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?

Picoo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:12:30

I meant SAHM not sham!!!!

ginmakesitallok Fri 21-Jun-13 20:14:25

Mad to give up the house insurance IMO.

Picoo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:14:54

we would have no savings left after our next go at ivf which may or may not work...

Picoo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:15:31

yeah I know I guess it's just cutting back on everything to try to make it work!

Squitten Fri 21-Jun-13 20:16:34

For me, it would depend on how financially secure you want to be.

It doesn;t sound like your day-to-day life would necessarily be terrible but if there is no give at all in your budget, what happens when the boiler breaks/window cracks/car gets wrecked? That's what would worry me. Also, life on a very strict budget may quickly suck the fun out of it. It may create new stresses in your life to replace those of your job.

Any way to go part-time or look for a better job?

pinkr Fri 21-Jun-13 20:16:48

Don't give up house insurance especially building cover...of anything happens you'd be left owing the bank thousands. There was a couple on grand designs once whose house burned down and then they discovered the insurance had lapsed. They had to continue paying a 200k mortgage on a house that no longer existed sad
Other than that yanbu!

stargirl1701 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:17:04

New job? One you enjoy?

I would advise finding a new job before you give up work to be a SAHM.

I am returning to my job on a part time basis after my mat leave. I want to protect my earnings and my pension.

No-one knows the future. I like to hedge my bets.

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 20:18:26

I'm a SAHM and we can't afford it grin

Go for it, if you really want to. Things you should consider though:

- is your DH's job secure? It's a lot of pressure being the sole breadwinner. Can you expect his salary to rise in the future, making things a bit easier?
- do you want to go back to your career at some point? How will you maintain contacts / stay up to date?
- how old is your DS? Are you planning another?

We have cut down on insurance etc and have no savings, but have zero regrets.

The time just flies by then they're not little any more... I'm biased but I don't think many people at all regret it - if there's any doubt in your mind at all then you should go for it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 21-Jun-13 20:18:53

I think you would be mad to put yourself so close to the brink financially.

You need more insurance, not less, because you are so dependant on the earner remaining fit and well and in employment.

maddening Fri 21-Jun-13 20:19:05

I would imagine holding home insurance is a requirement of your mortgage company.

ENormaSnob Fri 21-Jun-13 20:21:03

Totally unreasonable imo.

What does your dh think?

josephinebruce Fri 21-Jun-13 20:21:04

Think carefully as it's difficult to get back on the job market should you need/wish to in future.

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 20:22:30

Cross post! Yes you must continue with buildings insurance and contents if you can, we stopped our life insurance though. Not ideal, but as soon as we can afford it we'll take it up again.

The main thing I should have said is do the maths of it properly, with a spreadsheet and one or both of you really keeping a close eye on it. If that's beans on toast for the last week of the month then that's what it is.

And yy to being skint placing a lot of stress on you and your relationship. But for me, preferable to the stress of juggling both of us working long hours with childcare and housework.

noblegiraffe Fri 21-Jun-13 20:23:58

So when would you pay off your mortgage?

And if you can barely afford to SAH with one child, how could you then justify trying for another?

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 20:25:33

Wowzers. Not many SAHMs on here tonight... it can be really worth it you know. Life isn't just about career progression.

annielouisa Fri 21-Jun-13 20:25:48

Do you work full time? It seems very risky what you are planning. What happens if you need to claim on insurance after a major incident i.e fire or burgulary and you no longer have any?

Can you not work part time to allow you more time with the children? Would your DH resent having to work the extra hours just to get by.

OccasionalTherapy Fri 21-Jun-13 20:26:32

Can you work PT? I've been SAHM for nearly 8 years now and I am qualified for nothing (have degree and lots of experience)...whilst I love being at home for the children, I wish I had kept a foot in the door because the long term effects of being out of the workplace resonate way longer than expected.

stargirl1701 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:26:32

Isn't life & buildings insurance required by your mortgage company?

These are not luxuries.

It seems to me that you cannot afford to be a SAHM.

noblegiraffe Fri 21-Jun-13 20:27:36

Actually, it seems pretty unfair on your DH to make him work longer hours, give up insurance and mortgage payments and be poor, so that you can spend time with your DS.

gordyslovesheep Fri 21-Jun-13 20:27:46

I wouldn;t give up the security of insurance and having some emergency savings, plus paying ff the actual mortgage , NO

it's a huge risk to take because you don't like your job - look for a new one

Mycatistoosexy Fri 21-Jun-13 20:27:57

How much would you have left over after you have paid childcare costs from your salary now?

If it us only a minimal amount then you need to weigh up whether that is worth not being at home with your DC

Babyroobs Fri 21-Jun-13 20:28:11

Personally I could never do it ! I like the security of 2 incomes in case my husband lost his job, also you never know whether your relationship could break up or worse could happen. Also I think it depends how easy your job would be to get back into in a few years, I've read quite a lot of posts on here where sahm's are really struggling to resume their career after being off for a few years, the current job market is really competitive . It is easier to look for a new job whilst you already have one. Is going part time an option or doing a little job a couple of evenings a week ?

How would you pay off your mortgage if you went interest only but had no money for savings?
Can you not go part time?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 21-Jun-13 20:29:33

Amazinggg - I am a SAHM, but I wouldn't be if we were going to be as skint as the OP is describing.

Fefifo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:31:35

I don't know your age but if you're young enough I would let go of the IVF, at least for now and use that money to fund some time at home with your DS. I've been a SAHM whilst broke and whilst not. To be honest I found the former a bit depressing and the latter great. Even with a toddler it can get very boring when you don't have the funds for a trip to the zoo or softplay and coffee with a friend etc. Especially if you don't have many free toddler groups near you, when the weather gets shit and the park's not an option on a very limited budget I found myself crawling the walls when stuck in because everything costs money. I know there are lots of mums happy in those kind of circumstances though but you definitely need to consider if you would be. I wasn't.

OccasionalTherapy Fri 21-Jun-13 20:31:53

Amazinggg I agree, being a SAHM is fantastic, but whilst DH and I had to make sacrifices financially, it wasn't on the level where we couldn't justify spending on essentials such as home insurance. The last thing the OP needs is to give up paid work and then find herself worrying constantly about when the next paycheck was coming.

PurplePidjin Fri 21-Jun-13 20:32:08

We could just about afford for me to stay home. Actually, i was redundant and temping in childcare so it made more sense.

When ds was 5 weeks old, dp had a stroke. He hasn't worked for 6 months. Luckily, he wasn't too badly affected (fucking scary though and the depression is the pits) he's well enough to go back imminently, family have pitched in, and our couple of grand savings have tided us over. It's been fantastic for his bond with ds, he's a truly equal parent.

He's late 40s and his hobby is running marathons. Rarely drinks, never smoked, eats more like 8-a-day than 5.

Moral: always have a rainy day fund in case the worst does happen. If you have to forego buildings/contents insurance and savings to stay at home, it's not worth it. Nor is sacrificing your partner's relationship with your dc as he'll be knackered, stressed and never there. Can you go part time?

Arisbottle Fri 21-Jun-13 20:32:18

Have you spoken to your husband?

Dragonboobs Fri 21-Jun-13 20:34:01

You'd be very hard pressed to get interest only agreed nowadays - have you checked they'll let you?

Also as others have said building insurance is a condition of your mortgage.

megsmouse Fri 21-Jun-13 20:35:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I was a SAHM until I went back to Uni last year. We couldn't afford it either. we had nothing in the bank, no rainy day fund, dead basic life in everyway - couldn't have been happier tbh. But I was bored of accountancy and not really material led - I don't drive, DH has a liking for old (and crap imo) cars and my family live abroad if we want a cheap holiday, I prefer odd nights camping though tbh smile

If you think you can be happy on the bones of your arse - do it! The only reason for anything is happiness, we have been perfectly happy with bugger all but each other. Now they are at school I'm studying again - because I want to, we are used to one low wage now and don't need me to work - lemonade dreamers we are grin

TiredFeet Fri 21-Jun-13 20:37:37

wouldn't working part time, even 1 or 2 days a week, be a good compromise rather than money being that tight?

DogsAreEasierThanChildren Fri 21-Jun-13 20:39:46

YABU - what if your DH gets made redundant? What about any interest he might have in being with his child? You mention casually that he'd have to work longer hours, and with really small children you need to be there regularly for them to feel secure and happy with you.

The starting point is that you have various responsibilities between you - to bring in enough money to keep everything going, to look after your DS and to run the household. How you split those responsibilities is up to you, but you both have to feel comfortable with it.

Have you looked at part-time or flexible working? Why do you have to give up altogether?

blackeyedbees Fri 21-Jun-13 20:40:19

Have you considered registering as a childminder? It's a lot of work and a long process to get your registation but it's worth it. It's not a huge amount of money but it certainly helps, and if your ds is an only child like mine then it can really help with their social skills to have other kids around.

daftdame Fri 21-Jun-13 20:44:11

I think it depends how you organise everything.

For us, me being a SAHM is the most cost effective, for us. Have you got free / very cheap childcare?

We don't. But I wanted to be a SAHM anyway so I am pleased there is no conflict.

We only run one car, which is a saving. Don't go out much, no babysitters...Lunch sometimes during school hours. I prefer this to my working life I'm very bookish so I can indulge my interests grin.

There are ways to economise, plenty of money saving threads. We don't bother about health insurance though, I've always questioned whether it is better than NHS anyway...

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Fri 21-Jun-13 20:45:05

Are you sure there is no middle ground?
Change jobs? Night work?
Reduce your hours?
Some unpaid leave?

I would not be able to sleep if I gave up work without any financial cushion around me and it seems a bit mean to put put your DH in a position where he would have to work longer hours.

Whatever you do I wouldn't stop paying for home insurance sad

arethereanyleftatall Fri 21-Jun-13 20:47:06

To do this, you have detailed your DH gets to have less time with your child, as he needs to work longer. Is he happy with that? If he wants time with your child, it isn't fair.

KD0706 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:49:16

I agree it's a lot to ask of your DH. Working longer hours, being the sole wage earner, living a very basic life with no luxuries. How does he feel about it.
Presumably he won't get to see much of his son, will work all the hours god sends and won't have any excess money for any luxuries he might fancy from time to time. Sounds rubbish to me.

Could you and DH both reduce your hours so you both get to spend time with your son and are not relying on just one wage?

The suggestion unthread about being a childminder might be a good idea? Though I have a notion that there are start up costs - could you afford that?

I am a sahm and I love it but to be honest it wouldn't be nearly so much fun if we had zero extra money to spend. Within reason I can do what I like with the children. Like pp said I would be climbing the walls, especially in winter, of we didn't have the funds to go to zoo, soft play, coffee/lunch with friends. Even a trip to the toy shop to buy a little £5 toy.

Fefifo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:50:03

Actually, I was presuming that your DS is a baby and you're nearing the end of mat leave but given you're going for another attempt at IVF I'm thinking your DS is considerably older? If he's school age then actually I think YABU as you're essentially giving up your security to be with a child who you actually wouldn't be with for a large portion of th day. How old is he?

Chottie Fri 21-Jun-13 20:51:36

Times are so uncertain now, I would not be giving up a job. You will have no financial cushion at all.....

It you do give up your job, could you consider working from home? be a childminder, do pick up and drop offs to local schools, rent a spare bedroom out to foreign students or Mon-Fri people who need a room during the week only.

InsanelyBrainDeprived Fri 21-Jun-13 20:52:28

I'm a sahm, but quite frankly what you are describing sounds unrealistic.

You do need security, be able to afford to fix things ie: boiler breakdown, plumbing emergencys etc.

Also, disposable income. Being a sahm is no fun if you can't take dc places, meet up for a coffee with friends. Even playgroups charge a small amount. What happens when said dc needs new things?

Sounds like there would be a lot of strain on your dh to provide for you all, not to mention the money worries which would put a strain on relationships.

My advice... Look for a part time job.

Triumphoveradversity Fri 21-Jun-13 20:57:03

You mentioned health insurance, are you in the UK?

Some people have hard times thrust upon them you are choosing them. If you are actually risking so much you could lose all your contents in a fire or flood then I don't think it's a good idea. Have you ever lived in really poor circumstances op? I have and it's a misery. After months or years it really grinds you down.

How about working for now, saving as much as possible and then SAHM after dc 2 hopefully comes along. Get yourself a financial cushion so that if your washing machine breaks down you can buy one.

raisah Fri 21-Jun-13 20:57:47

I returned on a p/t basis because we felt it was important tjat both of us were employed in case of redundancy. You haven't got a plan B if your dh was made redundant and in this economic climate you can't afford to not to have a plan b.

Can you try to change your job or go part time so atleast you are in employment but still have more time at home?

BrianTheMole Fri 21-Jun-13 21:01:50

Very unreasonable to do that. Fine to live a frugal life as long as you can still pay the bills. But what you're suggesting sounds crazy, and not in the best interests of your family overall. Sorry.

PearlyWhites Fri 21-Jun-13 21:03:31

Our house insurance cover is only £9 a month could you get a cheaper quote

primallass Fri 21-Jun-13 21:04:31

If I were you I would go for the IVF first as paid mat leave is worth hanging on for.

annielouisa Fri 21-Jun-13 21:08:39

PearlyWhites is that just for contents? I would imagine that with a mortgage the OP needs buildings and contents.

Chunderella Fri 21-Jun-13 21:11:20

It's rather unfair to expect your DH to work very long hours when you could work too, unless he's happy to do that. It's also not very tax efficient for one of your nil rate bands to go unused. So eg 5k from you working part time would mean more money in your family pot than if DH did 5k worth of overtime, iyswim. It makes more financial sense for you to work one day a week than for him to work one more. And I agree with ICantRemember that you should probably look to see if there's a middle ground.

You also need to sit down and do a proper, detailed, realistic budget. Many people are frittering away a certain amount on crap, aren't paying as little as they could for utilities, phones etc and could do the shopping more cheaply. There's probably a bit of money you could save without really even noticing, and then you might also be able to save quite a lot by seriously reducing standard of living eg no holiday, limiting unnecessary travel, giving up meat and alcohol type stuff. Basically work out what if any sacrifices you would be willing to make in order for you to SAH. If you're not willing to live on lentils or DH refuses to give up his posh phone, be clear about it. I realise this assumes a certain amount of disposable income and slack in your existing budget, which may not be the case. But if you're already close enough to the bone that you can't shave anything off the cost of living, you can't afford to SAH.

PosyNarker Fri 21-Jun-13 21:12:02

Wow, you want to be a SAHM, are having IVF and can't afford home insurance? I'm sorry but if you are a home owner in particular giving up home insurance so that you can be a SAHM is pretty irresponsible.

MacaYoniandCheese Fri 21-Jun-13 21:12:44

I'm absolutely a cheerleader for shamming..but not if you have to live like that sad. It would create so much stress and if you're going to do it, you need to be insured up the wazoo; insurance on your insurance etc. Why not keep plugging away for now until you have another DC? In the meantime, could you try and put a bit of a fire under your DH to look for a higher-paid position or add some qualifications so he can increase his earning potential (if you are both agreed). Hang in there smile.

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 21:50:11

I don't think OP has given enough information really. I guess going interest only isn't ideal, but it is just for such a short time, maybe 2 more years til they're at preschool? I read it that she is nearing the end of mat leave.

Being a SAHM, if it's what you boh want as a couple, doesn't have to cost money. I don't have expensive coffee and wouldn't 'nip to the shop for a £5 toy' shock I enjoy cooking frugally and living simply, I was a high earner previously but this is a better lifestyle.

WidowWadman Fri 21-Jun-13 21:55:25

How does your husband feel about working longer hours (and therefore seeing his child even less) to enable you to stay at home?

RazzleDazzleEm Fri 21-Jun-13 21:57:16

Never Ever Ever give up household insurance.


You cannot imagine all the strange ways your house could burn down, or be flooded...

nethunsreject Fri 21-Jun-13 21:58:26

It does sound rather unrealistic. I think you need the 2 incomes.

Fairylea Fri 21-Jun-13 22:03:21

I am a sahm with 2 dc and dh earning 16k. We manage. Just.

However, I consider insurance to be a top priority (contents and buildings) and also mortgage protection. I couldn't do without these.

I also think it's important to have equal spending money and equal access to money especially if you are a sahm. Otherwise it's just not fair. You should remain equal in every sense. I know that is a little off topic.

Mumsyblouse Fri 21-Jun-13 22:03:56

I had to unexpectedly return to work when my husband was made redundant just after child 2. I was very glad I had an up-to-date CV- it's still been a struggle money-wise. I wouldn't take the hit to your career unless you are very very sure your husband will be able to support you for many years ahead. I just don't think from what you've said, that is the case. Could you go back after one year? Could you work part-time? From home? There may be a middle way. Plus I have to say for me, returning to work, even though it wasn't what I wanted at the time, has been brilliant and I love the interaction/having a career now the children are a bit older, so that's also something to bear in mind.

Being a SAHM is a wonderful thing, but only really if you are somewhat cushioned by at least a bit of money. There's going down to one car, going camping instead of expensive holidays and then there's really living i poverty and it sounds like this may be where you would be heading.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 21-Jun-13 22:05:00

If you need to pay interest only on your home and can't afford insurance you really can't afford to be a sahm.

The first unexpected bill will knock you on your arse.

PearlyWhites Fri 21-Jun-13 23:06:35

Yes just contents

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:07:46

I think that, unfortunately these days, being a sahm is a luxury really;if you have bills to pay (ins. Being a top priority) then it seems you can't afford to be a sahm. I am in the same boat, it's hard I know but I feel I am doing the best for my family.

looking around for a more flexible, part-time job is easier when you're in a job.

Good luck with it all

AuntieStella Fri 21-Jun-13 23:14:55

I don't think it's terribly fair on DH to expect him to work longer hours, seeing less of DS.

I think that if you have no savings at all and are having to think about cutting things like insurance then you are taking things too close to the wire.

I think that unless your DH has unusually good job security, it's a risk to put everything onto one earner in one job.

Fakebook Fri 21-Jun-13 23:18:43

I'm a sahm, but we own our house outright and I have savings we can dip into if need be. Leaving a job with no savings is a bit stupid IMO.

lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:24:56

As a SAHM I would urge everyone to at least look into how feasible it is (if you want to do it). It's amazing how much you probably spend on crap, having a hard look at all your finances is really useful (packed lunches vs paid for dinners/sandwiches, groceries etc).

Why not have a 6 month trial-work out what the household income will be (don't forget that if you leave work it may mean the household is eligible for assistance via tax credits etc), and live on that for 6 months. Save your salary each month, and if you can manage you will be better placed to decide (and you'll have a nice lump sum of 6 months salary as an emergency fund for unexpected emergencies).

Like another poster said, I don't know of any SAHM's who've regretted it, but plenty of working moms who wish they'd done it whilst their kids were still little)

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 23:25:33

Am shocked that people don't think being skint for a few years is worth it to have a full time parent caring for children in pre school years sad

Only the rich should do it, apparently... I'm clearly irresponsible for putting my DS before me for a bit. I don't think he cares whether he goes to soft play at £7 or the local children's centre for free. I know that having mummy right here looking after him is worth all the foreign holidays and zoo trips money could buy.

I don't count myself as some kind of SAH militant or martyr, but I'm genuinely saddened by how it's seen as such a bad idea. We would have moved house if necessary.

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:32:11

I don't think people on this thread are talking about sacrificing foreign holidays! The OP can't afford house insurance.
There are different ways of providing for your children but. A secure roof over their head is surely near the top.

it does sadden me that people think that parents who work instead of staying at home are all doing it for foreign holidays -arghh!

lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:33:04

Agree with Amazinggg-I truly believe when most people (barring a few exceptions) say they have to work, what they really mean is they have to work to maintain the current lifestyle.

Our house is looking a bit shabby these days because of overdue decorating, our main holiday is camping in Cornwall, and I trot around in £10 fake uggs whilst others have the real deal, but I can honestly say that I am the happiest and least stressed of all my friends. I'm constantly amazed at what I used to waste money on.

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:33:37

Is 'having mummy right here looking after him...' Worth more than food on the table, heating, shelter or a electricity. That is why many people have to work.

lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:35:52

Maybe I'm generalising too much-certainly amongst my friends it's the case that they work to fund a lifestyle rather than to feed a family.

Apologies if I offended anyone.

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 23:38:53

I get that mollflanders, but in honesty out of all the people I made friends with on mat leave, nearly all of them returned to work. They're all much better off than we were with both of us working, and have foreign hols and so on, yet complain they would rather be at home.

It takes sacrifices. Of course if OP can't afford house insurance then she shouldn't , but what she should do is as I advised upthread - make a spreadsheet of essential costs and work out if you can really afford it. Even going interest only - god, it's not forever!

When we decided I would SAH, I said we should look at it on a 6mo basis, as I so strongly believe it's by far the best thing for DS, but if I'm going mad at home or if we really can't make the finances work then I would go back. But each 6 months I manage - DS is only 2 - I am so grateful and glad for! Why wouldn't you want to? My god. I will start to sound like a bit of a militant.

xTillyx Fri 21-Jun-13 23:40:28

I think the dodgy factor is your mortgage must be fairly high. If you were renting it wouldn't be a huge problem to lower your family income and if anything did go wrong with your DH's job you'd get help while he found a new job. If you really want to do it sit down and look at the numbers really seriously. It's not impossible but IMO you shouldn't cut back on the things like insurance.

jellybeans Fri 21-Jun-13 23:45:58

YANBU. Go for it. Doubt you will regret it.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 21-Jun-13 23:48:58

This isn't about whether it's generally a good idea to be a SAHM, it's about someone deliberately putting themselves into a very risky position financially. There's a big difference between not having coffee out and not insuring your house.

DuelingFanjo Fri 21-Jun-13 23:49:23

What does your DH think?

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 21-Jun-13 23:51:43

You would need to check what is required by your mortgage company. Buildings and life assurance is usually compulsory. I'm not sure what you mean by health insurance. If you're UK based, do you mean BUPA/PPP type insurance or earnings protection?

babyhmummy01 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:59:01

Being a sahp is a lovely option if you can afford it. There is a big difference between making sacrifices on soft play center v council run children's centre and not being able to afford basic insurances that are a required guarantee on all mortgages.

If you cannot afford house and life insurance you are in breech of your mortgage agreement with most suplliers so check the small print carefully.

If things are going to be as tight as you suggest and you still wanna pay for IVF then I think that you need to seriously consider if it is a practical option. As others suggest can you not work p/t or change jobs to something you enjoy in the short term and reassess when you are more secure financially and being a sahp doesn't mean forgoing necessary evils like insurance?

sameoldIggi Sat 22-Jun-13 00:00:36

It seems odd to me to be saying, effectively, that having mum at home is so important for children that it doesn't matter if this means they see less and less of their father.
One relationship improves; one gets more distant.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Jun-13 00:08:16

I think you fulfilling yourself but expecting dh works solely to support is big ask
you're not entitled to be housewife with resultant constant scrimp,just because
I'd advise be pragmatic,do consider money and solvency not solely being there

timidviper Sat 22-Jun-13 00:14:14

I worked p/t from when DCs were born and have had a really good balance. We have struggled financially at times, and don't understimate how gard that is, but I don't regret anything about doing it this way

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 22-Jun-13 00:28:40

Sorry you can't afford it.

No house insurance? Insanity!

Have you given any thought as to how you will pay off the mortgage eventually if you are only going to pay interest?

Also have you consulted Dh properly? I can't imagine anyone would be impressed with the idea of working more hours, not seeing their dc and being only one bill away from disaster when there is another adult capable of working in the house.

bishboschone Sat 22-Jun-13 00:36:21

Why not get an evening job?

StuntGirl Sat 22-Jun-13 00:39:50

You can't afford it and its unfair and selfish to expect your husband to shoulder all the financial burden.

aldiwhore Sat 22-Jun-13 00:42:51

Life is about choice and sacrifice. Some people don't have a choice.

You do. You have to decide what is more important to you know. Any choice you make will carry some kind of risk.

Make the right one for you. There isn't another!

For us, me being a SAHM was the right choice from every angle at the time but it cost me dear in the long term. I didn't take the long term future into account enough, 10 years down the line, it's like I'm 16 and just starting out but with a 39 year old body and mind and it's tough... but I made my bed!

I don't know your exact circumstances, and for what it's worth I don't regret our choice at all... you need to do what feels right.

You only live once, and life after children have grown is a fuck of a long time, but still contains space to achieve, you may just have to think differently.

I'll never be as secure as my friend who chose no children, who stayed in her 'boring' job, who's now worked her way up and is on a sweet deal and has a great life and income. She'll never have the joy I've had over the last 10 years. shrugs It's not a competition.

Do what suits, you won't get another chance.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Jun-13 00:48:13

op,you'll hear a lot if stories of eked out life,no treats,tap water,all worth it
the actual reality of a broken washing machine,no money to fix things is grim
precious moments don't fill your fridge,irrespective of what folks fills fridge.not sentiment

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 07:08:25

I say each to their own. I'm a full time working mum but also know mums who have given up their career. I never considered being a SAHM - I like having 2 incomes, the fact we can take DD on holidays throughout the year, we can take her out at weekends. All that would stop is one of us gave up work & as another poster wrote, there are only so many trips to the park you can do!

If it'll make you happy do it, I couldn't. The fear of not having financial security would put not only stress on me but it turn on our family.

bigkidsdidit Sat 22-Jun-13 07:13:35

It's the lack of savings and long term protection in your budget that would scare me. If you can't afford house insurance, what on earth will you do if the car fails its mot or the boiler breaks? I presume it means neither of you will be saving into pensions which would terrify me.

Genuinely, I don't see why being at home 7 days is worth that level of financial insecurity, when you could get a part time or weekend job to build up a buffer.

jellyandcake Sat 22-Jun-13 07:30:42

I would love to be a SAHM but if I did we wouldn't have a home to stay at because we couldn't pay the mortgage, bills and food without my salary. I work p/t and we live very frugally. I don't work to fund a lifestyle, I work because it is an absolute necessity financially. We are skint all the time! If I went f/t it would be for a lifestyle as we could then afford holidays but we both think my two days off with ds are worth being broke. It is the same for most people I know and it really annoys me when people say working is a choice - for me it absolutely is not! And if it comes to being unable to pay insurance and for the working parent to have to work longer hours, it doesn't sound sensible or fair to me.

LittlePeaPod Sat 22-Jun-13 07:33:12

Just a quick one. Buildins insurance is a equipment as part of your mortgage agreement. You can't cancel that, the bank won't agree to it...

Flicktheswitch Sat 22-Jun-13 07:37:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 22-Jun-13 07:43:24

No-one lies on their death bed thinking "I wish I'd worked more..."

MN Myth No 638. I bet some people do regret not having had a career.

bigkidsdidit Sat 22-Jun-13 07:48:02

Academics do!

Anyway, lovely as your situation sounds, Flick, If your DH is a high earner it's not tht relevant - how would you have enjoyed being at home with no money for soft play or swimming or any treats at all, ever?

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 07:53:55

I think you will regret it. You will find it difficult to get a job after years off especially after this recession. Also you wont have any money or be able to do anything nice, your dh wont have much of a relationship wity your dc and you might not be able to have the ivf so would be sacrificing future children. It doesnt sound like a good idea at all.

hettie Sat 22-Jun-13 07:55:19

What would you do if something happened to your dh (illness, relationship breakdown). Could you return to work?

TwasBrillig Sat 22-Jun-13 07:59:30

I don't get how people are all better off working. We wouldn't be in the immediate future. My husband works long hours so couldn't do pick up or drop off at a childminder, I'd be doing all that and we worked out I'd bepaying for the privilege of returning to teaching.
That's not going to help the immediate bills! So I will return to work later.

Also, if you're superrich and can afford a nanny or private school then children get continuity of care. We'd have to do childminder, school, childminder in an area where that would be unusual and in our case I think the kids would miss out.

I just don't think the finances of working or not are straightforward with childcare and associated work costs.

BridgetBidet Sat 22-Jun-13 07:59:33

You know I think that the current financial rules for SAHMs are the most sexist thing ever. You're not assessed on your own income, you're assessed on that of your partner.

So if you have no income the state steps in and replaces your partner and pays your rent and supports you to stay at home. But these days wages are so low most families can't survive on one. Why is it necessary for single mothers to be supported to stay at home but not mothers in partnerships?

I'm not having a go at single mothers, I just think that you should have the same opportunity to stay at home if you have a partner.

Otherwise try and go PT.

Lovelygoldboots Sat 22-Jun-13 08:00:24

OP, I would think long and hard about giving up your job and think about all your options. Yanbu to want to be a sahm. I have done it for years but it has been very tough financially especially in the last 3 years. It can be lonely. Im glad I did it but its no bed of roses. We have been flying by the seat of our pants as regards money since we had the kids. Many people do. But I have usually had some part time work in evenings. Check about child tax credits also.

flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 08:03:03

"No-one lies on their death bed thinking "I wish I'd worked more..."

Think they probably would if they'd found themselves paying a mortgage on a pile of ash and homeless because they can't afford to rent another property.

Thats a silly cliche it's easy to say that if you are in a financial position to make that choice. But the OP is not.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 08:06:44

Twasbrillig- Is this because you had your children close together? Most people I know are much better off with both parents working.

Arisbottle Sat 22-Jun-13 08:08:08

<<Add message | Report | Message poster Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 23:25:33
Am shocked that people don't think being skint for a few years is worth it to have a full time parent caring for children in pre school years

Only the rich should do it, apparently... I'm clearly irresponsible for putting my DS before me for a bit. >>

There is more than one way of putting your children first and I don't think that you should put any one person ahead of the whole family unit. I cannot imagine saying to my DH, I want you to see less of our children so I can see them all of the time. By working my children have a good standard of living, they don't have parents stressed about putting food n the table, we can afford to buy those experiences that create golden memories.

I have nothing against being a SAHM, I have been one for many years and would love to be one full time but it is not the only way to " put your children first"

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 22-Jun-13 08:08:26

Twas brillig But you have to take the long term view. When you have pre-schoolers it's hard, but once they're in nursery/ school, you'll still have your career/ current experience so your earnings would be higher than they would be if you'd taken several years out of the workplace.

OnTheNingNangNong Sat 22-Jun-13 08:09:15

I'm a SAHM we've never been flush with money but bills go up and now we're having to penny pinch more and more so I'm having to start looking for work to ensure we can survive.

I would rather eat one meal a day rather than give up our insurance. Especially as we know we could never cover problems if they arise in the future.

I may only make a few £££ a month while DS2 is not at school but it is a long term insurance to make sure that we can cover what life throws at us. My husband said he would get a second job but I would not want to put him in a position where he would not be able to see his children as much as he can. Especially if I have the option to work.

Arisbottle Sat 22-Jun-13 08:10:18

I hope I lie on my death bed and feel proud that my family have never been stressed about being poor. I spent my whole childhood listening to people arguing about money . I also hope I lie on my deathbed remembering the wonderful holidays, watching my children excel at their activities, enjoying our home and animals. I will also feel a sense of pride that I have managed to make a difference in an important career.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 08:11:30

You have to think what will happen if I take tike off? Are there going to be many jobs in my chosen career when I go back? Are you going to have current experience so people will choose you over others? Etc. Its very hard to get a job at the moment, and will be for a long time yet. Its very short termist to give up a job with nothing else to go to, little money and no future career plans.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 22-Jun-13 08:12:38

You haven't mentioned if pt work is an option Op. I think that could be a great compromise. I did 2 or 3 days a week from when Dd was 6 months, I had to as a lone parent but it was a nice balance. My friend stayed at home during the day but did a couple of evening shifts at a pub each week and a little bit of childmindingso she was always with her girls during the day. Obviously up to you but not having essentials like home insurance would be a risk I wouldn't take and I am very relaxed about living frugally.

Arisbottle Sat 22-Jun-13 08:13:00

<<Add message | Report | Message poster lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:33:04
Agree with Amazinggg-I truly believe when most people (barring a few exceptions) say they have to work, what they really mean is they have to work to maintain the current lifestyle.>>

I work to maintain a lifestyle, I am not going to pretend to be a Mummy martyr . I think holidays and hobbies are important.

You give the impression that the 1st motivator for this is the fact that you are not happy in your job. The IVF you have been going through had probably taken it out of you too.

You obviously know that you can't d even begin to finance being a SAHM. You cannot seriously consider interest only repayments on your primary home as a long time solution & stop paying insurance etc. You also seem to be saying that it's okay to double your DH's pressure and increase his hours simply because you don't like your job, which I'm sure you don't really believe.

Why not take a break from the IVF and have a think about the sort if job you would enjoy and find fulfilling? Leaving the workforce doesn't have to be the alternative to a job you don't like.

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 22-Jun-13 08:18:01

I wouldn't give up work if I was you you clearly cannot afford it.

I have been a SAHM and have worked whilst raising my children (7 & 4).

I am currently a childminder, its OK but the income is variable and I find it hard as I'm judged all the time and my house isn't my own. Plus I get no sick pay or holiday pay.

After DS1 I worked 2 days (6 hour days) a week for a decent salary over £500 take home after my pension contributions. I look back at that time and it was wonderful. Time with DS, time using my brain and being me. And extra money for the essentials and few fun things like the gym/ holidays in Devon. Trips to local attractions. It was a very happy time.

I would've loved to return to that arrangement but the company fell on hard times and made me redundant on mat leave. It went into liquidation last year.

Can you go part time? which for be would be the perfect balance.

It is not better to stay at home with your child. It is a nice thing to do. But I know plenty of wonderful well rounded children whose parents work full time.

poachedeggs Sat 22-Jun-13 08:18:10

If you have a very limited income you need more insurance, not less. Our income is very tight but we have life and critical illness insurance, income protection etc. If there's not enough left to save for rainy days then you need to prepare yourself some other way.

We both work and also have a relatively frugal existence (we're not on the breadline or anything but no holidays, days out are infrequent, local leisure centre, bike rides and playdates are our main sources of entertainment) and it's fine. I am part time and DH works shifts so we both have time to spend with the DC. Could you work something like that?

yabyum Sat 22-Jun-13 08:20:21

I hope I lie on my death bed and feel proud that my family have never been stressed about being poor

Agree wholeheartedly with this.

I'd like to give up work, OP. But I have responsibilities. As do you.

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 08:21:29

It is really up to you and your DP to be honest. Only you two can decide what's best.

Sometimes it's not worth both of you working only for one wage to swallowed up by childcare. It makes sense you being at home with your child if the alternative is you working for nothing.

However, one thing that struck me was, is your DP happy doing long hours?

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 08:24:21

Forgot to say that my SIL has been a SAHM for years now, and my BIL is a bus driver. So they aren't exactly rolling in it but they do manage. That said she does get a few hours in at the pub!

BrawToken Sat 22-Jun-13 08:25:20

I wouldn't do this and think it is a daft idea. Why do you get all the benefit of being at home and your husband has to work long hours?

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 08:27:05

I fully admit I work what I do at the minute for a lifestyle. I like the meals out, holidays, fun times with all the family together etc. I have done the so skint just hanging around the park thing with nothing to look forward to and its absolutely crap and awful.

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 08:34:41

Arrisbottle - totally agree with you. I grew up in a house where neither parent worked & there were arguments every day about how the bills could be paid when my D(cough, cough)F spent all the dole money/child benefit on alcohol. I promised myself I would NEVER have that life.

I was jealous of friends who went in holiday (even if it was just camping in Wales!) & day trips to the zoo. We never had parties or went on school trips. I'm happy I can show my DD the world & give her the experiences I never had as a child. I can only so this if DH & I work full time. We are lucky though that MIL provides childcare 2 days a week so DD in nursery 3 days.

My friend has a toddler DD & is expecting another. She's is still planning in returning to work after her maternity leave although she'll be taking home £200 after bills & childcare. She doesn't mind though - she wants her sanity & adult conversation!! smile

TimeofChange Sat 22-Jun-13 08:43:20

Give up the IVF.
Give up your job.
Downsize or move to a cheaper area.
Live very frugally.
Make meals from scratch.
Maybe invest in a slow cooker and invest in a flask.
Buy spuds by the sack (if you have cool dark storage)
Look in charity shops for Cheap Meal Cook books
Don't buy any new clothes unless essential.
Make do with old towels and bedding.
Don't wonder round shops window shopping.
Don't go any where that costs money ie soft play areas, coffee shops.
Take picnics.
Reasearch the free museums, art galleries and libraries.
Sell stuff on ebay.
BUT Do get house insurance.
Enjoy the time.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 22-Jun-13 08:49:26

Amazinggg - but it might not be interest only for two years. The OP is wanting to have another baby which she would also want to stay at home with presumably.
That is a five year gap, after which time it is going to be hard for her to return to work without an investment in some retraining, and where is that money supposed to come from if they are living on the breadline?

Being a SAHM with one 2 year old can be very cheap, I was there once. But children grow, and go to school and need more things, and money for trips, and they eat more and want a birthday party like all their friends.
Our budget for general outgoings, not including any bills is now £300/£400 a month more than it was 2-3 years ago. That is with just one extra child.
I'm not extravagant, I don't go out for lunch and coffees all the time, or constantly buy things for the DC. But the odd break from the norm is essential, especially as they get older and can't be kept amused with a pile of sticks for an hour any longer!

DH earns good money now so we more than manage, but life would be grim and anxious if money was tight, especially if we couldn't pay the mortgage properly or afford insurance.

SizzleSazz Sat 22-Jun-13 08:57:25

I work for enjoyment, sanity, self esteem, interaction with other professionals, challenge and a change of scenery. Th extra money is great (but we choose to go camping ;) )

My mum always worked and could have had an amazing career but she was dismissed when she got pregnant (as happened in those days angrysad. Her wages paid for me to go to Uni (they had NO spare cash)

I am immensely proud and thankful to my mum and am not about to give up on the career advantages her hard work and encouragement provided me with.

Ashoething Sat 22-Jun-13 08:59:22

Does every mum on mn really have a career? Only a handful of my friends have careers and the others are in crappy,menial jobs-shelf stacking,cleaning,bar work etc. They do it to pay the bills but they would much rather be able to stay at home.

I personally don't find going to the park or the local country garden or the library or the museum or any of the other stuff that doesn't cost money "absolutely crap and awful"-but its different strokes for different folks.

MarshaBrady Sat 22-Jun-13 09:00:32

The IVF seems a big thing to give up. I haven't checked back.
Does it mean you won't be trying for another child?

I wouldn't do the time with ds trumps all else. Can you go part time?

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:02:05

I do all those things but only doing those things with no holidays, meals, cant afford presents for other childrens birthday parties, no day trips etc is awful when everyone else is doing those things.

OnTheNingNangNong Sat 22-Jun-13 09:04:35

I certainly dont Ashoe I don't even have a job. Only a few mothers I know have careers.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:08:57

A lot of mums I know are working in a wide range of jobs such as different managerial roles, nurses, teachers, social workers, family support workers, nursery staff, carers etc. It all makes them a lot better off than not doing any paid work.

Ashoething Sat 22-Jun-13 09:12:28

Better off financially do you mean? not always-many parents I know are working merely to pay the childcare bills.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:13:40

Yes much better off financially.

VestaCurry Sat 22-Jun-13 09:17:43

It doesn't sound like the time is right to become a sahm. As others have said, you will be cutting the family resources beyond the bare bones if not paying household insurance is in your head. In your situation, I would return full time, cut back on spending everywhere you can, build up some savings and review in 6 months. Perhaps you could consider part-time then? I don't know what support you have - whether you have the luxury of free childcare from a parent living close by. Obviously that makes a huge difference on whether/how much you can save on returning to work.

You need to carefully review the financial impact of all of the options - working FT or PT, if so how many days (depends on your employer too). What will your childcare costs be? Then, the true cost of being a sahm full time (the point made earlier about using tax allowances between couples wisely was v pertinent), but remember to factor in a possible increase in tax credit entitlement.

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 09:20:00

How much is it for childcare for a 2 year old and a baby? Anyone know any rough figures?

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:21:50

Needaholiday - It will probably be expensive as you have 2 so close together.

Sokmonsta Sat 22-Jun-13 09:22:40

I'm a sahm because we can't afford for me to work! We had twins after dd1 and ds1 and childcare would have wiped my wage and some. So if you would have Ivf, this could be a real possibility for you. I'd think how having twins would affect you financially.

As im only recently a sahm, Things are tight towards the end of the month but with savvy shopping, we're getting there. Savings are currently a thing of the past but we've managed to keep up with all our previous bills. I shall be looking to make cutbacks there soon as there are things we just aren't taking advantage of anymore.

I was insistent that if I sah we would keep up with our content insurance and tbh if you're at home all the time, the chances of needing it or taking advantage of home emergency cover on it will increase. We've had our boiler fixed, drains unblocked and a plumber on our emergency cover, which came with the contents. It's saved us several £000 which we otherwise would not have afforded.

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 09:27:18

sad I feared you would say that! 200-300 a week I'm thinking! I'm probably wrong.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:28:43

How much does your dh earn? You can get up to 70% paid for you.

MrsBrownsGirl Sat 22-Jun-13 09:34:31

I wonder whether OP's DH would lie on his death bed thinking how glad he was to have worked more? OP being a SAHM will get more time to spend with the DC but presumably they would see their father less if he has to increase his working hours, how would this be fair on the DC or on DH?

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 22-Jun-13 09:40:34

Sheer madness to leave a job that means you have no means of paying the capital on your mortgage, no house insurance and no way of saving should something happen. Does your DH know you plan to inscrease his working hours to fund your choice sacrificing his life and time with his child? Very selfish.

There are lots of other choices you can make, work PT, switch roles, find an evening job etc. Life without any money is awful, why would you choose that? Do you really want your child to grow up in poverty because you dont fancy working?

Realistically, how much do children as adults remember of their pre school years? Not much at all. You can juggle work and raise children easily if you put a little time and effort into it.

The IVf is a red herring, it sounds like you can barely afford one child let alone another.

Add in that years out of the workplace will mean it will be very hard to find employment in future and the change to UC for tax credits sees an end to the state funding a non working adult to stay home.

NandH Sat 22-Jun-13 09:42:20

I'm a SAHM to a 4month old and a 2yr old...mainly because my wage wouldn't even cover childcare costs for the pair of them and dos income covers rent,bills,insurances! And tax credits,maternity pay and CB pay food bills, clothes etc! We can do it, just about, but we don't do many luxuries smile

MarshaBrady Sat 22-Jun-13 09:49:41

The op might be able to afford two children if she works, no idea without more information.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:51:06

Marsha - She said she needed to pay for ivf if she wants a second.

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 09:52:55

Well my DP is unfortunately currently unemployed. He was made redundant and I am on maternity leave at present. He wants to get back in to work as quickly as possible. If he does a similar job to what he did before then we're talking about 16k a year. I earn 10k but obviously not at the moment as I'm off and receiving maternity allowance.

My DP could may well end up with a lesser paid job than he had before though. When DP was last at work I was the one off with DS1 so no child care was needed, then I started my new job in September last year and DP was already unemployed. When he finds work again it wil be both of us at work this time but with 2 children to pay for!

MarshaBrady Sat 22-Jun-13 09:56:35

Pete I know, I got the impression the savings are there for it so it would be possible if the op stayed at work. But risky to use savings for it if not.

Seems a big thing to not do as a result of not working.

But it's a personal thing, they may be ok with that.

What does your DH think about this? Is he happy to work longer hours, see less of his family, bear the entire financial responsibility of the household?

I personally wouldn't do this, it is just too much to risk living on a shoestring with no savings.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 09:57:36

On a wage like 26k you would get most of your childcare paid.

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 10:03:56

Ah I didn't know that. I will definitely have a look in to it. Will it still apply when Universal Credit is up and running?

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 10:05:52

Yes will still apply. The government want people to work so are definitely continuing with child care subsidies.

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Jun-13 10:11:14

Ah good smile This thread has actually changed my whole thinking as I was wondering if it was worth me actually going back to work.

charlottehere Sat 22-Jun-13 10:13:34

Don't do it!

pinkballetflats Sat 22-Jun-13 10:52:45

Like many have said if yoy're going to be so skin that things like an emergency fund can't even exist then I think you're pretty insane to consider it. Without an emergency fund what would you do if the car ire boiler broke down? How would your H get to work? How do young intend to payoff your mortgage principle at the term of the loan? What if your DHAKA becomes ill long term and you have no savings or insurance to cover your living expenses fir a few months. These are not bridges to cross when you come to them without the posts bring firmly pinned to the ground!
That being said, have you been to money savings expert and gone through their money makeover feature? It could help you see what you can and cannot afire and would be invaluable to keep you on a budget if you do decide to do this.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Jun-13 11:56:10

ah,the mn deathbed moment.i'll think of a career I love,family I love,life lived
no I won't be melancholic that I wasn't housewife at the schoolgate
at all

noisytoys Sat 22-Jun-13 11:59:36

I dreamt of being a SAHM its not all roses and I was climbing the walls after a few months and was desperate to go back to work. I only work 12 hours a week now but I need it for my sanity. You may feel the same.

farewellfarewell Sat 22-Jun-13 12:07:53

In that order eh scottishmummy?

flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 12:34:22

Where on earth has the OP gone?

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 12:39:58

I think you'd be mad to give up work if you're going to be struggling for the essentials.
Being bored or miserable in a job is a wake up call to change things and spur you on to find something better- not simply run away from it.
As for the deathbed regrets... Well I'm totally with Scottishmummy on that- I will have fond memories of a full life which includes a whole range of experiences- family, friends, experiences and opportunities I've had through my career. I certainly won't regret that I kept work going while having children

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 13:11:20

It's not 'running away' from a job to decide to become a SAHM!

It's a perfectly reasonable thing which many people do - decide they'd rather look after their children whilst they're tiny. I couldn't even imagine putting my tiny DS into nursery, as soon as he's at preschool I'll be looking for work again - am lucky in my field that I can freelance around the hours, I appreciate that's not an option for all. But seriously, so many posters saying being a SAHM is basically for the woman's benefit - er no, I do it because I know that having his mum look after him is infinitely better than being in nursery or with a CM! Isn't that obvious? It's like 2 years out of your career - why do you all think that's in some way a bad idea?

Arisbottle Sat 22-Jun-13 13:14:23

There is no one reason for being a SAHM. Yes my children benefitted, I also loved not having to work long days and then run a home . I loved days spent lost in a book or wandering round galleries and museums.

Clearly I am far lazier than all the SAHMs on this thread smile

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:18:37

Amazing remember that's your opinion though. My DD has been in nursery since she was 10 months old & adores it! I'm a teacher but still choose to put her in nursery during my school holidays as she loves the staff, the other children, the wide range of activities so much. You can't say being a SAHM is infinitely better than working - you'll offend a lot of working mothers!

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 13:18:50

I'm lazy Arisbottle, lazy, antisocial and easily pleased. I think that makes me a good SAHM - I miss work, but I quite like lazing about too smile but l see it quite pragmatically as me looking after DS as a full time job (albeit an easy and lovely one) - doing activities and outings with him, planning his day, stimulating or comforting him, fresh air... I just want to be the one, y'know, bringing him up <runs> I don't want to say o toddlers are hard work and boring, so I'll bugger off to work. I bet if you asked your toddlers, they'd rather less holidays and have a parent around for them...

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 13:23:51

Ickle - I'd never express my opinion on it irl tbh as I wouldn't want to offend people, and I'm sorry if anyone's offended but everyone posting seems pretty confident slagging off being a SAHM so I feel it's ok to say how I feel - yes it's only my opinion and I have no proof, but I do believe that it is best for toddlers to be cared for by a parent wherever possible. And everyone I know who puts their baby into nursery when the parent could be looking after them, does so because they want a break. And they all say it's for the children's benefit too. I know two childminders who used to work in nurseries and they both say they would never, ever send an under-3 to a nursery setting...

WMittens Sat 22-Jun-13 13:24:42

Isn't life & buildings insurance required by your mortgage company?

Yes, this (in the case of Buildings insurance, certainly).

No future, no house (if you're paying interest only), mostly absent father (working more hours) - what is it you're exactly providing for your children?

It sounds like you're going to put your family at risk (of losing your house, severe financial insecurity) just because " least I would be with DS." Sounds pretty selfish to me.

Plenty of families exist in poverty, but I doubt many of them consciously place themselves in that situation.

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:26:17

I do all of those things (albeit in the evening & weekend) Amazing plus I get to take DD on a 4 week camping/travelling holiday from the north to south of France this summer on top of all the other mini-breaks throughout the year.

I know this is getting off the OP's point but your last post made it sound like working mums are the work of the Devil.

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 13:35:52

Not the work of the devil.

SAHMs are being explicitly called selfish on this thread, selfish for putting their desire to look after their own child above material wealth and 'stuff' and holidays. I'd quite like a life of holidays and designer handbags - but when I think I'd have to hand DS over to someone else, my little boy who's still a baby really, I have a renewed sense of why this is worthwhile. And god, it's not forever. If you can't stop working for a few years when your kids are tiny, IMO your priorities are wrong.

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:37:24

Icklems- agree totally. My children were happy, secure and stimulated at their cm and then their nursery. I worked 3 days a week when they were pre school- and yes, they were equally happy and stimulated on their days with me too- it's not about one being 'better' than the other, it's about achieving an overall balance which the whole family is happy with.

My comment about 'running away' from a job has been a taken out of context. I didn't say becoming a SAHM is running away. It's a perfectly valid choice if it suits what you want, it's affordable and your partner is happy too. But the OP mentioned not enjoying her job, and I personally don't think that's a great reason to decide to become a SAHM. Far better to aim for an enjoyable and fulfilling career, so that if you ever decide to give it up, you're doing it from a position of strength.

And as for the stories about friends who used to work in ofsted outstanding nurseries who morph into SAHM who would never in a million years put their child in those god awful places they worked in... Yeah yeah , we've heard that tired old scare mongering plenty of times. Those of us WOHM who have older teenage children know perfectly well that our children are happy and secure and completely undamaged by having parents who work. Still, it's not a very nice thing to post, because parents with younger children who are still in the midst of the nursery years could feel quite vulnerable to such nastiness

Anyway to return to the OP... By all means become a SAHM If you and your partner feel its right BUT it sounds like you would be taking a massive financial risk, putting a heap of pressure on your partner to be sole provider, and personally I would prioritise getting a job where you're happier and perhaps cutting hour.

Laquitar Sat 22-Jun-13 13:39:00

It doesn't have to be work 80 hours a week or not work at all and not even have house insurance (which is mad btw).
If you want so much to be SAHM and you don't have the money cant you do 2 evenings pw bar work or weekend shifts, or nanny with own child, or cleaning for 2 houses per week?

I would do anything to pay for house insurance and a bit on the side for extra bills otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep.

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:43:03

Yes, agree, house insurance is a no brainer. You are actually laying your children open to being very vulnerable if you cut corners on this sort of scale.
We're not talking working to afford holidays abroad or designer handbags here ( and once again , those are unpleasant tired old cliches anyway). We're talking a basic financial safety net.
If you really can't bear working any longer you need to at least get some part time shifts to cover those sorts of costs

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 13:45:03

I'm not meaning to be nasty janey - but I'm clearly in a massive minority here, it seems to be the norm to go back to work, to use nursery settings. I was going to go back to work and doing the research, realised I just couldn't bear to put DS into nursery. I didn't make up the two childminders who said they wouldn't put their own under 3s into nursery, I'm actually being restrained and not posting the awful stories they told me! It might be easier to believe that nursery care is just as good as parental care, it might assuage guilt - but it's not equal. And my DS deserves the best I can give him. I'm a liberated modern feminist woman and it pisses me off that it wil undoubtedly be hard for me and other SAHMs to get back to work after a few years at home, but going back to work when you have small babies isn't IMO the answer. My career will span what 50yrs? If I thought nursery care was good I'd use it, but I absolutely categorically believe toddlers need to be with their parents. I don't think anyone can persuade me otherwise, regardless how gregarious the toddler. If you need to work - fine, if you love work and aren't willing to give up for your toddler - fine, but don't kid yourself its good for them. Different for older kids but not toddlers.

flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 13:51:56

"It's not 'running away' from a job to decide to become a SAHM!"

It absolutely is exactly that for some people. Obviously not for you, great, but there are plenty of people out there who do that and are relieved to have an excuse to give up work and the pressure of a career.

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:54:57

Amazinegg- I don't think it's matters if you're in a minority or not. You've found what works for your family. Don't assume to know what works for everyone else's.
I am not telling you that your child would be happier or better if you worked, so please don't try to suggest that other people's children would be happier or better if their parents stopped working.

My children are teenagers now. I know first hand that they are secure and happy and doing fine. I suspect they would be fine if I'd been a SAHM too. It's just that on balance, being able to always keep my career going has been better for our family as a whole

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 14:04:18

Ok, I think I'd better leave the thread as I don't want to upset or annoy anyone and not in the mood for a bunfight really! The problem is that I don't see SAH and WOH as equal choices. They're just not. A SAHP is IMO always the best thing for the kid - obviously if the mother feels she would prefer to work/ has to work then that is the choice each family has to deal with, but I can't accept that it's a 'different strokes for different folks' type thing. I have made substantial career and financial sacrifices to be here for my DS, and I wouldn't have bothered if I thought it made little difference to him. I know it's by far the best thing - whether people choose to make it a priority or not is up to them but I can't stand this assumption that it makes little difference. It's a massively beneficial thing for a toddler. Sorry if anyone's upset by my posts, but again I really feel like all the WOHMs posting have convinced themselves that t doesn't matter whether they look after their kids or if a nursery nurse or two or three does. Fine - if you're happy with your choice - but I totally disagree.

flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 14:07:45

Goodness, it's been a while since I've come across such a closed-minded attitude!

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 14:08:48

Was that to me flowery?

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 14:11:59

I'm not kidding myself or feel guilty about DD's nursery care. I love DD, she brings me joy I never thought existed til I became a mother but a mother is only part of who I am. I've worked since I was 14, through school, college & uni, I love the mental stimulation of teaching & don't want to give that up. I'm also in a position of responsibility & don't want to forgo that either. It's not needing to work, or that I'm expected to, I want to!

I don't criticise SAHM, like I've said up thread I have friends who have postponed their careers til their DCs are in school, but that's not for me. I just don't want to be criticised for my choices. Ultimately DD will be happy because she sees a happy mummy & daddy!

jellybeans Sat 22-Jun-13 14:14:30

I was a f/t WOHM used a nursery for DD1 and SAHM for younger 4 DCs. All DC are doing well. DC1 is 16, youngest is 4. However DD1 went to a great non profit nursery with mature qualified staff with their own children attending. I still wasn't happy though (loved the work had great prospects etc but hated leaving DD-she never settled really) and left to be SAHM when I had DD2. However my DH doesn't have to work extra hours, he only does 39 hrs a week but the hours chop and change at the drop of a hat and he could be required to go away also. There is no way I could work around that. That was another reason I didn't go back p/t. Luckily I am very happy to be a SAHM although it took an initial adjusting period. I have always studied and help the odd time in school though so get some 'escape' time.

SM you always say precious moments (in a sarcastic way) but that is another thing for me. I lost 4 babies; 2 stillborn and to me I can't describe how it felt to have a living child/children. I couldn't have physically left them after that. Everything else seemed worthless. hard to explain. I am studying now to finish a degree and then considering career change/restart when DC5 is a little older. However after years of being able to put DC's first I would find it hard to miss school events etc. So not sure. But good to have options open as you never know what might happen.

I think it is very hard to find the right balance, either way you lose out on something. As long as the DC and parents happy I am sure DC will turn out OK.

daftdame Sat 22-Jun-13 14:14:30

flowery To my mind it doesn't really matter if someone is 'running away' from their job. I haven't ever found a career that fulfils me entirely. I have enjoyed some of my paid employment. However I couldn't quite get away from feeling like a 'wage slave'.

I realise I say this from a very privileged position in that we can afford for me not to work at the moment. However I sometimes think women feel a societal pressure to work, when it really does not make them greatly better off. Their wages often barely cover child care and an extra family car. This must be a very individual thing, regarding the finances, because a lot say they can't afford not to work.

I wouldn't attempt to judge them at all. As mothers we are made to feel guilty at every turn. So what if a woman would rather work or stay at home with the children? Neither of these decisions in isolation make a good or bad mother.

Ashoething Sat 22-Jun-13 14:17:47

Completely agree with Amazingg. I personally would not have any child under the age of 1 in a nursery for 8 hours a day as I don't see how it can possibly be beneficial for them.

I also do not see the point in paying some one else the vast majority of my paycheque to do my job of looking after my children and as I was on a low income anyway sahm was always the the better financial option for us.

I find it ironic that posters are so adamant on here that being a sahm is so shit,yet these very same posters often say on similar threads that being a sahm is a "luxury" that they wish they could afford...

flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 14:21:14

"To my mind it doesn't really matter if someone is 'running away' from their job."

Yes I absolutely agree with you there. daftdame And if a woman feels she wants to do that, and can afford to do so, then it probably is the best decision for that family.

Amazingg yes that comment was in response to your post just above mine. I genuinely find your attitude astonishing.

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 14:25:45

<sneaks back in> grin

Flowery - ok, do you think I'm wrong? Do you think that it is equally good for a child to be in nursery as being cared for by a parent? Or is nursery a necessary evil to allow the parent to work? Is it so good that I should sign DS up instead of me looking after him and planning activities and outings based on his needs and mood? My view is that parent care is better than nursery or cm care - I don't see what's so astonishing about that view tbh. I don't dispute the right of women to rtw if they want/need, but let's not kid ourselves it's for the benefit of the kids.

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 14:26:44

We're not saying being a SAHM is shit.
I've no doubt I would have been pretty contented as a SAHM. I only worked part time anyway until the kids were in school, and I thoroughly enjoyed my non work days. It's simply the case that I enjoyed my work days too! It's not a black and white issue of either loving work and hating home, or loving home and hating work. Which is why many of us want to have a balance in our lives and have both

Tbh I think the most judgemental and narrow minded view on here is the one saying being a SAHM is better for all children.
Consider what is best for your own family and stop fretting about everyone else's!

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 14:29:32

Janey that was all about how you felt, what you wanted. Not how your kids felt or what they wanted.

I really miss work, of course I do - but I am willing to make that sacrifice.

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 14:31:34

Janey, you pur that perfectly! In total agreement with you.

bigkidsdidit Sat 22-Jun-13 14:31:41

No one on this thread has said being a SAHM is shit confused in fact lots of SAHM have come on to say they themselves wouldn't do it in the op's situation.

icklemssunshine1 Sat 22-Jun-13 14:31:58


Smartieaddict Sat 22-Jun-13 14:32:26

Wow Amazingg, you are really in a position where you know enough about every single family to say that having a SAHM is best for their children? I find that very hard to believe I must admit. I work, almost full time shifts, as does DH. When one of us is at work, the other is at home, meaning DS is always looked after by one of us. On the rare times we are both working my Mum has him. Is that really so bad? Should I give up work, and let DH do it all?

Personally I think I am very lucky, as are DH and DS, as we all get a good balance. I think you have a very narrow world view if you think that there is a one size fits all approach to raising children.

daftdame Sat 22-Jun-13 14:36:42

I do find the government position slightly sinister of targeting free childcare to underprivileged areas.

In one way it is good allowing people back into work but in another way it seems to suggest this section of people cannot parent adequately, by default of where they live, which is wrong.

I also do not see why nursery for the very early years is better than good parenting. Often the staff are under qualified (not legally but in experience IYSWIM) and underpaid, not always but often.

The one benefit of nursery is that it gives each child a similar background socially and educationally which means there will be less variation between children when starting school. However this is just different and not necessarily better than what can be provided at home.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 22-Jun-13 14:39:48

So a woman returning to work does so for herself and not her kids therefore making her selfish .... Yet expecting your husband to work all hours just because he is male is not selfish in the slightest hmm

Some mums return to work for themselves, others do it to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. How does that not benefit the children?

Suprised so many children are allowed to go to school, guides etc given only parents can look after them adequately.

Amazinggg, i highly doubt your child as an adult will have any memories of being a toddler and wont give a monkeys who was home with him at 18 months as long as he is fed and cared for.

SAHMs dont just walk back into jobs either at the moment, its an employers market and most would rather have recent experience over an unemployed person out of the workplace for a while.

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 14:43:44

No, it's not all about me amazinegg. It was all about looking after the whole family's needs. If I had been in a situation where my children would have had a less good experience in any way through spending some time with their cm and at nursery, we would have had to rethink. Maybe DH would have had to go part time too. Maybe one of us would have had to stop working. If I had been unable to cope with the organisational demands of working with young children then we'd have had to rethink.
But as my children had an equally good experience overall (spending some time in childcare and some with me) as they would have done if I'd been home 24/7, we made a decision as a family that the optimum thing was for me to work part time. It's a decision I've never regretted at all. Happy children, happy mum.

How can anyone possibly disagree with that? Unless, of course, they think they know my children and my family better than Dh and i do, which would be really really odd. ....

Chunderella Sat 22-Jun-13 14:47:16

Careful smartie, amazinggg's head will explode if you try and make her process the possibility that both parents might work and still not use childcare.

ouryve Sat 22-Jun-13 14:48:13

If you're in the UK, then the health insurance is disposable, but you'd be foolish to put yourself in a position where you have no household insurance and even more foolish to go interest only on your mortgage for more than a very short term measure, without making plans to ensure oyu can pay it off.

ouryve Sat 22-Jun-13 14:54:36

Amazingg, you and Xenia would get along so well grin

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 14:56:10

Ignoring chunderella! grin

Smartie you have a brilliant balance and I'm envious. Some parents are totally fulfilled being SaH, tbh if DH and I could both work pt then that would be amazing. We also have no grandparents nearby.

Not sure why you'd think I would think anything other than positively of your situation! I think it suits some posters to paint me as someone who wants to chain mothers to the sink - not so. It's best for toddlers to have care from their parents. That's what you're doing. I'm currently on a train for a much needed wander around the shops while DH is looking after toddler - I do need some time to myself of I might go mad! So may not be around to reply. Please don't attack me personally - attack SAHMs if you must - I will defend later smile

pinkballetflats Sat 22-Jun-13 14:57:00

Im a SAHM. I recently reworked our finances. I personally believe my children are better off me being at home with them but if Id gotten to the end of my latest appraisal of our finances and found wed be so cash strapped we'd have to get rid of life insurance and have no emergency fund what so ever, I'd be either staying in my job, looking for a different one, or Id be looking to see about going part time. There is mo way I would be willing to jeopardize or roof and security to that extent - even from my personal stance of believing my kids are better off at home with me.

Amazinggg Sat 22-Jun-13 14:57:52

Ourvye grin

It astonishes me how Xenia manages to reduce looking after a toddler to 'changing nappies and cleaning loos'.

It's mostly much more important and challenging than that.

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 15:04:27

I think the point is that you and Xenia are similar in assuming that there is ONE BEST way of doing things and that anyone who doesn't adhere to it is damaging their children.

StuntGirl Sat 22-Jun-13 15:08:22

Yy janey.

Amazing's pov is ridiculous, silly and downright offensive.

ouryve Sat 22-Jun-13 15:09:15

Yes, it's the evangelism of such blinkered views that they have in common, even though those views are polar opposites.

I am a SAHM/Carer. Our house is cheap and paid for, though, and we can afford it.

Chunderella Sat 22-Jun-13 15:10:12

When you're ignoring someone amazinggg you don't namecheck them.

As for not attacking you personally but going for SAHMs instead, fuck that. I've no quarrel with parents who look after DC full time. Only with people who are arrogant enough to make sweeping statements like 'if you can't stop working when your kids are tiny, your priorities are wrong'. Especially when they back that with a healthy dose of the sort of privilege that will actually allow them to get back into their careers when they feel like it.

TiredFeet Sat 22-Jun-13 15:13:54

I think the point is that you and Xenia are similar in assuming that there is ONE BEST way of doing things and that anyone who doesn't adhere to it is damaging their children.


flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 15:18:45

Amazingg I think you are wrong to state that you "know it's by far the best thing" for every single toddler and every single family, yes. I like to think I have teeny bit more awareness of my own family's needs than you do, and I wouldn't presume to be so arrogant as to state categorically that I "know" what's best for your family.

I do in fact "know" that my DC have benefited enormously from the arrangements we had in their under-3 stages. If I'd stayed at home and "sacrificed" everything I would have been bored senseless, frustrated and unhappy. I would not have wanted my DC to be living in that environment.

As it was, they had me happy, fulfilled and glad to spend time with them part time, a wonderful nanny part time and that was definitely the best arrangement for our family.

Bluecarrot Sat 22-Jun-13 15:47:08

Only read first and last page and its def gone downhill in between!

OP, work out your minimum cash glow required, add £100-£150 buffer per month. Whatever your DP earns under that amount, look for income streams to cover it.

When we first decided I'd be a sahm we calculated a £70 difference. I started doing some things to earn that, while still working as well, to prove I could do it.

Sadly we were both made redundant and baby due in Jan. but I've a few income streams and they have been a godsend.

I don't agree that it's by far the best thing for every single toddler either. I don't think long term it makes any difference whether the child was in childcare or not at an early age, neither of mine at 7 and 9 can remember anything that happened in their lives before they were about 3 years old. By far the best thing for our family was financial security, parents that weren't stressed because one of them might lose their job, or not be able to pay the mortgage and the memories of lots of great days out and holidays together that we could afford on two incomes. The days out and holidays are definitely the things that stick out in my DCs early memories.

If anything I think it is more important to have a parent around once they start school. I kept my original job after both DCs were born, reducing it to three days a week. Because I had done this, it was much easier to find a part time job in the same field that fitted school hours once they were both at school. The DCs are very happy that I am around for all their assemblies, sports days etc, things that they will remember long term. I have a career, a salary, a pension, we don't have to worry about money. Whereas those friends who became SAHM when their DCs were babies have more or less given up hope of ever finding a decent job again. Some of them are happy about this, some aren't, one size definitely doesn't fit all.

Smartieaddict Sat 22-Jun-13 16:54:38

Amazinggg, you said: "The problem is that I don't see SAH and WOH as equal choices. They're just not. A SAHP is IMO always the best thing for the kid"

I am not attacking you personally at all, and I would certainly never attack SAHM's, its a perfectly valid choice! You sound happy you are doing the right thing for your family, but can you see that it is not as simple as either Mum stays at home or DC are in full time nursery. There are a whole range of options in between, and most families pick something that works for them.

Sorry I just realised I didn't respond to the OP at all. I would not become a SAHM if finances were that tight. There must be other options, even if it is just a part time job in the evening when DC's are in bed to keep some money coming in.

peteypiranha Sat 22-Jun-13 17:39:57

A sahm is not always best for the child. It definitely depends on the family.

nkf Sat 22-Jun-13 17:55:01

I'd say from what you've posted, you can't afford it. Part time work?

Shitsinger Sat 22-Jun-13 20:05:39

amazing you have made this thread all about you hmm
No one was having a go at SAHM but pointing out to the OP that in the circumstances she described it would be very irresponsible to give up work.
As for the all children are better with a SAHP -well perhaps you are very naive - there are lots of women ,including my own DM, where SAHP caused them serious mental health problems. My DM was not a good parent as a result and there are many parents who prefer the balance and challenge that WOH gives them . My DC have never been in childcare but I have yet to find a parent who thinks that childcare is an exact match for their parenting. They choose good quality childcare to ensure their child is safe, cared for and stimulated while they WOH . They continue to be the childs parents !
Ps WOHM - no holidays or designer nappy bags here wink

scottishmummy Sat 22-Jun-13 20:10:42

my priorities are bing on a good mum,we are solvent,we are partners
I do not expect my dp to solely shoulder financial responsibility,we share it
looked at nurseries 8wk pg,nursery place booked 12wk.returned ft as per plan

janey68 Sat 22-Jun-13 20:17:59

I never expected or wanted childcare to be an 'exact match' for parenting. It isn't supposed to be. For my children, it meant spending time being safe, secure, cared for and stimulated for some of the time. I (and DH) continued to be their parents all of the time.

It wasnt second best at all: it worked brilliantly for us as a family. No doubt my children would also be fine if I hadn't worked... But I suspect my prospects in the longer term wouldn't be quite so good.

I'd never suggest for a moment that amazingg's child is getting a less good deal because she doesn't work, and frankly it's ludicrous that she thinks she can pontificate about other people's children

scottishmummy Sat 22-Jun-13 20:29:08

pragmatically,f you can't make end meet you don't give up work
you have a responsibility to adequately bring up ds,that includes adequate monies
chosing give up work with minimal back up is foolhardy.if in future circumstance change reconsider then

jellyandcake Sat 22-Jun-13 21:49:34

Amazinggg, I am a higher earner than my husband. We couldn't afford for me to give up work work work- if we had a SAHP it would have to be him. My job when full-time is all-consuming and very stressful. I am not prepared to give up my time with my son in order for my dh to SAH. Instead we have made financial sacrifices for me to work p/t. Dh works f/t but it's 9-5 and he brings no work home. This way we both see plenty of ds. Our childcare is a mix of grandparents and a lovely childminder. In our circumstances, a SAHP is not the best option for any of us!

NandH Sun 23-Jun-13 05:43:49

Agree with amazinggg smile

HalfPastTwoDear Sun 23-Jun-13 05:55:43


You can't afford it. Not as in "won't be able to do Boden/Ocado", but cannot.afford.bills type can't afford it.

It's also quite extraordinarily selfish to want your husband out of the house working longer hours so that you can be home. Does your husband not deserve to see your children? I'm gobsmacked frankly at how mean your suggestion is.

HalfPastTwoDear Sun 23-Jun-13 06:00:00

Your marriage will fail because your husband will view you as lazy and reckless.

You will find yourself as a single mum with outdated work skills and you will find yourself either i) doing shit jobs for shit money or ii) on benefits - although I get the impression you'd enjoy the latter.

Grow a backbone and set an example to your family.

scottishmummy hit the nail on the head when she said that money fills fridges, not sentiments.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 23-Jun-13 08:54:39

NandH not quite the same thing when you're on maternity leave, is it?

I also wonder where the op went.....

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 10:30:26

HalfPast That last post is a bit strong. I know a lot of people who have felt conflicted regarding returning to work, it doesn't make them lazy.

There are different ways to organise finances, yes you have to make ends meet, but there is no one way to do this.

If you are happy to live a pared-down lifestyle in order to SAH with your children, that is your choice and good luck to you.

BUT: does your DH agree? If he agrees that it's important to both of you that your children have a parent at home, and is genuinely happy to "take one for the team" by working longer hours and seeing less of your children, then go for it.

If, however, he isn't happy, then I think you are playing a very dangerous game.

Children thrive whether at home with parents or in childcare. 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. But it's a selfish decision if it has a negative impact on your family overall, and it's a luxury that most people in this world can't afford. Makes no difference to the children, honestly it doesn't.

So, be honest with yourself that you want to do this for yourself. If you end up losing your home because you can't pay the mortgage or insurance, your DH is resentful and exhausted of the extra work he has to do and the small amount of time he gets to spend with his family - will it all have been worth it just so that you got to do what you wanted to do?

However, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Will your current job let you go part-time? If not, have you looked into local part-time work like your corner shop, supermarket or pub? Or, as someone else suggested, childminding works well for a lot of people as a way to SAH and still cover the bills.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 11:02:31

Annie My husband does not 'take one for the team' by working. That is a terribly old fashioned view that devalues what I do in the home and for my child and him.

We don't live a pared down lifestyle either. Our material wealth is comparable. We have made money buying and selling properties in the past.Yes we don't run 2 cars, but we don't need to. Where we live is suitably placed for this. I take on a lot of the responsibility regarding supporting my child in school work etc and have volunteered at his school.

We don't live near our relatives, the free childcare is off the table. My husband is quite ambitious regarding work, spends time away at conferences and on courses etc. It is good not to have to negotiate this with managing 2 busy diaries.

All in all sensible decision, not about laziness or selfishness.

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 11:04:18

The decision for one partner to give up work (for any reason, not just to SAHM) needs to be jointly made.

And it needs to be made with a firm undertanding of the household finances and the impact upon the household (both short and long term).

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 11:10:07

Very true wordfactory

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 23-Jun-13 11:12:37

Daftdame, helping children with homework or doing housework are things every parent do whether they work or not. I agree with Annie, expecting to not work whilst making the other adult in the house to does mean one adult gets the raw deal and "takes one for the team".

I also believe that children thrive either with parents or in good childcare. Lots may state they do it for the child but its usually as they dont want to work or dont fancy juggling both. However, given its usually the woman, it does mean that men get no say and are expected to work all hours so that their wife can have the choice not too. I wonder how many would swap roles and let their husbands quit work, after all the child still gets a parent at home?

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 11:19:11

daftdame whilst your DH might not mind being away from is DC, many men don't feel the same.

They might not want to work longer hours and see less of them, to facilitate the other partner not to work (and thus see more of them).

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 11:20:32

It'd be difficult for them to breast feed though! grin

Not all working parents do spend as much time doing supporting school work as I can either.

I could say mothers are selfish for working, they are board at home with their (clasps pearls) own children. However I won't because I don't believe staying at home or working is a moral choice. Different people have different skills, have different interests and are good at different things.

If we enjoy it does it make it selfish? What if you enjoy it because it is just right (for you and your family).

fluckered Sun 23-Jun-13 11:23:20

if you are prepared to struggle financially and not turn to social assistance then go for it. wish i could afford to.

Hey, daftdame, <whisper> I wasn't talking about you!!

And where did I say that going to work was taking one for the team? How ridiculous. I was talking about him increasing his hours.

The OP wants her DH to increase his hours so that she can stay home. I would say that is a negative impact on him in order for her to realise her wish to stay at home. So if he's not happy to make that sacrifice, then she is being selfish.

Don't turn this into SAHP-bashing because it's not. It's about each family working out what is best for everyone, not what's best for one person and the rest have to deal with the negative consequences.

It never fails to amaze me how defensive some people get on these threads when no-one is actually talking about their lives or their own personal family set-up.

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 11:28:31

Daftdame - If you are not in the situation of the op then what on earth does it matter what your doing.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 11:31:31

It's not simply a case of whether the father 'doesn't mind' working longer hours, jet setting off to conferences and 'taking one for the team'. How about we put the children at the centre of all this? They quite like spending time with both parents, and having one parent around 24/7 at the expense of the other parent isn't necessarily putting the child's interests first.

Oh and the bf thing is a red herring tbh because ML is so long nowadays that a child is weaned long before the mum returns to work usually. And of course bf can continue long after returning to work anyway.

And please don't anyone make the judgement mistake of thinking WOHM are bored with their children... We love being with our children just as much as SAHM. It's just we like our work lives too.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 11:36:51

Annie petey It doesn't really matter what I am doing. I commented because the later posts seemed to be worded a little too strongly and if taken in isolation could be offensive to SAHMs generally.

I am pleased that you have clarified that you were not talking in general terms.

However I do not think the OP is way off just to be considering this. She probably wanted info as to how people manage, whether there was anything she'd missed. Or she could be just using mumsnet to justify her decision to go back to work, in a roundabout way.shock

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 11:38:50

janey Didn't you spot the sarcasm? 'Clutches pearls' was a clue...

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 11:41:19

I think op is way off. How can cancelling your insurances, not paying your mortgage down and making your dh do extra hours when he doesnt want to is a ridiculous idea.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 11:41:34

I think most people have responded very reasonably and rationally to the OP actually. She is talking about a situation where the family would no longer be able to afford basics like house insurance. She is also suggesting the idea that her husband increases his work hours to facilitate her doing less. Neither of those options seem sensible or particularly child centred tbh.

What wordfactory said is spot on: absolutely fine for one parent to give up work if it is affordable and if both parents agree and if it's done from a realistic perspective taking into account the long and short term impacts. It doesn't sound as if the OP has considered any of those things tbh

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 11:45:18

The consideration is just that and not way off. A bad outcome would be way off.

Do you not ever consider pipe dreams of yours, however unrealistic?

Sometimes, if they are really important to you you find a way of achieving them and a good outcome. smile

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 11:54:11

Why doesnt op do childminding? Then will get a good income and free childcare and be with her child.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 23-Jun-13 12:40:57

I always love the "why not just become a childminder". Never mind that the house mught not be suitable, pets may not be suitable and even more importantly the person may not be suited to childcare. Childcare is a profession where you need the right temperment and the love of doing it, not something you take up just so you dont have to leave your own children. People put their utmost trust in childminders as they work alone in most cases.

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

*think most people have responded very reasonably and rationally to the OP actually. She is talking about a situation where the family would no longer be able to afford basics like house insurance. She is also suggesting the idea that her husband increases his work hours to facilitate her doing less. Neither of those options seem sensible or particularly child centred tbh.

What wordfactory said is spot on: absolutely fine for one parent to give up work if it is affordable and if both parents agree and if it's done from a realistic perspective taking into account the long and short term impacts. It doesn't sound as if the OP has considered any of those things tbh*

Agree 100% with this.

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

sorry - failed to do bold properly!

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 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 .

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 18:27:37

Just to clarify, I don't think my nanny was better at looking after my dd than DH or I were, rather, she was as good at it as we were, and I believe that my dd benefitted as a result of having input from another interested and caring adult.

That doesn't invalidate the choices of parents who have chosen to SAH with their kids, it is merely a statement of my own experience. Which is as valid as anyone else's.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 18:32:40

its only elephant in room if one think in such narrow happy to outsource
nursery is safe,adequate and reassuringly expensive.obviously it not same as parent
I wouldn't chose to eke out a living,no insurance or buffer.thats foolhardy

WidowWadman Sun 23-Jun-13 18:32:59

stepawayfromthescreen your opinion, not a fact. My children love their childcare setting and feel happy, loved and secure there.

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 18:34:46

I reckon in many ways our nanny is better at looking after our two than me. She's more patient with them, does more stuff like cooking with them and messy play that I don't really. She focuses completely on them because that's her job. She takes, or took, them to more playgroups etc than I ever did.

Maybe I'm just a rubbish mum. grin Regardless, I know I'm a much much more patient, fun mum because I'm not doing it all the time and have a working life as well.

Do those that are militant on either end of the spectrum not think that most parents (yes parents not just mums) tread a middle ground path in an attempt to meet as many of the needs of every member of the family's needs as possible. When my dc's were small I did shift work so that the dc's were primarily care for by me or dh (for cost reasons). Now that they are all in full time school I have changed roles and work 4 days a week, dh and I share drop offs and pick ups. In all of this the dc's have been well looked after and DH and I have been able to provide for our family whilst ensuring that we are both satisfied by our chosen jobs.
yes there have been compromises for us all, me particularly but I am glad that I have always worked and I am glad that I have been lucky enough to be around quite a bit while my dc's were little. It has worked well for our family. We all juggle and muddle through, there is no "right" way or "wrong" way, just what works at any given point in time for each individual family.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 18:51:11

I reckon in many ways our nanny is better at looking after our two than me. She's more patient with them, does more stuff like cooking with them and messy play that I don't really. She focuses completely on them because that's her job. She takes, or took, them to more playgroups etc than I ever did.

flowery, I think the thing I noticed was that my nanny was better at certain aspects of parenting than I was, whereas I was better at others. She was great at art, craft and anything messy, and she was also much better than me at going out into the garden and doing physical stuff. I was constantly afraid of dd hurting herself, whereas our nanny knew how to keep her safe while also alliwing her to experinent and explore. She was also immensely patient! On the other hand, I was probably better at reading to dd and imaginary play, and DH had his own strengths as well. We each bring something different to parenting, and I feel that it's good for children to benefit from different approaches, different interests and different perspectives on life!

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 18:52:57

Stepaway you are so right. It is so blindingly obvious that parental care is the ideal for a toddler, yet there are so many posters on here twisting themselves in knots to justify how it's actively beneficial to their children to send them to nursery.

Good for you to work, lovely, earn money, contribute financially, spend time with other adults, get away from your kids (I love the line 'it makes me a better mother in the time I have with them') - if you hate being responsible for your own toddler 24/7 and would rather be away from them some of the time, then be honest and say that! Because the line 'what's best for my family' is a bit tired. If you choose to work when you have under 3s and don't have to, and use group childcare, then yes I judge you negatively. This includes loads of people I know, and I am just shock that I am so in the minority both on MN and in rl. Hey ho.

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 18:53:27

You're so right Jinsei. The fact that my two have benefited from 3 different people with different strengths and approaches looking after them is definitely a plus for all of us.

oh gawd......

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 18:54:17

and the fact that our nanny cooks wonderful meals from scratch for them means its not the end of the world if I feed them pizza and chips

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Sun 23-Jun-13 18:55:30


I agree. It's the middle ground for me too. I have always been a SAHM (we were expats so I couldn't work). I am glad and my kids have grown up happy and healthy however how can I know if they wouldn't have grown up just as happy and healthy if I had worked.
There are too many variables.

judge away amazingg....I sent DD 1 day a week to nursery and.....I wasn't even working at the time.
I am an evil shit mother clearly.
Oh and do look up "goady fucker " in the dictionary..........

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 18:57:09

I think it's absolutely true that different people can bring different strengths to the tasks of caring for children. But it's equally true that the parents have an entirely different role which goes far beyond the tasks of messy play or going to toddler groups...and children love and bond with their parents in a profound way whether their parents are working or not. Of course, they can also bond with, and love, other people in their lives, such as grandparents, cm, nanny etc. But the parent bond is different and that applies equally to WOHP and SAHP

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 18:57:14

I have never had to work,I chose work.because I want suits me
yes I know the precious moments crew judge,but given i care not for their housewife no biggie
it's deliciously funny to see how predictably aghast they are at baby in nursery ft

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 18:57:50

sham bashing bingo card now full.
And the op still hasn't returned.
lol, so easily sucked in, so defensive.
You don't have to defend something ad infinitum on mumsnet if you truly believe that which you preach.
If you play sham bashing bingo on a regular or semi regular basis, then that's because you've clearly got issues and arn't happy doing what you're doing. Whatever else you might say.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 18:58:51

and you do care, Scottish. Very much. That's why you do sham clubbing as an Olympic sport!!

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 18:59:08

Well said hobnob.
< and I'm not sure having a judgemental goady fucker for a parent is great for kids!!>

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 18:59:16


"I love the line 'it makes me a better mother in the time I have with them'"

I don't understand. Do you think I am being inaccurate saying that? Please bear in mind that I have been both a SAHM and worked part time when you answer, and also that you have never met me, as far as I am aware, so probably don't know me as well as I do....

Xmasbaby11 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:00:03

You talk about cutting costs, but these are all necessities, not luxuries, so TBH I don't think you can afford it.

Do try to find another job first with fewer hours. Best of luck.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:00:26

Sham clubbing. Sounds interesting. Can we come too scottishmummy ? grin

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 19:01:20

and kerching at psychobabble waffle.straight from Frasier box set
because of course,no woman could enjoy working,or truly enthuse about it
it as to be a denial,as only a husk of a woman could leave a baby to pursue career?

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 19:02:57

sham clubbing!lol,no idea what it is,but Will gie it a go

oh and nowhere else do I ever see this never to be breached line between SAHM and WOHM, generally in life people move between both at various ages and stages on their dc's lives. Most parents juggle with full time/part time/shift work/school hours etc etc in lots of different ways as their children grow, I know very few people that are either a SAHM or WOHM exclusively.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:07:20

it's jaw droppingly ridiculous that in 2013 some people are earnestly arguing that daycare providers are equal to parents. Equivalent to them. Perhaps even better.
It's beyond a joke that anyone with a scrap of intellect would believe that.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 19:09:29

I love when all the chin strikers do the doth protest too much speech
hmm.applying that logic they really want to work.what with all the protesting they do
seems it ok for them to vociferously opine,but anyone with contrary opinion does it= denial

oh the goady fuckers are out in force tonight....I'm off to my Wimbledon /drool over Rafa thread if anyone cares to join me

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:10:46

I do work, Scottish. Too much. Am working towards sham, almost there.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 19:15:15

if you're skint and can work,you should romance in poverty

Am I the only person that works and still does precious moments?

Assemblies/sports days.... Just book Annual leave no?

I have quite a lot of intellect, stepaway. And I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I have any magical power of parenting that is superior to that of the other loving people who are helping me to raise my children.

Some people genuinely hate staying at home with their children. That doesn't mean they love their children less than anyone else. But we recognise that our resentment at being at home makes us pretty rubbish parents when we do so. I truly am a better parent when I work. I fell no shame in that; it's just my personal reality.

Equally, people who would rather be at home make rubbish employees because of their own resentment at having to go out to work. These people and their children are probably better off (finances aside) if they stay at home.

Anyone caught in a position where they would rather not be would feel the same. There's no shame either way. We're all different. Wonderful if you can be in the place you want to be, crap if you can't. Sadly lots of women and men are trapped on the side they'd rather not be.

But what I really don't understand is why you are unable to see that not everyone is the same as you; we don't all share your reality. How can it be better for a child to be home with a depressed resentful parent? There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parenting.

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 19:18:43

I know a lot of families on benefits where one or both parents are at home. Its far from being a bed of roses, and being at home with the children doesnt often make either the parents or the children any happier. Its not about being at home,but being at home and being skint is awful and souldestroying.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:21:37

Lets just cut to the chase here. Perhaps amazingg and stepaway would like to quantify exactly how my teenage dd and ds have had a less good childhood than they would have done if I'd been a full time SAHM.
Go on- do it. You've both said being a WOHM is not best- so I challenge you to explain how my children are in any way less secure/ confident/ happy than they would have been if I hadn't worked.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 19:22:25

A quickie to clarify that my strongly held views relate to toddlers and not to teenagers. Hth

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:24:41

Depressed, bored, resentful parents.
Ffs, it's almost a cliche not to be bored with, resentful of, depressed about or fed up with our kids.
I must be Mary Fucking Poppins.
Fact is, most wohm are in it for the money, not to get the fuck away from the boring offspring they can't help resenting.

WidowWadman Sun 23-Jun-13 19:27:08

When I had to reduce my older daughters nursery hours to only one day a week during mat leave #2 she was looking forward to her nursery day very much. If I had been able to afford it, I would have let her have more.Now both are back full time and loving it.

Doesn't make me a shit parent, I don't think. Doesn't mean my way is the only way. Know plenty of happy WOHMs with happy children, and plenty of happy SAHMs with happy children.

Why is it so important for some that their way is not just as good as someone else's is beyond me

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:28:15

Nope, I choose to work because I have a fulfilling career. The money is nice too, but not the primary motivator. And my children are wonderful and I don't feel remotely bored with them. Never have.
Still waiting for an answer to my earlier post...

Well there's the thing, Amazinggg, they're your views, no matter how strongly you hold them. And to suggest that others are of lower intellect than you because they don't happen to share them is somewhat insulting and arrogant.

Personally, I like to hope that every family works out what works best for their own individual circumstances, to do the best that they personally can do for their children and themselves, not to do whatever the hell they please despite their children.

But sadly, you do get parents who fall into the latter category. Some work. Some don't. I have found that being in or out of employment has little correlation to parenting ability.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:29:31

you can't quantify or calculate it, Janey.
You just know it. It is a pretty clear no brainer. Unless the child has a shit home life or parents who'd resent it, they're better off with a sahp. Always. The end.
(And I'm a part time wohm and have been full time wohm)

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 19:32:40

What an interesting debating technique. "You just know it....Always. The end."


Perhaps David Cameron ought to try that method.

Oh dear, you head really is firmly wedged up your own arse, isn't it Amazinggg? Pretty much every other poster on here can see both sides and does their best for their children. No-one has criticised your choice, while you keep twisting our words and slagging off the rest of us. You're just so damned determined to be RIGHT. There's no point in talking to you.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:35:27

some things do fall into the category of 'no brainer' flowery!
They really do!
This is one of them. Big fat elephant, nay wooly mammoth, in the room.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:36:20

'You just know' - ROFL, gosh, the intellectual heights reached by some people grin

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 19:36:31

Annie I didn't suggest people who disagreed were 'of a lower intellect' to me, that's totally not what I said! I think people do mental gymnastics to justify their choice to leave their kids when they're still tiny, because it can be boring, menial, repetitive, exhausting, mind-numbing and yes unpaid - you can't say that, you have to say things like 'best for our family' 'best for our individual circumstances' and 'the right decision for us' because you can't take the 2yo's view into account - they'd want their parents looking after them every time. It's people pretending its for the kids' benefit who are deluding themselves. Fair enough, put your toddler into nursery because they need you, it's so full on and you hate it - but don't pretend it's better than parental care.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 19:37:10

you can't quantify or calculate it, Janey. You just know it. It is a pretty clear no brainer. Unless the child has a shit home life or parents who'd resent it, they're better off with a sahp. Always. The end.

Sorry, but you're wrong. It might be so for your children, but it isn't the case for mine. And you are incredibly arrogant to assume that you are in a position to judge.

I see no SAHM bashing on this thread. Quite the opposite, actually. hmm

oh dear lovey you really are coming across as goady fucker hard of thinking now.

HazleNutt Sun 23-Jun-13 19:38:44

I had a lovely home life, no resentments. My mum loved us and also loved her career, and she would have been a horrible SAHM, as she would have been bored and unfulfilled. How on earth would it have been better for us if she was miserable?
Or do you mean that I would have been better having someone else for a mother, someone who actually enjoyed being a SAHM? That women who are not happy to be SAHMs should not have children in the first place? Or what exactly?

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:07:20
it's jaw droppingly ridiculous that in 2013 some people are earnestly arguing that daycare providers are equal to parents. Equivalent to them. Perhaps even better.
It's beyond a joke that anyone with a scrap of intellect would believe that.

If that's not saying that those of us who believe our children were better off spending some time in childcare instead of with us 24/7 are lacking in some kind of intellectual capacity, what is it saying, exactly?

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 19:41:49

Annie thanks but being called a 'goady fucker' and that my head is up my arse - not the best debate I've seen on here tbh. I feel really strongly about it and understand that it's not a popular view - I wouldn't dream of being so open about it in rl. But leave out the shitty language - you don't know me either, and believe it or not I'm a massive liberal, a shit cook, an ace horse rider, a shit gardener, a great listener, a shit joke-teller and many other aspects to me which you might like or dislike if we actually met. So leave out the personal insults and keep on topic plz...

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:11

some things do fall into the category of 'no brainer' flowery!
They really do!
This is one of them. Big fat elephant, nay wooly mammoth, in the room.

BlingBubbles Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:22

I work full time and my DD who is 2 goes to the most amazing childminder. I love my job, I love my colleagues, I love going to work so that I can be me and not mummy, I love the fact that on Sunday night dd gets excited because she is going to the cm on Monday and gets equally excited when I come and pick her up! She is my child and I love her and I am her mother and she loves me....

We are leaving the country in a few weeks, my Dh has got a great job where he will be earning enough for me to stay at home, will I though, no, I have already got a part time job interview. My Dh and his family (all the woman stay at home) can't understand why I would want to work. I won't go into all the reasons as they have been mentioned on this thread already, but I will hopefully get the job and be able to work part time and enjoy the best of staying at home and working.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:38

<wondering why I always get sucked into these threads, which always go round and round in circles.... Must...stop....reading.....>

Fwiw I'm working part time and think it's pretty perfect for all concerned!

Have you actually canvassed the opinion of many 2yo's, Amazingg.

I know my boss's 2yo howls like a banshee and asks to go to nursery on days when he's home with his mum. They have a forest there.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 19:43:17

Annie that was step and not me...

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 19:43:39

"you can't take the 2yo's view into account"

I make plenty of decisions that aren't what my kids would choose. Because I know more about what's best for them than they do.

Any chance of an answer to my question of 18:59:16 Amazingg ?

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:03

Thing is, making decisions purely about what is better for a child today is incredibly short sighted.

We are responsible for our DC for 18 years. Our financial responsibilty may stretch waaaaaay beyond that.

Parenting is a long game. This is sometimes hard to see when wearing the baby goggles.

Skinting the whole family in the long run, may turn out to be a big price to pay...

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 19:46:11

flowery yes indeed.

And actually, sometimes as parents we have to take decisions our DC won't like, because it will be better for them (and everybody in the family) in the long run.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:46:37

Actually I'm clearly getting the impression that the goady ones on here wish the children of WOHP were damaged, or unhappy, or lacking in confidence or not doing well at school. It sounds very much as though they want some definitive 'payback' for all the sacrifices they believe they have made.
What a very odd way to view life. I don't expect my children to be any better because I work, and neither would I expect them to be any better if I'd stayed at home

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 19:46:41

So nobody is actually able to quantify why SAH is better for the kids but they just know because it's apparently a no-brainer.

And that is supposed to end the argument? grin

Oops, sorry Amazinggg, that was indeed stepaway. And I think most of my comment to you should actually have been addressed to stepaway. Lazy thread reading, my apologies.

Hey stepaway, whatever I said to Amazinggg was actually for you.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 19:48:38

Actually I'm clearly getting the impression that the goady ones on here wish the children of WOHP were damaged, or unhappy, or lacking in confidence or not doing well at school. It sounds very much as though they want some definitive 'payback' for all the sacrifices they believe they have made.

Yes indeed janey.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:51:12

Jinsei- I think they'd stand to be very disappointed to meet some of our children, and realise that - hey- these happy, secure, normal teenagers have in fact got mums and dads who've worked grin

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:45

YY, my dd is disgustingly well-adjusted. It's an outrage! shock

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:50

Surely a lot of people have parents that have worked and are normal? I know I did I cant even remember any of it at all, and I have grown up pretty normal (I think) grin

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:55

I'm really not sure what's failing to compute.
I'll try again.
I work a couple of days a week and currently my cm friend helps out.
She's great, but dd is unquestionably better off with me.

A) I love her. Cm doesn't.
B) I love her. Cm doesn't.


Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:04

She is also very glad that we can afford to fund her rather expensive hobby, whereas a couple of her friends have had to give up.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:15

awaits response along the lines of:
But step away, a child doesn't need their carer to love them, nanny is just as good as mummy'
Unfettered rot.

Careful folks, that's starting to sound like "poor little unfulfilled SAHP" talk, which the thread has been blissfully free of so far.

I'm disappointed this has turned into another SAHP vs WOHP thread, though sadly it was probably inevitable.

The OP asked if she WBU to put her family in a dangerous financial position so that she could stay at home. Most people sensibly replied that SAH is a fine thing if a) you and your partner agree that is what you both want and b) you can afford it. However, if either criteria a) or b) are not met, perhaps it wasn't a great idea and the OP should make her decision very carefully indeed.

And then chaos descended. hmm

MummytoKatie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:55:59

Agree with flowery and jinsei about having strengths and weaknesses as a parent and nursery conveniently being good at filling the gaps of my weaknesses.

I can also think of a time (when dd was about 15 months old and her sleep got so far beyond horrific I can't even think about it without wanting to sob) that dd was probably cared for better at nursery than at home. To be honest Nana the Dog would probably have been a better caretaker than the zombified mess she called mummy nevermind her rather lovely (and young, childless, bags-under-the-eyes-less) key carer.

However, I don't work in order to save dd from my inadequacies as a parent. I work in order to provide security for my children. A few years ago dh went to his usual 10am Monday morning meeting with his boss. By 10:30am he had been made redundant and escorted out of the building.

As a result we have spent a lot of time thinking "what could go wrong" with our lives and have spent a lot of time and energy ensuring that, no matter what, our children will not lose their home. They will never go hungry. They will never be cold because the boiler has packed up and we can't afford to fix it. Part of doing this is to have each of us working.

This is our agreed number 1 priority. Different people have different priorities. But this is ours.

I also like the fact that if on a Friday morning (I only work 3 days and have Fridays off) dd says "can we go swimming today" or to soft play or out for lunch I don't have to think about the cost in deciding. We have also had some pretty fab family holidays abroad. So shoot me!

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:00

Stepaway - If your oldest was in child care has it actually damaged her in any way?

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:00



flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 19:58:31

Does that mean you believe all children should be home educated then stepaway ? Or is it only preschool children who are damaged by not being in the company of someone who loves them 24-7?

SizzleSazz Sun 23-Jun-13 19:59:30

My cm loved my dd's - she used to ask for them to be there when she had an ofsted inspection

Oh, and she wouldn't charge me to look after them when dh and I went away for a weekend for a wedding.

Maybe you just haven't found the right childcare stepaway...

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 20:00:05

Pete, if I told you what she's like and then described her siblings, you wouldn't believe me and would eye roll disbelievingly, assuming I'm on some point scoring mission, which would be bizarre on account of the fact that I'm a part time and one time full time wohm!

HazleNutt Sun 23-Jun-13 20:00:58

My mum absolutely loves me, she still would have been a horrible SAHM. I was better off because she did not spend 24/7 with me, but had other interesting things besides me in her life. What would have been the solution here, change of personality?

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 20:01:25

No I wouldnt I was just asking. I have never been parted from my children in the early years so definitely wouldnt be point scoring.

stepawayfromthescreen Sun 23-Jun-13 20:01:55

sizzle, I've used cm's, 2 different nurseries, holiday clubs, play schemes, breakfast and after school clubs. And I still think they're all inferior to me. Maybe I've got a superior complex. Maybe I am Mary Fucking Poppins.

The childminder who had DD1 from 4 months to 1yo is still in touch, asks for pics of DD and misses having her around. DD1 turns 8yo next month. The CM definitely loved her and still thinks of her 7 years later. All the nursery workers at both DD1 and DD2's nursery cared very deeply for them. Perhaps it wasn't love, but certainly a great deal of affection and kindness, which really is good enough for those few hours a day. Then they get the full-on parental love for the rest of the day.

I'm baffled by people who think that childcare is done by heartless strangers.

SizzleSazz Sun 23-Jun-13 20:05:14

I am definitely not Mary poppins but I love my children and do the best for them I can.

I am not Peter Andre either

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:05:14

Stepaway- your point is perfectly clear. You choose to leave your child with a cm believing that it isn't as good for her as being with you would be.
That's fine. Your choice and none of us are trying to dictate that you do otherwise.
Just stop assuming that all of us who use childcare feel the same as you do.

wordfactory Sun 23-Jun-13 20:07:40

stepaway it might indeed be that having a SAHM is better for a baby/toddler but in the long run will it matter?

I don't think so.

I didn't use much in the way of childcare, due to an unusual set of circumstances in the early years and then settling on a career that means I can work flexibly from home.

Are my DC any more wonderful than their mates? I don't think so. They're all lovely teens. Smelly and loud and food dustbins. With great plans and ambitions and a huge love of their phones grin.

I have no idea which ones had a SAHM, or a nanny or a child minder.

Perhaps you do have a superiority complex, stepaway.

Personally, I'm well aware that most people do a better job of looking after my DDs than me. Poor little tykes, they're stuck with me! smile. But I do my best anyway, and they seem happy, clever, well-adjusted and healthy enough, and we certainly all adore each other. Not sure anyone could ask for or expect more, really.

agendabender Sun 23-Jun-13 20:17:03

I am currently a SAHM following a nervous breakdown. We can barely afford it, and live in rented accommodation. However, our quality of life has massively gone up and I am able to do things that save us money, so our outgoings are lower than before. However...I am making an effort to create some self-employed income, with a little success; we have very supportive family who appreciate our reasons for making this choice; and DH has fantastic job security and prospects, even if his salary isn't huge. We don't have foreign holidays other than staying with family, but we have weekends away at friends', premier inn stays for weddings etc.

You need your insurance. Have a look at your budget, and see what you don't actually need, only want.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 20:18:34

I'm baffled by people who think that childcare is done by heartless strangers.

Me too. Our nanny ceased to look after dd over four years ago, but still regularly makes a journey of over 300 miles to see her, at her own expense. Why she would bother doing this if she had no bond with my dd escapes me.

Obviously, she doesn't love my dd in the same way as I do, but that's beside the point. My dd's teacher doesn't love her either, but I happen to think she is better placed to educate dd than I am.

We don't have to be with our kids 24/7 for them to be secure in the knowledge that they are loved.

And whatever is wrong with your eldest dc, stepaway, may be purely a matter of coincidence. You certainly can't extrapolate from your own narrow experience to make sweeping judgements about everyone else.

MummytoKatie Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:05

Out of interest how many people on here who are arguing the WOHM viewpoint are not proper committed FT WOTM?

raises hand

I'm currently on ML and will be for over a year (as I did with dd), only work 3 days a week when I do, don't work long hours when I do deign to turn up and have more than once found myself arguing the PT/SAH viewpoint to Xenia and co.

I don't think there is a huge split between WOHM and SAHM. I think there is a huge split between those who judge others choices on this topic and those who accept that different things work for different families but the vast majority of us our doing what we think is best for our dc.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:12

I'd also comment that my wonderful cm definitely does love my children. Yes not like their parents do, but still... They see her home as their own, and do genuinely love going there (I know my children and I know this to be true!)

The nursery otoh.... Starting to have my doubts about that one... Was never a huge fan of nurseries but chose one for a variety of reasons. Now, however, it looks like my suspicions might have been confirmed.

angeltulips Sun 23-Jun-13 20:30:22

It also baffles me that the hardcore sahms make the logical leap from

"It is always better for children to be raised only by their parents"


"I must completely stop working for years at a time to ensure my dc are cared for"

My DH and I share both care of our children and our finances. Feels much more rewarding - not to mention less risky - for both of us that way. Yet somehow I'm guessing that a lot of these judgey sahms wouldn't be happy if they were the ones out at work all hours to enable their DH to care for their children. (Yes yes I know, it just made "more sense" for it to be done that way - amazing that.)

OP - really ehat the others said. If you can't afford insurance, you can't afford to stop work.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 20:32:08

I'm a FT WOHM Mummy, and always have been (apart from mat leave). However, I've always worked very flexibly so have enjoyed most of the benefits of working PT.

DH was a SAH for around a year, and now works PT. We haven't used any paid childcare since dd was 3 and she is now 8.

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 20:34:00

"I don't think there is a huge split between WOHM and SAHM. I think there is a huge split between those who judge others choices on this topic and those who accept that different things work for different families but the vast majority of us our doing what we think is best for our dc."

Completely agree MummytoKatie

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 20:34:43

I have had 3 different jobs, and 2 different children and have always worked but in roles where my children are with me. I have done part time, full time the lot but still think people who say children who are without their parents in childcare settings are all damaged in some way.

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 20:38:04

Are ridiculous. My last two words should say!

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:38:08

Angel tulips- completely agree.
DH and I made a positive decision that we would always try to achieve a good balance between us both working and having child/ home responsibilities, rather than one of us having to work stupid hours to facilitate the other not working! It actually seems a very logical way to live doesn't it, given that men and women are equally capable of having careers (and equally capable of looking after the home and children )

Wishihadabs Sun 23-Jun-13 20:41:28

Us too Janey

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 20:47:24

It is just that some career paths demand working stupid hours at some point...something's got to give......

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 20:49:32

Most dual income couples I know only do at the most 40 hours each. Whereas one with just the dh working the dh often does more. It depends what both want.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 20:50:36

It is just that some career paths demand working stupid hours at some point...something's got to give......

Yes, that's true. Personally, I have chosen to work in a sector where I earn a bit less but have absolute flexibility. It's worth the difference in salary as I value my work-life balance.

Shitsinger Sun 23-Jun-13 20:52:12

Me too !
Love the fact we have both had a lovely time with our children and enjoyed our careers.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:56:17

It is just that some career paths demand working stupid hours at some point...something's got to give......
Yes, true, and that's why thinking these things through and discussion with one's partner are supremely important.
In some careers, putting in heavy hours early on the career ladder can lead to greater autonomy and flexibility later on...hence some women choose to wait until a little later to start their family so that they have an established and flexible career.
Other careers demand heavy hours, travel etc right through - so it's important to factor this sort of thing in when making a career choice. Careers don't just happen out of nowhere! I made a conscious choice to opt for a career which is interesting and worthwhile, pretty well paid but but not ridiculously high money and ridiculous hours to match. I didn't want to have a career where I'd never get much time at home. Neither did my DH. That's not what we want for our family life.

MummytoKatie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:04:48

janey Are you actually me? That is pretty much exactly the choices we made.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 20:47:24
It is just that some career paths demand working stupid hours at some point...something's got to give......

At the moment, that's me. But DH is taking up the slack where he can, and luckily I live 10 mins from work so can easily pop home to pick up the DC, then back to work once DH gets home. Plus I get some extra hours in at the weekend.

One person in a partnership having to put in long hours doesn't mean that the other one needs to give up work, though. It just takes some give and take, learning to say "no" to your employer sometimes and being creative in your work patterns.

At the moment I am ruthless, both with my job and with myself, about what I am capable of fitting in and what I'm not. It's not going to help anyone if I burn out completely. Only another 15 months until normality resumes!

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 21:20:49

annie I get your point but it depends on the career, how much support you have near etc.

DH worked away at times, we lived away from parents, the work I had done previously wasn't enough to compensate for the child care. I wouldn't want it. There are a lot of different situations out there...

We are well matched because I am totally happy not working.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 21:22:47

It's certainly true that putting in the time and climbing the career ladder pre-children can give you a lot more flexibility later on. As "the boss", I can pretty much decide my hours and work at home when I want to. I try as hard as I can to extend that flexibility to others in my team, but it isn't always possible for those in more operational roles to work as flexibly as I can.

Wishihadabs Sun 23-Jun-13 21:23:31

Good for you daftdame. Personally I'd go completely mad not working as would DH. Similarly neither of us wants to work 50+ hours a week.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:02

We are well matched because I am totally happy not working.

At the end of the day, that's what matters. If it works for you and your family, then it works.

Personally I'm with wishi though. Both DH and I prefer to work but neither of us want to do excessive hours.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:22

... and I don't think anyone is trying to make you do anything differently daftdame. When it suits a couple for one to work and one not, when they can afford it and are happy with the situation, then what's the problem? Nothing! (though I would add to the above that it's always a good idea to have the capacity to be flexible and adaptable, because you never know what's round the corner..)

The problem on here has come from a couple of extremist posters who have decided that there is ONE RIGHT way to bring up children and that's with one parent (usually they mean the mother!) giving up work and staying at home full time. Which is quite simply nonsense. There are many ways to do things.

Like I've been saying all along, daftdame, we all do what works best for us. I agree that there are lots of different situations out there. My point was that you don't necessarily have to give up work if you don't want to just because your partner works long hours. If you do want to; also fine.

My only beef is with people who refuse to accept that anyone who does things differently to them might also be perfectly good, capable parents who will end up with happy, healthy, successful children.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 21:29:38

wish I have other interests, cooking, painting, reading. I actually cannot wait to have some alone time after everyone has been together on

jellyandcake Sun 23-Jun-13 21:35:03

As l've already said earlier, I'm the higher earner so for my toddler to have a SAHP I would have to work f/t and my DH would stay at home. I would have to work very long hours and bring work home. We would just be able to scrape by financially i.e. pay the bills and nothing else. I fail to see how it is a 'no-brainer' to say my son would be better off in that situation where he would barely see his mother and we would be struggling to keep our heads above water than our current situation where I work p/t and DH does flexible hours so ds is looked after by non-stressed mummy, daddy, grandparents and loving childminder. It's such a weird stance to take.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:53

jelly, I suspect those who say it is a no-brainer probably assume that it is the mum who should stay at home. wink

Like you, I'm the higher earner, and there was no way I was going to work silly hours and never see dd just so that DH could spend a few extra hours at home doing playdoh. That wouldn't have worked for our family at all!

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:42:38

Agree jellyandcake

Personally, I find it entirely normal and indeed natural that many couples want to create a balanced life style. When I look at my teenage dd and ds, they aren't fundamentally poles apart just because they're different genders. I can't imagine my dd is going to develop into an adult who assumes she will give up her career if she becomes a mum, and neither do I imagine my ds assuming he will be obliged to earn megabucks and never get much chance to be a hands on dad to any children he may have

I mean, fine if couples genuinely partner someone who wants different things out of life, and it suits them to take on different roles, but often people are attracted to someone with a similar outlook on life, so it doesnt surprise me in the least that many couples on here strive to create a balance in their lives.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 21:52:52

janey this is where you begin to sound totally biased with this balance business.

My husband and I have balance, we are certainly intellectual equals. It is just that my skills are not as commercially viable but I definitely do my bit for the family.

We have common interests but I also am quite a solitary person just generally.

Shitsinger Sun 23-Jun-13 21:56:35

I also think its preferable to have both parents creating a balanced lifestyle and both they and the children benefit.
We work in areas where this is the norm. I don't know anyone who is a fulltime/lifelong SAHM ,most couples have worked to create a really good balance where the FAMILY as a whole benefit.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:59:19

Quite the contrary, I've said several times that its up to each couple to do what works best for their own family. I am simply making the point that it shouldn't come as any surprise that many couples dont want to have polarised roles where one carries sole responsibility for earning and one doesn't work at all. That's all. I don't think there is a huge gulf in what many women and men want out of life . I have the same earning capacity and career capability as my DH, and he has the same capability in looking after children and running a home.
If other couples do things differently that's fine too.

daftdame Sun 23-Jun-13 22:03:22

Again Shitsinger preferable? Why do I bother explaining? Equality is about CHOICE. These biases make people feel bad and alone when the opposite thing is right and works better for them, as a family of course.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 22:13:43

Interesting discussion and I'm nodding along to some bits although hmm at 'a few hours playing play-doh' and similar.

I think it suits some posters to really put the boot in...

I'll summarise my views just to make the point that I'm an actual person, not some kind of poster girl for SAHM.

- I think nurseries are bad environments for under-3s
- I think that it is best for them to be with a parent who loves them
- Once they are in pre-school and beyond, I believe they are more resilient and have a strong loving grounding, if parents' work requires additional childcare beyond what parents and grandparents can provide.

It's not always as simple as both parents working less hours to spend time with DCs equally. I was the higher earner when I got pregnant - it's a total non-issue, DH and I are in agreement that it's best for babies and toddlers to be in heir own home for most of the day, looked after by loving parents. DH is ambitious, loves his work, I was happy to SAH so that's what we've done, DH's work couldn't be done in less hours, he'd have to move jobs so me being at home makes financial sense. That's our situation, but we both wish that we could split it more equally - I do really miss working and have maintained freelance contacts so as soon as possible I can start again.

Can I underline that this isn't about working mothers for me, it's about childcare arrangements. All the WOH mums on here are talking endlessly about how working is about balance, good for the family, providing a role model and so on, they enjoy work - my only issue is the care of the children, who IMO in the very early years should be cared for by their parents! If you can work around that premise then that's fantastic IMO, but it's really not such a huge sacrifice to spend the time with your teeny children is it?! They need you, so much when they are tiny.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:18:29

... And once again, amazinggg, that's about your own beliefs about childcare. It doesn't mean that parents who don't hold your beliefs are doing anything wrong, or doing any harm to their children, or indeed giving them a life experience which is in any way diminished. smile

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 22:22:09

You might think that amazinggg but it doesnt mean people have to agree.

WidowWadman Sun 23-Jun-13 22:23:54

amazinnggg - you seem to be suffering from selective alexia, otherwise you would have seen the posts about children who are happy and do well in their childcare settings.

jellyandcake Sun 23-Jun-13 22:24:48

But Amazinggg, I was trying to point out that the sacrifice for me would be to see little of my son and be very stressed and miserable working but f/t ti facilitate DH staying at home environmentas we could not possibly manage on dh's salary alone - we couldn't cover mortgage and bills on it. I actually don't particularly enjoy working but I have to. We do our best in our circumstances. We picked a childminder for the two days we have to cover so he could have a home environment. Everyone does their best and everyone makes sacrifices. I could not make the sacrifice of working f/t and we couldn't provide a home for our son if I didn't work at all.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 22:25:14

But amazing, my dd spent four hours a day with a nanny in our home, playing with one other child who she loved, doing activities that she enjoyed that DH and I might have tended to avoid (yes, including playdoh). The manny loved her enough to want to do a 600mile round trip to see her at her own expense, several times a year, more than four years after the professional relationship came to an end. DD acquired an additional language through her time with the nanny, and had lots of opportunities to play in ways that DH and I might not have thought of. The rest of the time, she was cared for by her parents (ie for 20 hours a day on weekdays and 24 hours a day at weekends).

Please tell me how you think she suffered as a result of this arrangement?

jellyandcake Sun 23-Jun-13 22:26:35

working f/t to facilitate DH staying at home as we could not manage on his salary alone

MummytoKatie Sun 23-Jun-13 22:33:33

amazinggg I don't understand why you are the parent at home if you were the higher earner???

If your dh became the SAHP and you worked full time (after you had had a full year mat leave to deal with the breastfeeding thing) then your children would have a parent at home (as they do now) and more money and security.

Surely a parent and more money is better than just a parent?

Or is the point that you wanted to SAH and your dh wanted to work so you made a decision that was best for your family even though technically it is not best for your children?

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 22:48:32

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 19:43:39

Any chance of an answer to my question of 18:59:16 Amazingg ?

I'm assuming that's a "no", then? Don't like that question? Sorry but you can't expect to say things like that, which basically amount to accusing the posters in question of lying, and not expect to get challenged on it.

josiejay Sun 23-Jun-13 22:49:30

But mummytokatie, what is best for the children is usually the same as what's best for the family though, surely? I would imagine that children do better when being brought up by happy and fulfilled parents.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 22:51:22

Sorry flowery what was the question?

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 22:52:40

josie, I think that was mummytokatie's point.

flowery, what was your question of 18:59?
<curious but can't be arsed to scroll back>

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 22:53:36

With regard to me earning more than DH - it wasn't a financial decision, obviously we'd be better off if I went back to work. We discussed it in depth, a lot, and I wanted to do it more than he did, so I'm the sahp.

Again I want to underline that I'm only so hard line about toddlers, not school aged kids.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 22:53:49

Oops x post. amazing clearly can't be arsed to scroll back either! grin

josiejay Sun 23-Jun-13 22:54:09

Ah sorry I get you now - Agreed!

flowery Sun 23-Jun-13 22:54:18

As I said in my post just above yours, it was the question I asked at 18:59:16.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 22:54:41

Correct Jinseigrin

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:02:18

Ah ok the 'it makes me a better mother in the time I have with them'

Well I've heard this from several friends who WOHM. I just think it's a cop out to be honest. I'm not in blissful heaven all day with DS, but it's a commitment, a relationship, a role. Most jobs are easier when done part-time. That's how I see it. But I don't think you can be a part time parent. Or you can, but it's not very good for the child. DS sometimes sees me reading or doing hobby stuff. He knows I shower, spend time doing my hair, laundry, go to Tesco, you know, just live life. I make phone calls, I have strops, I see friends who make me laugh and sometimes I get annoyed. He sees the whole parent iyswim. Not an edited highlights version. Not a nursery environment where everything is geared around him. It's real life, every day, being modelled as naturally as can be. It's not some kind of performance, being a parent, the child isn't judging you. You can have bad days. At my previous workplace we were all v envious of the lady who worked one day a week and was always so so calm, composed and organised! Parenthood isn't like that, it's just not. I'm a good parent because I'm physically right here with DS. It's literally that simple.

Does that answer your question?

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 23:02:18

You haven't answered my question yet either amazing. How do you think my dd suffered as a result of the arrangement described above (posted at 22.25) and how would she have benefitted more from having me or DH around for an extra four hours a day?

FWIW, I share your dislike of nurseries for very young children, but it isn't usually a choice between one parent giving up work and becoming a SAHP vs sticking your baby in nursery for 10 hours a day. There are so many other ways of arranging things.

And if some parents do make the choice to use a nursery in spite of all the other options that are available, I would conclude that they had considered the options and found the nursery to be best for their particular family situation.

morganster Sun 23-Jun-13 23:02:48

I think you have to find a balance that works for you. I didn't want to put mine in nursery too young, so I worked evenings and weekends. Once at pre-school, I went to working mornings.

I gave up my career job and did lower paid work. But it brought enough in for us to be comfortable. For me, I would have been miserable if we'd not had enough money and I'd have worried about it.

Now I have a reasonably good job (although not in my former career), mornings only. It's flexible so I can pop out for an hour for meetings/plays at school. We use a childminder for mornings in the holidays which works well for us.

I think in your situation, if you do really want to be at home, perhaps get a Saturday job with a couple of evenings, or one other day in the week.

You could then change to weekday mornings or something once your dc is a bit older.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:04:20

I expect you'll be waiting a while flowery!
I'm still awaiting an explanation of how my children have had a less good life experience due to having spent some time with a cm and at nursery wink

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:04:34

Jinsei I think your arrangement sounds awesome and I don't know anyone irl with childcare for only 4 hrs a day, with a nanny, in their own home. It sounds perfect. Irl everyone I know (London commuters) who has rtw, their babies are all in nurseries for long long days. That's my gripe.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:06:19

Janey I'm not some sort of SAHM FAQ hmm

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 23:06:57

* I'm a good parent because I'm physically right here with DS. It's literally that simple.*

So is your DH a bad parent because he isn't physically there? confused

Believe me, dd doesn't get an edited "highlights only" version of me, she gets the whole sorry picture! grin And that just happens to include the fact that I go to work!

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:08:26

Ah once again amazingg has talked all about herself.
No response to how she supposedly knows what's best for other people's families. The best she can do is to suggest you're 'copping out' by holding your views flowery.

So, not only does she not answer, but she insults you to boot

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:09:30

Oh janey eff off if you're just going to be rude.

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 23:10:33

And I don't know anyone in RL who puts their children into nurseries for long long days! I guess that's why we chose never to live or work in London! smile

And yes, it was an awesome arrangement that we had. My nanny was worth her weight in gold, and taught me so much about being a parent!

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 23:10:40

oh lol,mrs precious moments having a wee moment to herself

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:12:39

"Edited highlights only" version ROFL, this is descending into the absurd!

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:12:58

Maybe it is a London thing in particular. I'm just shocked at the fact that virtually all the mums I met on mat leave went back to work 3/4 days and put their kids ito nurseries, even though they didn't need the money. Hey ho. It's been interesting discussing it even though I'm so clearly in the minority. In sorry if my views offended anyone. I'm really not an offensive person at all irl or usually even on here - I've just taken advantage of the anonymous forum to be really ranty and honest.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:13:45

Just read acottishmummy comment.

I'm off. Don't like being on the wrong team on MN. I haven't been rude or personal.

farewellfarewell Sun 23-Jun-13 23:14:04

Long days in nursery settings for under threes? I'm in agreement with you on this Amazinggg. Childminder, nanny/part time etc. for fewer hours imo not so bad for babies (allowing for personal circs) - I also agree that this is not a working/sahm issue but a question of what is a suitable environment for under 3ish babies. I do not think that nurseries are a good option re best setting. Nothing earth shattering there.

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 23-Jun-13 23:14:41

Why are you bothered about what other people choose to do?

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 23:15:29

I used nursery ft 8-6pm five day week,from 6mth old.nursery had huge waiting list
considerable demand, I booked place 12wk pg.contrary to mn wisdom plenty mums chose this

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:16:07

Janey can you address te point if you're going to criticise? You know what that refers to. The pressure to be the perfect mum, people seem to think if they WOH then they will be 'better parents' when they are there. I disagree and wrote that post to show that kids dot need perfect parents, they don't actually need 'precious moments' or organise activities all day - just being with their parent. As a toddler.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:18:03

Scottishmummy it doesn't exactly appear that you're in any way 'contrary to MN wisdom' based on this thread. The vast majority on here want to use childcare, you're not unusual at all.

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 23:19:17

I just think your very judgemental amazinggg you dont have any first hand experience of childcare, but dont agree with any of it and judge people that use it.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:19:54

I don't think I'm a 'better' parent because I have time at work. Never did tbh. I think I would have enjoyed being at home full time. I just wanted to work too- for all sorts of reasons. It's that simple for many people. But if a mother says , as flowery did, that she feels her time at work makes her a better parent then I respect that view too, because you know, I can get my head round the fact that other people's views are valid too. I certainly wouldn't insult her by saying she's copping out by believing that.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 23:21:45

oh lol,check in when all biddulpph tambourine fans are banging on about research
and anecdotes of knowing someone who knew someone who worked in a nursery
apparently staff are feral.the weans are glassy eyed denied stimulation

inadreamworld Sun 23-Jun-13 23:25:22

Can you work from home or get a part time job OP? I can understand how you feel about leaving your baby all day. I couldn't do it. I have two girls, a two year old and a 5 month old and work from home as a tutor for a few hours a week, the rest of the time I am a SAHM. It is tough financially but with two very young children it is actually not worth my while going back to full time work at the moment as the childcare would be more than my salary!!

DuelingFanjo Sun 23-Jun-13 23:25:41

I much prefer my son being in a good nursery than with a sole childminder. I think it's altogether safer and nicer. Just my choice though.

I find it very offensive to hear people say that my son is only seeing an edited highlight of me because I work. What absolute Bollox that is.

farewellfarewell Sun 23-Jun-13 23:28:55

I've used a mixture of settings,been a sahm,used nanny, childminder. Am now full time at work, youngest is 3.5. What others do is up to them obv. Some love nursery option some feel it is not optimal for young babies/toddlers to spend a long day there, difference of opinion surely? Why are some getting so het up about this? Do what you want/what works for you, nursery for 10hrs a day for 1yr old sounds like your preferred option, do it

Jinsei Sun 23-Jun-13 23:29:02

Amazing, I think you're misunderstanding what people mean by being "better parents" because they have time away from their kids. It's not about "quality time" - I'm sure we all have off days with our kids, whether we WOH or not. We're all impatient sometimes, all have times when we can't be bothered, or would prefer to be on MN or whatever.

It's about being happy and fulfilled. For some people, that happiness and fulfilment comes from being at home full time, and from not being torn in too many different directions, but others need to feel that they have a role outside the home as well. There isn't any right or wrong way, but a parent who is happy and fulfilled is likely to be a better parent than one who is not, whether they WOH or SAH.

I know this only too well, as I grew up with a SAHM who most definitely wasn't fulfilled by being at home, and I think we'd all have been happier had she gone out to work instead. That's not to say that everyone should go out to work, just that it is the right thing for some people. And if it's right for them, it is probably better for their children.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:32:26

Well said jinsei

StuntGirl Sun 23-Jun-13 23:33:06

I'm just shocked at the fact that virtually all the mums I met on mat leave went back to work 3/4 days and put their kids ito nurseries, even though they didn't need the money.

There's more to life than money. And there's more to life than motherhood.

There's a personal balance to be had love, and you are failing to comprehend that.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:36:50

Maybe Jinsei.

But I can't get beyond the arguments made in favour of WOH because they are all about the parents and what they want. Look at your second paragraph. All about being a fulfilled parent. Not what's best for the child.

It's 2 or 3 years of dedicating yourself to your kids - isn't that worth a bit of 'god I'd kill for some adult stimulation right about now'?

But you make calm and sensible points which give me food for thought. I just have to put the DC at the centre of it and when I read posts that are all about the parents and their wellbeing being prioritised over the child I find it hard. I've had ten years of a great career, focusing on myself and what I want - to focus on what a little amazing human I made and do what's best for him seems obvious for a while. And not just 6 months mat leave but a few years before he's eased off to school.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:39:43

Stunt girl - but can't that balance be more linear time wise? As in, career and self, then time focused solely on DC, then back to self? Careers last 50 years, toddlerhood lasts about 3 years. Do people really feel they've lost balance by dedicating themselves to one thing for a short time?

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 23:40:12

so essentially,you're suiting yourself,your priorities.that post is all 1st person you
and conversely I chose work,We chose nursery as that suits us
and all families fit in around what suits them

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 23:40:18

Sounds like your only having one amazinggg most people have more kids than that

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 23:40:55

How can it only be two or three years of dedicating yourself to your kids if you don't believe in childcare for under threes? If you have more than one kid, then you're looking at 5-6 years minimum really. That's a long time to be out of work.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 23:42:31

And surely you wouldn't go straight from no childcare to full time childcare? So if you're at home till they go to school, it's creeping up to 7/8 years.

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 23-Jun-13 23:42:49

But it's not '2-3 years' for most people. If you have two children and stay at home until the youngest is 3 it could well be 5 years+. Why should someone to stay at home for 5 years if they don't want to?

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:43:07

No pete we want at least one more. I just don't see it as very feminist to devalue childcare as much as it is on this thread. It's possible, or should be possible, to combine success in career with takin actual time to look after your own children. But it seems from this thread that most women don't want to do it. Am quite shocked.

farewellfarewell Sun 23-Jun-13 23:44:42

Well you have made plenty of calm and sensible points yourself Amazinggg and may have given others food for thought. It isn't one size fits all, most of us are just doing our best.

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 23-Jun-13 23:45:26

There are very few careers where someone can take 5 years out and get back to same level they left at.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:45:44

Ok (lots of cross posts) a question back!

If you could have taken time out with your children and been guaranteed not to have lost pace career wise on return say 5/6 years later, would you have done it? Or would you still have worked and used childcare when they were toddlers because you wanted to work right at that point int time iyswim, not just as time invented into future career prospects?

Gah waffly.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:46:42

Invested not invented

scottishmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 23:47:46

I've never devalued childcare staff.thats usually the precious moments crew do that
as I said We've benefitted from nursery and hold staff in high regard
but I'm not prepared to give up years to be housewife.nor do I need to.fortunately I'm solvent

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 23-Jun-13 23:49:20

I hate to break it to you but lots of people don't particularly enjoy childcare. They're not judging you for wanting to do it. You're judging them for finding it unfulfilling. No one appears to be judging fathers for not sending in their notice as soon as the mother's paid maternity leave ends.

peteypiranha Sun 23-Jun-13 23:49:31

Amazingg I dont devalue childcare I have always worked and 24/7 cared for both my children. Still understand not everyone can do that, and a lot want a break or to pursue careers.

wickedwitchNE Sun 23-Jun-13 23:49:54

Jumping in here but the thing is Amazinggg you have inadvertendtly (I hope) belittled every other option no matter what the circumstances. My child will be worse off than yours, and there is nothing I can do about it. You are looking down on me whether you realise it or not, because your ever-present parenting is the 'only' way to do it.

At 3 months pregnant, a newbie to parenting and MN, and having spent a very stressful 2 hours earlier trying to work out childcare options, your earlier posts especially are so judgemental they completely freaked me out. But I have no choice, we cannot afford a SAHP. How is it helpful judging other mothers, apart from maybe making yourself feel better?

Apologies if I am being over-sensitive - I do accept this is AIBU so slap on the wrist for reading all 17 pages whilst already stressing out about doing the right thing. FWIW I agree about nurseries for young children. And OP, it sounds like you can afford it about as much as I can, I would follow the advice on here to discuss with DP/consider pt work.

monicalewinski Sun 23-Jun-13 23:49:58

Amazinggg my children were both in full time child care from 6 months, in fact whilst on maternity leave with the youngest my eldest continued at nursery for 3 hours a day because he enjoyed it.

Are my children "damaged" at all? Are they fuck. They are now 8 & 11 and love their mother very much. You have really pissed me off on this thread - most posts were giving advice to the OP (who never came back??) and were respectful of others choices / lifestyles but you are downright offensive.

Nobody gives a shit what YOU think is best for OUR children, so piss off and preach elsewhere.

(caveat: I am wholly supportive of choice, SAHP or otherwise - each family does what they think is best for them and that's just fine IMO).

TwasBrillig Sun 23-Jun-13 23:50:49

When I lived on the edge of london lots and lots of mums went back to work (mainly part time, but a mix).

Where I live now (mixed area but less m/c) I don't know any couples where both work full time. Most have a SAHM, and those that work p/t often have "mum" around to help.

I keep thinking about returning to teaching and I've actually been told its unfair on my children to do 7.30-5.30 with a cm, and very unfair for the little one starting school to do cm/school/cm so young. I think that would be the normal view around here.

I think nationally its a low percentage of families that have have an under 3 year old and both work f/t isn't it? (That unpopular book by Oliver James quotes statistics but I cant recall).

I would love to be in Jensis position - 4 hours with a nanny in own home would be a great way to enable me to work! Or a local grandparent. Again in london, lots of people away from home. IN this area quite a few youngish mums with youngish parents willing to help.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:52:38

Yes, to answer that question I believe I would still have continued to work while my children were young, amazingg

All your arguments are based on the premise that a child up to a specific age should ideally always be cared for by a parent. Which is fine if that's the view you hold for yourself. It's not a view which everyone shares, and hence people don't all do the same as you.

The problem is essentially that while WOHM seem (in the main) to be able to get their heads round the fact that SAHP are making a valid choice if its something agreed on by both partners, you seem unable to accept that parents who work and use childcare are making a less valid choice, and that they are being selfish.

wickedwitchNE Sun 23-Jun-13 23:52:52

Have to just add in - I agree you have also made lots f calm and sensible posts, particularly in the last few pages. So not whinging about everything you have said! And I didn't mean to single you out. Your name just stuck in my head along with some of the earlier comments, despite reading so many different arguments on this.

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 23-Jun-13 23:53:01

I am in the position of being able to work from home. Most people aren't.

I have a lovely relative who hated every second at home. She went back as soon as she possibly could. Her DC have a nanny. No one's ever asked her DH why he didn't stay at home with them even though she earns more than 3x his salary.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:54:01

Argh! That should read 'you seem unable to accept that parents who work are making an equally valid choice

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 23:55:40

I was itching to go back to work when my year's maternity leave was up. Only part time, because I was lucky enough to have that as an option, but I was certainly keen to be doing other things than full time childcare and housekeeping.
I'm currently on maternity leave again for another year, and have continued to send DC1 to his childminder part time because he enjoys it.

janey68 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:56:07

Actually- what monicalewinski says. Spot on.

Amazinggg Sun 23-Jun-13 23:57:49

Haha Janeyi was going to agree with you there but thought it would be a bit snarky grin

Wickedwitch I'm sorry. Tbh now is a good time to develop a very thick skin about what other people think about your parenting choices, as everyone has opinions on it! Luckily it's only on MN that people spout opinions so freely though. Please try not to take my view to heart - I'm clearly in the minority. Read lots of threads on the subject for a more balanced view is my advice.

scottishmummy Mon 24-Jun-13 00:01:23

wickedwitch,you need to toughen up prepare for the facehmm,the precious moments crew
whilst mn doesn't represent all life,it does give window on a certain type you'll meet
and you need to be able to deflect that,and do your thing.guilt free

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 00:06:20

Look at all the options available to you wickedwitch, really take your time over choosing the right childcare for your child (which won't necessarily be the most expensive or ofsted 'outstanding' ones.)
Then toughen up and ignore the doom and gloom merchants who want to believe that your child will somehow have less favourable outcomes because you've worked. Take if from the many many working mums and dads on here who have teenage / adult children who are absolutely fine.

wickedwitchNE Mon 24-Jun-13 00:12:05

I know, and I can appreciate my post is self-centred(?) and doesn't add much to the discussion. Just a little surprised at how the discussion ended up when most posters essentially agreed on the OP's circumstances.

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 00:19:30

But I can't get beyond the arguments made in favour of WOH because they are all about the parents and what they want. Look at your second paragraph. All about being a fulfilled parent. Not what's best for the child.

But that's the point really - what is best for the parent often is what is best for the child. Some parents take time off to be at home with the children, and then find that they can't get back in to the workplace when their children are older. It isn't always that easy - their skills may be out of date, there are gaps in their CVs, or they may simply have lost confidence. For some, this may not be a big deal and they are content to stay at home. For others, it may be devastating.

My mother was happy enough at home when we were small, but she suffered on and off with major depressive episodes all through my teens and early twenties. She was isolated and unfulfilled at home, particularly as DSis and I were getting older and becoming more independent. She deeply regretted having lost her career, hated not having an independent source of income or pension, and believed that she had wasted her potential. She tried to hide all of this from us but failed miserably, and I spent a good part of my teenage years feeling intensely guilty for the choices that she had made, supposedly for our benefit. I often felt more like a parent than a child, and it was incredibly difficult to leave home when I finally did, as I felt awful for abandoning her to her empty nest. I wish for her sake and mine that she had kept her career. SAH just wasn't right for her, and in the long term, it did her children no favours either.

I really would not want any other young person to feel so responsible for the happiness of his/her parents like I did. I think parents must take responsibility for their own happiness and fulfillment themselves, and if that means that both parents WOH, then I think it's a small price to pay.

FWIW, I think it's probably just as damaging for someone to WOH if they desperately want to SAH instead, but I have no personal experience of this. Either way, I'm firmly of the view that happy parents will produce happy kids, while unhappy parents will struggle not to share at least a little of that unhappiness.

Bessie123 Mon 24-Jun-13 00:19:53

I have finally read all the thread - where did the op go???

I can't believe anyone would think them being a working parent is better for their children. Of course it is better for your children if you can be a stay at home mum. They will be more secure and they will be happier.
however they will also be happier if you can take them to Disneyland and buy them a pony, doesn't mean you need to sacrifice everything so they can have it.

Having worked full time, part time and not at all, my dc have definitely preferred me being a sahm. It's not possible in the long term and I will be going back to work full time. But I hope I won't get defensive about it; it is the best decision for our family as a whole, even if it is not what my dc would choose.

I don't really understand why there is always a bunfight about sahm vs wohm. Of course, everyone secretly judges everyone else on some level but so what? If you are happy with your decision why is there always this squabbling about it? And I never understand why people try to justify their decision to go back to work by saying they want their daughter to see a working mother. As if women in the 21st century are not able to understand the idea of a woman with a career. If you want to go ack to work then go, don't use some lame excuse to justify yourself, it's really not necessary.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 00:22:56

If you're new to MN you may not realise that this is a thread which goes round and round periodically.
Most people are really balanced and sensible in their views, and accept that being a good, loving parent is not something which comes with a script of how you should precisely live life.
There are a small minority who can't get their heads around that...and think there is only ONE way. Xenia, who believes all women should return to work full Time immediately after pushing out the placenta, and the couple of posters on this thread who believe childcare is the work of the devil and the mother should give up work and be there 24/7.
As a pregnant woman or a new mum, you can often feel rather vulnerable and it's not helpful to have people judging you and your family like this.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 00:23:24

That was to wicked witch

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 00:32:48

If you could have taken time out with your children and been guaranteed not to have lost pace career wise on return say 5/6 years later, would you have done it? Or would you still have worked and used childcare when they were toddlers because you wanted to work right at that point int time iyswim, not just as time invented into future career prospects?

Depends. We needed my income anyway, but if money had been no object, I probably would have taken a longer break - but that would have been for my benefit more than for dd's!! smile I genuinely feel that dd gained so many positive benefits from our childcare arrangements that I wouldn't have wanted to SAH for her benefit. However, I would have found it much easier to be at home for a bit longer when she was very small as I continued to bf and found it tough getting up in the night and then having to go into work like a fully functioning human being!

If I had not had access to brilliant childcare, again, I might have stayed at home for a bit longer if that had been an option.

MummytoKatie Mon 24-Jun-13 00:35:42

But I can't get beyond the arguments made in favour of WOH because they are all about the parents and what they want. Look at your second paragraph. All about being a fulfilled parent. Not what's best for the child.

Then you haven't read one of my earlier posts! My main reason for working is that this means we have two income streams. So if something goes wrong with one of them the consequences for the children are actually pretty small. (We could live on either one if we needed to.)

Being able to provide security for our children IMO is probably the most important thing I do as a parent.

Plus I do think you are a bit hypocritical here - you are the SAHM and your dh has the career because that is what you two wanted - the other way round would provide more security / resources for your child without compromising the "at home" parent.

MummytoKatie Mon 24-Jun-13 00:47:54

If you could have taken time out with your children and been guaranteed not to have lost pace career wise on return say 5/6 years later, would you have done it? Or would you still have worked and used childcare when they were toddlers because you wanted to work right at that point int time iyswim, not just as time invented into future career prospects?

If what you are saying is if I could have had longer as maternity leave with a job guaranteed at the end then I would have taken a bit longer. (I took the full year allowed.) Not least because when I went back dd still wasn't sleeping and I have to get up earlier on work days!

How long I would have dragged my "maternity leave" out I'm not sure. Dh was made redundant soon after I went back so I suspect I would have rushed back in a panic then.

It's hard to know though as I know things I didn't know then. (Including how well dd bonded to her key carer at nursery.)

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 00:51:41

But you make calm and sensible points which give me food for thought.

Thank you btw. But I must make the point that we WOHMs also put our children's needs first in many ways, even if we might choose to work for ourown wellbeing.

A few people have commented on my childcare arrangements when dd was small. They were ideal in many ways, as they allowed DH and I to share most of the care between us while having a fantastic nanny to cover a few extra hours. However, there was a downside - I would work in the mornings while the nanny was at home, return at lunchtime and spend the afternoon/early evening with dd and then go back to work when she was asleep and DH was at home. It was a very long day and I was exhausted, but I valued having the time with dd in the afternoons while keeping up my career.

There are always compromises to be made. Just depends which ones work best for your own family.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 24-Jun-13 06:22:49

It's impossible to go from "in general children are better off being cared for by a parent" to "this individual child is better off..." because it depends on the parent and it depends on the childcare. I've seen lovely nurseries and I've seen nurseries I wouldnt trust with my dog, never mind my child. If you're a high earning family with a mother who has little interest in toddlers and wants to work FT, and can afford a Norland nanny or a lovely nursery then that's completely different set of options to a low earning family with a very engaged mother who loves toddlers but would only be able to afford a pretty basic nursery that bumps up against the max ratios.

It's very easy for affluent women who can afford genuinely good childcare to say everyone should do it, but I can completely understand the the other view if you can't afford childcare you'd be happy with. I do agree that the more women that remain in the workplace, the better for all women in the workplace BUT more women in the boardroom means more women all the way down the chain, including shitty jobs with no prospects. Those women, and critically, their children, might well be better off in a SAHM set up.

So basically my point is that it's not a one size fits all solution.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 06:49:08

Richmanpoorman - your final sentence sums it up.
What a pity that a tiny minority can't accept that and feel that those of us who don't do it their way, are wrong.

It's still unclear exactly what is wrong though, because every time one of us asks for an explanation of how we are letting our children down, there is no clear answer. The closest we've got is the hilarious 'young children just should be with a parent all the time!!

Those of us who've been in this game a long while and have teenagers or grown up children who are happy and well adjusted are also conveniently ignored. Interestingly we're the ones who often had much shorter maternity leaves too. How inconvenient that our children haven't suffered in some way,,. I suspect the real issue here as I said earlier is that the extremists resent the fact that women can combine work with parenting without any negative impact. Speaks volumes, it really does.

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 06:54:30

Well I've always worked for my own pleasure and wishes. DH earns silly money so I don't have to.

I've always been able to work around my DC so why shouldn't I? I tried being a SAHM, didn't like it. At all.

Now just because I'm lucky enough to be able to work as I do, should I insist that others not work just because they need to use childcare?

Can I really know enough about their arrangements and familes to make general pronouncements? Nah. I'm not that arrogant.

Also, I do wonder why it's okay for the men to go to work? Why is it okay for them not to put their career on hold just for a few years ? Why are they capable of working and being good parentrs/

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Jun-13 07:18:27

I often wonder if SAHPs that assert "Kids are better off with mum" have ever asked an older child/adult how they feel or what they remember about childhood.

I was with my mum until I was 2, then I went to a childminder. I don't have a single memory of that period. I vaguely remember my CM picking me up from infant school, because it was a different walk home. But I have no memory at all of being with mum or CM.

DSD was with a CM from 3 months, and then at a nursery until she went to school. I don't see that she has had a better or worse relationship with her mum.

DH is a SAHP (still) aside from the period of about a year age 2-3 when she went to a nursery. She's only 8 now. She remembers the names of 2 girls she was in nursery with, but nothing else it seems. She doesn't remember crying to go to nursery when she had chicken pox, or crying when we left UK because she was going to miss Sarah (her key worker). In fact she doesn't remember things that DH did with her either, like the trips to town just to chase pigeons, or me coming out of work to take her swimming.

If you assert that being a SAHM is BEST for child, what do you base that on?

MumnGran Mon 24-Jun-13 07:20:08

I have made this point before, on another thread which evolved into this same old/same old argument, but it bears repeating.......
The reason women today are able to work after marriage (or at all ) is because of the fight and determination of previous generations - the struggle had gone on for years.

The fight was to give women freedom of choice!! to open the door for those who wanted to have careers to be able to do so, to divorce and be allowed to keep their children, to not be beaten by husbands and have it seen as acceptable behaviour by the police, to break through 'glass ceilings' ....and hundreds of other smaller ways in which women were second class citizens in law. My generation, and those before us, fought for the right to live life as equals.

The battles were not fought so that women could then criticise the choices that other women make!! It demeans everything about the very real struggle to have those choices. It brings shame on all women, IMHO, when there are vicious attacks by those who choose one way on those who choose another and, personally, I will never understand the motivations of either camp. Perhaps it is that women have forgotten how it was to live without the right to choose freely. I am very aware that for some women, there is genuinely no choice because of finances - but that is not the discussion, here

It took so long to achieve the rights that we have today, and fight off the denigration of women, by men ....only for us to apparently turn on each other sad

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 07:46:44

Lteevdallas- not sure I agree with the detail of your post, because children are shaped by experiences which aren't in their conscious memory too... But the general point you make is absolutely right- the people who bang on about children needing to have a SAHP are not actually basing it on anything other than their own gut feeling that its what they want for their family.

Those of us who are WOHP aren't trying to claim some moral high ground and say we're doing something better. We're simply pointing out that we have combined working with parenting without any detrimental impact. We're not saying everyone else has to do it just because we have.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Jun-13 07:58:26

No, absolutely not Janey, and I get your point.

Personally I don't actually care what anyone does with their child, aside of abuse obviously, but to assert that one way or any other is better is strange to me, as how do you quantify that? How do you prove it?

flowery Mon 24-Jun-13 07:58:59

Amazingg thank you for answering the question. I'm intrigued by this though:

"It's not some kind of performance, being a parent, the child isn't judging you. You can have bad days."

Well, yes. I know I can have bad days. But actually I'm not sure the lesson of everything not being focused on them and mummy has bad days is one a two year old particularly needs to learn. I think it's more important to limit those bad days as far as possible.

I also know for a fact that my children benefit from me being happy when I am with them, because I see it myself.

I'm not going to pretend I went back to work part time purely for their benefit, but the positive impact my well-being has on them definitely made the decision easier.

flowery Mon 24-Jun-13 08:00:42

Oh, and I'm equally sure that my DH, who works pretty long hours, is not a worse parent because of that. Just as I have no reason to suppose that you are a better parent than your own DH purely because you are there more of the time.

Good parenting isn't purely about quantity.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 24-Jun-13 08:30:31

I must admit I agree wholeheartedly with flowery, jinsei and others who have said them working (part time? Can't remember) is much better for their family as a whole, because of their own wellbeing. If course children are going to be happier if their parents are happy and fulfilled. It's not selfish to put your own needs as a mother up there with the needs of your children. They need happy parents and for some, SAHM does not equal happiness.

Having a year off on mat leave after dc2 led to me being diagnosed and treated for PND. I now know it was a lack of me time and structure that caused it, as well as a lack of anything other than my children in my life.

Went back full time and hated not being with them, plus all the logistical stress of having household and toddlers.

Went back part time and achieved perfect balance. I'm fulfilled and refreshed, have structure in my week, LOVE my time with my children. They are DEFINITELY happier now than they were.

Chunderella Mon 24-Jun-13 09:02:03

Glad to see the debate has improved slightly, although we're still getting a few posters who think that what they have to say about the issue is sufficiently definitive that they don't need to offer any evidence for their absolutes. I doubt they are renowned child psychologists, so until they prove otherwise I am laughing at their arrogance.

Anyway, I think two points need to be made:

1. The question about whether we would work if we could be guaranteed our places back on the ladder in 5 years was an interesting one. But it is totally divorced from the current reality (and I realise amazinggg didn't claim otherwise). Most people don't have the luxury of a career they can easily pick up again after a long absence. This matters not just because of the parental fulfilment issue, but because of cold hard cash. I assume we're all aware of the current economic situation. Well the prognosis isn't brilliant and most seem to agree that we're moving away from the safety net. Things are not going to get easier. Sure, some people are rich enough for this not to be a concern, but the financial security of the family is something that most of us do (or should!) take very seriously.

If one of you SAHs for long enough to make themself unemployable in their field, which is the reality in many jobs, you're potentially going to be absolutely fucked if the breadwinner is ill, or dies, or loses their job. These things happen all the time. Someone claimed upthread that the benefits system will step in if things are that bad, but that's bollocks. If you have an earning partner, not so much. Let's say you're in London, 1 DC, DH on 26k, a mortgage. That's above the tax credits threshold, you'll get no council tax benefit and housing benefit won't apply. You'll be doing very well to manage on that one salary and CB only. Unless you bought years and years ago, realistically you're going back to work and aren't going to have a lot of choice in the matter.

So giving up isn't just about the current financial situation, it's about security. Those of us who spent large chunks of our childhoods on benefits can attest to how hard it can be- and it'll get harder. I do not suggest this is a reason not to SAH, although it's one thing that motivates DH and I to both work, but it isn't something to be taken lightly either.

2. Amazinggg has said she doesn't accept that DC are better off with parents who aren't bored, unhappy etc due to being at home. Well, we know that many people become depressed without work. Those of us who grew up with a depressed parent will no doubt have stories of how difficult it was. As such, there are some cases where it will indeed be better for the DC to have a happy parent who works than a depressed one who doesn't.

Exactly, I grew up with a mother who had mental health problems due to having had to give up work and it was much better for all of us when she went back to work.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 10:28:49

this thread is still plodding on? Wow!
Seriously people, if you're confident and content with your choices, you don't have to defend them on mumsnet.
Or anywhere.
Reading the last few pages has reinforced my number one pet peeve about mumsnet and parenting fora in general:
People Don't Read Properly.
Several posters have misquoted, misconstrued, deliberately misunderstood, misinterpreted, taken out of context and made various assumptions based on their own prejudices.
Read The Thread Properly.
And Don't Contribute If You Haven't Read The Whole Thread.

flowery Mon 24-Jun-13 10:45:56

Stepaway any chance of an answer to my earlier question about whether you feel home schooling is better for every child, or whether it's only preschool children you feel must be with someone who loves them 24-7?

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 10:56:16

I've never suggested that children should be at home 24/7, but that children prefer being with their parents, which is hardly the most outrageous or controversial statement.
Certainly I believe babies/toddlers are better off with a sahp if the sahp wants to be sahp and the home environment is healthy and safe. Again, I'm shocked if anyone finds that a controversial or inflammatory statement.
Also, the 'end result' (and I have two older kids including one teen) can't just be measured by anecdotal remarks like 'mine are all grown and don't remember anything about their babyhood/toddler years/childhood because anyone who knows anything about psychology knows that we're shaped by unconscious as well as conscious experience.
I use daycare. I use a cm and holiday clubs. But I don't ever try to pretend that it's better my kids go there than be looked after at home. School isn't daycare (as my teacher friends constantly point out, since some parents fail to grasp that)
I am someone who has used a nursery for a baby, but can also acknowledge that being looked after by me or their dad at home would've been better. If that's arrogant or controversial, that's fine. We're not on the same page. That's fine.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 11:01:39

Yes, that's what you believe. But many of us with teenagers know that our children have not been adversely affected by having been in childcare. And yes, we know children are shaped by experiences of which they have no conscious memory- I made that point earlier today.
We're not trying to say childcare is 'better' than being with a parent. It's different. That doesn't make it better - or worse. Just a different experience, which for many of is ultimately as good as having been at home full time would have been. I don't see what's so controversial about that frankly.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Jun-13 11:15:23

Also, the 'end result' (and I have two older kids including one teen) can't just be measured by anecdotal remarks like 'mine are all grown and don't remember anything about their babyhood/toddler years/childhood because anyone who knows anything about psychology knows that we're shaped by unconscious as well as conscious experience.

But what does that even mean

Certainly I believe babies/toddlers are better off with a sahp

How can you say that? How do you know that they are better off?

I don't say that being a SAHM is better that a WOHM, or vice versa. I don't say that a child is better off at home than at a nursery.

I don't say it because I don't know that. I have never seen anything that proves or disproves either statement.

I am simply curious to get an answer from those posters that do assert that one way is better than another. How do those posters know that is the case.

I can see how you would prove it was better for the parent in specific cases, for and against childcare - but those posters specifically pointed out that it was better for the children. Well how do you measure that. Has anyone had a teen approach them thanking mum for staying at home with them when they were a baby?

I'm genuinely interested smile

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 11:20:08

where we disagree is that you believe external childcare providers can be just as good as parental care.
I will never ever pretend to believe that, despite having used some brilliant daycare providers over the past 13 years or so and continuing to use them today.
Parental care is better. It's dishonest to claim otherwise.
I did lol at the person who asked me to quantify why children are better cared for by their parents and it did make me wonder at the sort of parenting they do.
Unless you have an unstable, unhappy home environment, it's the best place to raise kids, especially babies/toddlers.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 11:25:55

I could paste links to research and studies carried out which add weight to my posts, but won't bother cos I don't need to and won't try to justify. No need.

flowery Mon 24-Jun-13 11:27:42

Who mentioned being at home 24-7?

You feel all children are better off being (and therefore presumably should be) cared for someone who loves them rather than involving any professional childcare.

You mentioned yourself that the reason you are better as a carer than your childminder is that you love them.

I just wondered whether the view that children are better off with someone who loves them extends to school-age children.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 11:28:41

But childcare doesn't replace parental care. It is an experience which some parents use in some form for some of the time . It's pointless to say 'parental care is better' because you're not comparing like with like. I didn't send my children to nursery for parental care- they went there for a different experience which was part of their overall life experience. Not 'better' or 'worse' than not going would have been. Just different.

I know that my now teenage children have not been adversely affected by having been to nursery and a cm.
As the thread has progressed, it's become clear that you do actually believe, stepaway, that your child has a less positive life experience overall due to the time she spends in childcare. That's very sad for you, to be in a situation where you have no choice but to put up with a situation you feel is less good. BUT - we come back to the crux of the issue here- you cannot extrapolate from that, that all parents who use childcare feel the same as you do.

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 11:32:18

Who outsources all parental care to child care providers? I mean who?

I don't know anyone!

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 11:33:36

But childcare doesn't replace parental care. It is an experience which some parents use in some form for some of the time . It's pointless to say 'parental care is better' because you're not comparing like with like. I didn't send my children to nursery for parental care- they went there for a different experience which was part of their overall life experience. Not 'better' or 'worse' than not going would have been. Just different.

I know that my now teenage children have not been adversely affected by having been to nursery and a cm.
As the thread has progressed, it's become clear that you do actually believe, stepaway, that your child has a less positive life experience overall due to the time she spends in childcare. That's very sad for you, to be in a situation where you have no choice but to put up with a situation you feel is less good. BUT - we come back to the crux of the issue here- you cannot extrapolate from that, that all parents who use childcare feel the same as you do.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 11:37:28

Oops posted twice there.
I'm glad you didn't bother linking to 'research' too... That quickly becomes a tired game of batting back and forth with people quoting 'research' to conclude whatever point they want to conclude!

Parenting is far more profound than googling a bit of research to tell you how to make decisions. Good, loving parents make decisions from the perspective of knowing their own child best .

ouryve Mon 24-Jun-13 12:15:51

Yet another SAHM/WOHP thread rages on.

Just a reminder that the OP's plans put the H bit under serious threat, so it wasn't exactly a straight choice.

Chunderella Mon 24-Jun-13 12:27:03

You do need to, stepaway. If you want to not look like you don't know shit, anyway. For the record, I don't use childcare and was never in it myself either.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 12:35:25

Chund, I don't care if I look like I 'don't know shit' cos what people who've never met me on the interweb think of me is so far off my radar almost to be invisible.

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 12:52:51

stepaway you are funny grin.

I know I'm right and everyone else is wrong.
And I have evidence.
But I'm not showing you.
Nuh huh.
And I don't care that it makes me look a twat...

that's fortunate!

Mycatistoosexy Mon 24-Jun-13 13:39:30

Wow they are a lot of people on here desperate to justify their lives to random strangers and hoik up some serious judgey pants.

If you have to work, you have to work.
If you want to work, you want to work.
If your child is in childcare, that's up to you.
If you SAH with them, that's up to you.

However I will add that as a child we lived without any spare money and that fact alone did not make my childhood unhappy.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 13:45:53

Yeap very true

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 13:52:17

I don't personally feel any need to justify my choices. I am content that we have done what is right for our family and that's all that matters om that front.

However, I am interested in challenging some of the negative stereotypes about WOHMs/childcare, as I have seen how these can impact on women's decisions, and how people can feel guilted into making choices that may not be right for them. Stereotypes about SAHMs are probably equally unhelpful.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 13:57:55

*stepaway you are funny grin.
I know I'm right and everyone else is wrong.
And I have evidence.
But I'm not showing you.
Nuh huh.
And I don't care that it makes me look a twat...
that's fortunate*

This is called confidence.
I don't have to prove anything, especially not to faceless strangers on t'interweb. I indulged in that shit when I was 10 years younger and desperate to justify why I was leaving dd1 in a nursery.
Not any more.
If I wanted to, I could type out a fucking essay detailing the many and varied reasons why I reached the conclusion I did. But I simply can't be arsed, because no matter how compelling, accurate or persuasive, a dozen mumsnetters would come back with aggressive rebuffs, over half of which would contain no reference to anything I'd said since they hadn't bothered to read it through properly. And it would change nothing, not least their opinions.
It's as frustrating as shovelling snow when it's still snowing.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 14:00:44

and like I said before, truly happy
people do NOT have to return on threads like this time after time with long and detailed defense of their lives playing sham clubbing bingo ad infinitum. It is dull.

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 14:02:03

And it would change nothing, not least their opinions.

Too right. 'Coz we have confidence too. And experience to back it up.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 14:02:48

Too right. 'Coz we have confidence too. And experience to back it up.

said the 14 year old to her playground nemesis... sigh

FasterStronger Mon 24-Jun-13 14:26:12

It's as frustrating as shovelling snow when it's still snowing

then don't grin grin grin

HazleNutt Mon 24-Jun-13 14:56:53

So it's fine for one person to say that "I have confidence and I don't need to prove anything" but if the other says the same, they are 14-year olds in a playground? How exactly does that work?

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 15:14:34

A summary of step asides view:

I have worked and used childcare. I don't think it's the best thing for my children. I assume from my experience that everyone else believes the same as me, and if they say they don't, then they are deluding themselves.

Oh. My. Word.

Amazinggg Mon 24-Jun-13 15:33:21

Jinsei I agree that stereotypes aren't useful. To be honest this thread has been useful for me to have an insight into how all the many people I know who do work long hours with their toddlers in nursery feel.

But on MN and in my rl at least, particularly with the current backdrop - anyone who feels the way I and stepaway feel are very much outnumbered, disenfranchised, looked down on and misunderstood. Everywhere I am extorted to get myself back to work. Poor jobless me. I feel like I don't have a voice, especially politically, and as a SAHM who isn't a raging Tory, there aren't many avenues for discussing my view and having it accepted. I know at least I'm not alone in just knowing (mock away Janey) that a SAHP is best for toddlers and worth many many sacrifices. It's really hard to reconcile that with the real world, where of course women should have high powered careers and compete at the same level as men, and have fulfilling lives outside the home. But now as a parent, I'm looking at it from the kids' viewpoint and it's a Catch 22. The best thing IMO for most people (as not many people want o e at home 24/7 with kids, perfectly understandably) is being able to both go part time and share childcare. As long as we have such a long hours culture then it's impossible IMO to put the children genuinely first.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 15:48:12

I think you're assuming a victim mentality amazinggg.
You are ignoring the fact that while you think everyone who works and uses childcare is somehow not doing the best for their children, the WOHM on here are not dismissing your views in the same arrogant way. We've all said: fine, stay at home if you want to: it's yours and your partners decision.
The only poster I have ever come across who holds opposite but equally bigoted views to you (ie that women MUST work and preferably as soon as pushing the placenta out) is Xenia, and afaik she hasn't commented on this thread.
The rest of us are saying, fine, don't work if you feel it's not best for your family. Just accept that it doesn't mean working and using childcare is detrimental for everyone else.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 15:55:48

Oh and as for the sneering 'mock away janey': get your facts straight.
No one has mocked at the fact that you know what's best for your children. People have quite rightly laughed in disbelief at your assertion that you just know what's best for everyone else's.

Chunderella Mon 24-Jun-13 15:57:19

If you didn't care stepaway you wouldn't have responded. And as for not being arsed to write an essay backing up your claims, you've probably spent just as much time constantly saying you don't have to. Actually providing an explanation or linking to something reputable would likely take less time, particularly as you show no signs of stopping. So I'm particularly glad that amazinggg has given us her kind permission to keep on mocking her, you, and anyone else who considers their say so to be definitive and their own experiences to be applicable to the entirety of the species.

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 16:03:10

If you woz properly confident, you wouldn't keep repeating yourself and coming back...says the poster repeating herslef and coming back...

grin grin grin...

Tell me I'm not the only one PMSL at that!!!!

FasterStronger Mon 24-Jun-13 16:03:11

amazing As long as we have such a long hours culture then it's impossible IMO to put the children genuinely first.

if you really think children are harmed by not having a SAHP, surely men are the worst offenders in your view, as they are least likely to SAH?

maybe you should be targeting men to encourage them to provide more childcare, not criticising women for not providing as much as you think they should?

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 16:27:03

amazinggg, I don't think we're in the minority either on here or in real life. I usually try to avoid threads like this because they always go the same way and are dominated by the same defensive posters, so other posters just steer away.
It's not that they don't exist, they just can't be arsed debating with people who'd argue the world is flat.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 16:29:42

and I bet the fast vanished original posters on threads like this set them up to play sham vs wohm bingo.
The bingo card was full about 3 pages ago, so game over.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:33:12

I think anyone who claims they know what's best for everyone else's children is going to be in a very small minority actually.

Don't kid yourselves you're part of some large group of intelligent, respectful mums who choose to be SAHM themselves but have the capacity to get their head round the fact that this isn't the only one best way to do things.

You hold the extremist and quite bizarre view, grounded in nothing other than 'just knowing ', that using childcare is bad for ALL families (with the possible exception of where the family is really abusive!) Yeap, definitely a minority view in RL and on here.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 16:36:53

What rubbish.
And you've clearly not read my posts properly or you'd know that I'm not a sahm. I work. I use daycare.
I worked full time in the past, too.
Jeez, read the thread properly or don't bother.
Leaving now, hiding thread. Truly bored of shovelling snow.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 16:38:24

I've never said daycare is bad.
Or don't contribute to it.

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 24-Jun-13 16:38:54

Off now. Won't engage with people who can't read properly.

janey68 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:44:18

I know you work and use childcare. You said you're not happy with it and believe that your child would have a better experience without it.
Amazingg has also revealed that her life would have a better balance if she had not had to give up work totally, but was able to work part time, with her husband doing likewise and sharing childcare.

So, given that two of you by your own admission are not spectacularly content with your lives, it really does come across as supremely ironic (as well as bizarre) to be telling the rest of us we're getting it wrong.

Many of us have said that we are happy with the balance of our working and home lives, our children are happy and our partners are happy. So really, this seems to be a case of two posters who aren't particularly happy with their own situation transferring their resentment onto families who are.

Chunderella Mon 24-Jun-13 17:07:44

I love it when people carry on the argument and then say they're going, in the same post. It's an attempt both to have the last word and to get the moral high ground, simultaneously. I'm afraid stepaway gets neither, in this instance.

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 17:26:34

said the 14 year old to her playground nemesis... sigh

grin Nah, my playground nemesis was intelligent enough to put together a coherent argument. None of this "I know it 'coz I know it" crap.

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 17:54:06

How can I possibly be defensive about someghting I haven't done?

I said I don't use childcare. I don't need to. I can work flexibly around my DC...

So when I say I don't think it much matters...that's what I think.

Jinsei Mon 24-Jun-13 18:10:17

I don't use childcare now either, word, as DH and I can work flexibly around dd's needs. And even the SAHMs on this thread have agreed that our previous childcare arrangements were "awesome" so I have no particular axe to grind. Hell, DH was a SAHD for just over a year!

SAH is obviously the best option for some families at some times, I have no quarrel with that. However, there is a huge leap from this to the assumption that having a SAHP is somehow best for all families - or at least, for all children - at all times. I don't need to justify my own choices to anyone, but I would struggle to ignore such erroneous logic.

Wishihadabs Mon 24-Jun-13 18:39:27

Sorry didn't come back ( busy in rl). Daftdame said something very pertinent earlier that successful SAHP generally quite like their own company, being at home and pottering (for want of a better word). I am realy not like this at all, I love the hustle and bustle of work, don't mind sleep deprivation. I only work pt but was gagging to get back to it after both maternity leaves.

Wishihadabs Mon 24-Jun-13 18:42:08

FWIW DH (who is more that way inclined) did SAH for 18 m whilst I worked ft (I am the higher earner). In the end he also preferred to spend some time WOH.

jellyandcake Mon 24-Jun-13 18:54:47

Keep getting sucked back into those thread! I'd love to stay at home with ds and can absolutely see how this would benefit him. However, this is not an option due to finances. What neither Amazinggg nor Stepaway have addressed is this - if you couldn't be the SAHP would you still be so insistent that a toddler needs a f/t parent at home? Because I would not be prepared to work long hours and be the sole breadwinner for ds to have a SAHP. Would you? And if one parent staying at home means the other is stressed, unhappy and sees little of their own child, can you really say that is best for the family?

I'd never criticise the choice to SAH and wish I could afford to make that choice myself. I can see how it benefits the child. But there are many varied and flexible childcare arrangements made by working families all the time that benefit everyone, including the children.

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