I was inspired by my discussion post over at Capitol Hill Style last week to try to post more opinion/debate/personal stuff topics here. Let me know what you think...
It is often said that being a mother is the hardest you'll ever work for the least amount of pay. I don't know if that's totally accurate, but some days it definitely feels that way. Very few jobs require that you start working the minute you get up, get screamed at, vomited on, roll around on the floor, read the same book 30 times in a row (until you figure out how to hide it in the couch cushions), feed, clothe and clean another person without any sick days, vacation, or breaks. There are a couple, but not many. But I think the hardest part of being a stay-at-home mother is trying to figure out what (or how) you should "paid."
I've had a job my entire life. Except for a few semesters of high school, law school, and studying for the bar exam, I've had a paycheck since I was 16. For better or worse, there is a huge part of my identity that is tied up in what I do and how much I get paid for it. It just kills me to fill out any form these days that asks what my profession is or who my employer is. I still write attorney and self.
Beyond just the pride issue, I have trouble spending money on myself. As someone who always earned a great living (until this year, I outearned my husband every year we've been together) and never felt guilty about splurging on the things I wanted when I knew I could afford them. Now, I find myself avoiding buying even basic stuff for myself because I don't contribute financially to our household.
I mean, I know I contribute to our household. But in reality, it feels weird not to have a little tangible reminder every time I get a direct deposit. So, I'm still struggling to determine how to value what I do all day.
Other stay-at-home moms, how do you deal with the finances at your house? Do you pay yourself? Discuss purchases with your partner? And moms who are working, do you feel feel different about how you spend the money you earn now that you have a baby?