Staying home vs. working or going to school


I was just wondering if I could get some feed back from some moms out there who have made these types of decisions…

Well My husband and I got married about six months ago and right now he’s finishing up school and I’m working fulltime to support us pay bills etc… He has about a year and 1/2 left and then he’ll be working fulltime, at that point i feel like we have three options to chose from

  1. I can go back to school and finish up my degree then start a family when i’m done with school

  2. start a family right away and put off going to school until after kids are in school fulltime

  3. work fulltime for a few years along with husband and save save save so we’ll be in an awesome financial situation…then have kids and go to school later

My struggle here is I’m craving a family sooooooo badly. I really feel like my vocation is to be a mother.( So much so that my job right now is working in a maternity store, I just love being around children and mothers.) Both my husband and I come from large familys 6 kids in mine and 8 kids in his so were on the same page there. We both desire a large family. Its just that when ever I talk to coworkers, extended family, friends etc… they ALL seem to tell me to get my degree ASAP like I will never go back “there’s always time for babies” actually came out of one lady’s mouth.

I understand that they are worried I will not go back after starting my family but the way i view it right now is that my degree is not financially necessary for us. He’s a computer science major working on his masters (at one of the big ten schools). He will make decent money. I’m majoring in social work. I make more in my retail postion then I would in most postions in social work.

Besides all of that if i did go back and get my degree and then have kids I wouldn’t want to work while my children are youngand I want a large family like i said so i really wouldn’t use my degree for another 10 years waiting for them to all be in school fulltime. then how marketable would I be with a ten yr old degree and no work experience???

This is a struggle for me! any thoughts??


My advice to you is that no matter whether you go back and get your degree, work for a while and save, or start a family, it is essential that you are financially stable. There is NOTHING that will inject more stress into an otherwise happy marriage/family than worry and stress over finacial strain. You need to honestly assess your assets, liabilities, spending habits and lifestyle expectations nd make sure your income matches/meets your needs. If your husband is able to support you and children adequately now, great! If you need a few years to pay off debt or create a nest-egg–take that time before the kiddos arrive. Your education is something you can pursue anytime, both before or after kids, but I would suggest that it will be easier to complete now rather than 10, 15 or 20 years from now.


I would do what YOU and your husband want to do, rather than listen to everyone around you. I voted start a family right away, but really it doesn’t matter. You can always go back and finish your degree and working is blah, but if it’s necessary, than I would work.

My husband and I got married right outside of college, so we both have our degrees and I work full-time (he does as well), and we got pregnant right away. I’m going to be SOOO thankful once I leave my job and become a full-time mommy :). I plan to work from home, because we weren’t terribly wise in our financial decisions (ie. we originally were planning on waiting to have children b/c we couldn’t really afford for me to stay at home), but I know God will provide :).


You’d be surprised how marketable you will be by then grace, by that time your life will be filled with so many new things. You mentioned when all the kids are in school? By this time you will have no doubt logged in so many volunteer hours that you will have created a career. You might also find you don’t want to go back to work by that time. But I would try and finish the degree first. I went to school while I had little ones, I took night classes while dh stayed home with them. :slight_smile: It’s not real easy but it works.


I did all 3 at once, babies, work and school. I am not saying it is the best solution, but it can be done. School took a lot longer though with breaks for baby-having. The easy way is the Marion Cunningham solution, go to college, graduate, get married and then have babies. My way was the hard way, but do-able. My caution would be avoid debt.

My other observation is that as a rule, if you wait until you can afford to have children, that day will never come. Nobody can afford children. They will consume your available resources if you let them. The purpose of marriage is having children, and the work and the college and the rest of it are for the purpose of taking care of the children. Children are the reason for marriage, not an afterthought for when you think you have time and money to spare from other pursuits. If you are married, trust in God, take the children as they come, unless there is a serious reason–health etc.–to delay pregnancy. They don’t require nearly as much “stuff” as our consumer culture would like you to think.



I would think that after he graduates, starting a family would be good. After a few years, you may change your mind about what you want to be when you “grow up”. You may change your mind about working. School will always be there, of course.


I know this was asked to the women here, but as a man, I would like to give my feedback. When and if God blesses me with a wife, I would like her to be educated and have professional skills. Its not that I think she should work (though when there are no kids or the kids are spending days in school, I think some sort of job is probably a good idea) but rather so that she would have something to fall back on if something was to happen to me. My Dad use to be the primary bread winner when I was growing up but he got laid off from his job in 1981. Being that he was essentially an unskilled worker, he never was able to find a job that paid as much ever again. Thankfully my Mom was able to find a job with UPS and in the long run it was the best thing that ever happened to us as a family. All of the kids got scholarships from UPS, her health insurance has helped since my Dad became semiretired (he is 75 but doesn’t like not working). Unfortunately jobs for people with my parent’s starting skill set are much harder to come by these days. I would hate to think that if I became ill or died that it would wreck the chance for any kids I might have to go to college or for the family to loose the house or whatever.

So my thought is go to school. Even if you choose to start a family, go part time. You can take care of the kids in the day, and then your husband can watch them for a couple of hours a couple of times a week while you take one or two classes a semester.


Just Some Thoughts and Observations
Hubby and I were married right out of college. I hadn’t finished my degree. Had first baby who was born with handicaps had second perfect 23 months later. I then went back and finished my degree in Special Ed. Taught School for 6 years Had number 3, then left to be full time stay at home mom.
We started family when we didn’t have a lot of money started off in an apartment then a very small house. We started off slow financially with kids, child care etc. We actually were living a little below our means. Refinanced first house paid it off in under 15 years. Now we are doing really well financially speaking not rich, but very comfortable middle class.

Anyway college friends of ours married waited to have kids under the presumption that they couldn’t afford them. With two incomes and no children they got the bigger house and fancier stuff before we did. But the more money they made the more they spent so they were always on the threshold and kids were always going to be too expensive for their lifestyle. Anyway they have kids now and have had to move to the smaller house etc and had to reduce their lifestyle.

I think our way was better. We struggled I guess some in the beginning but are better off now because our income and lifestyle grew at a rate we could afford. Anyway Just something to think about. Now I’m 42 and my kids are 19, 17 and 10. My Sister-in-law is 41 and my brother in-law is 49 They got married 3 years ago first marriage for both and first baby now 1 1/2. I can’t even imagine waiting that long to start a family.

Anyway I have rambled far too long. Pray ask God and follow your heart. You’ll find the answer that is best for you and your family.

Smiles Deana :slight_smile:


I put start right away with family but I want to clarify. You didn’t mention what you wanted a degree in or what you want to do with it. If you feel a tug on your heart to have kids, and you feel very maternal then what do you think you should do with that. It is pointless to spend time and money on a degree that you wont use. If however you feel called to a certain career that allows you to be a mother then by all means follow your vocation but make sure it is Gods plan and not societies, your friends, your families or even your plan.


They’re lucky they were able to have a baby that late. Two-thirds of women over 35 are infertile, and I think 95% over 40 are infertile. It’s sad when a couple assumes they can wait until they’re 40 to have babies, and then… they find that they have age-related infertility issues and are unable to have babies of their own. :nope: There’s NOT “always time for babies” as one lady told the OP.


I would say, have your babies while you’re young.

Here is some advice that works for anyone.

First, what is my goal?

Second, what will I need, to achieve my goal?

Third, How can I get what I will need, to achieve my goal?

What is my plan?

How can I follow my plan today?

And then do it.


Pray, pray, pray, pray, PRAY! Do what you decern God is calling you to! It seems like He’s calling you to have a family ASAP, whenever you’re finacially stable, but pray, with your husband, too, until you’re sure. None of us can tell you what God wants you to do. Trust His plan for you! :slight_smile:


Just some personal thoughts here. I have friends who graduated, got a good job, two cars/two-income mortgage. For all their freedoms they have to go back to work to afford to live to these standards. Ironically, children are a great financial burden to them. Ironically, for all womens liberation, the choice to stay home with their children doesn’t exist.


I agree with you 100%! Life has a way of throwing things at you that are unexpected. Divorce, death of a spouse, sudden unemployment of main bread winner, etc., can really throw off a household. If a person has a degree it is a good foundation that can be never taken away. Even if the person doesn’t immediately start his/her career right away, they are that much ahead when they do need to jump back into the game.

Two quick real life examples: In the first, my husband was fired from a company that also owed us over $70k in salary and expenses. He was unable to get a job that could provide a decent salary for over a year. Because I never got my degree, nor were my computer skills up to par, the money that I would bring in, after the cost of child care, would be minimal. It truly was a hard financial period in our lives … one that we are still recovering from.

The second example is my sister-in-law whose husband walked out on her and their four children. Because of her degree and career as an RN she has been able to keep her head above water financially, even though her ex-husband has literally disappeared from their lives, along with any financial obligations that he has.

Just my 2 cents…


I thought I put my major in the post but I guess not. I’m halfway done with my degree in Social Work, which i feel is the only real career that i feel called to do. I know I would enjoy the jobs I could do with that degree but the draw back is that the pay (especially if you only to a bachelors) is really low for the type of work. In fact I make the same amount of money right now in my retail position as I would in alot of social work positions.The burnout rate is really high as well.

I definatly understand what alot of posters have been saying about the “what if’s” that could happen to my husband/our finances that would make me need to know i’m just wondering if perhaps if i do go back to school i should pick a different major, one that would be more lucrative if one of those situations should occur.

Or i could just hope my retail postion and expeience would provide me with skills to acquire another retail job if it came down to it. I am a manager so at least that looks good on a resume :smiley:


Another thing to do is sock as much away as you can into savings, and when you have enough, open up an investment account, or at least a high interest savings account (ie: ING Direct) and let your money start earning money for you, as well.


I voted for your second choice, but also have the idea that a woman needs to be prepared for anything. My sister waited to finish her degree until after having children. Her husband left her after 15 yr. of marriage for another woman and now she is going back to school to finish her degree to support herself and her children. She is older and it is harder for her. She wished she had finished her degree before marriage. One does not go into marriage with divorce in mind, but it happens and sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop it.:frowning:


Please do not fabricate statistics…it doesn’t hold very well in this day and age when you can find anything on Google in a few seconds.

Of women trying natural conception:
At age 30, 75% will get pregnant within one year, and 91% within four years.
At age 35, 66% will get pregnant within one year, and 84% within four years.
At age 40, 44% will get pregnant within one year, and 64% within four years.


According to the March of Dimes, “At age 25, a woman has about a 1-in-1,250 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome; at age 30, a 1-in-1,000 chance; at age 35, a 1-in-400 chance; at age 40, a 1-in-100 chance; and at 45, a 1-in-30 chance.”

For those that aren’t good at math that’s a 99.9% chance of having a child without birth defects at age 30, a 99.75% chance at age 35, and a 99.0% chance at age 40 after achieving pregnancy barring miscarriages.


This is good to know. I am not old to have a baby if I choose to. I am 41 yr. old. Thanks for this news.

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