Can you help a friend of mine?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    Default Can you help a friend of mine?

    Can you help a friend of mine?

    She's been a SAHM for about 13 yrs. Her oldest child will turn 16 this summer. Her other children are 14 and 10.

    However, her DH thinks that they'd be living the Life of Riley if only she went back to work. He and his family frequently put pressure on her.

    She had a secretarial job before staying home, so she doesn't feel that she's highly marketable.

    Give me ideas that she can use to convince her DH it would be a bad move.

    I've already told her a bit. But some of you in the trenches might have a lot to say. I sure hope so.

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    Tell her dh, that most teen pregnancies are conceived after school, in the home, before the parents get home at 5 pm. (or on lunch hour)

    And that those are the hours that a lot of kids experiment with alcohol and drugs.

    I have a friend whose daughter conceived a baby at the ripe old age of 14 on a nooner!

    Both sets of parents thought nothing was wrong with the boy bringing her home ("with friends????") to his house by the school for lunch hour. After all they trusted the kids, and they brought friends with them.

    Nine months later, she produced the result! At the ripe old age of just turned 15 a week or so before delivery, she was a mama, and my friend was in for a real ride. The girl kept the baby and guess who got to worry and plan and struggle to help her be a mum!

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    Kids in their teens need a watchful if grumpy eye of a concerned parent. They are still too young to make good choices about sex, drugs and their choice of friends sometimes needs a little feedback too.

    If your friend's dh wants the best chance (and I'm not saying that lots of good kids turned out fine with working mums or that plenty of little so and so's did stuff behind their SAHM mother's backs)

    but I mean the best statistical chance of bringing that kid safely thru the early independance years-- the teenage troubles

    then for heavens sake don't ignore the one factor he can have and that is the mother, at home, paying attention to who goes where, and when, and forcing a little accountability into the often flighty teenage psyche!!!!

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    And if he still wants a trial period of the wife working, then maybe she should use some of the tools in her arsenal.

    Buying takeout and conveniance foods, jacking up the price of groceries.

    Buy a lot of good quality working clothes for the wardrobe.

    Get a cleaning lady once a week because she can't possibly do both (even if she can, this is not the time for her to be the family sacrifice on the martyr altar!)

    Oh and "INVEST" in herself by taking a nice expensive upgrade, during which she will need all of the above to keep herself ready for work.

    Buy another car for her to reliably get to work.

    If he can pony up all that dough, then yes, she is READY for work!!!!!

    Make sure he doesn't think of it as "free money" that he can just access by shoving the little woman out the door into a job so he can enjoy a little free breathing room in the budget.

    Let him know the REAL costs in any subtle or not so subtle ways that work with him.

    (and the thoughts above about the teens too for sure!)

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    had another evil thought, she could go SHOPPING for that work wardrobe, and for her sake make sure she can take it all back the next day! But rack up a grand or two on shoes, purses, good work suits, blouses, hose and the right underthings to hold it all up and in so she looks nice and corporate!

    Then show dh the bill!!!!!

    heheheheheh

    Then be ready to take it all back and shop more carefully if he still figures she needs to work outside the home too. After all if she is working her fingers to the bone, she doesn't need a lot of debt.

    This is just for the shock and awe campaign if needed.

    Wouldn't hurt to call Molly Maids for a price on a weekly cleaning, oh and price out dry cleaning all that nice work wear!!!!

    If she is sensible about this and does it right, he should see that it will take at least 2 to 3 years of her working full time to pay off the debts incurred in working!!!!!

    No gravy for the greedy!

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    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    Thanks, Margery. That is a wonderful start. I'm trying to get her to join our forums for more good, sensible advice.

    Does anybody know how Alternative Minimum Tax would/could figure into this?

    My friend already thinks that she'd be just barely breaking even if she went back to work, since her kids are homeschooled now... and, with their terrible public schools, she'd be sending them to private school if she went to work.

    I told her that she should tell her DH she needs to go back to school and get a degree in order to be marketable. That means she'd be paying big bucks in tuition, as well as private school.

    I also told her that her DH would have to help figure out what to do when the younger children are home sick. And daycare in summertime.

    Other advice/ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Early Bird
    I told her that she should tell her DH she needs to go back to school and get a degree in order to be marketable. That means she'd be paying big bucks in tuition, as well as private school.

    I also told her that her DH would have to help figure out what to do when the younger children are home sick. And daycare in summertime.
    Heheheheheh, perfect!!!!!!!!!!! I always remember how much of a wake up call it was to my own dh, who had to do a LOT more when I worked. He much prefers me staying home.

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    Registered User joyb's Avatar
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    Sometimes, men don't have a clue. Keeping the home up and running and caring for a family is a real, honest-to-goodness JOB, guys, and a very important one. I think Margery said it all--I'm just venting a little here.

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    I was tossing around the idea of going back to work because I was afraid we were about to have a hefty foundation repair bill that we just can't afford. Thankfully, that hasn't happened. First I considered applying at a local private school with a new campus. But the campus was far enough away that I don't think it would have been worth it. Then, I considered going back to teach in the public schools, but when I mentioned to DH that if I did that, he'd have to start doing laundry, some of the cleaning, running errands, etc., he didn't look happy. Mind you, I was the one considering going back to work; he wasn't telling me to. But, perhaps if your friends merely reminded her DH about the cost of private schools, the fact that he would now have to work when he gets home (helping to cook, clean, run errands, etc.), not to mention having to share time off when the kids are sick or have school holidays. He may finally realize that the extra paycheck would be sucked up in extra costs, and his time would greatly be affected, too. I honestly think that men sometimes don't realize how much effort is put into keeping the house.

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    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    We're doing this right now.
    Dh seems to think all will be well if only I worked. I even sat down with him and did the numbers. We would still be $600 in the hole if I worked. He still didn't care. I guess his line of thinking is, if we're both miserable then it's fair.

    I had my first day of work today in 6 years...had to leave my almost 14yo in charge (they are still on spring break) for 6 hours and drove 45 minutes ONE WAY to make $7/hour, so I'm not exactly unbiased right now

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    Another thought. Tax bracket. If she went back would that bump them up? To the point of just working to pay the tax? That is what happened to me! When I got a seasonal job.

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    Registered User ubumartin's Avatar
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    I work full time out of the home days, my DH nights. Four children who are involved in sports, dance etc. I also do part time transcription at home. I think the more you make the more you spend. I also feel that it costs to work out of the home also. Many nights of eating out because I was running everyone around after work to make anything for supper, everytime I turn around at work there is another fund raiser for someone, gas, wear and tear on the vehicle.. I drive 30 miles round trip, buying lunch out, clothing, coffee, also I know many who pay a fortune for daycare. You have to way out everything. This is why I am looking to work from home so that I can cut out alot of the added expenses and be home with kids. I work in a school so I have almost all of the same days off as the kids and only work five weeks in the summer so it is pretty good that way. Nancy

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    Registered User ubumartin's Avatar
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    You also have to remember that most husbands still expect dinner at 5 and the house to be in order. I still do all of the laundry and house cleaning. He wouldnt even think to do it. He will empty dishwasher which I am eternally grateful. THey also don't think about the children's needs as the moms do. I make sure my 7 year old has clothes laid out, breakfast, back pack packed, lunch etc.. So think before you jump into working full time. you also get used to the money and it is very hard to stop once you start. Nancy

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    Canadian Gardener's BACK! Woohoo!

    I agree with all that is said. I just wanted to support you and your friend.
    SInce the friend's family is NOT her and NOT doing her work for her- they should NOT be an influence to her decision.

    The husband and wife team are really the only ones to make the decision. A woman's place is in the home. Taking care of a home is a Full Time 24 hour job. Unless there is an agreement that the home jobs are going to be divided amongst the team- it just isn't fair to expect one person in the team to take care of the home AND work outside the home.

    I would recommend in addition to Margery's ideas... to complete a 'fake' income tax return based on your potential salary. See where you lie in the income taxes. Sometimes, working spouses pay is eaten up b/c of the tax bracket it now puts them into.

    If hubby doesn't believe it, give her the names of the books to get at the library - on frugal living etc.. forgot all the names.. but you get the idea. There are also lots of websites with data that she can use as ammunition.

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    I think I would tell him that you buy a lot of "things" with the money that you would make but you could never buy back the time you would lose with the kids. There is no dress rehearsal in life and "things" are not as important as the time you give them.....Speaking from experience......

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