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To want to be a SAHM?

(24 Posts)
CrystalBeth Wed 19-Mar-14 19:31:13

Not me but my cousin.

She's just had her first baby and is due to go back to work in a few weeks, however she's now decided she wants to be a SAHM and have a couple more kids.

Her DH works full time (as did she) and they earn approximately the same, for arguments sake say 40k each. Before having the baby the arrangement was my cousin would go back to work full time and her MIL and mum would split childcare.

Her DH is not particularly happy and wants her to go back to work so they can have the bigger house/car they'd always planned.

So who is BU?

TruffleOil Wed 19-Mar-14 19:33:28

They're both unreasonable for not having discussed this before they got hitched & had a baby.

CrystalBeth Wed 19-Mar-14 19:34:26

They did discuss it, she always planned to return to FT work, but I guess feelings have changed!

jellybeans Wed 19-Mar-14 19:36:01

If they can afford to drop to one wage and a parent wants to care full time (or both go part time) then it can only be a great thing for a child to spend time with parents in the early years. I don't think your cousin is BU at all as I was desperate to be a SAHM after my 2nd and hve loved every minute. Luckily DH's hours/shifts/working away made SAH the best option all round. I offered DH to SAH but he was happy working his dream job which he had spent a while trying to get into.

If they are on the breadline then i can see it may be difficult for her to SAH but if it is just for cars/bigger house etc (as mentioned in the OP) then I think that would be a shame she would have to go back for that when the child could be with its mother who wants to look after it full time!

Timetoask Wed 19-Mar-14 19:37:21

I don't blame her but I can understand why her dh is worried about it. Could part time work be a compromise?

meerschweinchen Wed 19-Mar-14 19:38:06

I'm not sure that either of them is being unreasonable to want different things. Unfortunately of course they can't both have their way, and they need to have a long, frank discussion about their options. Could your cousin work part-time for example?

DomesticSlobbess Wed 19-Mar-14 19:38:21

No-one is BU.

It's easy to decide to go back to work before the baby is even born but once they're here, feelings can change. And that's obviously what's happened in this case.

But her DH is not unreasonable either for wanting to go ahead with what they had planned. But if they can afford for her to be a SAHM then there's nothing unreasonable about it.

SmallBee Wed 19-Mar-14 19:41:42

I don't think either are BU. Her DH will obviously be surprised at this change of heart but a lot depends if financially her decision makes sense. They've got a big talk ahead of them & they might need to make a compromise or two.

NurseyWursey Wed 19-Mar-14 19:42:25

I don't blame her, but if they planned what sort of life they were going to have and had decided on it I can really really understand why the DH would be annoyed.

I couldn't do it.

bellablot Wed 19-Mar-14 19:44:22

Why are you bovverd?

SylvaniansKeepGettingHoovered Wed 19-Mar-14 19:48:37

I don't think she is being unreasonable. Before you have children you just don't realise how desperately you'll want to be with them full time.

I went back to work and was broken hearted. I quickly got pregnant again so that I could be back home. And then went back part-time (thank god).

ElkTheory Wed 19-Mar-14 20:00:39

I think they should come to an agreement they both find acceptable. In her DH's place I would be miffed if she just announced a unilateral decision like this without discussing it first.

janey68 Wed 19-Mar-14 20:27:04

You could say both or neither are being unreasonable really... The issue is simply that they want different things, and like any intelligent adult couple they have a duty to discuss and plan sensibly, and compromise where necessary. What's unreasonable is making a unilateral decision about something as fundamental as this. It may be that the best solution is a compromise which is entirely different to the polarised positions of him working full time and her not working at all. It's quite possible that he's willing to work full time if she is too and it raises their standard of living significantly, but he doesn't want the burden of working full time if she's not going to work at all. As they both have similar earning capacity, it may work very well to both work part time... He may be feeling that if he's not going to get the 'payback' of a higher standard of living, then he'd rather have more time at home... There are endless permutations and no right or wrong... It's just a case of discussing and coming to an agreement

innisglas Wed 19-Mar-14 20:27:51

If she has only just had her baby, maybe she should see if she can get unpaid leave from her work to see if she likes being a SAHM. It is an awfully difficult job, IMHO, I used to see work as my relaxation

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 19-Mar-14 20:47:42

She is not BU to want to but would BU to do it regardless of her partners wishes. Her wants do not trump his simply because she is female.

The WOHP has to be fully on board taking the huge burden of being the only earner and working adult.

BakerStreetSaxRift Wed 19-Mar-14 20:51:10

Ah yes, because everyone who goes back to work just wants big houses and nice cars.

Here OP, have a biscuit

NurseyWursey Wed 19-Mar-14 20:52:44


confused She's saying that's what the DH wants, a better lifestyle.

WorraLiberty Wed 19-Mar-14 20:52:59

The OP didn't say that BakerStreet

Read it again and you'll see...

janey68 Wed 19-Mar-14 20:55:29

Ps- oh and I've no clue why you're bothered OP. its their life so their business

Only1scoop Wed 19-Mar-14 20:55:52

Give her another 6 months she might be racing to get back to work!

Only1scoop Wed 19-Mar-14 20:56:47

And you are asking on behalf of your cousin?

RiverTam Wed 19-Mar-14 21:02:52

tricky one. Discussing it before doesn't stop someone from changing their mind, but I can imagine her DH being pretty shocked at the idea that he's the sole breadwinner - for the 2 years I was a SAHM DH was unbelievably stressed about that.

It depends how stretched they are right now, I think - chances are their mortgage and other outgoings are based on both salaries, so forget about what they want to afford in the future, can they afford their life right now? If not, I'm afraid I would tend to say sorry, she needs to stick to the plan. Very hard for her, though.

ALittleFaith Wed 19-Mar-14 21:11:44

It's not just income though is it? She'll have to pay back her maternity pay if she doesn't return as agreed.

Interestingly before I had DD (now 11 months) I was adamant I wouldn't want to be a SAHM. Then after I had her I didn't want to go back! Now I'm back, I don't love it but after a week's annual leave I see its value in having a sense of my identity. The money is nice too! We've compromised and I'm dropping my hours from full time before mat leave, came back on 30 and now dropping to 24. We're fortunate though in that DH just got prompted so it's not a huge drop financially.

I agree with pp, neither your cousin or her DH are wrong but they need to agree a compromise.

NurseyWursey Wed 19-Mar-14 21:13:00

If she's only received statutory maternity pay she won't have to pay back anything

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