Judged about my choices, can any WOHMs give me a pep talk?

(41 Posts)
NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 03-Oct-15 17:43:05

I'm pregnant with my first baby. I'm self employed and the main earner. DH and I are sharing the leave 4months each. We can't afford for me to be away from work longer than that. I return PT 3.5 days per week. Then after his 4months he'll be doing 3.

I'm getting ready fed up with people telling me I won't be able to do this. I'm under no illusions that I have no idea yet how hard it'll be to leave my baby but surely this plan isn't totally unworkable. I'm feeling shit after a visit from a SAHM friend who has told me I'm being unrealistic.

AuntieStella Sat 03-Oct-15 17:47:21

You're not being unrealistic in the slightest.

I'm not that old, but when I had my first, maternity leave was 18 weeks, so anyone returning to work straightaway was leaving a 3 month old. And lots of us did it.

You make the best choices for your family in the light of your actual circumstances. And your baby will be fine, just like all those babies of working mothers in the 1990s.

AutumnAttic Sat 03-Oct-15 17:50:54

How rude of these people to tell you what you will and will not be able to do.

4 months is not unrealistic at all.

bigbadbarry Sat 03-Oct-15 17:51:23

You can't win whatever you do so the best thing is to do what works for you as a family and ignore everybody else. Half of them are only trying to make themselves feel better about their choices. Try to find some supportive friends!

Thatrabbittrickedme Sat 03-Oct-15 17:51:46

In most countries 3-4 months is all you get. You have a good plan and you and your DH are working together- it will be fine! thanks

Kickedinthetits Sat 03-Oct-15 17:52:48

What do they mean, you won't be able to? You're both part time- it sounds like the perfect set up to me.
I work 3 days a week and it is great. Time for being at home and time for me to enjoy my work. Just tell your sahm friend that you are happy with your choice and then leave it at that. Plenty of people are far more fulfilled by working as well as being a parent, me included.

gininteacupsandleavesonthelawn Sat 03-Oct-15 17:53:36

I had to go back when DD was 8weeks old for very similar reasons. I hated people telling me that when I had no real choice, it was hard but I did it.

DragonsCanHop Sat 03-Oct-15 17:53:49

I returned back full time when my first was 3 months old, it was the norm then!

Redcrayons Sat 03-Oct-15 17:59:11

The CEo of Yahoo is only having 2 weeks, so you're slacking off really www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/02/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-minimal-maternity-leave-plan-prompts-dismay

Most people don't get that self-employed people simply don't have the luxury of sick leave, loads of holidays and long mat leave. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Redcrayons Sat 03-Oct-15 18:00:29

The yahoo thing ^ was joke, just to be clear. just realised that you might think I was suggesting that!

trilbydoll Sat 03-Oct-15 18:01:55

It'll be much easier leaving the baby with your DH - it's the getting everyone dressed and out to nursery / work etc I find hard. With just yourself to worry about it'll be a breeze!

JoeMommuh Sat 03-Oct-15 18:03:07

How rude. Do they tell your DH he "won't be able to do it"??

Stylingwax Sat 03-Oct-15 18:07:54

Hello, I've seen you on the Jan 16 thread. I'm on DC2, went back full time after DC1, was totally fine and in fact wished I'd gone back slightly earlier. This time i'd like to go back part time after 4/5 months then work up slowly. Great that some people are able to be SAHM but personally, we couldn't afford it and I wouldn't want to anyway. In my first job I sat next to someone who had to come back after 6 weeks, long maternity leaves are great, and I totally support then, but they're not the norm in many countries or always right for people either.

FishWithABicycle Sat 03-Oct-15 18:08:41

Sounds perfectly sensible and workable to me. It's not like you're going back to a 12 hours a day 6 days a week situation. I'm sure it will be fine.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 03-Oct-15 18:12:16

Thanks for all your replies, feeling better already.

how rude. Do they tell your DH he "won't be able to do it"??

Funnily enough they do, but for different reasons. People seem to think he should work more than 3 days.

NotSpartacus Sat 03-Oct-15 18:13:31

I went back to work 4 months after having my first. It was hard, but not because I felt guilty or any of those other working mum cliches, but because my Dh worked overseas, so I was basically a full time working single mum and that was v v tiring. It would have been a very different story if I had had proper support at home, as you clearly do.
You will be fine, don't listen to people who tell you otherwise, particularly if they have never been in your position.

Bohemond Sat 03-Oct-15 18:18:25

Do you work at home? I am self employed and work at home. I am also the main earner and went back at 4 months part time. It was fine. Can you be flexible with the days/hours you work as that is what worked for me.

slicedfinger Sat 03-Oct-15 18:22:20

I'm a SAHM currently for practical reasons, not philosophical. Your proposed set sounds absolutely bloody brilliant. Good luck with it, if we could have arranged it like that, we definitely would.

museumum Sat 03-Oct-15 18:27:17

Sounds good to me. I went back p/t at 6mo but had been doing some work at home evenings and weekends from 3mo.
In my experience what mattered the first year was being able to be p/t and having my ds with my dh in the early months (he started nursery at 6mo but only 12hr a week).

whatisfair Sat 03-Oct-15 18:28:30

Sounds fine. Exactly what we did after DC2 (DC1: I went back part-time, DH full-time, DC3: I went back fulltime, DH stayed at home). All worked out well each time but my favorite period was when we were both working part-time.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 03-Oct-15 18:29:24

Do you work at home

I don't, but I have a short commute and standard hours with no working late.
I'll have Wednesday all day and Friday afternoon off.

MairyHoles Sat 03-Oct-15 18:41:03

I went back full time after 16 weeks with my first, as a single parent I had no choice, I literally could not afford my bills on SMP. I found a CM I was more than happy with so I knew she was safe and happy when I was working. I think trusting the person who will be caring for your child is the key here. Which is your DH so you will be fine!

Many people actually said things along the lines of "I don't know how you can do it" and I said if they were willing to pay my bills I could probably bring myself to stay at home longer.

After a 2 year stint as a SAHM I now work part time and have 3 young kids. It's much harder than I thought it would be but I love my job and have to admit that now I'm not working for the money, it's for the time to be me instead of mum.

I hope you don't find yourself judged for returning to work.

starlight2007 Sat 03-Oct-15 18:43:56

Op...Can I say Welcome to the world of motherhood where everyone thinks they have a right to an opinion on what you do..

Things I have learnt in motherhood..There is certainly more than one way to do it right.

Don't tell people information on your plans when they think they have a right to an opinion.

Eg baby names.. Yours and DH choice.
Maternity leave ..same thing
Bottle feeding..
do you co sleep/ not co sleep.

Honestly it is an endless list.

My Top tip is trust your instincts on what is right for you and your family

flowers

Tyrannosaurus Sat 03-Oct-15 18:50:06

So your baby will get 8 months at home with a parent? That sounds great, whether it is you or your DH. Then after that you will both be part time, so sharing the load financially, and both able to spend lots of time with the baby? That sounds like a great set up to me. Yes it might be a wrench leaving the baby when they are so young, but you are an adult, and will undoubtedly cope.

nooka Sat 03-Oct-15 18:52:26

I went back to work full time when my dd was three months (changed jobs when I was pregnant so only had SMP). It was fine, tiring but then we had two under two and that's always going to be tiring really!

I think your arrangements sound well thought through, and great that your dh is fully on board with co-parenting. Will you be using family or childcare for the day and a half that your dc won't have one of you with him/her?

What reason did your SAHM friend give for thinking your plans were unrealistic? Di she think you would be too tired, your dh would fail at caring for your baby, you would be too emotional to leave the baby, or was it some other aspect of your plan she thought wouldn't work?

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