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When does a SAHP become a SAHP

(169 Posts)
HouseholdPlantMurderer Sun 11-Aug-19 13:32:50

Had a discussion with a friend, both childless, about SAHP and we wondered when does Stay At Home Parent becomes simply a Stay At Home Person.
Discussion came about because a common friend of ours asked his wife if she started looking for a job and of she needs some help with it since children are now 12 and 13 and are really quite matured for the age so can be left alone for few hours in the afternoon. They wouldn't even have to be if she found early early start job as he works evenings. She flipped saying they agreed she can be SAHP. He is now miserable because she is angry, he is resentful because he didn't think he will have to do 65+ hours a week for 18 years yet still can't afford nice holidays and such. They could if the wife worked too.
They have his grand parents nearby who wouldn't mind minding the kids over holiday times.
We think she is being massively unreasonable.

So I ask MN. When does SAH Parent become a SAH Person?

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Sun 11-Aug-19 13:35:26

It’s horses for courses isn’t it? What works for one family won’t work for another. Nobody knows what that woman’s reasons are for not wanting to work. Maybe she’s a lazy shite of maybe she has anxiety about returning to work and just can’t face the issue yet. It’s between her and her husband. Not you and your friends.

Teddybear45 Sun 11-Aug-19 13:40:18

I think when the person who is working starts struggling with the arrangement, that’s the point when being a stay at home parent becomes untenable. Being a SAHP should be a joint decision between the parent staying at home and the one going out to work.

ohdearwhatdoido Sun 11-Aug-19 13:40:38

My feelings are the same as yours - when the children are of an age where they are mature and can be trusted to be left alone, and one parent no longer feels that they want to have the working/financial burden on their own, then the SAHParent has become a SAHPerson, and a new arrangement should be agreed that suits everyone in the family.

HouseholdPlantMurderer Sun 11-Aug-19 13:41:53

It’s between her and her husband. Not you and your friends

We are in no way planning to butt into it, but were just curious what people think in general.

BarrenFieldofFucks Sun 11-Aug-19 13:42:33

It should be, but that is presuming that the working parent will pick up 50% of the holidays, childcare, house stuff, life admin that tends to fall to the sahp. A 12 and 13 yr old still needs a fair bit.

FizzBuzzBangWoof Sun 11-Aug-19 13:42:55

Agree with Joxer I'd stay out of it

Also depends what they agreed when she first stopped working, i.e. was it always intended to be a short term thing while the DC were small or did they never discuss a time scale

Technically she can still refer to herself as a SAHP as long as DC remain at home but that isn't really the issue here

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Sun 11-Aug-19 13:43:56

but were just curious what people think in general.

Why? You and your friends have already decided she is massively unreasonable.

Pumperthepumper Sun 11-Aug-19 13:44:03

What did she do before she stopped working in 2007? Hopefully nothing where her skills might be outdated thirteen years later, causing her to be terrified about reentering the workplace or having to retrain - it’s much, much easier to be a SAHP and face judgement from her husband’s childless friends about something they know nothing about.

ohdearwhatdoido Sun 11-Aug-19 13:44:18

@BarrenFieldofFucks what if the SAHP only goes back to work part time? In that instance I still think they should organise the majority of family organisation, but that the working parent does pick up more slack on the weekend, with housework 🤔

Fizzpopwhizzbang Sun 11-Aug-19 13:45:25

I think it will be different for each individual family (there may be SN to consider, or other reasons why the home responsibilities are bigger or smaller than usual), but as a general rule I'd say once all the DC are in secondary school there's no pressing need for one parent to be at home.

Even after the kids get older there are a lot of lifestyle benefits for the couple/family that come from one person being at home, so if one person is happy being the sole earner then it can be a nice lifestyle - this usually only works if the sole earner is a high earner, so there's no financial strain. The problem comes when you aren't on the same page. If the sole earner isn't happy and wants the other person to share the financial responsibility then it's unfair to insist that you continue on one income. This is especially true if one partner is working long hours and you can't afford anything nice.

PinguDance Sun 11-Aug-19 13:45:33

I do know a couple of parents to teenagers who say that they feel the need to be around more with teens than they did with primary school kids - so I don’t think having teenagers excludes being a SAH Parent. However I don’t think it’s fair for one person who’d like to scale back their hours to have to stay at the coal face while the other doesn’t work at all. Presumably a part time job would mean your friends wife could still be around quite a bit for their kids.

BarrenFieldofFucks Sun 11-Aug-19 13:46:29

Well proportional then 🙄, but it is no longer solely their remit. Especially, I would argue, if the 'working parent' is insisting that their presence at home is no longer needed.

Nautiloid Sun 11-Aug-19 13:46:51

I think for it to work having a SAHP it has to be agreed by both parties. For the vast majority of people, the days of one party not working are long gone even when children are small.
I was lucky enough to be able to take more than maternity leave...a year and a half with my twins and 2.5 years with my youngest.
If I were working and DH wasn't, when the children were in their teens, I'd find it odd and unfair.

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Sun 11-Aug-19 13:47:43

Tbh it sounds like you and your friend just want to bitch about your friend’s wife. You’re both childless so this has no relevance to your own working life, and really you can’t understand how difficult it can be for some women to RTW after a long absence to raise children. It’s often not as simple as “Dc are now in secondary so I can work now” and I’m speaking as someone who works FT as a lone parent so not being defensive of long term SAHPs.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Aug-19 13:47:50

It's surely about whether the children need/benefit from a parent being at home for them? Most young teens from 13/14 (11, 12 maybe) would be fine being latchkey kids, but I couldn't leave my 1yo at home alone, if both DH and I went out to work, he'd need childcare and therefore I'm a SAHP. If the teen/preteen is quite emotionally immature, needs a lot of guidance/supervision, perhaps may be likely to need more time off school for example, etc then it might be there would be significant benefit from a parent being at home with them.

NewAccount270219 Sun 11-Aug-19 13:48:07

The problem with this situation is - what kind of work is she likely to get? How does it compare to what she did before children? One reason I wouldn't want to stop working is that I know I couldn't stop forever and if I'm going to be working either way in ten years' time then I'd rather it was interesting, fulfilling and well-paid work, and keeping in my current career offers the best chance of that being true.

If the family desperately needs the money then that's different, but if not and it's just for some nice extras I can see why she's reluctant to do low paid and unfulfilling work when they'd both agreed that she'd leave the workplace, clearly on quite a long-term basis.

HouseholdPlantMurderer Sun 11-Aug-19 13:48:12

Why? You and your friends have already decided she is massively unreasonable.

Having an opinion on something doesn't mean not being interested in other's views.

HouseholdPlantMurderer Sun 11-Aug-19 13:49:17

She was in hospitality. That's where they met and that's where we all actually met. Shouldn't be a problem with skills.

Pumperthepumper Sun 11-Aug-19 13:54:07

She was in hospitality. That's where they met and that's where we all actually met. Shouldn't be a problem with skills.

Shouldn’t be a problem at all - the computer systems will all be exactly the same and social media has barely changed anything about the hospitality industry in the thirteen years since she last worked outside of the home. She’ll also have loads and loads of insider information about the industry and the same number of contacts and networking opportunities. But this won’t be news to you - you’ll know yourself the hospitality industry hasn’t changed in the slightest in thirteen years, and neither has your job. No new challenges or adjustments whatsoever in thirteen years in the hospitality industry, that’s why it’s such an easy gig.

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 11-Aug-19 13:55:14

Does she want holidays and other things they can’t afford on his wage alone or is she happy with the status quo?

Borisdaspide Sun 11-Aug-19 13:56:20

Most young teens from 13/14 (11, 12 maybe) would be fine being latchkey kids

I agree, but there are plenty of people on here who think leaving preteens on their own is actually child abuse.

BarrenFieldofFucks Sun 11-Aug-19 13:59:26

See, I don't know any parents whose kids of that age are 'latchkey'.

dodgeballchamp Sun 11-Aug-19 14:03:40

It doesn’t really matter if she’s happy with the status quo if her husband isn’t. They need to come to a mutually agreeable arrangement and clearly this isn’t it

HouseholdPlantMurderer Sun 11-Aug-19 14:04:31


hmm Obviously it changed, but it's not like she has to learn new legislation for Criminal law, isn't it...

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