To ask for your advice on becoming a SAHM(82 Posts)
I and my DH both work full time, netting a good wage between us, about a 35/65 split in his favour.
We have two DC's both in infant school and his role is about to change, most likely to involve more travel etc.
The topic of me taking a career break has come up and I really don't know what to think. Like everyone else ( I think!) My job is great on some days and not so great on others, there is absolutely no opportunity to go part time, or find a part time role at my level.
Part of me thinks it would be great to take a couple of years out, enjoy more time with the children, get fit (or am I dreaming!?), live at a more relaxed pace etc. But the other part of me frets about pension contributions, financial independence etc.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? All advice welcome, I am totally on the fence!
Avoid. As difficult as it is, keep working. Best way to get taken for granted by DH is to stop work.
Don't do it. Continue to work and have financial independence. A couple of years out will kill your career traction. When you're ready to re-enter the workforce it is likely to be at a lower wage than you did before and then you'd be inclined to think it's not 'worth it'. Before you know it you'd be entirely dependant on your husband financially. You're too young to retire!!!
Do it. Your children are only young once. Why would you want to miss this? (even if it means you can't then dress them in Boden, indulge them in lots of expensive hobbies and take them on fabulous holidays)
FFS. Of course you can get back into work - if you're any good!!!! Career break is not career suicide unless you're shit! Have a change of career. Try something new. Set up your own business. So many options. Live a little!
Can you swap with me and I'll do it, my dream is to not work? I promise to be decent to your kids.
keep working if you can - it gives you your freedom. or look for other career options that might give you more flexibility. Or even re-train in a different area. Just don't quit and stay at home because it makes you entirely dependent on one person and one way of life that might not last.
Moanranger has a point as well about being taken for granted. If you don't work next step is you do all the house skivvying, cooking and so on.
Human nature is to go from being grateful to being expectant very quickly.
Also at "set up a new business" - the amount of time and energy that is required to make a new business a success would vastly outstrip whatever you're doing for your job at the moment - and in the early days for little/no financial reward.
Stick to your job op. Use the money to make mortgage overpayments, get yourselves into a super comfortable financial position. Life isn't all about money but it's easier to be comfortable/wealthy and miserable than financially dependant and struggling and miserable.
I loved loved loved being a Sahm and now I work part time and mine are all teenagers (3) we are really close, yeah I did the ironing cooking and tidying but I was also there when they were ill, or when there was a school play or there to fill the paddling pool on a hot day so when they come home it's all ready to go - I felt privileged and lucky that we could do it like this, and wouldn't swap a single second
What would you say if he came home and said he was giving up work to be a SAHD?
Thanks all for your responses so far.
I think I would be ok with him being a SAHD, albeit a bit jealous when I was driving off to work....
The potential change in lifestyle is certainly a factor to consider although we would still be comfortable.
i would think very carefully especially since both your children are at school for 6 hours per day. presumably you already have before and after school club or whatever it is at your kids school. this to me is the easier phase of having children although i appreciate you have vast periods of school holidays to find someone to care for the children.
I've just started back to full time work after 2.5 years off and its very hard but in 9 months, when my youngest in in the "free 15 hours" of nursery, i cannot wait to have some financial gain from going to work.
my husband is usually office based but a few days per month he can be away. we have no family - nearest is a 2.5 hour drive away which does make it hard and a grind sometimes. Do you have family backup?
think about how employable you'd be after a career gap and think how easy it would be to get the kids back on after school clubs (ours had a huge waiting list - i got my job mid school term).
i suppose its only a small gap youre planning of a couple of years.
I've been a sahm to my three children for six years now and I absolutely love it.
Ignore doomsayers who will convince you that you'll be taken for granted, divorced within a year, financially ruined. These things might be possible yes, but there is the other side of the coin.
That you could be happy. That your dh, like mine, will hugely appreciated what you do for the children and at home.
I'll agree that there's a risk with financial dependence but I decided the joy I've had being at home, what I've given my children, well it's been worth the risk.
I've also had time to pursue a passion and talent and have written two children's novels, which I hope to publish once my youngest starts school. So my brain hasn't been rotting away, despite what some may like to think.
Initially we had to cut back but I don't think the children are scarred. I've spent many happy hours playing, baking, reading, pottering. But our society, at times, only seems to value economic goals and output. And some just don't want to believe that actually, a person can be fulfilled 'just' raising their children.
Think it through but if the finances work and you have a stable marriage I'd say go for it.
I'd keep working. I'm a single parent and work full time and travel and me working has made no negative impact whatsoever on my lovely bond with my child. Retaining your financial independence is really important and honestly the others have a good point, the lack of respect I hear from some men about their sahw would make you shudder.
I've been a SAHM for 9 years and absolutely love it. It's worked really well for us. I've done bits and pieces of freelance work when I've wanted to / it's been convenient, but mainly I'm at home. It's been great for our family.
jeux - if a man's respect for his wife is based on her financial independence, then it's not much of a marriage to begin with.
Don't do it, your children are in school so there's no reason to be home all day every day.
Maintaining financial independence is good for many reasons not just a pension. You would have an income should you DH leave or worse, you show your children a work ethic rather than the 1950s model of women play house and men have to work and don't underestimate the stress of being the sole earner whilst the other person doesn't work and does little all day. Resentment can quickly build.
Cliché soundbites Sheldon, about what it means to be a sahm.
Yet if I rocked out the old clichés about working mums, I'd be criticised quicker than you could say boo.
It really pisses me off. Why would a man or woman resent their partner raising their kids? Because that is what a sahm is doing. Rather than paying another woman, a low wage, to do it while they work.
Someone has to be there don't they? Aren't children the most important thing, our future? So why the hell can't being with them, every step of the way, when they're ill or need fed/read to/played with/emotional support - be a worthwhile endeavor in itself? Why does every endeavour have to have financial attainment as a measure of its worth?
Don't do it - you'll lose independence, and unless you work is a very high-demand field you'll rejoin the labour market at a substantially lower salary. You'll also lose your self-confidence and up to date professional knowledge.
I know you can't go part time in your current role, but can you look around to see if there are any jobs in another company that could be done part time? Might be a good compromise.
I finished work when DS was born, he's 18 soon! I love it. I feel completely fulfilled any phone call from school and I'm there, I've never missed any plays or fetes. I am so happy with my life the people I answer to are the people I love
I lost my financial independence, went back in at a lower pay-grade. Lost up-to-date knowledge and by the time I went back, was rearing to go.
BUT, by financial independence, I mean, I was dependent on his earnings, not him. My husband is great at many things but still expects 'house keeping money' and did when he was the sole earner. I don't think he knows what bank we use!
I was a head of primary school when I left. Went back as deputy after 4 years leave. Promotion / change of school 2 years later. If I'd have been a class teacher then of course I'd have been earning less than my colleagues with 4 more years climbing the scale.
Of course I did the lions share of "the house skivvying, cooking and so on.". I'm not arrogant enough to regularly say, "Hi DH, good day at work? What's for dinner?". We had a cleaner several times a week so there was even less reason for me to not do more than him.
I enjoyed my time off. I was happy to return to work though. FT parenting isn't a bed of roses. There were days I was extremely envious of my husband as he 'waltzed' out the door to spend time with adults. I've no doubt there were days he wanted to be in my position.
It was right for me / us although I couldn't have done it forever I'm glad I did.
Re. the money. We were saving my salary and ~30% of DH's when I began my ML. Really, we lost a few year's savings but our household expenditure / income wasn't affected.
If you've worked out the finances, everyone is happy and you've got some plans for the time then why not?
Always a lot of doom and gloom on mumsnet about SAHM. I think it's a shame people have to justify their choices that are no one else's business, whatever they may be.
I was a sahm for 7 years before I became self employed (and I don't do a fat lot of work now!) It's been absolutely worth it and has made life so much less stressful. You won't ever regret spending more time with your children Imo.
Can you find a more flexible job? I don't miss plays or sports days (though would happily skip the latter) because I work from home around them on those days. I only commute 3 days and can work anywhere via laptop and mobile so if a child is sick (like today), my office is the sitting room and I can be there.
However we still get the financial security of two incomes and I get the adult intellectual bonus of mixing with grown ups at work half the week. It really does give a good balance.
The nonsense above about being closer or not to your children based on working or not. ! ..I am v close to my teens and I work full time. Duh. It isn't because you do or don't work. .... It's how you relate to them weekends evenings whether or not you work...are you implying dad won't or can't be close if he works more away from home?
Keep your financial independence. Get more help when he travels.. cleaner online shopping.
Or if you can... take a unpaid leave and get your job back try for 12 months see if you achieve those goals. See how you feel then.
But if dh travelling more you may find work helps deal with that...your adult routine .
No one can really answer this for you. I love being a sahm, but look forward to working again when dc are older. It depends what your priorities are. Do you want to have more disposable income to spend on the time you do have with your dc or more time with them in general? As others said, returning to work shouldn't be a problem if you're any good! Perhaps you could look at retraining whilst not working? Try something different?
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