Floored, I am absolutely floored. I have spent the last 4 or 5 days running circles in my head, circles of frustration, just looking for an answer, an escape, hell even just some clarity. You see my wife and I have 2 kids. I have been the one working outside the home for dollars the past 3 or so years. I specifically said it this way, because I don’t want to call attention to my role in saying it is more important. Because it is not, the roles that my wife and I fill are very different and both very needed. She stays home and manages the children and the household and I bring in the dollars. We are on the same team. We just lead very different days. Living on 1 income with 4 mouths to feed is stressful, there are no weeks that go by that I/we feel ahead. It always feels like we are behind the 8 ball. I am not saying this for sympathy, but just for perspective.
My wife has been wanting to start working. To both of us this is a huge thrill. Triple win, we got more money, I might be able to not have 14 hour days, Mama gets out of the house to work a bit. Its perfect! She got an offer that was very reasonable for a the position she was applying for. So we were good. She would take the job and all of our worries fade away. HA! She then inquired what child care would cost. Unbelievable! It basically would take up her entire salary. So she works 40-50 hours a week, and takes on all the headaches that entails, and then our girls don’t get to spend time with their mother (negative). Then she gets home in the evening tired from a day of work, and the girls want to be fed and nursed, and then they have baths and then to go to bed (this takes an hour). Most nights she doesn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours total and definitely not in a row. In 3 years I am not sure she has slept one night. Oh yeah, then we have to spend time together, because we have a marriage too. Then try to sleep. So then how do you work the next day. The answer is I don’t know. And it sure doesn’t feel even close to what we thought in the beginning.
All I want is for my wife not to be tired, and feel vibrant about what she is doing. She has goals personally and goals professionally that I want her to reach. I want her to feel fulfilled and accomplished. And to be honest staying home with children, it is easy to get caught up in the monotony. I would be crushed if I had her role. It’s not that you don’t love your kids, or that you are a bad parent, its just adults like and need to interact with adults now and then. Having 2 under 2 doesn’t always allow for this time. And then when the time finally unveils itself, you may not even want to go. All I want is for my girls to spend time with their mother. All I want is to spend more time with my family. All I want is to not sweat bills. What we have is trade-offs, everything is taking away from the other. And it damn sure doesn’t feel like an equal sum game.
There are a lot of damn issues here.
How do you raise children, when child care and/or tuition are similar numbers to a decent salary per year?
Who works? Do you just follow the dollars?
How do you keep your passions alive when you are raising children?
How do you navigate a marriage and children?
How do you stay grounded and sane?
I am among the learners. I am amateur status and figuring it out. My mind is blown by this whole deal. I feel like doing the thing that looks like more money equals way less quality and way more headache. Parenthood, there is a lot of adulting going on right now. Feel free to chime in with ideas, or what works for you. Feel free to answer any of the questions.