M.A. asks from Caldwell, NJ on October 17, 2011
Hubby Miserable in Chosen Career...
Hey Mama's.... I need some help/advise here.. Major issue.. Hubs is miserable in his chosen profession.. I'm a stay at home mom of 4 (8 year old daughter, 7 year old son, 2 year old daughter, 1 year old son).. The career he wants to try to get into would cut his income literally in half or more! If I go back to work it would only, at best, cover the cost of childcare hence nothing would go toward the expenses etc that we would no longer be able to afford. We would have to leave our home which enables each child to have their own room, out town in which we have come to love, My daughter would have to quit gymnastics.. Nobody would be able to get the kids to all of their activities bc I will be at work. Never-mind affording clothes, bday parties, Christmas etc etc etc!
I want him to be happy but how could i condone a choice that would so negatively impact the rest of our family. I'm torn between a miserable husband and the well being of the family that we CHOSE to have. Am I wrong in thinking that he is being extremely selfish!?
If anyone has been in this situation, please please help me with some good advise on how to handle this!
So What Happened?™
just to Add.. As I do agree that kids these are given waayyyy to much and appreciate NOTHING, my daughter is a competitive gymnast, very talented (sometimes unfortunately.lol) its a major time and monetary commitment.. And no, doubling up the kids would not be an issue at all but leaving our community, town etc would.. Trust me, scaling back is not my issue being I grew up with the bare minimums. But also in that sense I wasn't given ANY opportunities, sports, music, birthday parties etc etc, . Having my children not have to go through that is what is most important to me bc to this day I have resentments bc of lost opportunities.
Also, the career he wants to get into is law enforcement.. he is already 36 years old.. Its a very age sensitive occupation to start in.
Too add.. I am in no way selfish. And my kids don't have a ton of "extras".. i clip coupons. purchase only what's on sale... PUrchase my clothes at target so my kids can have nicer things..
Regarding my daughters gymnastics.. she is definitely on the olympic path and/or a scholorship at the very least. I wouldnt be putting this much time and money into the sport if it was something she literally lives and breathes.. Its just tough.. Not to mention the hubs wants to got mixed martial arts classes 4 times a week! not gonna happen .. He wants to drive a bmw, gonna have to get rid of it.. Not for nothing, he's the one with champaigne taste.. I try to keep him grounded being w have grown up in two very very different lifestyles..
B.C. answers from Los Angeles on October 17, 2011
I worked in a job I hated for 23 years so I could take care of my family financially. I liked the job for the first year or so then wished I had a different job. As it turned out If I had changed jobs when I wanted to, I would have taken a pay cut too, but over the years would probably have done very well later on and would have had a much better retirement.
I was really good at my job (I made #1 in the nation), but the pay stayed stagnant for years and years.
I joined law enforcement at age 53, almost 54. If he is 36 and can pass the physical and mental requirements I would suggest he go for it. Many jobs in law enforcement have NO overtime, BUT many jobs in law enforcement have LOTS of overtime. He can research what the job he wants has. If it has lots of overtime, then he can make up for some of the lowered salary with overtime.
HOWEVER, You say you think he is "being extremely selfish" to want to be in a job he likes. Why should he be miserable so your kids that "are given waayyyy too much and appreciate NOTHING" can have things they feel "entitled" to? You have said right here you want your kids to grow up not appreciating the things you couldn't have and its ok for your husband to be miserable so your kids can have stuff and things they don't appreciate. WRONG< WRONG< WRONG ! ! !
It appears there are selfish and self-centered people in your house. FIVE of them. And none of them are your husband.
Your husband was there before the kids. He will be there after the kids have grown up and gone. Your first priority should be your husband. His first priority should be you. You should be more focused on your husband instead of your children that don't appreciate what you are doing for them and what you have already done for them.
You are apparently trying to raise brats. Change things around so that you are raising children that appreciate the things you and your husband provide for them.
Learn to be frugal. Give up the filet mignon and rib eyes and be happy with sirloin. Give up the organic chicken breast filets and buy bone-in, skin on chicken breasts. Learn to shop the sales at grocery stores. Learn to cook from scratch. The USDA says the AVERAGE family spends $25 per person per week on groceries. How are you doing?
I'm NOT attacking you. I think you have an wonderful opportunity to support your husband. I hope you take it.
ADDED: I hope you didn't miss the part where I said, "Your first priority should be your husband. His first priority should be you. " Some of my critics apparently did.
Good luck to you and yours.
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J.B. answers from Atlanta on October 17, 2011
You and hubs need to sit down and carefully go over a budget and what could be cut and factor in the cost of living where you would be moving. Do they not have any gymnastics or extra-curricular activities where you would be going? It's very important to me as well to give my kids the opportunity to be involved in extra sports, clubs and activities, but look at it carefully. Many programs like the YMCA have GREAT kids teams that are very inexpensive (or sometimes subsidized and free). Your two youngest really have no need for any extra-curricular activities. City parks, hikes in the woods, hooking up with an area playgroup -that's all they need.
Is your daughter REALLY into gymnastics? Does she live and breathe it? If not, you may want to suggest trying something else. And like I said -are you sure there would be no gymnastics where you moved? Is she on track to go to the Olympics or do this competitively for the next 10 years and get a scholarship? It really may not be the end of the world for her to quit or cut back on gymnastics. She is only 8, and it's not like you're telling a 9th grader who is shooting to get that scholarship or has a chance at Olympic trials that she suddenly has to give it all up.
Birthday parties don't have to cost a fortune! People over-schedule kids at parties. I've had numerous parties here at our house and we only had some snacks, cake, ice cream and the "theme" plates and stuff. The kids just ran around and played and LOVED it! I've had kids on several occasions tell me the parties were the best they'd ever been to (probably because they weren't made to watch a performance, do a craft or anything -they just had freedom to play). Last Sunday we had my 3 year old's party at a nice local park and invited his preschool class. There were about 18 kids having the time of their little lives and we had cupcakes (I made), a few snacks, drinks and the theme party ware. It cost about $70 total.
As far as clothes -we can afford really nice clothes for our kids, and in my opinion, we DO get them really nice and cute clothes, but they're from outlets, super-sales, consignment sales/stores and swaps and hand-me-downs from friends. Again -your 8 year old daughter may be moving into the years of "must-have clothing" -but your others shouldn't be there yet. Cut other areas of your budget if you feel like they have to have certain brands of shoes or jeans or something. Check into the new town's school system to see if they require uniforms and if so, if it's just a certain style and color of tops and bottoms. If so, you will save tons of $$$ on clothes! If they have to come from a special uniform shop -probably not.
Each kid with a personal bedroom -not needed. My boys have their own rooms and we're putting them in one room this Christmas and turning the other into a play room/study area because they wind up in the same bed every night anyway and want to room together. Millions of children have grown up sharing a room, so it will be okay and help prepare them for college and roommate living on into their 20s.
And you're right about childcare and afterschool care costs for 4 kids. I only have two, but I do work full-time and so does my husband and my kids go to lots of activities, have birthday parties, attend parties, etc. They're not shorted on anything like that at all! Most of the parents I know work full-time and their kids aren't missing out either. Starting in kindergarten, the kids will be in afterschool care, and there are usually several extra-curricular activities offered for very low cost (or free). I don't know what your career and educational backgrounds are, but start sniffing around -especially if you haven't worked outside the home in awhile. You may be able to take something part-time that would only break even for you, but at least once the youngest is in school, you'll be set to get a job that will bring extra income.
I don't blame you for feeling ill toward your husband. Talk to him about several things -how long has he felt this way? Has something happened on this particular job to turn him sour? What about the same job/field at a different company? He does have to take into account the happiness of his family. Has he truly thought about what it will mean to cut the income so drastically AND move? Does he realize how much HE may need to give up (cable or satellite tv, nights with the boys, any extra stuff he likes such as video games or being on a softball team or woodworking -that type of thing)? Take a pen and paper and REALLY spell out everything. You may be surprised where you can cut lots of costs, but if it's really just not going to work, he's going to have to find some other solution. And another thing he needs to consider -if he's going to become a police officer (you just said law enforcement, so I don't know) -he will spend some time at the beginning on the worse shifts (nights, weekends, holidays). Is that going to work for your family? Just try to stay calm and not let discussion dissolve into fights. It may help to see a counselor together just to talk through this chapter in your lives so you don't start fighting about it constantly. Good luck!
3 moms found this helpful
H.M. answers from Denver on October 17, 2011
Hmm...my husband was in a similiar situation about 2 years ago - he'd been in his field for 15 years and while he loved the work the environment was incredibly toxic and was literally destroying him and ruining our marriage in the process. We all felt trapped - he made really good money and we'd gotten used to the lifestyle. I ended up getting preg with our second - and joined a water aerobics class. There I met another mom - we became friends - and after talking for a few weeks realized her husband and mine had a lot in common - especially career wise - and he ended up hiring my husband for a job at his company. Net net - put out into the universe what you are seeking - be open to any potential opportunties - and wait. Sometimes you get exactly what you need at just the right time if you are open to receiving it...good luck.
3 moms found this helpful
J.W. answers from St. Louis on October 17, 2011
We give our kids so much these days I think we are losing sight of what is important. Do you think your kids will be scarred for life if they have to share a room? Do you remember that you became great adults without having all the bells and whistles that kids have today?
I am not saying you are being selfish I just wonder if you lost sight of what is really important. One member of the family shouldn't be miserable just so everyone else has everything they want.
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✤.J. answers from Dover on October 17, 2011
You know, we actually are going through something similar to you except for us it's to get him OUT of law enforcement. We're at a standstill right now with the whole thing, but I can tell you absolute certainty that given the way this job has affected him personally I would happily give up any sort of physical "stuff" (assuming we can afford a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothing, you know, the norm) to ensure he's happy & satisfied with his career.
For me, my job is not satisfying, but it's also not really that important to me to be honest. I work to help support my family & our lives, I don't live for my work. Not everyone is like that though & in my experience, more so for men, their jobs are their lives. I do not think you being upset is wrong, but I also do not think he's being extremely selfish. As long as your family is taken care of (and that is an absolute possiblity on a cop's salary if you're able to budget) and he's coming home happy every day in my mind that completely outweighs having a bunch of uneccesary extras & him being miserable.
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A.F. answers from Fargo on October 17, 2011
I read through the responses and I have to say that I completely disagree with 8kidsdad that you are selfish!!!! I understand that you desire security and that doesn't make you selfish! I understand that you want to stay home with your young children, and that doesn't make you selfish!
We all have to do things we don't like to do for the good of our families. Your husband is no exception. Guess what? I have to do things every day that I don't enjoy, but they benefit my family. I can either be miserable or not. It's your husband's choice to be miserable or not. I am choosing to be happy and do a good job even though it's a LOT of work and stress for me.
You and your husband need to talk this out for a few months and not make any hasty decisions. A career change will affect the whole family and he needs to carefully consider that he MAY be miserable in law enforcement too.
It's funny that people don't think your husband should be unhappy in his job, but they are completely willing to tell you that you had better do what it takes to make HIM happy, even if you are miserable. It's a double standard!!!!! You and your husband are a team and need to share the joys as well as the burdens of being adults and raising a family.
I wish you peace in what you and your husband decide!
Edit* Yes, I was critical of 8kidsdad's post and I did NOT miss the part where he said that your husband's priority should be you, but that was overshadowed by the part where he called you and your young children selfish, accused you of raising brats, assumed that you spend your money foolishly and excessively and, in writing that,essentially removed responsibility from your husband and put it on you.
Husbands and wives should not only consider themselves, either. We have a responsibility to foster the abilities of our children too. Since your daughter is a talented gymnast, you are right to take into consideration that she would be cut off from Olympic contention if you had a significant income reduction.
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C.P. answers from Columbia on October 17, 2011
Two years ago, I quit my job to go back to school to get ready for medical school.
I'm back at work now.
It's not because I don't want to follow my dreams to be a doctor anymore, it's because my kids are (nearly) 9 and 10...and I was not able to be a good parent to them while I was in school. I had no time for them and no money.
I realized that I can chase wild goose for the rest of my life...but I CAN'T get my kids' childhood back.
So until my kids graduate and get into college, I am Mom first and foremost. Because I want to build memories for them while they're under my roof.
What I'm inferring here is not that your hubby CAN'T follow his dreams, but that he needs to find a way to do it that does not create chaos in your home for your kids. "Stuff" isn't necessary for happiness, but BEING THERE is.
Best of luck!
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L.M. answers from New York on October 17, 2011
So tough! I don't know if there's a way a change of jobs or a slightly different focus within his profession could help make him happier? I do think law enforcement people usually start much younger bc they start with such low pay, so that by the time a man would be your husband's age he'd be able to support a family of 6!
I'm so sorry I don't have a good answer for you.
I definitely would want him to be happy. We spend most of our lives at work...if you didn't like being a SAHM, I would want you to get a job. I do think it is a very difficult decision and needs a good plan.
Maybe you and he could get a sitter for a weekend and go away and really just talk about it and look at all the possible options out there? Sorry I can't be more helpful. This is a tough one!
I also grew up with no money for any extras. We had a small 800 sf apartment (co-op - since you're from Jersey you know what that is!) and it was 3 kids. We had food on the table, clothes and Christmas presents. Don't get me wrong, it is not a Dickens novel. But we had NO MONEY for extra curricular lessons unless they were free. I wanted acting lessons and singing lessons and dance lessons and could never afford these.
It is a regret of mine. I do understand some kids get way too much but I do not get from your post that you're a big Joneser. You have a happy family. You are settled in your community and your daughter is really good at her sport. Good for you - you should not have to give up everything.
Then hubby will be happy in his career while you and the 4 kids suffer. Not cool. Has to be the best decision for the 6 of you.
Good luck, I feel for you. I would love to know what happens!
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