AIBU to consider quitting job and be a SAHM?(18 Posts)
I'm beyond exhausted. Have a 14 month old and a 3 year old. Work 4 days a week, and they are in nursery those days. Have them both one day a week. DH works long hours, out the house 8.20am - 7.30pm. He does drop offs, I do pcik ups and cooking (mainly ready meals these days sadly) and feeding the kids berfore he's back, then we put them to bed together, onen each. My 14 month old is a terrribble sleeper, wakes 3.54 times most nights and is hard to settle. Have tried everything, co-sleeing, crying it out, bed in his own room, bed in our room, daddy going to him, me going to hi. I think he will just have to grow out of it.
Problem is, I am so exhasuted, I am barely functioning. I am winging it a work, not doing much, b yut have quite a stressful high responsibility career pressure type job and I feel so stressed out about not performing, and just worried when everyone will really notice how shit I've been since I came baqck from mat leave in November. I don't sleep well at night myself.
I feel trapped in a viscious cycle of exhasution and getting so down. I feel I am at my wits end and just want to quit my job and be a SAHM! don't think we could afford to keep kids in nursery if I wasn't working. But isn't the 15 hours free even if you don't work, for over 3 year olds? my toddler gets the 30 free hours now, but guess that would stop if I stop working.
I don't know what to do anymore. I also have a 1 hour commute to work inside London (bloosy tube and bad connections). Am I crazy to consider this? Guess SAHM is also very hard!
oops should've said 14 month old wakes up 3-4 times a night
Being a SAHM is hard but its very rewarding.
It sounds like you could cope with the reduction in salary so I would say do it. However, I have found it impossible to return to work after so long out of the workplace. I would suggest you go back to work as soon as your youngest starts school full time.
Does your dp agree you can cope as a family? Some partners find the stress of being the sole earner very stressful.
That sounds really stressful OP. It's very tough when you both have high pressure working environments, it means there isn't much mental energy for anything else.
Are you working full time hours at the minute? Would it be possible to drop to a 3/4 day week instead? I found working even a 4 day week much less stressful than full time. Or would it be possible to do some freelancing?
Ultimately you need to put your health and your family first, so if the answer is becoming a SAHM, then do that. But I'd also look to the long term and have a plan for how you're going to get back into the workforce, as that's the sticking point for many mothers.
Thanks, both. I work 4 days a week already, have one day a week off, both kids home with me on that day.
Don’t quit your job - get help. Get half a
Day’s help on your 1 day off so you get an actual break.
Can you work 1 day a week from home on 1 of your 4 days so you are only
Commuting 3 times a week?
Don’t quit your job (*speaking from experience*)
Could you reduce your workload down to three days, or work from home one day a week (with the kids still in nursery)?
I am at the stage of weighing up whether to go back to work or not after Mat Leave- being a SAHM sounded amazing, but then I stumbled across a thread on here about returning to work (or attempting to) and the regret from those women changed my mind.
If you’re happy to take a few years out at the realistic prospect that once you decide to get back to work it might be a real struggle to find another role at a similar pay grade or level of seniority then go for it. As someone above said, it can be incredibly rewarding, but it isn’t as easy as dipping back in when you want to get back to work.
Can you drop to 3 days and keep them in nursery on the 4th? I did that three days when dts were small and they did half a day on the 4th which made it workable. Unless you want to be at home - in which case do it!
If you stop work, will you be able to return to it after a year or two? I wouldn't leave it too long....
Or could you request flexi-time or a reduction in hours?
I do feel you need to work less but still need to keep a foot in the door!
You’ve got another 40 odd years to go back to work, have a bloody break if you want one!
My mum was a high flyer, stayed at home from our birth until we were nearly out of primary school, didn’t affect her career prospects. My dad died suddenly and unexpectedly much too young, and her biggest regret was all that time she threw into working. What was it for? What she looks back on with joy is the family memories and family time, not the long hours and stress of a high pressure job.
There is more than one option, you have to find the one for you and don’t be scared off by those who think there’s only one way.
I quit my well paid job to be a SAHM. While I enjoyed what I did I didn't like the company or management. I don't intend on returning to that sort of role after the DC are in school - I will be helping DH with his business instead. However, if I did want to go back then I think I would have dropped my days down to 3 & found a new employer. I think that's the main thing to consider (since you said financially you will be fine).
If you’ve only been back since November, it’s still early days to be settling back into work with another child to manage.
At 14mnths, you are also through the worst and things might look very different in 6 months time.
Could you hunker down, do what it takes to try and get through the early months of returning to work then reassess how you feel?
I left work at Christmas. My kids are a fair bit older (11 and 7), so are out at school during the day.
If you can afford to take a ‘gap year’ or two and your family can make it work financially, then go for it.
I do not regret leaving work for a minute. It’s amazing how much money you spend just to make up for the fact that you have no time/energy/happiness.
Think about the long term Financial consequences eg of not having employer paying into your pension.
Can you ask work to go down to three days a week?
Can your husband do more of the heavy lifting, or give up his career instead of you doing so?
Personally I would find it very hard to lose my career and I think I would become resentful of DH ‘having it all’ at my expense, but everyone is different.
I gave up working a year ago to help my youngest who has health and learning difficulties and to just enjoy my other children. My children are now all school age and it was just becoming too difficult giving everyone the attention they needed.
I agonised for years, never saw myself as a SAHM but I'm loving it. Life is so much more relaxed and as I'm now older (had twins when 41) I can feel life speeding up and can't imagine I'm going to regret this time I'm spending with them all. Pangs of wishing I could magic up time and do both though.
Reduce your hours or get help in the home - a cleaner etc.
It sounds like right now this is really challenging but from experience it calms down a lot as younger child hits 2 and becomes less intensely demanding.
You don’t say whether you like your career? I think that’s relevant. If you do I’d throw some resources at the next 6 months (cleaner/more frequent cleaner, maybe some extra nursery hours, use up some annual leave to give yourself a break, get your husband to do the same). Because once you are getting some sleep, and they play together more so the weekends can involve some actual down time, things might look very different. And staying in your career, if you value it, is an investment for the future.
Did you feel significantly less tired/stressed on mat leave, also? Worth thinking about whether SAH would feel much better with your partner out for long working days.
Thanks for all your good advice and thoughts. I wouldn't say I felt a lot better during mat leave, but then that's because my baby had colic and since then has struggled with ear infections. He wakes a lot and ENT specialist now said he has glue ear, but that it's nothing that bad, and won't put in grommets. I'm desperate as I'm quite sure this is why he wakes so frequently, he seems to be in pain. Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent, but think that's partly why I'm so exhausted right now.
I like my job alright (used to love it) I have just been in it for too long - 7 years but with two years mat leave - and have no progression. It's a v careerish industry, but I've landed in a position it's hard to move on from without changing company, and I don't feel up for starting a new job right now with everything going on at home. So I'm stuck doing demanding tasks at a reasonable salary but no progression in view. Once I feel better I guess I could use it as a launch pad for moving on, though, but then, I don't feel I want to! it's consuing, have always been v ambitious but right now I feel I couldn't genuinly care less. I'm fed up with the corporate world and just want to be with my children and be freer. Although I know being a SAHM is in no way "free" every minute is taken up with childcare and housework, I know ; ) but at least you are your own boss. I don't know if it's just my tiredness saying I want to get out of work or if it's realy how I feel. I have a particularly stressful/high profile even/task coming up in April and already feel stressed about it and the planning for it, I feel I'm not up for it, but if I stay at work there is no way I can just say I'm not up for the task, it's my job, after all...it would involve a svik note with stress from the GP or soemthign like that (went to the GP and he did say he could give me a sick note for time off work as I was so stressed, but said it was up to me, then he just gave me sleeping pills as I also suffered from insomnia related to all the stress), and not sure I'm quite up for putting that stigma on myself (know it shouldn't be a stigma to admit to stress but we all know it is). So feels tempting to quit before it comes up.
I can't go down to three days, asked for it but they only v reluctantly granted me four days.
Hvae a cleaner once a week, could get her to come more I guess, but not sure we could afford it. As it is, my salary covers nursery fees for the two kids, my own travle and lunches, some groceries and bits for the kids and that't it. Nursery in London is expensive and although my job is fairly stressful it's not extremely well paid, just mid level-ish. DH's salary is significantly higher and covers everything else. I do ahve a v good pesnion scheme though.
Could be doable to get some help on my day off with the kids, but only on an ad-hoc one off basis, we can't really afford it as a general thing.
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