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to think children don't really care about 'work ethics' and would prefer to have a SAHP?

(608 Posts)
Mingnion Wed 20-Nov-13 23:13:53

Well aware I'm probably going to get mightily flamed for this but here goes...

I have a 6.5 year old and an 18 month old. My husband that supported us sadly died last year and I plan to stay at home and on benefits until my youngest is at school. I have a degree from Cambridge and will put in what I take out a hundred times over in the future no doubt. We do not have a lavish lifestyle but my children are adequately fed, dressed and are very happy which is more important IMO. Six months ago I found a part-time job and the impact on my children was massive. They were miserable at having to go to nursery and after school clubs and I was miserable as I missed them. Now they are inexplicably happy. I know it is a common opinion that single parents must work so as to teach their children about work ethics but realistically, do you really think children will care? I'd say most children would much rather have a SAHP and in retrospect I'd have preferred my mum to have been home so her work ethics obviously didn't rub off on me. AIBU to think this way and plan to stay at home with my children until my youngest is school age?

scottishbelle78 Thu 12-Dec-13 18:30:26

I think op is only planning on taking 3 to 4 years off though.

Snog Thu 12-Dec-13 18:14:24

" I have a degree from Cambridge and will put in what I take out a hundred times over in the future no doubt. " Really??? You're planning to take out say £20k pa for 3 years so around £60k? And you're going to pay in £600k in taxes?
A Cambridge degree plus 10 years of unemployment afterwards may not make you as much of an attractive employment prospect as you expect.

Golddigger Thu 12-Dec-13 11:06:38

Do these types of threads actually get anyone to change their opinion either way at all I wonder?

nightbird80 Thu 12-Dec-13 10:59:51

The op only wants a few years of support though. She will thanhopefuuly return to a well paying role.

mer74 Wed 11-Dec-13 20:24:58

sorry for your loss.

i'm not sorry that i think you shouldn't have the choice though. not working shouldn't be a choice until your DCs are grown up and beyond. we can't support people making those "choices" at the rate we have. i think it's insensitive of you to think that we can e.g. when so many MNers are working fulltime and barely able to make ends meet. very insensitive.

ConstantCraving Wed 11-Dec-13 20:06:06

My DS (25) recently told me he had got his work ethic from me, cos he'd always known me study or work, and he was proud grin.
But OP, your situation is not comparable. No wonder you DC were so happy to have you home - having lost their Dad they must have felt so insecure, but you can't use that to generalise about how DC generally feel about parents working...
AND whilst I feel for you and am sorry for your loss, I have to say your post is grossly insensitive to other parents who cannot afford your choices.

Snog Wed 11-Dec-13 19:54:09

Agree it is tough to lose a partner and the father of your kids and i have sympathy for this situation. But to expect others to fund your life and your kids lives through their hard work when you are not prepared to work yourself sucks imo. Many of the people paying for you OP have it tough too and may be recently bereaved too. Your decision might be legal but that doesn't make it right.

nightbird80 Tue 10-Dec-13 20:02:49

Op. Sorry about your loss. In your situation I would do the same. snog a bit of compassion is appropriate here.

Joysmum Tue 10-Dec-13 19:39:45

Most people, be it adults or children, want what they don't have. I like being a SAHM but don't like the compromises I need to make for it! We have less money, I don't have the social aspect of working and being a SAHM isn't valued by society or skilled.

On the other hand, we could have more money, I could have a career and feel valued by society, I could be an example of success to my DD, I could have the social aspect and feel more challenged.

Kids benefit from both parents working, they are also disadvantaged by both parents working. Kids benefit from having a SAHP but they are also disadvantaged by it too. There are pros and cons to both and that's just life.

Yuppers Tue 10-Dec-13 19:12:55

My toddler would certainly rather be home with me rather than go to a childminder (I work school hours). However, 1. we need the money, 2. I really, really, need the routine of work and the time away from home, 3. I want a job to go back to, I want to be employable, which I really wouldn't be if I took years off work. I don't have a decent set of qualifications to fall back on.

I adore my children, but they aren't my whole world, I want a career too. Is that selfish?

perfectview Tue 10-Dec-13 19:09:53

My daughter likes nursery and she likes being at home with me. She gets to do both as I work part-time and not because I have to. I know a lot of SAHMs who send their children to nursery for the social aspect. What is the difference there? Either way they are not with a parent all day every day. I hate these threads assuming that working always means full time.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Tue 10-Dec-13 19:07:02


benefits are there for people who the gov and past gov deem in need of them. Most claimants are working or pensioners.
Looking after your own children is no more a lifestyle choice than working is and neither more valuable than the other.
So where people are doing the right thing by their children, like the OP whose dc clearly need the time with their mum are concerned, it doesn't really matter what you are happy doing. Besides, you don't have a choice where benefit money goes, thank goodness.

Snog Tue 10-Dec-13 18:54:49

Benefits are surely there for people who can't work and not for those who prefer not to.
OP you should support yourself and your dc if you are able to and not expect taxpayers to fund your lifestyle choices.
I am all for benefits and would happily see them rise for people who cannot work but am not happy thinking that dp and I work full time paying for the OP to stay at home with her dc.

TheFabulousIdiot Mon 25-Nov-13 10:43:11

"whilst in final year gets PG with 19 year old boyfriend (? a first year) not realising she is fertile"

All that marvelous education and still no understanding about teh facts of life? Tut.

BoffinMum Sun 24-Nov-13 17:36:56

Tbh I imagine most people pretty much equate an hour spent doing voluntary work with an hour spent doing paid work in ethical terms,

scottishmummy Sun 24-Nov-13 16:38:58

Frankly I'd not defer a complicated decision like should I work ft to my dc
I'm the adult I've got the grasp on complex thinking and finances,they do not
And working is also personal satisfaction for me,being solely mum isn't enough for me

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 24-Nov-13 16:34:24

Garcia - I worked when DC1 was small but not since having DC2 - they were asked when they were 10 & 8 whether they would prefer me to go out to work and for us to have more money to get them nice things or whether they would prefer me to stay at home and perhaps sometimes not get everything they want. They both quite strongly felt that they preferred me to be home and going to holiday clubs would be the worst thing in the world.

Every child is different DC1 would not be keen to be in afterschool/holiday care but would just get on with it and be OK DC2 would find it quite draining and would not cope at all

We are in a lucky situation with a small, not long to go, mortgage but they see me work PT at home so they know im not sitting about watching Jeremy Kyle (god forbid)

I do feel that situation the OP is in, newly bereaved, is a very different position to someone who just thinks "I will stay at home and just get benefit" as a lifestyle choice. Dont have a clue about benefit to be honest but does it really provide a liveable income?

The other point I would make with regard to work ethic is if every parent the government wanted out at work actually got jobs - the local schools would be vastly understaffed. Swimming/reading/trips - all have a contingent of free helpers who are stay at home parents -per week I am sure the amount of free hours work our primary gets is pretty substantial e.g. for the reading alone (assuming 1 parent per child, per class, per year - which is the minimum they want) we are talking 18 hours per week just for guided reading.

BlueLagoonz Sun 24-Nov-13 01:05:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lucyccfc Sat 23-Nov-13 08:52:00

No worries Bluelagoonz. No offence taken.

I feel sorry for my DS's friend, who's parents clearly are not installing good values in him. It's such a shame that an 8 year old should think like that.

I do have to try my best not to judge, but it is difficult. I just do my best for my child and hope that he has an amazing childhood, but also a good work ethic when he gets older.

BoffinMum Sat 23-Nov-13 08:46:36

OP if you felt upset about putting you children in childcare, they will have picked up on that and reflected your own distress and/or anxiety. In other words, light childcare use might be a positive thing if you find a bit of work you enjoy and move on a bit in grief terms (at the moment the responsibility of being widowed must prey heavily on your mind).

BlueLagoonz Sat 23-Nov-13 01:43:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Fri 22-Nov-13 23:45:35

lucy said she works ft to support her kids?have you misread her post
the latter part described another parent who doesn't value work
not lucy...

BlueLagoonz Fri 22-Nov-13 23:39:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Canthaveitall Fri 22-Nov-13 23:06:54

YABU and I think you are justifying your decision. Your experience of your children being miserable is not the same as everyone else who uses childcare and there are plenty of happy children with SAHP and WOHP. Instilling a work ethic is not the main reason people work is it. Most do it because they want to or have to. Selecting to go on benefits is not an option for most.

Personally I think the benefits system should be there to fill a gap in a time of need. To me this would include two recently bereaved children and their mother to get themselves back on their feet but I am not so sure you can say this has to be for at least another 3 years.

You say you will pay back 100 fold, but will you if you stay out of the job market for that long? It may be better to try and do something in this time.

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 22-Nov-13 22:57:39

I think too many people project their personal feelings onto their children and assume their children will feel the same as they do or, consciously or not, they instill a viewpoint in their children and then believe their children have come to that view independently.

As a child my mum worked some of the time and not at other times as she had various medium-term teaching posts. It never occurred to me to think that either situation was better or worse than the other. It was just what happened. I was happy whatever.

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