Equal partners

I have 3 children, my youngest being 14 months. This is the first time in my life that I have not had to work and am able to be a stay-at-home mom. My dilemma is, first of all, that I feel guilty because my other kids might feel that they got the short end of the stick because they both were in daycare by the time they were 3 months old. Secondly, I also am used to working and making my own money (good money) and I don’t like feeling I have to ask what’s in the bank, when my husband gets paid, if I can pay certain bills, etc. It’s a control issue I guess. My biggest issue is I’m always thinking will my future be financially secure for my kids & family even if I’m not working? I would feel much better & secure if I knew we would be financially comfortable either way. Hope to get your advice & thoughts.
– Michelle
Tampa, Florida

Michelle, you have no reason to feel guilty. Trust your internal guidance system. After all, would you want to deprive your third child of as much maternal attention as you can, just because you were not able to give as much to your first two? Outside of worrying about what others might think (an external guidance system), that doesn’t make sense. Why not celebrate your good fortune and the good fortune of all of your children, who can see more of their mother now?

This is a big change. That you have some feelings of insecurity about it is totally understandable.

I suspect that the issue of being in control is the bigger one for you here. You took pride in your ability to earn a good living and contribute to your family financially; that is understandable. Since you didn’t say one way or the other, one assumes that your husband supports the idea of you being a stay-at-home mom. If so, it stands to reason that you should not have to give up financial knowledge or decision-making power in the family, an equal role in all the business of the two of you. Perhaps, if you have not fully discussed how you intend to manage your collective finances as partners, you should!

Also, it probably makes sense to stay up to speed on your professional skills, because one never knows what will happen in this economy. What is needed right away is for you and your husband to come to an agreement on how to manage family finances, as well as how you can provide the best care for all your children. Clear communications will result in a better understanding and a stronger bond between all of you.