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To be a sahm if we aren't married?

(259 Posts)
NotReadyForThisX2 Thu 14-Mar-19 16:50:44

More would I be really I suppose and I think I would be but Dp thinks otherwise.

Unexpectedly pregnant with a seconds Dc, Ds is only five months. We've vaguely discussed a few options but Dp keeps coming back to me staying home until they both or at least Ds start school.
We could afford it and it could in fact be the cheaper option compared to childcare X2 and getting a cleaner in or outsourcing ironing or something to ease the pressure.

I'm actually loving being home with Ds a lot more than I thought I would and Dp does pull his weight, he's not suggesting it to get out of any cleaning/childcare etc.

But we aren't married and I don't want to get married now I'm pregnant or because I'm pregnant. We are planning on doing so though and Dp would do it as soon as possible if I wanted.

I don't need to decide anything just yet, but I'm still on maternity leave and if I'm wanting to go back after the second one. I'm thinking it will be better to go back from this leave earlier and I'll need to tell work as soon as possible.

My career's not one that's particularly hard to get back on track, but I do enjoy it and wasn't planning on staying home. But I want to stay off for the year with Ds and the thought of juggling work with two under two is quite daunting.
The easy solution seems to be stay home for the next few years.
I'd be stupid to give up work without the protection of marriage though, wouldn't I? Or maybe stupid to even with marriage, I don't know!

Stuckforthefourthtime Thu 14-Mar-19 16:58:05

Without marriage, if anything went wrong with your marriage you would have no right to any assets. If he died, even if you had (for example) the house in his name, you still don't have the same rights as a wife. That's a big deal when you are essentially tanking your earning capacity for his.

I think having one parent at-home can work really well, but only if you both have guarantees. Why not even have a quick and private registry office wedding, you don't need to make it public and can always have the party later? Also check if he can make pension/NI contributions while you are off (I'm not up on that one, am sure other more knowledgeable posters will come.along!)

Happyspud Thu 14-Mar-19 17:05:39

It’s not unreasonable but it is supremely foolish.

You don’t want to get married because you’re pregnant....I can’t think of a single better reason. Are you saying that you’re pregnant but you actually don’t love each other?

NotReadyForThisX2 Thu 14-Mar-19 17:06:50

I think the house is ok because it's in both names. He has life insurance etc and it's left to me.
I don't want to just get married @Stuckforthefourthtime. I know that's a bit silly considering, but I can't bring myself to give up on the wedding I want and I don't want to do it because I got pregnant.

I'll look into pension/NI contributions.

Chocolatecoffeeaddict Thu 14-Mar-19 17:08:03

I was a sahm before marriage. I trust my partner and we're happy together so it wasn't an issue for us.

NotReadyForThisX2 Thu 14-Mar-19 17:10:00

Nope, I love him @Happyspud. We're planning on getting married next year. Just don't want to get married at a register office to just do it.

TeddyIsaHe Thu 14-Mar-19 17:10:09

Have you got enough savings so that if the worst was to happen (death, illness, cheating, leaving etc) you could ensure you and your children were financially secure for 3-6 months? Could you afford a house deposit? Rent or mortgage on your own?

The having no legal protection should you split and what that could mean for your kids would be anough to stop me being a SAHM without being married. Not wanting to get married because you’re pregnant is the silliest thing you could think. It’s the exact reason you should be married!

M0reGinPlease Thu 14-Mar-19 17:11:12

Just go to a registry office and do it.

MammaMia19 Thu 14-Mar-19 17:13:20

I wouldn't. Slightly different because I am married but I have two kids 6 and 1. We broke up when youngest was 11mo and I've never been more grateful to have a job! Having a job takes some of the the pressure off if you break up, especially as you don't have that financial security of a marriage.

Didntwanttochangemyname Thu 14-Mar-19 17:13:23

I'm an unmarried mother of two DC, but my partner and I are marrying soon.
We have paid off our house and its in both our names, I'm named on DPs pension paperwork and we have separate bank accounts and savings.
It's really not that stupid, if you are sensible about it.

Merril Thu 14-Mar-19 17:14:04

I wouldn't. I regret being a SAHM, even though we're married (couldn't have really done anything else as I had to be a carer for one of the dc).

But at least I have legal protection if anything goes tits up.

ThreeBagsFullofWool Thu 14-Mar-19 17:23:55

Isn't there an option now to register for something that gives the protection of marriage minus the marriage? A civil union or something...

smallereveryday Thu 14-Mar-19 17:26:00

Being named on pension paperwork has no guarantees if you aren't married. He (or She) can go to work and change that with one form and you will never know. ! Everyone trusts their partner until they have reason not to. It's a gamble I wouldn't take with two children.
Yes he SHOULD pay the mortgage.
Yes he SHOULD pay maintenance
BUT just read a few relationships threads and you will see that he can refuse , and it take years to pursue
Or her run over by a bus and you won't even get widowed parents allowance.

The smart thing to do is to pop down the registry office on a midweek afternoon with two witnesses- complete strangers if you want to keep it secret and for a £125 marry .

THEN when you have had the baby do the full works with a church blessing. (If that's what you want). That way you can actually have your (wedding) cake and eat it !

DippyAvocado Thu 14-Mar-19 17:27:50

I would advise against it. I am not married to DP. I work part-time but that has definitely affected my career and left me with depleted savings and a reduced pension. I am planning to return full-time within a couple of years to increase my prospects. Because I've kept my hand in working part-time, I should be able to build my career back up again relatively easily, which wouldn't be the case in my profession if I'd taken much time out.

Unfinishedkitchen Thu 14-Mar-19 17:29:03

Personally I wouldn’t even contemplate it but not everyone has the same attitude to risk I guess.

Alsohuman Thu 14-Mar-19 17:31:45

Just do the cool thing, go to the registry office, sign the paper, protect yourself and have the party later.

Foxmuffin Thu 14-Mar-19 17:32:01

If you’re concerned about security but confident in your relationship why not have OH draw up a will? Then you can ensure you’re catered for should the worst happen.

Does he have any life insurance etc? Aslong as he makes sure you’re the beneficiary to those you’re protected.

NotReadyForThisX2 Thu 14-Mar-19 17:37:46

We both have wills and all that. I think everything has been done that can be to protect me and Ds in the event of something happening to Dp. But as someone mentioned he can quite easily change all that. I'm certain he wouldn't, but that where the risk lies isn't it?

That's what I'm conflicted about, l love him and trust him. It would be easier to stay home for the next few years. So do I just trust in that and stay home or make things more difficult for myself in the short term, because of that tiny niggle of what if!

NotReadyForThisX2 Thu 14-Mar-19 17:39:45

I won't be marrying him before the baby though! I know it's the easy solution, but I don't want to.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Thu 14-Mar-19 17:41:01

I wouldn't make any major decisions now. When they're 5 months you don't want to leave them as theyre lovely and little and started sleeping etc. Entertaining a toddler for the week when it's raining is a different matter! It was harder to go back to work than I thought but it did make me feel more like 'me' again and is kind of easier than being home with 2 kids. As much as the first bit is hard, settling them into nursery and feeling guilty etc.

Why don't you carry on as if you're going back, and see how it goes? Then if it's too hard logistically pack it in knowing at least you know what both options look like.

Also take a read on here at women in your position. Obviously in a lot of instances it works great and we don't hear about them as there's nothing to post about. But there are a lot of women who've given up work as agreed by their partner or even suggested by their partner then their oartner ends up resenting being the main breadwinner, they expect them to do every single thing at home because they 'work ' eg all childcare at weekends, expect to be able to go out when they please to hobbies etc as they are no longer the default parent, and apparently lose the ability to do anything around the house or anything with the kids as they get out of practice and aren't as involved day to day, and end up making all the financial decisions as they've earned the money. I don't think any of these women went into the arrangement thinking it was going to be like that. So as well as the legal and financial side, if you do go for it, make sure you have up front agreement about evening and weekend chores and childcare, arrangements for when you're ill (who will look after the kids if you've got flu and your families aren't around?) How practicalities of spending decisions will work and how leisure time and free time will be split

Jackshouse Thu 14-Mar-19 17:42:32

It only costs £75 to get married. If you wanted a big party later then you could have a blessing or a big anniversary party.

Personally I wouldn’t be a SAHM without being married. Being a SAHM can dramatically change dynamic of your relationship.

Ginger1982 Thu 14-Mar-19 17:43:19

You don't want to marry him before the baby because you want the big shindig. Fair enough, but why can't you do both? Get it on paper with two witnesses off the street then have your big wedding. You don't even need to tell anyone you got married earlier. Be smart here!

LannieDuck Thu 14-Mar-19 17:44:45

Do you both earn similar amounts? Would he consider becoming a SAHD? If not, why not?

Regardless of what you decide, I would strongly suggest sharing parental leave. If you become a SAHM, making sure he has some understanding of what it's like to cope with 2 pre-schoolers single-handed day-in, day-out will be invaluable.

Purpleartichoke Thu 14-Mar-19 17:46:24

You are committed enough to have multiple children, but not to marry?

Or you want a big wedding!

If it’s the first, children are a much bigger commitment than marriage. If it’s the second, weddings are optional. If you have children, your budget is always going to have bigger priorities.

Alsohuman Thu 14-Mar-19 17:47:16

The reluctance of some women to protect themselves and their children because they want a big party mystifies me.

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