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Working mothers - a complication?

(143 Posts)
Invincibleish Wed 08-Nov-17 05:16:38

As you know, the 1 y/o and 3 y/o phase is probably the height of the stress (unless it gets worse!?) my wife and I both work so we are both juggling with kids and work. Mornings are quite manic sorting them out, their food, breakfast, clothes and getting them out. Mind you the younger one is at home with a grandparent but things still need planning and sorting. Luckily she works part time so we don’t have to go through these motions everyday.

Evenings are busy too. Once they are asleep there is lots of tidying and then the cooking for us plus other chores, which we share. In general our lives are just so busy but I am sure that is just life with young kids.

Although my wife likes her career, deep down she would rather be a stay at home mum until they are older as it would take a lot of the load off, although we do need the money. She is working the min number of days for us to be ok financially.

If my wife didn’t work, I could just focus on work and she could just focus on Home. We wouldn’t have to do all this mad juggling. Of course I would still help out where I can but I wouldn’t have the worry as my wife would have it all covered at home. Relying on grandparents is fine but not in same league as wife sorting out the kids.

On top of that, if wife was at home, she could still use occasional grandparent help anyway to look after kids while she cleans tidies up or maybe has some down time. Because she works though, there is minimal spare capacity for her to keep on top of all of this. So as a result we both just do bits and bobs adhoc when we get a bit of spare time.

So question for working mothers really would you give up work if you could or do you not mind juggling in order to have a career?

Melony6 Wed 08-Nov-17 05:23:58

It sounds a bit as if the home stuff is full on and exhausting and you don’t want to do it, leaving it all to sah wife. Which somehow sounds unfair. DW loses contact with others outside the home, career progression and you win by having easier life. It’s only a year or two, I would stay as you are.

Cantseethewoods Wed 08-Nov-17 05:24:38

Havent you got homework you could be getting on with?

Psychobabble123 Wed 08-Nov-17 05:26:55

Maybe you should give up work to look aftet the house stuff. Why should it automatically be your wife?! I have 3 children, 10, 2 and 10 months and both me and my husband work full time as we enjoy work. We have a cleaner to do the boring house crap. Maybe consider this

TheDowagerCuntess Wed 08-Nov-17 05:33:06

WTF wants to study to post-grad level, incur a massive student loan, progress in your career, and then give it all up to do the drudge work?

You?

Didn't think so.

There's a reason a lot of women want to maintain their careers. It's pretty much the same reason men want to maintain theirs, funnily enough.

HashtagTired Wed 08-Nov-17 05:34:59

I was a ft mum of 1, now on Mat leave after having number 2.

Do I miss my career? Yes.
Will I go back to it after mat leave? Yes
Do I have to go back (financially)? Yes
Would I choose to? No. but I would miss it. I’d need ‘something’ other than being a parent to keep me going.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 08-Nov-17 05:36:25

What’s to stop you giving up work?

And she feels a certain way ‘deep down’? Because she says so or because you believe it to be so?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 08-Nov-17 05:39:53

Have you considered cutting your hours back at all? It makes a lot of sense especially if you pay more tax because once you hit the 40% bracket a lot of your money goes straight to the government.

I worked very part time when my children were little to keep my foot in the door. I am really glad I did because now my salary is about three times the amount I would earn in a NMW job for similar hours. My job is also very flexible so I can go to school plays etc.

You also need to consider that even if she was at home all day she might not get much housework done - try suggesting she goes out all day on Saturday on her own and stay at home and see how much you get done with a one and three year old attached. At least if you are all out then the house doesn't get any messier.

I think that it is just a hectic phase, if she gets off the work treadmill then unless she is currently on a low wage she will probably never get back to the same wage again which means when the children are all independent you will still need to be the main breadwinner. You might be happy with that prospect but what if you are ill/die/ divorce? What happens if she stops and likes not working. In 10 years when they are all in Secondary school you might think she should go back and earn some money. She will have a 10 year gap. She almost certainly won't get the same level of job and she might not want to work at a lower paid job.

Ohdearducks Wed 08-Nov-17 05:40:48

So you want her to stay home and chain herself to the sink so you don’t have to do any housework anymore?
Yeah doesn’t work like that, parents who stay home do so to provide care for the children not to provide cleaning services for the other parent.

Knusper Wed 08-Nov-17 06:05:11

I did give up work for similar reasons. But we were living abroad, had zero family or other outside support and I was very happy to do it. I don't regret it for a second. It made all of our very stressful lives much less stressful.

However, in your situation I wouldn't advise your wife to become a SAHM unless she's desperate to. It sounds like you are almost through the worst. You have family support. She likes her job. You need the money. She won't get much else done whilst looking after two toddlers on her own.

It sounds a bit like you are the one who is struggling TBH. Why don't you consider asking for flexible working or parental leave? Or go part time yourself?

ImogenTubbs Wed 08-Nov-17 06:05:45

DD is 4. I took almost a year off after she was born before going to back to my hard fought for, reasonably well-paying career.

In some ways, it would have been nice to stay at home, and yes, we would be more on top of things. But you have to consider the big picture and longer term. For some people it's the right choice, but for me/us it was because of the following reasons:
- Money
- Mental health
- Self-respect
- Long-term personal growth and fulfillment

This is all irrespective of the question around why you assume your wife would want to spend all her time cleaning. I hate cleaning.

Impostress99 Wed 08-Nov-17 06:06:14

I’ll bite.

What do you think working fathers should do to stop all their mad juggling and keep on top of things? Would you go part time? If you did would you rather quit work and stay at home?

MumsGoneToIceland Wed 08-Nov-17 06:12:13

I think you are getting a bit of a hard time on here. I read in your thread that you said 'deep down your wife would like to be a sahm until the kids are older' so it sounds to me like it is something you are both debating/struggling to decide on the best path not something that is being driven by you.

Going back to your question, I work part- time (30 hrs over 3.5 days) and it is hard and tiring and relentless BUT it does get a bit easier when the dc are both in school/pre-school and you dw will start to have some hours to herself on her days off to get on top of things and prepare more for working days.

There are days when I wish I had given it all up but I know that once the dd were at school I would have hated not working plus I don't think I would have been able to get back into my career easily. Also bear in mind that if dw gives up work then she may struggle to get someone to take her on part-time when she does go back to work (obviously depends on career) and that's one of the key reasons I didn't give up.

I would be more inclined to suggest she doesn't give up work but look at what you can do to make life as easy as possible until the children are in pre-school/school. Eg. Could you afford a cleaner for a couple of years - I found that really helped. DH and I used to eat main meals at work on the days we were both working so that took away the need to cook in those days (dd's were fed at cm) or you could batch cook at the weekends. Each have a lie day at the weekends - anything you can do to recharge the batteries really helps.

MumsGoneToIceland Wed 08-Nov-17 06:13:51

Lie-in day!

hesterton Wed 08-Nov-17 06:20:13

Is there any way you could also work 3 days a week rather than you doing 5 and her doing zero? Then you would only need grandparents to cover one day and you could both keep your careers ticking over in the meantime. You could both build up the hours again as the dc go into full time school.

flumpybear Wed 08-Nov-17 06:21:45

I think you just need to get on with it - even if she did take on the housewife role you would still need to share once you got home otherwise she works 24/7 and you have a cushy number

I’d really not go down that pathway tho if I were her, if she has a career then she needs to nurture this too, so many housewives I know who have ended up being divorced are essentially left with nothing, relying on a husband they’re no longer with, both want to move on but the wife’s career can’t be salvaged and she’s always in a back foot

I’d say just get in with it, use extra money to get a cleaner and just ride out the tough times (mine are 9 and 5 and it still has its challenges albeit different to that of 1 and 4 A’s mine were a few years ago)

dorislessingscat Wed 08-Nov-17 06:26:33

* *If my wife didn’t work, I could just focus on work and she could just focus on Home. We wouldn’t have to do all this mad juggling. Of course I would still help out where I can but I wouldn’t have the worry as my wife would have it all covered at home.

This sentence is very telling. It sounds like you want her to take all the mental load, wife work etc. as well as looking after the kids. I imagine it would not be too long before you expected her to deal with you floordrobe or complained about having to muck in with the kids at weekends because “it’s my day off”.

Ultimately your post is sexist because you just assume women should give up their careers rather than men.

Look. Having small children is hard. But it doesn’t last forever. Knuckle down and you’ll get through it.

FritzDonovan Wed 08-Nov-17 06:30:40

She'll regret it by the time the kids are independent. Probably won't get back to an interesting, fulfilling job (let alone career) because of being out of the workforce for so long.
She'll be bored, you'll be bored of hearing about kids/house and nothing else, and will resent the lovely time off she has with the kids, swanning around meeting friends for coffee, yet still never quite managing to keep on top of all the housework/laundry/gardening/kidstuff/etc. She'll resent you having a life outside the home and still having decent earning potential and pension. You'll meet someone more interesting at work...
Could just be projecting here, but i know a lot of ppl this happened to. All because dh thought life would be easier if dw stayed at home.

MoodyOne Wed 08-Nov-17 06:30:42

Why not get a cleaner for a few hours a week?
Even if she is a SAHM her job then is to look after the kids, you will still have to split the chores 50/50.
It seems to me you want your wife to give up get job, her contacts and her little bit of freedom. What if you split , why should she have a gap on her CV?
Could you both look into going part time?

StinkPickle Wed 08-Nov-17 06:31:44

I think you should go part time.

Leave your wife’s career alone

mellongoose Wed 08-Nov-17 06:33:16

I would totally be a sahm if money allowed. We would probably be able to give DD a sibling. DH is self employed so his income is sporadic so it is not possible for us.

StealthPolarBear Wed 08-Nov-17 06:38:08

No. Would you op?

Invincibleish Wed 08-Nov-17 06:42:53

Hi all I think we are getting the wrong end of the stick here. My wife WANTS to be a stay at home mum so she can focus on the house and not have to worry about juggling work with kids. This is why she is working the minimum. And she wants me to focus on my career so that I can continue to climb the ladder. She is traditional in that she thinks mums should be at home and husbands should be the bread winner.

I really am more than happy to do housework. I do a fair bit. I cook dinners breakfast 100% of the time. I sometimes sort their lunches out before I go to work. Clothes and tidying though is difficult because when you are free in the evenings to do it, kids are asleep so u can’t access their rooms to hand clothes and sort their rooms out.

I guess my question is do working mothers enjoy working or would they deep down rather be at home to look after the kids.

Or if you are a stay at home mum, is it all it is cracked up to be?

Invincibleish Wed 08-Nov-17 06:48:04

My wife was proper sad when her Mat leave cake to an end. She was enjoying it. Just wondering if other working mothers had the same thoughts. Were you sad when you had to go back or were you happy to? Do you not find working and juggling kids an inconvenience?

Love51 Wed 08-Nov-17 06:49:49

Do you not have reliable childcare? Nursery (as opposed to preschool) and childminders tend to be great. It seems harder if you try to just use preschool and grandparent Goodwill. Honestly 3 is a fun age. I didn't think I was ' juggling' until I had 2 in school, including a 4 year old who really wasn't ready to learn to read but we had to listen to read every night, older one has homework and activities, and the breakfast club I relied on folded. So we had to be late to work and call in every favour we could. Just taking kids to childcare and picking them up isn't juggling it's just life with children. Trying to work without proper childcare is juggling - and most people avoid it if they can.

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