Being a SAHM or dad is work. It is a great deal of work that often disqualifies you for the 'real' world. I recall years back, in a job interview, when I was shocked to be asked. "so, since you graduated from college you have done nothing except work with kids?" I loved working with kids. As a volunteer in Boy Scouts of America, as a volunteer with theatre, as a volunteer in classes, and anywhere I could. It did help, however, that I had cash of my own when I earned a little working in the schools or elsewhere.
Am not sure all SAHParents are like this, but I have a great deal of trouble spending money on myself when I know there are so many other places to put it. When I made my own money, I'd tithe out of it and put it in places where our normal paycheck couldn't go. Envelopes for Christmas presents and the like. (and that was before we'd even heard of Dave Ramsey!) I also am a person with type 1 Diabetes. This, in itself, is an expensive disease and I figure we spend more than enough money on mom every month!
We moved to a new area. I have continued to volunteer, but in this area it is harder to find paying work. I have not minded, much. There were other things occupying my time and I've been fairly busy. There are NEVER enough volunteers. However, I am still a person with Diabetes and now there are other issues that have cropped up (aging sucks). I'm not as able to work as I used to and in the last year I've really noticed the missing personal finances.
My husband often tells me it is ok to spend money. He also knows I won't (I remember, with a smile, the whole day I spent with some friends in a nearby city and he gave me $20 to play with or when I spent the weekend in Portland and he gave me $25). I shop in thrift stores and was angry the last time I bought uns (those I do buy new!). They wore out in less than a year! (quality has definitely gone down!) When I do spend, it is on mailing packages (we have one son on the East coast) or for special people. Or groceries. I cringe when I spend 89 dollars a week...I know this is silly, but I seriously have issues spending money! lol
As I read this blog, I was struck by a small bolt of lightening. Her article focuses on divorced mom's having to climb back into the workforce. But, it matters for widowers and even those of us still married who look at today's job market like we did when we first were wed. Deer in headlights. The Craftsman wouldn't mind me working. If I was home when he needed me to be. Bear, who is still home, always misses me when he comes home from work and I'm not here. (He often also misses notes I put out for him suggesting he might turn on the oven for dinner...) The thing I was most struck with, however, was how apt this information is. And how difficult it is to address. Magnolia Ripkin rocks!! :)
I'll be headed back home (Alaska) for a few months and I've been scared to death. Last time I was home, I had cash of my own. This time, I won't. Alaska is not for the faint of wallet!