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reggiemcp
05-24-2007, 09:34 AM
Hi All!

Need some support here. I am about to give notice at my job and become a stay at home mom, nervous and excited. My DS pirate: is almost 3 and he has been in daycare since he was 4 months old. Up until recently, things were going ok. But I have become very unhappy at work and the pressures at home (morning rush, cries of no go to school, afternoon rush, etc.) just never seem to stop. We also have had to deal who is going to stay home when DS is sick. So after much discussion, we are going to try the stay at home thing for a year. He will be 4 next summer and then going to pre-k, so I will try to find a part-time job while he is in school.

I have a good job and I also have the health benefits. But we will be able to get insurance with our current carrier through the state. It also seems as though 85% of my check goes to daycare, lunches, etc. Daycare alone is $1100 a month. Money will be tight, maybe no Disney trip next year. It also means staying in our 1 bedroom apartment another year, but I feel like this is the best choice for now.

I feel like my DS is growing so fast and I am missing so much. My husband is being supportive but is nervous about being the sole breadwinner.

So give me some good vibes and hints on squeezing pennies. I am already trying to cut monthly expenses and looking for some side work to do at home (customer services, transcription, etc.) to earn some extra dollars.

So have at it and help me feel good about this decision. I am very excited about being a full time mommy!:yay:

Hedy
05-24-2007, 09:53 AM
:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:
Good luck! You might want to look into doing demonstrations (see the massive thread on the BB)-presuming DH works M-F and can watch DS, and extra $70 here and there might fund some extras.

hydster
05-24-2007, 09:54 AM
Just enjoy every second of it! I've been a SAHM for 12 years and while it hasn't always been easy we've somehow managed. I know it's a scary transition! We did it with 1 child, 1 on the way and a brand new mortgage at the age of 24 so yeah it scared the living hell out of us but we made it somehow!

I don't really remember what I did to save $$$ really I just did it but one thing I did do was I bought clothes at the end of one season when they were on clearance for the next year for my kids. Saved a bunch of $$ that way.

A lot of stuff we used in the beginning was generic brand stuff because it was cheaper. I used the dollar store a lot for things like dish soap and bath soap because it was much cheaper than the grocery store.

Sometimes we lived on Top Ramen or Spaghetti because it was much cheaper but we survived it.

welovedisney7778
05-24-2007, 09:55 AM
Congratulations on your decision! You are going to love being home with your little guy! I was in a similar situation when we had our DS two years ago. I worked full time before I had him making almost as much money as my DH, but after having him, I took three months off, and then went back for two half days a week. (My mom watches him those two days) I was sooooo nervous about how the drastic drop in our income was going to work out, but it was fine. We just tightened up a little bit here and there, and it all worked out. Daycare is sooooo expensive, and I'd rather be home with my son myself anyways, so it was the best solution for our family. Don't worry too much, everything will work itself out. Enjoy your time with your adorable little boy!!

MsSpinShady
05-24-2007, 10:00 AM
We have been where you are now, and I can tell you that although it has not always been easy financially, it was the best decision for our family and our kids. Our oldest is graduating from HS next week and will be off to college in the fall and I can tell you that I DO NOT REGRET FOR ONE MINUTE the time I spent with him rather than at work. (We eventually started our own business so we could work from home, but that's a whole 'nother story! :rotfl: )

One of the things you can really take advantage of in your situation without breaking the bank is to find activities in your area that you can do with your ds for free -- libraries (oftentimes they even hold book readings and special events for preschoolers), parks, free outdoor movie nights, biking to school playgrounds, etc. Check your local paper frequently because they often list free local activities.

Try to make sure you have a good support system in place for those times when you get lonely, frustrated or just need to talk to an adult. And remember, those times too, will pass.

I'm sure you will get a lot of excellent budgeting advice from the wise Dis'ers on this board. I just wanted to congratulate you and wish you, your dh and ds the best!!! :grouphug: Have fun! :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

MsSpinShady princess:

Bren's Mom
05-24-2007, 10:23 AM
I work full time and have a 12yo and 1.5yo at home...so I feel your pain! I wish you good luck being a SAHM!!! :cheer2:

teamagic
05-24-2007, 10:28 AM
Congratulations on your decision. When we adopted our daughter, I returned to work so that we could continue to save more money for our second adoption. Even with my mom watching our daughter, we still spent an insane amount of money on take out and other expenses. As soon as we adopted our son and made sure that all of our expenses were paid, I quit my goverment job. It was so scary - giving up the benefits. BUT, After 2 years I can say that the benefit of staying home vs work benefits does not compare. If I went back to work, they would have to pay me double what I made. Children grow up so fast as it is and you can go back to work when they are in school if you want or need to. We were jus talking that once both kids are in school all day I will go back and look for a part time job. However, if we see that it is not cost effective than I will quit. DH is worried that we will get back into the habit of spending money on eating out and take out and my extra money working will go for that and not college funds.

Chicago526
05-24-2007, 10:40 AM
I'm not a SAHM (not even a mom, yet!) but the way I'd approch it is to make saving money my new full time job. Just by being home it will make things easier, you'll be able to cook from scratch, which is usually cheaper than eating out, and healthier too! You won't need nearly as many convienance products like juice boxes and individual snack packs, you'll have time to rinse out that sippy cup and put a handfull of crackers in a zip bag. You'll have time to sit down with the sale flyers to find the best deals and cut coupons. You can go to multiple stores for the best deals rather than do one-stop shoping. You can do all kinds of things, simply because you'll have the time to do it.

My mother was SAHM until I started school, and I remember she had a schedule she stuck to. She'd dust on Monday, vacuum Tuesday, wash bedding on Wednesday (I don't know if that was her exact schedule, but you get the idea). It kept her orgainized, and this way she did a little house work each day, rather than spending one whole day just cleaning. And having a schedule just kept her more, I don't know, structured I guess.

gottagodisney
05-24-2007, 10:58 AM
Congratulations!!! You will not regret your decision! Your child will thank you in so many ways over the years! Thank you for having the courage to make this break. So many people (escpecially women) think that a Mom HAS to work outside of the home in order to make it. My family is a living example that it can be done on one salary. I have been a SAHM for about 10 yrs. now and my husband is a truck driver. He drives locally and is home every night.

The reality is that in order to drive new cars, buy whatever you want, live in a big or newer home with new furniture, etc. it might be that you have to work. If you choose your children over these things then it can be done. We have moved to a rural area where housing costs are much lower.

I went back to work for about one year in order to pay some debt off (so I thought) and it was terrible. Every morning getting ready I dreaded it! You are right about the cost of working. When all was said and done, I practically paid to go to work. With gas, daycare, work clothes, going out to lunch with the group, increased taxes, convenience foods because I wasn't home to cook much, I barely made any money. This was a professional job in my field which requires a license.

If you make some smart budgeting choices and cut back on spending you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

1. Plan out meals and buy generic
2. Do not eat out (including fast food) much- plan for times when you will
3. Make trips out in car inclusive - don't run out for one thing- try to get errands done in one trip.
4. Utilize the library (free video/ dvd rentals)
5. We eliminated cable about 1 yr. ago (kids watch PBS now) instead of junky cable shows. We have an antennae on the house = free!
6. We bought a used very reliable van (Honda Odyssey) 8 years ago and are still driving it -185,000 miles and still running great.
7. Make use of thrift stores for kids clothes and toys on occasions
8. Go to sales at Old Navy, ect. or end of season with one size bigger for the following year.
9. Pack lunches for hubby.
10. DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED to be in the "IN" crowd with Mom's (new everything, trips, kids involved in every sport imaginable, ect.) Most of those people are either inherently wealthy or are living up to their eyeballs in debt!

Bottom line is that Children do know the difference between their parents and a paid employee in the raising of them. No one else can love up your child as much as you and NO ONE can do a better job than you!! I can tell from your post that you can make this work- amen, and bless you and good wishes for your fabulous journey ahead!!

LindyLouWho
05-24-2007, 11:10 AM
I worked for 22yr at same company. Due to misfortuante events in my daughter's life, my husband & I took over custody of my than 6mo old granddaughter. I've always worked, even when my 3 children were small, but I'm enjoying the 1st time in my life without the outside pressure's, just staying at home to raise this child (she's 3yr now).
Do I have regrets? Sure, but I've come to realize with my own children, that they grow up in a flash. This has been such an adventure for me, I'm not missing the 1st time to walk, talk, sing, dance, etc. What magic this is.

Summary: Children don't stay in that category long, you can probably always obtain a new job, but you can't get the missed time with little one's back.

Skatermom23
05-24-2007, 11:22 AM
I have been a SAHM for 16 years! My greatest reward is when my son and daughter tell me how glad they are to have me home! This is coming from teenagers! Just take one day at a time and enjoy the moments!

theparsons
05-24-2007, 11:28 AM
[QUOTE=reggiemcp;18826170]

It also seems as though 85% of my check goes to daycare, lunches, etc. Daycare alone is $1100 a month.
QUOTE]

Congrats on the decision! It's actually not going to be nearly as bad as you think it will be.....you've already figured out that 85% of your paycheck went to expenses you will no longer have! So you only need to find a way to either save or earn that 15% of your salary. Here are some ideas:

1. If he doesn't already, have DH take his lunch to work instead of eating out. Not only will you save a bundle, you can definitely fix things healthier than fast food. At first a lot of people think this is a real hassle and not worth the savings.....but like everything else, once you get a rhythm down it's really pretty easy. We bought a soft sided, insulated lunch bag...the one we have actually expands to two levels if needed. Invest in a couple of "blue ice" to keep things warm if DH doesn't have somewhere at work to refrigerate the lunch. One year my DH had a service job and was in a truck all day long....in Arizona the summer days can get to 110 degrees or more....so finding a way to keep a cool soda and sandwich were important. The insulated bag, with two blue ice did the trick. For safety I didn't do anything with mayo during the summer....but his soda cans were always cold enough for him to enjoy. Now DH's job is inside so he has access to a refrig and a microwave so his options for lunch have expanded, but a little creativity and you can do lunches that he can carry on the job with him.

2. My DH is a soda addict.....he takes 3 cans a day to work, he drinks one with dinner (at least) and another 1 or 2 after dinner. Weekends are worse, lol. This adds up FAST. He relunctantly switched from Coke brand to the Sam's Club brand (sold at Walmart, not Sam's Club, go figure, lol). I say relunctantly because at first he only did it because I insisted either he switch or cut down, and he couldn't see cutting it in half. It took him about 2 weeks before he realized he didn't notice the difference (and he himself admits some of that time was stubbornness more than noticing a difference). At home we now use the 2 liter bottles for his dinner/evening/weekend sodas, because it's 64 cents for a whole bottle. We still get cans for lunch because it goes flat in a thermos.

3. Make snacks...both for your son and for DH's lunch. Stop buying the store bought cookies, candies, and individually wrapped snacks. Even the generic or Little Debbies are more expensive than making your own...and again, you can make healthier if you want. Your son is about the right age to really get a kick out of making cookies, bars, granola, etc. Head over to the library and look up cookbooks to find a variety of ideas. You'll be at home so you finally have time to bake and share it with your son. We also make jello or pudding in those little rubbermaid type containers (the "disposable" ones have lasted at least 2 years already). Let your son stir the jello after you had the hot water (yes it says boiling water, but we have never boiled....just really hot and once you start stirring holding his hand and the spoon it immediately starts cooling down). We make the pudding in the blender and the kids when young argued over who got to push the start button, lol. Again, be creative and your DH won't get bored with the same snacks in his lunch every day.

4. Dinner....stop buying convenience foods...no more frozen dinners or sides, no package dinners. When you were working you didn't have time to make food from scratch, but now you do, and again, can share that with your son. Use fresh veggies not canned or frozen and save a ton of money (just watch that you buy the right amount so you can use fresh before they spoil....you may blow it a few times and realize you've wasted money, but in time you'll get the hang of it and it will save money. Wasted never saves of course!). Check the library for recipes for variety.

5. Meal planning/grocery shopping: I used to spend hours with the Sunday coupons and carrying those containers to the store, ugh! Now I realize that 90% of the things that have coupons are things I shouldn't be buying anyway! Mostly convenience foods and junk. I mostly shop the produce, dairy, meat departments and only venture into the actual aisles of the store for specific things, no more wandering up and down them making impulse purchases. We get the grocery ads on Wednesdays in the mail....I look them over for sales and make my menu plans for the following week based on the sales (or on what I already have). We have a separate freezer, so really good sales I buy extra and freeze, then when the meat sales are poor I can skip that department completely and use what I bought earlier.

6. Cable TV: Stop subscribing, or at the very least, cut down to just the basics. We haven't had cable since the girls were infants (and I realized I never had time to watch, lol). We are picky about what the girls can watch even now (they're almost 11), so TV and Cable were never an option because I didn't want to have to monitor everything. We do have an extensive DVD collection....probably every Disney movie out, lol....plus a lot of the older television series....Little House, etc. Your library likely has a large selection of DVDs for both your son and you/DH to watch. Or if you are really into watching movies and the library doesn't keep up with your needs for new.....join Netflix or Blockbuster. It's under $20 and if you work it right you can have a new movie every day or every other day at least (Blockbuster apparently let's you return the mailed movies in the store and get another movie immediately while you await the next mailed movie). It's still cheaper than Cable! At first some families find it difficult to not have the TV to watch...or channel surf, lol.....but almost all that I've heard who try it out find that after a couple weeks they've come up with other things to do in the evening....and for most it's better quality family time. Your son is young....do things with him in the evening instead of planting in front of the TV and vegging! We homeschool the girls so we simply use the evenings as "daddy teaching" time...he does science experiments, reads with them, puts together puzzles, plays board games, helps them rehearse their latest play or write one, all kinds of great things that really has made for a very close relationship between daddy and girls. I join in sometimes, but that's usually my "me" time, since I'm with the girls all day long.

Ok, this got huge, and I could probably go on longer....it's really not that hard to live on one income if you're willing to give up a few of the unnecessary luxuries, and find creative ways to save money. I worked in the legal field making big bucks, and DH was military making small bucks, lol....when the girls were born and we chose for me to stay home. If we can cut that much from our budget and make it work....almost anyone can!

Julia M
05-24-2007, 11:33 AM
There is a good book (get it from the library) called Miserly Moms, by Jonni McCoy, that will give you some good info

Julia

mickeyfan2
05-24-2007, 11:39 AM
Talk to the coupon lady. She makes lots of money with her coupons.

GJM
05-24-2007, 11:44 AM
I just became a SAHM - my DS is 7 and in lst. grade. We made the move from NJ to SC which gave me this opportunity. Right now I don't miss working, it is so nice not rushing in the morning or rushing thru homework at night. And since we have no family in SC it is nice not to wonder who will watch him when there is no school.

Come Sept. I may look for a PT job or try and do temp work, then when he isn't in school I won't work.

PlaneJoy1
05-24-2007, 11:54 AM
Congratulations!

My DH and I are talking about doing the exact same thing. We hope we can payoff most everything in the next 18 months and make this a reality!!

rhiansmom
05-24-2007, 12:01 PM
Congrats!

I just quit my job on Tuesday and I'm spending the summer at home with my DD. I'm a single parent and my job was our only income but I had been planning this for awhile and saved up enough to cover our expenses. I hated my job and have had 2 nights of wonderful sleep this week!

I know that I'll be able to find something when school starts again so I'm a tad bit nervous.

It may be hard but you have to have your priorities in order and it sounds like you do!

eh24fan
05-24-2007, 02:39 PM
I ended up becoming a SAHM after my son was born in January. The original plan was to go back to my FT job on a PT basis, then they (in reality, my not so nice really happy to find a way to get rid of me boss) decided that my job had to be FT...funny thing is, they just pawned it off on someone else. Nice huh? Anyway, I've been looking for a PT job for a few months now, but I'm being picky and that's ok because we agreed that I could. LOL My SO works 2nd shift and my nearly 7 year old has karate and right now baseball, in the fall flag football. Our goal is to find me a job where I can be home no later than 130pm so I'm home before SO leaves for work. Dream world? So far. LOL Things are pretty tight, but we are making it somehow on his pay.

brandip22
05-24-2007, 02:44 PM
Congrats! DH and I are also working to try to make that a reality for us! Hopefully, I can be in your shoes within the next two years, once the cars are paid off! That's all I work for- to pay for those!! You will love ever minute, I just know!

tinaluis
05-24-2007, 02:54 PM
If being home is what you want to do, then you can make it a priority and make it work for you. Sure, $$ will be a little tight, but it's worth it. DH left the workforce in 2001 to become a SAHD. We had two DDs and another one on the way. It's hard to believe that it's been 6 years. Time has flown by SOOOO fast. $$$ is sometimes tight, but we've managed just fine. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ericamanda01
05-24-2007, 03:10 PM
We don't have kids yet, but a few years ago I left a very good paying job to save my sanity! It was 6 months before we got married. I didn't think we could afford it, but it was amazing how much money I was spending when I was working (lunches, starbucks, clothes, ect.). We ended up with the small wedding and perfect Disney honeymoon we wanted on a budget. I went back to school and haven't regretted it since. It's amazing how well you can stretch a dollar when your doing what you want, in your case being a SAHM.

Blondiex46
05-24-2007, 03:53 PM
I know that daycare is that expensive. If you do it if won't be forever, but you are right that a daycare raising your child during the formative years is heart breaking and if you can stay home then I would. If you have a family member to watch you child that would help but if not it is a problem for some .

mrsmiller
05-24-2007, 05:02 PM
:cheer2: When my kids were babies I used to pay 500.00 a week for day care (4days) I had to pay more because of my hours ( they had to be at the daycare at 5:00am) it was an ordeal, When I had to have surgery I decided to stay at home with them,and to tell you the truth It was the best decision ever!!!Sure I got scarred sometimes but you get creative (like other poster's advised) and in time I realized that it was the best for me, the kids and specially my husband (I was always tired), I got stated on ebay because of this boards(always great advise) , ing's ,sunshine reward, and to me is like a second income that I am making at home...so there is always a way to make a income at home the money that I made pays for my disney trips:cheer2: :cheer2:
linnette

DisneyDizzy
05-24-2007, 05:19 PM
You've gotten great budgeting advice. I just want to say good luck and congratulations! I haven't worked since my son was born. There have been times when there was just NO money. But, it gets better, you learn where to cut money and things you thought were OH SO IMPORTANT become silly luxuries.

Do I sometimes wish i could get my nails done and a pedicure like my friends. Sure. However, I have a nail file, a bottle of hot pink polish and a husband who is a good sport about foot massages. I sometimes miss dressing up and going to lunch. But it is really worth it in the end.

My husband absolutely LOVES having me home and i love it. So, we work through the lean times together. Because I'm home to take care of the house, laundry and yard through the week, we can almost always do something fun like a picnic or camping on the weekends.

reginaastralis
05-24-2007, 05:24 PM
While I didn't quit my job to be a SAHM, I WISH, I did quit one of mine.

I'm a single mom and have been working two jobs since Julie was two months old. Seven days a week, for what seems like ever. I usually took one day off every two months.

Right now, I'm a server, during the "slow" season, but I'm still making just about what I made at my full time job. I'm doing some odd things, customer service at home, plus am about to start cashduck and such to bring in some extra. I'm thinking about substitute teaching in the fall on my days off from serving. I believe a website to look into for you would be wahm . com. The ladies over there are amazing and there is so much info to learn about what you can do at home to make some extra cash.

I think the hardest thing to adjust to was a day off. I've vegged out on the couch for the first time in two years. I feel a little guilty since Julie's at school, but if she didn't go, she'd be pretty angry with me. She really enjoys her school.

The time home has been amazing. My daughter goes to daycare b/c she's really happy there ... so Monday - Wednesday I have the day to myself to grocery shop, do my online duties, mail stuff for ebay and study. I decided to go back to school after leaving my job. Thursday and Friday I work and of course the weekends, when she gets to spend time with her grandparents.

I'm so much more relaxed and you will be too. I've been really good about making dinner everynight, making a list and a meal plan, and planning ahead. Saturday and Sunday are our hardets, but I have Saturday mornings off and we hit up a park or clean together.

It feels great, and I'm really hoping to save enough money to have another one in four years and stay home with both of them.

luvsmickeymouse
05-24-2007, 09:32 PM
:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

pamlet
05-24-2007, 09:34 PM
Congratuations! I think you've made a GREAT decision!

It's exciting ... and as you find ways to cut corners you'll probably find you're spending a LOT on things you don't need.

Convenience foods were the biggest savings for us .. I found if I shopped wisely .. and planned my meals our food bill went WAY down and we are eating SO much healthier - but I'm not CRAZY about it... a frozen pizza here and there ... even cans of spaghettios are in the budget.

I didn't quit my job until my youngest was 14 ... and I truly truly wish I'd done it early one and learn to budget better back then.

ENJOY your time with your son - as others have said they're not little for long...

Plantlady
05-25-2007, 12:33 AM
My budgeting advice would be to add up what you need for everything, food, gas, extras, ect....

Get that money in cash, put it in individual envelopes, then make yourself stick with the budget. That way there's no spending extra money you shouldn't have spent.

For groceries, I make a list of what I need to make a weeks worth of meals, then I stick to the list. No picking up ANYTHING extra. We don't get any junk foods from the store, no chips, soda (and I LOVE soda), cookies, ect... That has saved a bundle for us.

Being a SAHM is wonderful. fortunately my DH and I have working out our schedules thorughout many jobs over the years, and our boys have never been to daycare. Two years ago I finally quit my job, and stayed at home full time. I'm now back to working just weekends, for some extra vacation money, but it is a delightful thing, to be there for your son.

Good luck!

kaf7878
05-25-2007, 07:01 AM
I also quit working in a similar situation to yours (thought this was about 7 yrs ago). We took a 60% drop in our income but somehow it has all worked out (DH is a teacher so his income is not super high either).

The BIGGEST thing for you to so is STAY OUT OF THE STORES!!!!! When you become a SAHM you will have a lot of time on your hands and it is easy to use that time to hang out at the mall/target/etc. All my firends agree that this is the biggest budget cruncher out there. You say yours going to "look" and end up spending $50-100 on whatever. Just don't go!

And I agree about finding a playgroup of like-minded moms. My first playgroup was moms in a very different financial situation than I and it just didn't feel right. I joined another playgroup of other budget-conscious moms and it was great!

Good luck!

Kickapoo Joie Juice
05-26-2007, 11:46 AM
I was a SAHM for 9 years, just went back part time while the kids are in school.

I LOVED being a SAHM, but let me tell you, it was tougher than any high powered job I held beforehand!

You can do it, though, just take it one day at a time, remember that, like any other job, you don't start out being an expert, and to allow yourself time to learn and grow as a SAHM.

I recommend getting a TiVo, that way you can schedule watching TV, I found that I would watch too much at first because I didn't want to 'miss' shows.

Having them taped allowed me to get a lot of things done and then sit down, kick up my feet, and watch an episode of "America's Next Top Model" at 10:30 in the morning guilt free with a cup of tea while the babies napped. :laughing:

And while I recognize that this may not be budgeting, you also have to remember that if you don't pamper yourself every now and then, you'll crack. I stay out of Target now, but man, I love my Tivo! I do my own pedicures (who's looking that closely at your toes, anyway?)

I try and do things that I enjoy, not that look good for the neighbors. That will get you every time, because there's always a richer SAHM out there. Stay away from the bored ones; they're trouble.

As I tell my husband, I'm not a Jones, I'm a Clampett!

lajones81
05-26-2007, 01:53 PM
Congratulations on your decision!! :) At our school, a number of parents work part-time in the office and cafeteria. Not sure if this is the type of part-time work you will be looking for, but thought I would put the idea out there as a suggestion. Best of luck to you on your new journey! :)

luvsmickeymouse
05-26-2007, 05:02 PM
Congrats!

I just quit my job on Tuesday and I'm spending the summer at home with my DD. I'm a single parent and my job was our only income but I had been planning this for awhile and saved up enough to cover our expenses. I hated my job and have had 2 nights of wonderful sleep this week!

I know that I'll be able to find something when school starts again so I'm a tad bit nervous.

It may be hard but you have to have your priorities in order and it sounds like you do!

I am a single parent also, my kids are almost grown but I have always wanted a summer off. I drive a bus so I have the summer off but I end up having to drive for summer camps and stuff like that for income. I am working at a florist also, that is strictly vacation money, but I would love a summer off.

Working for the school was so good for me, I didn't want my kids in day care, they both have medical needs, and I was home whenever they were.

I love my job but I hate the company that I drive for. One more year, my youngest will be out of high school and then I am going to drive for someone else.

I hope you have a fun summer off. Enjoy!