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AIBU to ask if SAHP's are happy with their life?

(225 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Nov-13 14:09:36

Firstly - no offence is meant by my title and I am in no way a person who judges either SAHP's or Working Parents. I'm just trying to gauge a sense of how SAHPs feel about their role.

My title was originally going to be, "AIBU to ask if SAHP's are happy with their choice?" but part of my post is asking if the SAHP had to make that choice because it was the only option that made financial sense as opposed to them actually wanting to be a SAHP?

What kind of careers did you give up and do you miss work? Do you feel like you have lost part of your identity or do you feel that being a SAHP is what your purpose always was?

I'm expecting my first baby and I spend some time every now and then thinking about 'Return to Work' options but I can't foresee me being a SAHP. I have a job that I love and a career I wouldn't want to sacrifice. Even if it made more financial sense to give up work I don't think I would. Are there any working parents out there who work despite it not making financial sense because they still need that aspect of their life?

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 14-Nov-13 21:39:45

Writer- Earnings always seems to be the rationale why mothers reduce their hours. Yet rarely does an earning disparity translate to a father going part time whilst his partner stays full time when the earnings gap is that way around (it does sometimes, but nowhere nears as often as it would if it was a pure financial question). Do you mean you couldn't survive financially if your DP went part time?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to do 3 days. it may well suit you. But unless it is physically the only way you can afford for either of you to reduce your hours, the current earnings of each partner shouldn't be the reason for your decision.

Also, it isn't just about going part time. For example, has he thought about working one day from home so that he could do both childminder drop off and pick up and you could have a day where you are free to just come and go? Will you have fixed days out of those three you are working where he is responsible for drop off. It isn't just about days worked. It's about making sure that the full burden of flexibility and adjustment doesn't fall on your career.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 14-Nov-13 21:40:07

If dh earns more then he would be getting more when hours reduce.

You earn less. You're even less then once reduced in hrs. Unsure explaining well but it doesn't have to be you, but understand why you might want it to be you.

Not same thing at all.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 14-Nov-13 21:40:56

Sorry, cross post on salaries. The rest still stands though. smile

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:46:54

penguins - my husband is a teacher so no working from home. We have two childminders in mind, one lives 2 minutes from where we live and the other is 5 minutes from where I work. We have talked about hubby doing childminder drop-offs but he leaves for work at 07.15am so it doesn't really make sense- far easier for me to do it on my way to work smile

He will be speaking to his boss though about reducing his after-school hour commitments as he said that he wants to be able to pick the baby up from the childminder as early as he can (which would be about 4pm) as opposed to it being 5.30pm if I picked him up after I finished work.

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 21:47:15

I'm observing you've chosen woman gives up hours,man carries on as before

StrictlySazz Thu 14-Nov-13 21:51:49

I agree with Penguins. You should not bear the full brunt of 'flexibility'. I work 3 days a week and one of these DH is responsible for drop off and pick up and arranging childcare cover if he can't do it.

I also hate the 'he earns more, so it is me who will go PT' being the default scenario. It might be the right answer but a lot of other factors should be considered too.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 14-Nov-13 21:52:58

I may have skirted over some bits as I'm not NHS experienced. Your early posts talk about power imbalances, sahm as from 1950s; meal on table type stuff. Your worried about no salary, loss of face or strength?

It sounded to me, dated. As I say it's stuff I wondered about but reading up views I had were mostly based on older women's experiences. I was worrying about stuff that occurred before me. Not setting our own rules. Being on mn this past three yrs has massively opened my eyes.

For example money earnt is money earnt. Who does the earning is irrelevant . You are worthy as a sahm. A salary isn't the only way to show value. Your possibly over valuing DP job and undervaluing yourself. There's loads of posters who have assisted in altering my views almost entirely from where I started - with very parental inspired or masculine or media driven ideas. Im still learning. It's not a dig. Just that some of what your saying is limiting you and your choices. And they don't need too. Try some different boards too is all I'm suggesting.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:55:16

Thanks for explaining further minnie - I understand your points better now smile

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 21:57:41

Seeing he teacher and off so much will you work extra bank when He off

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 14-Nov-13 21:59:52

for us, it was about the fact that although I enjoyed my job I wasn't committed to doing it for the rest of my life.
I couldn't get my head round paying someone else to do something that I was capable of doing.
I am not capable of so many things but this, I can do.
There are times that I have felt bereft of focus and lost, then something tends to happen with the kids, and it makes me remember that I do have an important role in the world.

I think sadly one of the by products of women now being able to go out to work is the tendency to devalue the roles that we previously had to do.
Just because they were the only jobs we were allowed to do doesn't mean they don't have a value.
I wouldn't rewind the to the past. I would hate to live in a world where we had no options of going out to work, I do just think that the value in the traditional roles has been lost.

BlackholesAndRevelations Thu 14-Nov-13 22:02:59

Scottishmummy, why would op want to work more when her husband is around? Just why? They've agreed she'll go to three days. In my mind that gives them some valuable time as a whole family in school hols- something my family doesn't get enough of as partner works away so much. Why they'd want to sacrifice that I have no idea.

StrictlySazz Thu 14-Nov-13 22:03:03

Neverknowingly - i agree but the value of what working women do is also devalued when it is 'assumed' that they will be the one to stop work/go PT. It's as though what they have done before was ok but was really just a 'holding position' until children come along

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:05:08

scottishmummy - I am Community based as opposed to hospital based so no opportunity for Bank. We discussed last night about me returning to Ward Work when baby is about 2 and the option of doing bank work. But even then, just because husband would be off during school holidays doesn't mean I particularly want to do extra shifts smile When I used to work on a ward I loved the option of doing extra shifts but it was tiring. I only ever did them if I particularly needed the money for something....

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:06:42

Exactly blackholes - it will be lovely having more family time during the school holidays and something we are already looking forward to smile

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 14-Nov-13 22:10:37

Strictly and Never; agree with both of you. If we can sort this out well we could all leave ha ha......

Good to see SM have missed the lack of punctuation and running on sentences that mean I end up gasping for breath by the end of a paragraph

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:10:42

The dh is off the op if she wants could work bank shift as many as she wants
I'm observing his work setup hasn't changed, however op will change hers
So he hasn't actually changed his work schedule,but op will change hers

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:14:37

Best wishes when baby arrives,I'm observing posts are all about what you'll give up
No changep for your dh,it's all what you'll do,you changing community to ward
I have read the potential change he'll make,so good luck. With that

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:15:30

He will be changing it so he can pick the child up from the childminders each day so I don't have to do it. It means the child will be picked up earlier too. I'm satisfied with him only making that change to his working hours.

I wouldn't imagine there are many families where both parents dramatically change their job schedules? I may be wrong though.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:16:55

I actually want to go back to ward work though. I don't understand why you are suddenly being so defensive/antagonistic scottish? hmm

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:22:01

Look,I'm observing so far the parent dropping hours/giving stuff up is you
I'm not out to antagonise you, I'm observing it seems to be you making changes
These are personal choices us parents make,we all try get it right

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:27:25

I will only be dropping from currently working 4 days a week to working 3. Dropping 7.5 hours a week is hardly a huge sacrifice or change to my working life though is it? I'm not sure what 'stuff' it is you think it is I'm giving up? Or do you mean the one day of work I'm reducing by?

Ilovemyrabbits Thu 14-Nov-13 22:30:51

I did 3 days a week from dd being 14 weeks old til she went to school. Then I gave up work, started volunteering at school and am now working there. Have been a paid TA for 5 years, still part time, but that's by choice, and I've applied to do a degree in Education, Childhood and Culture, but don't know yet if I'll get in. If I do I may still choose to the do the TA role as it's low pressure, gives me the chance to give something back to the community and is interesting. I loved being a SAHP. I love being a part time worker now and I am looking forward to being a part time worker, part time student in the future (fingers crossed!). Some people think I got it backwards, giving up work when she went to school, but I think I got it spot on...

StrictlySazz Thu 14-Nov-13 22:33:23

Have you considered who will take the day off when DC are sick on one of your 3 days? - I think often when shit hits the fan you see how flexible both parties are willing to be.

DH only covers one day a week actual ferrying kids around, but he is more likely to cover illness and does ad-hoc other days if I am working away

As long as you are a team and the responsibility if something outside the norm happens is not always assumed to be you, then I think you will have a fair balance

Writerwannabe83 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:38:33

Hubby has already said he can cover 'sick days' if they ever arise as apparently the Headmistress is very understanding about things like that smile To be fair, during the pregnancy I have had a few problems and she has let him take quite a lot of time off (still paid) to either come to endless hospital appointments with me or stay at home with me.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 14-Nov-13 23:10:14

I know I am coming late to the discussion but to answer the original OP personally I don't see being a sahp as my role, in fact I don't have a role but several responsibilities that I share with my dh.
I gave up a fantastic extremely well paid career which I loved that had been my ambition for many years. As soon as I became pregnant I knew that I wanted to be a sahp and both of us didn't like the idea of childcare.
I don't regret the decision and am very happy, but never felt like I had given anything up, which I feel helps enormously in terms of self esteem and independence. I have always been me and never felt like I have lost any identity, in fact being a parent helped me find more of my identity.
Keeping your interests and hobbies are important and not allowing the fact you are a parent stopping you from doing the things you enjoy.
Financially we survived on one low income by being very frugal.
I am aware that this is just my and dh's opinion though and everybody is different.

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