Whenever the idea of being a Stay-At-Home mom comes up, I hear objections. The sentences always start with “But what if…”. Today, I’ll tackle some of the most common “What If” questions that I’ve heard (or said myself).
What if…my husband dies?
What if you’ve been married 10 years, have 3 little ones and your husband dies? It happens. It happened my mom, in fact. And if it happens to you, you have options:
1) Use that life insurance policy! There is a reason that most financial advisors tell you to have life insurance when someone is dependent on your income. Dave Ramsey recommends 10 times your annual income, probably for this very reason. Adequate life insurance ensures that you can continue on as a stay-at-home mom for quite some time.
2) Remarry. It happens. I don’t think you’re required to remarry, but you’re certainly free to. But you also won’t be remarrying immediately. Get life insurance.
3) Go back to work then. If your spouse does die and if you do go back to work, you’re about in the same position as if you wouldn’t have been a stay-at-home mom. You can consider yourself blessed to have stayed-at-home for the time that you did. But get life insurance.
What if…I do go back to work someday? Won’t I be behind?
It’s quite possible that you will go back to work someday. Maybe when your kids are in school during the day. Maybe when your kids are all grown and left the nest. And it’s a fact: your career will not be the same as if you had continued to work during the 20 years you stayed-at-home. It just won’t. You will have a harder time finding a job. But…it’s also likely that your interests have changed. The job that interested you when you were 20 probably isn’t the same as the job you want at 50. The job you want now might not have even existed 20 years ago! And your income needs probably aren’t as high. If you’ve been living on one income smartly for 20 years (expensive years of raising kids), then return to work, you’re probably not needing a $100K job. Your income is most likely to be “play money”, not “grocery money”.
Plus, you don’t have to go back to work. Maybe once your kids are in school or grown up, you use that time to minister to others. Be a secretary for a homeless shelter. Be a regular visitor at a nursing home. Mentor young moms just starting their mothering days.
What if…my husband loses his job?
It happens. Quite a bit recently, too. Of the 8 million jobs that were lost in last year’s recession, 75% of them were held by men. I’m guessing a good chunk of them were married. If your husband loses his job, he finds a new one. Even if it’s less than what he’d want. It is possible that you going to work will help the situation (that’s a call you both will need to make), but if you’ve been living on one income all along, you’re far more likely to weather this storm that if you’ve been dependent on two.
What if…my husband leaves me?
You’re thinking “I know were both Christians, but divorce happens just as often in Christian homes as is non-Christian homes. My odds are still 50/50.” No, no they aren’t. Or at least they don’t have to be. There are things that, if part of a marriage, make your odds of divorce drastically low. Drastically. Like pray together. Attend church together. Have a budget and agree on it. In fact, the benefits that a SAHM provides would help divorce-proof your marriage. Besides, if divorce is an option that you’re considering in your marriage, you’re working from a position of fear OR maybe you have a hint that marriage to this man at this time isn’t the right choice.
The thing to remember in all of this: God is the Ultimate Provider. He will provide the necessary funds if your husband dies, leaves or is laid off or He will provide the ability to live without them. We should be wise and plan for certain events (like death!), but even that wisdom and the ability to plan is God-provided. It may be that you’ll have hardship financially for a time in life. Is that so bad? It may be that others will give to you out of their surplus. Is that so bad? It’s the Gospel in action!