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In thinking DD is too young to give up work to stay at home

(488 Posts)
MrsJenB Sun 21-Apr-19 00:33:11

Firstly to make it clear this is not being anti SAHM in fact I've been an SAHM since DD was born which she's saying makes me a hypocrite!

Bit of background DD is 24 and graduated from uni summer 2017. In her 1st year she met a man who was then in 3rd year and has been with him since, they got married in August. DD is now pregnant and has said she intends to give up work and not go back and they want to have a family of 3/4 kids going forward. Income isn't a problem for her as our son in law is a bit of a high flyer and in a high paying industry where he's already earning a lot and his earning potential is very high. DD is very junior in a very different kind of industry.

AIBU to still be a bit uncomfortable with her deciding to stop work at her age? She says I wouldn't be saying anything if she was 5 years older but they're ready so what's the difference. I get the feeling this is coming from son in law a bit though from some of what she's said such as him saying there's no point her working when his salary is mainly what they live on anyway and that hers doesn't make any difference anyway. That might well be true but smells a bit of calling it pocket money. DH isn't 100% on board but isn't really concerned either saying it's good she's passionate about being a mum and wanting a family. I think she's in for a bit of a shock when she realises it's more sleepless nights, changing stinky nappies and having to deal with all the responsibility all day especially with son in law working long hours and probably longer as his career progresses so not there a lot for support, not some "yummy mummy" lifestyle some of her social media posts make me think she expects. I don't think she realises how isolating it could be and how demanding even though I've told her and she says she knows. I think my DH doesn't realise either as he always worked quite long hours which maybe is why he isn't as concerned. And none of DD's friends are likely to have kids right now either so it could be even more of a challenge for her. Of course I'll support her whatever but AIBU to be worried and want her to think a bit more about the decisions?

Mummaofmytribe Sun 21-Apr-19 01:12:07

I don't blame you for being concerned. I would be too. But now you've said your piece you have to bite your tongue and support her. Don't alienate her.
She's clearly an intelligent, educated person ,so trust her to make her choices.
You may also want to consider that you did such a good job as a sahm that she's emulating your choice and wants the same kind of childhood for her own offspring.

SandyY2K Sun 21-Apr-19 01:12:28

YANBU...but you didn't set the example and you weren't a role model for female financial independence and empowerment yourself.

I do think it's an utter waste to study to degree level and then become a SAHM for life.

You don't need a degree to look after kids.

I would be disappointed if it was my DD, but she's more likely to listen, as my DDs have always known me to work.

At the end of the day it's her life. If nappy changing, toddlers groups and not seeing other adults most of the day suit be it.

I just hope she doesn't end up like so many women, who watch their DH progress and then get dumped for some career focused OW.

Princess1066 Sun 21-Apr-19 01:14:37

So you can't be happy at home with your child if you're educated and & intelligent?


Apricot80s Sun 21-Apr-19 01:27:45

What about your own life? Are you still not working? Do you still have dc at home? Do you have plans to work?

I agree with you. But don't think you can say anything as it would be hypocritical, unless you actually regret being a Sahm?

Rosieposy4 Sun 21-Apr-19 01:29:52

Princess, nobody said that. Lots of pp expressed legitimate concerns.

AlexaShutUp Sun 21-Apr-19 01:34:45

The life that she is choosing certainly isn't what I would want for my dd, so I understand your concern. In fact, I'd be gutted if my dd decided to do this. However, ultimately it's her choice, so I'm afraid you need to bite your tongue and respect her wishes.


Butterymuffin Sun 21-Apr-19 01:35:35

I agree with you but it's something you will have to step back and let her find out for herself. I do wonder whether you're questioning her decision so much as a way of questioning your own? How do you feel now about your time as a SAHM, and are you planning never to work again yourself?

MsKhan Sun 21-Apr-19 01:37:36

I disagree with many of the things you have said in your post and you sound quite judgemental of your poor dd tbh.

I had a 'privileged education' and degree and got married and had a baby by 24 years old just like your dd.

Ten years later I've got 3 dc and still a sahm (youngest is just a baby), and I absolutely love it. It's not all stinky nappies and sleepless nights like some people you make out it is. It's an absolute privilege and honour raising your children and that being your full time job. An absolute luxury that many many women would love to have. But then you know that already , don't you, since you've always been a sahm?

MetroFly Sun 21-Apr-19 01:41:23

I'm 40 with 2 dc. We can afford for one us not to work but I've decided to drop to 4 days rather than give up my career.

I do 2 in the office and 2 from home so it's a nice mix but I worry at 40 what the future holds, I certainly wouldn't want my dc to stop working in their early 20s without any experience OP

I'd encourage her to take the full year and to keep her options open after that.

Inthetropics Sun 21-Apr-19 01:42:35

I'm with you OP. I know tons of women through my work who regret not having a career when later in life they get divorced. Not having an income also makes it harder to leave controlling partners and scape domestic violence. I know being a SAHM works for many women, but how can one know what their future will be?

birdsandroses Sun 21-Apr-19 01:43:57

I do think it's an utter waste to study to degree level and then become a SAHM for life.

A degree is never a waste. What has happened to valuing learning as an in an end in itself?

LucyBabs Sun 21-Apr-19 01:48:16

I don't think you're being unreasonable op you sound like you are concerned your daughter is selling herself short. I was a sahm then I became a single parent. If I had known then what I know now my life would be a lot different. There's nothing wrong being at home with your dc for a time but cutting your earning potential to do that is a disaster. I'll be telling my own daughter to think carefully about choosing to be a sahm. I know we can only give advice, our children will do what they want. I wish i had listened to my Mother sad

Oysterbabe Sun 21-Apr-19 01:50:04

It's not for you to say anything but I'd be disappointed too.

NoHolidaysforyou Sun 21-Apr-19 01:53:54

YABU. A lot of jobs out there for educated millennials can be boiled down to underemployment (basically crap jobs) and being below the university skill level she has attained anyways, so there is a good chance that the job she could have gotten would not be a forever job anyways. She will probably change careers a few times as well, so while experience is nice sometimes working life is not always a linear projection. Don't live vicariously through her. The struggles of current generations and what they face are completely different (a high quantity of jobs that are not good and do not pay a living wage). If she can raise their children, then she can take an opportunity that not everyone her age has.

IncrediblySadToo Sun 21-Apr-19 02:00:03

I agree with you, you’re right to be concerned.

I think it’s lovely to be s SAHM and it’s great if your partner is earning good money and you can do it comfortably.

It’s not so great when in 10 years time he walks out with his secretary and leaves you with 4 kids to bring up & no career he swans off living the good life because you’ve been there for the kids, him, run the house and all he has done is focus on his career.

It’s a very foolish move to make herself so vulnerable.

I’d explain all of that to her, and the divorce rate AND that only a very small % of the divorced women would have thought it would happen to them.

The fact she earns a fraction of what he earns isn’t the point.

LucyBabs Sun 21-Apr-19 02:01:57

"If she can raise their children then she can take an opportunity that not everyone her age has"
That is so depressing
24 years old and this is what she should aspire to? I thought women had come a lot further

NotBeingRobbed Sun 21-Apr-19 02:05:33

What if something happens to his career? His success isn’t guaranteed.

On the issue of divorce later, she would of course do better as a SAHM but there will be less of a pot to split and she won’t suddenly be able to walk into a well paid job.

Might be best for her to cut back her days but keep her hand in at work.

AlexaShutUp Sun 21-Apr-19 02:06:43

It's not all stinky nappies and sleepless nights like some people you make out it is. It's an absolute privilege and honour raising your children and that being your full time job. An absolute luxury that many many women would love to have. But then you know that already , don't you, since you've always been a sahm?

Perhaps, having been a SAHM herself, the OP now believes that being a SAHM is not such a luxury after all? My mum loved having the time at home with us when we were little but she bitterly regretted it when we got older. Still does!

Kids are only little for such a short time. I get that people want to make the most of that time while they can, but women who choose to stay at home do need to plan ahead for the rest of their lives when the kids have grown up. Becoming a SAHM at 24 with next to no experience behind you isn't exactly a good starting point.

InionEile Sun 21-Apr-19 02:09:49

It's definitely a high-risk choice at 24 when she has no savings of her own and a very low earning potential. She is putting all her eggs in one basket and staking her future on her husband and his earnings, so I think you are right to be concerned.

She is 24, however, so I can well imagine any critical input from you will be resented. She has clearly set her mind to this so there's not much you can do. Also, she grew up with a SAHM - you - so that is her role model for how family life should be. It is hypocritical for you to say she can't do what you did in life. Not much you can do, I'm afraid!

trixiebelden77 Sun 21-Apr-19 02:10:17

I don’t think it’s something you can comment on. She needs to work out for herself what will work for her.

I disagree with the earlier poster’s use of the phrase ‘raising her children herself’. We both work and we both raise our child. Part of raising a child is providing food/clothes/shelter etc. We are both responsible for this as parents.

Rach182 Sun 21-Apr-19 02:15:04

I agree with you OP

It will be much more difficult for her to restart her career at a later stage after having children and with a massive gap on her CV, if she doesn't keep her foot in the door now.

Plus if they split up and she needs to go back to work, then she might not be able to afford childcare on the salary her earning potential would give her.

So I don't think yabu but ultimately it's her choice. Hopefully there'll be no reason for her to regret this choice , but the divorce statistics indicate otherwise.

I think you can only be her mum and advise, then drop the subject and simply be there for her, otherwise you'll come across as very hurtful and unsupportive.

applesbananasgrapes Sun 21-Apr-19 02:16:16

The ‘stay home and have 3-4 children’ plan may change though if parenthood and being a sahm isn’t everything she envisioned. She may decide to stick at 1 baby and return to work. Or maybe she will love it and stick with the original plan. Nothing is set in stone at all so I wouldn’t worry.

1Wanda1 Sun 21-Apr-19 02:17:22

Op, I did what your DD is doing, and I was divorced with 2 kids under 5 by the time I was 30. Their high-earning father royally screwed me financially in the divorce and for several years afterwards while I got myself back on my feet career wise. Starting a career effectively from the beginning as a single parent is very hard work, though being a single parent is a great motivator.

One of my best friends also did what your DD is doing, and 20+ years later they are still married, with 5 kids. She has never really worked outside the home, as her whole life is devoted to the many demands of 5 kids and a husband who job keeps him out of the house from dawn to late at night. They are happy (or as happy as any couple who've been together that long are - it has its ups and downs!).

It sounds as though your DD will have to find out for herself whether life as a SAHM is for her. I think if you express your reservations, you risk driving her away. If things do go wrong, she will need you. Just be there for her. Don't say "I told you so!" (my mum still does this 12 years after my divorce!).

Stoptheworldandmelt Sun 21-Apr-19 02:17:27

If she's happy leave it be. I'm the high earner at 24, and I love my job. My husband hates working and has never found something he enjoys, and often pressure from work damages his mental health. So he's given up work, and I provide for us both. In some ways it's a risk for him, but he trusts me, and if we ever have kids he'll be a SAHD. Right now he's just thrilled to not have to work. It's the happiest I've ever seen him.

nettie434 Sun 21-Apr-19 02:17:46

I was a bit reluctant to post as I have always worked full time and have no children. Then I thought that as I do know about work I would suggest that with later retirement and more emphasis on portfolio careers, it is entirely possible your daughter can re-establish her career later on.

The other thing you could encourage her to do is to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions and keep up (start) a pension. She and her husband might also be better off paying the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge as this means NIC contributions are paid rather than not claiming child benefit because they earn over the limit. It may be easier to to focus discuss on finances rather than not making the most of her education.

Lots of people work simply because they have to, not because they want to. Not all jobs are great. Who knows, she may eventually decide that she doesn’t want to be a SAHM.

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