to be a sham even though I can't afford it?

(502 Posts)
Picoo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:11:57

I would really like to stay at home with my DS I don't really enjoy my job and I would like to be a full time mummy. The thing is we could only just about afford it. We would have to pay interest only on our mortgage, give up insurance such as health and maybe house insuranc my husband would have to work longer hours, etc. We would be pretty poor, and we have zero savings, but at least I would be with DS.

Is it crazy to live a poor existence but be there for DS, or should I go back to work and be more financially secure?

jellybeans Sun 23-Jun-13 12:51:54

'At the end of the day, SAHPs do it for themselves, even though they'll try to tell you (and themselves) it's for the children. '

You may like to think that but it is merely your opinion (and not a very -good objective one at that!). I am doing it because I think it is best for DC and also as my DH couldn't work his job unless I was here. Hardly just a 'luxury' for myself! Having previously been a f/t WOHM, I know which I prefer and the DC benefit from but I wouldn't say ALL WMs should quit to stay home or that they are working purely for 'themselves'.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 12:52:39

A SAHP is IMO always the best thing for the kid

I profoundly disagree with this actually. I went back to work when dd was 6mo for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was the main breadwinner in our family and we needed the money to keep a roof over our heads. Secondly, I had a career that I loved and wanted to maintain. Thirdly, my own (SAH) mum had always urged me not to stay at home as she thought I would regret it later. Finally, I have a daughter, and I always wanted her to grow up in the knowledge that it is perfectly possible for a woman to successfully combine family and career.

What I had not considered at the time was the potential benefits of putting dd in some form of childcare, but in hindsight, I think this was probably the greatest gain. I acknowledge that we were fortunate in both having flexible hours, and we only needed care for around four hours every weekday. We employed a wonderful nanny who has become one of my closest friends, and she came to our house every morning for three years, along with her own young daughter. My only child dd had the opportunity to play like a sibling with another child on a daily basis, and the bond that she now has with this child is incredible. She also acquired a very good understanding of another language, which she has maintained several years later, and she benefitted from spending time with a third caring adult who had strengths and qualities that were different from those of DH and myself. We have since moved away, but I am happy that the bond between dd and her nanny remains, and that she has such a close relationship with another adult outside of her immediate family. I wouldn't change this for the world.

As for the myth that nobody ever lies on their deathbed wishing that they had worked more, I wouldn't be so sure. My own SAH mum probably will, and not just on her deathbed either - she has spent the best part of the last 30 years regretting the fact that she didn't go back to work sooner. sad

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 13:00:29

My mum was a sahm and envies how me and my sister can have children and go out to work as she says that just wasn't an option back in her day. I think she felt bored, unfulfilled and a bit of a drudge. Luckily she managed to get a job when we were all in secondary school and quickly rose to be a well-paid manager. The difference in her when she started to have her own life again was marked.

So not everyone wishes they could have spent more time at home.

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 13:05:51

Just a suggestion happymumofone. Surely the op knows if she is suited to it.

soverylucky Sun 23-Jun-13 14:02:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soverylucky Sun 23-Jun-13 14:03:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 14:32:47

The OP appears to have disappeared anyway. hmm

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 14:37:31

People don't need to get to their death bed to regret a lack of career...you see posts on MN every day of the week by people regretting that!!!!!

That's one of the questions a couple must ask themselves when one of them decides to give up work. Will they mind or will it be a problem if this situation becomes permenant (because this is often out of our control once we leave the work place)?

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 14:38:57

And if the answer to that question, is that neither party minds at all, then why not?

But the question has to be faced. Particularly in these straightened times.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 14:46:50

Yes wordfactory, I think you're right.

Angloamerican Sun 23-Jun-13 14:47:07

I've only read the first page of responses but I agree that you would be taking an enormous risk to leave work and skate so close to the financial edge.

If you do decide to do it though, for goodness sake keep your life insurance policies in place. My cousin and her DH were strapped for cash and decided to forego the premiums on his policy. Two months before he died suddenly.

Wishihadabs Sun 23-Jun-13 15:29:34

DH and I both work a bit less than ft. The dcs say they prefer having both of us look after them some of the time.(We use about 4 hhours childcare a week) to either of us being there all the time because they understand that would mean they saw less of the other parent.

They are 9 and (nearly) 7 btw and they quite like the foreign holidays we can afford too .OP take the long view, giving up work has far reaching consequences. Yes 2 year old need a loving adult, but the school age children they will become don't just need an adult around, they need material things and they will need they parent's both of them.

Cerisier Sun 23-Jun-13 15:52:49

I advise my teenage DDs to never be dependent on a man. You never know what is round the corner- divorce, ill health, unemployment.

Work and you won't feel unjustified in spending money on yourself, you will have a sense of pride and when the DC are bigger you still have a job and pension. If the relationship hits the rocks you can still look after yourself.

OP it would be madness to give up work in your situation. Total and utter madness.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 16:14:10

I don't think I have ever been completely independent. As a child I depended on my parents, as a student my parents and the government, when I left home to move in with my boyfriend my job security and him as the rent then mortgages required both of our incomes, when I married and became a mother I depended on my husband for all sorts of things, as a father to my son, a husband and a breadwinner.

If my life changes I change but if everybody was completely independent there would be no mutually beneficial relationships...

The OP dropped a shit bomb then disappeared. hmm

On the point that SAHPs do it for themselves. I loved my job, really loved it. I gave it up (mostly, I still do some contract hours) because childcare was shit and let DD down. She needed me at home. I also got a lodger in and gave up my lovely bathroom. Now have to share with DH, bugger.

However, had we had to give up house insurance I wouldn't have done it. I don't really understand having the money for IVF and not for house insurance. I want another child, we aren't having one. You cut your clothes according to your cloth.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 17:11:21

Stay at home mums 'do it for themselves' and it's no better for kids if parents stay at home?
What a load of utter tosh.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 17:33:46

this is one of those weird mumsnet threads where everything leans towards the sport of sham bashing.
I saw a couple recently where 99% of posters agreed that it was almost entirely without question that babies/children are always better off with a sahp, unless they have a shit home situation. It's logical. It's common sense. If you honestly think a nanny/nursery/childminder provides exactly the same as a sahp, you're living on some weird other planet.
But this is An Other thread.
My bingo card of 'posters guaranteed to come along and engage in a spot of light sham clubbing' is almost complete too.

WidowWadman Sun 23-Jun-13 17:37:59

Nobody is saying that children are worse off with a SAHM, just that they're probably doing just as well with a WOHM.

Saying that SAHM is not neccessarily better than other ways of raising a child does not equal bashing.

Ashoething Sun 23-Jun-13 17:44:16

Who cares really whether you choose to be a sahm or choose to be a working parent. At the end of the day-its a choice all of us make. And before I get swathes working mums telling me they have no "choice" and that being a sahm is a "luxury"-bollocks.

We have a welfare state that provides benefits to parents and free at the point of access education and medicine. So being a working parent is a choice as no parent in this country is going to be left to starve by choosing not to work.

So choose what works for you and yours and respect others to do the same for their family.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 18:07:27

the thing is Widow, all things being equal, it is better for children, especially babies/toddlers and teens to have a sahp. To suggest otherwise is just very odd, bizarre. It's downright weird to think a baby/toddler/child/teen is as well looked after by a nanny/nursery/childminder/au pair as their Mother and Father. It's always the big fat elephant in the room on threads like this.

SizzleSazz Sun 23-Jun-13 18:19:12

So if not working makes me depressed and my self esteem gets shot to shit, then that benefits my children does it stepaway? confused

My children are looked after by others for 5 hours a week and I work 21 hours.

We are ALL better off with this arrangement. I was a sahm for a year after redundancy and hated it. You have no idea as to what is 'better' for my family.....

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 18:20:50

It's downright weird to think a baby/toddler/child/teen is as well looked after by a nanny/nursery/childminder/au pair as their Mother and Father

That's your opinion, not a fact.

Chunderella Sun 23-Jun-13 18:24:00

If someone bolds it, then it must be true. Those are the rules of the interwebz. And we appear to have another one in our midst who hasn't considered that working parents don't necessarily use childcare.

Wishihadabs Sun 23-Jun-13 18:25:49

Not if that means the other parent becomes a stranger, not if that means the family survive below the bread line, not if being a SAHP destroys the parent's mental health. Not if the relationship breaks down because of the stress of being de pendant on one income.

There are lots of examples where having a SAHP is not the best thing for the dcs. Now I would argue having 2 loving parents who share the care and support each other in and out of the home is the best thing for my dcs.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 18:27:21

It's not the elephant in the room. It's quite simply your opinion that its best for one parent to be at home full time. And no one is saying that spending time with a cm, nanny or nursery is exactly the same as spending it with a parent. We Are just saying that overall, those of us who work know that our children have just as good an experience as they would have if we didn't.

For example, I returned to work 3 days a week. My children had a mix of cm, then a fabulous nursery later on, with of course DH and me as their parents and primary carers. I could have stopped work completely (or DH could have) and they would never have gone to a cm or nursery. Do I think they would have been happier/ more well adjusted/ secure? No. I think they would have had a different experience but not a better (or worse) one.

Really, these threads are pointless because the only "argument" the diehard WOHM bashers can come up with in the end is that it's 'common sense' or 'obvious' that children should always have a SAHP (preferably the mother it seems!) No, it's not common sense or obvious to many thousands of us who have always continued to work and who now have happy and successful teenage children. It really isn't. We aren't trying to push all SAHM to get out to work (well, apart from Xenia!) so stop trying to tell us WOHM that we are doing something wrong. In fact I've just checked with my teenage dd- would she prefer me to not have a working life? - no she wouldn't, she can see that working adds another dimension to my life .

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