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to cry because I can't be a sahm?

(60 Posts)
TheBigZing Mon 15-Nov-10 22:41:55

I was happier than I've ever been in my life than the year I took mat leave. I adored spending all day with my baby. I never got bored: I enjoyed every minute.

When dd was 1yo I went back to work 2 days pw. It was tough but because I was still at home with her for most of the time, I was still very happy.

Now our circumstances have changed. Dh lost his job. My employer asked me to go back full time. How could I refuse? It's as much my responsibility to ensure we can feed and house ourselves as it is his. So in September I went back full time and dh became a sahd.

In lots of ways we are blessed. I am incredibly lucky to have a job. I much prefer that dd is at home with my dh than sending her to a nursery. Dh does try hard to look after me even though I've said he only needs to look after dd. He does my washing and cooks all my meals.

So why do I feel so wretched that it's not me at home with her? I miss that first year so much I can't think about it without welling up. All I want to do is bring up my little girl myself.

I'm selfish aren't I? Tell me straight. I can take it.

hairytriangle Mon 15-Nov-10 22:44:38

Yanbu. But just because you are working does not mean you are not bringing her up. If I am blessed with a child I will go back to work after six months and dp will be a sahd. It makes financial sense for us and is the only sensible way to do it, for us.

emkana Mon 15-Nov-10 22:45:52

Not selfish at all, I can totally understand how you feel. But, you are doing what is best and right for your family, and should be proud of yourself. With dh being at home, make sure he knows how you feel so you don't get bogged down with domestic stuff when you get home from work but can spend quality time with your dd. Equally weekends. Also, could you find an arrangement with work that you could compress your hours into four or four and a half days, to give you a half or a full day with your dd?

Concordia Mon 15-Nov-10 22:45:55

i once cried as i was driving to work because i saw the sheep in the fields and they were with their lambs sad
It sounds like you are a great mum and although you're working full time at the moment, over your child's life you'll spend plenty of time with her.
Is your DH looking for work at the mo? You could discuss with him whether over time the balance could shift again?

expatinscotland Mon 15-Nov-10 22:46:48

I had to go back when DD1 was 2 months. DH stayed at home.

It was really gut-wrenching then, but would have been far less so at age 1.

You've been very lucky to have a whole year off.

I could never afford it.

Also, she will be with your DH. That's good.

Monty27 Mon 15-Nov-10 22:48:06

Zing - it is sad But by working you are caring and providing for her. She's lucky to be with df as well instead of a nursery.

Probably doesn't help much but, it is tough these days.

SalFresco Mon 15-Nov-10 22:48:15

You are bringing up your little girl yourself, and you must never think otherwise.

violethill Mon 15-Nov-10 22:50:46

Would it help to try to look at it that your dd is absolutely fine, has the advantage of building as close a bond with her dad, and he has the opportunity to get as much pleasure and fulfilment out of some time at home as you did?

It doesn't mean you're not raising your dd either- of course you are! It makes total sense for you to work if your dh has been made redundant - the alternative- debt, insecurity and two stressed and scared parents would be Awful for your child

SparklyJules Mon 15-Nov-10 22:50:50

You can cry all you like, but don't let it consume you. Look at the positives you have listed and concentrate on them. Your daughter doesn't love you any less because you work full time.

When she is older, she will admire you so much for doing what you needed to.

scottishmummy Mon 15-Nov-10 22:55:49

you are responsible adult providing stop berating self.and dont create a mythical everything would be better if sahm,as realistically there would be days you'd be bored and cross pragmatically your dd has 2 parents is settled- well done

do accept roles and responsibilities have changed.your partner lost his job,expectations have changed.doesn't make you bad mum

GiddyPickle Mon 15-Nov-10 23:01:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

minxofmancunia Mon 15-Nov-10 23:01:34

sorry to be harsh but one of you is working and one of you is SAH. A lot of us don't have that choice. I've always had to work, as has my husband to afford us a decent quality of life. i work PT 3 days a week with dcs and 3 days in nursery.

Your dcs will be fine. it;s hard leaving them but it's life.

violethill Mon 15-Nov-10 23:04:16

I agree. You need to be a bit more glass half full rather than half empty. Your dh is at home - Many couples cant afford the luxury of one parent not working- and you had a whole year off work- again, a luxury beyond reach for many

ShanahansRevenge Mon 15-Nov-10 23:05:04

She'll get a very precious thing which most kids don't...quality time with her Dad...of course YANBU...not at will alays be her Mum (which is a bit spcial imo) and you will always have had that first crucial year...things may change yet...DH may get a job...he or yo could start a can be done eve in a recssion!

Your DD will have a rare thing..time with a man who cares and loves her...she will forever have that and it's just as priceless as wht you gave her in that first year and what you will continue to give when you are with her.

She will see a strong woman as her role model.she will never take it for granted that women do all the she will probably form very healthy reltionships with men when she is grown up!

scottishmummy Mon 15-Nov-10 23:07:11

part of being equal partners is sometimes responsibilities shift and plans change.your dp lost his job and you went full-time- that is the responsible thing to do

stop daydreaming what ifs.and get on with real life

and ffs don't openly articulate you'd be better of as sahm to a precious moment mamma or they will agree with you wholeheartedly.and you dont want that

Ragwort Mon 15-Nov-10 23:11:17

You are giving your daughter a really positive image of a responsbile parent; you can be assured that she will develop a strong bond with her father which many children don't.

Just another point of view - I am crying because after ten years of being a SAHM I am virtually unemployable - you won't be making the same mistake that I've made. sad.

deedee321 Mon 15-Nov-10 23:12:24

YANBU, it is totally understandable to feel like that, I would feel the same. You are not saying you don't appreciate the positives involved in the way things are, you have every right to yearn for maximum time with your little one at this age. Sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing for your family so take comfort from that and who knows how things may change in the future.

TheBigZing Mon 15-Nov-10 23:13:27

minx, I know you're right. We're very lucky that we can (just about) afford to do this.

I got home from a stressful, difficult day today and dd told me they had been to feed the ducks. And I just thought 'I want to do that with you! I used to do that with you!'

We used to do baking, go to playgroup, go to storytime at the library, go to sahm friends' houses, go swimming.

Now it's so late when I get home I have barely enough time to do an activity with her before it's tea and bed. And the weekends fly by. I often have to bring work home with me at the weekends too, stealing even more precious time from her.

I know I'm lucky, really I do. But I still miss it like crazy.

Wholelottalove Mon 15-Nov-10 23:15:28

I really feel for you having been in a similar situation myself. However, I agree with what some other people are saying about looking at the positives. I went round and round with the 'what ifs' and a touch of thinking the grass was greener and TBH it pushed me into depression and had a negative impact on my relationship with DH.

Fortunately, I was able to reduce my hours a little after some months and have a day a week at home with DD which really helped. I have just started a second period of maternity leave and I think I will be much better prepared emtionally to go back to work this time around.

Have you and your DH explored you both working p/t - this is what DH and I did with some childcare too and it meant we both got some time at home and some time at work.

ChateauDeLaShite Mon 15-Nov-10 23:18:36

Look at it this way, in 10 years time your career will be cracking along nicely, whereas if you'd taken time out it would probably be knackered. And there are loads of threads on here about women whose husbands became magically incapable of using a washing machine when their wives became SAHM.

TheBigZing Mon 15-Nov-10 23:25:20

Chateau, I actually have to watch myself to make sure I don't get too lazy around the house! I'm lucky that dh works so hard to make my life easier. Not that he's much good at the cleaning. But as I said, he does all the cooking and all the washing. Bless him.

TheNextMrsDepp Mon 15-Nov-10 23:29:00

It must be tough. Is your DH looking for work? If he finds a job you can eventually reverse the position, or maybe go part-time again. Think of it as a temporary phase when you are doing the right thing for your family, but it won't be forever.

TheBigZing Tue 16-Nov-10 08:03:53

No, dh is not looking for work. He doesnt want to go back to the profession he's just left.

He does keep talking about starting up a business but he hasn't really come up with an idea yet. It pisses me off actually, because he spends any spare time he has massaging his brain with mindless computer games. He's hardly going to have a brilliant idea while distracting himself with games is he? Grr.

StrikeUpTheBand Tue 16-Nov-10 09:54:22


I really do feel for you. I just went back to work yesterday (planning to do temp work a couple of days a week for a while and then 3 days). It was a horrible shock to the system and I hated travelling back home on a cold dark bus knowing that it was nearly DD's bedtime. She's 11 months and DS is nearly 4, and I've been off work (sick, then ML, then resigned) for 16 months. I have been lucky with DD to be off so long because we are skint (went back much earlier with DS and more days and he had to go to nursery whereas this time grandparents will watch DD and DS). But still it felt awful leaving her and that life of spending time with her every day behind. I can't imagine how you must feel now having to work while your DP has the life you had sad that is really hard for you. I can imagine how that would feel rubbish no matter how much sense it makes.

Are you planning on having another DC in future when you are more financially secure? I just wondered because (looking on the bright side) I found when I was off work before and since having DD I also got lots of bonus time I never thought I'd have with DS. We went to playgroups and Stay and Play and we had a lovely time again, this time with baby DD. So if you are envisaging future children your time at home might not be over. Plus your full time job might mean better maternity pay?

If it makes you so very unhappy however, perhaps you need to find a better solution to work towards? Maybe as someone else said trying to get DH back into some part time work and then having part of your time at home again with your LO. They grow up so fast and if you carry on in this way and feel like you have missed out that will stay with you for life sad.

I hope you find some solution that works for you.

FindingMyMojo Tue 16-Nov-10 10:23:06

YANBU - I empathise with you & feel similar quite often. It's not easy is it?

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