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to have come to the following conclusions about 'who has it easier'...?

(29 Posts)
cheeseandmarmitesandwich Wed 14-Sep-11 11:18:49

I've recently gone back to work part time after being a SAHM for 3 years. In that time I've seen various threads on here about SAHP vs WOHP etc etc

Due to our various shift patterns etc, our childcare arrangements are that 3 days a week I am at home with the kids, 2 days a week DH is at home and 1 day they go to nursery. So I get to experience it all - SAHP, WOHP with kids in nursery and WOHP with kids looked after at home!

On the nursery day it is a bloody struggle! Getting them out of the house by 7.30 so we can both catch our train on time, guilt at leaving the little one screaming, then feeling guilty for having to rush out of the door at work at 5pm on the dot to be able to pick the kids up on time, trying to feed and bath tired grouchy kids when it's already past their bedtime etc etc.

On my SAHM days it's easier and I enjoy being with them but it's still hard work doing the general stuff that comes with 2 preschoolers and also doing the washing etc, keeping the house in a reasonable state, and cooking all the meals.

On the days DH is at home with them I can leave the house 20 mins later than on the nursery day and get to the train on time, I don't stress about them at work as I know they are happy and being cared for by DH, I can stay on a bit later at work if I need to finish something off and I get home to a cooked meal and 2 happy, clean kids grin

Therefore, from my completely unbiased research I can conclude, definitively that:

1. parents who both work have it toughest and deserve a bloody medal
2. SAHPs still have it pretty tough and work really hard (as if I didn't already know..)
3. parents who go to work while their partner looks after the kids definitely have the easiest life!

No longer will I listen to anyone on one of those threads where SAHMs complain about DHs not helping with housework who says 'but he has to work all day and pay the bills...' that's the easy bit!! AIBU?

PicaK Wed 14-Sep-11 12:18:18

Nope, not at all. I think you've drawn excellent conclusions from your research.

messymammy Wed 14-Sep-11 12:27:49

Well, I think that if that's what is easiest for you, great, but I know a friend of mine would find it much easier to go to work for the day than stay at home with her three boys who are all very severe SN and can be violent. Yes much easier to sit in front of a computer than look after her boys full time.

She doesn't complain, but she cannot afford to pay for a carer and there are no day services where she lives, the only other option for her was an inpatient service, more than 60miles away.
It would be easier to go to work in lots of circumstances. Glad you have found a good balance that suits you though

BellaneyMimphus Wed 14-Sep-11 12:29:29

This is my experience too.
Work without worry about childcare is a real luxury. On the days (a few) when I've experienced it, I've felt invincible.

SinicalSal Wed 14-Sep-11 12:30:13

I personally think anything is a grind if it's day-in-day-out. PT suits me - by the time I'm sick of SAHMing it's time to get sick of WOHMing.

CrystalQueen Wed 14-Sep-11 12:39:26

I guess it depends on how much the SAHP does!

Laquitar Wed 14-Sep-11 12:42:47

I sort of agree with you.

Although it depends what job the sole earner does. Many sole earners work very long hours.

I agree that two working parents with baby in Nursery must be the hardest one. It is the only one i haven't done but watching others doing it i just imagine it very stressful.

scaevola Wed 14-Sep-11 12:44:08

Even though it's not a competition, I think you may be on to something here.

I used to refer to my WOH days as "going to the office for a break" for a reason. The ferrying to and from nursery/school wasn't that bad though - though it did take up time. If someone else had been doing that routinely for me, it would have felt like total luxury (even if the DCs were toxic by the time they came in and it all landed on me).

Pootles2010 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:46:07

No you are quite correct, I will have my medal now please grin

Actually I would agree with the PT option being bestest. You get a nice mix!

SinicalSal Wed 14-Sep-11 13:01:02

PT is grand for a job - but not much good if you're hoping to get ahead in a career.

Mowlem Wed 14-Sep-11 13:01:36

I agree PT working is the best option, but I do think SAHM is the hardest. At the end of the six weeks summer holiday I am desperate for my children to go back to school so I can have a break got back to work.

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Wed 14-Sep-11 13:03:13

Messymammy, ok I agree, in my mythical competition I would have a separate category for people with SN kids, sounds like your friend has it really tough.

Totally agree that PT is the best of both. Although in an ideal world both parents doing PT so you both spend equal amounts of time with the kids would be perfect. I'm quite glad DH has now admitted he didn't realise quite how tough looking after both kids all day was!

<Hands out medals to Pootles and the other WOH mums>

porcamiseria Wed 14-Sep-11 13:04:54

I agree!!!

I work FT and partner is home with kids

BUT he does not do much housework, so thats a little extra burden on me grin

TandB Wed 14-Sep-11 13:08:31

Not sure on this one.

The days I work involve longish commute with 2 year-old in tow and occasional mad panics about nursery pick-up if work runs late. But in terms of how I feel during the day, I think my work days are easier. If I am at home in sole charge of 2 year-old for a full day I can feel my blood pressure rising!

My absolute easiest days are the days when DS is in nursery because I am supposed to be working from home, but there isn't actually anything for me to do. I take a financial hit as I am still paying nursery fees but it is utter bliss!

dreamingofsun Wed 14-Sep-11 13:17:10

agree. maternity leave was a holiday compared to work. unfortunately my husband wasn't keen on any more children, just so i could take another break. probably depends on how hard the job is as well.

agree with the lady that said PT was no good for careers - and i work for a large blue chip company that wins awards for looking after its workforce??!

SamWidgiz Wed 14-Sep-11 13:29:20

When I was on maternity, I dreaded coming back to work. Made me feel really miserable every time I thought about it, and I made the most of every SECOND that I was off. (It was only an administrative job - but one which involved a lot of "taking it home" in the anxiety stakes.)

As it happened, they wouldn't let me return to that same job part time. After initially being livid that they were going to force me to work full time in a job I dislike with people I'd rather not spend five days a week with when I have a baby at home, the company found me a part time job in another department.

I love it.

Now I'm about to go on maternity leave again, and this time I won't be coming back.

Whilst I'm looking forward to the prospect of not working again, the novelty of having a year off has long since worn off, and I really can't imagine being at home ALL the time again.

So, in my experience, part time work in a job you like which you don't have to take home/worry about out of hours is great combined with a few extra days a week at home.

notherdaynotherdollar Wed 14-Sep-11 13:31:41

i dont think SAHM have it hard, its bloody easy compared to actually going to work grin

and yes I have done both with babies, toddlers and school aged kids

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Wed 14-Sep-11 13:34:38

Well done for finding a balance that works for you.

Your conclusions don't necessarily hold for everyone else though.

AurraSing Wed 14-Sep-11 13:41:07

I'm disappointed. i thought you'd pull together a list of every mumsnetter ordered by how hard their life is.

RumpledTitSkin Wed 14-Sep-11 13:42:36

Definately agree op.

My most relaxing, stress free days were those when dh was doing the school runs or staying at home on annual leave through the holidays and I could got to and from work as I pleased. Was marvelous.

Mind you, now he's buggered off to work on the other side of the country monday to friday so it's all gone tits up.

I can confirm that working full time with no family or partner and kids at school and nursery is the shittiest.

MilaMae Wed 14-Sep-11 13:46:51

You're at home 3 days a week not full time.

Parents on one income will have money worries.

Many women would loathe and get stressed if they were a SAHM so your thread is a tad pointless to be frank.

SinicalSal Wed 14-Sep-11 13:49:19

Yup it's too subjective.
the most authoritive statement anyone can make on the subject has to be prefaced by 'For me ...'

MrsMooo Wed 14-Sep-11 14:39:15

YANBU, but I agree it's subjective.

To be honest I think that there are days and different circumstances where being the WOHP in charge of childcare/SAHM is harder, but yeah, being a WOHP with a SAHP there to sort all the DCs out is the easiest option by far

Ormirian Wed 14-Sep-11 14:41:13

You are right but only if the parent at home actually does any housework. Otherwise you end up with chores to do as well as the burden of grinding resentment to carry grin

PhyllisDiller Wed 14-Sep-11 14:44:16

If only life with children was so simple that its difficulty rating could be determined by 3 simple categories, unfortunately the stuff that makes like really really hard cannot be defined by your little list at all.

As for sub categories for parents of children with SN, you could on and on, what about sub categories for single parents mothers, single fathers, people who are on a budget so tight they don’t get to eat so their DC’s can, then there would be the sub list for single mothers who are parents of children with SN who are balls to the wall skint...

As for handing out medals, does that mean you wouldn’t give on to a SAHM who’s DH is minted and she gets to ‘do lunch’ everyday? Bit harsh... I know a SAHM like that BTW, she’s lovely, her DH works away for weeks at a time though so I’m not sure if she would be medal worthy or not because from the outside it looks like she has it quite easy really, I think she might even have an aupair sometimes......................

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