Would you turn down a $200,000 job to be a SAHM mum?

(115 Posts)
Moknicker Wed 09-Jan-13 19:27:45

I used to work part time in the UK at my job but recently moved to the US due to DH's job. Ive had no luck at all looking for part time jobs - the only offer on the table is a full time job for a salary of $200,000.

I really enjoy my job and value my career.

I can afford not to work.

But I have worked so hard to get here, against all odds. I don't want to throw it all away. On the other hand, DCs are small - 3.5 and 2. WWYD?

Great post from Kasbah.

Moknicker I'll PM you this evening!

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 10-Jan-13 17:58:22

Something I just thought of. I have relatives in the US and they tend to freelance so they can have more holidays. As you're good enough to be offered £200k job then could you pick up consultancy work instead which means you could control the flow of it?

ChildoftheMonkeyBasket Thu 10-Jan-13 18:01:39

How about negotiating more holiday and less pay?

Moknicker Thu 10-Jan-13 21:15:47

theoriginalandbestrookie - I have been looking at freelance jobs but because ive just moved here i dont have the contacts needed to do that. I have spoken to a couple of people but .....

ChildoftheMonkeyBasket: Yes that is one option i will look at - thanks

Hearts - look forward to your PM.

Its interesting - responses are split down the middle.

deleted203 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:24:50

I think you should take the job.

You say that you 'really enjoy your job and value your career'.

You say that you' worked really hard to get where you are, against all the odds, and you don't want to throw it all away'.

You also say you don't think you are cut out for being a SAHM - the idea scares you.

Based on this, I would say go for the job, and find a great nanny if possible. I think you would be bored and resentful stuck at home with the children and that you would find it difficult to get back into a career at this level if you take several years out to be at home with the kids. I don't think there is any reason why, if you have a fulfilling, well paid, exciting career that you love and are good at that any woman should feel as though she should HAVE to give it up and stay at home with kids. No one would expect a man to do this. And I think you will be a better mother, and a happier one, if you are fulfilling your career dreams, rather than being stuck at home with small children out of some vague feeling of guilt that you should be.

Moknicker Thu 10-Jan-13 21:30:54

sowornout (love the name) - For myself I have no doubt taking the job is the right thing. However, Im just nervous that it is doing the kids an injustice - leaving them in full care of a nanny 5 days a week, ie most of the time.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 10-Jan-13 21:43:51

Yes, I would. I would accept that a big chunk of the salary s going on some seriously good child care, and I would do the job for 12 months then review.

I don't know which profession you're in, but a job at that level just might not be on offer to you in a couple of years when the children are at school.

At least if you gave it a go you would know that you have tried, rather than wondering "what if?"

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 10-Jan-13 21:46:41

Moknicker - full time child care is really not the worst thing in the world if you can find the right person / nursery

deleted203 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:38:18

Honestly? (Love your name, too, actually!) I don't think it is an injustice. I'm a teacher (secondary) and I've got 5 kids. I was lucky enough to take the time off and stay at home with them when they were small (now aged 7 - 20s) and, do you know what? None of them remembers or cares, actually! However, I was a SAHM because I WANTED to be (hmmm...choice of teenage thugs in a rough secondary modern or playing with little people at home??? ). I do, actually, enjoy my job. But I wanted to be at home with pre-schoolers more. However, that was my choice and NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER THANKED ME! grin. I think as long as you have good full time nanny care and you spend quality time with them at weekends they will be happy. Because you will be. You have said that for you you have no doubt that taking the job is the right thing. Happy children need happy mothers - not bored, unfulfilled ones who are looking wistfully out the window and wishing they were doing anything else rather than reading The Hungry Caterpillar for the 114th time.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 11-Jan-13 08:07:08

We aren't talking about a regular job though where you'd be home in time for dinner most days and get to tuck the children into bed. At that salary in the Us ( and to be fair) in the UK as well they will expect 14-16 hr days, with logging on at the weekend or going into the office for a few hours as well. Your DH will also be in the same position as presumably his position is even higher paying.

You will quite literally not see your children during the week. I'm not saying that to be alarmist it's just the truth.

Having said that though if you really want it then you should go for it, but you will need to get an uber Nanny to cover those sort of hours.

lljkk Fri 11-Jan-13 08:13:46

I think I'd take it.
But if you asked me when I actually had a 3+2yo in the house I would have said no to it.
No help at all, am I?

ceeveebee Fri 11-Jan-13 08:43:27

Do men have similar reservations when offered a £200k job I wonder? I can't imagine many men at that senior level get to tuck their DC in at night either

Snog Fri 11-Jan-13 08:46:04

Moknicker what would you hours be, would you have weekends free and what would your holiday be?
Lots of people are speculating on the answers to these questions but presumably you have the facts on this already - what are they?

Will you work 9-5 with a 5 minute commute and work from home 2 days a week or will you work 12 hour days and w/ends and take no holiday?

Vagndidit Fri 11-Jan-13 08:54:11

That is a massive MASSIVE salary in the States and I would think that such a job probably entails a hell of a lot of commitment and workload
DSil is an executive type and makes well above 6 figures but she also spends 4 days/week travelling around the US, works 14 hour days and rarely sees the family. They have beautiful things, large house, etc but zero family time.

LillianGish Fri 11-Jan-13 09:07:27

I think you should ignore the fact that the job pays £200K - you've already said you can afford not to work. You don't say what the job is, but I think the question you need to ask is do you really love it enough - enough to spend most of your time (14 hours a day with only ten days holiday if what we've read on here is to be believed) doing it. The £200k will enable you to pay for wrap-around childcare which is great if that's what you want. With only ten days holiday (is this confirmed?) you'll scarcely be able to squeeze in a trip home to the UK let alone anything else. Your dilemma seems to me to be the perfect illustration of women not being able to "have it all". What would a man do? Well a man wouldn't expect to be able to "have it all" in the first place so he wouldn't face the the same dilemma. Kasbah puts it best in her original post.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 09:09:17

First of all, have you calculated what your net net marginal increase in family income will be, after taxes, childcare, cleaner etc? And does that amount of cash compensate you adequately for missing your DCs?

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 09:16:05

'With only ten days holiday (is this confirmed?) you'll scarcely be able to squeeze in a trip home to the UK let alone anything else.'

Believe me, having worked for people who made that kind of money in the US, even if you have that holiday allowance, you won't be taking it!

Uber nanny? You may actually need two, one for day and one for night, if both you and your DH have such jobs.

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 09:17:53

And YY to what Bonsoir says. Don't forget to add in things like clothes, laundry service/dry cleaner, hair care, manicure, other things attached to a job like that.

Chislemum Fri 11-Jan-13 09:18:20

take the job and see how it goes?

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 09:25:09

There are many variables here OP.

First, when you say you can afford to live without working, is it comfortably (bearing in mind one needs med insurance etc in the US)?

Second, if you did take an extended period from your career, how easy/difficult would it be to get back into it?

Third, how reliable/good is the child care available?

Fourth, what does your partner think? Always better if you both feel the same? Will your relationship work better or worse if you work.

Fifth, what are the realistic hours/environment for such a highly paid job?

FWIW, I reached a stage when my DC were young where I gave up a similarly paid position. It became unteneable for our family. Now I don't regret it because DH earns silly money, I carved out a new career and life,childcare was a nightmare and DH is pretty supportive whatever I do (certainly didn't exect me to be uber-wife when I stayed at home, and happy to much in when I work)... but the realitry is that old career is dead in the water.

WiseKneeHair Fri 11-Jan-13 09:25:58

OP, I have no experience or knowledge of USA, so can't comment on that.
However, I was also working part time when my FT dream job came up sooner than ideal i.e. my DC were 16 months, 5 and 7.
It involved a move of house, city and schools, but we did it.

Result? I love my job, we have money for a Nanny (who is absolutely brilliant and much better at messy play, baking, swimming, etc than I ever was), and a cleaner.
DC are happy, we are happy. I miss my friends from our old town more than the DC do because they have moved on and made new friends easier than I have.

However, I have flexibility. I can work in excess of 80 hours some weeks, including weekends, but only 40 others. I am senior enough that I can nip out for a class assembly (sometimes) and take the DC to school when one is ill. DH is also as involved in child care, household care as I am, so we are a partnership. I would be a bit more worried if you don't have some flexibility at work or your DH isn't able to partake in child/household care.

As you know, at the end of the day, only you can make the decision. However, if you turn the job down, there is no going back. If you accept it and it doesn't work, you can always quit.
Good luck with whichever decision you make.

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 09:29:43

DH and I have both worked in the US, and to be honest, the culture was better than I expected.

Certainly we took all our holiday entitlement. And of course the Americans get a lot more stat days than us! We finished much earlier too!

Not too different working a demanding job in the UK. And certainly no different from being self employed when if you don't work...you don't eat!

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 09:36:51

Funnily enough, the Americans (and I am thinking hot shot NY lawyers) I know in Paris think that the Parisian working day is very long indeed. The French working year is, of course, a lot shorter than the American one.

Same is true of schools: French DCs do long days but relatively few of them.

Different cultures...

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 09:51:20

What I found the most different is working culture was that the firm was part of your social life. Families knew one another and hung out. I suppose some wd find it friendly but I found it a bit too much.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 09:53:33

I worked in an American firm in Paris and it was a bit invasive for me, too. And leaving was hard because all your social life was wrapped up with your colleagues.

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