Staying At Home, But Also Hustling

Take me, for instance. I was married to a really nice, devoted guy who made a handsome income. We had a baby, bought life insurance, set up automatic contributions to our retirement accounts and emergency savings, and even started a college fund. He had disability insurance, but that never came into play after he fell off a cliff and nearly died of a brain injury – of which the lingering and devastating symptoms played a big role in dissolving our marriage.

Who could have planned for that?

Emma Johnson, a single mother, has a recent blog post arguing why we can’t be (solely) stay-at-home moms (or dads), because we take on risk by depending on a single source of income. What if your spouse falls off a cliff, or divorces you, or becomes unemployed? This isn’t about hiring a babysitter and heading to the office—it’s more about the importance of having a side gig. Having a side hustle (maybe not literally, but hey) is how a lot of people pay off debt, or save for something big like a house or wedding or trip around the world, and is something I have and completely endorse. [Thanks to Caroline for the tip. Photo: stevendepaolo]

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4 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#22)

Yes, yes please. Maybe one day I’ll get around to my In Praise of Hustling essay.

Also, fun fact – you can’t get disability insurance if you’re not a full-time employee! Ha ha ha ha haah shadsladjkslafas

NoReally (#45)

Giving up your career to be the house spouse has always felt to me like the same kind of risk, or gesture, as not having a prenup, but bigger the less income you have.

And, I’ve gotten quotes for disability insurance, self-employed. Crazy high quotes, but once I’d been on my own five or six years I could get it.

I disagree. I don’t think you have to keep a foot in the game to stay secure. If a certain sort of lifestyle is very important to you, then yes, but if you make sure you maintain skills that will under most circumstances allow you to get SOME job when you need one, then you’re okay, at least insofar as we can say anyone is okay at current unemployment rates.

Staying at home with kids and working part-time or hustling on the side is in many ways more difficult than staying home full-time or working full-time. I do it because it’s my preference, but I absolutely understand why someone would opt not to based on personality and family needs. And in many cases women home with their kids are doing a lot of work that increase family wealth and provide them with skills that will allow them to live on less income in the future… cooking from scratch for example.

This makes me feel unnecessarily smug about the $30 I have earned in writing commissions this year. Particularly given that I live in the UK and that makes out to be about …. look I’m not going to convert it, I’m just going to be smug.

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