To think my sister should just go back to work

(144 Posts)
allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:01:26

I know everyone is having a tough time at the moment but I am beginning to wonder if my sister is being unrealistic about being a SAHM. She has a 4 year old (now at school) and a one year old. Her husband works for the council in what was a well paid job but due to cut backs they are beginning to struggle financially. Personally I would think that returning to some sort of part time work would be beneficial for all now. She is very funny about this sort of thing and thinks that pre school child care is the work of the devil and that mums who return to work are bad mothers. Most of my friends with babies have returned to work once their children are one years old mainly for financial reasons and I can see they are not bad parents. So AIBU or is she BU. It does grate on me that I work to support my lifestyle so why shouldn't she, after all they chose to have children? Sorry if this seems harsh but I am getting a bit fed up of hearing how hard up they are.

Ephiny Mon 17-Oct-11 21:17:37

Personally I probably would try to get back into work in her situation, it seems like a sensible thing to do. But that's her decision, or between her and her husband, not really any of your business.

So YANBU to think she should go back to work, probably best to stay out of it though, as I doubt you'll convince her. And YABU to be so resentful of her not having to 'support her lifestyle'. Live your own life and let her get on with hers, you'll be happiest that way I'm sure!

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:21:03

I'm unsure exactly why I would be jealous? Of what exactly. That's just a lazy way of saying IABU.

AScatteringofPoorSardines Mon 17-Oct-11 21:27:34

YABU, I don't think you are getting where your sister is coming from. It was incredibly important to me that I was a SAHM, your sister obviously feels the same.
I guess she feels close enough to you to be able to moan to you (without having to hold back and put a brave face on it) about the cutbacks she has to make for this to be possible. Yes, it's her choice, and perhaps hearing it gets wearing for you, but she is your sister and you should accept that this is the way she wants to do things and support her emotionally shouldn't you? It doesn't cost you anything.

LineRunner Mon 17-Oct-11 21:31:51

I'm wondering what happened with the husband's salary? A council job is a council job. I think Southampton imposed a 5% pay cut but wasn't that unusual? I suppose I'm wondering if their has been an overtime ban or something like that, for such a change in their circs.

I think that there are mass redundancies in the offing in local government in the next three years, starting next April, from what I read, so if your sister can start to research possible work opportunities then she probably should.

I agree that if she discusses this with you and cries on your shoulder then she does make it your business. Do you ask her what she thinks the solution for her family actually is? Could you encourage her to throw some ideas 'out there'.

One day her children will be paying your pension, btw! smile

ha! where I work there are people being made redundant left right and centre, people becoming "at risk" and forced to take a job for much less than they earned, oh and there's a pay review coming in to force soon, don't know what will happen but doubt it will be good news. Oh and through all this my colleagues are told to stop whining and be bloody grateful they have a job. Don't forget the rising costs of fuel and well...just living.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:51:51

Yes, overtime bans and being moved into areas with less hours, its not that great being in the public service right now, hence my general opinion that now is the time to consider other options even if they are less savoury. I recently turned down a job as it was an hourly rate rather than salaried even though it was a lovely because I would rather know what I was getting each month but that was my decision.

lurkerspeaks Mon 17-Oct-11 21:54:52

I am in a similar situation with a close family member. Money is really tight, life is terrible, whinge , whinge, whinge every time I speak to them.

Yet everytime I suggest something constructive - like getting a job complimentary to her husbands hours, doing some evening home working (she was in a field where this was possible) my suggestions are poo-poohed. Basically she views herself as a professional but doens't earn enough to pay for childcare. Her husband doesn't really earn enough to support them all but she isn't prepared to do anything to earn the extra cash they need. They are currently surviving on handouts from her parents which is not sustainable in the long term.

I on the other hand with my massively stressful, hugely competitive, long antisocial hours job are just amazingly lucky that I have a large disposable income. No thought/ acknowledgment is ever given to the huge amout of effort that goes in to earning that income and how maybe a life where the most stressful thing is working out what to buy in Asda (although as a confimed Waitrose shopper, that would be stressful) or what to wear to Toddlers would be a welcome change.

Oh, and I think I'll be paying my own pension thank you very much. And probably paying for her kids to go to Uni as she and her husband seem to have no funding vehicle in sight for that expense either.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:57:09

Here here! Well said Lurker

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 21:59:11

YANBU to think that she should stop moaning about being hard up whilst at the same time bring against going back to work.
Sounds like she wants her cake and eat it too.
Truth is, many cannot afford to live comfortably on one wage, so if she is not prepared to go to work (on principal) she will have to make do with the money her DH earns.
As for it all being non of your business, well your sister obviously thinks it is your business as you say that she discusses it all with you regularly.
What are you meant to do OP ? Just agree that life is sooo unfair on her and offer tea snd sympathy or tell her that she can change things if she is prepared to.

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:01:10

Lurker you took the words right out of my mouth- agree completely.

Arachnophobic Mon 17-Oct-11 22:03:01

Actually OP YANBU. It's annoying listening to someone drone on about it all the time. I think there are always ways of making money, with children or not.

Evening and weekend work, e-baying, Avon, the list is endless.

And clearly it is your business. As your sister has spent so much time talking to you about it she has made it your concern.

skybluepearl Mon 17-Oct-11 22:06:04

You are very jelous by the sounds of it. Yes she is skint but at least she is bringing up the kids and spending time with them.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 22:07:55

You still are not saying what I am jealous of. Which is because I am not, I'm just frustrated in trying to help her.

Arachnophobic Mon 17-Oct-11 22:08:08

OP, I don't think you are jealous at all, just a bit fed up.

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:09:13

Sky OP's sister spends many a conversation complaining.
Not a lot to be jealous of there.
I would say it's the other way round, OP's sister is jealous of OP's disposable income.

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:10:20

Hence the constant moaning and complaining.

Arachnophobic Mon 17-Oct-11 22:10:43

sky-blue I just read your post again, are you suggesting that if someone works they are not spending time with the kids or bringing them up? And how do you know anyway? For all you know the kids are at home sat in front of the telly constantly!

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:13:28

Or stuck at home all day with a miserable moany mummy sad

I don't think that the OP sounds jealous, in the least.

The OP's sister is making it the OP's business by talking to her about it regularly. It's not wrong for the OP to suggest ways of alleviating her sister's financial issues. If her sister doesn't want to work for whatever reason, then fine, but perhaps she should moan a little less.

Bogeymanface Mon 17-Oct-11 23:08:02

You still havent said whether you have children as I think that it is an important point. If you dont then you wont really get how "get a job" isnt always that simple.

We need more money but if I got a job we would be worse off, thanks to child care, so short of benefit fraud there isnt much we can do. H is looking for a better paid job but even with his experience and qualifications, he hasnt got anything in 18 months of applying.

I do think YABU in saying "just get a job" but YANBU in saying that her constant whinging is getting you down. Perhaps she moans to you because she doesnt have anyone else to moan to?

Tanith Mon 17-Oct-11 23:17:13

My lovely little sister is a SAHM, has been for all her kids. She's hard up, too, and I'm there for her any time she wants a chat, a moan, a gossip - whatever she likes really. That's what sisters are for in my book. She's not lazy, she works hard at home. I love her loads and I would never ever dream of questioning or resenting her decision to stay at home, let alone criticise it on a public forum.

YABVU

Catsdontcare Mon 17-Oct-11 23:23:00

It really makes my teeth itch when people refer to themselves as having a "lifestyle". Not really relevant but my sil used the phrase "our family lifestyle...." today to and it really grated hmm

TickettyBoo Mon 17-Oct-11 23:29:53

YANBU in my opinion, it's natural to care about your sister's choices in life so I would see it as your business as you clearly care about her and also she has made it your business by moaning on to you constantly; something even the most patient person would get weary of eventually.

However, I would just say that if being a SAHM is that important to her you have to respect that too; instead of offering solutions maybe you could focus her on the future and get her to consider longer term plans "you're doing a great job at bringing up your kids, and it is hard just now, but maybe in a year's time you could consider something that might interest you? What do you think you'd like to do?" kind of conversation?

QuintessentialShadyHallows Mon 17-Oct-11 23:30:19

oh cut the OP some slack, she is just interested in opinions! If she is not herself a parent, she will not know the true cost of childcare! She will not know that most jobs dont cover the cost of nursery care for a small child!

screamingbohemian Mon 17-Oct-11 23:38:43

But people here are telling her the math doesn't work out, yet she doesn't care.

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