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To ask if you had your time again would you have been a SAHM?

(525 Posts)
DiscoPanick Mon 05-Feb-18 16:20:21

I've NC for this because of obvious reasons concerning linking threads and so forth.

What invariably happens if you take time off from your job/career and what if your H/P leaves you? Times had changed since alimony was granted. These days you'd leave with just the clothes on your back. That is if you didn't have personal savings or wealth.

Even if childcare renders you working at a net loss on a monthly basis, is it worth still having a foot in the door versus not.

The feeling of guilt concerning WOHMs is all well and good but will not ultimately put food on the table. (The feeling of guilt that is)

I'm just working through a few thoughts and need to consult with friends and others to see what others have done.

Lollypop27 Mon 05-Feb-18 16:25:03

I’ve been a sahm for 15 years. I’ve loved being at home with my children and there have been many times that I have ‘needed’ to be home due to child’s surgeries etc.

My problem is that I’m now struggling to get back in to the work force. Things have changed in 15 years. It seems that everyone needs a degree which I don’t have.

If I could have my time again I would of worked part time and/or studied whilst at home.

BettyChristmas Mon 05-Feb-18 16:27:15

I think it’s only been such a big deal in the last 10-15 years because it really is a choice now rather than a default position to be a SAHM. Primarily through finances but also I think a lot of mums feel compelled to SAHM as this is the ‘best’ option for the DC.

When I had DC1 I went back to work FT then cut down to PT when aged 3/4 to accommodate preschool and then reception holidays. A lot of my friends were SAHM and as I dropped hours they were struggling to find any work as their DC were off to school. Meanwhile my salary had doubled, kept my pension up and then once I was PT I had DC2 then returned to work again and have subsequently been promoted. My friends who need to go back to work financially are stuck as their skills are my up to date and also have issues in their relationships over the imbalance of roles. When I went back to work FT a lot of them openly ‘felt sorry for me’ but it really was the best decision I’ve ever made.

BettyChristmas Mon 05-Feb-18 16:28:08

*their skills are out of date

UpstartCrow Mon 05-Feb-18 16:28:44

If I could go back and warn my younger self I would not get involved with arsehole ex, and I wouldn't be a SAHM.

SweetMoon Mon 05-Feb-18 16:33:12

I've always been a working mum and never even had maternity leave. I'd have loved to be a SAHM so if I had my time again and had a choice I would be a SAHM. I suppose because I don't have a career as such so i'm not bringing in a huge amount of money but have just struggled really financially from day one with the added guilt of having to work full time.

Minestheoneinthegreen Mon 05-Feb-18 16:34:50

Not a fucking chance. I advise dd regularly against any notion of it for when she's older too.

InaConfusedState Mon 05-Feb-18 16:45:34

I considered it once but am very glad to have stayed working. Especially as my much-loved (at the time) ex-DH turned into a massive arse and left me with two DC to look after. I, and none of his friends, would ever have thought he’d do that.

I would advise any woman to keep a hand in the workforce, unless they are independent and able to sustain their and DC lifestyle without any input from the DC dad.

I did take a full year maternity with both DC and go to part time working (3 days) for a few years, which let me balance home and work life.

redmarkone Mon 05-Feb-18 16:47:01

interesting thread op.

im just out of the other side of working at a net loss and am over the moon at earning now but still have wrap around and some nursery to pay for. two wrap around care costs equals one x5 day per week childcare care at private nursery, so for me, this means getting a job of a minimum of 20k.

i am working at a much lower level than previously and get paid a chunk less but im so impressed with myself that after being out of the work force for 3 years, i got a job after 6 months of searching, unfortunately, its only a fixed contract job but still, its easier to get a job when you're already working from past experiences.

if you can afford for your partner to pay for your petrol, car maintenance costs etc, then i would go for it especially as its better to have a foot in the door in the event of a relationship breakdown.

it is very tough going to work for nil net gain, very disheartening but make sure you hold out for a permanent job with good benefits in addition to wage.

if you've got family to look after dc, then do any job that you're happy with just to get back in the market.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 05-Feb-18 16:48:16

I was a sahm for 9 years and only work very part time now. I would do it again in a heartbeat even though I can’t get a proper job again now!

AtlanticWaves Mon 05-Feb-18 16:51:35

I would have liked to but DH didn't want it (for lots of valid reasons, including that it's not very common in this country so very hard to get back into work after a break).

Instead I took 6 months maternity leave each time.

Now they are 3 and 6 and I've dropped down to a 4 day week, earning the same amount as when I was FT before having DC1.

A 4 day week doesn't penalise me at all in my job (apart from earning 20% less) and if I want to later I can easily go back to 5 days.

But 4 days is great for me atm.

So no, I don't regret my decision. Helped by the fact that DC1 was, urm, exhausting and I needed the break!

Gatehouse77 Mon 05-Feb-18 16:53:57

No, we wouldn't change it at all. We both whole-heartedly believe that, where possible, a parent at home for the first 5 years is hugely important.
Due to circumstances this has led us to have a very 'traditional' set up which we are both very happy with. DH is appreciative of all that I provide and do for him and the children. And I am appreciative of all that he provides and does for me and the children.

BackToThe90s Mon 05-Feb-18 16:54:07

No way! I didn't like being a SAHM because I found it very lonely. I used to make effort to go off to baby groups/ children's centre but I'm a naturally quite person and never clicked with any mums past the small talk.

It also made my depression worse and I resented my (ex) dh for coming home asking what I'd been doing all day (in a derogatory way.)

I much prefer it now I work and there's a structure to the day where I get stimulation and adult conversation.

Mummaofboys Mon 05-Feb-18 16:56:34

I love being a stay at home Mum, it’s what’s best for my family, I’m not really a pessimist so I haven’t really thought about my husband leaving me but if he did I wouldn’t regret the time I spent with my kids and as a SAHM I would be entitled to half his money.
It doesn’t suit everyone but I love being able to do the school run and not feel guilt if children are sick of not going to work. Yes I know I’ll find it hard to get a paid job in the future but I suppose I can always do a bit of voluntary work instead?

NataliaOsipova Mon 05-Feb-18 16:58:15

Absolutely. I wouldn't have lost any of that time with my DC for the world. Yes, there are downsides - but there are to any decision. (I will caveat this by saying that we are very well off and I have a chunk of assets that are "mine" from when I was working. And we're married.)

HappySpade Mon 05-Feb-18 17:05:47

Interesting thread. I was able to stay home with DD1 for three years. I was finishing my degree in the evenings though (1.5 years). I have a great relationship with DD1. We were renting then and generally had less expenses. I went back to work so I could get better benefits for leave when I eventually had DD2. I stayed home with DD2 for a little while and DH took time off too. When both DDs were in care, I was just breaking even.

In the four years since DD was born, I've been promoted 4 times and now make about 1.4 times more salary (I was very low in the company and if you're a solid worker there is a lot of room for promotion). Now I just have DD2 in care (not for much longer) and the financial benefits are amazing, although our expenses have generally gone up. However, I don't have as great a relationship with DD2 and I don't feel she had as good as upbringing at DD1 because of being in care.

There were a few reasons I was adamant about going back to work:
- fear of DH leaving me and me being absolutely stuck with nothing
- fear of DH being unable to work (health or accident) and me bringing the primary earner
- DDs thinking (or not understanding the dynamics of my relationship with DH) that women, like mum, don't have to work
- I like to buy nice things and go on vacation so I should be able to pay for it

Blackteadrinker77 Mon 05-Feb-18 17:06:37

I don't wish I'd been a sahm but I wish I'd done part time.

I have always worked full time and I work away a couple of days every month also.

bridgetjonesmassivepants Mon 05-Feb-18 17:10:07

Yes. I am lucky in that my husband could support us and that we had the choice even though money was very tight for some years. I couldn't imagine not having the time I did with my children. We planned financially for me to be at home with the children, we lived in a smaller house so that we could afford the mortgage

If I had a wonderful job that I loved it might have been different but I have a job that is professional but the something I do to get out of the house and earn money rather than something I love. I managed to go back to it part time after five years out with no difficulty and still work part time hours that suit our family.

Would do it again every time, even though it was hard at times. I can't imagine someone else having brought up my children.

Bluelady Mon 05-Feb-18 17:11:44

When I had my son it was the norm to be a sahm if you had pre school children. I absolutely hated it and went back to work at the first possible opportunity.

Petalflowers Mon 05-Feb-18 17:12:12

Yes! I didn’t have children for someone else to,
bring them up. It meant we compromised on house, holidays etc, but it was worth it.

LordJohnMarbury Mon 05-Feb-18 17:14:12

If I had the time again and could have swung it I'd have been a SAHD. Or reduced hours/part-time. Really anything other than what I ended up doing.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 05-Feb-18 17:14:36

I don't regret the choice I made to sahm but I wish I hadn't felt I had to make it iyswim.
Ds1 started to struggle with school and if I had been at work just about managing to juggle and keep it going it would all have been for nothing because I would have had to leave at that point.
But I so wish I wasn't in this position given I had a very interesting and rewarding job once!

Chugalug Mon 05-Feb-18 17:22:06

I haven't had a choice ,due to ds2 being out of school for 8 years..2 of mine have ASD...however I home educated them for 9 yrs,so that kept me busy...ive a 10 yr gap between kids so still one in primary ...not going to well,so may end up home educating again...to get to the point..100% yes I would of done the same again..my kids would not of been happy at childminder / nursery/ holiday clubs...they only just coped with school

Chugalug Mon 05-Feb-18 17:23:48

Same here petalflowers,same here

StaplesCorner Mon 05-Feb-18 17:25:27

I worked part time once I had my DDs and I bitterly regret working at all. There was a truly terrible incident at the childminders and I have never forgiven myself, even had to have counselling. I have no idea if my DDs realise what happened, or ever will. I do know of course that my circumstances are unusual.

Even after that when I did freelance from home, although of course we needed the money, I regretted it I just wanted to be with them. Now they are teenagers, they would still like me to be there to pick them up drop off etc., I still work part time. The nature of my work means that my skills are still relevant.

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