Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Money Matters

I often read about stay at home moms who feel like they don't have any money of their own.  This stems from the fact that they don't bring a physical paycheck into the relationship and their husbands do.  So therefore, in their minds, the money is not theirs. 

Other times I hear about moms who choose to work because they don't want to rely on someone else to support them.  Or they want money of their own.

Before you flame me, I have only the highest regards for working moms. I honestly don't know how you all do it. Working full time and still having time and energy for your kids. All moms are amazing when they are working to provide the best life for their children. But having me work full time isn't what is right for our family. And so I stay at home, happily, thankfully.

When Jon and I were married, we combined everything.  We both had full time jobs and full time salaries.  We didn't make exactly the same, but we shared everything equally.  This didn't end when we had our first child and I quit my job.

Now, I am a stay at home mom.  I have not brought a paycheck into this house in over 7 months.  I brought a minimal salary in from my part time jobs for the 6 years before that. 

I still feel like the money in the bank is mine as much as it is Jon's.  He agrees.

See the thing is Jon goes to work five days a week.  He also teaches a night class one night a week during the school year.  During the summer he teaches summer school half days.  For all of this he brings home a paycheck.  The money that keeps the roof over our heads, the heat on in the winter, the food in the refrigerator.  It puts the clothes on our backs and the gas in our cars. 

I could go on but I am sure you get the point.

But what I do is equally important to our family.  I make sure that those clothes end up on the kids each day and that the food winds up in their bellies.  I make sure that the gas in the car is used to get the kids to school, doctors appointments, playdates, libraries, dentists and wherever else they need to go.  

Added to that I save our family money by not working.  By not working we have no daycare costs.  There are no issues when a child is sick and someone needs to be at home with them.  I am able to take time most days (not all, I'm not supermom ya know!) to make three relatively healthy meals.  Jon is able to go to work each morning and stay after when he needs to without us working to try to figure out how the kids will get to school or who will be here when they get home.

As for relying on Jon, of course I do. He is my husband and my best friend.  If I was working I would still rely on him fully.  In our case, yes I do rely on him to "bring home the bacon" so to speak (although since I grocery shop I technically bring home the bacon, but I digress).  But he relies on me as well.  He relies on me to keep our home functioning so that he doesn't come home at the end of the day to a laundry list of things to do (well at least 95% of the time he doesn't, again I am no supermom!).  He has mentioned in the past how would certain things get done if I worked full time.  I responded that he would be doing more of the housework obviously.  So although I do rely on him financially, he relies on me as well. 

What I do may not be measured in dollars and cents (although this fun tool could tell you how much I really "earn" each year).  And that is okay.  I am still just as vital to our family as Jon is.  What I do is important, just as what he does is important.  And that means we share things equally.  Which includes the money in our bank.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I feel the same way about our money. It has always baffled me when I hear woman feeling guilty about the money not being theirs and when they exclaim that they are looking forward to going back to work so they can have money of their own. Great post thanks for sharing, I don't feel so alone now.