To ever so slightly envy SAHMs

(87 Posts)
MrRected Sun 24-Mar-13 12:27:00

My 3 school are all of school age (5,8,11). I have always had to work to keep us afloat. Up until now I have been lucky that I worked 4 days a week (one at home).

I was informed by my boss that as of after Easter I can no longer work part time. That its full time or nothing. I am a contractor so I don't have much choice in the matter.

I so wish we were a bit more financially better off. I would love nothing more than to be able to stay at home with my children and feel envious of those who can. <wistful>

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence smile

VBisme Sun 24-Mar-13 12:42:14

Swings and roundabouts, there's positives and negatives to both situations.

Shame that you're having to change your working hours.

janey68 Sun 24-Mar-13 12:45:02

Agree with the others, There are a lot of advantages to working and its easy to think the grass is greener.
I expect you're feeling unsettled because your work pattern is changing after a long period of having been used to 4 days, but once you adjust you'll be ok

twilight3 Sun 24-Mar-13 12:51:26

but you wouldn't be at home with your children because your children would be at school... so not as great as it seems really. Don't forget that many SAHMs envy you for being able to work...
The news about your hours must have come as a shock, I hope you adjust soon.

Schooldidi Sun 24-Mar-13 12:57:04

I am envious of people who have the working life they chose. Whether that is sahm by choice, working pt or working ft with childcare that works well for them.

I'd like to be a sahm for a couple of years, but I can't because I'm the main earner in our family.

I also have other dreams I can't have either and I'm envious of people who can have it. I'm aware that other people are possibly envious of my lifestyle as well though, so I don't get too worked up about it.

MiniTheMinx Sun 24-Mar-13 12:57:27

I agree with others who say "the grass is always greener" My eldest is 12 and I have at various times worked full time, been a SAHM and been self employed working from home. I think the best of all possible worlds for me is "all things in moderation"

The only time I really enjoyed full time stay at home role was when it had a greater purpose (we did HEd for a couple of years) than just picking up after, making food, cleaning and caring for the DC.

xigris Sun 24-Mar-13 12:58:47

I don't think YBU but I agree with the others who say the grass is always greener on the other side. I'm on maternity leave at the mo with DS3 and although I miss work and my mates there (we're an unusually close team) I'm also enjoying being at home. Not just being with the children grin is because despite having a 11 week old baby I'm a lot less tired! I'm lucky in that I work 1 - 2 shifts a week but I mainly do nights which works really well around my family but means I'm permanently knackered hmm. Not really sure what the perfect balance is these days...

Schooldidi I think that's probably the most sensible post I've ever read on the ongoing WOHM/SAHM debate.

It's choice, and the freedom to do as you wish whether that is work or stay at home.

lljkk Sun 24-Mar-13 13:01:00

Grass is indeed greener, I am a very bored SAHM who would love to work FT.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Mar-13 13:05:41

I agree with the OP, I have huge SAHM envy and as someone who has been a SAHM previously I know that for me the grass is much lusher, greener and healthier .

Arisbottle Sun 24-Mar-13 13:05:42

I agree with the OP, I have huge SAHM envy and as someone who has been a SAHM previously I know that for me the grass is much lusher, greener and healthier .

Arisbottle Sun 24-Mar-13 13:06:09

Greener on the SAHM side , that is.

ukatlast Sun 24-Mar-13 13:20:18

I don't envy SAHMs as I have been one from choice for many years BUT I do think it would better if men and women could more easily work part-time in jobs and thereby both share the child-rearing, domestic stuff more equally.

'Having it all' is bloody hard work from a woman's point of view. If burnt out climbing the career ladder with a long-distance commute, it can be a relief to escape into full-time Motherhood. I know it was for me and then well-paid postings abroad for the whole family (DH's job) locked me into it....but I had my kids late so not so drastic to leave the 'rat race'.

Maybe we should advise our kids to consider working hour flexibility when choosing careers. A couple I knew who were podiatrists in their own practice, were able to share work and childcare successfully by both working part-time, teaching seems to be good because you potentially get the holidays to recharge your batteries and spend time with your kids.

At the end of the day, I do think kids like one or other of their parents to be around for them(I know I did) is a hard circle to square basically and the only recent legislation which has helped SAHPs is the stakeholder pension which you can pay into to even if not in paid employment.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Mar-13 13:28:01

Lots of good points ukatlast, teaching for me is as close as I can get to having a career and having elements of SAHMdom in the holidays .

Would rather not have to work at all though .

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 24-Mar-13 13:32:28

This wont end well and i think that is because it is a classic case of the grass is greener.

I think that there should be something done to actually make part-time working a feasible options for parents. If employers were more flexible i am sure they would have better value for money out of their employees instead of having a bunch of stressed out work robots who are trying to balance everything

wongadotmom Sun 24-Mar-13 13:32:56

I agree with you to a point op. I do get tired working long shifts and some weeks I don't see much of DS(4) and I long to be at home.
But then again I would not like to be a 24 hour slave at home and never having a break and little money, I have been there with my older two dc.
Grass is not always greener.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Mar-13 13:36:22

I do not see why this should end badly. Surely we can agree that for some people being a SAHM is more attractive and for others going out to work is more attractive . Depends on your work options , your income and the nature of your family .

Nothing contentious there, surely .

dingit Sun 24-Mar-13 13:37:24

I won't add to everyone else's view in this debate. As you have no choice, could you try to find some positive? If your hours have increased, so will your salary, at least treat yourself to a cleaner or ironing service, and maybe save a bit towards a family treat / holiday.

FleeBee Sun 24-Mar-13 13:41:00

I'm a SAHM following Redundancy & I'd love a job, a salary & equality with DH. Alas, jobs are v hard to come by at the moment

pictish Sun 24-Mar-13 13:43:26

I'm a sahm who wishes I could work FT earning my own money, contributing to the household, and doing my own thing, after being a FT sahm for seven years.

Theicingontop Sun 24-Mar-13 13:44:56

Grass is always greener and all that. I wanted nothing more than to stay at home with my beautiful baby, but couldn't. And now I'm finally doing just that, I'm finding myself sighing with envy at my friends who're going off to work and having adult conversations and earning their own money.

Also having to deal with the raised eyebrows of some of those 'friends' when I tell them I have no plans to work until my son is in school, which will be a couple of years yet. I find I'm more judged as a sahm than I was when I was working, which I didn't anticipate.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 13:46:27

YANBU OP - to feel how you feel.

Others will of course feel differently and that's ok too.

I can't see why this thread won't 'end well' either.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 24-Mar-13 13:53:49

FleeBee - that is sad that you don't feel equal with your DH because you aren't working. Is that your own thoughts or has he made you feel like that?

What comes out of these threads, is that the people who are happy are the ones who have chosen their situation and/or have the choice to alter it without undue stress or pressure.

I'm a SAHM, and I'm happy because it was my choice. I will return to work in the future, and we have the resources for me to retrain.
If I felt stuck and as if I lacked choices, then I would be unhappy.

janey68 Sun 24-Mar-13 13:57:45

I don't see why the thread shouldn't end well either.

Op- do you have a partner who is also working? Is there any way you can rearrange so you perhaps have a different balance? Assuming he is up for that too. Of course, maybe you would both prefer not to work, in which case you need to just balance things out as well
As you can

MiniTheMinx Sun 24-Mar-13 13:59:42

NO reason why the thread should end badly.

I agree with others talking about flexible hours and part time work being the route to choice. However over the last 30 years we have seen the rise of the two income family, now we see the two income family sitting beside workless households. In the states some economists are pointing to the rise of the 3 income family where two adults work the equivalent in hours of three full time jobs just to stay afloat. Of course this sits beside rising levels of workless households.

I don't know where the answer lies. When I hear Osborne talking about flexible labour markets I wonder if he means quite the same as the rest of us who want flexible working conditions.

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 02:46:25

Thanks all. I appreciate all the comments.

Of course, we always want what we can't have smile. For me, I'd relish the chance to just be a mum for a while. The part time working arrangement was the best possible situation for us - considering our financial overheads etc. It's tight but do-able at the end of each month. So for it to be terminated so abruptly was a bit of a shock.

I am feeling a little more accepting of the situation today and realise that the green-eyed monster won't pay the mortgage, so I am trying to put a positive spin on it in my own mind.

I'm a SAHM who works contract as well and manages our tenant (weird sort of foster/sort of tenant thing). There is never enough time, or brain or space for it all. I left FT work because my DD needed me to. I envy people with good, reliable childcare and choices. I am extremely lucky that we can afford me SAH. Grass is sort of mid-green here yellow on some days, lush on others.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Mar-13 06:48:36

Easy to be envious of people who dont work but there are many upsides to working and so timestimes we forget the positives.

You are financially independent, should things in life go wrong you have the means of self support. You are installing a great work ethic into your children. You contribute to the household finances and the benefits of having adult company and good work appraisals etc.

There are lots of things in life people want but we have to be realistic. Theres always the option to job search and find something a little more flexible.

MoYerBoat Mon 25-Mar-13 07:01:29

It's posts like the one from HappyMummy above which means these kinds of threads always get nasty. "You are installing a great work ethic into your children" hmm Apart from it not being necessarily true - plenty of layabout kids of working parents - it implies that that a SAHM can't inspire her children to work hard.

And then some SAHM will come along and trot out the line "I prefer to raise my own children" and on it goes ...

MsVestibule Mon 25-Mar-13 07:38:26

It was all going so well until 6.48... Wish there was a 'hide' button for all threads with the phrase SAHM in the title - they're just an annoying itch I can't resist scratching!

TunipTheVegedude Mon 25-Mar-13 07:46:16

I wish instilling a work ethic into your kids really was as easy as installing one!

<SAHM so has time to sit around on a Monday morning picking up on people's typos on the internet> wink

Seriously, pros and cons on both sides, I've done both, and wistfulness from either side of the fence is understandable too.

I stayed at home until DD1 was 7 and DD2 was 2 - returned to work to 16hrs (4 dpw) i could take or leave work tbh especially when dd1 got the pox and was off school for 3wks, and dd2 got them 8mths later :-( both have been quite sicky this yr already, and havig booked my holidays and used the rest up on sick child days, anything else will be unpaid sad

I currently work 20.5hrs a week spread over 5 mornings which is quite good for me, and the money is ok. I just wish I could have more time with my girls sad

Living the dream would be to get an admin post at a school, which tends to be 30hpw 39wks of the yr...i would be happy to work the more hrs a week to have the holidays with my girls, as i feel theyre just growing up so fast

trustissues75 Mon 25-Mar-13 07:53:10

I like dingit's suggestion....sorry you're having choices taken away. It sucks. But really, honestly SAHM is just the same grass on the other side of the fence. Being a mum is hard, no matter what you do.

willyoulistentome Mon 25-Mar-13 08:01:17

I feel the same as OP. I would LOVE to bea SAHM but only if it was dh earned so much we could afford it. It would be awful if it wad just because I couldn't find work.

VIX1980 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:25:53

Im one of those forced into being a sahm after a redundancy, and while its lovely and amazing to spend so much time with ds i do feel really isolated most of the time.

I sit her each morning feeding him his breakfast watching all the people walking past with nice clothes on, on there way to work and desperately long to be part of that again if only to have someone else to talk to through the day. Getting a bit emotional even writing that.

Yet i know once in that job i would long to be back at home with ds and feel i was missing out, The grass is always greener!

Xmasbaby11 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:33:19

I know what you mean. I work for a great employer and could easily work part time if I wanted to, but for financial reasons I work full time and always will. Even with both me and DH working full time, we can't afford things like holidays or a cleaner.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 08:51:31

VIX1980- don't you go out and about with your DS? There are plenty of places to find adult conversation. Don't isolate yourself flowers

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 08:54:26

Easy to think the grass is greener - I know I do! But reality for us is that we need my salary so the option is taken away.

It's a real juggling act, both DH and I have very involved jobs, I stay over in London once or twice a week and the days I'm close to home DH plans his long days away. I do only work 4 days a week inc 1 or 2 days from home (well most of the time, doesn't always work out) so get to see DD quite a lot.

But I do have have a (probably unreasonable) nagging doubt that life would be easier for us all if I could be a SAHM.

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 09:08:16

The grass gets yellower the longer you are a SAHM, but the school holidays don't get any shorter.
Teens don't want leaving in the middle of nowhere for days on end.

And who's going to employ someone who hadn't really worked since leaving university 15 years ago.

Yes I've been amazingly lucky to have a DH who landed a job he was made for just after we married. I love being home for the DDs, but I'm a useless house wife and spend far too long in here.

I have enormous sympathy with the OP, I have a DF who worked from her DS being small and she alway said 4 days was what made it work.
(She now run her own business and lives in a town with a swimming pool, both I guess helpful with the teens in the holidays problem.)

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Mar-13 10:03:31

Sahm here. Truthfully, I do enjoy my day to day life, but I am very aware that all my financial eggs are in one basket. I worry about redundancy and illness etc more than I would if we were a dual income family.

It really is swings and roundabouts.

Also you read on MN a lot about husbands opting out of marriages and then behaving shittily (wrt child support etc) despite all their promises. It's so much worse if you don't have a career of your own.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 10:38:32

Reading with interest as considering ditching my teaching job to be a SAHM (DON'T DO IT! I hear you cry)

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 10:54:44

If you can possibly find a job share, part time, arrangement that allows some decent home life balance - Don't Do IT!

If it's stressing you out and fucking you and your DCs up - think very hard.

Teaching at the moment is not easy.

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 10:59:04

I did think earlier in the year about retraining to be a teacher to allow me to spend more time with my DD in the holidays but concluded that we couldn't afford the big drop in salary...

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Mar-13 11:06:59

Used to be a teacher - it's not as compatible with family life as it initially seems. If you work in a different county to the one your dc are educated in, then holidays and inset days might not be exactly the same.

Also, you will never get time off to see your own children's nativity plays/concerts/sports days.

Teaching isn't the kind of job where you are finished by 5.30. I used to take home an awful lot of work. Some subjects are very labour intensive and you will spend a lot of time at home, marking essays and mock exams and planning your work.

I think it is manageable if you have a spouse who is able to finish work at a reasonable hour and then devote their attention to your family, while you work. It's harder if he has a full on career too and is away a lot/working late as well.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 11:20:40

Precisely, karma. I have a dp who works long long hours and is away a hell of a lot. It's not as family friendly as people seem to think.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 11:21:02

Teaching, that is.

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 11:24:53

I am a child of two teacher parents, one of which still works.

I don't finish my current job at 5:30 (in fact stay away from home/family 1 or 2 nights a week as I said upthread) and very often work in the evenings. I do have the luxury of being relatively flexible in that I can go to concerts in the day with a bit of planning but still think the long holidays and the time spent with DD would compensate for that.

I'm under no illusion that teaching is an easy option but know a number of people who job share and this works out well for them. I currently work 4 days 'officially' (still doing my pre-baby role full time role and often have to make meetings/reply to emails on my day off/weekends) and there is no way I could ever drop my hours down more/job share at my current level.

I still believe teaching to be a fairly family role.

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 11:26:36

I don't see how being constantly exhausted and frazzled is installing any sort of work ethic in my children - not a particularly helpful post.

I have no problem with working mums whatsoever, I was just being a bit petulant because my working conditions/norm have been changed without any consultation with me.

Thanks to most of you for understanding my original post smile

edwardsmum11 Mon 25-Mar-13 11:27:02

Tbh I am a sahm of a toddler and wonder if it will be easier when he goes to nursery part time. I know I am lucky I can do this but sometimes I could think about non kiddy things.

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 11:27:29

Instilling!! Darn autocorrect!

i love being a sahm, but i wish i had loads and loads of money so i could go on loads of really nice holidays too

PoppyWearer Mon 25-Mar-13 11:32:13

Sorry to hear that OP. I went back to work after having my DC1 and did 3 days a week, which was perfect. I was gutted when I lost my job (I wasn't given the full-time option).

We can afford for me to stay at home (just) but to be honest I would rather be working now my DC1 is at school. But with school hours and DC2, and with DH working long hours, the only way I could work would be with a nanny....and I can't earn enough to afford one.

I really envy anyone who is doing what they want to do, be it SAHM or working the hours they want in a profession they vaguely enjoy.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 11:32:35

I guess the thing I'd be most concerned about would be lack of self worth that I might feel if I did stop working. However I have thought/am thinking long and hard about it. With a dp who isn't there all the time, my children/family in general need me to be around more. YANBU op by the way!

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Mar-13 11:36:13

Job share is lovely - if you can get it. I have had a job share in the past and it was wonderful. However, a lot of secondary schools are wary because it is not always ideal for GCSE/A level classes. I don't think there are many job shares available - teachers who have them tend to cling on to them for dear life!

I have seen it work very well at primary level though.

One thing to consider is that you will be starting work at exactly the same time as your child starts school, so you will need a breakfast club or a CM. I know that's true of lots of jobs, but there is never any flexibility to come in a bit later.

You might also end up paying for child care that you don't need, during holidays. That can work out expensive if teaching pays you less than your current role.

I know I am sounding very negative and I don't mean to - the holidays were lovely, but the complete lack of flexibility is definitely something to think seriously about, because you won't have any control over your hours at all and that can be a big deal for some people.

Best of luck if you do decide to go ahead. At its best, it is a very rewarding job and you'll get to buy cakes with icing on from the school canteen.

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 11:36:38

Missed 'friendly' from the above

LessMissAbs Mon 25-Mar-13 11:37:30

No, never. I'd overeat, under-exercise and atrophy mentally if I didn't have the discipline of work to keep me going. And I want to do more than be a mother in my life and devote my life to my children for the majority of my life.

I also don't like the idea of being totally financially dependent on a man. I guess if you had the sort of career you could guarantee returning to, no matter how long you take out, it would be less risky, but I can't think of a career like that. Or if you had an inheritance or trust fund or something.

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 11:46:26

Thanks Karma. To be honest the job shares I know of are at primary level and can see how it wouldn't be so easy key stage 3 and beyond.

To be honest I do like what I do (realise I am very lucky) but it's always tricky when DD's kindergarten breaks up for the holiday and I have to find care for her! I also have lovely memories from growing up where I would have weeks at home with my mum and feel a bit sad that DD will miss out on this.

Bunfags Mon 25-Mar-13 12:12:49

I also can't see why this thread shouldn't end well. OP is just saying that she likes the idea of being a SAHM, nothing wrong with that. So what if she feels a bit envy? She's only human.

If you choose to be a SAHM and enjoy it, all power to you. It's a lucky position to be in these days.

MoYerBoat Mon 25-Mar-13 12:25:07

Bungas - nothing wrong with what the OP has written and the thread is going along nicely ... just you wait til scottishmummy finishes work for the day ..,

Bunfags Mon 25-Mar-13 12:36:15

MoYerBoat, it is going along nicely. smile I'm now acquainted with scottishmummy, so I'll keep a beady eye out.

Bunfags Mon 25-Mar-13 12:36:40

I meant not acquainted

TomDudgeon Mon 25-Mar-13 13:40:44

I think the person who said that the happy ones are the ones doing why they choose without any pressure

I'm a sahm. I do enjoy it most of the time but would love to work outside the home. We re trying to find ways to allow this to happen but so far are discovering that logistics are just awful and we can't afford for me to work.
There are so many assumptions in how it is for others, the grass is greener thing. In my case I find that people assume we are well off because I stay at home not realising that it's the cheaper alternative for us.

I hope you find a happy situation for you op

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 13:59:52

I like the idea of being a sahm when I cant be bothered to do anything and just think if I was at home then I would have lots of time to relax. However on the other side if I wasnt at work I miss the social side and you get a bit out the loop with things.

Snoopingforsoup Mon 25-Mar-13 14:21:04

It's all been said but how I feel today, SAHM sucks!
I have EVERYTHING to do and not enough hours. I'm typing one handed while eating lunch and now have beans down my jumper! 'Living the dream'
Can't wait to get back to work where I can then spend my days feeling guilty for my absence...there is no ideal anymore.

janey68 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:27:23

I don't think there was ever an 'ideal' though. It's easy to imagine those 1950s were halcyon days when houses could be bought on one income and labour saving devices meant SAHM didn't have to spend all their days scrubbing the laundry by hand and sweeping floors... But I'm
sure the reality didn't feel ideal. Many women wanted to be able
To work and literally did not have that opportunity- many professions were barred to mothers until relatively recent times, and besides, day nurseries didn't exist. If she was lucky, a mum might find a neighbour to watch the kids (no child minding red tape either!) while she did a couple
Of shifts in the local shop, but there was often no real choice for mothers to use all their skills. It's worth remembering when we all get those moments of thinking life used to be simple!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 15:20:37

Hello OP.

I think if you really wanted to do it you would, irrespective of income, you would find a way. I say this as somebody who had an overwhelming need to be a sahm and I would move heaven and earth to be able to do this.

I have no judgment here as its each to their own, but do agree with others who have said its easy to think the grass is greener on the other side.

We made a lot of sacrifices in terms of holidays, second car, material possessions. We have made sure that all dcs have had all needs met and have had some luxuries and wants, but they are not expected.

I think at the end of the day, it is a personal choice that only you can make.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 16:36:15

Morethan- what a lovely post. Makes me feel better, anyway. Better than all the sah rots your brain type posts. Hope it's given the op something to think about.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 16:48:40


thank you, but I know its not for everybody and some people may be the complete opposite but I believe in giving both extremes of a situation.
The thought of working when they were little, did leave me sick to the stomach. It was a horrible feeling and I just couldn't do it. I don't think it would have been so bad when they were at school, but by then I had other things to do, and now our youngest is 9 and we Home educate, so that keeps us pretty busy. smile

Bramshott Mon 25-Mar-13 16:50:09

I often feel a bit like that [wistful].

And then I remember when I was at home, and couldn't find a job, and how much I hated it grin!

Schooldidi Mon 25-Mar-13 17:20:34

Morethan I'm really glad you have got your life sorted to suit you, but I did find "I think if you really wanted to do it you would, irrespective of income, you would find a way. I say this as somebody who had an overwhelming need to be a sahm and I would move heaven and earth to be able to do this." a bit patronising. It reads as if those of us who are not able to rearrange our lives to allow us to be sahms just don't want it enough when that quite often isn't the case, it's more a case of choosing your priorities for your children.

We could have rearranged our lives to make it possible for dp to be a sahm, but without major sacrifices from the children (bad schools, bad area to live in, no holidays ever, no car, no extra curricular activities, etc) we couldn't rearrange our lives to let me be a sahm. The sums just don't add up. We don't have an extravagent lifestyle now, so there just aren't enough sacrifices we could make to make it possible.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 17:33:10


Well that certainly wasn't my intention at all. I also wasn't suggesting that everyone would want to do this. It also did take many sacrifices for us and maybe for others with more finances it wouldn't take such sacrifices.
However, for me I would move heaven and earth because it was that important to me. I wasn't making a judgement on those that it wasn't like this for. You mention priorities for your children, well for me that was a priority for my children, for others it might not be.
If you want to be offended when I was only talking from personal experience then that's up to you.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 17:47:23

I didn't take it that way, morethan.

Schooldidi Mon 25-Mar-13 17:57:31

I didn't think it was your intention to upset anyone, I just wanted to point out that that's how it could be percieved.

I don't know what sacrifices you needed to make, but for us it wouldn't have been dp and I making the sacrifices to enable me to sah, it would have been mostly the dcs. That didn't seem fair to us.

janey68 Mon 25-Mar-13 17:58:22

Fair enough to talk about your own personal experience, but when it comes to saying 'if you really want to be a SAHM you'd find a way' then you're moving outside your own experience and saying that other people could do as you've done. I think that's the thing that rankles sometimes.

FWIW we were in the position of both having to work with dc1. This was before tax credits and other top ups, and basically, if one persons income
Didn't cover the outgoings then there was no choice. Tbh I don't know what I would have chosen if it hadnt been a financial necessity... I really enjoy my work and I wasn't keen to give up my post, but on the other hand being a WOHM is hard going, particularly while still bf, and I sometimes wonder whether it would have seemed easier (in the short term) to be at home if I'd had the option.
Life has a way of turning things around though doesn't it? By the time dc2 came along , our finances were much more healthy, mortgage rate lower and even though I could easily have become a SAHM from
The financial viewpoint, I chose to stay in the workplace (even though nursery took all my income now!)

OP- the other thing that might be worth thinking about is that probably a very small number have really extreme opinions either way, being desperate to be a SAHM or desperate to get back to work as soon as possible. I think that's worth emphasising because it sometimes feels like you're expected to fall into one camp or the other which puts pressure on women. For example, I am pretty sure I would be quite happy at home and find plenty to do to occupy myself, it's just I prefer not to be home
All the time. I wouldn't pigeonhole yourself... Give yourself time to think through all the options; maybe there is other work out there for 3 or 4 days a week which would give you a great balance.

HiggsBoson Mon 25-Mar-13 18:31:51

We made a lot of sacrifices in terms of holidays, second car

...but they aren't sacrifices!! Holidays and cars are luxuries.

I hear you OP. DP earns minimum wage and I would LOVE to wake up and not have to worry about bringing in money to survive.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 19:21:48


I know, I too remember it well, one minimum wage coming in no tax credits and a mortgage at at 15.5%, it was hard wasn't it and certainly wouldn't want to go back there again. We were so skint as were alot of people back then, but yes it does get easier and now the mortgage has gone, we are a lot better off.
All I was saying is it is possible to do if you really want to do it. You don't come much more dire than our early days.
As I said before though, that may not be the right decision for others and everybody is different.

janey68 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:28:56

Well I can assure you that no matter how much I could have felt I didn't want to return to work after having dd, I didnt have a choice. The OP has also made it clear from the outset that she has always had to work for financial reasons.

I was one of the lucky ones- I realised pretty quickly, with dd happily settled in childcare and me back into the swing of work, that it felt good-
dd was happy, I was happy... But frankly even if I hadn't been, there would not have been a choice at that point in our lives. So I don't think it's helpful to tell others that 'if you want to be at home you'll find a
Way if you try hard enough'.. It could be very hurtful to some mothers.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 20:00:15


Well I must be lying then as its not possible, and perhaps if you had been in our situation you too would have found it impossible. However, we found a way, it wasn't easy and we had nothing. My whole intention of the first post I made was to say it is possible, as my family are living proof, so that if anybody was really torn they would have hope. If you want to make it into something else that's up to you.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 20:01:27


Well I must be lying then as its not possible, and perhaps if you had been in our situation you too would have found it impossible. However, we found a way, it wasn't easy and we had nothing. My whole intention of the first post I made was to say it is possible, as my family are living proof, so that if anybody was really torn they would have hope. If you want to make it into something else that's up to you.

janey68 Mon 25-Mar-13 20:04:38

I didn't say you were lying about it being possible for your family. I
Saying it wasn't possible for mine. And it's not possible for countless
others. Sounds suspiciously like you're claiming to know other families circumstances better than they do themselves...

Like I said, its worked out very well for us- happy children and happy parents. But it could be very hurtful to other families to be told
That if they just try hard enough they can afford to give up work

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 20:08:53

Lots of brilliant advice and differing opinions - thank you all :-).

Unfortunately I don't really have any choice at the moment. Our outgoings exceed our incomings and no amount of rationalisation will change that. So remain stuck for the time being.

Ever so slightly envious but mostly grateful that we have food on the table and the mortgage & bills are paid smile.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Mar-13 20:13:12

Morethan, your household claims state beneifts though so its not really the case to say that you manage making sacrifices as your household income obviously doenst cover everything if you need to claim state assistance.

Its sheer madness to say that everyone can afford to have an adult not work, many dont want to claim benefits and many have a WOHP that earns too much for help but outgoings are higher as the have to pay for everything themselves. Holidays and second cars are luxuries, you hardly gave up essentials.

janey68 Mon 25-Mar-13 20:15:48

MrRected- Good, sounds like you're being pragmatic. And your children are
Fine which is the most important thing. It's always unsettling when work circumstances change but I really think you'll get into the swing. I did 3 days while my children were pre school, and then went to full time when the youngest went into reception class. I did feel a bit miffed that I never got to reap the benefits of being a part time worker with kids in school... But those feelings lasted all of about a week- never looked back after that.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 21:43:27


There were no state benefits when we first had our older dc, so yes it was just one minimum wage and yes anybody could do it. We didn't go without basics but second car, depends how you look at it. A severely asthmatic child 25 miles from nearest hospital, living in the stix, nearest doctor 5 miles away ambulance depot also 25 miles away and a bus 3 times a day. No not essential as thank God we had good neighbours.
All I said it was possible and I still say it is. Some people live on very little money and its possible if you want to. I'm not suggesting we should all want to.
I think it so sad when you try and give people hope that your intentions meet with such negativity.

aldiwhore Mon 25-Mar-13 21:54:04

YANBU to be pissed off with a situation you don't choose. I'd say the same if it were a SAHM who envied a full time working mum but for whatever reason couldn't do it.

Not having a real choice sucks. I guess you have 2 immediate choices. 1) Focus on the positives and simply get on with it. 2) Get angry and feel bitter savouring every miserable second. Number 1 is probably the most healthy.

A more long term plan would be perhaps looking for a new job, retraining in something a bit more flexible etc., then you will perhaps have more choice in the future.

I will say though that unless one parent earns a fortune, being a SAHM can be incredibly boring as you're down to one salary, count every penny and although you may have the time, you don't have the funds to do lunch and all those things you perhaps don't have the time for now.

I've done both SAH and working full time (so don't know the abbreviations for that) and they both balance out for me, in terms of misery versus bliss! I work part time at present and purely from an emotional PoV this is best, although it also has it's down sides.

Pitmountainpony Mon 25-Mar-13 22:04:49

I also find the grass of staying at home to mother very pleasant but you have to focus on the positives of what you do. Enjoy the extra income and the fact you ave not stepped put of your career. I am fine with both of those things as most days I love being at home with my kids, but some people get really bored or find it repetitive or just don,t get out and meet people to Create the social opportunities, work can offer.
Your kids are school age so I would have thought that is easier. I will envy mums who stay home after their kids start school as I would love the freedom of not working but unless you are very well off that is pretty hard to do.

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