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!

PanicMode Sun 06-Jan-13 02:30:47

Good for you!
It is a huge change and as others have said, is an adjustment that takes a lot of time. I did it two years ago and have found it difficult, but I got so sick of most of my salary going on the nanny and my commute, being stressed and cross all the time.
The children are SO much happier now I am at home; I haven't missed a single school event and the house is calmer. Yes, we don't have such nice holidays etc and I do struggle with the fact that my expensive education and hard won professional qualifications are currently being 'wasted', but I do several things outside the confines of the house, including being on a committee to open a Free School this year so my brain is not completely atrophying!!

Best of luck and enjoy the time at home. I feel very lucky that I can be at home (although there are days when I do wish I still earned my own money....)

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 06-Jan-13 03:18:33

I'm doing the same after having been stressed and let down by childcare one too many times. I'm worried I will be out of my mind in a week having no adult company during the day.

DD is 2 and a bundle of crazy energy. Great in the summer but not so good in the winter, when it is miserable outside. However, I really do think she will be happier with me at home. We will see.

deXavia Sun 06-Jan-13 05:46:02

Can I just say don't mourn your career or education or ambition, never say never is a pretty good motto IMO
I stopped work (travel, high pressure, part time not an option type role)for about 2.5 years due to my DH job relocation abroad. It was a tough adjustment helped by being abroad so I treated it as a grand adventure, kids were 1 and 3. I made some fabulous friends, helped out some local businesses very casually and as many have posted just enjoyed pottering and getting our family on an even keel.
Anyway another move this time to a country more suitable to work in, 6 months later I went back to a very similar job - potential for long hours, lots of overseas travel (a job I would have killed for pre kids). The difference is after my time I off I went back with a totally different attitude. I do 90% and still know my 90% is frankly better than others 110% (sounds arrogant I know but it's true) I don't want a promotion so I don't sweat the politics, and I'm relaxed that if it ever starts to get too much I will quit again but the money is very nice, I love the work and enjoy the challenge. And I was upfront about all of this when they hired me so I don't feel I sold them a false promise.
Kids are now just 4 and 6 almost 7 - we had a couple of weeks of 'we miss you' but everyone has settled down. In September the youngest starts reception and homework will pick up for the eldest - we'll see how that goes. But it's put another 15-18 months on the cv, if we decide I need a break. And I agree with the poster who said we're very lucky to be in a position where the money is 'helpful' not 'essential'.
Anyway that was way longer than I intended but the point I wanted to make is take the break but you don't know what the future holds, different circumstances, different company and most importantly different attitude and you may find yourself rethinking things. Keep an open mind, and in touch with old mentors and colleagues even if its just an odd linked in message or email it does no harm or take a lot of effort but may help later on.
Enjoy and loads of luck grin

FergusSingsTheBlues Sun 06-Jan-13 06:18:54

Bakingnovice your post has just really excited me, this will be me in two weeks time amd i cant wait...Adios asset mgmt and hello to teaching my son to read, bake etc!

Fuckwittery, pls blog.

fuckwittery Sun 06-Jan-13 08:29:12

Think we need a support thread for those of us on here who are doing it, and for advice from those who have been through it! Fergus let me know how it goes! I've got 3 month notice period so have til Easter to worry about whether its the right thing. And just been a bit panicked by my bank statement for December, we spurged every penny of income and will. need to live on less than half come April!
Mrs terry when do you finish?

fuckwittery Sun 06-Jan-13 08:29:45

Splurged not spurged

If you don't go for it you will always wonder "what if". If you do do it it might be great, but it might not. But if it isn't for you at least the. You will KNOW. You will also have a clearer idea of what does make you happy and what you could do to balance your life out.

Good luck.

Mockingcurl Sun 06-Jan-13 09:08:26

Baking, that description is perfect. That is exactly why I gave up work.

My kids are older and independent, however me bring home has still enveloped the whole house in a feeling of calm and togetherness. Soppy but true.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sun 06-Jan-13 09:20:28

OP, I bet your mum valued the time she did have wih you and was immensely proud of all you had achieved. She fought for you to have it all - don't beat yourself up that you did what she wanted for you.

My conclusion has been that you can have it all, just can't have it all at once. Good luck, enjoy your time at home. Don't expect to do masses is your first year. I found that it took me a while to adjust and spent the first year painting walls and clearing cupboards as I brought order back to our house.
Wishing you much happiness.

LadySaundersJones Sun 06-Jan-13 09:34:55

First time post from a long time lurker but wanted to say you sound just like me 2 years ago!

I gave up a 'big job' and can honestly say it was the best thing I have ever done (although very scary at the time). Yes, it can be tough and isolating at times and juggling finances can be a challenge. But, being there for my little ones and my husband at this stage in our lives is the most important thing I can be doing. I am also much happier as I simply have time to breathe if this makes sense.

Whilst the money stuff can be a challenge I have found it is much easier to budget when you don't have to cram a weekly Ocado shop into the 5 minutes spare time you have on a Monday night. When I sit down and think about how much money I spent on childcare, taxis, tights (they are ridiculously expensive!) and pointless 'stuff' it's scary so please do not worry about the finances - it will work out one way or another (I meal plan, use Aldi/Lidl/local markets and have ebayed a ton of stuff!).

Simply having time to spend with my little ones - baking, exploring, painting and just being there - and not viewing swimming lessons/parents evenings/play dates and school holidays as 'things' to be juggled/got through is brilliant and has also improved my relationship with my husband as we know these things can be managed without it becoming a 'my job is more important than your job' competition.

Weekends are also much more enjoyable as they are not filled with 'jobs we need to do as we don't have time during the week whilst keeping one eye on the b'berry in case something happens at the office'. Also, the general improvement in our health and wellbeing is something I was not expecting but being able to cook good meals, be outside more and be generally much less stressed as a family has been brilliant.

The first year will be tough at times but find something that makes you happy (yoga/baking/gardening/book club/volunteering whatever) and make sure you fit it in so it doesn't become all about the home and go for it ...

Good luck!

PicaK Sun 06-Jan-13 09:37:10

Sensible posts here but i wanted to add that i've always seen the 60s and 70s feminist fight as the fight to have a genuine choice.

I've put in enough years at work so don't feel guilty about time out. I know i'm ruining my career and i am lucky because we don't need the money. If you're entirely realistic it helps - do think about pension and make sure you claim child benefit.

I could do a feminist foam at the mouth thing about women who say all their wage goes on childcare. No no no - half your dh and half your wage covers childcare!

Virgil Sun 06-Jan-13 09:39:08

I'm also a lawyer and thinking of doing the same thing so am adding with interest!!

Virgil Sun 06-Jan-13 09:39:21

Oops, reading not adding!

McNewPants2013 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:40:52

Op good luck.

I only work part time and I get to leave it at the door, and I struggle ( but I love my job and there is a good balance)

Djembe Sun 06-Jan-13 10:33:58

What a lovely post bakingnovice smile

I've given up a high earning job to be a SAHM - it's always been my ideal to stay at home with young children, and the fact that my career has gone well doesn't change that ambition. It's knife edge each month, and having to actually look at prices of things in the supermarket is scarily novel, but as someone upthread said, treat it like a job, treat it like an adventure. It's like the best sort of self-employment - there's stuff to be done, but you're totally in charge of when and how it is done, and there is plenty of time for you. I never managed to paint my nails when I worked - now I paint them every Thursday eve smile this is my happiness measure!

Life is too short - you only get one chance to be there for your children and play at being the very best mum you can. Careers don't die after time out to look after your children, your cv is good now and that won't change. It might be a totally different field you end up in, but this isn't the end of the adventure we call a career - it's a lovely, lovely hiatus.

Sweetiesmum Sun 06-Jan-13 10:42:46

It is possible to be content and not have it all though (...as I question yet again wtf I do with my life this year...study fulltime on campus the final year of my course/go off campus, work part time..now kids all at school for 2nd year in a row...oh crap..can't decide)
I love this quote:

There are 2 ways of being rich
One is to have it all
The other is to be satisfied with what you have

You sound like you have always cherished your family- keep doing just that and you will love this SAHM thing ( with the odd time out for some much needed venting like the rest of us/clear headspace from your angels!!)

P.S Never been one for impressing mums at the school gates myself(in Australia, not UK) Just be yourself and stuff it if they don't like you venting/whatever. I, for one, would cherish your refreshing honesty..

3smellysocks Sun 06-Jan-13 11:26:57

You will find the right balance for you even if it takes a little while. Working 60 hours a week certainly wasn't right for you.

The most important thing is to do some social things with the kids and make in-roads into friendship groups. Don't be afraid to invite people round for coffee and a play.

Spookey80 Sun 06-Jan-13 11:34:10

I'm very envious. how brilliant for your children. Every worries about how us mums will cope being at home, but I think what about how yr kids felt with you working all those hours. Even if they did have great care, no-one s as good as mum.

Spookey80 Sun 06-Jan-13 11:36:59

Sorry lots of typos but you get what I mean!
Reading all these posts is making me want yogi e up my pt job, which I never thought I'd say!

sameoldlovebunny Sun 06-Jan-13 13:18:28

good luck - i hope it all goes well. you'll love it, and so will your children.

there was a basic fault with feminism - it accepted the male as the norm. it did not take into account that women are fundamentally different from men. the norm has to take into account that women want children and want a range of flexible working patterns.

don't feel sad about your career. you did it. you are successful. what more do you need in the career line?

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 06-Jan-13 19:15:32

I have one week left, this week coming. shock

Downfall Sun 06-Jan-13 20:09:21

there are some lovely posts here. the relief of finally giving yourselves permission to put your families (and selves) first just jumps off the page. I applaud you and wish you luck.

Bakingnovice Sun 06-Jan-13 20:54:40

Downfall I completely agree. Giving yourself permission.

Don't get me wrong, I worried for months after. I came from a poor background and my education really changed my life. I felt guilty leaving as I felt if let down my parents who worked their fingers to the bone to get us all through uni. I felt bad for not offering financial assistance to my hubby. I felt bad for not setting a good example to my kids. However, one day I woke up and realised that my parents were infinitely happier now I was less stressed. I love that I can pop in and see my mum and dad at 10am on a Thursday. That I have time to contest my dads parking ticket. That they finally have one non working child they can ring at 2pm with exciting news that lurpak butter is on offer in the supermarket.

My hubby is just delighted that the weight of the world has lifted from my shoulders. I can spend Sunday evening reading with the kids and laughing at reality tv instead of my usual black dog Sunday. I have more time for him and we are lucky to not miss the money.

As for my kids, well years ago I set up a youth group in a deprived area. I now spend time working with these amazing and inspiring young people. Trying to help with Cvs and jobs and UNi entrance. I volunteer with a phone helpline. All unpaid financially but it pays in other ways. My kids see me busy fulfilled and I always tell them what I am up to and how important it is to give back to communities. Most of all, just to see their faces when they come home and smell the aroma of freshly made fairy cakes; to catch their eye at 4pm when they swim a good lap during their lesson; to be able to sense when they've had a bad day and be able to take them aside for ten minutes for cuddles; when we have our weekly half hour of silliness. All these things are priceless. Really.

It is very hard though. My job was part of my identity and I felt a bit incomplete for a while. At the school gates I did make friends and like that I am a bit of an outsider as I don't get caught up in the politics. In school I am one of the patents who is finally able to help out out on school trips, help at coffee mornings, bake for the school fair, make costumes for the plays.

For myself, I have finally realised that my kids are growing up fast and I am so so lucky to be here to witness every moment. I have given myself permission to spend an hour trying out vinegar cleaning properties, to try a new recipe, to watch downton in the day. Sorry to go on but it changed my life massively.

Bakingnovice Sun 06-Jan-13 21:03:52

I must also add that I don't agree entirely with posters who have said you might lose your independence or it may be detrimental to hand gaps in your cv. There are thousands of volunteering opps out there. I do it to keep mentally active and to give back. Also, a law degree is very useful and you can go back to law or use your degree to sidestep to another profession as having a law degree shows you have aptitude and intelligence. I could have asked my hubby to give up work to look after the kids but he loves his job, he earns more and to be honest I wanted the stay at home time for myself. After 14 years in this house I found time to get rid of sky movies/ sports which no one watched, I changed utility providers, sorted our bills, started meal planning, took on a veg patch. So in fact I am contributing financially by saving us all money.

The biggest reward is the change in my kids. They are more relaxed, happier, confident. Please keep us updated OP.

sameoldlovebunny - I hate to point this out but you have some odd views of feminism. No, it is not based on the "male as the norm", and no, it doesn't expect all women to work. Feminism's sole ideology is equal treatment of males and females, and for everyone to have choices. Be that the choice to work or the choice to stay at home - for men and women.

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