I can't ever imagine returning to work. And I'm quite happy with that

(390 Posts)
Anyfuckerisnotguilty Thu 09-Jan-14 14:43:14

Although I realise that makes me seem quite odd to others

But I actually really like not working and just being able to do whatever I want

tenementfunster Thu 09-Jan-14 14:44:49

Horses for courses, innit

ilovesooty Thu 09-Jan-14 14:45:53

I'm sure quite a lot of people would like to
do the same.

Lilacroses Thu 09-Jan-14 14:46:11

Good that you are happy. I don't think you're odd, I think many people would enjoy that situation and would be envious of you!

PedlarsSpanner Thu 09-Jan-14 14:46:26

Presumably money no object, no responsibilities, go ahead!

russianmule Thu 09-Jan-14 14:49:39

I like a bit of both, I work from home and have really busy periods and others that I do very little and do what I like. But I understand completely I love my days pottering in the garden and reading books. I am only 40 but sound absolutely ancient

You do what is right for you.

Joysmum Thu 09-Jan-14 14:49:43

I was the same. Things changed when my dd started at senior school in September and now I'm heading back into college to train for my new career.

Be prepared for your biggest opposition to come from other women wink

SilverApples Thu 09-Jan-14 14:51:33

No, I'd love to retire right now and do whatever I want.
Continue it for as long as possible, OP. grin

Joules68 Thu 09-Jan-14 14:51:36

Depends on your circumstances I guess

Fairylea Thu 09-Jan-14 14:51:39

Same here.

Unless I was literally on the breadline I would not want to return to work. I worked in a very stressful senior position for many years and I have no desire to ever work ever again. Ever.


Middleagedmotheroftwo Thu 09-Jan-14 14:52:18

I'm in two minds. I love the thought of not having to work, but at the same time feel I ought to be an equal contributor in the marriage. I don't like the thought of DP earning all the money. I think it's pride.

My opinion is of no consequence anyway, because I don't really have a choice. We couldn't afford for either of us not to work.

Floggingmolly Thu 09-Jan-14 14:52:33

Me too smile

Floggingmolly Thu 09-Jan-14 14:53:23

That was to Fairylea

RayPurchase Thu 09-Jan-14 14:54:35

Me too smile

gamerchick Thu 09-Jan-14 14:55:16

I do both.. The stay at home have 6 hrs a day with house to myself while kids at school and husband at work and work 2 jobs at the weekend.

Best of both worlds grin

If you have the resource to stay home and you don't get bored then crack on.

JeanSeberg Thu 09-Jan-14 14:55:27

Depends who's financing it.

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 09-Jan-14 14:56:42

Must be lovely to have the choice. sad

I enjoy my life how it is at the moment, and I can afford not to work. My DH also works long hours and its hard to work arond him.

I would like to go back at some point I think, but right now, not so much.

Worriedthistimearound Thu 09-Jan-14 14:57:28

Each to their own. As long as you can afford it, either personally or as a family unit then who cares. If you're expecting the taxpayer to support you in this lifelong idleness then that's quite a different matter.

Beastofburden Thu 09-Jan-14 14:58:44

I think it goes in waves. I was completely happy at home for 7 years. Then I wasn't, so I went back to work. Now I am really looking forward to retirement smile

myitchybeaver Thu 09-Jan-14 14:59:07

If you can afford to and get self-esteem from other things then great, enjoy. If you're living on benefits and are fit enough to work or if your DH is slaving away while you sit with your feet up, maybe not.

MyNameIsWinkly Thu 09-Jan-14 14:59:21

If I was very very rich I would like not working, because I could have adventures and improve myself all the time. But I'm not, and I enjoy the structure and stimulation of working. Staying at home wouldn't suit me - but that isn't a criticism of those it does suit.

I am aware I may feel differently after DC1 joins us in the summer. Then again, I may not.

Kveta Thu 09-Jan-14 15:01:37

I feel the same right now. But suspect that once DD is at school I will feel differently.

at the moment, the idea of having to leave the house and interact with people in a professional manner brings me out in a cold sweat, but hopefully a bit more sleep of a night will remedy that!

Lilacroses Thu 09-Jan-14 15:02:53

I would love to win the lottery for the reason that my dp has worked so bloody hard all her life (even as a kid she was looking after her useless parents) and would so love to study at uni and work in an animal shelter. I think I need to do part time work at least otherwise I become very lazy and bored. I enjoy the stimulation of work but I HATE the paperwork.

Ilovexmastime Thu 09-Jan-14 15:03:45

Yabu. I'd love to never have to work again. I could easily fill my days with long walks, good books, new recipes, adult ed courses, gardening etc etc.

MillionPramMiles Thu 09-Jan-14 15:10:09

Perfectly reasonable but possibly naive/irresponsible if you don't also have independent long term financial security.

TheGreatHunt Thu 09-Jan-14 15:11:20

No need to tell the rest of us who would like but don't have this option.


SlightlyDampWellies Thu 09-Jan-14 15:14:21

Oh, I wish so much I could not work. Am very green of those who xan make that choice.

SlightlyDampWellies Thu 09-Jan-14 15:14:27



But I am the opposite. I can't imagine not working. And I assume people would think this was weirder.

I had 2 years in NYC when I didn't have a visa so couldn't work and DPs ex pat deal was so good I didn't need to. I was climbing the walls in boredom and lacking a sense of self and what I am for and about. I even wrote a (crap) novel to keep myself busy but it didn't really help.

Now that's weird.

planterbowl Thu 09-Jan-14 15:32:20

I bloody love not working. Haven't had a paid job for 15 years. I've done loads of courses, travel, sports, hobbies, and occasional volunteer work. It keeps me busy but I have the choice to have duvet days when I want.

Mordirig Thu 09-Jan-14 15:34:06

I don't blame you, however I'm quite happy with working only 2 days per week, I'm a SAHM mon-fri and the weekends keep me sane!

noddyholder Thu 09-Jan-14 15:35:10

You can as long as you can fund it.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 09-Jan-14 15:36:14


Geckos48 Thu 09-Jan-14 15:37:00

Totally up to you what you do.

I really enjoy working but I can definitely see the allure smile

MrsDavidBowie Thu 09-Jan-14 15:37:19

I didn't work for 7 years after having eldest dc.
I remember getting pregnant and thinking "thank god I don't have to come back to work".

I made lots of friends when the children were little, lots of swopping children so we got free afternoons regularly, really enjoyed it.
Got involved in PtA at school, but realised when ds was 5 I was bored.
Saw a great term time job in the paper...my ideal job.
And I' m still doing it 10 years later.

Pays peanuts, but it's so satisfying.

TheArticFunky Thu 09-Jan-14 15:39:25

I know lots of people in your position and they are genuinely happy with their lot. It's not for me though.

Anyfuckerisnotguilty Thu 09-Jan-14 17:07:24

we are not any benefits

BerniceBroadside Thu 09-Jan-14 17:14:51

As long as one remembers that a man (or woman) is not a financial plan then carry on.

If I won the lottery I'd gladly quit. It wouldn't be quite so much fun to stay at home on oh's salary eating aldi beans.

JackShit Thu 09-Jan-14 17:19:24

As long as you're not being 'kept' by a man.

usuallyright Thu 09-Jan-14 17:22:04

being 'kept'
What a hideous choice of words.

JeanSeberg Thu 09-Jan-14 17:37:01

Who is financing it then?

bebbeau Thu 09-Jan-14 17:37:31

i am the same, have done a bit of self employed work basically for pin money but pretty much stopped now am 6 months pg with dc3.....can't imagine going back to the 9-5 grind, working for someone else etc

i will probably have to though at some point as we are not rich by any stretch, just comfortable atm

TheNightIsDark Thu 09-Jan-14 17:38:53

I'm bursting to get back to work some days. Am currently on mat leave! Other days I quite like swanning around between school runs.

As long as you're funding this yourself, great.

Obviously I don't know your financial situation as your OP was quite vague.

However, I couldn't ever imagine a situation where I wasn't earning my own money. I'm single and have been for ages, which suits me, but were I to find a partner, there's no way I'd compromise my own earning potential. I'd also need to know that If the relationship broke down I could leave immediately and be fine on my own.

Too many of my friends have stopped earning and been forced to stay in awful relationships, desperately trying to "make it work" because they know they'd be fucked if they weren't with the man.

I know every couple is different, but that's my take on things.

Potus Thu 09-Jan-14 17:48:01

Are you independently wealthy? [Envy]

Potus Thu 09-Jan-14 17:48:35

Thar should be envy !

If you are individually wealthy enough not to work then fine - good luck to you. If your plan relies on a partner working to support you then your approach is only acceptable if your partner also buys into it. If they are happy to support you, then all well and good. If they would like you to share the burden to take the pressure of them and you won't, then not so good.

Your OP is too vague to know.

pinkdelight Thu 09-Jan-14 17:55:58

Depends what you do. If you're in the right job, work can be like play is to a child. I love working and would rather do it than have a holiday.

Spottybra Thu 09-Jan-14 18:00:38

Are you asking for opinions or making a statement?

I bloody love not juggling work, child care and children with a DH who works away.

But I always know that if something happened I would be able and willing to return to work and financially support my family.

AnyFucker Thu 09-Jan-14 18:01:08

I guess it depends on whether you have a fulfilling job/profession or not. I can't imagine not using the skills I have worked so hard for so many years to acquire. I work 2.5 days a week (with no penalty to pro rata pay/status) and it suits me just fine.

JapaneseMargaret Thu 09-Jan-14 18:05:54

Everyone likes to be able to do whatever they want in life! I certainly do. But, like most adults with children, I have responsibilities.

Most men don't have that choice. They have to work, unless they're part of that minuscule percentage who are independently wealthy. LOL at me being all 'what about the menz'. grin

annieorangutan Thu 09-Jan-14 18:10:59

I could never not work as all I would do is watch back to back jk and go down wetherspoons for lunch. I have to work else I would live like a tramp grin

jinxed13 Thu 09-Jan-14 18:14:28

Lucky you.
As long as your funding yourself then great.

Are you ?

daisychain01 Thu 09-Jan-14 18:15:14

anyf whether you are or are not on benefits, you have a right to share your thoughts and opinions about working/not working smile.

I think your point is that you don't feeling any big pull, or urge to work and that is fine. Some people feel that work defines them, very much their reason for getting up in the morning. Other people have no such need, they are happy being at home with DCs for eg.and that is great too. Isn't there a saying about looking back on your life, you'll never regret that you didn't spend more time in the office.

I have been off work since Christmas Eve and will go back to work on Monday so this past three weeks puts me in a position where it 'feels' like I haven't worked for aaages. It has been really lovely, pottering around at home, all my washing is up to date for the first time in a year (!) going shopping, chatting to my mum without having to watch the time, being on MN a bit too much

So, Monday will be a reality check having to get up at the crack of sparrow's fart and trudging into the office. But I am fortunate enough to enjoy my job, the people are lovely, I have never felt I cant stand being here. But I have been in jobs where I have hated every minute. I can identify with people whose experience of paid employment has largely been negative, it wont be a very appealing thought to return to work.

The 'rub' is of course around choice ! For some people there is no other option than to work, even if it means soul destroying work.

Enjoy life any way you can, its all there is!

NewtRipley Thu 09-Jan-14 18:18:07

I felt like this for quite a while, I think in some ways the family as a unit was happier because I never experienced stress. However I did experience boredom. I was SAHM for 10 years 9some of those doing voluntary work)

But I think it leaves you potentially vulnerable, financially and emotionally in the event of death, DHs illness or redundancy, or divorce.

You can always return to work if you have to, but it may be harder than you expect - depending what you are like. If you are like me, years out of the workforce resulted in a real dip in confidence.

NewtRipley Thu 09-Jan-14 18:20:30

... and yes, my DHs is happier because he feels there is less pressure on him.

likeit Thu 09-Jan-14 18:20:43

Good for you?!

Chottie Thu 09-Jan-14 18:30:29

I loved being at home too. I've been at SATM in the past and am now working full time. I look back on my SATM days with nostalgia when I drag myself out of bed at 6.00am every morning.......

Enjoy every moment and savour your freedom smile

Chunderella Thu 09-Jan-14 18:37:01

Yanbu to like not working and intend to continue in the same way if you can. Many people would feel the same! Risky little game if you're relying on someone else to fund it though, be it a partner (particularly if unmarried) or the benefits system. If it's your money, it's your business how you use it and you're the person best qualified to decide what has the best chance of making you happy.

Bodypopper Thu 09-Jan-14 18:38:14

Done both and now work part time so feel heat of both.

Good luck to you op it's lovely being at home.

FloozeyLoozey Thu 09-Jan-14 18:41:35

Each to their own but I would feel anxious and insecure if I didn't have my own income and had to rely on another person. Too much dependency for me.

AndHarry Thu 09-Jan-14 18:44:14

I was thinking about this the other day. I like working and go a bit nuts when I'm off for any extended period of time (maternity leave <shudder>).

fedup21 Thu 09-Jan-14 18:51:53

Bully for you. Is your husband bank-rolling your life forever? It would worry me that I'd be stuffed financially if he left me!

I'm sure lots of people would love to never work again as work, by it's very nature, isn't always fun!...but someone has to, in order to pay the bills. If I were the working person and my partner posted your post, I would become very resentful.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 09-Jan-14 18:56:51

Gosh...all these lucky women who don't need to work! And yes, I am jealous!

Lilicat1013 Thu 09-Jan-14 19:00:33

I sometimes feel like this. I don't work because I am a carer for my son. This is not optional either myself or my husband needs to be a stay at home parent and that person is me at the moment.

He starts school this year, likely part time and it got me thinking in a few years he will be in school full time and the little one will be in school.

Child care still wouldn't be an option for my eldest I don't think anywhere would be able to take him but during school hours I would be able to work so I should work.

It has just my last job was such hell it destroyed every big of confidence I had and a medical condition has meant I can go back to the area i always worked in and enjoyed working in.

I have to start all over again which is terrifying. I think I will probably take it slowly and start some courses as soon as the youngest gets his fifteen free hours and hopefully train to do something new.

If I was independently wealthy and work was a choice I would probably do loads of college courses or get a part time job. I would love to be able to do whatever I want and have complete freedom. At the moment although I don't work my day is decided by my children's needs, their activities and their appointments. I couldn't just decide to go to the cinema or the gym or something.

Anyway, if you are happy with your life enjoy it. I would suggest ensuring you are adequately prepared for the future in case your situation changes but aside from that enjoy your freedom!

foslady Thu 09-Jan-14 19:06:50

Hope your relationship is a very strong one.......I thank God I was working (albeit p/t) when my marriage collapsed.......

peevishcleavage Thu 09-Jan-14 19:19:22

Who's supporting you op?

bigkidsdidit Thu 09-Jan-14 19:24:06

I'm glad you can do what you want.

I will always work, always. My mum was at home for 10 years with us and my dad left. She had nothing, no pension, no savings in her name. It has made me absolutely determined that I will have my own pension.

Make sure your pension is sorted op smile

Eminybob Thu 09-Jan-14 19:24:52

I am immensely looking forward to maternity leave and would love the option to not have to go back but it just isn't an option financially for us. I do hope to take the full year though.

I've not had a break from work in my adult life (except annual leave) so am exhausted and so ready for it, but I may feel completely differently once I have been off for a while. I can't see myself going back to my current job though it's far too stressful. I find it difficult to switch off after work so can't imagine having to come home to take care of a child after a day at work.

GlitzAndGiggles Thu 09-Jan-14 19:37:40

I work part time but due to my hours I'm still pretty much free to do as I like after. If it was financially possible for me to never work again I'd love that but I can't see that happening. I like having my own money too

Potus Thu 09-Jan-14 19:45:38

I do wonder how women who feel its ok to sahm for years and years, were brought up. I mean, all the women in my family have always worked, whether through necessity or choice. My husband could easily support us but it wouldn't occur to me not to work.

What happened in the last say 20 years that women my age (late 30s) are happy to just sit back and let someone else take the financial slack? I must admit i do find it odd although as someone said upthread, horses fir courses. Can't all be down to childcare too expensive. Not when some women (and it is usually the woman) never go back to work at all after having children, even when they've left home.


Oblomov Thu 09-Jan-14 19:49:30

I like working. I can't imagine not working. 3 days work each week, works perfectly for me.

Ragwort Thu 09-Jan-14 19:52:36

I have really enjoyed not working for the last 10 years - I had a fab career in my 20s & 30s, we've paid off our mortgage, had a child in my 40s so it has been great to not have to work for someone else, my DH was very happy that I was a SAHM (he was self employed - did not have to work 100s of hours a week to 'finance' my lifestyle choice). I have done loads of different voluntary roles to use my skills & experience however circumstances have changed considerably and now I really need to find paid employment - not so easy in your mid 50s sad.

Unless you are 100% sure that you can financially afford never to work again it is a dangerous route.

Ragwort Thu 09-Jan-14 19:53:21

Oblomov - genuine question, if you 'can't imagine not working' - do you ever intend to retire? How will you cope with that?

akachan Thu 09-Jan-14 19:55:13

It's hardly a controversial view is it? How many people would work if they won the lottery. I actually really love my job but it's still a huge bar to me doing what I want on a daily basis. If I could I'd do a bit of charity work, study and potter about. Bliss!

NatashaBee Thu 09-Jan-14 19:56:12

Presumably you're funded by a partner - how do they feel about having sole responsibility for earning money? Do they pay into your pension/retirement savings on your behalf?

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 09-Jan-14 19:57:28

I love the novitey of the idea, but I wouldn't have a clue what to do with my time.

umiaisha Thu 09-Jan-14 20:01:35

Me too!

I gave up a managerial position a year and a half ago to be at home with the kids. Love my life now and fill my days doing things I actually want to do. Hopefully I will never have to work again.

DS is starting nursery in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to doing some voluntary work and maybe another dressmaking course.

I like working - I enjoy the challenge, the independence, the money and the professional development.

However I can see the attraction of pottering around at home smile

Mintyy Thu 09-Jan-14 20:05:23

Depends how long you've been doing it. I quite liked being sahm for the first 5 years. I wouldn't have wanted that to be the end of my working life, though.

Viviennemary Thu 09-Jan-14 20:06:51

That's fine if it suits you. And you are lucky to have the choice. A lot of people don't.

umiaisha Thu 09-Jan-14 20:08:48

Natashabee - he is happy with the arrangement. Probably because everything is a lot calmer now I am at home full time and he can get on with his very stressful job without having to get involved with school runs, pick ups etc which he had to do when I was working too.

Fortunately he earns a good wage and as we were previously losing most of my earnings to childcare it was a no-brainer for me to stay at home, especially as I hated my job anyway.

Fairylea Thu 09-Jan-14 20:09:18

I hate the way these threads always seem to attract people saying you might get divorced / your partner might die / how unfair it is to rely on one salary blah blah.

Yes. It all might collapse into a heap for some people. Maybe. But surely no one goes through life doing things just incase the worst happens?! Life is for living. If someone wants to stay home and their partner is happy to support them so what?! Why does the world and it's audience seem to feel the need to lecture them on it?

For what it's worth I have been divorced and left in terrible financial trouble - and this was when we were both working in senior positions, just he was crap with money. So I know how shit things can be. And yes I am lucky in that due to a previously high income I am now in a position to be able to buy a house outright should dh and I ever split up (due to equity in the house in my name) but I still wouldn't return to work if this wasn't the case just because dh "might" have a mid life crisis and fuck off or whatever else.

What's the point in living such a miserable life, just always expecting the worst?

I enjoy not working. If I have to return to work in the future because dh loses his job or whatever then I will but not because I feel a social sense of duty to work.

I have worked my whole life dealing with stressful people and working to deadlines and I'd rather sacrifice a nice pension pot and enjoy my time now doing what I like.. which is not working.

MrsAMerrick Thu 09-Jan-14 20:13:05

Can't imagine not working and being totally reliant on dh for finances. A good friend gave up her very well paid/qualified career to be a SAHM, whilst her dh had great job. Her DC have just finished school (one at uni, one on gap year) and her dh has decided that "marriage is not for him" although apparently moving in with a younger woman is....

If people can afford to SAH, and if over the course of their lives they pay the equivalent of 35 years of tax and insurance, then I haven't got a problem with it. I do have a problem with people (usually women) saying that they don't need to contribute and then claiming state pension, using NHS etc - all of which have been funded NOT by their dh alone but by all of us who pay tax. I think unless you've got caring responsibilities then you need to work in some capacity for the majority of your working-age life. I realise that probably makes me sound like a Daily Mail reader, but that's my view waits to get flamed.

I used to feel like that.

Then DH started to feel like that too so he quit his job.

So we are now living on our savings and I work part time and still do everything in home/kids, DH studies.

Unless you have a partner who is in a recession proof job that he loves OR you have a couple of million in the bank, things can change. But I guess you are pretty secure! Lucky you, enjoy it!

Ragwort Thu 09-Jan-14 20:14:19

Fairylea - I could have written your post (and probably did grin) a few months ago, but when you find you really are struggling financially it does hit you that perhaps your years out of the workforce have been a bit of a luxury. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would not be considering having to look for a job - I absolutely love not working, I have loads of interests/hobbies/voluntary work etc etc etc. and certainly don't feel a sense of 'social duty' in that I have to work to be fulfilled or any of that crap - I just want to pay the bills grin.

Mrs Amerivk, you sound more like a communist than a Mail reader!

bigkidsdidit Thu 09-Jan-14 20:15:47

But fairylea you will potentially have 30 years of utter poverty as a pensioner. That is such a risk, I just can't bear to take it!

Still, horses for courses. I think we are both happy smile

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 09-Jan-14 20:17:24

Good for you OP as presumably you are financing this no job lark yourself.

However, if you are relying on another adult to fund it then its a horribly selfish attitude to have and i pity the person that has such a selfish partner.

JapaneseMargaret Thu 09-Jan-14 20:21:10

Threads where the OP drops a controversial (within the context of MN) topic and then doesn't participate in the conversation are so tedious.

Fairylea Thu 09-Jan-14 20:22:06

Ragwort smile ... I totally understand not working for a while does really fuck up your cv should financial necessity to work ever arise. I am fully prepared to admit that being at home is a luxury smile - and I'm not one of those people who tries to justify being at home by saying I do 48574884 activities and 67 hours of housework a week - I don't and dh knows I don't and that's fine, we just like the fact I have more time to do things at home and we have no childcare issues at all. So it works for us.

But it's never too late to go back to work if people want to .. my mum is 63 and went back to work full time after not working for 20 years due to ill health and being on dla for severe crohns disease (for which she had surgery and it's cleared up well enough to work again).

I've always had a good work ethic... I come from a family of chief executives and managers (except my mum's illness got in the way for her). I just don't enjoy working, I don't like being around people all day. I enjoy being at home and it's not about spending money - I manage very frugally now and dh and I share all money together.

Jengnr Thu 09-Jan-14 20:23:14

I would love it. Have loved the last year......back in two weeks. Gutted.

wobblyweebles Thu 09-Jan-14 20:23:40

I like knowing that I'm saving for my future and that one day I'll retire on a solid pension that I've saved up myself, without expecting anyone else to work to support me.

For now that means I work.

gamerchick Thu 09-Jan-14 20:24:58

Japanese.. I've noticed of late there's a few heads designed to poke the wasp nest.

It's like we're all an experiment atm.

gamerchick Thu 09-Jan-14 20:25:15


JapaneseMargaret Thu 09-Jan-14 20:28:59


McFox Thu 09-Jan-14 20:34:14

I would hate not to work! I love working hard, bring pushed to learn new things, being creative and making decisions. I'm actually dreading maternity leave a bit because I love working so much!

Also, I couldn't bear to be supported by someone else. Never done it before and I never intend to if I can help it.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 09-Jan-14 20:34:25

I am currently a SAHM with 3dc. I have really enjoyed it most of the time. Although I do miss the recognition / acknowledgement I used to get from work. However, I had a very stressful job and both me and dh were away a lot with work. This just didn't fit with dc. It does make life much easier, as I do all the school runs, after school clubs, play dates, etc and dh concentrates on work. Our youngest dc starts school next year and I am starting to think about what I could do for paid employment then. We are thinking about buying a house this year and it will be a huge commitment for us. I am sure I will have to return to work then, particularly when interest rates go up.

I love my job. I love seeing the children more in the holidaysand I also like holidays because they don't involve the get up, out of the hosue, back, what's for tea routine, but I genuinely rarely need a break from my actual job.

MrsAMerrick Thu 09-Jan-14 20:38:08

fiscal I am definitely NOT a Daily Mail reader smile. Not a communist either but would rather be thought of as too left wing than too right!

japaneseM I suspect that these sorts of posts are attempts by journos to provoke a reaction which they can then write up in their rags. But maybe I'm being too cynical. Can't stand it when the OP doesn't engage though.

BMW6 Thu 09-Jan-14 20:38:25

I retired 5 years ago at age 50. Was in Civil Service for 34 years so get decent pension roughly the same amount that my self employed DH takes as Drawings, so our income is still 50/50.

I have to say that I have never, for one second, missed work. I actually wake up every morning far earlier than I did when I was working, and get up straight away!

Tis lovely to think "what shall I do today" and just have time to be.

My DH on the other hand, is quite the opposite. He only takes one day off a week and is bored by mid morning. I doubt he will ever retire.

"Lilicat1013 Thu 09-Jan-14 19:00:33

I sometimes feel like this. I don't work because I am a carer for my son"

I don't know what your son's needs are but I bet you work damn hard.
(I know it's not really the context of the thread but it needed saying smile)

Eminybob Thu 09-Jan-14 20:41:11

I just asked DP, if we could afford to live off his wage (we can't) would he resent me staying at home while he keeps me. He said no provided that I take care of the house and child 50's housewife stylee which is fair enough if I wasn't earning.
He did also say though if he was on a mega wage and could afford it he wouldn't mind if I stayed off and also had a cleaner grin
Pipe dreams sadly. In an ideal world we would both be able to equally enjoy bringing up our baby but his job is all or nothing, whereas I will be able to work part time. To be fair I'm the higher earner so if one of us were to stop working or go part time it would make more financial sense for it to be him. But that's not going to happen wink

janey68 Thu 09-Jan-14 20:42:13

What happymummyofone said.
Presumably you have made a mint in an earlier working life, or you've inherited enough to live on forever, or you've won the lottery. In which case its perfectly reasonable to decide not to work (though if it were me I would make damn sure I was spending my time doing interesting things.)

If you haven't secured your financial future, then it's irresponsible. If you are relying on another adult to fund your decision to not work, then again, that's totally ok if the other adult is happy to do so, though I think many of us would find it weird to partner someone who would expect to never work again.

I guess a lot depends on whether you have a worthwhile and fulfilling job. I suspect many people do, tend to partner someone in a similar position, so it would be weird for one to work and the other to never work again. If you have a job that isn't interesting and is just about paying the bills, then likewise, the chances are your partner is probably in something comparable, so it makes sense to share the financial responsibilities.

tudorqueen Thu 09-Jan-14 21:25:58

It is very naive to assume, Fairylea, that there won't be a change in peoples circumstances. We can't go through life with rose tinted specs and, Im afraid, that giving up on work completely is a rather juvenile attitude to take.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 09-Jan-14 21:36:55

I could happily never work again - I do rather think of my fast approaching old age though. Plenty of time then to be money poor and time rich wink

justmyview Thu 09-Jan-14 21:50:44

Dairylea - I hate the way these threads always seem to attract people saying you might get divorced / your partner might die / how unfair it is to rely on one salary blah blah.

Yes, but the reality is that these things could and do happen, and frequently. I think it's incredibly risky for an individual to rely on another individual supporting them financially

PortofinoRevisited Thu 09-Jan-14 21:58:35

Indeed - there is at least one thread per day on here with someone in that situation. It is tragic.

Dollydishus Thu 09-Jan-14 22:00:47

Agree with fairy lea. I worked FT in a stressful.job for 20 years whilst my DH was the SAHP/worked PT. Now we have swapped and I do everything at home and he works FT.. I love it. I'd like to do something PT in a year or so but I hope I won't have to work FT again.

I've built up a reasonable pension and we live frugally. I'd rather live for now and have some time before my DCs leave home, rather than getting to 67 to enjoy life.

It depends what you mean by 'work', OP. Looking after small children is work - if you weren't doing it, someone else would have to, and if that someone else wasn't a family member, payment would be involved. Some activities which are very enjoyable and easy to do earn the person doing them a salary so they are described as work, while other activities are tedious, repetitive, difficult and exhausting to do, such as caring for a helpless individual, and these may not earn a salary - does that mean they are not work?

Yes, caring for your own small children can be fun, rewarding, exciting, heartwarming, uplifting, but not all the time. Really, honestly, very few people feel ecstatic over wiping the tenth shitty arse of the day, or scrubbing mashed weetabix off the kitchen table yet again.

And if you don't have a paid job because you have a high-earning partner but your children are school-age or older, how much of the domestic stuff is your job? And do you ever feel (or get told by your partner) that sex is something you should always approach with enthusiasm when he wants to engage in it, because after all he's paying for your food/shelter/clothing?

WhoGivesAMonkey Thu 09-Jan-14 22:23:55

How long have you not worked? You may change your mind.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 09-Jan-14 22:25:45

Hear hear SGB - for every MNetter that does this successfully - and there are some - there are 10 or more complaining about the family division of household work and/or money. And probably another 10 who want to leave but can't afford to/he won't leave etc.

jellybeans Thu 09-Jan-14 22:46:39

YANBU. I have been a SAHM for 15 years and loved every minute. I have 5 DC and have been studying with OU the last 5 years and other studying before that. All DC are at school now and I love it and never get bored as always have studying to do. I am not sure what to do after my degree but aim to volunteer first and have chosen a potential career that would fit with the DC when the time is right. Agree with SGB that a lot of caring for DC is work. My DH may earn the money but I do shedloads of house, kids and organising so we even out. Husband's hours are a nightmare and his stressed is eased with me being here all the time.

It is a risk though but to me the main thing I want in life is time with DC.

winkywinkola Thu 09-Jan-14 22:57:30

What solidgoldbrass said. Just this once.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 09-Jan-14 23:08:51

What I want out of life is to do my hobby. I wasn't prepared to wait forever. I got myself into the position where I don't have to work much. This situation may not last for ever, but I'll take what I can.
Only one life...

Ragwort, I know you asked this of another poster but as I'm in the same position I'll chuck in my two penn'orth. I love love love my job, I'm self-employed and can largely fit it in around my DS, it pays quite well (as long as the work comes in!) and I just love doing it. I would continue to work if I won the lottery, I can't imagine retiring, I will probably have to slow down later on but I would hope to keep on into my 70s, at least on a part-time basis.

My sister, on the other hand, gave up work in her early 50s because she fucking hated it. She was an accountant and had always been the main breadwinner, but she and her DH worked out that now the kids were more or less off their hands, they could afford for her to take voluntary redundancy (no payout). They've had to tighten their belts, but the trade-off has been entirely worth it- she's so much happier and never wants to work again. So horses for courses, innit, indeed.

dunsborough Fri 10-Jan-14 03:47:34

My DH comes from a culture where it is normal for women not to work outside the home, so I have always had that option.

However, personally I need to work for my own sanity/self esteem.
Also I have no intention of ever finding myself unemployable should anything happen to DH - and I want my daughters to follow this example.
I have read enough threads on here to know that depending on any other person for your upkeep is not wise.

Grumbliest Fri 10-Jan-14 03:54:53

I'm a sahm with 2 ds.. Will be looking for work soon..which I'm dreading..so can totally see your point of view OP. Having time to do random things around the house is great..when I have worked, I just feel that I'm spreading myself too thinly(so to speak)

Ragwort Fri 10-Jan-14 07:03:46

Fairylea - I hope it is never too late to return to work, I will let you know how I get on as I am applying for what sounds like a great job at the moment - using all the skills I have done as a volunteer over the years. I am in my mid 50s so I just hope my age isn't against me grin.

I can't imagine not working, but I am fortunate to be paid to do something I love. We could (and have, in the past) live off DH's salary, but I am not a natural housewife or SAHM (not full time at least). If I won the lottery I would probably return to part-time working or at least do a lot more voluntary work, I know I could do with more time to devote to my Beaver Scouts!

JeanSeberg Fri 10-Jan-14 07:46:52

Why hasn't the OP been back to answer any of the questions about how she supports her lifestyle?

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 07:55:01

Divorce is one thing but if DH died, that wouldn't make things difficult financially;in fact we'd be very well off. I would think it's the same for most couples. Not that I could contemplate the emotional side of something so awful but certainly, financially, I wouldn't be stuck because I've been a sahm.

gamerchick Fri 10-Jan-14 08:02:04

The OP hasn't been back because this thread is probably one of the slew that have been posted to provoke a reaction. Like MN is part of some experiment.

BerniceBroadside Fri 10-Jan-14 08:50:00

Worriedthistime, I think you're the exception. Most families do not have adequate provision if one partner dies, either because they can't afford it or they haven't organised anything. We have some, but it certainly wouldn't make us wealthy.

And of course you're relying on an insurer to actually pay out.

Ragwort Fri 10-Jan-14 08:59:04

Worried - in our circumstances life would be financially very much improved if one us died grin; but that is because we have always made substantial life insurance payments. My DH's father died when he was very young and his mother was in a very difficult financial position.

wordfactory Fri 10-Jan-14 08:59:36

I think if you enjoy not working and can afford it, by which I mean your interests are properly protected (not some vague notion of being 'okay' when in fact you have no pension provision, no protection in case of deasth, ill health, divorce)... then go for it.

BlingBang Fri 10-Jan-14 08:59:46

A don't work and kids are in school so pretty much free to fart about. Don't particularly want to go back to work unless I can get a part time job I can fit round the kids that is very flexible and either a doing something I love or pays above min wage.

I am feeling a bit listless though, I know I need to be doing more and especially need something for me for when the kids get older and don't need me. There is also the worry if the relationship goes tits up and I'm left on my tod not being able to support myself.

So while I'm quite happy and having a nice easy life it does have it's downsides.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 12:29:55

Bernice, I'm very surprised that people wouldnt bother to organise life assurance. Anyway, I thought it was a mortgage requirement? It certainly was with our mortgage although we do also have extra on top. We also have critical illness and all that stuff too which is only sensible as we couldn't pay our outgoings without dh's salary.

As for not affording it; well I guess if money is tight and you don't earn a lot then you need less cover to make sure you're ok afterwards in terms of having a lower mortgage and stuff. Personally I would certainly always prioritise life assurance over stuff like broadband, mobile phone and even tv. And certainly over going out. If I only had £50 to spare each month and it was a choice between a night out every month and paying it towards life assurance, I would always, without hesitation, do the latter.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 12:37:05

Oh and in terms of insurers paying out, life assurance is the one cover that is almost always paid out in full as there really us very little arguing over the fact that youre dead. Some policies do exclude suicide, although not all esp if following a period of depression which has been diagnosed by a clinician and has been declared on the form.
A lot of policies used to exclude AIDS although that is far rarer these days as they have enough data to properly underwrite it and also because far fewer people in the developed world are actually dying from it these days due to drug advancement. You also find some exclusions for hereditary or genetic conditions but you can usually pay more to have these included.

I still don't get why this sort of thing is always framed in terms of women choosing between a paid job and a 24/7 housekeeper/childminder role in return for their keep. Lots of people don't earn a wage, but that doesn't mean they are idle. Lots of people are (eg) caring for a family member who cannot be left alone. And there are people who have no interest in a paid job but want to study (for the love of studying) or make art of some kind, or even experiment with a completely self-sufficient lifestyle. This sort of thing is work in that it's a meaningful activity, it just doesn't involve having an employer.
Life is just not binary and people seem to forget this.

BerniceBroadside Fri 10-Jan-14 14:14:33

Well, worried, when you don't have a pot to piss in, never mind a mortgage, life cover isn't really a priority.

And no, it isn't always a mortgage condition. It never has been for me.

I bet a quick poll on here would surprise you, most people don't make adequate provision, and that includes not having a valid or up to date will.

BlingBang Fri 10-Jan-14 14:23:56

We've just taken out very adequate life cover and just made a will but we should have done it years ago.

BerniceBroadside Fri 10-Jan-14 14:23:58

I have more to say, but need to do some bloody work.

BerniceBroadside Fri 10-Jan-14 14:26:12

Quickly though, critical illness cover is far more likely to be used than life cover, but is generally far more expensive. And less likely to pay out.

BlingBang Fri 10-Jan-14 14:33:02

Oh, we have just arranged that too - but as we should have done all of this years ago.

jellybeans Fri 10-Jan-14 14:41:59

Exactly solidgoldbrass. And let's not forget 'work' as we see it now hasn't always existed and isn't necessarily the best way for people to live.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 16:05:45

A valid will isn't always that big a deal though, particularly if you're married and you're happy with the intestacy provisions. Being married effectively gives you a basic will anyway, albeit one whose terms you may not agree with. I see your point about insurance though bernice and also, I don't think it's as relevant for people who don't have much anyway and who are never going to earn much above the benefits level regardless of how much they work. Because there is the safety net there (for now) and for some people, it's all they've ever had. It's more important if you're used to living on more than that and have made your financial commitments accordingly eg a big mortgage, school fees etc. Although saying that, obviously there's funeral costs, and the DWP grant doesn't usually cover them.

NewtRipley Fri 10-Jan-14 16:21:27


I hope what I said didn't come over as a lecture.

We all have to weigh up our priorities - of we have the choice. If my job was incredibly stressful as yours was - no I wouldn't have gone back to work.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 16:58:11

Maybe a poll would surprise me. Maybe for us it's a combination of DH being a lawyer and me growing up in real poverty (not always food etc) I would rather have no tv, computer, car and wear the same clothes every day for a year than not had adequate life assurance and savings.

But then we're also a couple that put off ttc for almost 10yrs until I was absolutely confident about financial security. I could not even cope with 'getting by' I needed to literally save at the expense of holidays etc to feel financially secure enough to have a baby. But I guess that's not for everyone. I know I'm more nervous than most as I would chose to live without any new clothes and zero nights out for a year to pay everything off my student debt rather than live frugally or reasonably and comfortably pay it off in 3yrs.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 17:05:06

chunderella, I'm not sure I agree that it's less important if you don't have a lot. It's obviously less important to have a large amount but even if you are both just earning 15k a year, that's still a drop of 15k from your household income should one of you die. So a moderate life assurance of say, 50k would help through the first few years.

sukysue Fri 10-Jan-14 17:08:02

I would love to finish work there are times when I absolutely dread going (am in one of those fugs at the mo)if you love staying home and can afford it then what the hell enioy it!

KingRollo Fri 10-Jan-14 17:09:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 17:12:38

If you're both on 15k though worried, that's quite a bit above benefits level. Your theoretical couple would be a good example of people who are used to a higher income than subsistence and would probably have financial commitments to reflect this.

BerniceBroadside Fri 10-Jan-14 17:16:14

Chunderella, I know an awful lot of unmarried couples, most with kids, who don't have a will. Most people seem to assume that living together affords you some form of protection. And I know one woman whose partner won't make a will, but has assured her that his parents will see her right should the worst happen. My jaw dropped at that one.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 17:17:12


You and me both grin Right from the first sign of pg with ds1 I knew I didn't want to work for an employer again.
I know its each to their own but I love the freedom it gives us all. I find it rewarding, challenging, exciting, and love my life.

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 10-Jan-14 17:18:18

yes, I would love that too. Oh for the financial freedom. I know my DH would too as he is having a bastard of a month at work.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 17:23:11

Yes bernice I agree and I've posted about this myself many times! The term 'common law spouse' ought to be illegal. But it is true that marriage does effectively give a person a rudimentary will, and a fair amount of protection under the intestacy provisions. So there are some situations where having a will isn't that important, and others where it's potentially catastrophic. My own view is that you need marriage OR a good will, NOK and planning for IHT if relevant. To have neither is exceptionally risky.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 17:25:08

Really? You think earning 15k, which is well below national average is indicative of someone who is used to a high standard of living? I am genuinely shocked that you suggest that? I am not in any way being aloof but earning slightly above minimum wage cannot be construed as affording you that at all, surely?

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 17:27:21

But, Bernice, why would you assume that? I'm not sure where that notion would come from. I don't mean you personally, I mean the people you know who think they're covered just by living together.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 17:44:20


I think its how you define high standard of living and what your outgoings are in ref to 15k income.
If you have few expenses, everything paid for, tax credits and cb, even for one child it is a good disposable income. Especially if you equate that to not needing childcare, extra car, associated work costs.

BlingBang Fri 10-Jan-14 17:46:49

For us making a will was more about who looks after the kids if anything happened to both of us (unlikely I know by worrying). Then that leads onto the money they would come into and who would look after it till they were of age and what age they then get access to the money etc - there is a lot more to it once you start looking to it.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 17:50:09

You confuse high standard of living with higher income than benefit level worried. Unless the couple concerned had several children and/or very high rental costs, 2 x 15k is rather more than they'd be getting on either benefits alone or 24 hours NMW from one partner plus top ups. It just is. The fact that it isn't a princely sum tells us just how low benefits are, and nothing else.

Life insurance is certainly nice to have, but a family whose employment prospects will only ever take them slightly above benefits level are likely to have more pressing things to spend the money on. 15k is way more than many people could earn. Additionally, you have to be careful how the policies are written. You don't want a payout to remove eligibility for income based benefits, which it can do, depending how the policy is written, if it's more than 16k. This can be counter productive, because a person in this position won't be eligible for income based benefits until their capital is below 16k, and they have to have spent it at benefit rates. And for the period when they're not on JSA/IS, they won't be eligible for passported benefits such as free prescriptions and school meals. I think you used to be able to get round this by purchasing a property with any life insurance payout, but not sure if you still can and obviously it may not be sufficient anyway.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 18:17:21

morethan, by no expenses and everything paid for do you mean people who have no mortgage/ rent and no utilities bills or grocery bills? Maybe you end up with a reasonable disposable income if you have no outgoings from 15k but not if, like most people, you have mortgage and bills to pay.
Really, I would be by very surprised if the vast majority of people earning 15k have a lot left over. And 15k is certainly not representative of someone used to 'higher earnings'.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 18:25:40

Worried nobody said 15k represented 'higher earnings' per se. That is a strawman. However, two partners earning 15k each absolutely does, without question, represent a household income higher than than benefits level for the majority of households. If you want an example of a family who work but whose income is only at close to benefit level, they are not it.

BerniceBroadside Fri 10-Jan-14 18:27:01

Worried, the aforementioned phrase 'common law spouse' has an awful lot to answer for. Honestly, most people know bugger all about wills etc.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 18:27:48

Oh I'm sure it is above benefits level. However, I was responding to your assertion that,
'Your theoretical couple would be a good example of people who are used to a higher income' I simply disagree that this is the case. I also think 50k of life assurance for a healthy non smoking couple in their 30s can be as cheap as anything. A quick google tell you that you can get a 20yr fixed term life assurance for a 34yr old non smoker for less than £10 per month.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 18:33:59

Then you either misread or misquoted, because I said 'who are used to a higher income than subsistence'. Which 2 x 15k is, as we agree.

littlesquid Fri 10-Jan-14 18:36:24

Working makes me relish my time at home. If home was all I did it would get a bit...meh.

Over Christmas I had a two week orgy of just doing stuff I wanted to do - reading, hobbies, pottering. I started to feel a bit weird and pointless towards the end.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 18:37:13

Is minimum wage around £12800 or has it gone up? That's not that far off 15k. I used 15k as an example of someone earning just above NMW. So a couple both on just above that seemed to be a low earning couple to me

Just to be clear; this 'couple' are just a statistic I was using. I am not casting any judgements of any actual person.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 18:42:54

Yes you did. My apologies. However, I wasn't even considering those on benefits as life assurance and critical illness plans are usually taken out by those in the workforce to protect the level of salary they bring in on a yearly basis.

I really know nothing about what benefits are payable to whom but if myself and DH were on benefits and he died, would I not then receive more as I would now be a lone parent. Whereas, in our circumstances, if DH died and we didn't have cover it would be financially catastrophic and despite savings, we'd lose the house within a couple of months. Even if I worked f/t, my salary wouldn't even cover the mortgage let alone everything else.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 18:46:14

And as I also said, it would seem that a NS in their early 30 could get 100k on a 20yr fixed term for about £8 a month. I do think that most people (not all but most) who are working, even for minimum wage can find £8 a month for peace of mind.

MrBarnaclesHorses Fri 10-Jan-14 18:48:30

What does your DH think of funding you to do 'whatever you like'?

BlingBang Fri 10-Jan-14 18:53:42

I'M in the Op's position and my husband is fine with "funding " me, it makes his life and job much easier than if I were out working as well.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 10-Jan-14 18:56:03


Yes, that's what I meant really. If everything else is paid for, no mortgage or rent low utility bills then 15k plus benefits would provide a good disposable income and perhaps afford luxuries that other people in a different position may not afford.
You could be on 150k have high costs, and not have that much left over after private school fees, large mortgage or rent, cars, etc.


In my experience the dh is happy for the relationship to exist like this because he sees the benefit of the sahm. Who provides free childcare at least.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 19:07:01

NMW annually for full time depends whether you're doing a 35 or 40 hour week. I'd dispute that £12,800 isn't much less than 15k though- it would be a great deal less if you were trying to live on it! Although you'd get a bit of WTC if that were the only wage coming in.

The point is though that there are a lot of people for whom even a full time job on NMW, particularly a reasonably stable one, is a pipe dream. I've read about places where there's virtually nothing other than zero hour, 16 hour or 24 hour NMW. 15k, while not a high wage, is actually pretty good in some areas. For two people to be on it would be quite something. I suspect a substantial percentage of the population of the estate where I live aren't earning that much, actually. Most of my family locally don't. It's nearly £2200 a month take home.

So for these people, however cheap life insurance is, they may not have much to insure. If one of you is working and brings in not much more than benefits level- it is possible for it to be even less after work costs- then you won't be any worse off financially if that person dies. So why spend the money? In answer to your benefits question, no you wouldn't receive more due to being a lone parent (though if married you could get widows pension, until 2016 at least, not sure how that affects other income based benefits). You'd actually receive a bit less, because you'd be claiming for one less person, but it would probably be less than that person's percentage share iyswim (like if your DH is 1/3 of the household, you wouldn't lose 1/3 of the benefits if he died). And as I said, you may be better off without a life insurance payout and still having full recourse to the benefits system, thanks to passporting.

UsedToBeNDP Fri 10-Jan-14 19:15:17

£15k a month is nearly £2200 a month take home, chunderella??


UsedToBeNDP Fri 10-Jan-14 19:15:45

Sorry £15k a year!

Geckos48 Fri 10-Jan-14 19:17:56

My husband get 16k a year and it equates to 1150 take home.

UsedToBeNDP Fri 10-Jan-14 19:18:02

It's £1250 gross PCM. Take home on £15k pa is nowhere near £1250 once deductions have been taken into account.

UsedToBeNDP Fri 10-Jan-14 19:18:27

Posts gecko

UsedToBeNDP Fri 10-Jan-14 19:18:40


Fecking ipad

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 19:21:04

I think chunderella means total for two on 15k.

UsedToBeNDP Fri 10-Jan-14 19:21:30

Ah, ok.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 19:25:12

Yes, if you have two people on 15k, as in the hypothetical example being discussed, it's just under £2200 a month after tax.

Geckos48 Fri 10-Jan-14 19:25:52

Ah okay!

That makes more sense!

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 19:30:23

Chunderella, I guess when you're saying two people on 15k would be quite something you are talking about a particular very depressed part of the country and you're talking about two people without qualifications or a trade. The only person I know personally on 15k is a teaching assistant but she does it to get out the house as she doesn't need the money due to her husbands salary and her many years working as a chartered accountant before they decided to leave London for the country and the 'good life'.

Back to the thread; my DH is more than happy for me to sah whilst he works f/t as if I said I wanted to go back, we'd need to take a serious look at his working pattern as it simply wouldn't be practical for him to do what he does and be out the country so much if I wasn't at home without work commitments.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 19:51:58

Yes, of course I'm referring to particular depressed areas. In the plural though, not the singular. Like your old mining and factory towns, and sometimes even particularly depressed and/or isolated parts of bigger towns and cities where there is actually work. When I say 'quite something' btw I don't mean it would afford the good life, though it probably would in some places and circumstances, I mean it would be unusual for the area. If you don't know many people on 15k or less, possibly you're not too familiar with places where this would be beyond the hopes of many people. There are unfortunately a lot more in this situation than you might think.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 19:55:41

I'm actually the daughter of a miner who grew up in a pit village before, during and after it closed. I have seen proper poverty close up. We then moved south and my father went to university to better himself otherwise I'm not sure where we'd have been. I still went all through school on FSM though so I am more aware than many other women in my social circle.

Chunderella Fri 10-Jan-14 20:05:48

That wasn't a criticism. It's just that you didn't seem to have very recent experience of areas and people with very limited employment opportunities. I don't suppose the people I'm talking about would be any more familiar with your social circle and incomes either.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 20:29:40

No, I don't have recent experience but I do understand, albeit from a child/teenagers POV what living on the breadline is all about. I remember my father applying for 100s of jobs all over the country and then deciding that bettering his education was the only way out. He finally got a manual labouring job at a university which at that time came with a house. He started studying there the following year and they allowed him to change to shifts and still keep the house thankfully.

I don't cast blame on people in the poverty trap but I do think there's less of that mindset that my parents generation had that living on benefits was a last resort and so you must apply for everything up and down the country and move accordingly. People seem keener to stay close and only look for jobs near home. With my grandparents, he worked all day whilst she stayed home and kept house and slept a little then he'd come in, she'd feed him, put kids to bed and work through the night coming home to do breakfast. I think fewer people resort to that sort of thing these days.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 20:35:57

The social circle comment was my observation that most people I am friendly with are either uni friends or NCT/school friends. None of them had a childhood similar to mine and in fact many of the local mums had a very similar privileged upbringing to to what their children and mine are having now. I guess I'm unusual in that a mixture of education and luck (DHs job) has meant that my childrens upbringing is vastly different from mine rather than just aspirationally better if that makes sense.

Anyway, sorry for taking the thread off on a tangent. DH has just got in and looks like he could do with a glass of wine so off to be dutiful seeing as he keeps me and all! wink

Worriedthistimearound Fri 10-Jan-14 20:38:48

My second paragraph in my last but one post wasn't benefit bashing, simply an observation of trends. My parents were lucky that my dad had the brains to study. Being less academic doesn't make you less worthy of getting out, just less likely to manage it.

ConstantCraving Fri 10-Jan-14 20:46:57

Each to their own OP. Even if I could afford not to I think I'd still go to work. I love my job, and even though its stressful sometimes I can't imagine staying at home instead - especially when my youngest is in school full time in Sept.

This is just the OP being a goady bitch surely? I'd love to not work.
Bills to pay though

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 11-Jan-14 06:19:53

That's a bit harsh WhereDo confused

JapaneseMargaret Sat 11-Jan-14 08:15:54

The OP posted on Thursday and hasn't returned. How is that not being goady?

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 11-Jan-14 09:20:29

If you were to look at her posting history, there's a chance she may be busy. Or something.

Stuff happens.

fedup21 Sat 11-Jan-14 09:26:37

Did the OP ever come back and say where her funding comes from? Hard working DH? Family fortune?

I often wonder what the people on here with school age or older children who don't work would say, if their DH announced he didn't much fancy working ever any more and would be happy at home?!

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 09:26:50

I think the OP started the thread in response to another one - the earnings one maybe? - where people were being heavily criticised for not working (for money). Not sure why she hasn't been back to comment though. Maybe it was just a statement she wanted to make.

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 11-Jan-14 09:31:13

Looks to me like she started it as a bit of musing and then got caught up with something.

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 09:37:06

fedup in light of this thread I had a long chat with my DH last night about how he felt about me not earning money (I won't say not working-I think I do work hard in the house and garden, and on our home life). He is fine, doesn't care I'm not bringing money into the household, but if I wanted to get a part time job he'd be supportive. He doesn't want me to get a full time job because he doesn't want to have to be available for any childcare, dog care, housework etc, if I can't do it.

He brings in a good income, and quite honestly, any income I could bring in would be peanuts in comparison.

I worked until I had DD2 at 34, and it became financially unviable with childcare costs for two children.

When I stopped working then, I didn't think that I would never go back, and it hasn't really been possible until now as I went on to have ds3. But at approaching 50, I do think it is now or never really if I am going to work again.

Incidentally, I would take any job instantly if we needed the money.

I think it is an enviable position to be in, to chose to work or not, but I want to get it right. I don't want to get to 60, and think that I have wasted my last decade or so by not working.

Dollydishus Sat 11-Jan-14 10:11:08

My DH asked me to stop working after 20 years FT and him being PT and being the SAHP. He wanted to pursue his career before it was too late. I'd achieved reasonably well in my field and there wasn't any burning desire to do any more so it suited us both. I also really wanted to have a turn at being the SAHP. We have to live very frugally now as his work doesn't pay as well (ironic and unfair, he is much more skilled than me). It's not about what money each person brings in, it's the contribution to the household's quality of life.

Dollydishus Sat 11-Jan-14 10:14:15

My DCs are school.age so I do have child free time each day but I also look after elderly relatives, volunteer at DDs school etc. but yes I do get time to myself too. But I worked really hard for 20 years with no time to myself at all, so I don't feel guilty about that.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 11-Jan-14 10:16:16

"Did the OP ever come back and say where her funding comes from? Hard working DH? Family fortune?

I often wonder what the people on here with school age or older children who don't work would say, if their DH announced he didn't much fancy working ever any more and would be happy at home?!"

No, think it was a goady post. From a quick search, she is a SAHM funded by her DH. Good job he doesnt share her views of never wanting to work hmm

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 11:41:18

Ah right. I assumed she must have worked in some amazing high powered job, inherited a shed load or won the lottery, so that her financial future was secure. If she is partnering someone who is happy to fund her, then that's fine too if the partner is happy with that arrangment, though I do wonder whether the OP has really thought through the long term implications of pension etc

I also think that although there is absolutely nothing wrong with this set up if both partners are truly fulfilled and happy with it, it's probably fairly unusual these days. People tend to partner someone of similar abilities and outlook on life. I can see this set up working well for a couple where one has an incredibly interesting / worthwhile career which also pays well, and the other doesn't, but I would think couples like that tend to be rare. If both partners have interesting work, or something incredibly valuable to society, then it would seem unusual for one to decide never to work again.

Equally, if neither partner is skilled or has good earning capacity, and working is simply to pay the bills, then it would be odd for one partner to abdicate responsibility and leave the other to take it all on.

I think those who suspect the OP of goadiness are along the right lines... Why start a post stating that you don't work and never will again, and then disappear...? hmm
Cool- whatever floats your boat OP (and your partner's!) but you don't need validation from the rest of us

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 11-Jan-14 12:21:15

I'd prefer to give a regular poster the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure we'd all appreciate that sometimes.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 12:29:03

Fair enough; just seems an odd thing to post about, especially to post and not respond

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 13:28:11

But Janey, a huge difference in earnings doesn't necessarily mean you've married someone with hugely differing qualifications of drive.

DH and I both good Alevels and RG uni (he then followed this with oxbridge, me with an MA at same RG uni). We also both have a professional qualification. Trouble is, I'm a teacher and he's a lawyer who works for an American investment bank. We both loved our jobs but his takes him out to the US frequently and with 4kids under 10 it will be difficult for me to work and childcare and run house simply because his hours and travel means that he can rarely help with those things.
He's a great husband and father and if I said I really wanted to continue at work, he'd give up the job he does and take one that maybe earns half his current salary but means slightly less hours and less international travel.

However, we made the decision as a family that the high income (5x what I could earn ft) was something which gave us financial security and him the dream career he craved. I mostly enjoy being at home and will review it all when they are all at school but I know that teaching can be very inflexible and so I can't see f/t ever being an option again. But I'm ok with that and haven't been forced into it.

It doesn't mean that either of us have chosen a partner who differs hugely in terms of either education or outlook.

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 13:37:17

' then it would be odd for one partner to abdicate responsibility and leave the other to take it all on.'

But they haven't 'taken it all on'. Presumably the other partner is 'taking on all of' the childcare and house stuff? An equal, if different, and important task that needs doing by someone. It seems almost an obsession on here that ONLY paid work is contributing in a family!

It also seems silly that some would insist that both parents should be working 'full time' even if that means outsourcing childcare/housework etc just to be their version of 'equal' when they can do different jobs themselves, eg both working part time around each other, one working or staying home etc and doing all their stuff for themselves ie not involving a third party at all!

How a family splits their workload (and paid work only a part of that) is up to them, there is no right way. It isn't both full time and everything else is a cop out.

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 14:00:11

Fair enough If you're happy to be financially dependent on another adult,
and have weighed up consequences of never working again
too precarious for me

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 14:03:23

Why is it precarious?

If you break up, everything gets split, then you get a job if you need to. Don't see anything precarious about that.

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 14:03:58

Totally agree with you jellybeans

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 14:04:50

No recent work experience,no references.only half a settlement if married
Whoop di doop

JeanSeberg Sat 11-Jan-14 14:06:57

It's extremely unwise to not take responsibility for your own financial future whether single or married.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 14:07:25

Worried- I know skills and qualifications aren't necessarily linked to higher earnings. Which is why I include the hugely important term 'worthwhile' .' Many public sector health and education careers aren't high earning but are massively fulfilling and socially worthwhile. Many people who do them are doing them in part, at least, for those reasons, and therefore won't necessarily stop working just because their Partner is earning a lot more (in something which may not be as socially valuable)

JeanSeberg Sat 11-Jan-14 14:07:52

And hmm at 'get a job if you need to' like it's that easy.

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 14:08:59

No recent work experience doesn't seem to be a problem for my friends returning to work. I would still be able to get references-still in touch with old bosses. Half a settlement would do me fine.

So yes, whoop di doop, indeed.

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 14:14:34

Life is too short. It makes me happy being a SAHP. Surely that is good? Shouldn't we grab happiness while we can in life. My DH loves his job and declined the chance to be a SAHD more than once. Me SAH makes his job a lot easier as he is often called away etc. We also used to both work full time so have done a bit of all ways. We went through hell and back to have the kids (stillbirths, losses, huge complications etc). Nothing else seems important. Saying that I have been studying and will be looking into voluntary work soon and potential paid roles when DC are older.

JingleJemJem Sat 11-Jan-14 14:19:10

I like to dream of not working, being home with the kids permanently, but the reality if it for me is - we would have to cut out holidays, meals out, car, move to a less nice house, then the kids will be at high school in 10 years time, they won't need me for drop off and pick up, I'd feel a bit of a fraud living off my DH then, but I would struggle to get into a decent job after 10 years out of work. And I just don't like the idea of being fully dependent on DH financially. But I can definitely see the appeal if you can afford it.

Geckos48 Sat 11-Jan-14 14:19:13

Also, people saying that people should have a job even though they don't need one.

You do know there is a job shortage? That two high wage earns in some families mean some of us are living really close to poverty and need benefits not to be in poverty?

Seriously I think that we (as a nation) should be concentrating on getting one high wage earner per household before we lay on the pressure for there to be two.

There aren't the jobs , it makes the cost of living astronomical and actually, having stuff to talk about is irrelevant to whether or not you are paid to spend X amount of hours a week working for someone else!!!

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 14:37:03

I don't know why this has turned into anything to do with SAHP... The OP didn't mention this and seemed to just say that she doesn't work and is quite happy seeing herself never working again.

I can quite see that if you have several pre school children it may be quite desirable to not work, or just work part time, or indeed it may be financially impossible to work during the expensive pre school years.

But to talk in terms of never working again is very unusual, for the reasons I explained upthread. Nothing wrong with it if you've secured your financial future and have a partner happy to support you financially life long, but certainly unusual in this day and age. And as for taking on household reap

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 14:39:08

Oops household responsibilities - yes, looking after young children is time consuming and can be hard, but the other responsibilities of running a home - cooking , laundry, housework... I mean c'mon, no one can pretend that's a full time job! Though I can quite believe that it's possible to make these things expand to fit the time available if one chooses

ssd Sat 11-Jan-14 14:47:00

op says "But I actually really like not working and just being able to do whatever I want"

what a smug self satisfied line that is

wordfactory Sat 11-Jan-14 14:53:01

Yes, I know tons of SAHPs and not one can just do what they want!

They are constrained by many mnay things ' school run, DC's illness, DH's working hours, cash flow, logistics, voluntary work etc etc

As for how precarious or othwise giving up paid employment is, well whilst it might be not remotely for some, it is highly precarious for many. I was a family lawyer for many years and saw it all too clearly.

Also, getting back into employment after long gaps is tricky for most people. Pretending it isn't is so disingenuous.

highho1 Sat 11-Jan-14 14:53:41

Omg. Being kept by a man. Haven't read rest of thread but really. I am sure you being home is beneficial to him too.
Yanbu op. As long as your dh is happy too than ig is no one elses business.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 11-Jan-14 14:56:12

I'm very jealous.

I would love not to work.

This week I had a bit of a breakdown and was sat on the floor crying and wailing because I had a depressive relapse. I ended up coming home from work, but have had to go in each day despite me not being able to keep from bursting into tears. It feels like it's killing me just having to get out of bed each day.

I so wish I could afford to quit.

I appreciate the view that it seems miserable to base your life choices on the worst case but I do value my independence.

last year I watched my friend take back her husband after a pretty shocking betrayal. I like to hope that it was driven by love and trust (and I think it mostly was) but I have a sneaking suspicion finance came into it too - he is a high earner and she enjoys a very nice life and that would be turned on it's head if they split. Even getting half of the current assets wouldn't leave her set up to enjoy anything like her current quality of life.

I feel a bit glad that I know I wouldn't have my emotional choices swayed in that way.

Having said that they seem to be happy again now so maybe money was nothing to do with it.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 11-Jan-14 15:14:35

The worst case is splitting up though and as others have said everything is split and then if you need to get a job its not too difficult.
Obviously, a high powered career isn't easy to walk into but there are always min wage pt jobs, well there is round here anyway grin.


The constraints of a sahp you mention are really not much different than a working parent.
I don't think I have many constraints and tend to choose what I want to do each day, albeit mostly stuff for family. I suppose it depends on whether you see you family as a constraint.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 15:20:36

Well my job may be worthwhile but so is my family and what would be the point of me working just because I'm committed to the ethos if it meant I have 2 in school for long hours and 2 in nursery for long hours?

Are people really saying it would be better for me to work and put my primary aged kids in after school clubs and my younger ones in day care then have to pick then all up between 5.30-6pm, rush home try to sort out a meal and homework and piano practice and all the other stuff just to have the virtue of employment? So we'd all me more stressed and exhausted but at least I could say I worked! I just don't understand that sentiment. Of course I miss working but why would I want to put us all through that craziness just for the sake of it. We don't need the money and we have a reasonable amount of savings and investments.

If he died I'd be very wealthy. If he left me, our assets would be split (although DH would be very adamant that me and the kids stayed in the house whilst they were still at school and he has said this many times) and I'd go back to work. I don't see that I'm making the wrong decision at all. We are certainly equal partners and I don't feel 'kept' because I do my bipt and he does his. Which as I mentioned earlier, he couldn't continue to do if I went back to work.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 15:23:37

thinkaboutittomorrow, if I worked and he left me I'd be in the same situation though, wouldn't i? I teach and it's very easy to return to at any point. If he left, I'd go back.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 11-Jan-14 15:27:15


I totally agree and I don't understand it neither.
Some people prefer to keep out of the stress and can benefit their family better by not working.
I have nobody else to take dd to her music lessons, concerts, and of course the many rehearsals/ recording/ filming that involve trekking the length and breadth of the country.

HoleyGhost Sat 11-Jan-14 15:27:40

I know it does not feel that way but AFAIK, the evidence shows that the structure and social side of most jobs is helpful in recovering from mental illness, including anxiety and depression.

OP - YABU to never work again, assuming work includes any kind of contribution to your community , not just paid work

violator Sat 11-Jan-14 15:28:02

YANBU. If it makes you happy and as a family you can afford it, knock yourself out.

Make sure your OH has a good life assurance plan and both of you have illness cover though.

BlingBang Sat 11-Jan-14 15:35:56

Janey68 "Oops household responsibilities - yes, looking after young children is time consuming and can be hard, but the other responsibilities of running a home - cooking , laundry, housework... I mean c'mon, no one can pretend that's a full time job! Though I can quite believe that it's possible to make these things expand to fit the time available if one chooses"

No it doesn't have to be a full time job (also had "proper" jobs that had quiet periods, sitting on your arse or playing hide the typex) - think the OP's point is she enjoys not being run ragged but having time to look after the home and kids and have time to herself. I Don't pretend me being at home with the kids in school is a slog and all my time is taken up scrubbing floors. I realise I'm lucky and in a priveleged position. But it has pros and cons like every choice.

Anyfuckerisnotguilty Sat 11-Jan-14 16:15:39

Oh sorry guys I didn't realise this was still going.
It just me pondering my thoughts really as I know it's unusual

Suppose it's just me thinking out loud as such

Not trying to say I'm run ragged more I just enjoy being at home

Dh works ft and is happy for me to be at home
I think he probably actually prefers it's although if I did decide to return to work I'm sure he would support me in that too

Suppose I'm quite different to most people I know in rl
A I don't know anyone that word be quite happy never returning to paid work

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 16:35:28

I guess it depends where you live. Most of the mums at DC's schools either stay home or work part time. Quite a few stay home dads too. THat is primary and high school. So it isn't unusual at all where I live to stay home long term. Many do help in school though.

Surely working less and more time with family is a good thing? If you must be equal in everything then wouldn't it be better for both parents to work part time rather than both work full time? Surely that would be more progress? More time with kids etc? I don't see both parents at work all day and kids in long day childcare as the best thing for everyone.

Joysmum Sat 11-Jan-14 16:46:30

What we liked most about me being a SAHM is that I did all chores whilst hubby was at work, as a consequence, any time where he's not working is leisure, quality family time. We have time to bond as a family and enjoy each other's company and home for him is relaxing and recharging batteries.

Of course we could have a lot more money and be able to afford holidays every year with me back at work but we are lucky to have enough to live on and instead chose to try to maximise our quality family time every day instead.

wordfactory Sat 11-Jan-14 17:11:46

morethan yes things get split on divorce, but you can only split what actually exists!

And a part time minimum wage job wouldn't cover most people's pension contributions! Let alone keep them to a decent standard of living.

By all means sing the praises of SAHMs if that's what you want to do, but let's please not encourage women to place themselves in precarious positions on the basis of 'oh well it'll be great. He'll have to goive you the house and then you'll get a job.'

Let's tell women to protect themselves. To put themselves in reasonably safe financial positions. I really can't see why we would be telling anyone to do anything different to that.

Bonsoir Sat 11-Jan-14 17:13:58

You can be equal without having to do exactly the same with your time.

wordfactory Sat 11-Jan-14 17:15:46

Of course you can Bonsoir.

I'd be very shocked if any coupled did exactly the same things as one another even where both work.

louloutheshamed Sat 11-Jan-14 17:19:52

Joysmum that's great that that works for you. I would hate to have to be the one who gets all the domestic drudgery while my husband got to do challenging, interesting rewarding work. Why should I be the one scrubbing toilets and ironing (surely the most thankless task ever) just by virtue of me being female. I know the husband could be the one to sah but that still isn't really culturally acceptable is it and in 9/10 cases it'd the woman. I refuse to believe this is because if a natural preference if women for domestic drudgery, and more because we live in a sexist society where men don't do thus work because it is boring (which,let's face it, it is). I need the stimulation of work.

wordfactory Sat 11-Jan-14 17:22:04

Oh my giddy aunt, there have been points in my life when I haven't worked and it has never occured to DH or I that I should do all the chores!!!!

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 17:35:29

Yes, I would agree generally with the point above that far better to have two parents where neither have the huge responsibility of having to earn mega bucks and be sole earner: where things are shared more equally rather than the set up of one working very long hours, perhaps being away from home a lot, and the other not working at all.
Generally. But it's horses for courses and this set up does suit some couples

Anyway, I think this has been in danger of becoming a SAHP/WOHP thread which is not really relevant because the OP was talking about never working again, not stopping work temporarily while caring for very small children. In fact and actually said she enjoys not working so that she can 'whatever she likes when she likes'- which makes it pretty clear she doesn't have the responsibilities of young children. As we all know, looking after children is definitely not doing what you like when you like! It's certainly great fun (at times) and very rewarding but it's not about serving your own needs 24/7. I just think it must be very unusual in this day for couples to have this set up, where one works and the other does as they please. And certainly not something to post in AIBU! I mean, as long as your partner doesn't mind, it's up to the two of you

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 17:42:01

Loulou, I don't do it because I'm the woman!!! It has nothing to do with sexism. I sah because as a teacher my f/t salary is only 35kpa! As a lawyer for a bank, DH earns roughly 150k. If he has chosen to teach and I had chosen law, he'd be sah and I'd be at work.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 17:49:22

Janey, I do hope to return to work at some point but not whilst any of the kids are still at primary school as for us it just isn't practical. But by the time this baby goes to school I'll have been at home for about 15years so quite long term.

I certainly don't think all women should sah. I think feminism us all about choice and of course you also need the financial stability to excerise that choice. Dome sahms would love to work but can't afford too, other women work and would love to give up bug can't afford too. I'm fortunate to have the choice to do what suits our family at the moment.

Oh and of course I do have isas and all that palava in my name although everything else is joint.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 17:54:09

And of course, for some couples later ion in life, one working and the other not is them both doing exactly as they please.

Our neighbours are early 60s. Sitting in a house probably worth around 900k. She doesn't work and seems to make the most of her leisure time with clubs and committees etc. He's an architect. Has his own practice. Loves his job and last we spoke (NY) he has no intention of giving up as he thinks he'd be bored silly. So him working and her not very clearly suits them both.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 18:03:46

Yes, that's what I said worried, I agree that it may work for some couples but that in this day and age it's relatively unusual. Older couples may not have had the same life chances ... It may be that for the neighbours you know, the wife never had the chance to develop a career in the way her husband did. That's less common now because as many women as men are graduates, and as many (if not more) enter law, medicine, teaching etc

In your own situation, you are talking about it not being financially worth your while working while your children are very small, as I guess you would feel all your earnigs were going on childcare (even though its a joint expense out of your husbands income too) But no doubt in the future you will want to teach again and the fact you earn a fifth or whatever of your husbands salary won't matter because presumably you entered the profession because you have the skills and qualities to do it, and because its a hugely important role in society , indeed more valuable than many higher paying jobs. That was my point earlier. If you really believe in what you do, and gain respect and recognition for your skills, then that's at least as important to many people as the salary. Your situation is vastly different to the OPs

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 18:10:45

I agree apart from where you presume I don't work because it wouldn't make financial sense. That isn't true. DH would be happy for me to work and pay out more in childcare than I earned to do so if that made me happy. My decision has no financial basis whatsoever. It is simply a practical decision given his hours and how often he is out the country coupled with the fact that teaching can be inflexible. When the younger ones are old enough to get themselves to and from school and things are easier from a practical POV, then I'd love to go back or choose to do something equally rewarding on a voluntary basis.

I am also biased by this because my dad cheated on my mum. She found out when she was 53 and i wasat uni. She took him back. Partly for love but mostlybecause she didn't see how shecould afford to live on her own.

He then continued to cheat on her for another15 years.

Gluezilla Sat 11-Jan-14 19:18:51

I cant imagine a life where I was so unimportant compared to my DH that my career got sidelined and I got to clear up and do the domestic work (lucky me hmm) because he got paid more.
I earn the same as my DH and we share the domestic stuff equally and when DC were little we shared the childcare.
The poster whos DH doesn't want her to work because he doesn't want to be bothered by domestic stuff sad.

louloutheshamed Sat 11-Jan-14 19:34:07

But 35k Is not to be sniffed at.

And if you had stayed at work you could be a ht earning almost as much as your dh.

Obviously you may not want this. But I just wonder why so often it's the woman's career that's sidelined after kids while the man's takes off.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 19:39:10

I haven't been sidelined by DH. We made a joint decision, in which I participated fully and am in full support of. I sah because it makes practical sense to do so as me teaching full time and him practising law full time would leave very little time for quality family stuff. Salary only comes into it because he's the one earning more. If our career choices were reversed, he'd be home and I'd be at work.

I know other people need to work either financially or for themselves but actually I don't feel like that. So why would I make our lives horrendously difficult for no reason? I don't honestly know how other couples do it. How do you pick up babies, preschoolers and primary aged kids at 5.30/6pm, get home, get them all fed, get through all the homework and still give time to them all before starting little ones bedtime routine at 6.30/6.45??? I honestly take my hat off to those who do it because I'm not sure I could and I'd find it incredibly stressful so why do it if I don't need to?

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 19:46:02

Loulou, as I said it's only the woman's career here because I chose teaching and he chose law. In a couple if months I'll have 4kids. I do not need the money or the stress so why bother? Also, I doubt you'd find many HTs earning anything close to 150k. Also, whilst I enjoyed my job very much, I probably didn't love it nor do I need it as much as DH does his. That's me with that view not him. If I wanted it as much as he did, he'd take something a little less pressured to enable me to do it.

I don't have a problem with others making different choices but I resent the assumption that I've made mine because I'm somehow subservient to my DH or because either of us view my career or my feelings as less valid than his. That simply isn't the case.

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 19:49:37

Habitually on these threads recurrent is he earned more,made sense woman give up work
No well if he earn more he can proportionately pay more for child care
It's usually always females giving things up,whilst male carry on career unencumbered

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 19:53:42

SM, of course he could pay for childcare and would if I want him too but both partners working f/t must be very stressful in the mornings and especially in the evenings. I honestly don't know how people fit it all in whilst still spending time with the kids.

Surely it's about choice?

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 19:54:56

Loulou- it's certainly a reasonable question to ask, though I'm not sure of the answer. I do wonder though whether the transferable parental leave will make a difference, because if dads start taking off, say, the 6-12 month old period as leave (after mum has taken off 0-6months, I would imagine there's more likelihood that subsequently the parents' careers will progress more equally thereafter. It'll be interesting to see how things pan out generally.

Worried- sounds like you and your DH have made decisions which you're both happy with so that's fine. Just to respond to your question about how other parents manage things, I don't think there's any great secret. I think like with most things, imagining it is harder than the reality! I came home after giving birth to dd and thought how on earth will I get dressed before lunchtime never mind get out the front door again! However, after 3 months I was back working 3 days a week. You develop routines and of course having a partner who is fully on board helps too. Not saying that its what everyone should do, but just pointing out that we're probably all wary of whether we can cope with new things before we do them.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 19:57:03

And of course everyone's choice will be personal to them. Most people would shudder at having 4kids over a period of 11yrs. But it was right for me/us.

Some women shudder at the thought of giving up work when they have kids, others can't wait. I didn't fall into either of those camps but just decided it as the best option for yes all.

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 19:58:01

I'm observing the habitual he earns well ,so female gave up work
Two ft working parents,it's achievable.planning and adequate childcare
I think housewives when not working stretch the tasks to fit the time.doesn't need an adult not working to manage a home,esp not if kids nursery,or school

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 20:02:46

Yes, I'm sure I would manage but I sort of think, why bother if I don't need to? I too thought that after DC1. It took me about half an hour to do his car seat up. Now I can get all 3 including a stroppy toddler up and out efficiently. It's just that small evening window I'd worry about if I went back to work. BF a newborn, running after a toddler, helping with homework, piano, beavers, cubs rugby, gymnastics oh and feeding them all and trying to have at least10minutes with each of the older 2. I just think I'd be seriously stressed. So maybe I'm taking the easy option!?!

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 20:07:44

Of God, no not housework! I do as little housework as I can get away with. We have a cleaner and most of what I do do is child related. So I don't stretch out anything to justify being at home.

I'm quite sure you can get adequate childcare but my point is how much time does that leave between picking them up and their bedtimes? It was a genuine question or rather observation wondering how everyone else fits it all in without rushing or stressing. Maybe I'm just not efficient enough or maybe it's because I'll have four over a large age gap.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:18:41

Well, first off, I wouldn't have returned to work with 'adequate' childcare. I had an absolute star of a childminder to begin with, and then my children went to a fantastic nursery which DH and I believed really benefited our children in complementing the experience they had at home on the days I didn't work. And (ironically!) I wouldn't have been able to afford this nursery without working so win win as far as I was concerned.

But this is my experience, and worriedthistimearound, your experience is yours, so there is absolutely no need to feel you're not being efficient, or that other mums working is in any way a reflection on you! You have clearly made a choice jointly with your husband which works for you and that's all that matters.

BlingBang Sat 11-Jan-14 20:22:06

"I think housewives when not working stretch the tasks to fit the time.doesn't need an adult not working to manage a home,esp not if kids nursery,or school"

Do you think we sit home all day polishing the silver and ironing knickers?

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 20:23:22

'Two ft working parents,it's achievable.planning and adequate childcare'

I think the vast majority of people wouldn't choose that if they had the choice. Most of the people I know who were doing that have cut their hours at some point. That is why I quit myself, to spend more time with DC. If you don't need to sell your time, why not use it to benefit DC/the family/yourself?

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 20:26:07

Mine are all at school and I am very busy. I study 16 hrs a week with OU, about 2-3 hrs a day. Many of us with shiftworker partners have to do 'weekend stuff' in the week when they are off. I am rarely at home all day on my own. A full day a week I see elderly relatives. With 5DC there is loads of housework and also college age DD is at home a lot and we spend time together without the other 4. In between that i see friends a couple of days a week and have appointments and endless other stuff. Have never been bored.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:27:56

Yes, many parents do cut their hours. Many also plan their working lives so that neither will be ridiculously stressed, working excessive hours or travelling away a lot.
But all this is a bit of a departure from the OP who is talking about never working again so that she can do what she likes when she likes. Which is nothing to do with having young children, and is an odd basis for a relationship to many of us

StandingInLine Sat 11-Jan-14 20:28:28

That's all well and good ,but just wait until in about 20 years time you need to work but no one will take you on because it's been so long since your last employment.
Happened to my mum ; luckily I'm on good terms with my manager who took her on and worked on getting her confidence back that she lost because she was out of work.

BlingBang Sat 11-Jan-14 20:30:55

Standing - that's very possible. Pros and cons to everything you choose.

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 20:36:36

Janey, I don't feel you working reflects badly on me. But nor do I judge you for that choice. I'm quite sure you made sure you had fab childcare as most people do. I just don't think I could manage it all without being very stressed out, maybe with 2 close in age but not with 4 all needing different things. I honestly don't spend much time thinking about other women's choices whether that be working/not, BF/FF, elective section or homebirth. Really, I'm very much an each to their own sort of person.

I do, however, take issue with the assumption that by staying home I have either,
1) deferred to the wishes of my husband
2) failed to secure my long term future in case he dies/runs off
3)given up all my dreams and ambition to suit him
4) spend all day doing housework

Bithurt Sat 11-Jan-14 20:44:44

Up until my ds was 6 months, I thought I wouldn't want to go back to work. By the time I was due back I was ready for it!
Each to their own though. I feel I have the best of both worlds. I work 2 (long) shifts a week and overtime now and again.
I got bored at home.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 21:00:49

Bithurt- I can understand that. I reduced to 3 days a week until my children started school. I sometimes wonder how things would have panned out if we'd had the shared parental leave entitlement... I think DH would have taken the second chunk of time off and then maybe we'd both have returned to work 4 days each. I think it's A big step forward for families and society and most of all children that dads are going to have more choices open to them

Worriedthistimearound Sat 11-Jan-14 21:04:02

Janey68, I think they massive benefit will be that employers will no longer be able to make the assumption that hiring the 35yr old man will be a safer bet than hiring the 35yr old woman in terms of losing them to mat leave. This can only be a good thing for women in the workplace.

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 21:27:38

Yes I chose to sell my skills,command a wage and be solvent.not dependent on a man
In the respect that housewife being dependent on a male wage reflects her financial inactivity
I'm more than happy to give up my time in return for vocation and remuneration

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 21:30:10

Great for you SM but not everyone has the same priorities. They may be different but not necessarily wrong. Why would you know what is best for other families?

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 21:31:53

Keep up,someone asked why would someone sell their time,time away from family

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 21:32:00

Remember too that dual income couples with mortgage based on both wages are dependent too. As are employed dependent on their job. Nobody is totally independent unless they have their own wealth. Most dual income couples say they both HAVE to work to pay the bills, hence they also are dependant on the other partners wage.

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 21:32:31

Yes it was me. I don't need to be told to keep up thanks.

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 21:35:48

Well do keep up,if you ask a question you'll get an answer

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 21:35:53

Come, come now jellybeans keep up!! You shouldn't have let your brain become addled with all this not working nonsense wink

scottishmummy Sat 11-Jan-14 21:37:13

We'd not be in penury or lose house if didn't have two wages
Working is choice not necessity
I'm aware for many yes the dual income is necessity. Not all though

i sometimes think i'd be happy not having to work but when i haven't worked, i've had too much time to think about stuff which makes me feel depressed.

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 21:41:03

I agree that in a sense everyone is dependent unless they have totally independent financial security forever (which is hardly anyone!) but I think it's a strange view that a dual income couple are somehow more vulnerable! Given that childcare in this country is hugely expensive, the situation for dual income families is that often they spend many years only breaking even, so tbh they probably aren't going to be any worse off if one of them loses their job! This was certainly the case for us and many other people we knew. I've no regrets, returning to work was the best thing I ever did (after having children of course which trumped everything!) but ironically if either DH or I had stopped working while the children were little, we would
Have been financially no worse off because we wouldn't have had nursery fees

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 21:46:06

haha Bowlersarm grin all this housewifery must have turned brain to mush!

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 21:52:10

If you are happy with your decisions then that is great. But it should work both ways. Some families are happier both working, some with a stay home partner etc etc. Most people would have to make do on a lesser income in case of a split whether they work or not.

Also not everyone who is a SAHM has a partner who has to work long hours to enable that. My DH only works 39 hrs a week, it is just very odd hours.

Also a huge number of people I know who both work rely an awful lot on free grandparent care.

Bowlersarm Sat 11-Jan-14 21:55:33

Good point jellybeans about the partner who earns the money not being out of the house much. My DH is always here (it seems). We see a huge amount of each other. I love my life.

jellybeans Sat 11-Jan-14 22:08:25

Yes same here smile As he is around more in the daytime (due to working many nights/late shifts) he has been able to attend most school events, pick the DC up from school etc. So he has been very involved with DC. And it is great sometimes having DC free time together too when he is off in the week!

janey68 Sat 11-Jan-14 22:11:04

Good- sounds like everyone's Happy then- which begs the question of why the OP felt the need to post!!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 11-Jan-14 22:24:54

I know why the OP posted.
I'm not sure how old she is but sometimes when you know your choices/beliefs are not the norm or most popular of choices you are inquisitive to what others do and think.
I know I was like this when younger and seem to have the same outlook as the OP.
I think there are some very good points raised here that we should all consider whether who or sah.

Something that would make the decision easier (and life easier) for a lot of parents, particularly mothers, would be the state funding of 24/7 childcare, either low-cost or free, like the NHS. Because at present, if you have more than one child, childcare is hugely expensive if there is any available near you in the first place. And most nurseries etc are only open during office hours. Childcare that was affordable in the evenings/overnight would mean that parents could, if they chose, take on an evening or night shift.

But right now the world of paid employment is still pretty much functioning under the assumption that every employee has a mechanism in place to ensure that domestic work and childcare are dealt with. You know, something called a 'woman'.

(oh, and whichever poster was whining on about people getting on their bikes to look for jobs - again, that would only be doable if there's one parent not working outside the home. Because if you uproot and move miles from your extended family, bang goes your emergency (or even regular) cost-free childcare...)

superstarheartbreaker Sun 12-Jan-14 08:10:23

As a single mother I could not work and claim benefits.... But I would be bored out of my mind so I work. I have just returned to teaching and I don't know if it is sustainable. I have been up every night Planning(including weekend) but I get holidays off which many women don't and potentially 65% off the private school fees where I work. Is it worth it? Not sure yet.

Ragwort Sun 12-Jan-14 09:14:34

super - genuine question, why would you be bored? You are a teacher, presumably you are an intelligent woman, surely you have interests/hobbies/the get up and go to look for voluntary work etc etc?

I appreciate needing to earn money is a separate matter but in my 12 years as a SAHM I have never been 'bored'.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 10:40:09

SGB, it was me who said about moving. My parents moved from a northern mining village to the SE away from where generations of their families had lived in order to find work after the village became a ghetto of deprivation following the pit closure. They had a choice of becoming another statistic in that deprivation or moving anywhere in the country where there was a job. They both worked so my mother wasn't at home at all so not sure how it was dependent upon one parent sah?

Likewise, we have moved 4 or 5 times with DHs job. We have no living family at all, children have no GP, aunts, uncles or cousins. But even when both my mother and mil were alive I'm not sure how either could have been used as emergency childcare when they both worked f/t in stressful professional jobs! Surely this is more the norm that GP around the corner who don't actually work?

ssd Sun 12-Jan-14 11:16:59

worried, the norm is different for everyone...where I live lots of mums have the fit, active GP around the corner who seem to be on call for their every need, whilst some (the minority mind you), like me dont and never had.

and ragwort, if you have never been bored as a SAHM for 12 years, I'd say you were definitely in the minority, even on MN, where loving every minute of being at home with kids is seen as a badge of honour, although I never believe it myself.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 11:18:48

Oh and my parents often talked about how desperately hard it was to leave all their family and everything they knew. However, they felt they had no choice, it was that or languish. Anyone who has any understanding of what happened to these communities in the mid 80s will tell you how awful it was. I know they always felt it was the right decision especially when they'd go home to visit and saw other mining families still living on the breadline.

It turned out well for them as dad continued to work as a janitor for the university whilst studying for an HND then after he finished they managed to buy a small house on his new salary. Then mum went to college and did a BEd as she had always wanted to teach but when she was growing up it wasn't what women of her generation or class did especially in a pit village where they married miners.

I guess our upbringing colours our views as it would never occur to me not to move for work or to consider staying close to family. I loved my parents deeply and miss then terribly but I would never have just looked for jobs close to where I was brought up.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 11:22:59

ssd, maybe you're right but if the GPs are young, fit and active why would they be home all day?

When we had DC1, both our mothers were still alive but my mum was a very busy head teacher in a large school and dH's mum was a chartered accountant. Even if they'd been local to us they couldn't have helped with any sort of childcare through the week. I guess you're talking about people who married older with retired parents? Ours never got that far. sad

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 11:27:18

I wasnt raised in a northern mining village, but like you, worriedthistimearound, I moved away from family mainly because I was raised in the SE and knew it would be nigh on impossible to afford to buy a house there. So, same outcome but for almost opposite reasons!

I think we need to accept that life moves on, and changes to employment structures, plus also factors like people living longer, mean that it's becoming more and more rate for parents to have their own parents on tap to provide free childcare, or even emergency childcare. A 'normal' working life in the not too distant future is likely to be around 50 years long. Many people in their 60s these days are still working, or if not, have busy lives with other commitments and just aren't available to drop everything and be a childcarer. Conversely, if someone in their later years is not physically fit enough to still be work

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 11:31:43

Posted too soon.
If they're not fit enough to still work, they aren't going to be up to the demands of caring for youngsters

I agree with the principle of trying to make childcare more affordable though. Life moves on and we can't turn the clock back to yesteryear (and actually there would be a lot of downsides to a return to lots of grannies living around the corner and not having careers and just being available all the time) but we can try to ensure society keeps pace and gives serious consideration to the kind of childcare parents want and need. Having said that we are moving in the right direction... There are Vastly more nurseries, breakfast clubs and after school clubs than there were 20 years ago. But like SGB says, greater flexibility would be great too

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 11:46:50

Yes and that can only be a good thing! Just because I choose not to work doesn't mean I'm not fully supportive of women who do whether through choice or necessity. As a society we need to support these choices are affordable flexible childcare is needed for that.

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 11:52:36

Absolutely agree 100%.

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 13:47:23

Is it really more and more rare for grandparents to be providing free and/or emergency childcare? I've read on here before that the majority of parents rely at least partially on childcare from family. Obviously that won't always be grandparents and won't always be unpaid, but I suspect that forms the larger percentage. It may be less common than it used to be, but I don't think we're anywhere near rare yet.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 14:00:03

I don't know, I don't know anyone personally who rely on GP for childcare but that's not yo say it doesn't happen. I know the fact that my parents and PIL are all dead isn't as usual but who are these GPs who are young enough and fit enough to provide childcare yet don't have their own careers?

SilverApples Sun 12-Jan-14 14:04:48

My parents provided the childcare for both of my two, including a DS with Asperger's. They were both in their 60s. They had a fit and active lifestyle that my children benefited from immensely.
The flipside is now they are older and more crumbly and fragile, my two adore them and are very useful in the jobs and popping in for conversation stakes.
That's how our extended family works.

jellybeans Sun 12-Jan-14 14:15:16

The vast majority of working parents I know use grand parent care.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 14:23:20

I wasn't knocking it, just saying I imagined it was rare but happy to be corrected if that's not the case. As I said, even before they died both my mother and mil worked f/t in very involved careers so even if we had lived close it wouldn't have been an option. I guess I thought that was the norm.
Also, I assumed that it would only work for people who went to uni where they grew up panda sought jobs and a life there too. I guess I saw that as rare but maybe more people do that than I'm aware of.

SilverApples Sun 12-Jan-14 14:25:49

No, we moved around a lot, parents moved around a lot and then they moved one last time and settled. Then we ended up in the same area by choice. Sussex is not where we grew up, or went to uni. smile

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 14:32:05

That's interesting, Silverapples and great that it worked out that way. (We're in Sussex too now and it's lovely) But do you think that's normal/usual? Would most GPs not be constrained by their own careers? I guess I made the (wrong) assumption that's they'd either still be working or would be older, retired and therefore less active. Again my own experience I suppose because I'm not sure either my mother or MIL would ever have retired!

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 14:34:27

I'm also wondering how much use I'll be to this baby (DC4 but DD1) as I'll be 43 when she's born so I guess in my 70s by the time she's looking at needing childcare! grin I feel rickety already let alone in 30yrs time!

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 14:34:46

I guess it varies a lot depending on location and other factors. When I was most conscious of parents relying on grandparents, was when we had just had dd, and we lived in a Gloucestershire village, very much a 'working village' rather than a chocolate box one IYSWIM. There were fewer employment opportunities and wages tended to be lower; also there were some families who had lived in the same village for generations and I guess it worked out that some grandparents didn't have employment and were young and fit enough to do it

We moved to the nearest city when dd was young and it's a very different demographic here; far more people who have moved around and don't have extended family here; also there is a much greater range of regulated childcare anyway

I suspect that the pattern will be that using relatives will be less common in future, if for no other reason, because it will become the norm for people to work until 65-70 or more.
Society has moved quite a long way in making childcare provision more widely available, subsiding nursery education from 3 years, introducing nursery vouchers etc but I think there's still more that can be done. The shared parental leave is the best thing yet, and I really hope lots of families take this up as its surely got to be a good thing for children and I think will be a big step forward in putting parents on a more equal footing both as parents and how they are viewed in the workplace

Pagwatch Sun 12-Jan-14 14:36:58

My DH has just resigned to have some time at home and decide if he wants to retire.
I am really curious to see if he gets encouraged to angst endlessly about not working and being bored and financially precarious or whether, being a man, people just go 'oh, good for you. I'd love to cycle and play golf more'

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 14:37:30

Worried I could be wrong, but the impression I get is that having family childcare is more likely amongst working class people. If you went back to where you were brought up, I bet you'd find it common enough amongst those who are working. Additionally, people in lower income groups are much more likely to have children younger, meaning grandparents are still young enough to provide care, and because of the state of the job market it's quite likely that there'll be someone in the family not working.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 14:37:38

Yes, I think living in a more urban area where there is a lot more available good quality childcare must make a huge difference to how easy it is to work!

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 14:47:26

Cross posted with janey there but yes her example fits with my own experiences. And I don't think you can say that because someone's retired they're not going to be well enough to look after children. Clearly at the moment there are a lot of people who have retired, sometimes at the state pension age sometimes earlier, who are still in pretty good shape. I suspect most of them wouldn't be up to full time care, but I bet plenty of 65 year olds could still do a grand job of looking after a little one part time if they wanted to. Now the way things are going, the retirement age is likely to go up, but it's also true that more of us are working part time now. So it may continue to be the case that people look within the family for childcare.

jellybeans Sun 12-Jan-14 14:48:37

I have noticed the opposite Chunderella. I find it is the better off that have grandparents able to care. Maybe as the grandmother doesn't need to work or the grandfather has retired early. The lower income families parents may well still have to work themselves so are unable to do the care.

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 14:59:46

Of course, quite apart from work commitments, grandparents may want to lead their own lives, be it doing voluntary work, sitting on committees, pursuing a hobby or taking holidays during off peak time. I think committing to regular childcare, even part time, is a big thing, because looking after young children is challenging and can feel quite relentless (especially at the running around stage!) and I can quite see that while it may work for some families, having access to regulated affordable childcare is desirable for society

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 15:00:57

It's interesting and clearly differs from one area to another. Yes, there is probably much more of it going on in areas such as where I am originally from. Though I find it interesting that the girls I was at infant school with, their children are now at secondary school or they are already GPs themselves!

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 15:10:41

Perhaps it's cross class then jellybeans. It probably is to some extent, though it's definitely true that grandparents from poorer families are younger than average. My own experience, which is very mixed class because I'm from a working class background and live in my home area, but am a professional, is that family help is more common amongst poorer communities but still exists with middle classes too. After all there are still millions of us, from all backgrounds, who live within a few miles of close family.

The thing is janey that there are lots of grandparents who are both fit enough to do childcare and who want to do it. Obviously there are some who wouldn't, and others who do want to but who would be totally unsuitable. But having family help on tap isn't rare, or anything close to it. That said, I think the largest group are those who use both paid childcare and family? Lots of grandparents who contribute are eg doing 1 day a week for DC who do 2 days in nursery and 1 with another relative. Or maybe picking the kids up from after school club and giving them their tea. It is very much a patchwork.

Ragwort Sun 12-Jan-14 15:15:16

Those of you who use grandparents as childcare - will you be happy to do the same for your children? Will you be in a position to do so, what would you do about your own career?

Quite honestly I would not want to have to provide childcare for my own DS - my own parents have enjoyed their retirement and have led busy, active lives in the community, they didn't actually live near us so childcare would never have been a practical option - but even so I wouldn't have considered for a minute that they would want to spend their retirement years as 'child carers'. A different matter providing the occasion evening/weekend babysitting - but to expect parents to commit to regular days for childcare when they have their own lives to lead seems a bit much.

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 15:22:29

Who knows Ragwort? I'm likely to be a bit older if and when I become a GP than my parents are, but I hope I'll still be fit enough to help. If DH and I both need to work FT then obviously we won't be able to offer much other than babysitting, but if we were PT then why not? Basically neither of us object on principle, although of course it may not work in practice. I do come from a family and community where this is common, though. It's about what's normal to you. But then who knows, perhaps your parents would have wanted to do some childcare if they were close by.

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 15:23:59

I would also be willing to provide some childcare for family members with young DC on a reciprocal basis, and have talked about this with one of them. We may share drop offs and pick ups when our DC attend (the same) school.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 12-Jan-14 15:26:10

I am struck by the poster whose husband is fine with her not earning, and would be fine with her starting a part time job, but would not be happy with her working full time, as he wouldn't want to do the extra work that came with that.

This, for me, was the big risk of taking time out. I loved being a SAHM, and it worked very well for us. But when I returned to work, I fully intended to "lean back in". And in order for that to work, DH had to change his working practices, and ultimately his job.

But then since we have been together (20+ years), we have frequently renegotiated our work/home responsibilities in the light of changes to our circumstances.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 15:27:53

I guess, like Ragwort that it would never have occurred to me that GP would/could play a part in childcare. I know my kids have missed out on a lot due to not having any extended family at all but it never occurred to me that it may have included the odd day of childcare. I think of it more in terms of visiting for weekends and stuff. It's great that it's an option for so many families but as I said, even if either were still alive and lived close they both worked f/t in fairly high powered jobs and honestly would never have considered fiving up their careers to care for my small children. My mother I think due to qualifying late and realising how much she enjoyed working and my MIL because she was not in the least bit maternal and went back to work when each of her own kids were very small as she hated being at home.

SilverApples Sun 12-Jan-14 15:30:46

'but to expect parents to commit to regular days for childcare when they have their own lives to lead seems a bit much.'

I think that's the key though, we expected nothing, it was freely offered, and if the offer had had to change because of illness or whatever, we'd have dealt with that as well. It worked because we were reasonable and honest with each other and discussed what had to happen openly.
Will I be in the same position?
Depends how old I am when my children have children, how fit I am and if they choose to live anywhere near me. And if they want the help.
I'm mid-fifties now, working FT for another 10 years is the plan, then go PT/Retired.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 15:34:04

I honestly think that because I'm an old dear now and considered a high risk pregnancy due to being well into my 40s, I'll be totally falling apart by the time my kids may want or need me.

I'm starting to think there's a lot to be said for having kids in your late teens or early 20s. Then they leave home when you're mid40s and you are young enough and financially stable enough to have a fantastic life post kids!

ashamedoverthinker Sun 12-Jan-14 15:34:49

I am completely confliceted about this.

I would love to, to relieve the drugery. But the thought of trying to share what I do equally with DH...making that adjustment, the stress.

But I dont think it would ever pan out fair. So probably part time to be balanced. But then I get annoyed and think that is not fair how am I supposed to pursue my new career on this basis.

So I try to appreicate what I have.

Well, I can't imagine not working and not being in charge of my own finances, destiny and independence. I also can't imagine DH and I in a partnership where we didn't share equal time with and responsibility for our DC, but each to their own. <shrugs>

SilverApples Sun 12-Jan-14 15:37:22

I think the health and fitness of the grandparents is key, as well as their willingness to be honest about how much they want to do, and the parents' willingness to compromise on some things. I loved the fact my children adored my mum, never felt jealous or infringed on. I felt the more people that were truly there for my children the better.
Plus you try getting childcare for an explosive Aspie. Almost impossible.

usuallyright Sun 12-Jan-14 15:40:07

I could combine being a mother with working fulltime. Hell, I did it for a short while.
I hated being so busy all the time, despite having a dh who did his fair share and more besides. It was just busy busy rush rush no time work work bloody stress. I know some people probably think I'm a lazy cow for now being an almost fulltime sahm, but I don't give a flying one anymore because I'm happy and the kids are 100% happier.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 15:44:23

Silverapples, now you are making me want to cry.
'I felt the more people that were truly there for my children the better.'

I wish mine had at least one living GP who would love them close to the way we do or even an aunt or uncle. My mum was killed around the time DC2 was born and my dad pretty much died of a broken heart a year later. And whilst I don't think they would ever have provided childcare, I do think sometimes it would be nice to have someone other than DH to share their achievements with.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 15:48:17

Annie, that's great that your jobs allow that but my DH works stupid hours and spends 1wk a month in the US so an equal division of labour is simply unrealistic. But we don't feel it needs to be exactly the same to be fair.
He's no more in control of me than I am of him though!

Skrifa Sun 12-Jan-14 15:52:29


I can't imagine actually having the choice! The only people I know around here who aren't working are either unemployed (the majority), retired, on mat or pat leave and planning on returning or can't work due to e.g. disability. Not one through choice in fact. confused

usuallyright Sun 12-Jan-14 15:53:39

Mumsnet always bangs the equal division of labour drum whilst ignoring the fact that individual circumstances often get in the way of that!

Dubjackeen Sun 12-Jan-14 15:57:26

In some ways, I would like it, I think. But, I don't have an option. I would love even to be able to take time out, say a year or two, but in the company I work in, not a chance. Plus, the bills have to be paid...

Worriedthistimearound - I didn't say labour was equal. Time and responsibility for DC are, however. I also didn't say things should be the same way for everyone else. Obviously if one of us worked away that would be different.

And any family is welcome to split their time/labour at home/work in any way that suits them.

Personally, I couldn't stand being financially dependent on anyone. But that's just me.

That, and I really love my job, in which I recognise that I'm very lucky.

happymilly Sun 12-Jan-14 16:05:25

I can't really understand the obsession of some people on here that as soon as your children start primary school you should be straight back in to full time work.

Children are only at school for 6 hours a day and have at least 13/14 weeks off a year so unless you have a 9-3 term time job you are going to have to use childcare and personally I don't like the thought of sending my kids to a childminder or afterschool clubs or holiday clubs.

One poster suggested that free childcare is the answer but tbh even if that existed surely a lot of people would not want to use it. I don't think that the only reason people don't go back to work is the cost of childcare is it? Do people really see children as that much of an inconvenience that they have to palm them off on others and start working full time asap?

For most people life is much easier if one parent is SAHM or works part time around school hours. Nice to be able to drop the kids off and pick them up, help them with homework, no rush in the evenings to get everything done after a busy day at work, no stress about who takes time off when the kids are sick, no guilt if you can't make assemblys/plays. If you don't need to work then why would you make your life more difficult?

If you enjoy full time work and want to do it fine, but I don't for one minute believe that you are somehow morally more superior or make a more valid contribution than those who choose to stay at home. Most of life involves some sort of compromise and often having one SAHP and one full time worker is a good way of making sure a family has both it's financial and emotional needs met.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 12-Jan-14 16:14:56


I totally agree. There seems very few circumstances where it is possible for an equal division of labour.
I also think it is very sad that people actually know that they either do or don't share 50/50 with their partner and if in deed it matters at all.
if everything gets done what is the worry, partnerships don't have to be 50/50 to survive.
I have always done more domestic and raising the dc than my dh has done, but he also has done far more of it than many men I know, so what does it matter?

BlingBang Sun 12-Jan-14 16:29:11

Come from an old mining village. Very few folk leave so generations of families still there. I know very few folk who paid for childcare. They just didn't figure it in. There was always GPs, friends, siblings etc who could provide free care. Where I live now is full of folk who moved for work so left their families behind and childcare is much more common.

jellybeans Sun 12-Jan-14 16:32:04

happymilly excellent post.

BlingBang Sun 12-Jan-14 16:35:28

Also, of course not working and being home can be boring at times - just as many jobs can be. Don't know that many folk in exciting, fabulous, mega bucks jobs who would continue exactly as they are if they didn't have to.

Chunderella Sun 12-Jan-14 16:45:29

It isn't the only reason happymilly but it's definitely one of them. There are people who would like to work who can't because suitable childcare is unaffordable, unavailable or both. There are also people who are stuck in unhappy or abusive relationships who feel they can't leave because they wouldn't be able to support their DC outside the relationship, and childcare obviously plays a part in this. I think it's this group who SGB was referring to. But obviously it's up to you whether you think ploughing money into childcare to help them is a good use of funds or not. As for the 'why would you work if you don't need to' question, there are dozens of reasons and lots of definitions of 'need' as well.

I'm sorry for your loss worried. It's true that grandparents doing childcare tend to be younger, but saying that I know a woman of 68 who has her GD 4 days a week from 9 til 3, and she absolutely loves it. She actually had a baby aged 47 herself so she's obviously got abnormally high levels of energy. But you never know, maybe you'll be the same!

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 16:55:48

Happymilly has pretty much said how I feel. I'm fortunate that financially I don't need to work therefore I really don't see why I would want to add a whole bunch of stress onto my life just for the sake of it.

Chunderella, thank you. I do actually agree that choice is lacking for many women not only to sah if that's what they want but also to work if that's what they would like.
I fully support the notion of more public funding to support good quality and flexible childcare at an affordable price to help widen that choice.

BlingBang Sun 12-Jan-14 17:16:38

Happymillie - just read your last post and agree, that reflects our situation. We don't need the money and me working would just make everything more complicated, stressful and harder? I know we are lucky to have the choice. I also agree with those who say they value their independence and the ability and confidence to provide for themselves and their children if they had to. Relying on your husband or partner can be a worry.

Bowlersarm Sun 12-Jan-14 17:17:47

happymillie excellent post.

usuallyright Sun 12-Jan-14 17:30:43

Excellent post happymilly and I totally agree with everything you wrote.

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 17:36:50

I think people get too hung up on this idea of things being split exactly 50:50. I don't know any couple in RL who agonise over whether mum has spent half an hour longer doing the bath routine or whether dad cooked more dinners than mum this week. Life isn't like that!

What I do recognise (in my own relationship and many others around me) is couples who don't have vastly differing skills and attribute, who don't have vastly differing views on career, and who don't pigeonhole themselves into an exclusive role of 'financial provider' or 'carer.' I see mums who are every bit as capable and interested in their work as their partner is, and dads who are enjoy spending time with their children as much as their partner does.

I think that's the scenario people like annielobsedor was referring to; it's certainly what I mean when I talk about equal balance , not some artificial totting up of tasks.

And like I always way on these threads, there is absolutely nothing wrong with couples who do both want to do things differently. Some people partner someone who has a very different outlook and is happy to immerse themself in a full on career or happy to give up a career totally. And that's fine when it suits those families- in fact I'm sure it works brilliantly if you have strong views that you partner someone who complements that

I just don't think it should come as a surprise that in 2014, the traditional set up is far less common. Boys and girls aren't raised to expect a particular life path as used to be the case. Its really relatively recently that women have had the opportunity to continue in professions and careers because regulated childcare didn't exist until recently, though I am aware that among less well off families women would have worked, perhaps using older siblings, relatives or neighbours for informal childcare.

There is no right or wrong way, it's down to individual families to run things how it suits them, but society is constantly evolving and I really don't think it should be a huge surprise to anyone that with these changes, a lot of women and men share similar aspirations. I would never want the pressure of the kind of job that commands 100k plus, what with the hours and travel that would no doubt involve. I value my time at home too much. It's no surprise to me that my DH feels the same. It's worked very well for us to both share earning (at a good but manageable level) and share the household and child responsibilities.

Long post there- but I really wanted to clarify what many of us who talk about 'equal balance' between couples means. For some, that balance is achieved by one Parent working and one at home; but for many others its achieved by a more equal distribution of those tasks.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 17:50:36

I agree with Happymillie on this topic.

I do little bits of free lance work here and there but generally I'm SAHM and have been for over a decade. My DH works long hours often abroad and the thought of chucking another full time job into the mix seems hideous.

Yes occasionally I do feel vulnerable as not sure how I would cope back in the work place full time but guess I would have to deal with that if I did need to go back for any reason.

I love being at home and caring for my family without the stress of us both being exhausted and trying to manage childcare etc, mostly I feel privileged to have a choice as know many haven't.

janey68 Sun 12-Jan-14 18:08:17

I can see that if you have a partner working abroad a lot it's probably easier all round for the other to not work or at least take a step back career wise. If I had a job like that I'd probably want my husband to be around more at home- that totally makes sense.

FirstMumOnTheMoon Sun 12-Jan-14 18:08:56

I went back to work PT 18 months ago after 11 years of being an SAHM. The driving factors were the loss of our Child Benefit and then DH being made redundant and only being able to find a new job in London. We didn't want to relocate to London so my little 25 hour salary now covers the cost of DH's commute as well as the "lost" CB. I also wanted to make sure that I kept up my NI contributions to protect my state pension, not to mention that when DC leave home I am sure they will need a lot of financial support to get through Uni and then on to the housing ladder. I would like to be able to help them as it will be far tougher for them then it was for me and DH.
The only thing that makes going to work enjoyable for me is knowing that I am not only contributing financially to our household now, but hopefully future proofing it too. If I didn't need to do it for this then I would have remained a SAHM as trying to juggle family life is now much harder with DH often away so I am not only working but also 100% responsible for DC during the week. Child care in the holidays is also now a major consideration as my DC have always been used to having me around. It's hard on them too.

Worriedthistimearound Sun 12-Jan-14 18:18:05

I agree with that, Janey, although I don't see my own situation as not having that balance simply because he works and I don't. It's true that through the week he sees less of the kids but he is a very hands on dad in every other respect and I think that's key. I do know of other couples in similar circs to my own where the DH sees his weekends as downtime for him and is off at the football or pub. So in effect the mum ends up doing her bit 7days a week. We have never been like that and DH is always up for spending the weekends doing stuff with the kids and as a family. Also, he always up for having them to himself if I want to go away and stay with friends which I probably do about twice a year.

When he's here he cooks, cleans, mops up sick etc just like any other parent. He also skypes the kids from the US and brings them back stuff like maps and interesting stuff he comes across not available here. The other benefit to his job is the 6wks paid holiday he gets which ensures we have lots of quality time as a family. Very unusual for a US company but he negotiated well when they headhunter him. I think we have the balance right for us But I'm more than happy to accept that that balance is achieved differently by other couples. smile

scottishmummy Sun 12-Jan-14 23:24:27

I didn't Palm the kids off and return immediately?no I waited 6mth
Presumably you extend the same palm off disdain to men who return to work ASAP?
Lol,palming off.yep,and happy to do so,had nursery all booked at 12 week pg

Another thing to consider (particularly for the poster whose parents moved away from home in the 80s) is the way things are now with much less job security - yes, there was a lot of regional unemployement in the 80s but if you moved somewhere to get work you generally had the work. There's a lot of talk about 'flexibility' these days but that usually translates as 'being willing to work unpaid overtime with no notice/zero-hours contracts.' Moving 'where the work is' is much less of an option when there is little or no guaranteed work for the unskilled or non-professional-high-status worker - if you stay in familiar surroundings you have a better chance of there being someone you can tap for emergency childcare, than if you have moved to a new area where you don't know anyone.
The current economic model seems to be that it's great to have a huge pool of available workers who are so desperate to earn that they will take anything on, but who can just be put back in the box when not needed - ignoring how awful this makes life for those workers.

ssd Mon 13-Jan-14 08:57:40

sm, I usually love your posts, but dont you get fed up with going on about the same old thing? seriously, you must have posted your above post about a million times here, it must be boring you to death by now, surely?

Belize Mon 13-Jan-14 09:19:53

sm is a one trick pony - although i do chuckle at the Missus Miggins references usually!

ssd Mon 13-Jan-14 09:22:34

or the precious moments crew/nursery booked at 12 weeks..when the kids are now about 30....

comingintomyown Mon 13-Jan-14 09:22:55

I agree with what Happymillie wrote however ...

I was a very happy SAHM for years and had rude awakening when XH left and I needed to get a job in my mid forties. In hindsight my naive complacency was foolish

Yes ok you can't base your life on what ifs or predict the worst but I wish I had done things differently

Belize Mon 13-Jan-14 09:25:01

Precious Moments is priceless! Good value on the whole but I think doth protest a wee bit much sometimes.

ssd Mon 13-Jan-14 09:26:45

anyway, not meaning to bash sm here, where the hell is the op? she posts a smug thread title then buggers off, only to return with an airy "oh sorry guys, didnt know I'd wound you all up so much, silly old me" shite, when what I want to know is who funds her princess life? cos it sure aint her.

Ragwort Mon 13-Jan-14 09:28:44

Agree coming - I have loved being a SAHM (with a school age child grin) but although I am still with my DH our financial circumstances have changed considerably and looking for a job in your mid 50s is not that easy grin.

scottishmummy Mon 13-Jan-14 19:22:10

For as long as folk Chunter on about palming off etc,I'll retort.its a mn perennial
For as long as folk ask how could anyone miss precious moments,I'll clarify work isn't guilt inducing
I'm not going to change mn pov,don't expect to.but I will clarify its possible to work without prefixing it with had to

And you are funny ssd

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 13-Jan-14 20:20:12

I'm the same! I do casual work but by casual I mean really casual. I can take it or leave it. I'm not well off either. I just prefer it! Maybe when dd starts school I'll change my mind but I know after a month or two I'll be longing for the stay at home days
I never get bored either. I am a real homebody!
I'm glad my dh isn't the same or we'd be screwed.

CHJR Mon 13-Jan-14 20:34:07

Hmmm. Haven't read the full thread but you are all on a topic that's very immediate for me just now. Been out of work 15 years since DC1 was born, been trying to go back for the past year only. Things are complicated not only by the length of time I've been out and 3 DC but also by the fact that DS2, though in school FT, does have significant SN; DH earns more than enough to support us all; on the other hand, though being at home was great even for me personally the first 9 years, and was necessary for the family for the next say 3 years, given our situation, still, by now it is really, really, really CRUSHING me. I am lonely, I feel worthless, I know that if I can get a reasonable job that it would be better for me. For me. I am not 100% sure it would be better for the rest of the family but I don't think they would suffer too much, and after all, it's a fair trade-off, I am not a carpet and do feel I have rights here too. But of course after so long out I am not highly obviously employable.

So please bear in mind, OP, all of you, that situations and feelings change. What I really think is that society should enable more flexibility and back-and-forth about this kind of thing.

One thing I thought was interesting was that when I started talking to my friends about "going back to work" the ones who are in work, who mostly have been in work FT or PT all along, were immensely supportive, encouraging, helped in practical ways, warned me very frankly of the pitfalls and risks and issues. My fellow SAHMs universally replied, without pause for thought, "Oh no, that could never work for you with DS2, why would you?" This is of course why they are SAHMs and they are not necessarily wrong, but it gave me a revelation:

WOMEN WHO ARE OPTIMISTS are more likely to try to combine work and family. WOMEN WHO ARE PESSIMISTS give up sooner, though they may well (in my experience and scientific evidence) often be more realistic.

I'm a pessimist struggling to become an optimist.

You make a valid point CHJR. You find SAHMs often claim "oh no, it would just be so much hassle going to work, having to arrange childcare/holiday clubs etc". But it really isn't like that.

There is a small initial effort in organising your childcare, and after that it's just a matter of dropping them off and picking them up each day, the same as if you were at home.

So stay at home, by all means, if that's what suits you. But it seems a little disingenuous to claim it would be far too complicated to arrange your life if you worked.

It isn't - it's just a normal, perfectly manageable routine. And if your routine is complicated, then you haven't got it set up properly and need to make adjustments.

jellybeans Mon 13-Jan-14 22:48:23

Some of us SAHM become such because we tried working full time/using childcare but didn't like it. I was able to manage it but it was wasn't for me/DD/our family.

BlingBang Tue 14-Jan-14 01:21:45

Chjr - you do make very valid points about feelings changing and the sense of worth and loneliness. I just know life would be much harder and complicated if I went back to work and I'd really be losing out in another way. we would struggle to share the childcare, housework load etc (partly because husband often works away) and I think our relationship would be accommodate the changes which worries me. Also, My husband earns so much more than I could make, it's another reason to SAH rather those who would really financially benefit from the extra wage. Harder to make all the extra effort and disrupt our easy lives for just a little extra money that will make no real difference to our income.

Jotted down a number for volunteer work today, might be a step in another direction.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 02:14:27

I am always surprised on these threads how many people allude to 'giving up a career', but ime most people i know don't have careers, they have jobs, often jobs they hate.

Also the 'DH bankrolling your lifestyle' is at odds with my experience too, as for us and a few others i know, we are actually saving the family money by not going back to work. Our family couldn't afford me to go to work, we would be in the hole by about £300 per month and our baby would have to go to a CM 7-7pm which i think is too long.

I'd like to go back to work - supporting myself if something happened is something i do worry about - but it isn't feasible. I also would love to go to a job that didn't make me cry in the loos, but as i've never had one of those i couldn't tell you what it's like.

i have no pension other than state, and never will i doubt.

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 07:14:57

Mrskoala- yes, if someone has a job which is dull, or which they actively dislike, and is done simply to pay the bills then of course that's going to be a big factor in choosing to give up. To go back to what I said upthread, if both partners were in jobs like this, to my mind that would be more of a reason for both parents to try to share earning. If my DH and I had jobs like this, one of us would stay home while the kids were tiny and childcare unaffordable, but as soon as they were in school I'd be looking to share earning because it wouldn't sit comfortably with me to not work if my DH wasnt happy in his job ... I guess what would make sense would be for each of us to work, but fewer hours each.

If one partner has an unfulfilling job (rather than career) and the other has a career they enjoy then yes, I can see why there would be an incentive for the one with the job to give. But the point I made upthread is that I suspect this is a scenario which will become increasing less common over time, mainly because of societal changes which encourage and enable girls to aspire to the same careers as men. When I was little back in the 60s/70s it was very rare to see a mum who had an equal career to her husband. My mum, and most of my friends mums, either didn't work or had a part time job (as opposed to career.) hardly surprising because there weren't the same expectations then and also there wasnt regulated childcare available even if a mum did want to pursue a career. It wasnt that women were any less capable, it was lack of opportunity. I suspect far more couples nowadays are more evenly matched, career-wise

However I completely see your point mrskoala that if you have a job rather than a career, that's going to be a factor in deciding whether to remain in it

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 07:41:31

Ps mrskoala- It's never too late to start thinking about a pension; even if you only have time to build a modest one its worth serious consideration. A lot of people believe the state pension won't be around much longer, and even if your husband has a great pension, you may be surprised at how meagre the widows pension is if he pre deceases you.... Slightly off topic there but it's something a lot of women overlook, and which can then come as a shock later on.

JeanSeberg Tue 14-Jan-14 08:00:29

I agree with janey. Not working is one thing, not assuring your own financial independence (whether married or single) is reckless.

BlingBang Tue 14-Jan-14 08:03:17

I don't know many people who have these amazing, fulfilling high paying careers that would be able to support them and their kids.

dimsum123 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:13:02

What about insurance? I'm a SAHM who is being 'bankrolled' by my DH (who is more than happy to be sole breadwinner and earns enough to give us a very comfortable lifestyle).

We have taken out extensive insurance which will coverme should the worst happen to DH. I probably would have to get a job after a year or so but part time would be sufficient.

I would strongly recommend every SAHM look into good insurance cover if they are dependent on their DH supporting them financially.

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:13:12

Well, by definition most people aren't going to be in 'high paying' careers. If they were, average earnings would change and what we perceive to be 'high earning' would rise.

Many of our friends are similar to us in that they are in salaried professions, not earning the earth but certainly earning enought to make it financially worthwhile, and to accrue a good pension (once those crippling nursery costs are over with!)

wordfactory Tue 14-Jan-14 08:13:49

Bling you don't know any women doctors, lawyers, accountants, businesswomen, actuaries,web designers,journalists...

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:17:18

Isn't life insurance compulsory with a mortgage anyway dimsum, which would cover a lot of people. Certainly everyone I know who's a home owner would have their mortgage paid off and a lump sum in the event of their partner dying. But you're right to raise this, because its something not everyone thinks about... I guess we all have a tendency to try to avoid thinking the worst.

However, even what seems a very healthy lump sum can disappear very quickly when you're relying on it to live, so alongside insurance I think the pension issue needs consideration too

BlingBang Tue 14-Jan-14 08:58:31

Word - yes I do know some but I also know many who have standard office jobs, work in shops and supermarkets, TA's in school etc. I grew up from a relatively poor WC background - most folk didn't go to uni or have high flying careers. Do you know anyone that works in a supermarket?

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 09:12:27

Janey - I don't think we could afford a pension or insurance. DH doesn't have a pension either. We have put whatever money we have in shares/investments which seems to be making more than a pension would. But we don't have money to put away monthly - that we couldn't get access too if we needed it like savings i mean.

WhereIsMyHat Tue 14-Jan-14 09:14:20

I'm currently a fully fledged SAHM after a few years playing with the idea. A third child was the deciding factor. I have wobbles about this weekly, did any of the long term stay at home parents have wobbles in the early days? Do these go away or is it a sign I'm probably no in it for the long haul?

Finance wise, we got married and have a second rental property that is our pension, hopefully if everything goes to plan this will be a bit of a money earner for me especially when the mortgage starts to get smaller.

A lot of my mum friends have careers, in fact most, they've all returned to work albeit part time in some cases. They're mostly 10-15 years older than me so had proper careers before kids which is something I didn't and I'm sure this contributes to why I stay at home now.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 09:16:05

word - i don't know any women who do those jobs. They best careers of a few women i know are teachers and nurses. All others work in very low paid shop, carer or admin/call centre roles. Of my NCT group all the men easily earned 2-3 times the womans wage. In my old job (call centre) every woman who worked there had free childcare from family - otherwise it wouldn't be possible.

wordfactory Tue 14-Jan-14 09:29:26

bling my mum worked in supermarkets all her life (when she was well and when the work was available). But WC women make the discussion of the op nul and void. Wc women have to work and always have! That they are universally low paid jobs is another issue.

BlingBang Tue 14-Jan-14 09:38:49

I'm WC, no uni education but don't have to work as my WC husband is a high earner. I guess we don't fit into the usual brackets. We moved away and have friends from many different backgrounds from Doctors, journalist to cleaners and care home assistants. There is always the talk on Mn and these threads that women need to have that career to support themselves ( great if they can and have) - always makes me think of Xenia - the reality for most women is probably different.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 09:45:22

Oddly enough all my female friends in low paid jobs are MC (not me i'm new money) and uni educated. We just chose subjects which don't convert to jobs. ie arts, philosophy, media etc. If i could go back and change one thing i would have trained as a painter and decorator rather than doing Art History.

wordfactory Tue 14-Jan-14 10:01:15

Bling that's my background too.

WC women are shafted every bloody which way. Coralled into the worst paid, least protected jobs which offer them little protection or independence.

The choices WC women make are often those between a rock and a hard place.

wordfactory Tue 14-Jan-14 10:03:46

Koala I know what you mean about the nouveau pauvre.

But I still wouldn't say that supermarkets, factories, care homes etc are full of university educated middle class women!

follygirl Tue 14-Jan-14 10:13:39

I stopped working 9 years ago when my dd was born and at the moment I have no intention of going back to work.

I did have a 'proper job' before I retired but it was working as a management consultant which isn't conducive to childcare. My dh had a similar job although was always more career driven than me. I have never considered that my role whether working or being a sahm defines who I am. I have never understood why people think less of me now that I don't work. A good friend was shocked when I retired, she said 'but you're an intelligent person and now you're going to be a glorified nursery nurse'.
I enjoy my role as the mainstay of the family. I look after the children and am able to be there for school plays, sports matches etc. Because I have always looked after them I know them implicitly.

I do the household chores like bills, holidays, online shopping etc. However that is hardly time-consuming. Yes I do clean the house, but again, spending an hour or so a day doing that is hardly the end of the world. The rest of my day is spent doing what I want to do. I read, do sport, see friends, spend time with my widowed mum and have fun.

My dh knows that he has done as well as he has, because I have been there in the background supporting him. I don't resent him for the fact that he has a successful career. I have a successful career too, it's just not recognised as one. I think I'm a bloody good mum and that means more to me than being a good management consultant.

Dh and I have life insurance on each other. If my dh were to die I would probably not have to work either as we have a fair amount of investments. If dh were to divorce me then conceivably I would be in trouble however that isn't likely to happen and I think it's bonkers to just have a job in case we were to split up.

Plenty of my friends work ft or pt. I have no issue with what other people do, I don't really see why I should. I thought that feminism meant that women had options in life, and yet sometimes it feels as if being a sahm is not one of those and that we're 'letting the side down'.

BlingBang Tue 14-Jan-14 10:14:18

Sorry, my last posts sounded a bit glum. Many of my WC friends and family who I grew up with have good jobs and have done well inspite of the dodgy education and low expectations, just that most didn't go to uni or moved away from what was a very depressed and underprivileged area. Good solid jobs, just not high earning or considered the higher career jobs. What's classed as a high earner these days anyway?

wordfactory Tue 14-Jan-14 10:17:58

folly has anyone on the thread said you're letting the side down?

I have loved being at home but have always wanted to contribute some way, so work evenings. That way I have no childcare issues, my time with the kids is focused on them (As housework can be done whilst their at school)and I get some time out on my own. At times I feel I should be working more, especially when a big bill arrives but its so hard to balance school holidays etc. I do look back on my past career and uni days with such fondness and miss it often, but I know I'll get back there one day. At the moment I'll work around my kids, as I feel in the scheme of things (ie how long our working life's are - I'm 32 so got a good 30 left) it's nice to be spending my time with my kiddies. They won't be that for long!

follygirl Tue 14-Jan-14 11:13:41

wordfactory there were certainly a few posters earlier on in the thread who seemed to say that. I admit I haven't read the whole thread and can see that the tone has changed.

Dollydishus Tue 14-Jan-14 11:33:49

The tone earlier was a bit heated I think.

I had a good career but gave it up after 20 years as really not conducive to happy family life. And my DH felt his career was being limited a bit by mine....always away, busy in evenings etc.

Fine by me. I've had a good go in the workplace and now I'm learning to be the SAHP. Don't feel I've 'stepped down' or anything. Just changed my role.

Financially it's more precarious now but I'm trying to live more in the moment and not stress about the future. Yes something awful might happen. But it might not.

Have got a small pension and a small savings. That will have to do.

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 12:36:10

Folly- that's great as you're clearly doing what suits your family, and as wordfactory says, no one has said you are 'letting the side down.' Just as long as you recognise that there's more than one way of doing things and its equally possible to be a good mum (or dad) as a WOHP too smile

This business of it usually being the woman who has the lower-paying, less-enjoyable job so that she doesn't mind - or actively enjoys - packing it in to SAH isn't some natural phenomenon to do with having a womb.

It's the manifestation of a system that was set up for men's benefit at the expense of women. The more women that work in a particular industry or at a particular level, the lower the pay. Because the idea is that domestic work and child-rearing are to be done by women, and money-earning (with the associated privileges ie freedom from domestic work and status as the owner of the household and the woman in it) is for men.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 12:39:04

But I still wouldn't say that supermarkets, factories, care homes etc are full of university educated middle class women!

Ha! no neither would i. Perhaps i am from a weird blip. My last job in a call centre everyone under 40 had a degree, everyone over 40 had at least 20 years managerial experience. Yet there we all were working in a miserable job for 21k (being timed for our toilet breaks etc). 2 friends from my class at school both became carers for people with learning difficulties after uni (we are all 37) and are still doing it on NMW (they tell me all their colleagues are the same - perhaps this is because we are from/they work in an affluent area of west london). Another friend did media and now works in admin (again in chiswick) for 19k, all the dept have similar education and are in 30s.

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 13:03:31

I agree with sgb's points, but there has been progress... Of course there's further to go.

My own parents were, I think, not untypical of their generation. My father did A levels and went to university. My mother (similarly matched intelligence and ability wise) had to fight her own parents to be allowed to stay at school to do A levels. University was out of the question... What did a woman want to do that for, she just needed to work for a few years before marriage and babies. This was in the 1950s so not that long ago. And even if she had won the battle to go to Uni and got herself qualified for a career, she wouldn't have been able to continue it on becoming a mum because there were no nurseries and very few child minders around back then. Childcare happened on an informal unregulated basis.

Nowadays things are different- not perfect by any means- but far more women do gain qualification and entry to careers than ever before. This then increases the likelihood that they have a choice about continuing to work.

I think the next biggest influential factor will be the transferable parental leave after having a child. I really hope it becomes common for couples to use this entitlement, because I think the impact for children, families and wider society will be very positive. It's all about widening choices... If families still opt for a traditional set up that's fine, but hopefully it won't be out of a 'default' position or lack of choice.

It is changing but slowly. I was the WOHP and DH was a SAHD because I have a career and he had a job. I have a good enough income to support the family but I have made sure DH is financially protected e.g. I get life assurance and critical illness as part of my occupational pension. Now that the DC are in school, DH is starting his own business but he is still the one whose time is flexible IYSWIM.

wordfactory Tue 14-Jan-14 14:32:46

Yes, things are changing. I live in a very wealthy area and it is hugely common here for women to be SAHMs for very long periods.

It's a bit of a bubble and like any bubbles, it starts to have its own logic. Anyone thinking of returning to work is discouraged by the other bubble dwellers, and the DC with two working parents are the subject of scrutiny wink.

I always managed to evade judgement by working from home and doing the school run etc.

When I did finally start working outside the home (albeit on a part time free lance basis) I found a world full of working women and SAHDs grin!!!

BlingBang Tue 14-Jan-14 14:43:11

It is changing and I know a few woman out earning their husbands. Know a few where the husband has been the travelling spouse as well, following his wifes job but it is still rare.

Feel it at the moment because most women I know have gone back to work, especially when the kids are in school, so not as many in my position where I am.

follygirl Tue 14-Jan-14 18:42:37

I completely agree that lots of women are better mums because they work. I'm certainly not saying that the only good mum is one that stays at home, far from it.

I know quite a few women who would be bored silly being at home and who thrive on having a career. I think that's great. A happy woman has to be a better mother.

I would say that the ideal scenario is if you are doing what you want to do regardless of finances. I think it's a shame when women can't afford to stay at home because they need the money; equally there are also other women who would love to work but can't, because the money wouldn't pay for the childcare.

janey68 Tue 14-Jan-14 18:47:08

That's very true folly.
I'd also add though that its not always an either/ or. Many of us enjoy time at home but also enjoy working. My children were great company especially as they got a little older (toddler stage is a lot more fun than the early weeks of feeding/ nappies/ sleeping ) I don't think I would have been bored as a SAHP... It's just that I enjoyed combining it with part time work

Fancyashandy Tue 14-Jan-14 19:23:27

I have some friends who work 3 days a week or so - I think that's a great balance.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 20:07:20

I agree. I think i'd be a better mum if i could work 2 days a week. I'd even do it for free (i mean if the childcare and fares cancelled out the wage), but i couldn't justify it at a loss. And sadly those interesting 2 days a week jobs aren't that common round here.

Chunderella Wed 15-Jan-14 21:47:09

It's interesting to see this discussion turn to class. Of course you're going to see more women with 'careers' given the demographic of MN. Though it would be very wrong to think that women with jobs rather than careers don't ever see them as freedom, a break from the kids, social interaction, identity etc. There are also more people with degrees doing relatively low status work than there ever has been, because of both the economic situation and the increasing percentage of the population who have them.

One thing to consider is that even for wc women doing poorly paid work, they still on the whole have more security than they would if they SAH. In the current climate it's risky for anyone to be out of work unless they have independent income and/or qualifications, experience or other qualities that can neutralise the disadvantage of taking time out if they need to get back in quickly. Which wc women are, if anything, less likely to have. A woman who's doing a few shifts a week for NMW is a woman who has some independent source of income. Meaning that if her partner dies uninsured, or they suddenly separate, or he becomes too ill to work in one of those inconvenient ways that ATOS don't like, she still has some money coming in. Sure, she'd be eligible for top up benefits but those take time to apply for/vary. Being in work also prevents her from being totally at the mercy of whatever sanction or workfare placement the jobcentre dream up that day. The fact is that these days, even traditionally 'low hanging fruit' like supermarket work isn't easy to just walk into. The fact that you aren't on a career ladder as such doesn't mean you don't get security from work.

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