I know generations of spouses have done this. But I also know it has led to many women getting stranded in untenable situations. I love my husband. He makes enough money to support us. I trust him. But people fall out of love all the time. I don't have a safety net in the form of wealthy parents, and I would like to think I will work again someday, when the pandemic is over and my kid is in school (or kids).
Why am I struggling so hard to take a leap of faith that so many other families do easily?
— Cold Feet
Cold Feet: Other people aren’t you. You have valid concerns. And many who made the change “easily” are the ones who keenly felt the erosion of their financial and professional standing. It’s not a minor concern.
I think you’re smart to have an eye on what comes next. There may be — and please let there be — a long stretch of time between when the pandemic ends and when your child is in school. Keep your mind open to things you can do when care is more available.
Also think about a financial arrangement now that gives you some of your own money — an awkward conversation for sure, but I wonder how he would feel about going abruptly no-income himself, on purpose, working for the family indefinitely for no pay, while you supported everyone financially. Wonder that aloud to him. Healthy couples share power equally, but power often ends up following the money. Essential talk to have.
Re: Cold Feet: Here’s why you’re angsty. Yes, you love and trust your husband. Now. You don’t know what he’s going to do in the future. This is always true whether you work or not, but it’s far more difficult to leave if you don’t have financial independence. (Maybe save up a little somewhere?) You’ve got cold feet because if you step out of the workforce, you’ll be overshadowed by the hundreds of other, already-employed candidates who do not need refreshers on anything. I get hundreds of job applicants, and if you’re not currently employed, your chances are reduced.
You've got cold feet because for all this talk of equality, he makes the money now. All of it. You may not consider it really yours. Every man I know who has a stay-at-home-mom wife cannot resist making a comment when the wife uses their money in an unapproved way. It's like living at home with your parents again.
You’re scared your workload may go up because, hey, you’re at home now and he works. Those are your roles so he may think he’s off laundry duty.
Anonymous: Damn. There you have it, thanks.