If you’re a typical person, you may be living paycheck to paycheck. This means that your monthly bills are covering the expenses that you aren’t saving for. If you have a full-time job, that’s what you have to work with. If you are lucky enough to have a part-time job, that’s what you have to work with. If you’re an entrepreneur, you might have the means to live comfortably without a job, but for most people, this isn’t the case. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are unemployed, this may be the first time in your life that your paycheck is covering the expenses that you aren’t saving for.
Your first instinct is to think that the answer is “yes.” After all, quitting your job and exchanging it for the freedom of working for yourself has been one of the most popular activities on the Internet in recent years. With that in mind, this post will help you decide if you should quit your job.
We are all adults, so let’s take a step back and look at your financial situation realistically. You may have a terrific job with benefits, but behind the scenes, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Most jobs don’t come with health insurance, vacation time, pensions, or other benefits—and if you do work for a company other than your employer, you may not have the same employee benefits.
Letters pour into my mailbox. I want to quit my job to stay home with my kids, said one. I want to be a housewife so badly, another one starts. Each letter tells a unique story, and while the details vary, the essence of the story is almost always the same. Should I become a housewife or keep my job?
Housewife or working mother
I’m not an expert on staying home or working. I’m just a mom who shared her personal decision online. And yet, since I wrote about my decision to become a stay-at-home mom, readers have written me letters asking for advice. I received a letter yesterday full of thoughts, concerns and excitement. It began like so many I’ve read. I have a good job, but I don’t like my job. I want to be a stay-at-home mom. Three thousand words later, the letter ended with a simple question: Do you think I should stop? 1С8 Smart, talented, successful men and women come to my blog looking for guidance. Most of them get in touch after reading one of these posts: Unfortunately, I can’t tell my readers what to do. It’s a personal decision they have to make for themselves. Instead, I’m sharing the details of my situation and some recommendations that may help.
Becoming a stay-at-home-mother
I begin each answer with a story about how I became a stay-at-home mom. Before my son was born, my work was my life. I worked as a software engineer and was an excellent student who achieved success quickly. If life had gone according to plan, I might still be working, but my career took an unexpected turn. In 2011, just two weeks after announcing my pregnancy, I was laid off. My entire team was cut, along with a few hundred other employees in my department. I quickly found a new job and negotiated a start date that was delayed by eight months! My severance pay for twenty-six weeks would easily cover my bills until I went back to work.
I gave up my job to become a housewife and mother
My stay in the house was supposed to be temporary, but after a few months I changed my mind. I wasn’t ready to resume my career. My husband and I didn’t touch the arrangement, so there was no pressing financial need to return. I called my new boss to tell him the news. Then I fell into a whirlwind of tears. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. It’s been nine years since I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom. Here’s what I wish someone had told me before I quit.
Should I be a housewife and a mother?
Before you quit your job, think about what you are giving up. Some women love staying home with their kids, while others hate it. You might think that being a stay-at-home mom is ideal, but for some people it can feel like a very lonely, sometimes boring existence. The experience depends on the age of your children, the kind of social network you have, and how you want to spend your time. Before you decide to quit, ask yourself why you want to stay home and how much time you want to spend with your kids. Some parents want to spend every moment with their children. Others just want a little more time than they have now. If you are in the second option, it is time to ask questions at work. Can you work from home, reduce the total number of hours, or create a more flexible schedule that fits your children’s daily schedule?
Could you change your current job to get the best of both worlds?
Two of my former colleagues have set up home offices that offer the best of both worlds. Their supervisors gave them extra leeway to work around their children’s schedules. As long as my colleagues did their work on time, their bosses didn’t care when they did it. If you trust your supervisor, have an open conversation so you can discuss your options. Are there ways to make your work less stressful or more enjoyable? Can you change jobs or find ways to take on less stressful tasks? Make a list of the tasks you perform and discuss them with your supervisor. Which of these activities can you do in the evening or early morning? Determine what time of day you need to be available and if you can shorten your time at the office. You can also ask if you can reduce the number of hours per week. Can you reduce your workday from eight to six hours? Can you change your schedule so you work four days a week instead of five? Don’t think you have to choose between being a full-time stay-at-home mom and working full-time. However, keep in mind that even with the best work schedules, it can be difficult to combine family and work.
Calculation of loss of wages and benefits
If you can’t create a flexible work schedule or are sure you want to quit, it’s time to review your finances. Find your last paycheck and look at the numbers. Take into account your salary and employer payments to your 401k, 403b, TSP and medical savings accounts. How much do you currently pay for health, dental, vision and life insurance? If you switch to your partner’s benefit, how much will you have to pay each month? In your calculations, don’t forget to include salary increases, bonuses, and foundation grants. If you have money left over after you pay for childcare and other expenses, do some more calculations to see how much that investment will be worth in ten, twenty or thirty years. If you want to stay home, don’t forget your partner’s salary. Can their salary support your current lifestyle without additional income? Determine how much you will spend on work-related items if you don’t quit. Count your monthly expenses for gas, clothing, lunch and childcare. Then watch these songs with your partner. How much will you earn after deducting work-related expenses? Some couples feel like they don’t give themselves as much. Once you’ve calculated the numbers, look at the debate about who stays home in a balanced way. Remember that money is a factor in the decision to stay home, but it’s not the only one.
Does money become a source of stress?
If you want to become a stay-at-home mom, I encourage you to take a hard look at your finances and see if you can quit without causing financial problems. There are two ways to distribute the money. You can earn more or spend less. What can you cut back on and how much can you save before you quit? The less you have to earn to pay your bills, the easier it will be to quit your job. Consider the benefits of setting up an emergency fund and savings account for rainy days. If you already have money in the bank, you may want to take the plunge. If not, it’s time to save up. Try to create a healthy buffer so that money doesn’t become a source of stress after a layoff.
Seeking opportunities to earn more
Remember, getting out of business doesn’t mean you’ll never make money again. Think about your current skill set and ask yourself if there are other ways to make money without a steady 9 to 5 job. Do you find the time to freelance, blog, sell products on eBay or set up an Etsy shop? What else can you do to attract extra money? In an ideal world, you would be able to test these methods before leaving your job. If you can cut back, you’ll need less money to live on, but it’s just as helpful to find small ways to increase your income. Don’t expect to work for hours while your child sleeps. You’ll be exhausted in the first few months. Staying at home with kids takes a lot of time and the first year is incredibly difficult. Stay away from MLMs and avoid schemes that promise to make you rich. Beware of friends who try to lure you in with stories about selling their expensive possessions. Companies are preying on stay-at-home moms who want to increase their income. Look for legitimate forms of income and see if you can bridge the gap between your expenses and what you need to pay your bills.
What do you give up when you quit your job?
The job has benefits in addition to the biweekly pay. Do you enjoy spending time with your colleagues, working on long-term projects or solving complex problems? Do you want to work in an environment where you are constantly on the move? It’s not easy to get the same benefits after you quit smoking. If you plan to stay home with the kids, how will you communicate with others, solve problems, or take time for deep reflection? The life of a stay-at-home mom can seem incredibly lonely. If you decide to quit your job, don’t forget to ask your colleagues for their personal emails. Every few months I would meet my former business partner for pizza at a restaurant across the street from my old office building. She happily shared a pizza and cooed with my kids. I kept in touch with other colleagues via email. We weren’t working together anymore, but we still had a lot to talk about. A stay-at-home parent can be lonely. Don’t shut your old friends out of your life just because you quit. Look for opportunities to get out of the house and meet friends and former colleagues. Then start looking for opportunities to meet new people and make new friends.
What will you miss about your job?
Even though I dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, I knew in my heart that I would miss working. I started babysitting at eleven and got my first real job at fifteen. For years, I tied my personal value to my net worth. I needed external validation and an annual review with superiors who praised my work. I enjoyed working on difficult problems and learning new skills. Although I love my children with all my heart, I don’t get the praise from them that I usually get as an employee. I also missed the stimulating conversations. Conversations on the playground were often interrupted by hungry, tired or bored children. I found it hard to fill the air with chatter about my new life.
Benefits of housewifery and motherhood
Staying at work has its advantages, but staying home also has its advantages. On the one hand, I no longer felt trapped by the time pressure of the work week. I didn’t have to cram my to-do list and responsibilities into a few hours at night or on the weekend. When my kids got sick, I didn’t take time off to help them feel better, and when the snow and COVID closed the schools, I didn’t miss a beat. I don’t have to worry about doctor or dentist appointments, and sporting events, soccer practices and other activities can happen any night of the week. Even though I have to get the kids ready for school in the morning, I don’t have the added stress of having to be at work on time. And when the day is over, I don’t have to go home and figure out what to cook and make dinner. My stress level dropped significantly after I decided to stay home and get older.
You only get one chance
When I was in my early twenties, I suffered from a serious illness that could have killed me. I know life is short and I shouldn’t take any day for granted. Some women love their work and are passionate about what they do, but I knew in my heart that I would regret being pigeonholed those first few years. I will always be grateful for the time I spent with my children. It was hard to give up my job, but I enjoyed taking care of my children, rocking them, singing, playing and watching them grow into the unique people they are today. Outside of school hours, I enjoy spending time in my children’s classes and volunteering at school.
My decision to become a housewife and mother
I understand the reluctance to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. Under different circumstances, I don’t know if I would have left the US economy to stay home with my firstborn. Honestly, it wouldn’t be easy to put a 12-year career behind you. When the HR representative handed me my severance pay nine years ago, I couldn’t hold back the tears. At the time, I wondered what I should do and where I should go next, but I never thought I would give up my career. And here I am, nine years later, living my best life.
Will I regret quitting my job and becoming a stay-at-home mom?
I am grateful that I have saved my entire life for the bad days, that I have a husband who continues to support us, and that I have children who have brought more joy into my life than I have ever known. I wanted to watch my little ones, cuddle them when they slept, comfort them, sing to them, go on adventures with them and play with them and read books for hours. If they called, I wanted to be the one to pick up, and if they cried, I wanted to comfort them. Over the past nine years, I have accomplished all of this and more. I can say without a doubt that I don’t regret my decision to become a stay-at-home mom, and I can’t imagine ever doing so.
There is nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home mom or remaining a working parent. We all have our own needs, dreams and desires. As much as I love my children and my decision to stay home, I have often felt lost, overwhelmed and confused after leaving work. It took me years to understand why. I didn’t want to go back to my old job, but I wanted to do something that had nothing to do with raising children. Many stay-at-home moms have told me similar stories. As much as they loved their children, they also wanted to take time for them. Over the years, this blog has become my outlet, a place where I can share my story with those who need it. It also made me a millionaire, but not in the way you’d think. When my kids grow up, I hope they will read this book too. If you are considering quitting your job and becoming a stay-at-home mom or dad, I encourage you to continue spending time on your hobbies. Whatever you decide, don’t lose sight of yourself.
Do you want to become a stay-at-home parent or have you decided to become a working parent?
If you have any ideas or questions about this topic, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your stories.You’re a young professional in your 20s with some years of work experience under your belt. A new interview comes up for a job that you think is perfect for you, but it doesn’t pay as much as you’d like. Should you take the job?. Read more about should i quit my job without notice and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to quit without a job?
Every day we are bombarded by advice to save money and invest our money wisely. Some of this advice is useful and informative. Some of it is not. You will read about the merits of cash (it doesn’t lose value over time, right?) and bond funds and about the dangers of stocks (you should buy and hold no matter what!). Some of it is even a bit strange (should you put money in a Roth IRA account if you are only going to get taxed on the principal in your paycheck?). In our modern society everyone should be saving for retirement, but in reality, few people actually do. There are many jobs that are completely unnecessary, and that there is no reason that anyone should need to work for.
How do you know it’s time to leave your job?
It’s happened to all of us. You’re 9 months into a job, you’ve been there for a year and you’re getting frustrated that you’re not progressing. And then one day, you look at your pay stub and think, “I’m making the same as I did when I started.” You’re not happy. Being in the workforce can change your life in some great ways, but it also can change your life in some not-so-great ways. In this blog post, learn how to recognize when it’s time to leave your job in order to take the next step in your life.
How much money should you have before quitting your job?
Why should you quit your job? You may be tempted to say that it’s the money, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the average US household is better off now than it was before the Great Recession, despite the fact that many workers are still out of luck. The problem is that many of us are working so much that we aren’t giving ourselves the time to live the lives we want. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works more than 60 hours a week, inviting stress into every part of our lives. We’ve all heard the advice on the money-saving tips from our parents, employers and friends. They say that the best way to save money is to just not buy all the stuff we don’t need. But in our day-to-day lives, how is this advice working out? And does it even help?
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