Lisa, I think you've just started to tap into your power, and you are starting to realize you DO have power in that relationship and that you are stronger than you originally thought. My sister has always had a very bad relationship w/ my dad (he's verbally abusive) & I have told her for years, as she would cry & cry, that she can't change him, she can change how she REACTS to him. Well, he finally did it one too many times & she went off on him, told him he had no right, he will treat her with respect, etc. etc.....That was a year ago & my dad STILL doesn't know how to come at her now. She has the upper hand, and he doesn't know how to react.
I do think it's best that he continues to work since this job is obviously his "dream" of what he wants to do, and quitting it will just cause him to resent you & the kids. But you opened his eyes. Still, do what you said - you need to get an education & a job because he might not always be there to support you & the kids. My sister was widowed at 21 with a baby. My aunt widowed with 2 kids in her mid-30s. Things happen.
SOOOO proud of you standing up & telling him and not crying.