Deciding to be SAHM...long explanation


I wanted to get advice from people on this site as part of my discernment process for a decision I have to make. Me and DH have talked with both our families and continue to as circumstances change but I would like to ad opinions of poster that may have gone through this kind of thing or know someone. Different perspectives are very useful, especially looking in from outside. I feel I get so caught up in the middle that I lose sight of what I’m trying to accomplish…anyway here is my situation.

My DH and I have one son (1 year old) and baby #2 on the way, due in July. We made some pretty unwise decisions that have put us where we are now. We moved to another city away from home so I could start working with my degree, shortly after we got married. We both had jobs and then we found out I was pregnant. Now being a first time mom, I have never really thought about what it truly was to be a mom. It certainly does change my perspective on life and so I have changed a lot and our previous decisions have not helped us to be where I’d like to be now that I am a mom. Well when we found out I was pregnant we decided to buy a house. Our situation in our apt was just not good, no good neighbors, cops always around, people under us yelling and screaming and lots of breakins. So at the time I thought it was the best thing, which it probably was…BUT we ended up buying more house than we can now afford. We were fine on 2 incomes but then my husband hurt his ankle and had to stay home on disability for about 3 months. At this same time we had recently had the baby and we were both realizing that we did not want to put him in daycare and that I shoudl stay home with him and just be a full time mom. Now things cannot happen automatically so we realize that we need to plan. So since DH was already home from work he watched the baby and his job ended up having to replace him since he was out so long. So we thought ok this is a sign from God because I had been debating on if I needed to quit to be home or what. I literally spoke to God that one particular day and begged for a sign because I did not know what to do. And that day doc called my husband and said, “nope you can’t work anymore, you need to stay home”…bingo! So now it is about a year later and DH is still home with baby.

Now I really feel called to stay home. I feel that God has planned a large family for us, I don’t know why but I have this huge inner craving to be a mom full time. I want to raise my kids and concentrate fully on raising them as saints and being a bigger part of their lives. But I make the most money because I am an engineer, and we are in this huge house (as we intended on having many kids to grow into it but never thought we wouldn’t put them in daycare). And so my income is the only one that will pay for the house. We also have some debt that I plan on having paid off by July, which will help us live off a smaller income when DH can find a good job. So we have been trying to be wise and preparing our lives to be in the best possible financial state for me to stay home.

So here is the problem…we want to move back to our home city, not too far from here, because we have no family here and have to travel much if we want to see paretns and let them have a relationship with their grandchildren. But we feel we are stuck in this house. For one the market is so ****** that selling seems almost impossible. For two, we are in a brand new neighborhood and we are competing with the builder if we sell (who wants a used home when they can get a custome built brand new one from the builder). Also we have only been in this house 1 year so there is no equity in it. If we sell, we are most likely looking at losing (or owing the bank) about $15k in the end. I feel like if we do that, we have just set ourselves back from all the hard work I have been doing to get rid of the debt we use to have. Now I realize that my children are more important than these other things but I dont’ know God’s will and obviously have to pray about it but it is just so hard. I cant’ see God wanting me to put our family in $15k worth of debt to be home with my kids. I keep thinking he’ll provide a way but I just don’t see it. DH is trying to get a job in hometown that will pay as much as mine does now. It is the ONLY job that will pay this much and is what we are hoping for. He won’t know if he gets the job or not until about July when we are having the baby. If he gets the job we will see that as a sure sign to move and do all the right things, but if not, how long do I wait until I have to stay home with my babies? I mean the time will never be PERFECT. So I know I need to be home but I just don’t know what to do about this house? That is so much money. I just keep praying that something will chcange in the market or someone will buy our home, but just seem so unlikely. And as long as we are in this house, it is eating up all my money and DH could not find a job that woudl keep us in it. And then the fees associated with selling and then buying another one or even getting an apt. It just seems that no matter what we do it is all going to cost money money money…that we don’t have.

Sorry this is so long but anyone who has been through these kinds of decisions please give your adivce or what you did or went through. Soemtimes I read of someone’s situation and think, wow, my situation is nothing compared to that, but then again I’m still leaving to work everydaywhile my son throws fit about me leaving and it tears me apart. But leaving a job is just such a big deal and then selling a house is too I don’t want to just go off emotion. I have to be prepared and do it right. God bless and thanks for any advice offered.


Sounds like it’s your call to do it. And why might not God want you to incur debt in the meantime? Aren’t there other families with much more debt than that? True, you don’t see a way out, but fortunately, whether or not we can see God’s plan doesn’t count. :slight_smile: My advice comes from someone with no experience having kids or a spouse, but I think you’re wanting to stay at home with the kids is far more beautiful than $15k could ever be.

Hopefully someone more financially experienced with families can advise you as well. Maybe just visit a bank where they do mortgages and personal banking what options you might not have considered!


This is something your DH and you need to decide on your own.

Since you asked, and you did ask:

1.) God expects us to use our talents in different situations as best we can. The Church does not take a stand against your working, particuarly when your husband can’t. Right now, you need to work to keep food on the table and lights on in the house. No matter your longing to stay at home with your kids, you* are* the bread winner right now. Don’t screw things by acting on a sudden urge to quit. God does provide, and He also provides common sense. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your hubby being Mr. Mom until he can work, or even after. Maybe he could get a job soon in your present area. I am sorry that you don’t get to stay home with this one right now, and probably not with the little one coming in July. You should be very proud of yourself for providing for your family. If you were my daughter, I would be VERY proud of you!! Smart girl!! Keeps the beans on the table and the lights on, and the roof over the head that holds the lights and the table!! Goes to work consistently!!! :thumbsup:
2.) I would not move unless you had money saved up for the move (no going into debt to move), and your house was sold or rented. You’re right, a house in a new sub is harder to sell than a house in an old sub, where everything is already sold. Live and learn. Remember that in renting the house, you are still responsible for the upkeep should anyhting break, and you will have to shag back to check on things. There is also renting to the right people. You might have to shag back to collect rent if your new tenants don’t pay on time. Tenants can do somevery awful things to homes. I have been a landlord. It can be extremely unpleasant.
3.) You are away from family, but do you realize that you do not have to provide on-call grandchildren for your parents and in-laws? It has to be a two-way street. You should not have to be the ones who always travel to see them. Let them come to see you, too.

I couldn’t understand when my DH and first married, why his parents would not come to visit, why we had to be the ones who always visited. They all cheerfully loathe flyover country! He actually said, “Why do you think I didn’t visit there that much when I was single?” Now, we don’t as often, and we don’t feel badly about it.

Everything might not be as rosey as you remember. People change. Things change. Things that brought you to your present city might be clouded by good memories or even a good trip home.

You and your hubby need to sit down with paper and pen, or digits and screen, and write out three different scenarios of what would happen if you moved home. The first should be rosey, what you two consider the perfect happening of moving back home. The second should be dark, with all the faults and foibles of the relatives and their present lifestyles popping out in the details. Be sure to include any relatives with addictions, prediliections, or just plain odd habits. Does your Dad golf everyday? Work everyday? Your Mom work after years of being at home? Do they really want to help you raise your kids, or be grandparents (there is a BIG difference)? Combine the two, and that is probably what moving “back home” will be. It will be a lot more realistic than that rosey homecoming with the bluebirds and Bambi coming out to greet you at the town limits ala Disney.

I f I sound harsh, it is because I have lived a lot of life, or so it seems to me, more than my fair share.


There is a lot of wisdom in the post above I won’t repeat–but would highlight NOT going into debt unnecessarily and not building up unrealistic expectations about family/grandparent interest or involvement by moving.

I worked when my two oldest were babies/toddlers/preschoolers and had the benefit of a wonderful live-in nanny who was with us for years. Guess what…kids don’t remember much before the age of 4-5 (do you?). Now I am home FT, an active volunteer in their schools, go to their games, host playdates, know all their friends, am available to drive, chaperone, etc. It is a great time to be a SAHM!


I was in the same boat. When DH and I got married, we weren’t Catholic, we didn’t want children, and we both were happily working.

Meanwhile, God was happily working on our hearts, and the desire to have children was the first thing He accomplished in us.

So here I am, with a baby I adore, crying every single day that I have to pay someone else for the privilege to raise her. However, we lived in Detroit at the time, in a house right outside city limits, which no one would ever buy, and we BOTH needed to work to keep the darn thing.

We did the only thing we could (only we didn’t know we were doing it at the time): we threw ourselves onto God’s mercy. Within 2 years of having our baby, God provided DH with a chance to transfer to MS, which would mean I could stay home since the cost of living was so much cheaper, AND DH’s company would buy the house for us if it didn’t sell.

It was truly God’s work in God’s time.

Ask yourself what is God calling you to do? If He’s calling you to stay at home, maybe He’s not calling you to do so back in your hometown. If He’s calling you to move closer to your parents for the sake of their relationship with the kids, maybe He’s not asking you to stay at home.

Discern carefully, ask of guidance from the Holy Spirit, and don’t try to force God into a box of your making. It won’t work.

Best of luck


Thanks for this post. I truly agree with you which is why we haven’t made any rash decisions, since the last rash decisions we made :blush: . I know what God is calling me to do. But I also know it has to be on HIS terms and not mine. I know I need to be home but it is determing the best time that is so hard. There are always going to be circumstances that are less than perfecft but I just know that God will provide at the right time. I also know that he gave us a brains and I have common sense to use and cant’ fly off emotion. I am very thankful that DH is such a great man and father. He is great with DS but he also feels he shoudl be providing and is looking for “the right” job everyday. He has applied to several and has not gotten a bite yet. But we know that we will know when it is right. But we also understand that God expects us to try and to look for ways to make it happen. I know that God doesn’t expect me to just keep going with my life ignoring this problem and expecting He will take care of ALL of it. I have to do my part and actually allow Him to lead me to the right decision. And you just never know where that decision may come from. Which is why I’m asking for wisdom, advice and different perspectives.

Thank you all for your posts. There are things that have been said that are very wise. We have put it in God’s hands (the worry that is) but are still always open to suggestions in case we don’t see something that might be right in front of us. :slight_smile: Please keep the suggestions or advice coming. They only help us to get a clearer picture from a different point of view.


Hi Jennifer:) I will keep you and your family in my prayers…It’s an amazing thing–when it is God’s will–all the people, places and circumstances all get maneuvered (by God) in just the right positions to move us to what He wants us to do. If this is God’s will for your life, things will move quickly…so hang on! I have feeling everything will work out sooner than later. When my husband and I started tossing the idea about moving to Florida around a few years ago–the last thing in the world that I thought would happen–happened. My company (mgmt) came to me and offered me the same position–more money–a promotion–to relocate to Florida! Hubby has a better job, now…and everything worked out. I didn’t even worry, oddly enough. When it’s God’s will and timing–it all just comes together. I think it’s great that you and your dh want to have a large family–and I will keep you in my prayers.:slight_smile:


This is truly sickening. Children know to whom they are attached, and who cares for them. They know who makes them feel safe and loved. Whether they can give you cognitive memories of that time at a later age means NOTHING. The idea that parents can (and even should) be replaced by place-holders is an extreme leap in social “development.” People wonder why children and teens have so many behaviors that look like attachment disorders today…gee, I wonder. Could it be because their parents have literally no respect for the uniqueness of the parent-child bond? (Re-read what you typed. That is how it sounds.) Below a certain age they’re not REALLY people, so we don’t have to respect their needs? You seem to be saying here that since young children have limited cognitive abilities, and cannot tell us what they want or need, then any old person, even a stranger, is fine. Sounds like Peter Singer…shudder As for children not remembering before the age of 4 or 5…totally not true. I vividly remember hating my “daycare provider” and begging tearfully every morning not to be left with her. We left her care when I was very young, so I know I was below 4 when I started the begging.

To the OP…houses can be sold, job hours can be negotiated, but you and your children can NEVER get those baby years back! And they ARE important. They set the foundation for everything else. This used to be such universal social wisdom that no one questioned it. Now we actually have debates over whether babies need their mothers. :shrug: This is progress?


I personally think it’s great you think you want to stay home. If God wants that, he will show you.
BUT: I also believe that if Dad is home now, maybe that’s where he should be. I think if either parent can stay home, then that is good.

I to was working FT as was my husband. I had my first child and wanted to stay home, kind of. But it never dawned on me that I could. My husband and I had this big lovely house built. We were doing well. THEN. I was pregnant again. But my job had insurance so I kept working. I kept feeling pulled to stay home. I felt God saying “you need to trust me, stay home, and homeschool”. I just kind of brushed it off, but still I wanted it as well. Then one day my SIL (who we traded sitting services with) moved 1 hour away. Then we went through 4 sitters in 4 months. 2 were friends who either found jobs or went to school FT. 1 was a lady I found SLEEPING while my children lay on the couch in the pitch black. She then comes in yelling for them to lay back down, 15 minutes after I arrived and was getting them ready to go. 1 was very nice lady, who decided she could handle her kids and my kids with her heart condition.
Every door I had was closing. So my husband and I said “okay God” and I put in my notice to work. I gave them 1 month, because my friend was on winter break and she kept them.
I’ve been home for over 1 year now and I love it. God has provided. It’s hard and we had to cut back, but it’s worth it. We are now at a point where we think we should sell the house, but with the market. shrug So for now, we are just managing until God shows us the way

So my advice: Don’t fight with God. Don’t brush him off. If he wants this, he will show you.


Dusky sometimes your lack of tact just makes me cringe.

In the OP’s situation the child is with his father not a “placeholder”. Fathers are not second rate parents nor just pay check providers. Sometime we have to make hard choices, we can’t always have things exactly as we’d like them. The children will not be in daycare they will be with their father who loves them. Under the circumstances I think that is the best option at this time.


Thank you everyone for your advice. I agree that the babies need their mothers 100% which is why we are in this dilemma. I will be home eventually as I know it is the right thing to do, the question is just when is that right time. I too disagree that children are not affected by the early years just because they don’t remember anything.

I think one of my problems is that I have a hard time determing if my reservations are just me being plain “scared” of not knowing or if they are there for me to actually prevent me from doing something that will get our family into more trouble somehow. I have a good job with good pay and I know I eventually need to leave it and settle for less pay with DH. I realize I have to make this sacrifice but just not sure when. My goal right now is to pay off all our debt. And although this might not be something feasible for some people within a short amount of time, I’m not putting my child on hold for 3 years of paying off debt. We are able to do this by March/April. Then I have to determine whether I should go ahead and work until the baby gets here to save money. It will only be a couple more months and I plan to take advantage of my maternity leave since it is paid time off. I just can’t justify throwing that away when we are worried about the financial aspect of things. Then that is the point where I’ll have to take a leap of faith with God. DH is completely capable of working now and is no longer on disability but it is just a matter of finding a good job. So please just pray for us that he can find a job by that time and then God can provide whatever else we are lacking.


Jennifer, praying your dh will find a good job soon!!!

Just to give you my experience: we bought a house before I got pregnant, it was based on two incomes (our mortgage was), so when we had our eldest, it was VERY hard financially as all of a sudden we only had dh’s income. Then the unthinkable happened: he nearly died in an industrial accident and took 10 months to heal…10 months…From 2 incomes to ‘no income’ (incapacity benefit in Britain is very low), even when he started work again, his neck bothered him so much that he was in-and-out of work for several years, during which time our second daughter was born. Financially it was a nightmare, and everybody said ‘Why don’t YOU go out to work’, but I always put my trust in God and didn’t want to miss my children growing up. In the end, we sold the house, paid off our debts, moved to a cheaper part of the country where we’re currently renting a fairly big, if a bit delapidated house…and guess what?! My dh is in a job he loves, 5 years after the accident that nearly killed him, he’s also very active in our church and a foundation governor at our daughter’s Catholic school, we’re doing fine-still not ‘rich’, but fine and God really did help us all the way! I’m very grateful!

So, whatever happens…put your trust in Him, and you can’t go far wrong! I know, I’ve been there …it does get better!!!

Anna x


I am very much in favor of mothers taking care of their own children, and it’s a sad comment on our society, not only that we’ve invented the term SAHM, but that women feel they have to justify it. :frowning:


I wonder if you’re looking the gift horse in the mouth so to speak. God has provided you with a way to not have to put your child in daycare, pay the bills and not be thousands of dollars in debt. I would LOVE to be in your situation as would many of the working moms I know.

I would love to stay home too, but I can’t because we need both of our incomes to survive. I often have to remind myself that part of being open to what God’s plan is for me, is even being open to things that I may not want to do (such as working full time). When I tried to force God’s hand for me to stay home it ended a financial nightmare for us, which we are still paying off to this day (and will be years to come)

I hope your DH gets his job that will enable you to pay all the bills for the house and not go into thousands of dollars of debt.


Rayne, sometimes your lack of understanding my point makes me cringe. I was responding to the comment about the NANNY, which I QUOTED… I was not responding to the OP in that section of my post. I made it very clear that I was talking to the OP in the second part of my post. I did not insult fathers, nor would I ever. While I am working, my husband cares for our children. I was very clear about what I was responding to… jeez. :rolleyes:

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