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to sometimes think that SAHMs are "living the dream" and really envy them(462 Posts)
Ok so I don't have kids yet.
I work ridiculously long hours (as in out the house 6.30am-8pm minimum and often work late nights and weekends too). I have a long commute each way (can't afford to live where I work as property so expensive) and the job is very, very high stress. I earn a decent wage, but I am quite junior so I'm not on mega-money
despite what my friends and family seem to think
I don't intend to keep this job forever, but I need to establish myself in my choosen career then I can hopefully 'down-grade' to something less stressful.
One of my colleagues has just given up work to become a SAHM. It just sounds like living the dream. No more waiting on cold station platforms for delayed trains at 6.30am, no more hideous commute, no more stressful job and nagging boss and office politics, no more late night working and surviving on takeaway or the contents of the office vending machine for weeks at a time. I am so jealous!
Please give me a much-needed reality check. Please tell me the reality of being a SAHM. For those of you that have gone from having a quite high-flying career to SAHM, please tell me how the two compare. I think I really need a reality check!
For some women it is living the dream for others it is soul destroying. No point in looking for a definitive - it doesnt exist
"Ok so I don't have kids yet."
I think it all swings in roundabouts, and tbh I don't think there is a "perfect" option.
As a SAHM, there are times DH is deeply envious. Other times, I get very envious of his life style (full time work).
You do what works for you and your family.
There are days I long to be at work especially whem ive had no sleep, been pooed on weed on and tantrums all day, I suppose its all relative.
Well, for a start, as a SAHM with small children, your hours would massively increase!
As a SAHM I can say I am not living the dream! I miss earning my own money and the social aspect of work. I am a SAHM because I was only earning £20k (full-time) and if I went out to work I would simply be paying for childcare and petrol, then school holidays would be a problem. Yes, some days I love being there for my DCs, but others..... It's swings and roundabouts.
I love being a SAHM. My working life was much as you describe - very long hours, eating meals that someone else had prepared (and probably chosen - I wasn't ever junior enough to regularly do the team run to the delicatessen to buy those late night dinners), wearing clothes imposed by the job, being nice to people I despised. Now I get to choose what I do with my days, what I eat, what I where, what I think about. Much better!
I loved it, especially now when the children are older but I know countless women who have said it is actually easier and less stressful to go to work than stay at home with small kids. They leave the house tidy, come back to a tidy house and it doesn't really get messy at night because it's tea, bath and bed. They also miss on the constant arguing and wearing down that young kids are prone too.
Now staying at home with no kids, well that a different matter...........
the reality is that being a SAHM is a choice available to you as much as it it to your friend. you say you have chosen to establish yourself in your career. well own that choice! you could choose to have a child now and SAH if you want to. it really is a massive waste of brain space and energy being jealous of someone else for making a choice that you didn't. if you aren't happy with the choices you have made then have a rethink and see if you could be doing something/everything different. but dont waste energy being jealous. no-one has a perfect life. no-one.
no more stressful job and nagging boss
This made me giggle. My 19 week old ds is the most nagging boss I've ever had. Also way more stressful than any job I've ever had.
Although the not having to commute is great
The grass is always greener.
I gave up a career in London, moved house and became a SAHM. I see it as my job for now (albeit with crap hours and even worse pay). On the plus side I love being my own boss so to speak, doing what I want with the DC, love spending time with them etc on the other hand it can be soul destroying, housework is just utterly boring, even though DP is fantastic and regards all his money as family money I would love to earn my own money again. I would also love to do something just for me.
At least I don't have to juggle childcare/illnesses/school holidays etc
I think like any choice you make in life there's good points and bad points.
"No more waiting on cold station platforms for delayed trains at 6.30am, no more hideous commute, no more stressful job and nagging boss and office politics..."
No more adult conversation
No more respect for the job that you do
No more sick days
No more full night's sleep
No more clothing without snot/sick stains on it
And your job is NEVER finished
"no more late night working and surviving on takeaway"
Ha ha ha!
Seriously though, the grass can always look greener. What works for some doesn't work for others.
I used to have a colleague with 3 young DC. She would deliberately engineer hours of unpaid overtime so that she could stay at work for a rest. I didn't have any DC at the time, but I'd met hers, and could totally see her point. She wouldn't have thought being a SAHM was living the dream, not for a second.
SAHM (well - work very part-time). Sitting here now with my dressing gown over my clothes in a gloomy, freezing cold house. Can't afford to turn the heating on during the day when the kids are out. Worrying about money a lot at the moment (child benefit gone as DH just scrapes in as higher rate tax payer). Son with ASD who isn't amenable to group child care so pretty much stuck unless I get a school hours job.
It's not all coffee mornings and drifting around the shops. I do all the shitty, mundane jobs around the house, am disrespected by my teenage dd for not earning any money and LONG for some money of my own and an identity other than that of 'mum.
I'm a SAHM and much prefer it to going to work, I hated the last job I had though and was happy not to go back after maternity leave. It's not always easy, a 2 year old can be hard work, but the pleasure I get from being around my DD every day outweighs any negative for me.
I have become a SAHM through redundancy, and although I have got some part time work it's only 10 hours a week so effectively I'm at home while DD is at school.
I love it but I get bored (cue MNing) and then I don't do half the stuff I intend to do.
SAHMing with under-school-age kids = nightmare (to me, I appreciate that not everyone will feel like this!). No free time, very little adult conversation, no-one is around to make you a coffee and gossip about last night's crap tv, brain begins to feel like it's shrinking (or is that just me?), DH comes home and his work is 'over' whereas mine carries on for a good few hours..
I sometimes have rose-tinted glasses on about work. Then I go in to chat about a project and I relish my freedom again.
I like some aspects about doing work for clients. But mostly I am so happy not to be sitting in an office looking at a Mac or doing meetings. If I do it I prefer to do it from home. Also do my own work. Which can be hard to carve out due to cc costs.
But anyway, I am a bit tired of the park in the cold if it makes waiting at the station feel any better.
Well, I have never had a high flying career But do not underestimate the joy of going to the loo on your own
Seriously though, I think you find things hard in whatever situation you're in. I know I tend to look back on my days at work with rose-tinted glasses, when I could go to the loo in peace, eat a relaxed lunch and decide on the spur of the moment to pop to the shops after work with just a small handbag In reality though, it wasn't all good even though I had a relatively stress-free job and I do consider myself very very lucky indeed to be able to spend all my time with my children, I would find it very hard to have to hand them over to someone else.
So, YANBU, but it is not all sitting in front of the tv with your feet up I know that I imagined pre-DC that I would carry on with my life and they would just follow on behind But working full-time without DC, I had a lot more time to myself to do hobbies or just 'be' than I do now.
I too was like you and envied my friends who were SAHM. Then I became a SAHM for 8 years and, whilst I enjoyed it when the DC were babies, as they got older I found myself climbing the walls and wanting to be out interacting with adults more! I found myself envying people who went out to work but at the time, I was not 'allowed' by my XH to get a job.
However, now having returned to work full time and being a single parent to 3 DC, I feel this has helped me so much more in coping with the daily stresses of life.....and I don't envy SAHM's at all!
ok I got up at 6.45, loaded washing machine, put load in it in tumble dryern unloaded dishwasher, breastfed and changed baby, woke other 2, breakfast, dressed, school run, home 9.45, breast fed baby, tea, toast, brushed teeth, reloaded dishwasher, cleaned table, put clothes away, reloaded tumble dryer, swept, tidied dcs bedroom. have 10 mins mumsnetting, now I'm going to change and feed baby, try to tidy my room. leave to get DD at 11.45.
Work is easier than this.
I love it - but it is exhausting.
@ 6.30 early !
Ds 7 months is currently up from 4.30 onwards (believe me I'm trying everything)... and then even if he falls asleep again if it's near to 8 he has to wake up again as I have school run to do.... in the snow, up a big hill, with a pram....
That's just one small snapshot.
I do rather rely on a cleaner even though I am home, possibly more so.
I have worked from home, part time, for years and loved it. Recently I was forced to return to an office and it was so hideous I have asked for early retirement. I am old and a bit crippled, and the 6am starts (to do the horse and walk the dog) followed by a 50 minute drive through shite traffic to sit in an office that stank of every conceivable thing that could be cooked or warmed up in a microwave was just to much for my soul to cope with. If it had been to do some really exciting work then maybe that would be different, but to do something that I could be doing from home was just soul destroying.
There are many different chapters in our lives.
When your DCs are toddlers it's unremitting hard work, unless you really love small DCs they do your head in.
Once they do some preschool, can talk and don't need watching every second it is dreamy. It's pretty nice when they are at primary if it's the sort of school you can get involved with things at.
Now they go on the bus to secondary and all my friends are working it's pretty depressing some times.
At 40 plus with no career to go back to I feel I've never quite had an adult life and I've got bugger all to talk about. I'm not one for soaps, xfactor or gossip. Although I've never used it, I'm a postgraduate scientist and i found the primary school mum's light gossipy chat about people I don't know (I'm not from these parts) very hard to join in with.
I wish I'd work part time as soon as the DDs started school and now school has attached child care I might well have done.
Back then SAH was by far and away the best option for our family, long term I think it was a mistake.
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