to be dreading being a SAHM?(30 Posts)
I've always worked (or studied, or both), and I'm going to be out of work soon (redundancy), which co-incides with the arrival of DC2. We already have an 18mo DD.
I'm not going to find another job that pays enough to cover childcare costs, so I am facing being a SAHM for at least a couple of years, and I just know I'm going to be rubbish at it.
Not only will I be rubbish at it, but I will be isolated as pretty much my only social contact at the moment is through my job, and we live a long way from 'home' and family in a fairly rural location.
My DD adores her CM and the other children there, and I will have to take her out of that setting (she is currently full-time there) to be at home with boring mum and a baby sister. I have no idea how to entertain a child all day... I know I am a terrible mum. I am far from her favourite parent.
My DH will be the sole earner and I am already hearing "I need to earn £x in August to pay this bill and that bill" etc which isn't designed to make me feel terrible but just does.
I am used to having my own money and independence and now I feel like I won't have.
I was planning on going back part-time for various reasons, but would still have worked 3 or 4 days. This enforced SAHMism wasn't part of my plan. I just want to keep my job and everything to stay the same.
I am losing a ton of sleep worrying about all this, please be gentle.
That's it really.
OK. You'll be fine. You are not a crap parent.
However, I had little choice on becoming a SAHM (childcare issues) so I feel your pain. Could you do some contract work or PT evening or weekends to stay sane and earning? I do. It's a lot more work but I need it.
Entertaining children; mud; water; sand; animals (fictional or real).
YANBU. Being a sahm isn't for everyone. Can you break it down into chunks in your mind? The pregnancy, the newborn stage, 1 year on and maybe the chance to go back to work...? Do you have any skills which mean you can freelance/work from home in future?
I think you should go back to work if you feel like this, even if that means making a 'loss' in terms of household income after childcare. It is an investment in your wellbeing, and, therefore, priceless.
Have you looked into local playgroups, coffee mornings, NCT etc?
Is there any chance your DD1 could still go to the CM, even if just for a day or two each week? I found it was much easier to entertain a tiny baby than a toddler (and even more so than a toodler + baby!)
However, if this isn't possible then you will manage. You will manage because you have to and you may even come to enjoy it!
YANBU. Being a SAHM isn't my cup of tea. Once you and baby have got over the chaotic stage, you can start job-hunting just as you would if your redundancy had come along without a pregnancy. Are there any courses you could do while you're stuck at home that would improve your job prospects? I trained as a proofreader while on an 18 month career break with DD2 - so while it can be tricky, I know that distance learning is possible. There's always a solution, even if you have to put up with a less-than-ideal situation for a while like taking on evening shifts down the pub or at your local supermarket. Good luck!
Oh, and I definitely second playgroups, toddler groups, well any kind of group really. They were a godsend when I had DS1.
I think you should try to find a way to go back to work if you can. Is there any chance of your DH doing flexible hours or going part time so you can work at least some hours without needing childcare? Or could you do some sort of work a couple of evenings a week, when DH is home, just to keep you sane? It seems unfair that you are being forced into something you don't want to do, and it does not make you a terrible Mum. Everyone is different, and what works for one doesn't have to work for another!
If you really want to work (and it sounds like you do) then I would start looking for jobs which will more or less cover childcare costs. Even if it takes a while, you'll at least feel like you're doing something to get to where you want to be.
YANBU. I was SAHM for a year with my first child and was starting to go quietly bonkers. I went back part time which was a good compromise for me, youngest child now 12 and still working part time, might consider going to full time when he is a little older.
That said, you're NOT a bad mother for feeling that way. I can only suggest you put all your energy and commitment into motherhood being your "job" for the time that you have to do that instead of going out working. Bear in mind your DH needs you as much as you need him, he needn't start acting like Lord Beauregard of the 5th Plantation and thinking he's doing you a favour by giving you "housekeeping" money (I'm joking!).
I feel your pain as I been an enforced SAHM due to blistering childcare costs. I have found that doing a part time college course has saved my sanity. It also helps employablity in the future.
YANBU, this is currently one of the reasons I'm getting in a bit of a state. I'm about to return to my PhD post maternity leave and there is a chance I'm going to be made to leave. I have a 7 mo old and a 2 year old.
I dread having to stay at home with my children full time and then feel horrendously guilty for feeling this way.
I would say with such a small gap it really is worth keeping your DD at childminder for even 1 day a week whilst you have a newborn if there is any money at all for that.
Also start job hunting, if you've found one job that can cover childcare (which btw are also your DH's responsibility) you can find another.
Go easy on yourself, a new baby and redundancy are both major life upheavals, it's perfectly on to feel crap about things not working out how you planned it.
I struggle with the loss of identity, intellectual stimulation and income. My car recently failed its mot and we can't justify running 2 vehicles any longer, so during the week I'm stuck in our
charming but very small town. The dc are great but a lot of it is mindnumbing and I do resent the drudgery involved with caring for 2 tiny kids.
I cope by treating it like a job, with a timetable and targets to try out new activities. I plan something for every week day, even just a trip to the park. It's absolutely essential to my mental health to get out of the house every day. Staying in makes it much harder to entertain them, I find.
I think you're being defeatist about finding a new job - who says you can't?
Even if you were still in work you'd be taking mat leave wouldn't you? So think about the first six months or so as mat leave and a time with the kids, then look at finding a new job... it's not impossible to find something that pays more than childcare, particularly if the hours can mesh with your DH so you work later into the evening or start earlier or even do some at weekends so that DH does some sole-childcare too.
BTW don't just look out for chances to socialise through groups like the NCT. Most local charities are crying out for volunteers to write newsletters, act as treasurer, organise an event, do something...
I really appreciated having a grown up role, with grown up decisions to make when I first became a SAHM. Not a job, but enough to do each week to give me a purpose outside the home.
Why can't your husband reduce his hours or be a SAHD?
YANBU - the prospect gives me chills.
I'm just about to go back to work part-time after four years as a SAHM. Like you I stopped work after DC2 as childcare costs for a baby and a toddler were so high.
The first year was very hard but it did start to get better - especially when oldest started preschool. As my two have grown up they have a wonderful relationship together - they really do entertain each other, it's not the same as being at home with one small baby on maternity leave (never been so lonely).
We went out every morning to playgroup, the park, whatever group I could find as I needed to talk to someone who wasn't under 3. One thing I did do was send DS to his CM for a minimal amount (2 mornings a week) when DD was tiny as it just gave me a bit of a break - I have no family nearby.
I feel that my children have really benefited from having me at home, some things are easier (we eat really well as I have time to cook) but I am ambivalent about whether it was always the best thing for me as a person.
Hope you find your way through.
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ParmaViolette - if a family pools all money, and childcare costs more than either parent earns, the family will be worse off, and this may well mean not being able to pay the bills. Childcare is a joint expense, certainly, but when someone going out to work costs the family money options need to be carefully considered. Saying it's also your partner's responsibility to contribute is neither here nor there. Semantics don't put a roof over the family's head.
I agree with pp saying try and look for a job that covers the childcare costs (after a decent maternity leave type period of course!). DH had wobbles about me getting a job (also made redundant whilst preg.) and I said I would be happy to be a SAHM if DD could still have a couple of mornings in nursery to give me a break to do something just for me (volunteering/gym/whatever). He decided very quickly that it would be a good idea for me to work Now DD is 2 the childcare costs have gone down slightly and we now see a (small) profit from me working, but it has made a huge difference to my wellbeing to work part time and made me a better mum to a toddler!
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You have a lot of options. Being a sahm doesn't mean you'll be stuck indoors all day doing pre school activities with your toddler. I do a round of activities in the mornings that involve walking to/from sessions so take most of the morning. You don't need to be any sort of parent, you will not be a crap one, just plan a good routine to keep you all busy - something for the dc's then something for you. My older dc's have a chill out in front of the t.v while the baby/toddler has an afternoon nap and the older dc's know that my time to catch up with things and have a cup of tea in peace and quiet. That breaks up the day and keeps me going till 7pm.
Look into local networking groups for work options - there are a couple of mums groups local to me and there is a lot going on. Then focus on your 'spare' time when your DH is home so you can go out. I go out 2 evenings a week and one morning which is the minimum I need to stay sane!
I was a sahm for 18 months but I was made redundant while on leave yes I was lucky I could stay at home but I was desperate to get back to work after a year. I made the most of the time going to groups, galleries etc meeting friends but I was bored and wanted the routine, my brain engaged and social side of work with varied conversation and the freedom it brings. If you really can not afford to work maybe study one day a week do somethig that is child free and about you
Some love all the groups etc and others do not neither way is right or wrong it is what is right for you
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