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To ask are any of you stay at home wives? (Not SAHMs)

(123 Posts)
user1474217141 Sun 18-Sep-16 18:13:17

* This post is for the stay at home wives out there but of course any input is more than welcome. *

Hi there mumsnetters,
I have posted a few times and you have all been so lovely, so I am seeking you out for some advice and hand holding I guess.

I am seriously considering quiting my job and not looking for another for a while.
I currently work in a stressful and high pressure environment and get paid beans for doing so. Its target based, non stop and you have to explain yourself if you take one too many pee breaks a day.
I cannot cope.

Nose bleeds, headaches, sickness almost every work day. I dropped my hours to part time and its made no difference. I get panic attacks, blurred vision, shakes and thats the tip of the iceburg.

I am early twenties but have had a lot of stress so I just dont deal with it like a "normal" person.

* My background *
Cancer twice, only baby was stillborn due to the cancer while pregnant, and I cannot have children.
Its been a lot to contend with and I struggle getting by day to day. I have been diagnosed with more mental health issues than I can count and I am on lots of meds.
I dont have any family, but I am lucky enough to have a wonderful partner who I have been with for 7 years.
At this point in time, my health isnt great to be honest.
The only reason I posted this background is so you get an idea of why I am not coping well with life

Now, if I quit my job we would be worse off. We could get by, but holidays would be a big struggle if im honest.
My "plan" would be to calm my shit for a few months (not doing much to be honest, keeping the home and making sure I am eating better while keeping stress down) then when I feel up to it, starting open uni and studying history, which I have always been passionate about. In regards to work, nothing is in that plan in the immediate future if im honest.

My concerns are money, of course. Money is always a concern. But also I want to feel useful while I am home. I want to feel like I am contributing to the world and my home, my relationship.

SO this is what I am asking I guess, How? What do you do? Hobbies? Cooking? Home improvments?
Why did you choose this life? Do you like it? Do you love it?
I just want an insight into what life might be like.

* This post wasnt made for slamming, bitching or welcoming a load of negativity.I totally understand that everyone has a different point of view but I am not asking if you agree or disagree with the lifestyle.
I Just have a few questions as I am planning on making abig lifestyle change. *

Thank you to all who took the time to read this x

cosmicglittergirl Sun 18-Sep-16 18:23:50

I'm not a stay at home wife, but I think if it works for you and your partner and helps with your health, then do it and enjoy it.

Nuttypops Sun 18-Sep-16 18:24:33

I am not myself, but my best friend is.
Due to a high pressure job, struggling with depression and then a long term physical illness it seemed like the most sensible option for her and her partner. That was about 4 years ago in her mid 20s now, and it has made such a difference to her mental and physical health. Initially, she used the time to rest and see friends/family. She slowly made a slight physical and mental recovery and it was very good for their relationship as it relieved a lot of pressure on them. I know she struggled with being financially reliant on her partner at first, but I think at some stage in life all of us will be, and it takes a bit of getting used to.

She has since used the time to do a part time qualification, get a dog who she walks daily with new dog waking friends and she now volunteers/works part time in her new role but with very flexible hours. Her and her partner also respite foster. This is their plan for the long term future. It works for them and has made such a difference to her health.

Personally, in your situation I think it would be some much needed time to rest and recuperate after a really difficult period in your life. I hope you find the right balance for you.

scaryteacher Sun 18-Sep-16 18:24:45

My ds is at uni, so I suppose I am now a SAHW, and dh is happy that I am. I run the house, read, sew, see friends, sort out the UK house and the letting agent. Do the uni run to and from the UK as dh is frequently travelling for work. I have an auto immune disease which makes me very tired at times, hence dh being happy that I don't work.

I loved teaching, but was much less stressed when I stopped and moved abroad to follow dh, and it was better for us as a family.

cosmicglittergirl Sun 18-Sep-16 18:25:34

Sorry, just realised you weren't asking if people agreed or disagreed.
For a while I had a day a week when my children were both at nursery and I did bits around the house, ran errands and did some of my hobbies. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

user1474217141 Sun 18-Sep-16 18:28:07

Thanks Cosmic, I appriciate that.

I am 99% sure health wise it will help, but my DP isnt sure it will. Obviously, he says I have his support.

Sparkletastic Sun 18-Sep-16 18:32:45

I'm not but my best mate is. She has a very busy high earning DH who worships her and very much values her role in running everything in their lives other than his job. I sometimes envy her but love my life too. They are deliberately child free.

Sparkletastic Sun 18-Sep-16 18:32:54

I'm not but my best mate is. She has a very busy high earning DH who worships her and very much values her role in running everything in their lives other than his job. I sometimes envy her but love my life too. They are deliberately child free.

Sparkletastic Sun 18-Sep-16 18:33:52

Sorry for double post blush

ElspethFlashman Sun 18-Sep-16 18:34:45

I have a friend who is. No kids. Early 40s.

Like you, it was a reaction to a highly stressful situation, in her case falling into the role of a full time carer for a parent who was very unwell and challenging. So actually she hasn't worked in an office environment since they fell very ill but got a carers allowance etc and was the liaison for everything and everyone. It was horrifically stressful and awful and dragged on for years and did damage her marriage through the sheer stress of it 24/7.

So after the parent died, her OH urged her to just rest and recuperate for a year. It has healed her a lot. They have no spare cash and she does worry about that, but since both she and DH are 100% more relaxed, it's of undeniable benefit right now.

They spend a lot of time together going for walks etc and it's nice. He has his own business and she has started doing a bit of admin, but both are adamant it's for 3 hrs a day max. She has bought some pets and joined a gym. She does the cooking/laundry but at a leisurely pace.

It's definitely working out for both of them, that's for sure.

user1474217141 Sun 18-Sep-16 18:35:29

Nutty, thank you for taking the time to write all of that.
Your friends life sounds much better. Its so great its helped her improved her health and she seems happier. Wonderfully supportive DP she has too.
This is what I am hoping to achieve if im honest. Just being "ok" for once.

Scary, I am glad to hear its working well for you and your family. I imagine teaching is a very stressful job. Sounds like your doing a great job keeping your family organised and having some time for you too. Thank you for getting back to me smile x

Thanks again Cosmic, Sounds like a well earned day off for you if you ask me smile

user1474217141 Sun 18-Sep-16 18:42:10

Sparkle, sounds like it works perfectly for your friends relationship / lifestyle. Me and my DP have decided not to go for adoption or anything now and remain childfree. After all that happened, its just not for us anymore. Their life sounds great to be honest, not for everyone, but I am glad to hear it still seems to work for some people in the modern day age.
Thanks for getting back to me Sparkle x

Elspeth, Godness it does sound stressful for them, but they have made it work! smile I am not going to lie, the money part is going to be hard. BUT we wont be stress-eating the takeaways and junk food like we have (litterally, a few times a week) and work related expenses for me will dissapear. I am hoping we manage and find happiness.

andintothefire Sun 18-Sep-16 18:43:48

It's very common for one partner to take time off (at least temporarily). I left a job that I didn't enjoy and was supported by my partner for a few months while I did some volunteering, helped him out in his company, and worked out what to do next. Of course you might decide you don't want to go back to work, but equally it might be a good opportunity to try out some different things on a voluntary basis and potentially find an area that you do enjoy. There are so many opportunities to get involved with charities. If you are at all interested in the arts then lots of theatres and theatre companies welcome volunteers for example!

I am now working full time in a job which I love, and I am very glad that I took some time off in my twenties to take stock. I rushed into another career first, and it would have been a mistake for me to stay there. On the other hand, if you do decide not to work then I am sure that your partner would rather have you happy at home than in the horrible situation you are in now.

Nokidslovesitethough Sun 18-Sep-16 18:44:49

Hi user.

I encouraged my husband to take redundancy and be a stay at home husband after he had a breakdown due to the stresses of his very well paid job. He didn't work for nearly 2 years and is now back working in a much less stressful and part time role and is as happy as Larry. I was able to carry us through that time and we still had holidays thanks to his generous pay off.

Sounds like you should go for it, sorry about all the shit you've been through and are going through.

Lunchboxlewiswillyoumarryme Sun 18-Sep-16 18:46:48

Why arnt you getting DLA and yr partner carers allowance...I know people claiming that for less than you had would help with the lack of money from yr job coming in

andintothefire Sun 18-Sep-16 18:47:39

Oh and if you're interested in history then maybe you could volunteer for a museum?

Lunchboxlewiswillyoumarryme Sun 18-Sep-16 18:48:32

Also,,life is to short to be unhappy and stressed...go for it

handslikecowstits Sun 18-Sep-16 18:48:38

I am due to long term illness. We've been together since I was 21 (I'm 39 now) and my life has not gone as planned. We're child free but have a dog and the last decade has been awful. I'm coming out the other side of it all now but I don't think I'll ever been the high flying career woman that I envisioned when I was a younger woman.

What's the saying? Man plans, god laughs. Too true.

SootSprite Sun 18-Sep-16 18:54:35

if it works for you and your partner then no one else's opinion matters.

As an aside, with regards to the OU, undergraduate and the new postgraduate loans (for first at that level qualifications) only have to be repaid once you personally earn over £21k so, if you're not planning on returning to work then you'll never have to repay.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sun 18-Sep-16 18:57:00

I was a stay at home wife for a while. I became a little bit...odd! I would do manic amounts of pickling, sewing or baking in some sort of attempt to justify my lack of a "real" job. So long as you have plenty to do and don't think you'll turn into The Housewife From hell like I did, it might be just what you need to gather strength and look at where you go next.

handslikecowstits Sun 18-Sep-16 18:58:38


Is there a webpage where I can access this kind of info? I've been thinking about studying again myself with lots of ifs and buts.

EarthboundMisfit Sun 18-Sep-16 18:59:09

Have you seen a GP re your symptoms to exclude a physical cause?
I did it for a couple of years in my mid 20s. When I returned to work all my anxieties were still there waiting to be dealt with. I became depressed at home too and had too much time to sweat the small stuff.

allegretto Sun 18-Sep-16 19:03:51

I think you should do what is best for you and your health but you should also bear in mind what you want to be doing in ten or twenty years' time. Whilst I can see the appeal of a history degree, it is a big financial and emotional commitment - does it actually make sense work-wise to do it? If you don't like the work you are currently doing, then I would be looking at doing some sort of course or training towards doing something which is more fulfilling for you. That might be a history degree but it might not! I know you said that your partner is supportive but (and sorry to be such a downer) but I strongly believe we all need to be able to support ourselves as relationships don't always work out. That's not to say that you shouldn't do something you love - just maybe think about combining that with something that will be useful. Hope I haven't offended!

Boozena Sun 18-Sep-16 19:03:58

I kind of am. DH works full time and I have been a student for the last 7 years (coming to the end of my phd). It's been hard at times and money has been tight (no loans/bursaries for the last 4 yrs) but we've managed and DH has recently landed a new job that sees us a lot better off.
I went through guilt phases though it's not a long term plan for us- I will hopefully get a decent job when I finish.
Aside from studying I do all the home stuff (cook/clean/wash) and when DH was self employed I ran his business too.
I think to make it work your DH has to be completely on board. But it sounds like you seriously need a break to recover & find something more enjoyable/less stressful flowers

OpheIiaBaIIs Sun 18-Sep-16 19:04:47

I was a SAHM and although DD still lives at home she's at uni, so I guess I'm now a SAHW. It was never my intention to be one - I planned on going back to work when DD went to secondary school, but I found it hard to find a job after being out of the job market for 13 years. Then I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease, symptoms of which include terrible pain and fatigue. Suddenly working seemed like a massive mountain to climb.

Thankfully DH earns enough to cover everything and DD contributes too. I do admit that I feel useless at times, like an unemployable waste of space - I haven't worked for 20 years now and probably never will again. It's hard to accept that. And although I trust DH implicitly, it feels sort of precarious being financially reliant on him, and I do sometimes feel like a female cocklodger (cuntlodger?!). He constantly reassures me that that's not the case and he's glad he can look after me - he's generous to a fault and I have full access to his earnings (I look after all the finances and so forth).

OTOH, it is lovely to be able to go for a walk when I feel up to it, and my time to be mostly my own. But I do get lonely - I don't have any friends or family other than DD and DH so feel isolated at times. DH gets on really well with his colleagues and he's always telling me about conversations they have etc, and I do feel quite envious sometimes.

I would say that if you have plenty of friends/family to prevent feeling isolated being a SAHW can be lovely. Also you need to be comfortable with being financially dependent on your OH. Volunteering can be a good idea - I do now and again. The OU is a brilliant plan - I'm considering the same course as you OP! Basically, avoid loneliness and keep your mind busy.

On the whole I do think you'd benefit from this time to yourself - you've had a rough time and you need to 'regroup' a bit I think.

Hope it all works out for you OP, and good luck flowers

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