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To ever so slightly envy SAHMs

(87 Posts)
MrRected Sun 24-Mar-13 12:27:00

My 3 school are all of school age (5,8,11). I have always had to work to keep us afloat. Up until now I have been lucky that I worked 4 days a week (one at home).

I was informed by my boss that as of after Easter I can no longer work part time. That its full time or nothing. I am a contractor so I don't have much choice in the matter.

I so wish we were a bit more financially better off. I would love nothing more than to be able to stay at home with my children and feel envious of those who can. <wistful>

MiniTheMinx Sun 24-Mar-13 13:59:42

NO reason why the thread should end badly.

I agree with others talking about flexible hours and part time work being the route to choice. However over the last 30 years we have seen the rise of the two income family, now we see the two income family sitting beside workless households. In the states some economists are pointing to the rise of the 3 income family where two adults work the equivalent in hours of three full time jobs just to stay afloat. Of course this sits beside rising levels of workless households.

I don't know where the answer lies. When I hear Osborne talking about flexible labour markets I wonder if he means quite the same as the rest of us who want flexible working conditions.

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 02:46:25

Thanks all. I appreciate all the comments.

Of course, we always want what we can't have smile. For me, I'd relish the chance to just be a mum for a while. The part time working arrangement was the best possible situation for us - considering our financial overheads etc. It's tight but do-able at the end of each month. So for it to be terminated so abruptly was a bit of a shock.

I am feeling a little more accepting of the situation today and realise that the green-eyed monster won't pay the mortgage, so I am trying to put a positive spin on it in my own mind.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 25-Mar-13 04:15:13

I'm a SAHM who works contract as well and manages our tenant (weird sort of foster/sort of tenant thing). There is never enough time, or brain or space for it all. I left FT work because my DD needed me to. I envy people with good, reliable childcare and choices. I am extremely lucky that we can afford me SAH. Grass is sort of mid-green here yellow on some days, lush on others.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Mar-13 06:48:36

Easy to be envious of people who dont work but there are many upsides to working and so timestimes we forget the positives.

You are financially independent, should things in life go wrong you have the means of self support. You are installing a great work ethic into your children. You contribute to the household finances and the benefits of having adult company and good work appraisals etc.

There are lots of things in life people want but we have to be realistic. Theres always the option to job search and find something a little more flexible.

MoYerBoat Mon 25-Mar-13 07:01:29

It's posts like the one from HappyMummy above which means these kinds of threads always get nasty. "You are installing a great work ethic into your children" hmm Apart from it not being necessarily true - plenty of layabout kids of working parents - it implies that that a SAHM can't inspire her children to work hard.

And then some SAHM will come along and trot out the line "I prefer to raise my own children" and on it goes ...

MsVestibule Mon 25-Mar-13 07:38:26

It was all going so well until 6.48... Wish there was a 'hide' button for all threads with the phrase SAHM in the title - they're just an annoying itch I can't resist scratching!

TunipTheVegedude Mon 25-Mar-13 07:46:16

I wish instilling a work ethic into your kids really was as easy as installing one!

<SAHM so has time to sit around on a Monday morning picking up on people's typos on the internet> wink

Seriously, pros and cons on both sides, I've done both, and wistfulness from either side of the fence is understandable too.

I stayed at home until DD1 was 7 and DD2 was 2 - returned to work to 16hrs (4 dpw) i could take or leave work tbh especially when dd1 got the pox and was off school for 3wks, and dd2 got them 8mths later :-( both have been quite sicky this yr already, and havig booked my holidays and used the rest up on sick child days, anything else will be unpaid sad

I currently work 20.5hrs a week spread over 5 mornings which is quite good for me, and the money is ok. I just wish I could have more time with my girls sad

Living the dream would be to get an admin post at a school, which tends to be 30hpw 39wks of the yr...i would be happy to work the more hrs a week to have the holidays with my girls, as i feel theyre just growing up so fast

trustissues75 Mon 25-Mar-13 07:53:10

I like dingit's suggestion....sorry you're having choices taken away. It sucks. But really, honestly SAHM is just the same grass on the other side of the fence. Being a mum is hard, no matter what you do.

willyoulistentome Mon 25-Mar-13 08:01:17

I feel the same as OP. I would LOVE to bea SAHM but only if it was dh earned so much we could afford it. It would be awful if it wad just because I couldn't find work.

VIX1980 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:25:53

Im one of those forced into being a sahm after a redundancy, and while its lovely and amazing to spend so much time with ds i do feel really isolated most of the time.

I sit her each morning feeding him his breakfast watching all the people walking past with nice clothes on, on there way to work and desperately long to be part of that again if only to have someone else to talk to through the day. Getting a bit emotional even writing that.

Yet i know once in that job i would long to be back at home with ds and feel i was missing out, The grass is always greener!

Xmasbaby11 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:33:19

I know what you mean. I work for a great employer and could easily work part time if I wanted to, but for financial reasons I work full time and always will. Even with both me and DH working full time, we can't afford things like holidays or a cleaner.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 08:51:31

VIX1980- don't you go out and about with your DS? There are plenty of places to find adult conversation. Don't isolate yourself flowers

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 08:54:26

Easy to think the grass is greener - I know I do! But reality for us is that we need my salary so the option is taken away.

It's a real juggling act, both DH and I have very involved jobs, I stay over in London once or twice a week and the days I'm close to home DH plans his long days away. I do only work 4 days a week inc 1 or 2 days from home (well most of the time, doesn't always work out) so get to see DD quite a lot.

But I do have have a (probably unreasonable) nagging doubt that life would be easier for us all if I could be a SAHM.

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 09:08:16

The grass gets yellower the longer you are a SAHM, but the school holidays don't get any shorter.
Teens don't want leaving in the middle of nowhere for days on end.

And who's going to employ someone who hadn't really worked since leaving university 15 years ago.

Yes I've been amazingly lucky to have a DH who landed a job he was made for just after we married. I love being home for the DDs, but I'm a useless house wife and spend far too long in here.

I have enormous sympathy with the OP, I have a DF who worked from her DS being small and she alway said 4 days was what made it work.
(She now run her own business and lives in a town with a swimming pool, both I guess helpful with the teens in the holidays problem.)

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Mar-13 10:03:31

Sahm here. Truthfully, I do enjoy my day to day life, but I am very aware that all my financial eggs are in one basket. I worry about redundancy and illness etc more than I would if we were a dual income family.

It really is swings and roundabouts.

Also you read on MN a lot about husbands opting out of marriages and then behaving shittily (wrt child support etc) despite all their promises. It's so much worse if you don't have a career of your own.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 10:38:32

Reading with interest as considering ditching my teaching job to be a SAHM (DON'T DO IT! I hear you cry)

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 10:54:44

If you can possibly find a job share, part time, arrangement that allows some decent home life balance - Don't Do IT!

If it's stressing you out and fucking you and your DCs up - think very hard.

Teaching at the moment is not easy.

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 10:59:04

I did think earlier in the year about retraining to be a teacher to allow me to spend more time with my DD in the holidays but concluded that we couldn't afford the big drop in salary...

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Mar-13 11:06:59

Used to be a teacher - it's not as compatible with family life as it initially seems. If you work in a different county to the one your dc are educated in, then holidays and inset days might not be exactly the same.

Also, you will never get time off to see your own children's nativity plays/concerts/sports days.

Teaching isn't the kind of job where you are finished by 5.30. I used to take home an awful lot of work. Some subjects are very labour intensive and you will spend a lot of time at home, marking essays and mock exams and planning your work.

I think it is manageable if you have a spouse who is able to finish work at a reasonable hour and then devote their attention to your family, while you work. It's harder if he has a full on career too and is away a lot/working late as well.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 11:20:40

Precisely, karma. I have a dp who works long long hours and is away a hell of a lot. It's not as family friendly as people seem to think.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 25-Mar-13 11:21:02

Teaching, that is.

OBface Mon 25-Mar-13 11:24:53

I am a child of two teacher parents, one of which still works.

I don't finish my current job at 5:30 (in fact stay away from home/family 1 or 2 nights a week as I said upthread) and very often work in the evenings. I do have the luxury of being relatively flexible in that I can go to concerts in the day with a bit of planning but still think the long holidays and the time spent with DD would compensate for that.

I'm under no illusion that teaching is an easy option but know a number of people who job share and this works out well for them. I currently work 4 days 'officially' (still doing my pre-baby role full time role and often have to make meetings/reply to emails on my day off/weekends) and there is no way I could ever drop my hours down more/job share at my current level.

I still believe teaching to be a fairly family role.

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 11:26:36

I don't see how being constantly exhausted and frazzled is installing any sort of work ethic in my children - not a particularly helpful post.

I have no problem with working mums whatsoever, I was just being a bit petulant because my working conditions/norm have been changed without any consultation with me.

Thanks to most of you for understanding my original post smile

edwardsmum11 Mon 25-Mar-13 11:27:02

Tbh I am a sahm of a toddler and wonder if it will be easier when he goes to nursery part time. I know I am lucky I can do this but sometimes I could think about non kiddy things.

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