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... to want to be a SAHP?

(50 Posts)
LittleSausageFingers Mon 18-Jul-16 21:16:10

DS1 is 5 months old and I'm currently on mat leave. I got my PhD just over a year ago, then moved away from academia into an entry-level position in a communications agency. I've never been very career-minded, and I'm not particularly ambitious, but I've always been very academic and enjoyed learning, so took the advice of teachers/lecturers and ended up doing a PhD. If I could have my time again I would have chosen something more vocational, but hey ho.

My job have offered me 3 days a week when I return after a year. It's a flexible company, close to home, I don't really enjoy the work, but it's not horrendous... I feel like I'd be stupid not to go back. But, I really just want to stay at home while my son (and any potential future DC) is little. I love being a mum, and I want to be the one he's with every day. If I go back to work the vast majority of my salary would go on childcare (I don't earn much, due to it being an entry level position, but there is the potential to earn more if I work my way up the company, although I'm not sure how realistic that would be on part-time hours). DH earns well, so with some financial readjustment we would be fairly comfortable on his salary.

I feel a lot of pressure (not from DH, he's happy either way) from most of my family and some friends that I should go back to work, that if I don't all of my education will be for nothing. I'm worried that if I wanted to go back to work in, say, 5 years (which I will), I'll be completely unemployable as I'll have no recent experience but would be ridiculously over-qualified.

So AIBU to want to take the time out now to raise a family, and run the risk of struggling to get back to work in the future? Would I be stupid not to take the part time hours at my job - I know a lot of people don't have the luxury of being able to do PT.

As an aside, I've always loved the idea of teaching, I've taught while studying and loved it. Would love to train as a teacher in the future, when DS is at school, but again worried that years out of the workforce would negatively affect this.

Thanks for reading.

IceBeing Mon 18-Jul-16 21:21:57

Education isn't wasted! Do what you want with your life (assuming you can afford it as a family and your partner isn't going to feel hard done by).

Whats your subject area?

bobby81 Mon 18-Jul-16 21:29:22

I know it's a cliche but you only get these years once & they are so precious (and go really fast!)
You're right that not everyone has the luxury of part time hours at work but remember that not everyone has the luxury of being a SAHP either. If that's what you want then you should do it, you will have years to work when your kids are bigger & if you want to be a teacher then I don't think being out of the workplace for a few years would be a will have years of parenting experience which may be useful!!
Whatever you decide let it be your decision & do what's right for you & your family, it's nothing to do with anyone else x

Babyroobs Mon 18-Jul-16 21:29:59

I think you are very lucky that your company are willing to offer part time hours. Going back would mean you were still home with your child most of the time yet you retain some financial independence and presumably keep paying into a pension. Personally I think working part time when children are young is ideal.

lookbeforeyouleap Mon 18-Jul-16 21:39:27

Yanbu. I'd love to be but my partner got made redundant a year ago and had to take a job on half his old salary. I always earned slightly more than him but now I am the main earner. I reduced to 4 days but I'd much rather be at home with my wee boy.

fabulous01 Mon 18-Jul-16 21:53:18

Your decision. I need to work just for my sanity but my friend took 6 years off as a career break and got one of her first interviews. Go with your gut.

SlightlyperturbedOwl Mon 18-Jul-16 21:53:51

YANBU but honestly IME finding a career-type job with part-time hours is like finding rocking horse sh@t, so its worth bearing in mind that if you don't keep this one you will probably eventually have to return to work full-time. (School teaching also doesn't seem to offer many part-time opportunities.)

JontyDoggle37 Mon 18-Jul-16 21:58:05

Do you have to decide now? Because when my son was 5 months old I couldn't imagine ever leaving him and thought I too would prefer being a SAHM. And then as he got older, I realised I really needed something for me, so I'm off back to work in two weeks (he's now 14 months). Especially as you've been doing something so brain- engaging as a PHD, I think you might find you want that brain stretch in the longer term, so I wouldn't shut down your options yet. I will miss my some like hell, but I also got to see all the 'firsts' and he's now at a stage where he actually NEEDS to spend more time with other children, build confidence and social skills etc, so I think it's going to be best for both of us.

marblestatue Mon 18-Jul-16 22:07:23

If you and your DH are both happy for you to be a SAHP then it sounds like a good choice for you.

What your family and friends think is not relevant here, so don't let them sway you or you could end up resenting them and wishing you'd stuck to your preferred plan. If they have/had children that's when they get/got to make their own choices about whether to be a SAHP. What's right for them isn't necessarily right for you.

Bottomchops Mon 18-Jul-16 22:13:01

Obviously if you want to stay at home then do; but as a pp said, you may feel differently when dc is one etc. After being at home for 5 years, I say take the three days. That is so rare and you'll still have 4 days with dc.

Jackiebrambles Mon 18-Jul-16 22:16:20

When do you need to tell work what your plans are? Personally I think how you'll feel with a 5 month old vs a 1 year old might be very different.

Once id had 6 months of cleaning a high chair and food off the floor 3 times a day I was well ready to get back to work!

Orda1 Mon 18-Jul-16 22:19:07

I'd do it.

The PhD won't make you overqualified.

LittleSausageFingers Mon 18-Jul-16 22:28:05

Thanks very much for your replies. I don't have to make a decision for a few months, so it's really good to get different perspectives now to think over. Interesting to hear that some of you felt ready to go back after a year, and I can appreciate wanting something for yourself. I didn't ever think I'd enjoy being a parent so much. I suffered from anxiety in my pregnancy and I've been really lucky that it disappeared with DS turned up. I feel so lucky with him and the thought of leaving him (even only for three days) is a bit terrifying at the moment!

IceBeing I did my PhD in chemistry.

Capricorn76 Mon 18-Jul-16 22:29:30

I would not choose to be a SAHP in this economic environment.

SlightlyperturbedOwl Mon 18-Jul-16 22:31:58

In that case (a) secondary teaching is a good prospect (though still hard to find p/t) (b) if you do give up your job have you thought about trying to find a little bit of part-time hourly paid lecturing to keep your hand in over the next few years? Even a few hrs a year would help, You really don't want to get out of date

familyfarm Mon 18-Jul-16 22:36:10

Go with your gut instinct but decide one month before you are due to go back.

If you have an easy going 5 month old, toddlerhood can be a shock to the system! Sometimes you need a break from them ...

SlightlyperturbedOwl Mon 18-Jul-16 22:37:03

family farm grin

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 19-Jul-16 12:43:28

Have you considered applying for an AL position at the Open University? It is very flexible and family friendly. At the moment you can just teach one module. You would be using your knowledge and developing teaching skills. It would fill the blank in your CV and childcare and travel are minimal if you arrange to work when dh off. You could then take on more modules later on or train for secondary school teaching.

throwingpebbles Tue 19-Jul-16 13:04:13

I would hold of making a massive decision for now...

I think all options at this point are justifiable - from full time career to total stay at home mum.

However, I do think a part time job is so desperately sought after that I wouldn't let it slip away too easily.

And when factoring in finances think about things like pension contributions etc. And also what would happen if your DH got ill/ left you etc.

Do you have savings? Or an independent source of income.

OU lecturing definitely worth exploring as an alternative though- a friend of mine does this and really enjoys it

AppleMagic Tue 19-Jul-16 13:14:29

I'm a SAHP with a very similar background although I was attempting to stay in academia when I got pregnant. It was definitely the right decision for me but I was very disillusioned with both my field and academia generally when I left.

I would have thought a PhD in Chemistry (even if no recent experience) would be s big plus for teaching. Also presumably you have some teaching/demonstration experience. Without being rude, I think chemistry is one of the shortage subjects where it's difficult not to be able to get into teaching if appropriately qualified.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 19-Jul-16 13:18:30

I've been a SATM since my first was born so nearly 17 years and I love it, it's been the best years of my life. I hope you do what makes you and your family happy

SlightlyperturbedOwl Tue 19-Jul-16 13:25:07

Applemagic yes chemistry is definitely a shortage subject, but as a glance at the teaching threads here will show, teaching isn't necessarily a very family-friendly job, depending on local factors, so always good to keep other options open in case it doesn't work out

ssd Tue 19-Jul-16 13:26:59

now mine are teens I'm really glad I stayed at home for most of the time as they dont want or need you the same as they get older


enjoy your time with your babies op, it flies by

MrsDoylesTeaParty Tue 19-Jul-16 13:37:49

I am a SAHM while they are little, and it's great. Belts are a bit tighter, but my earning capability isn't great anyway.. and it's so true that the time goes fast and I wanted to be there for everything. DP loves it! I do miss work but will go back when they are at school. Ignore other people, you do what's right for your family.

AppleMagic Tue 19-Jul-16 13:45:49

slightly I completely agree about teaching, my dm's a teacher and I basically know not to expect any minimal contact with her during term time as she is either busy or monumentally stressed. It's pretty much at the bottom of my list of careers I would retrain to do, despite enjoying lecturing.

But just wanted to reassure OP that if she does want to teach, the PhD wouldn't be an impediment.

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