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to be jealous of SAHMs?

(19 Posts)
SuperNovaCat Mon 05-Jan-15 22:42:16

Background is that I work f/t and have two young DCs 4 & 9.

I was a sahm from just before my youngest was born until she turned 1.5, at which point my relationship broke down so I had to find work to support us alone.

TBH I don't think I've ever really gotten over having to hand over so much of my previous life (and time with dcs, especially having to part with youngest and sending her to nursery) in order to work. Working hours aren't compatible with school pick up/drop off and we get around 2 hours each evening together. Then only two weekends a month (ex dp has them the other 2 weekends).

I like my job, my team are nice. But I often feel that I was a better mum when I was at home all the time and that I am only ever 'half' anywhere (at work I feel guilty I never know what's going on at school nor can attend most of the events- my mum has to do this) and at home I feel guilty I am not more committed to my job (due to wanting to be with DCs and never staying late at work).

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels torn. However I do find myself feeling very jealous whenever one of my friends (particularly on FB) that are sahms announce what they've done for the day with their dcs.

Moot post really as mine are at school now so I'd just be at home all day waiting for them to get back anyway. But blergh, how do I 'get over it' ? grin

corgiology Mon 05-Jan-15 22:44:35

Can you stay in your current role but look for jobs that suit you better with better hours?

OxonConfusedDotCom Mon 05-Jan-15 22:47:40

Stop beating yourself up for one and stop going on FB for two! Have decided it's toxic and makes me prone to comparing up with envy, never healthy. And false as no one posts the bad stuff anyway. Sound like youre doing fine, be proud of yourself and what you've achieved. Poss look into flexi or part-time if feasible though too.

NumTumDeDum Mon 05-Jan-15 22:53:25

You feel robbed, I think I understand that. I don't know how you put those feelings aside, I too share care of my dd, and I sometimes resent that - it wasn't my choice to divorce, it wasn't the childhood I planned for her.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 05-Jan-15 22:54:21

I am a sahm OP and am lucky to not have to work.
I know I would feel exactly the sae as you.
The grass isn't always greener though and I know several sahms who are bored senseless.
I'm not sure if this is possible for you, but could you manage working pt with tax credit top ups or would it not pay enough?
That would give you time and opportunity to attend school events and allow you to feel more in control of your life and time.

SuperNovaCat Mon 05-Jan-15 23:09:29

I definitely feel p/t work would be preferable but there is very little available and I would like to stay with my current company as it's public sector and has a few great points about it. It would be a pretty big pay decrease but I managed on a low income well enough when ex left (before finding work) so I don't feel scared about that.

I do need to step back more from FB! I find that I mutter to myself how lucky they are and it does make me feel down.

I loved being a sahm, I know from experience that it isn't easy. However I really felt that I did it well and was much nicer/less stressed for it.

I do have a partner I am serious about and we plan to move in together very shortly, we talk about children (as you do) and he is very willing support me staying at home or working part time even before we had dc's together so I could be there more for my own. But again, p/t jobs are few and far between.

I don't expect there really is a solution in the very immediate future. Just felt the need for a rant grin

306235388 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:15:37

I'm a SAHM and my kids aren't too far off the ages of yours. I am very grateful to be able to be at home with them but it's not all play dates and crafts as I'm sure you know!

Don't best yourself up - look what you've achieved - you've shown your dc you are independent and will and can do what it takes to support them. That's an amazing example to set .

Also you may only have them awake for 2 hours at night but don't forget everything else you do for them such as organising them, worrying about them, staying up with them when they're ill etc. These are all things they'll realise and remember when they're grown up .

306235388 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:15:49

I'm a SAHM and my kids aren't too far off the ages of yours. I am very grateful to be able to be at home with them but it's not all play dates and crafts as I'm sure you know!

Don't beat yourself up - look what you've achieved - you've shown your dc you are independent and will and can do what it takes to support them. That's an amazing example to set .

Also you may only have them awake for 2 hours at night but don't forget everything else you do for them such as organising them, worrying about them, staying up with them when they're ill etc. These are all things they'll realise and remember when they're grown up .

Plarail123 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:18:49

Please don't be jealous! I had to resign from my job when we moved abroad. I went back full time when DC was 1. I miss work so, so much, being a SAHM may seem to be fantastic but it can be relentless and the lack of independence, financial and physical can be very depressing and isolating. Hope you can find a solution that allows you to find a balance that you feel comfortable with. If you are in the UK, you should be able to negotiate a part time option with your employer, even if it is just one PM a week. Good luck!

elastamum Mon 05-Jan-15 23:29:02

It gets easier. I also went back to a demanding FT job when my little ones were small and I became a single parent. I really missed them, but we needed the income to stay afloat.

Now as we are all parents of teens it is my SAHM friends who are bored and struggling to find jobs as they haven't worked for years. Don't give up your independence lightly.

jellybeans Mon 05-Jan-15 23:35:09

Yanbu I would be the same. I have been a SAHM for 16 yrs, five kids, and overall love it. However it is scary thinking about if I ever want or need to get a job or if DH and I split. Also I feel judged quite a lot. I still prefer it but am thinking of returning to p t work soon. Whichever option you take there are plus and minus points.

ZingTheGreat Mon 05-Jan-15 23:53:16

Don't go on FB or if you do I suggest you often say out loud DR House's mantra "Everybody lies" wink grin

I'm a SAHM so I have no idea how to make you feel better, apart from telling you that by working and earning money you are there for your kids even if you don't get to see boring school assemblies.
you are doing your best and your children will thank you one day.
you spend as much time with them as you can - do they complain? if they don't, chances are they are ok!smile
besides they are not babies anymore and soon they will want to roam with their friends anyway. at that point I hope you can shake off last bits of feeling guilty. thanks

any chance you could pack in more activies together at the weekends?

RojaGato Tue 06-Jan-15 00:38:57

To be honest, I think the question you are really asking is "Would I be unreasonable to take new partner up on his offer to be a SAHM again, even before we have DC of our own?"

The answer is no. Go for it.

If you would prefer, see if you can go p/t in your current job, to protect your future working position/pension etc.

But if what you really want is to be a SAHM, and your partner is happy to do that...then let him make you happy. Give him the pleasure of making you happy.

It took me a long time to understand that really, really, truly, DH would do anything in his power to make me feel safe, happy, secure, protected. Anything at all he could. But it is an important thing to understand.

SuperNovaCat Tue 06-Jan-15 00:42:06

Thank you for the responses smile

I do feel good that I support us entirely and we do have a nice lifestyle because of that. Though money means little to me and I'd rather there were five more hours in the day I could give to them.

On our weekends we do tend to really enjoy ourselves and go to the cinema and other activities etc. I find I spend A LOT of money (much more than I ever did as a sahm) on this and also 'guilt' buying. I bought DS a 3DS at Halloween simply because the one he has at his dads was broken.

My dc are * touch wood wink * very well behaved children and spending time with them is rarely ever hard work.

I do occasionally indulge myself in selfish fantasies of having them every weekend grin but they love their dad and he's very good for them and really I wouldn't have it any other way.

SuperNovaCat Tue 06-Jan-15 00:50:41

RojaGato

Thanks for your post. I think yes, I probably was asking for permission!

DP is a wonderful man and adores my DC. I know he would love to make me happy in this way.

I think realistically, I will always at least work part time. I would indeed be worried about struggling to find work again after a long absence. But I can see how even 16 hours a week could massively improve my general happiness about the situation.

Of course, this would entirely depend on the availability of childcare for my current (and future) dcs. My mum currently does all the school runs for me, I am well aware this can't carry on for yet more years and nursery/school clubs may prove too expensive under even our joint income.

RojaGato Tue 06-Jan-15 01:19:14

Supernova

Glad it helped! Sounds like you have moved on to working out the details of how to do it...good luck with getting all the pieces in place.

RojaGato Tue 06-Jan-15 01:19:48

I mean SuperNovaCat...time for bed I think

Rabbitcar Tue 06-Jan-15 08:19:01

Don't be jealous, you are doing your best for your DCs, which is all anyone can ask.

I've done both, enjoyed being a SAHM, and found it far easier than working, no contest. But working brings benefits, not least money, independence and self esteem. Also, I think being a working mother is a great example to set to your daughter. I can tell that my DDs aged 12 and 13 are proud of me and what I do. I am very close to them despite working FT for years. We have fun in the evenings, weekends and holidays. They haven't missed out too much I think. I have taken annual leave for assemblies/school plays etc. They have also said that, whilst they might sometimes like me around a bit more, they also appreciate the treats that a bit of extra money can bring - nicer holidays etc. PT work is probably ideal and may be something I pursue at some point.

But do not beat yourself up about it. Being a SAHM and WOHM both have their benefits and disadvantages - you are definitely still being a great mum, and there is still plenty of time to enjoy your DCs' company. Getting a job is not easy, I think you're wise to want to continue working PT.

You 'get over' it by reminding yourself what a great job you are doing for your DCs. You are still their main carer and have been there for them throughout. Try not to let it get you down.

ChampagneAndCrisps Tue 06-Jan-15 09:13:29

It also sounds like you put a lot of effort in when you do have time together. Kids are resilient, and they will be happy if you're happy.

I've been SAHM for years now, and it's not going to change. But I think my teenagers might respect me more if I worked, and they saw me as a Professional as well. They joke about me living off their dad. It's not true, and clearly I contribute plenty without earning, but teenagers don't see the bigger picture.

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