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  #1  
Old 08-31-2016, 05:26 PM
WackaWacka WackaWacka is offline
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Default Life / work after the kids

Hi guys, I had a question. Have any of you given any thought or concern to life after the kids go to school? When maybe we aren't in demand all day?

I have been concerned about it, perhaps obsessing about it a little bit. It's a long way off considering that my son is only nine months old. However I keep thinking about what the job market and other things may be at that time. I have started to consider getting back into woodworking so I just have flexible hours once he is in grade school and make some money on the side, even flirted with the idea of creating iPhone apps.

My wife says she wouldn't care if I remained a house husband, however the need to contribute still messes with me a little bit.

How have you guys come to terms with this? Do you just figure you'll figure it out when it comes? Are some of your kids already in school and you remain in the house? Do some of you take on part time jobs?

Most importantly, how do you deal with the uncertainty of work in the future?
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:42 PM
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Right now your job is your kid and family. You're saving the cost of daycare and home cleaner.
You're still really early in your ride, it took me a couple years to come to terms with my position. They call it a paradigm shift. Now I'm in another, right where you are asking about. My youngest is going into first grade next week. I'm fortunate to have a teaching degree and a sub license so I sub at my kids school and another Catholic school.

If you decide to pick up something on the side it'll have to be flexible enough that you can pick and choose your hours. I tried doing part time retail, wreaked havoc with our family time.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:19 AM
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tt's right, there's so much to do when they're that age, and really every age till gone. Focus on that and you won't regret it. Doesn't mean you won't have those thoughts of what's to come.

I had a similar question when I first found the forum a decade ago, here's the thread link: SAHD Exit Strategy Kind of interesting to read my thoughts and others about it then.

So now it's been almost 19 years since I left the job I had, specifically to be an at home dad. I won't say it's been the easiest thing, but I've made it work. Volunteering at our kids' school took up a lot of my time at the elementary stage, did the whole PTA thing, president, secretary, lots of hours. I've done some pretty major projects at our house, including building 2 garages, shower, new closets, whole new roofline and insulation, lots of trees planted, and tons of little painting projects, etc. That all helped fulfill the need to contribute.

I still do all the bills, little taxi driving kid left till he gets off his learner's permit, schedule appts, feed and clean up after dog, cut, split and stack about 6000lbs of firewood/year to heat the house, clean, shop, cook (suck at that one), wash clothes (kids do their own), keep track of schoolwork online, try to get boys to do at least a little of the chores around here, do everything I can to save money on things we do buy, plan vacations, keep track of all finances and retirement/medical accounts. I also have full responsibility now of most of the above for my Dad too, as I'm power of attorney for him and his dementia makes him incapable of any of that.

I know it's very rare for anyone, especially guys, to do this as long as I have. We're lucky we've been able to make it work financially. I know most folks aren't that lucky. I've always loved being as frugal as possible, doing it for 33 years since getting my BS degree has payed off.

And if my kids get into some highfalutin' school, and make the $90K average some of them claim, they'll be able to help me out in the future!
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:50 AM
WackaWacka WackaWacka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riggs View Post
tt's right, there's so much to do when they're that age, and really every age till gone. Focus on that and you won't regret it. Doesn't mean you won't have those thoughts of what's to come.

I had a similar question when I first found the forum a decade ago, here's the thread link: SAHD Exit Strategy Kind of interesting to read my thoughts and others about it then.

So now it's been almost 19 years since I left the job I had, specifically to be an at home dad. I won't say it's been the easiest thing, but I've made it work. Volunteering at our kids' school took up a lot of my time at the elementary stage, did the whole PTA thing, president, secretary, lots of hours. I've done some pretty major projects at our house, including building 2 garages, shower, new closets, whole new roofline and insulation, lots of trees planted, and tons of little painting projects, etc. That all helped fulfill the need to contribute.

I still do all the bills, little taxi driving kid left till he gets off his learner's permit, schedule appts, feed and clean up after dog, cut, split and stack about 6000lbs of firewood/year to heat the house, clean, shop, cook (suck at that one), wash clothes (kids do their own), keep track of schoolwork online, try to get boys to do at least a little of the chores around here, do everything I can to save money on things we do buy, plan vacations, keep track of all finances and retirement/medical accounts. I also have full responsibility now of most of the above for my Dad too, as I'm power of attorney for him and his dementia makes him incapable of any of that.

I know it's very rare for anyone, especially guys, to do this as long as I have. We're lucky we've been able to make it work financially. I know most folks aren't that lucky. I've always loved being as frugal as possible, doing it for 33 years since getting my BS degree has payed off.

And if my kids get into some highfalutin' school, and make the $90K average some of them claim, they'll be able to help me out in the future!
Hey Riggs, thanks a lot for your post.

Glad you mentioned the home repair thing as I have done some carpentry and construction in the past. We are in the process of buying our first home, and I thought fixing up the house would be a great big project for years to come and a way to build equity in the home (make money so to speak). I am also frugal and do a lot of DIY projects.

How did you learn how to do all the home repair stuff? Books? Videos? Classes? Interested to learn more!
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:24 AM
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In my 15th year as a SAHD I can only echo Rigg's post. If you can make it work financially staying home with the kids after they go to school is a good idea IMO. Trust me, it is not like there is nothing to do. My wife works long hours. With our setup her off time is just that (when she is not watching TV at night with her "Eternal Flame" as I call it, AKA her company laptop, on her lap) for her to do what she wants. I have seen parents running and gunning juggling the kids and work for a long time. Usually they are not happy. That being said, when my daughter becomes a Junior in a couple of years I would like to find a little something to kill some time and make a little scratch.

And as for your question to Riggs about learning about home repairs and projects I learned after we bought our first home. And I learned rather quickly. No choice.
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WackaWacka View Post
Hey Riggs, thanks a lot for your post.

Glad you mentioned the home repair thing as I have done some carpentry and construction in the past. We are in the process of buying our first home, and I thought fixing up the house would be a great big project for years to come and a way to build equity in the home (make money so to speak). I am also frugal and do a lot of DIY projects.

How did you learn how to do all the home repair stuff? Books? Videos? Classes? Interested to learn more!
Three times the charm. For DIY home projects, I recommend research, research, research, and some practice. For most of my projects, whether it was tile, wiring, HVAC, plumbing, or painting, I've found that after I research the heck out of a project, lay it out in steps that I can fit into the kids naps, and execute, that it takes about 3 times to get proficient. 90% on the first try, 95% on the second, and 99% on the third. That last percent just takes lots of experience to make someone a pro.

I'll give you a little word of warning, though. Living in a remodel will take you about twice the time or more of not living in it. You end-up spending about half of your time setting-up and cleaning-up every day. Also, remember to buy 15-20% more of what you need for a project, otherwise you will spend a majority of your time running back and forth to the store. As you get better, you may shave that down to 10% or less, but even a pro has extras.

Remodels are always a surprise. You are surprised by what "pros" did or did not do when constructing your house and are surprised by what the previous owners did.

Another thing to remember is to not do a job unless you are OK with your worst case scenario. That means calling a contractor, replacing more than just the door and frame, or more than just a toilet, faucet, or shut-off valve (nothing like turning a stiff shut-off valve to change the toilet and the stem breaks and begins leaking everywhere on a Sunday evening).

Anyway, a bunch of the guys here have been down that road. Ask and you will get more than you bargained for.

Cheers!
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:03 PM
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Oh man, I forgot about the house projects! We put a bathroom in our basement at our old house as well as an extra "bonus room" down there. Remodeled the downstairs bathroom here and are looking at doing the upstairs one this fall.
Don't forget about all the car repairs, guys. Those add up quick, too.
Having to do it teaches you pretty quick, having a father in law who has done it all is also helpful.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:06 AM
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Wacka, I'm guessing at 9 months old your son isn't quite walking, but getting close. Be prepared for it to get harder then, more trouble to get into quicker. I didn't do many projects at all until my kids were at least 5 years old. Would you trust leaving your kids at daycare if the folks watching him were remodeling at the same time? And even after waiting, and also being at home with them as much as I have, I now regret not spending more time just sitting in the sandbox playing trucks with them, building Legos with them, etc. Our youngest was good at just playing by himself, but I think I took advantage of that too often with "more important" things to do. He only wants to be by himself now. I love memories of countless hours spent just sitting and reading with them, every day, even as young as 9 months. Board books with fuzzy things were great at that age.

Twocubs is spot on in everything above. Except I take way more than 3 tries to be proficient, haha! I worked in construction a couple years, and worked as a highway engineer overseeing construction so had a little background, but not much. As twocubs said, lots of research. If I see guys doing something like concrete I watch and ask questions. I've done as big as a 15 cubic yard concrete pour with just inexperienced friends, a lot if you ever try it! (will never again though). Also taught myself brick masonry, framing, drywall, doors, windows, steel and asphalt roofing, wiring, plumbing, more. There's lots of stuff online, just make sure to find several sources. Fact is most of the guys who are really good at trades are not filming themselves for YouTube or typing about it or working at Home Depot. They're out working. But you can weed out the bad advice and do trail and error too. There are a few retired guys out there with time to post stuff that's really good. There's even some good threads in DIY section on here.


Yeah tt, I forgot about cars. I've done all our oil changes, replaced an axle, timing belts, brakes, taught son how to replace a starter, and lots of other misc. stuff. And all outside maintenance, watering, pruning, etc. Boys mow now.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:08 PM
WackaWacka WackaWacka is offline
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Thanks everyone for their great advice.

I absolutely want to be with my son, and giv ehim 100% of my attention right now. I think I just wanted to begin learning some stuff so that I feel like I was contributing more when I found some time on my hands. We are in the process of buying our first home, so mostly I have a few books that I love looking through about house building and repairs.

I am dedicated to being a dad first, but also want to know that I can fix and take care of our future home. If I am to be at home after the kid begins school later on, I think I would like to begin learning now (taking woodworking classes etc.) as a way to feel like I am learning on my own. Maybe I just miss learning since I have been with my son.

But I hear ya loud and clear, don't let other things get in the way of being with my son. I hope to take that to hear.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:01 PM
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That's good to hear. My son has taught me a lot about plumbing and drywall. Too much. OTOH I have apparently forgotten a LOT about how to cook.

As for the woodworking, that comes when they go through the terrible twos ... and fours ... and sevens .... and nines ... and twelves.
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