. Money was tight, and the kids learned to ask me if they could eat something, knowing that I only shopped for groceries on pay weeks.

During that time, when I had to go to a job I hated, I would tell the kids, "Leaving now; hate my job, but I'm going anyway!" We all did what we had to do to make it work, and laughed about it. I took that hated job and volunteered in the small company to do two other jobs no one wanted. Got specialized training for both jobs, and have in the last 10 years parlayed that into quadrupling my salary (moving to another company). My new job has been flexible enough to attend school events, pick up kids when needed, and be available. I have turned down management positions because I was the "manager" of four kids and just didn't want the extra responsibility. It turns out I like being a highly paid consultant who is known for turning faltering projects around.

The tradeoff has been with my younger two children, during their high school years, my time with them was more compressed into evenings and weekends. I found that the six months during which they had their learner's permits were some good quality (if occasionally terrifying) time spent together. After they get their driver's licenses, they got jobs and then we were happy to have dinner together 3-4 times a week.

I remarried and my new husband had always used a cleaning service twice a month. What a revelation! At first, I was very uncomfortable with it, but now I have my weekends that I used to spend cleaning the house. With that time, I have started my own side business and involved my children in that.

Beensabu
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby Beensabu » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:23 pm

First, can I just let you know that you sound amazing? You really do. You've done what you needed to do to nurture and support your children and provide for your entire family. That's nowhere near easy. I'd be exhausted if I were you (I'm exhausted just being working mom me), but you want to keep growing.

Two thoughts:

- Could you bring it up to one of your employers that you will be ready to transition back to full-time in X amount of months/years and assume additional responsibilities in X amount of years? If you have that type of relationship with your employer, that would let them know when you'd be available for an extended or different role and that could help them with their planning.

lotofquestions wrote:My kids have been telling me that "start your own business, Mommy". I can't (or I am afraid) because I know it will consume my time and energy that I need for my kids.


- Could you start the planning stages of operating your own business during your kids' HS years? By the time they are in college, you will be more than ready to go for it full force.

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 9958
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby HomerJ » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:02 am

maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


Is your husband a bad parent because he puts his career above his child? Or maybe you could say his first priority is providing for you and your child.

Pretty important someone does that right?

AlwaysAStudent
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:38 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby AlwaysAStudent » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:36 am

I am a full-time working, breadwinner, mom (to a 3 year old) who is also a pursuing a Master's degree part-time. I feel strongly that the key for my family is that my husband and I work as 50/50 partners in our household. There are things that need to get done, who checks it off the to do list doesn't really matter. Currently it is easier for me to take the primary bill payer task (breadwinner), it is easier for him to take the pick up the kid, cook dinner, wash dishes role, laundry and mowing is an easy thing for me to accomplish when I get home in the evenings or on the weekends, etc. I can't stand how many dishes he creates when he cooks and I hate the way he loads the dishes but it doesn't really matter because everyone eats everyday and the dishes still get cleaned. It annoys him that sometimes clothes sit in the laundry basket (or dryer) for a couple days before I can get around to folding them, but it doesn't matter because everyone has clean clothes to wear.

stoptothink wrote:... Say what you want about how amazing it is to stay at home and raise your children, but she was bored to death and bordering on depression. She went back to work and is so much happier, and a much better mother (and wife) as a result, and our children (5 and 2) are absolutely flourishing. She gets a ton of judgement at her job because she is so driven and prefers working, it is still expected in our culture (LDS) for women to be SAHM...


I also knew very quickly (before maternity leave was over) that being a SAHM was not a healthy choice for me or my family. Not only did/does my career have a higher potential than my DH but I was quickly bored and could see myself becoming more depressed and unhappy. Sometimes going back to work really does help you be the best mom. I am not LDS but that judgement is everywhere (as seen be the comment up thread), although might be much higher in your community.


stoptothink wrote:... I also think she is setting a great example for our daughter by being so driven in her career and academic pursuits...


You are also setting a great example for both your children that household duties are everyone's responsibility and that a marriage is a true partnership.

Afty wrote:...Second thought: Maybe you should let your husband handle more of the child care duties. In our house, I want to be an equal partner in raising our children, and I want to be able to take over when my wife needs to work. But that also means that she needs to give up control when I’m on primary parent duty. That was initially very hard for her, but now we have a rule in our house that there is “no judging” when one of us is parenting alone. If I need to feed them Chick-Fil-A for dinner like I did last night, or let them watch TV so that I can have 20 minutes to do the dishes, then so be it. The kids will be fine, I promise.

You might also consider handing over some household tasks to your husband and/or kids. For example, I’m in charge of laundry, weekend meals, and finances. We split some other tasks like grocery shopping and weekday cooking. Your kids are teenagers; they should be able to help too.

Finally, consider just letting some things go. How much does it really matter if the house is a mess, or the laundry doesn’t get done until the weekend, or the sinks are a little dirty? Someone else mentioned leaving breakfast dishes in the sink; I did that this morning :) . It’s not ideal, but you have limited time and have to prioritize...


Notice that the men that are commenting, about the awesome women they are married to that happen to be working moms, ALL talk about being a true partner when it comes to task that need to get completed in a household! Let go of some of the stuff you are holding on to and let your husband, or your kids (they are old enough), or your parents handle some items.

I am not saying you should pursue you career right now, only you can really make that decision. One of the underlying things that is never talked about is why somebody does so much for kids or spouses or parents, I feel that is usually because they enjoy giving and being able to help. You have all these people in your life, let them have the opportunity and experience the joy of being a contributor (in some way) to the family and to you. That could be by your husband taking another part-time job so that you can do the things that you want to around the house or for the kids. That could be that each family member (grandma, grandpa, 2 teenager, dad, mom) is responsible for dinner a different night of the week or maybe you assign household task to individual family members so that you have time to utilize your degrees better or have more free time to spend with the kids.

seity
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:55 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby seity » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm

I am a full time working mom. My husband had a degree and career that didn't and wouldn't ever pay as much as my career. When we discussed having children, we decided that he would stay home with the children and I would continue to work. He would never earn enough to even cover the cost of daycare in our area, so it didn't make sense for him to work. Our youngest recently turned 4 and we're hoping will get one of the lottery spots to attend UPK in the fall. If he does, then my husband can look for part time work which will allow us to have the flexibility to continue to deal with the children's needs, satisfy his need for being around adults, and help ease the financial strain of living on one salary.
Being at home has been very stressful for him these past few years and I don't envy him the task of taking care of the household. Not everyone has the luxury of a partner who's there to shoulder part of the burden and I can't imagine trying to do it all alone. It's hard enough with both of us pulling the weight, so get your partner involved and find that work/life balance that works for your family.

lotofquestions
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lotofquestions » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:59 am

Thank you all for reading and sharing your stories and providing encouragement as well as analyzing/criticizing. I truly appreciate them.
1. I have to take care of my parents (part of my custom and too expensive to stay elsewhere)
3. My husband is upset because I spend so much time and money for my parents and family back home. He views my family as a burden to our "own" family. They are also very controlling, at least with me. Therefore, although his pay is 1/3 of mine; he refuses to stay home. He only stays home when I am home or the kids are home. I respect his wish because I am guilty of making our marriage miserable.
4. My husband helps me and always be there for me when I need him. I would not finish my MBA without his encouragement and support. He is also a very good Dad. The girls will come to him and ask for advice. He would help more if I am not a control freak.
7. My kids are smart, responsible, and loving. My older daughter, 14, just starts her first job teaching piano and tutoring young kid in the neighborhood. They also volunteer at the assisted living every month for a year now.
I am happy that my girls are growing up and heading the right direction. The guilt of leaving my kids to work when they were young keeps bothering me. I am happy that I have more time to spend with them now by working part-time. However, I am miserable inside. I feel like a big loser, at work and at home.
I have about 15 years to retire. Thank you for the suggestions! I will have a serious talk with my husband and maybe with my kids. Hopefully, we can put together a plan. I am really burned out and don’t think I can take it in anymore.

Regards,

delamer
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby delamer » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:23 pm

What about your parents? Any "serious talk" needs to include them. They are obviously a huge source of tension with your husband. While most people feel an obligation -- either personal or societal -- to help their parents, your first obligation is to your husband and daughters. In the worse case scenario of your husband leaving, that will be disaster for you and your daughters in every way.

Do your parents contribute money toward household expenses? Do they help with managing the household -- cooking, cleaning, laundry? Is there a possibility of them spending part of the year with other family in the US or "back home"?

Zarah
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:59 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby Zarah » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:30 am

Full-time working mom here, with a similar family situation. It is challenging to make choices about career and family. I agree with other posters that there is not one answer for everyone.

I live with my husband, 4-year-old son, and disabled mother. Caring for mom and son is a lot of work, but the emotional stress is the biggest factor for me. For me, my career seems to mitigate burnout. Mom has aides help in the mornings and at lunch on weekdays, as well as two evenings a week. My son is in daycare full time. This is costly, but it allows our family to function and gives everyone some breathing room. My husband is an equal partner with the household work and our child, but does have some boundaries regarding my mother. He is supportive and communicates well. His boundaries allow him to function well within this family unit for the long haul. I am tired, but I feel good about our situation. I am grateful to have a wonderful family.

To clarify, I was also unhappy staying home after my son was born and was excited to return to my career. I felt a lot of guilt about that decision because I believed I should want to be a SAHM. My decision to return to work was best for my well-being and consequently has been good for my family.

Questions for you to consider:
What is the difference in benefits and salary of your current jobs as compared to your potential job? How does this impact your future?
Are your needs and wants met?
Are the needs and wants of the other household members met?
Can you all survive and thrive for the next 5 years? 10? Longer?

Thanks for your post and I wish you well!

Hug401k
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:49 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby Hug401k » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:29 pm

Full time working mom here with a husband that also works full time. I'm the Boglehead :) My philosophy is "do what you've gotta do". Sometimes that means reducing career commitments. Personally, I have a job that is lower than the VP I once was because it lets me work from home full time. Our life doesn't work unless I do that. Sometimes that means you need more support at home. For me that means a cleaning lady 2 x a month and grocery delivery occasionally, but frankly, I could use more. I'm even considering a dog walker and one of those drop off laundry places right now! If your husband isn't helping, hire someone who will. Have your kids help out more. There's plenty of people telling you that you can do ANYTHING. What they don't tell you is you can't do EVERYTHING (and be happy IMHO). You are recognizing what you are doing is not sustainable. Find what can give and let it give. Don't feel guilty about your lack of using your MBA. The time will come. I do think you've had some good advice here that you may find more success with one full time job than 2 part time jobs. It sounds like your kids are doing great. Do they need a Tiger Mom anymore or is it time to see what they can do on their own? Can some of the money you are sending to your family be used to get help with your parents?

Best of luck and treat yourself with some kindness.

RoadHouseFan
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby RoadHouseFan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:57 pm

maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


This is the correct answer.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 5951
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:16 pm

RoadHouseFan wrote:
maria00200 wrote:This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time, so be it. My husband is the main financial provider and I run the household. For us that works smoothly.


This is the correct answer.

I'm having difficulty reconciling "that is the correct answer" (emphasis added) with the post it refers to, which says that "every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another."

User avatar
leeks
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby leeks » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:33 am

Plan a weekend away with your husband, soon. It sounds to me like you need a vacation.

It also sounds like having your parents living with you is a serious challenge to your marriage. If your husband is unhappy with the situation now, it could get worse after your children leave the nest. Look for ways to change the dynamic and create some boundaries to protect your marriage. Maybe a different housing setup could help, such as a duplex or a home with a mother-in-law suite so you could have more privacy from your parents. Maybe you could renovate your current place to an alternate layout. Maybe it's not feasible now, but there could be a change once the children are out of the house and you need fewer bedrooms (and school district no longer matters). If it is only financial support your parents need (and not in-person caregiving), maybe you could buy a vacation/retirement home/condo in an inexpensive area and send your parents to live there at least part of the year (or you and your husband spend your weekends there). For now, maybe your husband needs a gym membership or a new hobby so he has something healthy to do with his time when he is avoiding being home alone with his inlaws.
Last edited by leeks on Tue May 02, 2017 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lotofquestions
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby lotofquestions » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:15 am

leeks wrote:
lotofquestions wrote:3. My husband is upset because I spend so much time and money for my parents and family back home. He views my family as a burden to our "own" family. They are also very controlling, at least with me. Therefore, although his pay is 1/3 of mine; he refuses to stay home. He only stays home when I am home or the kids are home. I respect his wish because I am guilty of making our marriage miserable.


lotofquestions wrote:I am really burned out and don’t think I can take it in anymore.


Plan a weekend away with your husband, soon. It sounds to me like you need a vacation.

It also sounds like having your parents living with you is a serious challenge to your marriage. If your husband is unhappy with the situation now, it could get worse after your children leave the nest. Look for ways to change the dynamic and create some boundaries to protect your marriage. Maybe a different housing setup could help, such as a duplex or a home with a mother-in-law suite so you could have more privacy from your parents. Maybe you could renovate your current place to an alternate layout. Maybe it's not feasible now, but there could be a change once the children are out of the house and you need fewer bedrooms (and school district no longer matters). If it is only financial support your parents need (and not in-person caregiving), maybe you could buy a vacation/retirement home/condo in an inexpensive area and send your parents to live there at least part of the year (or you and your husband spend your weekends there). For now, maybe your husband needs a gym membership or a new hobby so he has something healthy to do with his time when he is avoiding being home alone with his inlaws.

Thank you for your advice!

ysette9
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:09 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

Postby ysette9 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:11 pm

I echo others in saying that I am concerned for your marriage and the entire untenable situation you have created for yourself. Tending to a healthy marriage is work. Raising kids is work. Pursuing a career is work. Supporting excess family members is work. Caring for aging parents is work. You are trying to do 5x duty all at once while presumably keeping yourself sane and I just don't think that is possible. It sounds from your own words that your husband is unhappy and that your marriage needs attention.

I realize it is much easier said than done, but I really think you need to put some serious thought into establishing boundaries between yourself and your family and your extended family. At some point they need to be functional adults and support themselves on their own and yes, your nuclear family does need to come first. Personally I would grow extremely resentful if my husband spent his time/energy and OUR money supporting his extended family. If my in-laws lived with us I would go absolutely insane and spend every waking moment outside the house just to have some peace. Perhaps your husband is experiencing some form of this? Again, this is just me projecting my own feelings onto your situation, but if my in-laws lived with us, needed extra care, and were sucking up my financial resources with no end in site, I would be seriously reconsidering my marriage and whether it was what I really wanted to be doing in life.

As others have mentioned, it would be a good exercise all around for you to back off on some things and let your husband and kids take more responsibility. I also recognize that this is very hard to actually do, and I don't do a particularly good job of it myself. :) I agree with others though that it is especially important for your kids to be given more room to figure things out themselves. In our extended family my husband has cousins who grew up under the stereotypical Asian tiger mom. Yes, they got good grades and got into top universities to pursue the acceptable STEM degrees. However both floundered massively when confronted with the realities of pseudo-adulthood. One had to drop out of college for a while. Another graduated but needed his mother to get him interviews, internships, and call his boss to excuse him sick when he couldn't keep it together to show up to work. One is still living at home in his late 20s and his tiger mother's paycheck now goes to pay for his therapy bills. Please let your kids succeed or fail by themselves and learn from those lessons now while the stakes are smaller.

Good luck.
Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky, like a patient etherized upon a table.


Return to “Personal Finance (Not Investing)”