My husband and I are in our mid-twenties, and we are expecting our first baby this year. We are also debt-free, except for our mortgage, and we expect to have it paid off in about four years. It has always been our dream for me to stay home with our kids, and maybe even homeschool them, when the time was right. My husband makes more than enough for us to live on, so we have always put the paychecks from my human resources job toward paying off the house. What do you think, Dave? I kind of hate to give up the income, but I want to do what is best for my family.
First, congratulations on expecting a new baby! I know it’s an exciting time in your lives. It sounds like you two have been killing it financially as well. You’ve both worked hard to set yourselves up for a great future.
Honestly, there’s no wrong answer here. Under the circumstances, the big question is what do you want to do? Of course, the final decision should be made by you and your husband together, but you’re doing the smart thing by analyzing the trade-off. By that, I mean comparing the ideas of continuing to bring extra cash to the household or being at home with your baby.
If you love your job and want to continue those duties full-time, it doesn’t make you a bad mom. It just makes you a working mom. But if you’re in a season of life where you don’t need a career income or workplace identity to be fulfilled, or if you just want to be home with your child, that’s a really cool thing, too. And hey, if you like your job, there’s no reason you couldn’t perform some HR functions from home on a contract basis, like 20 to 25 hours a week while the little one’s napping, with minimal strain on motherhood.
Even if you quit today and it takes a couple more years for you guys to pay off your house, so what? It’s still not a bad choice. The bad thing is, lots of ladies end up with mom-guilt no matter what they do. They feel guilty if they’re not staying home with the little one, and they feel guilty if they aren’t generating an income. Society wants you to be everything, and when you choose to be one or the other, it doesn’t know what to do with you—and lots of times becomes really judgey.
You’re blessed to be in a unique financial situation, Ann. So, do what you and your husband feel in your hearts is best for you and your family. Sit down together and talk about it, then make a plan and don’t worry about what the world thinks. God bless you guys!
Dave Ramsey, a best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, can be heard by more than 18 million listeners each week.
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