Not long ago, the ideal financial and emotional constructs of a marriage were in agreement with those of our primal ancestors. Men were the providers, women were the nurturers.
It’s different now.
Courtesy of unpredictability in the world’s economy, advances in modern technology and better education, many women now enjoy six-figure salaries in positions of corporate leadership, with their spouses left to care for the children back home.
In a perfect world, either or both spouses could work full-time or part-time, depending on their preferences. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world. Jobs are now more difficult to come by, and both genders have been forced to take lower paying jobs, many of which fail to meet the basic needs of their families.
This presents a number of problems.
First and foremost, lower pay means longer hours. If these long hours were enough to support the family, the marital infrastructure would remain relatively unshaken. In many cases, however, they amount to an insufficient paycheck. This presents a problem for the stay-at-home mom, who must take up work to supplement her husband’s income, dropping much of her paycheck on daycare expenses to account for her husband’s absence.
One Job Is Not Enough
Those who find themselves in this unfortunate position live paycheck to paycheck, but there are ways to break the cycle. Let’s explore a few of them.
Parents in retirement will give anything to spend time with their grandchildren. Enlisting their help will eliminate some of the daycare expenses. Use this opportunity to reduce your hours at work, or ask your spouse to reduce theirs. This will give one of you the opportunity to seek a higher paying job elsewhere.
Take a job close to home. If you have more than one vehicle, sell one of them off for a lump sum and use the proceeds for public transportation. It’s cheaper to take the bus than it is to keep filling up at the gas station. If you only have one vehicle, drive it only during emergencies or when public transportation is unavailable.
Ask your spouse to have their colleagues take them to work or join a carpool yourself. On the days when your children are with their grandparents, this will afford you a vehicle with which to search for employers looking for off-hours shifts, when public transportation is unavailable. Working an off-hours schedule may eliminate your daycare expense altogether. When you come home, your spouse goes to work. If you both work part time, the end of their shift should coincide with your bedtime.
Work From Home
Find a way to supplement your income from home. Working from home even part-time would solve the babysitting problem, affording your spouse the option of increasing their hours, or decreasing their hours to look for more work. Additionally, it would also afford them a vehicle with which to support your efforts by taking the kids out. As much as we love them, children can be distracting.
Obtain New Skills From Home
With increasing opportunities in online education, either one or both spouses can pursue increased education and technical skills to find higher paying work from accredited online colleges. The flexibility provides the opportunity to work full- or part-time and learn at the same time.
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