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...to not want to return to work?

(35 Posts)
justmummyof2 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:16:33

I have a dd 8 and a ds 4months.

My partner works and earns a decent wage, and I left work (wasn't happy at the company from the get go) to go on maternity leave, with the intention of returning when smp stopped. I sometimes do commission work from home in the evenings, topping up our income.
However, we don't plan on having anymore dc, one handsome boy, one beautiful girl, what more could I ask for?! And while I was at the horrid company, I discovered my dd had an emotionally difficult time with the childminder one day after school (another story, but it got sorted, she stopped going there and went to a friend's for the last couple of weeks before I took maternity leave)
As my smp only lasts another 3 months, I decided to speak to work about the point of me not returning. I was laughed off of the phone with comments such as 'just going to be a sahm then?'
A close friend who has always been a sahm has just gone into her first job, I am pleased for her, but she is saying that I am now an 'unemployed bum'. It is done with jest in the tone, but it grates. A colleague who I always considered a friend met me for lunch and when I confided about not planning on returning to work she scoffed and said they had all expected it! Last, but not least, my soon to be in-laws are condemning me for 'losing my grip on the working world' as though my intention is to never EVER return to work. It hurts that people I hold close could think these things. Throw into the mix that I was hoping to use the time as a sahm to finally finish my degree and qualify as a GCSE English teacher and I feel self indulgent. (I have actually given up on even mentioning my little aspiration for now)
'Are you just going to be a sahm?' My goodness it rings through my ears constantly!!!
Well... yes... for the time being, that is exactly what I intended. Dp supports my decision but I feel that others are suggesting I am 'copping out' of independence. (Which is something I really would hate to think)
My reasoning for not returning is as follows:
1. I can't bear the thought of anyone but me and dp being a carer for ds. I have loved the time with him (something I didn't experience with ds as I returned to work when she was 2 months due to financial pressure)
2. If I do return to work, childcare eats up more than I would actually be earning, so we would be no better off (quite the opposite I guess)
3. I could take up more commissioned work in 'my time' (evenings when dc are in bed and house is taken care of)
4. I love being available for all school award assemblies, sports days, holidays and the blowing of the first raspberry (ds is just about getting the hang of it)
5. I would like to finish my degree... eventually (but that is perhaps a little selfish)
Maybe I am being too sensitive to what others think, or are they right?
I am sure that I am at least partially justified, but how do I make them see that I am not giving up work for an 'easy life'?

Lazymummy2014 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:31:23

If your DP is supportive, just go for it, and fuck everyone else. You won't be in touch with your work colleagues if you don't go back, so it doesn't matter what they think. Your friend's joke may well be motivated by envy, perhaps she'd like to be in your placebut can't afford it?

However I will offer caution about the long term plan of retaining as a teacher - you won't have all the things listed in #4 above, as you'll have no control over work days / parents evening etc., the worlworkload is intense especially for the first few years so you'll be working every evening and weekend to keep up, and quite a lot of the holidays will be taken up with work too. It sucks, and even though I love my job (English teacher), it makes me sad to think how often I'm going to have to put other people's children ahead of my own. I won't be able to be there on their first day of school, for example. Just something to think about...

Lambzig Fri 05-Dec-14 21:42:34

I think if your DH is on board then you should do what you want to. Ignore other people, it seems to me that whatever mothers of young children choose to do (work full time/SAHM/part time) is fair game for others to roll their eyes and criticise.

I was going to resign from my 2.5 days a week job at Christmas, but I have a new boss who has changed things radically in the past few weeks and I am really enjoying it. Before that, the balance came down to what would make us all happier. I think if it would make you all happier to SAH for a while and you can afford it, then go for it.

Lambzig Fri 05-Dec-14 21:43:31

Sorry, if your DP is on board ......

newbiefrugalgal Fri 05-Dec-14 21:44:42

Stop worrying about what other people think.
Maybe they are just jealous.
If you are questioned just say it's only a short time whilst ds is young and you will be working doing contract work
It's all jealousy as I'm pretty sure they would do the same if they could.
Ignore ignore ignore

justmummyof2 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:47:09

Thank you Lazy (I think you said precisely what I needed to hear re others' opinions). I know that I won't have all of #4 once I qualify, but I am hoping to finish my degree part time (for financial and workload reasons) and take things slowly while ds moves through nursery into reception. Hopefully, that way I would really be able to kick things into gear when he is full time education. I know that I will miss some things, but where I worked prior to maternity leave, I worked Christmas day for 3 years running, as they couldn't 'prioritise me having a day off just because you have a child'. Not to mention the disasters of putting in requests for a morning/afternoon off for something specific like a sports day, it always seemed to get muddled and I would end up working because the shift manager 'got the wrong end of the stick' or had to re-write rotas meaning 'everyone has to make sacrifices'.
I guess this is another selfish reason I feel guilty about wanting the pleasure of being a sahm... I REALLY hated working there. (Not that it is the main reason, but perhaps a little more weighted than I initially gave mind to)
I think I am just going to do what I want to, after all, me and dp are in agreement that it is best all round, who else matters?!

justmummyof2 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:50:18

Thanks lamb and newb, too. It is weird how constant ridicule over something can make even the most determined people doubt themselves.
I feel much better and will definitely be stepping forward as a sahm!!!

Siennasun Fri 05-Dec-14 21:57:40

If I were you, I definitely wouldn't go back and you are not being selfish to want to finish your degree.
Your colleague who said about "just being a sahm" sounds like a twat and their comment was offensive.
I think you may be reading too much into the other comments tbh. People often speculate in the office if women will come back after mat leave.
As your friend was a sahm for years it sounds like a bad joke, but with no real insult intended.
You may lose your grip on work if you are out if the workplace for a while, depending on what you do. My professional registration would lapse if I wasn't working, which would make it very difficult for me to return. You pil may just be trying to look out for you.
Even if they are being negative about your decision your dp supports you and you think it's the right thing to do. That's the most important thing.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 05-Dec-14 21:58:55

Point 2 is the clincher for me. Why work your socks off to end up financially worse off at the end of the month?
I think you should go for whatever will make you and your DP and children happy. If that is you being a SAHM, then go for it. Ignore what other people say, it is none of their business.

WaroftheRoses Fri 05-Dec-14 22:04:23

Stuff them all! Do what you want-you'll never regret the time you spend with your son but you will regret the time you spend at work while someone else has him! Do your degree, do your commissions, be happy!
from someone who gave up a very competitive vocational career and has no plans to go back-12 years out now!

Tistheseasontobepissy Fri 05-Dec-14 22:09:05

Ive just chosen to be a SAHM. DP earns enough to keep us all and he is happy for me to do it.

My DD is 18 months and she had a horrid time at nursery and its really knocked her confidence so I decided to stay at home with her.

I love staying at home but six months in I'm starting to get a bit bored. I'm a sport teacher and miss the direction and challenge it gave me and I did actually enjoy my job - just my bosses were arseholes.

There is only so much cleaning you can do , its like ground hog day. So Im constantly thinking of new things we can do.

BUT I get to spend lazy days in the sun or exploring new places with my funny DD.

sod what anyone else thinks.

chirrza Fri 05-Dec-14 23:01:46

I chose to give up my career job because I felt someone ought to be here to do the sports days, book days, pick ups etc. That meant I took a huge pay cut. I've always found part-time work in the meantime. Now mine are older I'm back onto earning a reasonable salary again. But my job now gives me more flexibility so I can leave a bit early for school events.

It's your family. You decide what's best for them. Anyone else's comments are irrelevent - it's not their life. Don't doubt yourself. Sounds like a good plan.

persepolis123 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:50:36

I'm in the same boat OP. I have a two year old DS, expecting my DD in March and not planning on returning to work after mat leave. I have been unhappy at the company I work for for a while and never thought I would be a working mum but unfortunately couldn't afford to stay at home after I had DS. We are now in a better position financially and I have DP's full support.

Others may judge but doing the right thing for my family is more important than what any outsider thinks. I know that if I don't give myself at least a couple of years where I completely devote my time to my children when they are small that I will regret it later on. Remember you will only get this opportunity once. If it is what you want then go for it.

formerbabe Fri 05-Dec-14 23:55:53

I love being a sahm...do what is best for you and your family and sod everyone else!

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 06-Dec-14 00:24:48

I love working part time now, but before my DC was school age I resented every second in work. I wanted to be home with my children but money wise I needed to work.

Go with what's best for you.

Kt1979 Sat 06-Dec-14 00:34:11

I love being a sahm mum absolutely love it! No money; but I don't need it! No nice clothes or shoes and a pony tail in my hair! But I love it! (very educated and lots of choices but I love being with my boys!) changed career for want of a better word! Now a childminder!! (I know strike me down!) I love my mindees and my boys and take great pleasure with enjoying the freedom and experiencing everything they do! Just for the record been 'working' until 10pm tonight for circumstances out of mine and 'mums' control. Made jam tarts and shortbread dusted with edible glitter! Watched movies and listened to their day! Who's the lucky one?!.... Don't need 150k or even 5k a year! Haven't laughed so much in ages and still in my tracksuit xx

jellybeans Sat 06-Dec-14 00:58:53

Yanbu

I have been a sahm for 15 years (five kids). I have been doing an OU degree the last 6. Loved every minute. I enjoyed work too but want to be able put kids first all the time with no stress (worked with first and had all that) such as illness, attend school plays etc. Husband works away and shifts so much easier with one at home. I don't care what people think. Lifes too short.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 06-Dec-14 01:35:30

Do whatever is right for you. I think the fact you hate your job is a huge catalyst in your decision but why shouldn't it be?! If you can afford to not go back and don't want to then why would you?

I on the other hand can't wait to return to work!! DS is 8 months old and I love being with him but as another poster said, I'm a little bored and my brain needs switching back on. The difference though is that I love my job - I certainly don't think I'd be eager to return if I didn't.

There are lot of views on working mothers and stay at home mothers and somebody else will always have an opinion and believe theirs to be right. I've had negative 'digs' at me about going back to work, including looks of absolute shock and horror, but I've also had negative comments thrown at me about being a SAHP. My neighbour said to me the other day: "When do you go back yo work? Or are you going to be one of those type of women who just live off their husbands?" shock

Unbelievable.

Just don on your hard hat, be prepared to hear all kinds of crap off other people and learn to just let it wash over you.

Gawjushun Sat 06-Dec-14 01:41:12

Woah, just ignore ignorant comments and do it. Do you really want to miss out on your baby growing up so you can do a job where your wages go straight into childcare? It makes no sense. I am guessing a lot of the comments have been made out of jealousy and spite.

As a compromise, you could maybe do a bit of freelancing on the side, if you think you might miss out on work. Doing some studying might also be nice to keep your brain active, and means you'll have a bit of adult contact, plus you can feel like you're doing things for you and your future too.

LeopardIsTheNewBlack Sat 06-Dec-14 01:41:16

I actually can't think of a better reason to stay at home then to raise your kids. Who cares what anyone else thinks? I was commuting to work 2 1/2 hours each way to work an 8 hour office job I hated before my stepson came to live with us. He has mild SN and DH travels a lot for work so I knew that I couldn't work my current schedule and commute since DS couldn't go to daycare before and after school. DH makes a pretty hefty salary and we calculated that there was no financial benefit to me working (in fact it would have cost us money). We also have no family around to help. My job refused to work with me so I had to quit. It was the best decision I've ever made.
I absolutely love being there to raise DS and it's been a tremendous help to DH. The quality of our lives and really improved, and I'm taking a part time class to become a dental nurse for when I am ready to go back to work.
I've had lots of people make sarky comments but they are mostly from former colleagues who hate their job just as much as I did.

NickyEds Mon 08-Dec-14 14:24:28

Stay at home and enjoy your children, you never get these years back. I'm a SAHM to my nearly 1 year old and 8 weeks pregnant with number 2. I loved my job but sort of knew when I became pregnant with DS that I wouldn't be returning any time soon. I've had a few digs about it, the "I really need to use my brain"(implying I'm some sort of moron!) and "I need to feel like I'm making a contribution to the household" (and looking after the children is ????). To be honest the comments sting a little, especially as I'm very, very wary of saying anything at all about other people's choices but I can suck it up. My sister SAH for years with her three and loved it, now her eldest is 14 and she's just retrained and started full time teaching so it doesn't mean the end of work forever. Even if it did, so the hell what, if you can afford it!

bigbluestars Mon 08-Dec-14 14:39:26

There is no more important job than looking after your young children. If you can afford it then do. These early years are irreplacable. I stayed at home and I haven't regretted it for one second.

BiscuitsofYum Mon 08-Dec-14 14:45:27

I think you should go for it!

You get all the best bits with your children in the years where they develop quickly, blink and you miss it.
But I think it's great you're going to use the time to do something you like doing in your commission work and going to finish your degree (which you should go for - you'll regret it if you didn't).

In honesty why should you go back to a job you hate?

CatWreathkeith Mon 08-Dec-14 14:46:36

I intended to return to work 6 weeks after dd was born, but was totally unprepared for how protective I felt, so stayed at home.

We had to economise (on pretty much everything) but managed, and I got a part time job when she was a few months old (weekends) so dh could do the childcare.

I couldn't care less what anyone thought, dd is 3.6 now, and I will look for more hours when she goes to school. For now I enjoy the carol concerts, the pantomime and spending my days with her.

If you can afford to, and want to, stay at home. I have never regretted it.

ithoughtofitfirst Mon 08-Dec-14 14:48:07

People suck.

Do what you want OP. Be a sahm.

High 5.

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