AIBU to decide to be a sahm

(58 Posts)
NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 22:21:59

Single parent with no support from exP or family.

Have a child with autism who has struggled in mainstream & now in a specialist unit. Still struggles with school.

Have decided to be a sahm... Have worked, part time for since child was born, now 9yr.

Lots of reasons like constant exhaustion, no respite ever, have made myself unwell in the past through constantly being on the go and have the transition to secondary to get through.

Financially I am very slightly worse off but have made changes to negate this.

I just feel terribly guilty and a little less of a person. I am planning to finish some studies / do some volunteer roles whilst off...

AIBU to be a sahm or should I just get a grip, man up and go back to work?

Tailtwister Sun 06-Oct-13 13:33:17

Why would you BU? If it's best for you and your family and you can afford it then why not?

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 06-Oct-13 13:42:30

Remember if you are claiming Carers Allowance there is an earnings threshold of approx £100 per week. If you claim CA/IS and are a lone parent you will only have to darken the JC doorstep once every 6 months for the mandatory interview. When I did them it was more about ensuring Carers are claiming everything they are entitled to. So many mothers don't know about the increased CTC due if DLA awarded. One mum got a back payment of thousands. That was a good day grin

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 06-Oct-13 13:47:00

No yanbu. Finance it however you can but carers are deserving of all the help they can get. flowers

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 06-Oct-13 14:37:48

Indeed they are.
Claim everything.

Retropear Sun 06-Oct-13 14:42:19

Regardless of being a carer if it benefits you family and you can afford it it's a no brainer.

comewinewithmoi Sun 06-Oct-13 15:42:57

Do it.

PiddlingWeather Sun 06-Oct-13 15:48:08

YANBU at all.

jellybeans Sun 06-Oct-13 17:09:44

YANBU, I would SAH.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 06-Oct-13 17:49:07

Yanbu, sounds like you have done an amazing job so far. It seems like you have thought this through properly and have a plan going about it. Your child needs you and you need to do what's best for both of you. Don't compare yourself to the next persons situation, they may have it better than you think.

Take the time to gather yourself, be there for your child and you will be fine. Good luck.

SunshineMMum Sun 06-Oct-13 18:16:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LessMissAbs Sun 06-Oct-13 19:36:03

I have just been discharged from a psychologist who I saw for anxiety - I have never been medicated for it and I wasn't depressed... So no haven't seen a GP as I feel absolutely fine other than tired

On the basis that you aren't suffering from a recognised psychiatric illness under DSM IV, then YABU, as most people get tired from working and having children.

But it is mumsnet, there are a higher proportion of SAHMs than in real life, and the system in this country does permit it, so it certainly is possible. You have to decide whether financially contributing more to your DC and setting an example of a working parent is worth less than being a full time mum. Or whether the possibility of an exclusion from school warrants giving up work.

kinkyfuckery Sun 06-Oct-13 19:42:13

You are a carer for your child, you should be at home if you feel it's what is best for you and your child.

Have you looked into Income Support? You might be entitled to claim it alongside Carer's Allowance.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 19:59:31

Whilst LessMissAbs is entitled to her opinion - just ignore everything she says grin

Take time out to care for your DS and yourself.

puntasticusername Sun 06-Oct-13 20:36:04

YANBU at all. It sounds as if in the situation you're in, deciding to be a SAHM is a more than sensible option. If you think it's the best thing for you and your DC, do it.

As we can see just a little further up the thread there, your decision may not meet with everyone else's unqualified approval, but sod them. It's your life. And whatever you do, someone somewhere will be happily hoicking the judgy pants, you never get away from that.

You have a lot of years ahead of you when you might find it easier to work outside the home than you do now, if you still want to - nothing at all wrong with prioritising home life for now. Mothering is the most important job you will ever do and no one else can do it in your stead. I don't know of any other jobs for which you can say the same.

NCFail Sun 06-Oct-13 20:46:31


Kind of where I am actually - I should get a grip because everyone gets tired looking after kids.

You are absolutely right but I don't know how to continue to deal with going from a meeting / child being herded into school / manhandling him to school myself to packing it away to go to work and concentrate whilst constantly waiting for a phone call...

I am not mentally ill no and I want to keep it that way.

Of course I might never become unwell but if I do there is no one on the world to look after my child.

I don't know if I am right - my child calls me a 'quitter' for not working so believe me I am acutely aware of the impression I am giving - the last 9yrs of working and studying have made no impact what so ever hmm

Am I unreasonable to not work? I fear I am - that's why I asked. I will try to give as much back as I can and support myself as much as I can but the reality is that people will judges decision as harshly as I judge it myself if I decide not to work.

puntasticusername Sun 06-Oct-13 21:09:01

FFS. You're a single mum to a child with special needs who needs particular support atm from the sound of it, and you get no help from your child's father or anyone else whatsoever? That's an unusually demanding parenting situation to say the least. It really is not "just" getting tired "like everyone who has kids gets tired". I know I already said FFS but you know what, I'm gonna go ahead and say it again ;)

puntasticusername Sun 06-Oct-13 21:16:51

It sounds as if your son's voice is fairly powerful here. If he's calling you "a quitter" then obviously that's going to have a lot of effect on how you are thinking about the situation yourself. Under the circumstances, I guess it's understandable if he perhaps can't grasp what an effect his words are having on you but...yeah, I do think you need to find some way past that voice somehow :/

NCFail Sun 06-Oct-13 21:20:53

Lol problem is I don't have a 'usual' experience to base it on - so tired is tired to me and I don't know if its extraordinarily tiring or normal amount of tiring wink

NCFail Sun 06-Oct-13 21:23:50

Sorry I used him didn't I - her not him but yes I try and model best behaviour at all times so yep it's getting to me hmm

Growlithe Sun 06-Oct-13 21:32:54

Your son can't know what stress you are under, because you have been a great parent and not shown him - so don't worry if he judges you a quitter just now.

It sounds like you are reaching the end of your tether. Although you are not mentally ill just now it seems from reading this that you could be getting there, and you are putting extra pressure on yourself by feeling like a failure for taking this step.

Imagine if you continued as is though, and you did actually become mentally ill. Where would that leave your family, and your job?

It sounds like stopping work is the thing to do now, because it is the part of your life that can give in order to get you back on track. Best of luck.

bababababoom Mon 07-Oct-13 10:32:56

YANBU. Not at all.

bababababoom Mon 07-Oct-13 10:36:15

I am a SAHM, one of my children has issues similar to yours. If I worked I don't feel I could do either job properly.

We struggle financially - really struggle. But TBH, I have 3 children, and I don't think what I could earn would even cover childcare costs, even if I chose to send them to school (we home ed), I would still need before and after school acre which would be too much for my asd child anyway.

WilsonFrickett Mon 07-Oct-13 10:40:49

YANBU at all. You are caring for a child with additional needs, it is physically and mentally exhausting.

LesMis, with respect, with all the other things parents have to 'model' for children with autism - like, you know, social skills, how to hold a conversation, what to do in the shops, how to dress and self-care (apols OP I am projecting a little but if your DS is in SS then his autism must be pretty severe) I think role-modelling working is pretty far down the list. FFS.

OP - I would second pp's about not becoming too isolated though. Maybe some study - OU is fab - or voluntary work, just something to make sure being a carer isn't all you are.

I too gave up work when DS was diagnosed, his needs are very mild though so I'm now a successful freelancer, once the dust settles a bit it may be worth looking in to something like that.

laughingeyes2013 Mon 07-Oct-13 10:41:50

Even without your carer status you would not be unreasonable to want to be a stay at home Mum.

Society has mothers down as being lazy if they don't add an outside job in to the mix, but being a parent is the hardest job in the world and so many people (in my experience from working 20+ years, and in our one household too) describe working outside the home as easier than working inside the home with young children; "going to work for a rest"!

I would, in that vein of thought, caution you to find a way to get a break if you do decide to stay at home, and equally importantly keep your social life going. Your distraction, relaxation and support networks will be vital for your own wellbeing.

laughingeyes2013 Mon 07-Oct-13 10:51:45

I also acknowledge that in your case going to work is not a rest because of the extra burden of hard work you carry with your son. So for you, work isn't a rest, it's an additional stress.

I didn't want you to think I was saying your life will be easier at work, simply that its not always the easy option to stay at home. Both sides have their pluses and minuses.

Bottom line is - you're doing a fantastic job raising your son alone and you HAVE to make life as easy for yourself as you can. Cut yourself some slack! People will always have an opinion, but no one has any right to judge anyone's decision to either work or stay at home.

Do what you need to do with peace and confidence in your ability to assess your situation and change your mind again in the future if it seems right to you to do so.

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