Feeling Pressured by DH to work (VENT)


I was originally a Secondary English Education major, but I found that teaching just wasn’t for me. I have attended various universities, so I have lots of credits in a bunch of things. I will be (finally) graduating in May with a BA in Individualized Studies (basically- Liberal Arts/General Studies).
DH is set on getting his JD or a PHd in hopes of teaching. I, on the other hand, and quite content with my BA and want to be a SAHM.

We got into an argument last night about be being a SAHM. DH pointed at that things would be better if we had 2 incomes. I am not arguing that, but I don’t want to work. I want to stay at home with DD. DH said that at a point, being a SAHM is just lazy and that if I were a SAHM, I was not living up to my potential.
I also pointed out that I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I will have to work for a year or so if he gets into law school or while he is finishing his MPA. But I don’t want to work beyond that. He is trying to pressure me into getting a Masters Degree in something I am not sure I want to do (education) and has pointed out that I have mentioned that I want to get my Masters in Theology. I said it was a “maybe” type of thing.

Overall, it was an argument that hurt feeling son both sides, but I know that this argument is no where near over. sigh We have been married less than a year, so we are still figuring out who we are in addition to what is best for our family.

Thanks for listening.


What an unmitigated crock of BS.

My wife has been a Stay at Home Mom for close to twenty years. She is who is shaping a future generation of kids, both Catholic and non Catholic.

Who do you think teaches CCD? Who do you think volunteers in the schools? Does Girl Scouts? Who goes to daily mass and urges the family to grow in holiness? There is a whole rich and exciting world out there beyond going to work from 8 to six or whatever.


I realize that. It is getting it through my loving DH’s head :smiley:


Maybe he is worried about the financial implications more than about you not meeting your potential. I tried being a SAHM and got incredibly bored but I love the idea of staying at home. Maybe a compromise could be met. You could work one or two days per week just to help him out.


I would say to look at your finances…are you financially able to stay at home? If so, I would say then you’re first priority as a mom is to take care of your lil one. Some households depend on 2 incomes (like mine), but if yours doesn’t, I don’t see why you should have to work.

sigh If men only saw what we women do all day…we work all day long at home…we don’t get to clock out at 5…must be nice :stuck_out_tongue:


maybe he is worried about paying back student loans, and I do think a woman should work until she has done that. I think it goes back to the original discernment of vocation, of career within that vocation, and preparation for the demands of that vocation. A liberal arts education should be the basis of anyone’s education, including and especially those most directly concerned with raising the next generation, teaching them to think, reason, discuss, make decisions, weigh issues, combat illogic, solve problems and become independent. What I take issue with is the too-early specialization in undergraduate education to a narrow career track that mitigates against the broad liberal arts preparation, especially a specialization toward a career path that has not been discerned well.

My daughters (MS Physics, BA English) are SAHMs and doing an excellent job, and spending almost as many hour outside the home doing valuable work for their communities as do many who work for income. there children are of course brighter than average and cute as well.


Linnyo, gam3rchic, puzzleannie-
I do think finances are his main concern. Which I understood. I am more than willing to work for a few years to get that paid off, but ultimately, I want to be a SAHM. I don’t know how to talk to him about it without causing (another) argument.

I just hope I am not making DH sound like an uncaring jerk.


I have a degree in Literature in English. It is heavily based in the liberal arts. I earned the last pieces when I was 37. I am willing to bet we got our degrees from the same university (PM me and I’ll let you know). As an adult, I have done a variety of jobs, including technology-related. I have discovered that, while skills are necessary, enthusiam, willingness to take charge, politeness, and a “good work ethic” go very far in the pursuit of a career.

It would seem to me that your DH wants to go back to school. He is worried that if he does, there will not be enough money.

My DH got his MA one or two credits at a time. The class load for a graduate candidate to be considered full time is nine semester hours. He worked full time the entire time. It took him three years instead of two. To brag only a little, he got straight As during his entire grad period, and did much better than his undergrad. His thesis was rated superior.

I only worked a few hours a week, when we needed it, as a fact checker and researcher for authors. I also did computer maintence for very small networks at very small businesses and non-profits.

Our (now adult) son is schizophrenic, and our (now adult) daughter had the disposition of possibly running wild. We could not give her the opportunity, and he needed supervision. Kids don’t need a parent at home just when they are small. And as Paul pointed out, somebody has to teach CCD, work Girl Scouts, and all that stuff.

I did work full time once our son had a place to supervise him, and our daughter went to college. I worked through 2000, then took off when my daughter needed “help” with her kids (little did I know they’d become my kids). I went back to work in 2005. I took off the past six months because I left my job at Old School, which was part time pay for a full time job, with too much abuse. I promised myself I would not go back into the elementary school environment because of it. I am just looking at a job more than 15 hours a week because my DH has been sick, and he won’t fully recover until at least next February. I have other lines of income, rather than looking at a job as the be-all and end-all of my existence.

If your DH is pointing out to you that there is no flat panel TV in the living room and you drive beater cars, then probably he has had contact with somebody or somebodies at work whose wife or wives work. This means he has a case of the “wants” and not what you need.

If he’s complaining about a grad degree, there are ways to get that, a little at a time, by saving and then paying for the courses as he takes them.

If he is complaining your line of income must be outside the home at a forty hour a week job, he is having feelings of insecurity. That’s he way it looks to me, anyway.

You do not need to get a grad degree just because he wants one. I don’t have one, even though my DH does. He tried talking me into it several times. I do have advanced networking and computer platform certificates. They did not cost nearly what his MA cost, and paid for themselves within 2 months of earning each of them. It took five years for the MA to pay for itself.

But you are NOT lazy if you do not work outside the home. I defy your DH to do all you do as a SAHM, AND go to work a full forty hours. He would collaspe in a couple of weeks, tops. As to your potential- You are a child of God. I think you live up to that admirably.

IF IT WERE ME, and it is not, I would ask him what is really bothering him. I would have the evidence ready to show him that he could easily go back for his PhD part time, starting by setting aside so much a month to pay for the first course. I would not let him use those fallacies of you not working up to your potential, or not “having” like other people, or (and this is one he hasn’t thought up yet) it not being what “every” woman does today in the 21st century. I certainly wouldn’t go along with obtaining a grad degree just because he is!


I am going to respond… I just need some time to think it out before I do.



DH is mom was a SAHM, but she did the accounting for the family rental business.


Men do worry about money. My dh was supportive of me being at home, but now that the kids are older, he’s really glad I’ll be working f/t!

Like others have said, when tempers cool, ask him what’s really bothering him.


Forgot to add . . . if money is an issue, try hometeaching for your local school district.

I home taught (kids who can’t attend school for physical or emotional reasons) for 2.5 yeas and loved it. The pay was good and the hours are flexible. Not sure about where you are, but around here they are hurting for secondary home teachers.


Did you two discuss this BEFORE you married? I hate to say this, but perhaps you picked the wrong guy if you wanted to be a SAHM.

My DH always wanted me to be a SAHM, and I knew that was what I wanted too. The fact that I have had to start working part time bothers him so much. He hates it. He takes great pride in his provider/protector role. If he got a better paying job, we both agree that I would quit or at least way cut down my hours.

Anyway, what matters now is that you have a child and you need to do right by her. Your DH’s comments about SAHMs DO make him sound like an uncaring jerk, sorry. He wants money and goodies, and is willing to sacrifice your child’s well being to get them. (Has he ever been inside a daycare? I have, as the child, and I would never put my children there.) Whether he wants to go to school does not matter. He WANTS, your child NEEDS. End of discussion. HIs further education can wait until your child/children are in school and you can work around their school schedules, still being home for them in the afternoons.

This is a question of values. Is being at home to mother your own child what you believe to be right? (It is for me, obviously. I tend to come off very doctrinaire about this… oh well, I will not apologize.) Then you do it, regardless of everything else. In absence of all of you actually starving or getting thrown out of your house, if you really believe that you should not work right now and should be home for your child, then stand up for it and do not back down. I adore my husband, but if he demanded that I do something bad for my kids, I would defy him until the end of time.

As for your DH’s comment about LAZY… well let’s just say he is lucky that I and every other SAHM on this board were not there. Let him spend a week at home with your daughter, by himself, and then tell you you are lazy. That comment is disgusting.


I agree with dusky-- did you discuss this *before *marriage?

I’m sure your husband isnt a “jerk” but I find his comments troubling on a couple of fronts. He seems to equate worth with education level and job title. He is pushing you to get an advanced degree you don’t want. He thinks SAHMs are “lazy”. I also find the fact that he would say you aren’t living up to your “potential” very telling regarding how he views the world.

I don’t think this is about money. I think this is about his own inadequacy issues. This is something coming from inside HIM. Why does he care what level of degree you have? You are content and totally secure in who you are and what you want out of life. He seems driven in ways you aren’t. He seems concerned about things that aren’t an issue for you.

This is a basic personality/character level issue. That’s why I find it so hard to believe you would only NOW be having this conversation.


***Motherhood most important, fulfilling, exhausting and rewarding job ever created (and CREATED by God). To say that SAHMs are lazy is outrageous. It’s non-stop work, 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

Perhaps your DH would like to be the primary care taker of your child for a week to get a feel for it. Then he could see if he has a moment to relax with a cup of tea or read a chapter of his favorite book without hearing, “Mommy” 50 times before getting through it.

I’m a WAHM. I have a degree as well, and I’m a professional writer. When my son first started school, I tried working outside the home. I worked as a (family) social worker for eight months. It was an absolute nightmare. I figured it would be perfect because my son was in first grade at the time, and our school/work hours were practically the same. My son was distraught, because I wasn’t able to volunteer much at his school (like the other mothers); I couldn’t pick him up after school, and I wasn’t home when he got home (I worked an hour longer). My house, which I always kept spotless, was a disaster area, because I didn’t have time to clean properly. We would spend our weekends grocery shopping, washing clothes and cleaning. My marriage suffered as well, because my husband and I didn’t have any quality time together. He was tired from working 12 hours per day and didn’t want to help with the household chores. It was awful. I will never work outside the home again. Now, I write from home. I usually work during the morning after dropping my son off at school. And I have time every day to volunteer at his school.

But my day never ends. My husband comes home from work, eats dinner and watches TV. Is my day over when his is? No way. I literally work from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. most days of the week. SAHMs also cook meals, buy groceries, do the housework, laundry, etc. along with primarily care for the children. So lazy, mothers are NOT! You know the old say, “A woman’s work is never done.”

And frankly, I think many of the problems we have in society today are based on children not receiving enough parental attention. Working mothers could provide enough parental attention. Absolutely! But, it’s more difficult and many do not because there are too many demands on their time. Providing real, solid, daily interaction that a child needs is very time consuming. It’s not something that could be done 30 minutes between dinner and bathtime.

Just my opinion based upon my own experience. I hope things work well for you.



I was a SAHM. At first my xh wanted it. Didn’t want me to work. About the time he was thinking of leaving me (we had a newborn… three kids under age 6), he started ranting that I needed to get a job and earn my keep and quit loafing around. That from a man who has yet to run his own house for a full day with no help and take care of kids. The oldest is going to be 18. His mommy does it now.

I have NO time for that kind of attitude from a man. :mad:

Has your husband ever taken three or four days and done everything you do all day all by himself? Maybe it’s time he had a dose of reality of just how exhausting it is to keep the place sparkling and the baby clean and safe and happy, and do the shopping, cooking, laundry, bill paying, yard work and all the other myriad things he takes for granted to be done when he walks in the door and sits around all night. (At least that’s how it was in my house.) At five o’clock he clocked out. I still had about 6 hours to go of cooking, dishes, laundry, baby baths, bedtimes, cleaning up the mess and getting things set up for the next day. Incidentally, all that work will still need to be done, but you’ll have far less time to do it after a full day’s work.

Working up to your full potential? No. You’re working past your point of endurance.

Do it for 18 more years. All day every day. And someone thinks you’re lazy? The only people who think it’s lazy are the people who have never done it. Does he want you to work so he can get his advanced degree?

How old is your child? An infant?

Okay, here’s some food for thought to balance it out…

You go get your grad degree, while he gets his, plunging you into more debt. So you have that to pay off. In addition, you will have steep child care expenses. (I wonder about men who don’t mind their baby being taken care of for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week by the lowest bidder child care company. They obviously have no idea how much input a mother can give a child, or should give a child in its development.)

Then you have work and wardrobe expenses. And gas and commuting. And you’ll be in a higher tax bracket when you file taxes. (Incidentally, I bet his attitude all of a sudden sprung up as he was doing the taxes.) So at the end of it all, when you subtract the money you paid to work, how much per hour are you really earning? $4 an hour take-home pay for all that extra work and never seeing your child?

Bad trade.

I had an aunt who had a high-flying career. She quit it the day she heard her daughter call the nanny “mommy.”

Sorry. You caught me in a bad mood. Your husband denigrating your sacred duties as a mother hits a raw nerve. I was married to a man like that. He knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Six months after he got HIS master’s, he filed for divorce.

In this day and age especially, you need to be home with your child. No one will love and protect her like you will. Your child won’t remember the big screen tv or the fancy car. She’ll remember being shuttled around to daycare and mommy never being around when she grew up.

Yes, this fight will go on until either you kick him to the curb and tell him he can pay you long-distance to take care of your child, or he gets his priorities back in line. I don’t know him, but his desire to get his advanced degree so soon screams to me of the perpetual student who doesn’t like life in the real world, so he’ll let the women and children suffer while he plays behind the ivory covered towers. His insistence that you must want a degree too, even if you haven’t a clue what you want to do right now besides mother your child, seems to be less about knowing anything about you and more about telling you you want an advanced degree to justify himself getting one. Sometimes a grown man has to put his own wishes aside for a while and grow up and get a job and work for his family. And postpone his masters and doctorates a while. For the good of his own child.


sizzle :eek: :thumbsup: Go Liberano…

Funny story. When my mom was in the hospital after having my brother, my dad came to visit her. He walked in, sat down, and fell asleep. She was a little surprised, but left him alone. He slept for over an hour. When he woke up, he looked at my mom and said, “I will NEVER ask you what you do all day again!” I was 16 months old and I guess I ran his butt ragged all day long! tee hee


Ha- ha!! A couple of times when the kids were younger I went away for a week. Dh couldnt wait to go back to work. I’ll never forget him saying, “I thought I’d get to do more stuff I wanted to do.” Not sure where he got that idea:shrug: .


There is no greater vocation in the world than for a Mom to take care of her family. I wish the term “stay at home Mom” would sink back into the mire from which it emerged.

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