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To have given in my notice to be a sahm when I'm not sure I'm going to like it!

(55 Posts)
fuckwittery Sat 05-Jan-13 09:12:59

I may be mental. Giving up a well paid job in a recession. Earn more than dh with potential to earn much more. But I work 60 hrs a week I never see my kids and dh works weekends so I never see him too, I am tired and grumpy all the time when not at work and not sleeping with stress and having panic attacks. But I have worked very hard to get where I am, plus I don't think I'm going to like looking after kids full time it is bloody hard work!! No more cleaner gardener or childcare or eating out or nice holidays, WTF have I done?! The plan is to stay at home for 18 months do some property renovation and try and set up for myself fuuuuuuuck!

catgirl1976geesealaying Sat 05-Jan-13 09:17:35

Good luck smile

It sounds like your job was not making you hhappy at all so well done for making a change

Nothing is permanent and you might get time to work out what you do want to do or you may find you love being a SAHM

HollyBerryBush Sat 05-Jan-13 09:19:41

Was there no option to reduce your hours or go part time?

BumpingFuglies Sat 05-Jan-13 09:21:41

What job do you do OP? Don't panic smile

Doingakatereddy Sat 05-Jan-13 09:23:35

Firstly - Yeah!!!

Did exactly the same earlier this year, don't regret it for a minute. However, brace yourself for how hard been a SAHM on budget is, the move from Ocado shopping on iPhone to menu planning & taking DC's round Aldi is huge.

Treat housework like work, 'eat the frog' and do the job you hate most early in day; don't burn out by trying to get house immaculate & try to get something you like on the plan for week - my weakness is M&S coffee with cake.

Wise wise mumsnetters have taught me that you should aim with partner to have equal free time, your not the house slave.

Enjoy it, the isolation can be scary & it's wierd not been in charge of anything but it's truly liberating!

SpottyBagOfTumble Sat 05-Jan-13 09:24:14

Good luck!

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 05-Jan-13 09:27:16

Im doing the same. Scared. Hand force by pregnancy but i have plans up my sleeve so as long as you dont get totallly side tracked by the difgicult buts, yiull be lk. Im really going to miss the money but my dh is looking forward to havi g his nice wifey back, ive been a misery to live with.

fuckwittery Sat 05-Jan-13 09:35:57

I've tried working part time but I just ended up getting paid less and much more stress as still had full time case load and trying to deal with crap on blackberry with kids hanging round my ankles. I went up to 5 days as it was funnily enough less stressful but then I really don't see the kids. My commute is a bitch too and I never want to see a pret a manger again after getting breakfast and dinner there 5 days a week never usually got lunch! Am a lawyer. Also I have no friends who don't work and don't know any school mums really so it's going to be scary at the school gates! But I am quite looking forward to the challenge of making new friends and budgeting weirdly!

fuckwittery Sat 05-Jan-13 09:36:49

What in earth is eat the frog?!

Doingakatereddy Sat 05-Jan-13 09:48:43

blush Eat the Frog is a management metaphor, simply 'There's an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing you'll do all day.'

Works for me, but may be pile of steaming management guru nonsense!

yfuwchhapus Sat 05-Jan-13 09:50:08

Good on you, give yourself time to adjust but I am sure it's a decision you will never regret.

Einsty Sat 05-Jan-13 09:50:16

Good on you. Life is, frankly, too short.

MsVestibule Sat 05-Jan-13 09:50:49

I did the same and have regretted it many times! When I was due to go back to work after a year's maternity leave with DC2, I was struggling with stress and depression. (Two babies in 20 months wasn't very good for my mental health.). I really, really couldn't imagine how I could work FT and have a successful marriage and family life. Also, we were supposed to be emigrating two years later, so knew I'd have been handing in my notice then anyway.

After working FT for 20 years, I felt so isolated and hated being in the house all day with 2 babies. I was on and off Prozac for 3 years but now the children are 5 and 4, it's a doddle! We all have loads of family time and I do have a happy marriage, so I suppose the end has justified the means.

Sometimes I feel resentful that I'm the one that made the financial sacrifice by giving up a well paid job. Although my DH's income is shared equally, I am aware I am in a more perilous financial position if we were to split up.

But as your current setup is making you so miserable, you were right to do something to change it. Would it have been possible for both you and your DH to reduce your hours?

ll31 Sat 05-Jan-13 09:55:47

You know I think you're in good position to enjoy it as you're starting off v realistic . Agree with other poster, make sure yoy've 1 nice thing for you each day whether that's coffee in peace, or walk etc. BeSt of luck, you'll meet plenty nice people at school - don't go on about your terror of being home or go on about sahm v wohm! !

Mockingcurl Sat 05-Jan-13 10:08:26

I did exactly that two years ago. I haven't regretted it for a second.
It took me years of stress and lack of sleep before I decided to leave. I just didn't think I would like it, and that we couldn't afford it.
In the end my health forced my hand. I started to develop all sorts if weird and wonderful health problems (manky joints etc). My Consultant said it was due to years of constant stress and lack of sleep.
Leaving work was the best thing I have ever done. Period. My health has improved dramatically, I am completely happy and do not miss material things at all. This is from someone who was a complete make up/beauty product/clothes junky.
It does take some getting used to and don't expect to adjust overnight. Give it time. Plenty of time.

Good luck.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 05-Jan-13 10:10:15

I could sit and worry about what if we split up etc, but tbh, we were so unhappy and stressed with both working, house a mess even with cleaners etc, that one of the reasons im staying at home is the health of our marriage too. I know we will have a more stable home life this way.

Peevish Sat 05-Jan-13 10:39:58

Think very carefully, OP. I've had to take unpaid leave after maternity leave from my job because my husband's job ended suddenly just after our baby was born, and the only one he could get relocated us somewhere from where I can no longer manage my former commute. My working life was stressful, but being home alone with a baby is disempowering and dull, despite how lovely our son is. I wouldn't do it again if I had a choice.

fuckwittery Sat 05-Jan-13 22:03:04

Thanks for the replies I can definitely see it won't be a bed of roses. My kids will be almost 3 and 6 by the time my notice period is up so I have missed the boring baby years and they are pretty good fun now. I can see a battle of wills coming with the 3 year old though and she doesn't get her 15 hrs til sept so we might have a tough few months. I've definitely spoilt the kids through not seeing them much, I'm far too lax at weekends. Will have to toughen up! I do have some plans to set up a business in due course so I'm hoping the mind won't atrophy too much although I can see if every day is like today (2 yr old up at 6.30 am 5 yr old only just down!!) I'm going to melt pretty soon. Bloody hell being a mum is hard work isn't it, however you do it! I think it's testament to how much I hate my job that I'm ditching it.

lonelyredrobin Sat 05-Jan-13 23:17:33

I think you're doing the right thing. I'm sure many will disagree, but, in my experience, the law is one of the most unfamily friendly jobs going, no matter how you much you try to tinker around the edges of the working pattern.

Give it a go. If you really hate it you can will ultimately get another a job, might not be so well paid etc but you can start with a clean slate and really think about what you want in terms of hours, commute etc.

My dcs are 1.5 and 4.5 and I'm soldiering on through the early years and am seriously thinking of giving up when they are both in school as it seems to me the whole thing will become even more stressful and complicated when we no longer have full time childcare!

I'm sure you'll get used to the new rhythm of life and make new friends (and there's always MN smile ) - good luck!

Bakingnovice Sat 05-Jan-13 23:30:46

I did it last year. Well paid job as lawyer. I walked to my car one day and knew I was never going back. The caseload and stress was unmanageable. There were non stop restructures and redundancies at work. Loads of people gone and those of us 'lucky' to survive redundancy were doing the work of four people and a secretary! Hated it. I used to be close to tears all day every day. I was stressed at home, stressed at the weekend and in the evening. I was unhappy and realised my job was impacting on everything in my life: my marriage, my friends, my kids. I was being bullied at work by a phsycho bitch who'd never had kids and looked down on me. I started feel like I was going crazy. I cut my hours but ended up doing more hours at home.

The first 6 months were hard. I've always worked in a high powered environment. Being at home took a lot of getting used to. But my god, the joy of my kids spotting me at the school gates, of baking mid afternoon with my dd, of spending every summer afternoon picnicking in the garden, having a healthy home cooked meal ready for my kids after school, being at EVERY school play/assembly/ awards night and not have to rush off, being able to just potter for the first time ever, looking forward to hubby getting home, my god being able to WALK to and from
School holding hands with the kids and discussing every detail
Of their school day and singing silly songs. All these things have been amazing. Because I am relaxed and happier it feels like the whole house has relaxed. The kids are happier, hubby and me are happier, and I finally feel I am doing something where I can give 100% instead of juggling everything and being too tired to give my all to any one thing. Sorry to ramble!

Whatdoiknowanyway Sat 05-Jan-13 23:37:17

I'm at the other end of this type of decision. I gave up my job over ten years ago having been part time for about 3 years before that. Only good thing about part time had been it allowed me to refuse to work absolutely every hour, still equated to a full time job with lots of international travel.

Eventually I quit, as well as 2 young daughters I had a husband with a chronic health condition and the stress was just too much.

So I looked after my family, including elderly parents and built up my own business.

Well now the children are both at uni, my parents died a few years back and I'm winding up my business and going back out into the world of employment.
I don't regret the years I gave to my family. It WAS a sacrifice, a great big difficult one. I loved my job and I didn't want to leave it but it was unsustainable with family life.

I was able to support my parents when they needed me. I was able to care for my husband when his health was bad. I was able to be there for my children, when they were small and vulnerable and when they were teenagers and even more vulnerable. I was able to develop a challenging and rewarding business - even if it wasnt quite what I would have chosen to do.

Now it's my time - cliched or not. I'm going to work at a job I want to do, in an area I'm interested in.

I suppose I just want to say that leaving work is not the end of the world. There are frustrations but you will find things you enjoy. And it passes so quickly, I can't believe how quickly. And the rewards have been great.

I'm so excited now. It's a new era and there is so much to look forward to- with my much loved husband and children.

fuckwittery - good luck, I hope you find you made the right decision. I'd suggest you keep your doors open though. Is there perhaps some middle road you can take, like working as a lawyer in a small town rather than a big city, moving to a less stressful environment? Perhaps after you've found your feet at home, a local legal aid charity might appreciate your help a few hours a week. I don't know much about the legal profession, so I don't know it that's possible.

I just worry for anyone who completely gives up their career for an extended period, especially in this financial climate. There's too much that could go wrong, and it wouldn't just be you who would be vulnerable, but also your DC, and even your DH if he found himself unable to work due to illness etc. I wouldn't do it myself.

I completely understand what you're saying about work causing so much stress and making your miserable, and being an intelligent woman you're probably looked into all the options. But it just seems so "all or nothing".

Sorry if this isn't helping you....

jellybeans Sun 06-Jan-13 00:05:44

YANBU. I did the same after DC2. I loved both but just not at the same time. I wanted to put DC first. I haven't regretted it but found first year or so tough. I made friends though and also study and volunteer. It is so good being able to be at all school events and take them to school etc every day. With 5 DC life is chaos and busy anyway so no time to get bored. I am aware I may need to work at some point and I may choose to. But right now my job is here with DC! Love it. I agree with poster who said it is liberating.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 06-Jan-13 00:34:01

fuckwittery, I would really love to know how this goes for you. I am just curious! You could post on mn - or blog (said rain selfishly, knowing OP would be very busy but wanting to know anyway....)

Seriously. Would be really interested to know. It's just such a big change.

I guess it is worth remembering that even though it sounds like you will have to economise a lot, you are at least able to do this, with a lot of planning. It is a choice some parents don't have - not to be preachy, I am just thinking of other mums I know who don't enjoy their jobs but can't do without the money.

And if you were doing a job you didn't like, which wasn't realistically going to get easier or more flexible.... you kind of needed a change of plan anyway. That might be a job that works better for you in a couple of years' time.

I'm not a sahm myself (work from home, have some childcare and a dad who pulls his weight) but good luck! and it would be good to hear how you get on....

fuckwittery Sun 06-Jan-13 01:58:37

lonelyredrobin yes trying to juggle wrap around school care and preschool care finished me off this year. cried in front of the breakfast club organiser just before Xmas when there was no space for Dd1 and I had to be in the high court by 9.30am. a nanny would have used all my salary and I am just not going to work for nothing when I miss my dds so much as it is even though I know all the arguments about it being a investment in long term career etc.

bakingnovice what a beautiful description of your days now with the children and your job sounds even more horrific than mine. law is awful it is just impossible to work with a family unless you have the full time nanny or a hell of a lot of help.

what do I know - your post brought tears to my eye as my mum died last year and i wasn't there for her in her last year when she was very ill. my clients and collleagues won't give a shit about me in a few months and I put them above my family sad. life is too short.

aAnnie and jellybeans will def volunteer when Dr starts preschool! have made enquiries at the CAB already about doing a legal clinic.

rainrain I might blog! never felt before I had much to say but I think this is interesting (the transition from work to home) and I might need some online venting. it's not a good idea to vent at the school gate!

I feel that women like my mum a feminist in the 60s and 70s fought for us to have it all but it's not possible. I feel deeply sad about my career and confused about the longing to be at home but I have already lost my mum, I don't want to lose these years with the girls as well.

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