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Am I the only one who could afford not to work but actually WANTS to work?

(108 Posts)
BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:33:25

Not a TAAT but inspired by the childcare costs one....I have an 18 mo and work 3 days a week. He's in nursery those three days (from 8 til 5).

DH is a relatively high earner. I could afford not to work. I have chosen to go back to work nonetheless because I would go absolutely bananas at home 5 days a week with a young toddler. I had bad PND and it lifted almost the instant I started working again.

Generally it seems to me that women seem to justify the fact they work by a) saying they feel really guilty about doing it and b) they can't afford not to work.

Am I the only one out there who is choosing to work simply because I like working?

I know I am lucky to work the hours I do - maybe I would not feel this way if I had to work full-time, though on balance I still think I'd prefer to work full-time than be a SAHM.

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:34:14

God sorry there were an awful lot of "work"'s in that!!!!

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 20-Sep-17 11:35:30

I have to work but I definitely need it for my mental health too

SocksRock Wed 20-Sep-17 11:37:25

We could afford for me not to work. I do my job because I enjoy it, because working part time makes my mental health easier to manage, it means I can afford a cleaner, it means I will get my own pension, it means I'm independent of DH should the worst happen, loads of reasons really.

keely79 Wed 20-Sep-17 11:37:41

Same here. We could afford for me not to work (would need to cut back on a few luxuries, but due to DH job could live pretty much rent free) but I enjoy my job (I work full time) and get a lot of satisfaction through the mental challenges it raises. I also feel I am modelling for my DD and DS that you can have both a career and a family and that it is not automatically the woman who has to take a slower track/stay at home.

Men never feel the need to explain away their choice to work, even when it is a choice. I would be a terrible SAHM - in fact, DH would be better at it than I am and I earn about 4x what he does - but no-one has ever asked him if he is going to stay at home, and I wouldn't dream of requiring him to.

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:37:55

Yes that should probably be another category, those who both need to and want to

StealthPolarBear Wed 20-Sep-17 11:38:05

I love my job.
I find it odd that people (women) are encouraged to leave work and take up voluntary positions.

BiddyPop Wed 20-Sep-17 11:42:43

I could have afforded to stay at home, but went back to work as I hated being away from adults (never really got into baby groups).

I have changed roles within my job since a few times, some better and some worse. And with economic uncertainty impacting on DH's job, it was better for me to hold onto mine just in case.

I did do 6 months of a 4 day week a few years ago, more due to particular work stresses (a particularly micro-managing boss), but that was nice and I do contemplate that on occasion. But it won't be long before I can't really use DD as the excuse to do that....

Nowadays, I probably couldn't afford to give up as DD has got to love an expensive sport. But I am still far happier going out to work.

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:44:15

Oh good, I'm glad it's not just me. Was starting to feel I must be missing an essential maternal gene!

I have got literally no idea what I'd do to entertain DS if I had him 7 full days a week. There's only so often you can go to the bloody park.

MrsPear Wed 20-Sep-17 11:44:39

I would love to work. Have managed for the last seven years with me at home but I am so bored. Someone please give a job! Simple admin will do. I'm not expecting to go back to my last level!

babybat Wed 20-Sep-17 11:46:17

We're not particularly high earners, but with a few changes to our life we could afford to live on one income. My salary is roughly the same as DP's (a little higher, actually). I never even considered not working, even though my job isn't exactly something I'm passionate about, because a) I don't want to find myself struggling to get back into work when I have school-age children, b) financial security is really important to me, and c) I'm not married to DP. I find the whole idea that women should be semi-retired in their 30's just odd, tbh.

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:47:41

I would have thought if anything it's harder to work when you have school age kids - at least when they're young nurseries operate 8-6, 51 weeks of the year. Most of the working parents I know with school age children really struggle with school holidays etc. And jobs which fit in with school hours are quite hard to find I thought.

randomsabreuse Wed 20-Sep-17 11:48:35

We can and have coped financially if I don't work but I need to work for me - full time toddler care is not for me!

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:48:56

MrsPear where are you based? Have you tried - loads of basic admin jobs and the third sector is flexible and generally very good for women looking to get back into work.

I found my lovely family friendly job there smile

TheLegendOfBeans Wed 20-Sep-17 11:51:35

Sort of the same here. We are going through financial tough times and if I wasn't 36w pregnant then I'd be getting back out into the workplace now. As it stands I'll have to hang on until April.

Completely get you, OP; we are very lucky that (normally) we can afford a bit of nursery and that I can be a SAHM. I did this for DDs first 18months....
....which was fine until I realised the reason I was losing the plot a bit is that I'm not cut out to be a SAHM and need an office environment and tasks to feel "normal". As lovely as it was to see DD lots, I feel I may have played a bit fast and loose with my MH and also haven't enjoyed this pregnancy as much as I could have - work was a welcome distraction the first time round.

HeyMicky Wed 20-Sep-17 11:51:43

Me. I went back after both DCs but have just dropped to 85% (three short days and two long) now DD1 is at school.

We live in the SE and DH earns plenty in London.

But I like the extra lifestyle luxuries my salary provides; I never want to be totally dependant on DH; I'd like to do some further study and work will pay for it; I like working; and my area of speciality moves so quickly I'd soon my find myself out of touch if I took time out

TheLegendOfBeans Wed 20-Sep-17 11:53:24

Tell you what though, I'd sell my granny for a 24 hour contract / 3 days a week FT come April... as much as I'm looking forward to going back to work I don't want to go in FT.

ChorusLine69 Wed 20-Sep-17 11:53:33

I think part of the problem is that women can feel guilty and that they have to justify their choices either way. I had 2 under 2 and couldn't afford to go back to work as it would have cost me money to work but I somehow feel that I'm letting the side down being a SAHM and that society doesn't value what I do. I've also had a few comments from other mothers mainly along the lines of ' don't you miss using your brain' So I think we should be less judgemental both ways

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Wed 20-Sep-17 11:53:40

Nope. I'm planning on looking for a job that fits around us early next year (dc5 will be around 6 months). If I don't find one it won't be the end on the world but it will help my sanity if I do. I did it when dc3 was about 12 months old too. It's nice because it allows you to be picky with what you apply for, if I HAD to work I'd have much less choice & would end up having to use childcare which would eat up my wages anyway.

ZaphodBeeblerox Wed 20-Sep-17 11:57:24

Same here. My studentship income is quite tiny and once baby is here childcare will easily cost more than studentship. But we are lucky enough to be able to afford for me to work given DH's income. I'd be very scared of losing my identity if I didn't work, and that I'd then end up taking on the lion's share of domestic chores etc. Neither of which I fancy. And DH also feels we'd start resenting each other ("I put my career on hold for you" vs "you have all the time in the world to do laundry") etc if we both didn't work.

Obviously we're lucky and these aren't choices available to everyone! But I definitely want to work despite not needing to!

thatstoast Wed 20-Sep-17 11:58:01

We're lucky in that, although our earnings are average, we have low outgoings so we can manage on one income. I don't think either of us would enjoy not working at all.

MotherofSausage Wed 20-Sep-17 11:58:41

I have worked FT since my DS was 4 months old. I really like my job and although we don't "need" the income in a survival sense, I prefer earning and getting out of the house. I love DS to bits but I was just bored and grumpy at home all the time.

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 11:59:01

I had 2 under 2 and couldn't afford to go back to work as it would have cost me money to work but I somehow feel that I'm letting the side down being a SAHM and that society doesn't value what I do.

But would you have wanted to go back to work, if you could have afforded it?

Hanuman Wed 20-Sep-17 11:59:47

My DH and I earn the same - both of us earn enough that we could live, minus some luxuries, on one income. We both work - trying to get both working 4 days a week agreed. It has never occurred to me to give up work entirely. I barely know any SAHMS - genuinely didn't realise it was still so common until I started reading mumsnet

BurningOutNow Wed 20-Sep-17 12:01:25

Honestly nearly everyone I know from my baby group days is a SAHM, either through choice or because childcare costs would eat up nearly all their salary.

Childcare nearly eats up all of my salary (if you look at it that way anyway - all our finances are joint so I don't see it that way personally) but for me the benefits of working justify this.

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