To ask if anyone has / knows anyone who had kids so they could give up work / go part time?

(54 Posts)
Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:56:15

A friend of mine always talks about having kids so she can give up her job (a very stressful one) or go part time. She says it in a jokey manner, and I know she adores children, so this is not her real motivation.

However, this got me wondering how many women actually do have children because they are fed up with careers / want a change of scene?!

I'm sure there was an article about it in the Daily Mail (!!) too a while ago too.

LaVitaBellissima Tue 20-Nov-12 09:01:39

I have to admit that it was a factor for me, 8 years in a very stressful job, unsociable hours, managing a very large team.
I was 30 & engaged and thought I should start trying in case it took a while.
6 weeks later I was pregnant with twins, am still undecided as to which was the more stressful job! I now work time time doing something completely different.

Furoshika Tue 20-Nov-12 09:16:29

Yes, a friend of mine did. Her life plan was to do a PGCE, see if she liked teaching (she didn't, much) and if not, get pregnant and be a SAHM.

Popumpkin Tue 20-Nov-12 09:20:25

Yes, a primary school teacher friend of mine couldn't wait to have a baby so that she could become a SAHM. She now has twin girls & is loving every minute of it.

Also, a colleague of mine is desperately TTC so that, in her words, she can "go on maternity leave and never fucking come back".

bracken101 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:21:20

For me it was the opposite- I had a fine but un-fulfilling job after finishing my PhD because my DH had set up a business in the area and there were very few interesting (for me) jobs around. I fell pregnant and for ages I had to battle with the fact that I was unable to go for the (full time) job opportunities that arose with jobs I would have loved, and felt fulfilled. I had to accept that the best thing in the short term for me and my family was to do boring boring part time work, from home, as opposed to commuting for 1-1.5 hours a day and being fulfilled in my work life. Am now pregnant with number 2, hope when this one is 3 to be able to have a more interesting and fulfilling job, probably nothing to do with what I trained in, but still interesting.

greensnail Tue 20-Nov-12 09:22:04

Sort of. I've always wanted children and felt like working full time was just what I was doing until dh and I were ready to have children. I love my work but I have a job which is exhausting physically and mentally/emotionally and I feel much better equipped to do it properly now I'm not full time as I'm not so exhausted by it (still tired but in a different way). In the last few years before having dd1 I was definitely looking forward to going part time.

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:48:19

So not uncommon to look forward to leaving work when you have children then it seems! I doubt many people who don't want children would have them just to leave work...

Yes there is a difference between wanting kids and enjoying not going to work but I very much doubt any one gets pregnant with the sole reason for wanting to give up work.......looking after a baby is no 9 to 5 so anyone who thinks it would be easier than actually going to work needs their head testing.

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:45:41

I guess it depends on your job - I have friends who have found having children much easier than their careers (and much more rewarding) but others who say motherhood is more difficult ...

Hazbo Tue 20-Nov-12 12:59:35

Yes me, although I was 30 and had been married 2 years so the timing was "right" as well. I had a stressful job that I hadnt enjoyed for years. From the minute I was pregnant I was dreaming about maternity leave. Then whilst on maternity leave I got pregnant again so I never went back.....
If I do go back to work it will be in a completely different career in a non stressful job.

At the time, even though I should have just left that profession, everyone seemed shocked when I sounded out the idea of leaving with no job to go to or not working at all, or working somewhere else part time, but its perfectly acceptable when you have kids!

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 13:23:51

Hazbo what line of work were you in and what new career would you try?

Woozley Tue 20-Nov-12 13:25:01

Yes, though I knew I wouldn't be a lawyer for ever in any event and carried on for 6 years after I had DD1.

runningintreacle Tue 20-Nov-12 14:07:14

Yes, though I wasn't actually working at the time. I was doing a MSc when I got married, then did a PhD but then grew to realise I didn't want to go on to work in that field. So I had a few years off, tried some voluntary positions and then decided to have dd when I couldn't decide on a career I wanted to do. I don't think dh would have been happy to be the sole breadwinner if we didn't have dd.

MrsWhoGivesaShit Tue 20-Nov-12 15:19:41

yes, i can not wait to have a baby so i can leave and never fucking come back! i hate my job with a passion! So we are TTC, i will get a nice maternity package and then never ever have to come back to this hell hole! i will be a SAHM

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 20-Nov-12 15:27:14

I am kind of divided on this one. Part of me dreams of going part time or changing to a less stressful job with a new little baby bean. But when I was home all day finishing my masters with DD on summer hold age 6, I was so lonely and depressed! If DP and I have one of our own I have to admit I will be nervous about losing self esteem and adult company by staying at home full time even for 3 months

Anyway am main earner so doubt I would be allowed to be the sahp lol

DP may well end up SAHD but I would actually be a little jealous especially if wasn't also reducing my hours or something like that!

motherinferior Tue 20-Nov-12 15:28:50

God no, one of my major worries about having children was that I wouldn't be able to work.

Crinkle77 Tue 20-Nov-12 15:31:48

I suspect a friend of mine did exactly that although i would never ask. She had only been with her new boyfriend a short time nefore she got pregnant. This boyfriend had his own business, house etc... Funnily enough she managed to not get pregnant with a previous boyfriend of a number of years who had none of this

coffeeslave Tue 20-Nov-12 16:32:42

My mum did, back in the early 1970s. She didn't particularly want kids, she just didn't want to work. She had my sister first, then 5 years later I was an "oops".

It did kind of backfire for her as once both of us were out of the house she felt very unfulfilled. My dad was used to her looking after him, and didn't approve of her working, so she never worked again. Thank goodness they've remained married, because without his pension etc she wouldn't be well provided for in her old age!

LondonInHighHeeledBoots Tue 20-Nov-12 16:52:29

I half jokingly would! My life plan has always included kids, but lately at work I do find myself dreaming of extended mat leave where before it has always been a 'get 'em weaned and get back in' plan.

I think in part this is due to the fact that now DP and I are both working (both just out of uni), completely unexpectedly, he is earning a fair bit more than I am when we both thought it would be the other way round, so the idea that I would/could be the SAHP/WPTP has hit the wall rather hard and I'm actually thinking about it where I haven't before.

I think it also might be that I'm thinking in more terms of real time not 'future' when thinking of kids now, so am actually considering options.

I'd obviously not have kids just to get time off work - I could just quit at the end of the day!

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 17:00:41


I'd obviously not have kids just to get time off work - I could just quit at the end of the day!

But would your other half really be willing to be the sole breadwinner just because you could not be bothered / did not want to work?! Obviously if you have kids you can justify staying at home, but if you don't have kids, I don't see how you can justify staying at home (unless you have some other valid reason, such as health etc, or you are just loaded grin)

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Tue 20-Nov-12 17:25:14

Me, sort of. DD was a genuine 'oops' but actually perfect timing work-wise as I had a new manager who was a bully and I was utterly miserable. I went on maternity leave almost as soon as possible and won't go back if she's still there.

McChristmasPants2012 Tue 20-Nov-12 17:33:48

I never factored work in the decision to have children.

I was 19 and I wanted children young, I plan to have a career once my kids are older I work pt as a domestic so want something my kids and I can be proud of

SrirachaGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 17:50:11

Hmmm...are you sure you're not misunderstanding? I have always known I wanted to have children and be a SAHM (and luckily DH concurred) so eagerly looked forward to having my babies so that I could do just that...I quite liked my job but knew that being a WOHM was not for me. I probably won't ever go back to work now but I'll definitely be doing more volunteering when my DCs are grown.

You'd have to be quite dense to think that having children would be like some sort of vacation wouldn't you? grin

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 17:59:00

I don't think it's necessarily a case of people thinking having kids is a vacation compared to working .... But I suppose it is more rewarding and more pleasant especially if you don't like your job or have a horrible boss.
Also depending on what your job is it might be easier (I know people who swear having a baby is easier than working (they all had stressful jobs in the City))

We had DD2 earlier than planned so I could get out of a job I hated. But I doubt anyone actually has children to get out of work. Because children are way more work than, um, work!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 20-Nov-12 18:04:01

I know lots of people whose life dream was to have a couple of kids be a sahm bake stuff and finger paint,

But I don't know anybody whose only reason for having a unwanted child was so they didn't have to work.

I also don't think I know many working mums who don't view work as a little bit of an. Escape from the kids

plantsitter Tue 20-Nov-12 18:06:49

In my honest opinion, you would have to be fucking insane to have kids so you could give up work. I say this as a SAHM of two small children.

TigerseyeMum Tue 20-Nov-12 18:08:40

I wonder if a lot of women got sold on the 'career fulfilment' thing then discovered in reality they get paid little, worked long hours and had shitty bosses. So it might appear as if women want kids just to get out of that situation but in fact it can be welcome relief to the endless round of commuting/working/more working and not feeling very fulfilled.

I think the fulfilment aspect is really important. I admit though that at times when i am really excited about my job my desire for babies wanes a tiny bit and when I've had a shit day I can't wait!

OverlyWordyHurdyGurdy Tue 20-Nov-12 18:13:56

Yy plantsitter! Fucking insane.

TempusFuckit Tue 20-Nov-12 19:56:22

It wasn't the motive, but it's ended up being pretty good timing. My industry is going through an excruciatingly difficult transition fuelled by the internet. I'm one of those pesky online bods, so at the moment I'm not popular, have little power, not much chance of progression, etc etc. The theory is that after my years of maternity leave and part timing, the industry will have pulled through, and I'll be well placed, having kept my skills ticking over, to take over, mwahahaha!

I imagine a lot of women have looked at the downturn as an opportunity to take some time out - our DC are known as recession babies aren't they? I do wonder how many have made plans to return to the workplace though.

Trills Tue 20-Nov-12 20:09:42

If I went part time without having children I would have a nicer time and have now money to spend on nice things than if I worked part time with children.

Apart from all the people giving me funny looks and calling me a lazy fucker, of course.

Trills Tue 20-Nov-12 20:12:29

more money, not now money

angeltulips Tue 20-Nov-12 20:14:09

Definitely know women who thought this. Defo not the case for me

The only thing that really sets my teeth on edge is women like the poster above who smugly states she'll never go back to work, maybe do a bit of volunteering. Um, newsflash luv, you'll probably live til 90, but do go ahead and leech off everyone else til then. Am sure you'll be the first to complain when benefits are cut.

scarletforya Tue 20-Nov-12 20:22:43

Yep, loads of people I know did where In used to work. It was also important to 'get your maternity leave' out of the company as many times as possible, go back from Mat leave pregnant and then when family was complete to hopefully 'get redundancy'

I have no problem with any of that, even though I was childless the whole time I was there so often covered maternity leave etc. Didn't bother me. More power to people who can get as good conditions as possible from companies!

TwitchyTail Tue 20-Nov-12 20:27:55

I'll admit that the timeline of my thoughts after the positive Clearblue was roughly as follows:

11:28: I'm pregnant! Yay. A baby. Nice.
11:29: OMG a YEAR off work!!
11:30: OMG and then a lifetime of societally sanctioned THREE-DAY WEEKS!!!

TwitchyTail Tue 20-Nov-12 20:29:09

And then I read an article about the staggering cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years, and my happy bubble burst sad

cashmere Tue 20-Nov-12 20:32:42

I'm the 1st of my friends to have kids and have encountered the 'mat leave is a 9 month holiday' attitude/jokes several times.
Unless you are very used to being around young children for extended periods of time I don't think you realise what hard work being a parent is-and I love it!
I also know of a colleague who said similar but on reflection has found work easier (though less rewarding).
I think part time is the way to go- I work 3 days, ideally I'd do 2.

fossil97 Tue 20-Nov-12 20:43:50

<hollow laugh>
I think I was looking forward to the change from a very full on career to spending more time at home , BUT I hugely overestimated how much time I would have at home for hobbies/baking cakes/gardening/reading etc. Looking after the DC wasn't as much difficult as exhausting, messy and time consuming. It's only now they are at school and I'm back at work that I have an actual day off work with no DC at home - that's precious time I tell you.

Twitchytail have you had your baby yet? grin

I suspect the OP's friend is being a bit tongue in cheek.

SrirachaGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 21:48:05

Angel, hunny. That's harsh!

The other reason I don't work is because my husband is an ambitious and very hard-working, high-earning breadwinner. And because we are financially responsible I won't ever be claiming benefits or "leeching" off anyone. Does that set your teeth right?

Chip. On. Shoulder.

GrendelsMum Tue 20-Nov-12 22:11:57

I don't know - my sister has DC, I don't. I was complaining to her that working full time doesn't leave me enough time to pursue a skill to a really high level. She suggested in all sincerity that I should have a baby so that I could have the time to get really good at my hobby. hmm

legoballoon Tue 20-Nov-12 22:13:05

IMHO they'd be bonkers if they did. I go to work for a rest!

melliebobs Tue 20-Nov-12 22:15:54

I hate my job with a passion. But I'm stuck in it cos Anycareer move would be a good 8-10k paycut and we'd struggle. When I had dd I thought great part time hours. But due to the cost of child care and the cost I living goin up I'm having to go back full time n the thought of it makes me sick

TwitchyTail Tue 20-Nov-12 22:18:47

Fossil97 - good spot, my baby is still safely tucked up in the belly. But surely mat leave is just like a relaxing spa holiday with endless lie-ins, leisurely breakfasts and bubble baths?




legoballoon Tue 20-Nov-12 22:19:32

Sorry to hear that Mellie. I guess the grass may well be greener for some more than others. However, I do think people underestimate the exhaustion and drudgery involved in childrearing before they have 'em.

jazzcat28 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:22:38

I know someone who had a life plan as follows

Marry young to man who is in good career with high earning potential
Buy house
Get PGCE and teach for a year or two
Get pg

And she did exactly that!

I am keen to start TTC and when I have a rubbish week at work this feeling gets stronger but I think I want the family rather than just want to quit my job IYSWIM

KatyPeril Tue 20-Nov-12 22:27:33

I do. An ex-friend. She was always telling me to get knocked up so I could wuit my job. Last time I checked she had 4 and was absolutely beside herself when one got diagnosed with autism as she gets extra benefits. She was pushing for the others to get diagnosed and was always moaning how the council wouldn't 'pull thier fucking finger out' and give her a proper house. Ditching her was the best thing I ever did. I don't care how much abuse I got.

Flosshilde Tue 20-Nov-12 22:39:00

I didn't have kids to give up work, but DH and I decided to start our family perhaps 12 months earlier than we would otherwise have done as I was stuck in a job I hated.

I never went back. I'm not a SAHM though, I work full time. I got a new, far better job 11 months into maternity leave and my old employer didn't see me for dust. 2 years into this job I'm pregnant with DC2 and intend taking 9 months maternity leave this time.

PropertyNightmare Tue 20-Nov-12 22:56:12

Yes, I know about 10 women who made this choice. Nothing wrong with it either, imo.

PropertyNightmare Tue 20-Nov-12 22:59:09

I should say that none of my friends had children for the sole purpose of quitting work or reducing workload. Rather that was a happy and wanted occurance as a result of having children.

janey68 Wed 21-Nov-12 07:41:02

Maybe not actually deciding to have a baby solely for the purpose of giving up work... But i did have a colleague a few years back who was, unfortunately, not very good at her job, who when she got pregnant made a big noise about how she was going to be a SAHM because it was 'best for her baby'. Er no love, it was best for you Because you were unmotivated, not doing very well and couldn't wait to give up!

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 09:16:17

If my only concern was that I didn't like my present job, I'd think about looking for another one before I went to the extreme of landing myself with a job that is likely to last 18+ years and which you can't get out of grin

But suspect for many women, the situation is a bit more complex than that: they may be desperate to get out of their job but also quite like the idea of having children.

melliebobs Wed 21-Nov-12 09:22:48

Oh I'd like to add me n dh were married and had our own place and in a position to have a child. It wasn't a case of I hate my job lets ttc! We wanted a family

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Wed 21-Nov-12 09:27:33

My male colleagues in the department under Her Majesty were very envious of my get-out-of-jail-free card, I have to say!

oohlaalaa Wed 21-Nov-12 09:47:28

My best friend brought forward children for this reason. She was in a well paid job with great maternity benefits, that she hated, and decided to have a baby rather than move on. She was married at the time and 26 years old, but had initially planned for children at about 29 so that she had more savings, and further in her career.

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