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AIBU to decide to be a sahm

(58 Posts)
NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 22:21:59

Single parent with no support from exP or family.

Have a child with autism who has struggled in mainstream & now in a specialist unit. Still struggles with school.

Have decided to be a sahm... Have worked, part time for since child was born, now 9yr.

Lots of reasons like constant exhaustion, no respite ever, have made myself unwell in the past through constantly being on the go and have the transition to secondary to get through.

Financially I am very slightly worse off but have made changes to negate this.

I just feel terribly guilty and a little less of a person. I am planning to finish some studies / do some volunteer roles whilst off...

AIBU to be a sahm or should I just get a grip, man up and go back to work?

HeySoulSister Sat 05-Oct-13 22:22:59

Er,how are you financing it?

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 22:23:35

It sounds less like you want to be a SAHM and more like you're reaching the end of your tether. Have you seen the GP?

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Oct-13 22:24:18

You have to do what you feel is best

And the expression you're looking for is 'woman up' wink

How long are you able to fund this for though?

NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 22:24:24

Carers allowance (child gets dla) and ctc plus some of own savings

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Oct-13 22:25:51

If it's making you ill and you can sort the money, then it's not forever is it?

You can go back to work etc if things don't work out as planned?

HeySoulSister Sat 05-Oct-13 22:28:38

How can you live off that? Rent? Mortgage?

NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 22:30:58

I have just been discharged from a psychologist who I saw for anxiety - I have never been medicated for it and I wasn't depressed... So no haven't seen a GP as I feel absolutely fine other than tired as I am up in the night with child a lot.

Planning to do this for about 2-3yrs.

I just feel a bit crap about it... as I could work but I struggle to commit to work as I am constantly needed at school / supporting child outside of school too.

Last working week I did I had 3 meetings around my working hours and 2 phone calls in work time...

Mumsyblouse Sat 05-Oct-13 22:31:04

It sounds like you already have a job anyway- as a carer for your child when he's not at school. If he's very difficult and you have little respite on weekends, evenings, after-school you may be doing a lot more childcare than other people- because you are not getting a rest during this time. You sound exhausted, you need to take this time to get yourself well, look into respite and I also think you should go to the GP or get help through your son's school/care- is there anyone you can talk to about how you are feeling.

I'm not sure you should quit work but I can see why you feel you can't go on, if you don't have your work, then perhaps you will feel even more desperate and closed in- I just don't know. I wouldn't worry about the morality of it, and feel guilty, as I say, you probably do more parenting in the evenings and weekends than I do, for example.

Mumsyblouse Sat 05-Oct-13 22:32:43

Well, if you need to be available in school hours for him, I think this is a no-brainer. Sorry- as I say, you have a job, you are a carer and it sounds exhausting. Do not feel guilty about having this job.

NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 22:39:37


My mortgage is quite small... I have reduced outgoings to a minimum plus I intend to do some adhoc work (which carers allows you to do)

With no childcare costs I am about £40 a month down than when I was working...

Before I handed notice in I spoke to psychologist and he felt I wasn't depressed but had come to a realisation. Job was terrible but had worse jobs which I have done for longer wink

We don't qualify for respite, school are supportive (mostly) and I am part of a robust support network of parents - that side is all good (and may well lead to some paid work).

There is a distinct possibility that an exclusion may happen at some point in near future hmm So from that point of view I do need to be available in the day.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 05-Oct-13 22:39:45

I have a ds with asd&adhd. I also have a younger ds being assessed for asd.

I totally get where your coming from.

The only point I would make is without your job you could end up very isolated. I have ended up self employed as it was so difficult to work as my older ds didn't start full time school until he was 7.

I miss the social side of work...nothing else.

Do what you need to do for yourself & your ds

NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 22:47:03


Absolutely! I am worried about that too... That's why I am helping out in parent support groups, etc...

Otherwise it becomes about you as a parent carer and nothing else... Though when I was working that was worse as I was working all the school hours then continuing at home and so never saw the friends who keep me sane...

I just feel like a lesser person - I was a professional in a former life and I feel like I have let myself down somehow. I suppose I am worried that I will be judged, hence posting here to gauge reactions.

Mumsyblouse Sat 05-Oct-13 22:50:47

NCFail I don't know if I am just feeling emotional tonight, but your posts are really touching. Why on earth would you think you are letting yourself down? I'm judging you, but as a very caring devoted mother who has just realised that sadly her job as a carer is going to have to take precedence over her working out of the home. You have absolutely not let yourself down, or your son. I'm sorry if carers are so devalued in society that you feel this way- who the heck else is going to go to all those meetings, stay up half the night? You want thanking, not judging.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 05-Oct-13 22:53:19

YANBU at all.

CHJR Sat 05-Oct-13 22:57:34

I hear you, OP, and also shelly. I too have a DC w ASD, and have been a SAHM for 9 years. I'm trying to go back now coz I'm dying of loneliness -- but one thing those of you without ASD in the family may not know is it spells goodbye to regular sleep - at least without work I can fit naps in at random moments. And I'm not even on my own, DH is still around (which various specialists have noted is rare once ASD rears its head). No advice here, just hugs.

NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 23:01:48

Oh Mumsy please don't cry thanks

I think I judge myself most harshly because I have met some simply remarkable parents since my own child was diagnosed and it puts my own situation in perspective.

But yes you are right carers are undervalued... Hell it's taking me a lot of time to accept I AM a carer as I struggle to accept that what I do is 'caring'... Other parents say the same and I had a fab autism worker spell it out to me a week or so ago

Viviennemary Sat 05-Oct-13 23:02:11

It sounds like you have made this decision through force of circumstances. In your position I'd probably decide to do the same and go back to work at a later date.

NCFail Sat 05-Oct-13 23:11:08


Oh good luck with going back to work smile

You are right though - relationships are put under immense strain so you two have obviously done an immense job of holding it together so far

Thank you for all the lovely comments & support. Gives me hope that people won't just think I can't be bothered!

Sparklysilversequins Sat 05-Oct-13 23:29:45

I have two dc with autism and I am a SAHM. Haven't worked out of the home for 10 years now and I am not sure if I will be able to again. No choice really. I study with the OU and barely find time for that. Lone parent as well.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Sat 05-Oct-13 23:32:27

Having witnessed my mum being a carer for my brother and then my dad throughout their lIves I can honestly say I don't think there is a harder job than being a carer.It's completely shaped the way I view my priorities - i'm a sahm for my three kids - I sometimes miss the shared buzz you get when a job goes well but not otherwise. I do have several voluntary roles now but didn't rush into taking them on - i waited until i felt i had the capacity to do it well, which i'd recommend. Please don't feel obliged to rush into making a commitment to take on more than you can realistically manage. You sound exhausted, be kind to yourself as well as your child.

NCFail Sun 06-Oct-13 12:52:11

I definitely feel less tired even in the short time I have been off even though the amount of sleep I have had is unchanged smile Capacity is a good word smile

Thank you for the support

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 06-Oct-13 12:55:58

Claim IS too. You may get help with the mortgage interest after 13 weeks.

blueberryupsidedown Sun 06-Oct-13 13:03:53

Maybe you should try to find a job that you can do at home, part time, in your own time, and make just a little bit of extra money. I am childminding now and it suits us, and I make on average £300 a week from it so it makes a real difference to our budget. On my days off I am a Mid-day assistant at school and make £15.

I decided to be a sahm after second baby he had lots of issues as a toddler and has a speech disorder and mild learning disability, so it's not too bad for us but I do have to take him to various appointment, extra meetings with the school, speech therapy, ENT appointments, etc.

Give it time to see what you want in the longer run, but you sound like a very sensible and dedicated mum, but also very tired. You are def doing the right thing.

NCFail Sun 06-Oct-13 13:31:43


That's what I am going to do smile

Though not childminding wink

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