Who’s going to take care of the kids? If you and your spouse are about to start a family, or your family is growing, I’m sure you’ve been asked that question. Bosses, colleagues, friends and family, all want to know if you’ll be taking significant time away from your career.
There are plenty of angles to consider, and countless words have been written about opting out, leaning in and everything in between. On top of all that, critics seem eager to weigh in on every available choice. The decision isn’t easy, and I’m not here to debate the merits of one parenting style over another. What I can offer is a sound financial perspective, based on my expertise as a Divorce Financial Strategist™ and the wisdom of my clients, who’ve been very candid about what they wish they’d done differently.
Of course, divorce can be tremendously difficult for even the most affluent, well-educated, strong and competent women. But of all those who’ve consulted with me over the years, I’d have to say that the women most uncertain about their financial futures are those who gave up paid work to be stay-at-home Moms (SAHMs).
Some tell me that if they’d realized what they were risking, they would never have cut their ties to the professional world so completely. Others say that, while they would still happily have left their careers, they wish that they had protected their financial standing more carefully.
If you’re thinking about becoming a SAHM, please do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to face some unpleasant contingencies. For example, half of marriages end in divorce. What will you do if you find yourself there?