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Old 03-28-2013, 01:39 PM   #21
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I've been married over 30 years and have found that "requiring" DW to do anything is a totally losing proposition. That will teach me to marry a stubbornheadstrong woman.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Calico View Post
I checked the OP's profile, and it identifies the OP as female.

Regardless of the gender(s) involved (different, same) I tend to agree about the asking for trouble part!
I was wondering when someone would bother to look it up. Yes, I, the wife, am the OP, the full time worker in the family. My husband is the SAHP. Neither one of us is a spendthrift jazzerciser. And I spent a little over a year in the SAHP role. Our income was 3/4 mine and 1/4 his at the time. Not a financially smart decision based on our incomes, but it was awesome. And we both know how tough the job of SAHP is, which is priceless.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:47 PM   #23
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Would you want your husband to make more money because you think he would be having it easy as the SAHP and you don't think it's fair. Or do you just want more income to reach your financial goals faster? Reading your post I get a sense of resentment.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:48 PM   #24
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Gender is irrelevant to this. That is my opinion. However, my sense is that many people see stay at home moms as normal and OK while stay at home dads are simply men failing to provide for their family. Why do so many think it is reasonable to expect a man to provide for his family but never seem to think that a woman should do so if she has a male spouse? (Question is rhetorical, not looking for an actual answer)

I have always, always, always felt that it was unfair for one of the partners to stay at home and be supported by the other partner unless there was a compelling reason for it such as health or possibly small children (I say possibly because I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with a parent of small children working a regular but I can see the reason not to do before the children go to school).

Once children are in school, I personally would find it unfair for one parent to stay at home with a no-profit side business while the other parent was toiling away each day.

Most of us here, of course, would like to eventually stay home all day, and so I understand that desire. However, I find it unfair to put fulfillment of that desire entirely or almost entirely on the back of the working spouse. I can understand to some extent one spouse working full time and the other working part time if the family can afford to do that and still meet their goals.

If possible - and I understand this may not always be possible - I think it is preferable for spouses to alternate stay at home time. That is, perhaps the spouse who stays home while children are small then works full time later and the other spouse works part-time. I do understand that work situations and income potential may be such that this won't work in a given situation.

Of course, every situation is different and I do think that the spouses need to work out what they think is fair. But, frankly, if it was me I would be agreeing with the OP here.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:49 PM   #25
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I couldn't say whether it was reasonable or not for you to want him to earn 10k unless you say why you would like him to earn the 10k.

Do you need the money?
Do you not like the idea or are jealous of him having free time between 9 and 3?
Will the extra income let you retire sooner?
Do you feel it's not fair?
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:52 PM   #26
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Would you want your husband to make more money because you think he would be having it easy as the SAHP and you don't think it's fair. Or do you just want more income to reach your financial goals faster? Reading your post I get a sense of resentment.
Oh, no resentment at all! Like I said, I truly value what he does as a SAHP. But when the kids are in school for 6 hours a day, that is different.

I know he doesn't have it easy as the SAHP. Read my posts #18 & 22. I did it for a while, too. For goodness sake, I get a lunch break! He can barely take a potty break for himself!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:01 PM   #27
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Honestly, it seems to me his or her opinion is more important than the sum of all the opinions you're going to get here.
+1. This, IOO, is/should be part of the whole conversation/plan regarding family & finances -- a conversation that is ongoing throughout a domestic partnership.

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:02 PM   #28
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Oh, no resentment at all! Like I said, I truly value what he does as a SAHP. But when the kids are in school for 6 hours a day, that is different.

I know he doesn't have it easy as the SAHP. Read my posts #18 & 22. I did it for a while, too. For goodness sake, I get a lunch break! He can barely take a potty break for himself!
I meant, would you be resentful if he remained a full time SAHP once the kids started school? When you decided that he would be a SAHP, did you set a time limit with the understanding that he would have to go back to work once his duties as full time SAHP ended?
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
Gender is irrelevant to this. That is my opinion. However, my sense is that many people see stay at home moms as normal and OK while stay at home dads are simply men failing to provide for their family. Why do so many think it is reasonable to expect a man to provide for his family but never seem to think that a woman should do so if she has a male spouse? (Question is rhetorical, not looking for an actual answer)
I know you said this was rhetorical, but this is exactly why I attempted to mask the gender. DH is a stand up, hard working guy. We both feel the pressure equally to provide for our family.

Quote:
I have always, always, always felt that it was unfair for one of the partners to stay at home and be supported by the other partner unless there was a compelling reason for it such as health or possibly small children (I say possibly because I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with a parent of small children working a regular but I can see the reason not to do before the children go to school).
yes, We agree that a SAHP at this stage in our kids lives is preferable. It works for us and it is what we want. I'm proud that we can afford to have him at home, just as I was proud when we could afford to have me at home and him at work.

Quote:
Once children are in school, I personally would find it unfair for one parent to stay at home with a no-profit side business while the other parent was toiling away each day.

Most of us here, of course, would like to eventually stay home all day, and so I understand that desire. However, I find it unfair to put fulfillment of that desire entirely or almost entirely on the back of the working spouse. I can understand to some extent one spouse working full time and the other working part time if the family can afford to do that and still meet their goals.

If possible - and I understand this may not always be possible - I think it is preferable for spouses to alternate stay at home time. That is, perhaps the spouse who stays home while children are small then works full time later and the other spouse works part-time. I do understand that work situations and income potential may be such that this won't work in a given situation.

Of course, every situation is different and I do think that the spouses need to work out what they think is fair. But, frankly, if it was me I would be agreeing with the OP here.
Thanks for this response, well thought out and I appreciate you sharing your opinion frankly. Our income differential is why I work and he stays at home, but we did take turns to the extent that we could in previous years. We would certainly be able to both work part time in coming years. But that would delay total FIRE, of course. If I work full time we can get there faster. If he works at all we can get there faster.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #30
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I couldn't say whether it was reasonable or not for you to want him to earn 10k unless you say why you would like him to earn the 10k.

Do you need the money?
Do you not like the idea or are jealous of him having free time between 9 and 3?
Will the extra income let you retire sooner?
Do you feel it's not fair?
I'm sorry I put 10K out there. It's not some magic number. I guess it is just what I think might be reasonable to earn working 20 hours a week or so.

We don't need the money. I earn over 90K and we spent about 45K last year. The rest was for taxes or saved. But of course the extra income will help us retire sooner.

I think it is more than fair currently for him to work as a SAHP while I work outside of the home. I'm not sure how I'll feel about it when he has free time between 9 and 3. Ask me in 4 years. No, wait, I can answer this. It depends greatly on what he does with it. If he works his biz that earns some nominal amount and gets to go on a daily 5K run, yes, I will be a little jealous, wouldn't you? C'mon this forum is full of people that want to retire early, remember?
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:10 PM   #31
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The key to solving your problem is more clarity. You and your SO need more concrete joint financial goals than "saving aggressively for retirement and continuing to live below our means." That's not a goal at all, it's a lifestyle choice. WHY are you doing that? Not only do you need to spell all that out in detail, but you also need to figure out how to merge your vision of post-retirement life and your SO's, because your SO will never want to take on work that they don't enjoy in order to fund a vision they're not on board with. Either the end goal you've decided upon** is worth that sacrifice to them or it isn't.

** A hint here: I used to be the reluctant spouse. The key in getting someone on board with a level of frugality and sacrifice that isn't natural or agreeable to them is to get them to envision how they'd spend their day if they had all of their time at their own disposal, and then ask them what price they'd pay to get themselves there. Ask your SO that, and then just listen. This may take weeks. Make it about THEIR dreams, not yours... after all, you're already on board. A lot of people shoot themselves in the foot by talking incessantly about their own vision, and then basically turn to their complete opposite spouse and say "Don't you want this too?!? Wouldn't that be FUN?!?" (Answer: probably not for them, they're your opposite.) People will naturally get excited about making their own dreams come true, though. They don't need to be pushed/pulled to work hard when they know that the end result will be to their own liking.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:14 PM   #32
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I think it is more than fair currently for him to work as a SAHP while I work outside of the home. I'm not sure how I'll feel about it when he has free time between 9 and 3. Ask me in 4 years. No, wait, I can answer this. It depends greatly on what he does with it. If he works his biz that earns some nominal amount and gets to go on a daily 5K run, yes, I will be a little jealous, wouldn't you? C'mon this forum is full of people that want to retire early, remember?
OK, that's what I wanted to know. Then I think you have to make it clear to him that his duties as full time SAHP will end as soon as the kids start school. I would not "require" him to make a set amount of money, but you have to start setting expectations now. If he is on board with the FIRE thing, I would use that angle, "look honey if we made $10K more per year we could retire 3 years earlier!".
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #33
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Oh, no resentment at all! Like I said, I truly value what he does as a SAHP. But when the kids are in school for 6 hours a day, that is different.
I think a good job option would be driving a school bus. That way he is always home when the kids are off school. He can work on his small business between the morning and afternoon busing. Of course if he has specialized training like IT or Accounting, then he can probably find other more lucrative jobs that still have a flexible schedule.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:18 PM   #34
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...not to mention the price that cannot be put on the concommitant nurturing/parenting.
First, thank you for editing my post in your response! I don't know how to edit the original.

Secondly, I absolutely agree about the immeasurable value of nurturing/parenting. My original response focused on the financial value because that seemed (to me) to be the focus of the OP's concern - the financial contribution that was/was not being made by the SO.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:18 PM   #35
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I meant, would you be resentful if he remained a full time SAHP once the kids started school? When you decided that he would be a SAHP, did you set a time limit with the understanding that he would have to go back to work once his duties as full time SAHP ended?
No, that's not going to happen, him remaining a full time SAHP... We both understand that the SAHP thing is temporary while the kids are young. We both want him to have this side biz turn into more lucrative work. He doesn't want to remain a SAHP, when they are in school he wants to "work."
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:23 PM   #36
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I've been married over 30 years and have found that "requiring" DW to do anything is a totally losing proposition. That will teach me to marry a stubbornheadstrong woman.
Yet many DHs are "required" to do certain things -- like leaving the seat down.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:23 PM   #37
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No, that's not going to happen, him remaining a full time SAHP... We both understand that the SAHP thing is temporary while the kids are young. We both want him to have this side biz turn into more lucrative work. He doesn't want to remain a SAHP, when they are in school he wants to "work."
Then maybe you are worrying for nothing. You said earlier he barely has time to take a bathroom brake now so the fact that he is not making any money is quite understandable. Once he has more time to work on the business, the income should ramp up.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:32 PM   #38
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Then maybe you are worrying for nothing. You said earlier he barely has time to take a bathroom brake now so the fact that he is not making any money is quite understandable. Once he has more time to work on the business, the income should ramp up.
This is true. I guess I just worry that the business won't be as lucrative as we hope? Maybe my real question is, how long do you let your spouse run a business that isn't very profitable? How profitable does it have to be?
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:36 PM   #39
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This is true. I guess I just worry that the business won't be as lucrative as we hope? Maybe my real question is, how long do you let your spouse run a business that isn't very profitable? How profitable does it have to be?
I will let seasoned business people answer that one. But I think you have to give him a real chance at making the business profitable. He can't do that as long as the kids require 100% of his time.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:39 PM   #40
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First, thank you for editing my post in your response! I don't know how to edit the original.

Secondly, I absolutely agree about the immeasurable value of nurturing/parenting. My original response focused on the financial value because that seemed (to me) to be the focus of the OP's concern - the financial contribution that was/was not being made by the SO.
I just want to reiterate that I have no issue whatsoever with the current situation. We both highly value a SAHP, and that is why SO stays at home. I'm talking about when both me and SO agree that there is no need for a SAHP, at least not to the same extent...
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