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The question I have is: What factors went into the decision to have a stay at home spouse?

This is a great question and hopefully it will get some good, quality responses.

Currently, both my wife and myself work FT. However, this has not always been so.

When we first met and married, I was an E-5 in the Navy. My spouse is from a foreign country and after we married, we transferred to another foreign country. It was there my first son was born.

After several years, we transferred to Cutler, Maine and it was here that my spouse started working. She made Christmas Wreaths during the winter months and she really made some good money. Then, she became certified through the Navy to provide child care and we had more little ones living with us for a time.

When I seperated from the Navy, I wanted to take some time off and my wife wanted to work. She got a FT job in a factory and I relaxed. I guess I relaxed too much as wife ended up pregnent with little one #2.

It was at this point that I realized I needed to get back in gear as I didn't like the idea of my wife working when we had two young kids. I eventually relocated and came to be working in my current job.

In the meanwhile, little one #2 was born and SO was a Stay at Home Mome, SAHM. Having two kids and being cooped up in the house got to her so we debated how we could fix this problem.

I wasn't making a lot, but I was paying the bills. SO didn't want to apply for a job where she would be taken away from the kids, plus have to pay child care on top of it. Eventually, she found a job at the local YMCA in the child care room. She was able to make some money and at the same time take the kids with her for free when she worked. After a year or two, she transitioned into working FT for a child care center. She was still able to take the kids with her for free and she was able to make more money.

That brings us to where we are now. We both work FT. I make about 2 1/2 times what SO makes. However, my job can be crazy as far as the days and hours go and her job is guaranteed to be M-F, 7-4. This is great as our kids are involved in so many activities. She could get another job, but in this area that would either be in retail or in a factory and her hours wouldn't be as good.

That's the dilemma we are in. We want our kids to be involved and we want to be able to spend a lot of time with them. If SO chased after more money, our kids would probably suffer from it.

If I were you, NuclearRedneck, I would talk with my SO about her getting out of the Navy and you staying in. Sure, you would still be separated from time to time, but at least she would be at home. I don't know if you have kids or plan to, but if you do, it's very important that one of you be a civilian. She and your kids would still have to move when you transfer, but the headache of both you transferring to different locations would be gone.
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