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SAHM’s -Any regrets?

(54 Posts)
PerfectPeony2 Wed 12-Jun-19 10:56:36

I went back to work a few weeks ago, I’m really struggling for various reasons but mostly because I’m missing DD. It’s only 3 days a week but she’s in nursery 8-5.

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM, do you think you made the right decision? Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery? Are you worried about future career prospects?

I’d love to stay home with her but it’s such a big decision. I don’t want to miss out on anything.

frugalkitty Wed 12-Jun-19 11:11:11

I made the choice to stay home initially because with no family nearby, nursery fees for two kids would have wiped out my earnings and I didn’t see the point in that, plus my DH works away from home a lot. It was definitely the right decision and I loved being a SAHM, for us it was the best thing for the kids and the family as a unit. However, what it’s meant for me is a huge impact on my future pension, as rules have changed in my profession while I’ve been out, so from that point of view I may have shot myself in the foot hmm

It’s not just about being there for the kids, it’s not that simple a decision. You need to factor in the job your partner does (if you have one), what help you can get from outside, costs now (eg childcare in school holidays later on) but also any impact on your career/pension etc for you if you take time out. What I will say though, is that everyone will have an opinion about the decision you make, but you just have to do what’s right for you and your family and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks.

CrystalVisions Wed 12-Jun-19 11:36:54

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM

I wanted to be with DD whilst she was small and delightful. I didn't want to leave her with other women (often very young girls) for a huge chunk of the week. I've worked in nurseries ....

do you think you made the right decision

For my family, yes definitely. I don't judge others or expect to be judged in this respect.

Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?

She went to nursery part-time from the age of 2. I don't think kids miss out if they don't go to nursery though. We were out and about a fair bit, socialising and doing stuff.

Are you worried about future career prospects?

No. I wanted to drop her off/pick her up from school, take her to activities, enjoy the holidays with her. I went back to work part time when she was at primary and have increased my hours since secondary. I was never wildly ambitious but I enjoy working but don't need the stress of combining work and parenting.

I will be advising my DD to do things differently though smile

juneau Wed 12-Jun-19 11:46:50

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM

I became a SAHM, because where we were living when DS1 was born I'd have had to go back to work when he was 12 weeks old and no way could I have done that if I had another option - which luckily for me I did. Then the credit crisis happened and I couldn't go back. So then I had DS2 and it made no financial sense for me to go back and here I am 11 years later and I haven't worked since!

Do you think you made the right decision?

Yes, definitely - it was the right decision both for me and our family. There have been times when I've desperately missed working, but DH earns a good salary and we both prefer our DC to be looked after by me than by childcare/after school clubs/holiday clubs - and our DC are very happy - particularly in the school holidays that they don't have to spend weeks in activity camps, unlike their friends with working parents.

Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?

My kids did go to nursery a couple of days a week, because I thought they'd miss out if they didn't. I needed a break from them, they did loads of messy stuff I didn't want to do at home, and socially it was good for them.

Are you worried about future career prospects?

Yes and no. I wouldn't be able to go back to my old career now (finance), as I've been out too long, but I'm doing a second degree that will (in theory), enable me to start a completely new career once DS2 goes to secondary.

Cookit Wed 12-Jun-19 11:55:20

Good to read some positive stories. I’m considering it very seriously after my second mat leave ends.

KnifeAngel Wed 12-Jun-19 12:00:45

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM, do you think you made the right decision?
I didn't want to leave Dd with anyone else. My parents still worked full-time. Plus childcare fees would have been crippling to us. I have loved staying at home. We have struggled financially but it has been so worth it.

Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?
Both my children went to a playgroup at 2 1/2 for the morning sessions five mornings a week. We then met up with friends in the afternoons.

Are you worried about future career prospects?
No. I am still at home now they are teenagers. I will go back to something one day.

applesarerroundandshiny Wed 12-Jun-19 12:11:30

From the other side OP, I worked part time and nearly always felt I had made the right decision. Yes it was difficult to go back initially but I felt I had the best of both worlds.

I was able to continue part time in my previous job role, not a high flyer but a solid public service admin role I wouldn't have been able to get back into as recruitment pretty much stopped. It is good to have some financial independence even if you are not a career person as such.

I made the most of the two days a week I spent at home with DS doing lots of activities with him and going out places. I loved those days but they were probably extra special because it wasn't every day so there was never any of the resentment some people get with being at home with toddlers all day.

I do think that DS benefitted from being in nursery, yes. I think it was good for his social development. But equally I think it was important that he was able to spend part of the week at home with me, more chilled one to one time.

The only time I recall a real stab of regret was when he started school and we no longer had the two days a week together. I think part of it was that he was growing up and the pre-school days were over as we knew we would not have a second child but I vaguely considered the idea of home schooling but I knew this was neither practical financial wise or even good for DS as an only child.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 12-Jun-19 12:12:07

I went back to being a SAHM when I had ds3. At that point I was working 25 hours a week as an Operating Theatre nurse (two long days and a half day), and it was costing me £100 to have ds1 and ds2 in nursery for those 2.5 days. My take home pay was £150, so when I became pregnant with ds3, it was obvious that my earnings would be completely wiped out by my nursery costs - basically I'd be working for nothing.

I was not enjoying my job - as a part-timer, I wasn't in line for promotion, and was overlooked whenever it came to providing any professional development that might have enabled me to apply for promotion, and I felt I got the shittiest work to do - the lists/surgeons no-one else wanted.

I was lucky that dh's wages were sufficient to support the family - my earnings had been extra - they provided some luxuries - so I was able to stop working and be a SAHM.

Shortly after this, ds1 started at school, and I think that, even if I had carried on working until then, I'd have had to give up at that point, because the before and after school club at their nursery would have been more expensive than a day in the nursery.

I was glad that I was able to be a SAHM - it worked well for the dses, and for dh and me - but I am very aware how lucky I was that we could afford to do this.

I do sometimes wonder, though, if I did the right thing. By the time the boys were old enough that I could have gone back to work, my registration had lapsed, so I'd have had to do a Back To Nursing course, and it would have been very difficult for me to get back into theatre nursing, which was the only area I had any experience in, as a qualified nurse. And by then I was too old (in my mind, at least) to retrain for anything else, so I did feel, to some extent, that I had no option but to carry on being a SAHM, and that there was nothing else I could do .

applesarerroundandshiny Wed 12-Jun-19 12:14:44

To add, I continued working part time when DS started school , even being fortunate enough to change my hours to work 5 days around school hours, again the best of both worlds but I do realise that not many people will have the opportunity to do this.

Jbonesmumma1 Wed 12-Jun-19 12:14:48

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM

I wanted to be there to see all DS's firsts and to enjoy his babyhood, we didn't need my wage... plus I didn't exactly love my job. Both me and DP work long hours so it would of meant DS spend 80% of his week in nursery. He also goes to bed at 6pm (we tried to push it back it didn't work) so I wouldn't of seen him 5 days a week.

Do you think you made the right decision?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The grass is always greener. If I had gone back to work I probably would question that too! I love being with him, but it's tough and a bit boring at times (DS is 10months)

Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?

Not at all. Most of the research is overwhelmingly negative for children being placed in nursery before the age of 2. They arnt actually capable of 'socialising with other babies' properly and benefit more from one to one adult interaction.

Are you worried about future career prospects?

No, I have started re-training (I'm taking a few courses online) to buff up my CV so there isn't huge gaps. As long as employers can see you didn't do FA during this time. Volunteering one day a week even would give your CV a boost so you can rejoin the workforce when you feel the need.

I hope you do what's best for you and your family. There are no 'right' decisions OP. Both working at SAHM have pros and cons xxx

twosoups1972 Wed 12-Jun-19 12:16:19

I was a SAHM for over a decade. Best decision ever. There is always another job around the corner but your children are only small once.

It's not just being able to get to sports days/assemblies and so on. It's more the general being around that my dc have benefitted from. They can come straight home after school and relax.

Nursery is not a necessity for very young children if at all. When they were small we had plenty of outings to toddler groups/farms/the park/library etc. We also did arts and crafts/painting etc at home. My dc went to nursery just before they turned 3 which was about the right time.

Future career prospects? I changed careers completely when my youngest was in Year 1 and now do something new. Still very part time. I need to be around after school for ferrying to and from activities and also because teens really need you to be around.

People say it's important to work to set a good example to your dc. But I think it's just as important an example to stay home and show your dc how much you value your home and family life. I know I'm lucky and we could afford for me to do it and I really appreciate that.

PerfectPeony2 Wed 12-Jun-19 12:22:22

Lovely to read some positive stories.

I thought part time would be best of both, and I’m very lucky with my employer but 3 days still feels like a lot (can’t reduce hours). Our days off together have been nice but I feel a bit under pressure- like she was really overtired and cried a lot last week and all I was thinking was I’m back in work tomorrow and she hasn’t had a nice day with me. I know when I was on mat leave it was hard but the good days made up for it.

It’s been a hard year (colic/ teething/ quite high needs baby). But she’s sleeping through now, walking and so much happier. Then I went back to work and I feel like I’m missing out. Like her walking improved a lot this week and I didn’t get to see it.

bluebluezoo Wed 12-Jun-19 12:23:48

Actually, now I am rapidly heading toward retirement age, the major, major drawback of being a sahm is I am looking at trying to survive on a state pension.

I have a minimal one from the 10 year I worked and paid in, but not enough to make a difference.

Yes dh has his, but it’s also not amazing. We should be ok with bills and stuff, but my visions of lots of holidays and finally not having to budget are gone.

If i had my time over I’d make sure I still paid into a pension. There are plenty of private options these days.

So I’d add that caveat. Sahm you may be financially ok in the short term, but it’s not only the effect when you do go back to work that your career will never get back to where it was, but also the effect on your pension.

Unless your dh is a big earner and you can afford to keep up your pension contributions too, think long and hard.

Think especially if you do split up and you are left relying on your own pension and savings...

TillyTheTiger Wed 12-Jun-19 12:24:49

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM?
3 hour round commute, work wouldn't be flexible with hours, didn't want DS to have such long days in nursery from 12 months old so it didn't seem right to return. Plus me taking all the responsibility for childcare/ housework/ night waking etc has given DH the opportunity to progress in his career in a way which would have been impossible if we'd been sharing the drudgery.
Do you think you made the right decision?
For DS - definitely. He gets all the 1:1 attention he needs, he's ahead of all his milestones and a very happy boy. For DH - also definitely. For myself - no. I should have found part time work. My self-esteem, self-worth, independence and finances have been decimated.
Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?
Not really. We go to groups almost every day so DS gets plenty of socialisation. He'll start pre-school in Sept and will be ready for it, he's a very secure and confident little boy.
Are you worried about future career prospects?
Very. I had a decent job with responsibility, good salary and prospects for progression. Now I feel like with at least 5-6 years out of the workplace by the time I try to return (2nd baby on the way), I'll have to start again from scratch which is very disheartening. If I had my time again, part time work would be a no-brainer.

magneticmumbles Wed 12-Jun-19 12:25:51

I'm a SAHM (well actually I work 2 hours a week).
I have no regrets. Children do benefit from that 1:1 socialisation.
I don't understand what you're saying about children missing out on nursery? My DC goes to nursery. Everyone gets 15 hours funding. They don't have to miss out on anything.

lucymegan Wed 12-Jun-19 12:28:51

We simply couldn't afford nursery fees so I stay home. I have no qualifications (left school at 10) so the jobs I can do are limited and dont pay a lot. She starts nursery in January so I'll maybe look to go back to work then when she's she's there.

DCIRozHuntley Wed 12-Jun-19 12:30:06

For me, being at home with my children outweighed any financial benefit, sense of pride and self, intellectual stimulation, pension benefits and career progression. I have taken a risk in terms of being vulnerable financially if DH leaves me or dies, though we have taken reasonable steps to mitigate this.

If my not working would've meant a reduction in living standards below what we'd find acceptable (for example I'm ok with no foreign holidays but couldn't deal with no holidays at all, it's very nuanced and individual) or meant I'd have been giving up a paid role that gave me great satisfaction the equation would have been different.

I am lucky enough to now volunteer in a rewarding and challenging area (for me) in a way that I can take my DC along to so I do get some sense of self and intellectual stimulation from that.

Can you take a period of unpaid parental leave, and maybe make an ongoing plan to do that annually? I think you'd be entitled to some if you're an employee. I believe it's 4 weeks a year per DC until DC is 18 and can be for any reason. Of course that plan might (unfairly) affect the progression element of the equation above!

It's a very individual choice (if indeed it is a free choice - I accept that so many couples don't have the option of a SAHP or their hand is forced by restrictive childcare costs into one parent SAH) but once you've made it, try to own it. Don't listen to judgment from others. Do try to put things in place in case things go wrong. Personally we have income protection insurance for DH plus pay into a pension for me.

PerfectPeony2 Wed 12-Jun-19 12:32:14

socialisation.
I don't understand what you're saying about children missing out on nursery? My DC goes to nursery. Everyone gets 15 hours funding. They don't have to miss out on anything.

I just meant the social interaction and being in a nursery settling (different toys/ playing with other kids/ independence etc.). DD is only 1 so won’t get the 15 hours until age 3. We’d do a lot of baby groups and things though so I’d make sure she had structure to the day and got to play with other children. I think it’s just people saying (my mum in particular!) that if they don’t go to nursery these days they are at a disadvantage.

kenandbarbie Wed 12-Jun-19 12:33:52

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM, do you think you made the right decision?

So I could be the one spending most time with them, taking them to school and activities, doing homework with them, eating with them etc. definitely the right decision for us.

Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?

No, we have four kids so they have plenty of socialization and the youngest will go at 3.

Are you worried about future career prospects?

No, my professional qualification has now lapsed. I'm doing an online degree in a curriculum subject and I hope to go into teaching when they're older.

CrystalVisions Wed 12-Jun-19 12:36:45

My self-esteem, self-worth, independence and finances have been decimated

And that us why, despite me having no regrets (OK maybe a couple!) I'll be discouraging DD from being a full time SAHM and strongly advise her to choose a DH who will do 50% of everything - including cutting his hours to look after his child.

Bortusesmoustache Wed 12-Jun-19 12:41:06

I've been a SAHM for nearly ten years, although I will be returning to work part-time shortly.

I made the decision to be a SAHM partly through situation (forces wife) and partly through choice - I really didn't want to leave DC with anyone else. I have zero regrets and absolutely made the right choice for our family.

We went to lots of mother/baby type stuff and both DC went to Pre-School at 3. I really didn't think they 'missed out' on anything by not going to nursery before then - tbh I think that whole idea is a bit of a myth. Transition to school was absolutely fine.

Financially it's been ok for us; luckily I've been able to keep up pension etc by working a few hours a week for the family business. Salary has obviously taken a hit but I'll be returning to the field that I used to be employed in and think I could probably rebuild my career if I want to... However, I've never been terribly driven, and I think this is probably key! If my identity had been more closely tied to my job, then I think it would have been much, much harder. As it is, I've absolutely loved being a SAHM and would definitely make the same choice again.

CrystalVisions Wed 12-Jun-19 12:49:12

I just meant the social interaction and being in a nursery settling (different toys/ playing with other kids/ independence etc.)

No, I think the negatives of bring in a nursery at a very young age far outweigh the positives. Actually, I can't think of any positives. They can do all those things in a home setting. How much independence does a 1 year-old need?

NationalAnthem Wed 12-Jun-19 12:51:03

Just wondering what your reasons were for being a SAHM

I became a SAHM because I had twin and worked out I needed to earn £50k a year to break even. My mother worked full time with on call and I remember feeling like she was never around or never had time, she was forever busy and I didn't want to be that kind of Mum. DH has a very demanding job which he really loves - works away from home a lot - he is not fit for much when he gets home - so it all pointed to me staying at home and I was happy about that.

Do you think you made the right decision?
Yes, I have a lovely relationship with my teens, I have all the time in the world for them. DS really struggled with infant school - turns out he was masking all day and he had aspergers but he really needed me to hold him when he came home, he continued to have various health problems and had loads of medical appointments. There was no juggling, we had no money worries and life was pretty stress free.

Do you think your kids miss out by not going to nursery?

No they went to nursery school, loads of activities too.

Are you worried about future career prospects?

I never really enjoyed my job so I wasn't too bothered. I did start to worry about what I'd do when they went to Uni - I have loads of interests but it's a long day when no one comes home in the evening. So I started to do some paid work, I'm really enjoying it and my confidence has really grown - I put all my salary into my pension...I haven't told dd but I will look after her kids rather than her give up her job - mostly because I'd have been financially screwed if our marriage had not worked out - I don't want that for dd.

SmarmyMrMime Wed 12-Jun-19 13:08:54

I've worked P/T, F/T and SAHM since having DCs.

I had P/T work when they were in nursery and it was a good balance of my time, the social structure of nursery and my independence as an individual.

I then had a F/T contract as my eldest went to school. He found the pressure of a school day and the busy breakfast/ after school club to be too much.

When that ended I became a SAHM. The workload in my career has become ridiculous, and with DH & I working over 100 hours per week between us, and with no support network, we were stretched too thin as a family.

It is emerging that DS1 has some SNs. Nursery was very helpful in SALT and the part time years worked well. He would still find wrap around care too draining.

When my DCs no longer need wrap around care, I am open to returning to my career... maybe working conditions may even improve by then...

We are financially secure and have a comfortable life with provisions beyond retirement.

You have to do what is right for you as an individual and as a package of family life, and everyone has different situations. I have no regrets. The full time year was tough, but educational!

ILikeYourLittleHat Wed 12-Jun-19 13:09:16

I went back 3 days a week after dc1 although it was hard to leave him in nursery at age 1. But I liked our 2 days off together. He did benefit from nursery I'd say around age 2 but mainly through lots of outside play and meeting his best buddy there.
After dc2 things had changed logistically so I didn't go back to work but dc stayed in preschool (age 4) a couple of days a week until school. I'm intending to put dc2 in nursery/ preschool when they're around age 2 for a couple of mornings a week I think.

Having experienced both sides I'd say it's all down to your individual circs. I see this as temporary, and it's made life a lot easier knowing there'll always be someone to look after a sick child, not worrying about childcare in holidays etc. However I haven't yet tried to find a new job - feeling quietly hopeful as a took a long break from work before kids for other reasons and ended up in a great job. I appreciate being off with dc a lot more than I would've with dc1 as I now see how quickly they grow, plus I know a bit more about how to entertain kids!

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