Alia

My husband won't let me stay home with our baby because I make more money than him

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Hi, my name is Alia and I am 28 I have been married to my husband for 5 years. When we met he was in the army and I was training to be a lawyer. He left the army 3 years ago and has never found a job he likes, he was working in construction until a year ago. At that time I was earning more than double what my husband was earning but it was never an issue we put our money together and sorted our finances spending an equal amount of money on the things we wanted to. 14 months ago our son was born, work gave me 2 weeks maternity leave which was great and my husband kept working then I extended my maternity leave to 2 months so the pay stopped. After about one month of living on my husband's pay only he told me that he didn't think we could cope living on his wage and I should go back to work and he will care for our son. I drew up a budget and it meant that we wouldn't have much spending money but we could comfortably pay for our mortgage and bills. We agreed to try this and it was fine but my husband got fed up of not being able to buy video games and getting new equipment etc. So he was really pushing me to go back to work but I explained to him how much it meant to me to be able to stay with our son and then he quit his job. So I agreed I would go to work until he finds something new to do and then I will go back to caring for our son. This was 10 months ago and he still hasn't found a new job even though he has been offered work in construction by his father and by my brother.  I have been unhappy being away from our son, I feel like I am missing so much of his development I missed his first words and I missed his first steps. I don't care about my work and my manager has pulled me aside many times asking me if I am okay and telling me to take some time off. My family have noticed that I am sad and unfulfilled but my husband doesn't care. The last time my brother offered him work my husband said there is no point him working when I earn more money. Even though, my husband knows how much I want to stay home with our son he isn't willing to live within a budget and make some sacrifices so that I can be with our son, it makes me feel like he doesn't value me as our son's mother.

The other problem is that my husband doesn't even care for our son, he takes our son to his mom's house at least 3 days a week. He spends all day at home playing games or going to see his friends, sometimes he travels to card game conventions. Also, he doesn't clean the house at all so on Saturday when I want to spend all my time with my son I can't because I have to clean all morning and do the laundry and go grocery shopping. I have asked him to do some cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and he tells me he isn't a woman. So I told him he needs to do some home improvement like paint the hallway and refit our son's nursery and he did do it. So he isn't lazy but he is being inconsiderate to me. 

 

I need some advice as what to do? I want to be with my son and being away from him is causing me to feel torn and I resent my husband for making me leave him. What can I do to get my husband back to work and to agree to a budget? Do you think what he is doing by not providing for us is wrong? Or do I expect too much from him? 

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This is what I'm going to do.

I would quit my job and take my responsibility of taking care of my son and live off that old budget and tell him in no uncertain terms to SOLDIER UP and take on his responsibility as a man and not as a coward.

But, that's just me.

If you decide to do this, I have several methods you can implement to live off of a small income, especially if your husband refuses to pull up his bootstraps.

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Welcome!

Ordinarily I’d say “you married a man-child, and you’ve got some hard decisions to make”.  But, as a fellow lawyer, I do note that legal educations are horrendously expensive and I would venture to guess a) you have a boatload of student debt, b) you incurred it during the marriage, and c) you (or at least, HE) anticipated  that those loans would be repaid with *your* income.

It’s asking a lot to expect a woman not to stay home with her baby—but it’s also asking a lot to expect a man to make payments on his wife’s law school debt.  I’m not fully sure  whether this is a case of a man-child not “soldiering up”, or whether this is a case of a traditional guy who got used to the idea of marrying a modern woman and then felt sucker-punched when she decided she wanted to live a traditional lifestyle and have him be the breadwinner after all.

Obviously, that’s only one piece of the puzzle here . . . But maybe food for thought.  Good luck—

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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10 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Welcome!

Ordinarily I’d say “you married a man-child, and you’ve got some hard decisions to make”.  But, as a fellow lawyer, I do note that legal educations are horrendously expensive and I would venture to guess a) you have a boatload of student debt, b) you incurred it during the marriage, and c) you (or at least, HE) anticipated  that those loans would be repaid with *your* income.

 It’s asking a lot to expect a woman not to stay home with her baby—but it’s also asking a lot to expect a man to make payments on his wife’s law school debt.  

Obviously, that’s only one piece of the puzzle here . . . But maybe food for thought.  Good luck—

I have no debt from law school. I had a scholarship for my pre law degree and I used inheritance from my father to pay for grad school. I also didn't marry a man child 

Edited by Alia

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13 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

This is what I'm going to do.

I would quit my job and take my responsibility of taking care of my son and live off that old budget and tell him in no uncertain terms to SOLDIER UP and take on his responsibility as a man and not as a coward.

 But, that's just me.

If you decide to do this, I have several methods you can implement to live off of a small income, especially if your husband refuses to pull up his bootstraps.

The problem is that budget only worked on my husband's wage if I quit work bar one months savings the budget we would need to live in would be 0. 

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6 minutes ago, Alia said:

The problem is that budget only worked on my husband's wage if I quit work bar one months savings the budget we would need to live in would be 0. 

You just told us your husband is not a man child.  A man child would pout and play "I don't wanna" when you decide to set things to right leaving that incoming to 0.  A soldier would get the job done to put food on that table.  A month is plenty of notice.  A misguided man will not take on the responsibility if his wife takes it on for him.  He needs to straighten up.

Edited by anatess2

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7 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

You just told us your husband is not a man child.  A man child would pout and play "I don't wanna" when you decide to set things to right leaving that incoming to 0.  A soldier would get the job done to put food on that table.  A month is plenty of notice.  A misguided man will not take on the responsibility if his wife takes it on for him.  He needs to straighten up.

I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving work before my husband finds a job, he quit his job before I went back to work so I doubt me quitting my job would force him to get a job. 

I have thought about leaving my job but when I weigh up whether it is best for my son to have me home with him but having no money to meet his basic needs, I decide to stay at work. 

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11 minutes ago, Alia said:

I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving work before my husband finds a job, he quit his job before I went back to work so I doubt me quitting my job would force him to get a job. 

I have thought about leaving my job but when I weigh up whether it is best for my son to have me home with him but having no money to meet his basic needs, I decide to stay at work. 

In my opinion, it's gonna be harder for you to get your husband to take his place as the provider of your family if you're occupying that position.  So, if you want to keep that job, then you get to do both - nurture and provide at the same time.  Because, nurturing doesn't become "not your job" when you decided to take the provider role.  So, basically, it's like you hired your husband to be the babysitter unless he can somehow fulfill the role of Mother, which does not come as easy to stereotypical males.  It's also not good for the male psyche to not be tasked with a responsibility that they are competent in.  So, if it's bad now, there's a strong possibility it is going to get worse.

 

Edited by anatess2

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2 hours ago, Alia said:

I drew up a budget and it meant that we wouldn't have much spending money but we could comfortably pay for our mortgage and bills. We agreed to try this and it was fine but my husband got fed up of not being able to buy video games and getting new equipment etc.

I have been unhappy being away from our son, I feel like I am missing so much of his development I missed his first words and I missed his first steps.

 

God bless you!!!  What a marvelous maternal spirit you have.  What a breath of fresh air to hear a woman who has taken to heart the counsel of the prophets and the admonition of the Lord.

What this boils down to is that you have a decision between following that counsel or following your husband's desire to buy more video games.  Hmmm.

Actually, what it sounds like is that you are willing to sacrifice material wants to heed the counsel of the prophets.  And your husband would rather have video games than the maternal influence that is so critical for your son in early years.  I'm saddened that your husband has taken this position.

However, the other side of the coin is that if you're saying that you really won't have any savings at the end of the month even when you're outlining a responsible budget, then you need to consider that as a reality of survival.  Difficult decision.

What if you took another route?  He goes to work and provides the basic budget.  But you can do legal work part-time from home? Have you ever set up a home based business?  What area of law do you work in?

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@Alia I understand what @anatess2 is suggesting is scary, but she may very well be on to something. You might try setting some money aside to work within the smaller budget before dropping your job or investigating if there is something part time in your field that would allow you to be home more often, but still working within the smaller budget. This way your husband still wouldn't have the extra money to buy toys as he wants, and you'd have more time with your little one. The hope would be that your husband would realize how serious you are about being home and that the money isn't as important. Then maybe he would step up and provide so you could come home, but you wouldn't tear away the safety net entirely.

Possibly a compromise could be reached as well, where you continue to work part-time or casually while your husband also works full time and on the days you are both working your little guy visits grandma. If you work 12-20 hours a week, that should be 20-28 more hours a week at home with your child assuming you are working 40 hours - I realize when my uncle was working in the legal arena it was more like 60-80 hours a week. 

I can't give you any answers, just ideas.

 

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12 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

God bless you!!!  What a marvelous maternal spirit you have.  What a breath of fresh air to hear a woman who has taken to heart the counsel of the prophets and the admonition of the Lord.

What this boils down to is that you have a decision between following that counsel or following your husband's desire to buy more video games.  Hmmm.

Actually, what it sounds like is that you are willing to sacrifice material wants to heed the counsel of the prophets.  And your husband would rather have video games than the maternal influence that is so critical for your son in early years.  I'm saddened that your husband has taken this position.

However, the other side of the coin is that if you're saying that you really won't have any savings at the end of the month even when you're outlining a responsible budget, then you need to consider that as a reality of survival.  Difficult decision.

What if you took another route?  He goes to work and provides the basic budget.  But you can do legal work part-time from home? Have you ever set up a home based business?  What area of law do you work in?

I see that you slipped in a similar thought process to mine between when I started my post which was interrupted and when I posted. Now my thoughts appear a touch redundant.

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Perhaps a different (maybe unwelcome perspective). As a dad who, in hindsight, thinks he would have enjoyed and done well at being a stay at home dad -- especially if mom's income potential is so much higher than mine, I am somewhat sympathetic towards your husband's point of view (except for handing junior off to grandma regularly). I can also sympathize with your concern about the things you miss as a parent who works full time outside the home.

I have no idea how best to resolve this issue. If you want to use the traditional gender role thing to break the stalemate, I guess that works (though I note that even in the Proclamation on the Family, allowance is made for "individual adaptation" as circumstances dictate). When all is said and done, this is going to come down to what you and your husband can work out, and I don't expect that it will be an easy thing to work out.

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My brother married a lawyer.  She makes a ton more than he does, so he is a stay-at-home dad and she works.  He's a great one, too.  Now that the kids are older they are in school and he works during the day.

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My unpopular opinion-

Your income potential is better than his. It might be best for you to seek outside employment while he becomes a stay at home dad. It troubles me that he relies on his mother to watch your child, and that needs to be addressed. 

As for his video games-I'm a huge gamer. It's not the games that are the issue, it's the fact that he is letting his hobbies take over for his responsibilities. If you allow him time to play video games-perhaps an hour a day or something-it'll let him unwind, let you be with your child for mommy time, and perhaps let him understand that he can still be a father and not have to give up everything that gives him pleasure in life. 

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This is not about income.  This is about the very natural instincts of Motherhood endowed in all women,  There is no money high enough that can pay the price of Motherhood to the betterment of children and society as a whole.  I believe that ignoring a Mother’s yearning to care for her own child will cause one to bitterly regret it.  We have one shot at raising a child.  By the time he is 12 years old, that opportunity is gone.

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The church has some really good self reliance courses that are free of course.  There is one specifically about job/career advancement, and about managing family finances. 

I don't think in a case like this is good to force a situation on your spouse, that leads to anger and resentment.  You need to persuade him with love, help him see things from your point of view and understand your pain.  It may take some persistence on your part to get it across to him.

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@Alia Welcome! Wow. Tricky situation! I guess my first stop would be my bishop and the temple. many people need work to remain stable. I wonder if your husband is in this category? Some people just don’t have the self discipline and emotional stability to look after children. Is your husband in this category? 

I would see if you can manage to stick it out at work while finding out if your husband has some mental instability issues. I wonder if the bishop has any thoughts? 

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OP is here and husband is not. So, my thoughts are narrowly focused on her. Wow, @Alia! You gained education to be a lawyer--and on scholarship, at that. Impressive. Could it be that Heavenly Father has gifted you in this area--that this is at least a portion of your "talents?" You were unfilled in your work. Could it be that you focused heavily on wanted to care for your child, such that the work became of secondary importance? Further, you may have felt guilt at not raising the child, and felt you needed to be the one physically caring for the baby? Thus, the work became a hindrance. It could be that lawyering is part of God's call on your life, otherwise why would God have granted you to spend so much time and energy, and to win such accolades?

As a total side note, I wonder if you hubby has considered re-enlisting. He may have lost some benefits by now, but it may be that the structure it offered helps him to thrive.

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6 hours ago, Alia said:

I have no debt from law school. I had a scholarship for my pre law degree and I used inheritance from my father to pay for grad school. I also didn't marry a man child 

Thanks for the clarification.  

I suppose what we label him is less important than what he actually does.  From what you’ve told us:

—He can’t keep a job.

—He stays home to “watch the child”, but farms the kid off to his own mommy while he plays video games and indulges his hobby of “card conventions”; in the furtherance of which he expects to be supported by you, a woman.

—He flat-out refuses to do the repetitive household chores that go with being a stay-at-home parent, doing only occasional one-time “in-and-out” projects that any working husband/dad already expects to do on evenings and weekends.

—He knew full well you wanted to quit your job, and quit his first so he could force you to keep working.  He has refused subsequent offers of employment.

—Everyone around you can tell that you’re miserable, except (maybe) him—and he, by your own wording, just doesn’t care.

—You are not asking him for an unreasonable degree of support, financial or otherwise.   You are materially and substantially fulfilling the reasonable expectations he had as of the time of your marriage; and your marital expectations from him have not materially or substantially increased.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Label it whatever you want.  Out of respect for you I won’t use the phrase “man-child” again.  I will simply point out that right now your husband apparently has a sweet gig that any man would be a darned fool to give up for any reason except love—and it seems that he won’t give it up for that, either.  

His mom wasn’t able to change him in eighteen years.  You haven’t been able to change him in five more years.  One point three million members of the United States Armed Forces couldn’t change him in three years.  The odds are not in the favor of you finally changing him in the time remaining before your little one starts kindergarten.  The issue isn’t whether you’ll ever be a stay-at-home mom to a small child; that ship has sailed.  The issue is whether he plans to keep leaching off you for another seventeen years, and what you’re planning to do about it.  Again, I’m sorry, but that’s the situation you’re facing—no judgment, no blame; it just is

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I would be hesitant to involve the bishop right now. Putting a third party in the situation without the consent of both partners is unfair to the bishop and the husband. It's usually seen as ganging up by the other partner. Not productive to such disputes. Also violation of privacy boundaries without consent.

If he will go, try couples counseling. I still think he will balk at that after a session or two because it seems he will be confronted as not doing his part. But with a more n eutral third party saying such will hopefully trigger some rumination that is lacking now. And then hopefully he can figure out his necessary role and step up.

But it may not be your ideal role either. Expect uncomfortable compromise.
 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Alia said:

Hi, my name is Alia and I am 28 I have been married to my husband for 5 years. When we met he was in the army and I was training to be a lawyer. He left the army 3 years ago and has never found a job he likes, he was working in construction until a year ago. At that time I was earning more than double what my husband was earning but it was never an issue we put our money together and sorted our finances spending an equal amount of money on the things we wanted to. 14 months ago our son was born, work gave me 2 weeks maternity leave which was great and my husband kept working then I extended my maternity leave to 2 months so the pay stopped. After about one month of living on my husband's pay only he told me that he didn't think we could cope living on his wage and I should go back to work and he will care for our son. I drew up a budget and it meant that we wouldn't have much spending money but we could comfortably pay for our mortgage and bills. We agreed to try this and it was fine but my husband got fed up of not being able to buy video games and getting new equipment etc. So he was really pushing me to go back to work but I explained to him how much it meant to me to be able to stay with our son and then he quit his job. So I agreed I would go to work until he finds something new to do and then I will go back to caring for our son. This was 10 months ago and he still hasn't found a new job even though he has been offered work in construction by his father and by my brother.  I have been unhappy being away from our son, I feel like I am missing so much of his development I missed his first words and I missed his first steps. I don't care about my work and my manager has pulled me aside many times asking me if I am okay and telling me to take some time off. My family have noticed that I am sad and unfulfilled but my husband doesn't care. The last time my brother offered him work my husband said there is no point him working when I earn more money. Even though, my husband knows how much I want to stay home with our son he isn't willing to live within a budget and make some sacrifices so that I can be with our son, it makes me feel like he doesn't value me as our son's mother.

The other problem is that my husband doesn't even care for our son, he takes our son to his mom's house at least 3 days a week. He spends all day at home playing games or going to see his friends, sometimes he travels to card game conventions. Also, he doesn't clean the house at all so on Saturday when I want to spend all my time with my son I can't because I have to clean all morning and do the laundry and go grocery shopping. I have asked him to do some cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and he tells me he isn't a woman. So I told him he needs to do some home improvement like paint the hallway and refit our son's nursery and he did do it. So he isn't lazy but he is being inconsiderate to me. 

 

I need some advice as what to do? I want to be with my son and being away from him is causing me to feel torn and I resent my husband for making me leave him. What can I do to get my husband back to work and to agree to a budget? Do you think what he is doing by not providing for us is wrong? Or do I expect too much from him? 

First off, pray, a lot!  Pray for him, pray for your child, pray for yourself, pray for your family to be united and happy.

This is a hard situation, on one hand it makes sense that you earn more so he should be at home, on the other hand I can't imagine how hard that would be for you.  Also he isn't doing his job, his job (that he nominated himself for and insisted on having) is to be the homemaker and look after your child.  So that means childcare, cleaning, washing, cooking, all the stuff a stay at home parent does.  Not offloading his responsibilities to grandma (and you) so he can play video games! You have every right to be furious at him.

That being said, being furious is not going to get you what you want.  If he's going to get a job and go back to work it has to be his idea.  Have a serious talk to him, tell him you would feel more comfortable with the situation if he actually did all the stuff he was supposed to be doing.  Ask him if he knows how to do the laundry and if he needs you to show him.  Ask him if he needs some basic cooking books and a new vacuum cleaner to help him get organised.  Get him a planner and plan out his week with him.  What sort of activities is he doing with the child everyday?  Make a list and go through it with him.  INSIST that if he really wants to be a stay at home dad THIS is what it means.  Just because he's a man doesn't mean he doesn't have to do all these things, he's signing up for it, he needs to either do it properly or go back to work so you can do it.

He'll be so tired after a week he'll re-inlist, maybe that's what he really wants anyway, some people just love the military, and by the sounds of it the structure will do him good.

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12 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Actually, what it sounds like is that you are willing to sacrifice material wants to heed the counsel of the prophets.  And your husband would rather have video games than the maternal influence that is so critical for your son in early years.  I'm saddened that your husband has taken this position.

 

That basically sums it up I want to be with my son no matter the financial sacrifice but my husband doesn't want to live within a budget because he is used to having money to spend. The only way he can have enough money to spend is if I work and fund his hobbies. That is one of the main problems for me that my husband values having money to spend more than me being home with our son. 

 

13 hours ago, Carborendum said:

 However, the other side of the coin is that if you're saying that you really won't have any savings at the end of the month even when you're outlining a responsible budget, then you need to consider that as a reality of survival.  Difficult decision.

 

We probably have 6 weeks money in savings, so if something went wrong and we had no income we could survive for 6 weeks before we would need to start panicking. Also, my law firm have always been very good to me and I know they would take me back or one of my clients would within a months notice. So I am not worried about money, if something goes wrong.

 

13 hours ago, Carborendum said:

 What if you took another route?  He goes to work and provides the basic budget.  But you can do legal work part-time from home? Have you ever set up a home based business?  What area of law do you work in?

I am a litigator. I really want to take a break and not work at all for a while so I can fully concentrate on my son and husband too. 

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13 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

 Possibly a compromise could be reached as well, where you continue to work part-time or casually while your husband also works full time and on the days you are both working your little guy visits grandma. If you work 12-20 hours a week, that should be 20-28 more hours a week at home with your child assuming you are working 40 hours - I realize when my uncle was working in the legal arena it was more like 60-80 hours a week. 

 

I leave home at 6:45 AM every day and work from 8AM to 7:30PM most days, I get home at 8:15. I put my son to bed if he isn't already asleep and that is all the interaction I have with him all day. I have to ask my husband and mother in law to not let him have a long nap during the day so I can spend some time with him in the evening. I know soon he won't nap at all and I will go days without interacting with him. 

The problem with working part time is that it won't stay part time. I have clients who request me and if I am working at all my law firm will give me their cases. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, MormonGator said:

 As for his video games-I'm a huge gamer. It's not the games that are the issue, it's the fact that he is letting his hobbies take over for his responsibilities. If you allow him time to play video games-perhaps an hour a day or something-it'll let him unwind, let you be with your child for mommy time, and perhaps let him understand that he can still be a father and not have to give up everything that gives him pleasure in life. 

I used to have hobbies and then I got married and then I got a job and then I had a son. Basically, I can't go swimming, I can't go and play tennis I can't go to my old chess club because I work all day and then I get home and have to clean and cook dinner because God forbid my husband who has been at home all day makes his own food. Then I put my son to bed which is the highlight of my day then I go to bed because I am exhausted and have to be up in 6 hours. And why do I do that ? So my husband can play his games while I run around exhausted and miserable, making all this money I haven't even got time to spend, I buy my son toys and books online that I haven't got time to read to him. That my husband won't read to our son. I have had to give up everything that gives me pleasure including spending time with my son. So excuse me for wanting my husband to stop playing childish games and go to work .  

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24 minutes ago, Alia said:

I leave home at 6:45 AM every day and work from 8AM to 7:30PM most days, I get home at 8:15. I put my son to bed if he isn't already asleep and that is all the interaction I have with him all day. I have to ask my husband and mother in law to not let him have a long nap during the day so I can spend some time with him in the evening. I know soon he won't nap at all and I will go days without interacting with him. 

The problem with working part time is that it won't stay part time. I have clients who request me and if I am working at all my law firm will give me their cases. 

 

 

Is there a way to cut back on hours at all?

Perhaps you need to request some time off (paid or unpaid) where you can spend more time with your family.

Another option you could look at is teaching.

I do NOT mean High School, but perhaps going to teach at a Law School or University.  If you can get to be full-time the hours can be more amenable to raising a family.  The downside is that you would probably NOT make as much money.  However, you would probably have better hours and your time would be more flexible.

One way to get a start in this would NOT help your situation currently as it would require MORE time away from your family.  If you start a part time gig (which many who want to become full time professors start out with) that gets you a leg in the game as well as experience to become full time.

However, if you can become a Professor at a university, even if the pay is not as great, it can give you a lot more free time than what it sounds like you are getting currently.  May not help with your current child but if you plan on having more it could turn out to be a boon with later children.

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