Ideally, all women should make it clear by the second date that they plan to stay home with their babies when they have them – even if they don’t know whether or not they will. That way they’ll have options.
Unfortunately, many women didn’t do this and are now in the unfortunate position of having to convince their husbands to agree to their staying home without having planned for it in advance.
This conversation will not be easy, especially if you and your husband made choices pre-kid (buying a house or a car based on two incomes instead of one, for instance) with a different set of assumptions.
Your husband was used to your being a career woman and assumed that’s how you’d stay, so you can’t expect him to jump for joy now that you’ve decided to change course. He may, in fact, support the idea but simply not know how to make it work.
And so, now you have to make a case for motherhood. You have to explain why raising the baby you both brought into this world is the right thing to do. And something you want to do.
Here are two ways to help convince your husband to support your staying home:
This is where the rubber meets the road. By postponing marriage and motherhood, you and your man got used to living the good life. You traveled when you wanted; you ate out with abandon; you made Starbucks your second home.
You’ve also incurred a mountain of debt, including student loans. Thus, the idea of living on one income, or of moving down in one’s standard of living, feels untenable. But that doesn’t mean it is. It only feels that way because it’s much easier move up in one’s standard of living than it is to move down.
I’m not going to lie and tell you it’ll be easy; you’ll have to weigh what you’re experiencing now with that you’ll experience financially. But I am going to tell you it’s possible. Plus, it’ s only temporary. It’s one season of life.
The truth is, most couples can learn to live on one income if they want it badly enough, and if they learn to budget and to live on less than they make. If the pandemic proved anything, it was that. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.
Here’s an example of just what one woman did:
We had no monthly budget, so I made one. Paid off a car, cut the cable, shopped and meal planned. Took off the nails, did clear polish myself. Shopped health insurance till I was blue in the face, let the gardener go and did it myself.
It may be that your husband doesn’t see the advantages of living on less, or what exactly he gets in exchange for going down in his standard of living. I’d like to think that doing what’s best for his children is worth it, but like many in his generation he’s probably in the dark about children’s needs. So I would start by sharing with him the significance of the early years and why daycare is not a good option. If he’s a mature and thoughtful man, this should help him appreciate the value of his sacrifice.
Let’s be honest: Married millennials aren’t having much sex, and it isn’t rocket science as to why. It’s impossible for a woman to be interested in, or available for, sex when she’s depleted from working what essentially amounts to two full-time jobs.
Women just don’t get aroused in the same way men do. If your husband came home from work exhausted and spent, and you were lying on the couch with nothing on but a pair of heels, what do you think his response would be?
We could never turn that scenario around and expect the same result. Women need to be relaxed and warmed up to even get interested in sex, let alone enjoy it. So tell your husband that a natural consequence of not providing is that you’ll have more time to devote to yourself, which will in turn mean more and better sex for him (and for you)!
After all, they’ll be no more running out the door or being stressed out all the time running from point A to point B. Now you can throw yourself into a singular task: mothering. Yes, that is stressful, too. But it will be your only stress. Which means when it gets difficult, and it will, you’ll have time for self-care. Time is really the culprit when it comes to the lack of sex. When you have more time, you’ll be a much happier wife. And happy wives like to have sex.
So that’s my best advice for convincing your husband to support your desire to stay home. Good luck, and feel free to email me afterward. I’d love to know how it went!