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Finally have the opportunity to be a SAHM - and absolutely freaked out. Help!!!

(10 Posts)
glimmer Wed 27-Jul-11 17:17:43

Have DS 3.5, DD 2 and expecting DC3 in Dec.
Have wanted to have "more time with the kids" ever since DS was born.
I have a rewarding and sort of well-paying job as scientist, flexible but also very stressful. DH was made redundant, so that I had no choice but to work.
Finally he has found work far away in a city, where there is no opportunity for me to stay in my work. But - he makes enough money so that I could stay home. Actually would have to, since there is no employment in my field possible.

So in a way, I am so close to what I wanted. But rather than happy, I am freaked out and wonder if I will regret giving up my "career" (never liked the career aspect, but did like independence, recognition and work itself, if not so stressful). I was in on the decision, so that's not the issue.

I truly think the problem is that I don't know what I want. I want more time with the kids (50% optimal?), I don't want the stress of my current work, but I do like the intellectual stimulation etc. Ideally I would take a break for a few years and then return, but this is impossible in science/my fields. So I should
embrace the opportunity of doing something different, not having stress, etc, but am freaked out.

Any suggestions/compassion/advice and how to make a decision?

Kaelle Thu 28-Jul-11 09:10:53

Hi Glimmer- how great that DH got a new job. DC's are little and so adjustments will be easy. Nice to not have the earner pressure, and nice to think of having a maternity leave. However, you also need to know that DC no3 adds exponentially to the mummy job. My DD's are 13,11 and 5, and when no3 came along it was tough. I gave up work (global management consultant) when DD no2 turned 2. I went back to work when she was 6mos old, and then couldn't deal with the global job, based in Paris, if you can imagine, AND running the house and family as my STBEH, Global Guy, was never around to share in the responsibilities. Anyway, at the time, I told myself I was not cut out to be a working mum, as long as I was living in the country, and had a DH with a global job, and so I embraced the opp to stay home. Now, 9 years later I really regret that. I don't really regret having been a full time mum, but now that DD no 3 is in school until 3pm, this past year has made me longing for work, feeling that I have no more intellectual identity, etc etc. I also feel insecure about my abilities!!! In retrospect, what I would have done is to go to a career coach, and really work through how I could transfer my skills into a different career and still negotiate some flexible working. I started seeing someone fantastic to help me prepare and think through what my options might be. I was loving the intellectual exercise, actually. Sadly my marriage is now falling apart and my solicitor does not want me making any noises about going back to work. When this horrible ugly thing is over, I will go back to see this coach and get myself back into the working world.

So, I would say, enjoy the opp to be at home with your DC's but after a few years, find the coach and invest in it. Get yourself back into work, even part time. Your head will be much the better for it, in lots of different dimensions.

glimmer Fri 29-Jul-11 21:00:23

Hi Kaelle.
Thanks so much for your reply. Maybe I should have posted elsewhere.
Your post touches so many of the points I am thinking about, especially, what will be in 5, 10 years and will I regret the decision (not the one to stay home, but the one to give up doing something intellectual). Sorry to hear about your marriage, but this is another point - the independence etc. I have made 'bad career decisions' in the past, because I wanted to have a job in the same town as DH (we'd been on two continents at the time). That's how I ended up with the stressful job I don't really want on the first place. I feel the same about the home making: DH is useless, so as I was the breadwinner, I did do job, all the household, all the bills and part of the kids. Since the household always will be on me (or paid help :-) ) it seems to make more sense to have the luxury to be with the kids if this makes sense.

So in short, your post made me really think and I think I will ask my employer to continue to work part time remotely. I thought that was not an option, but from taking to supervisor, it seems they would be happy to try it out.

Thanks very much and all the best for you. I agree 100% with getting a coach to get back to work, sorry you have to wait for the right time.

All the best.

Kaelle Fri 29-Jul-11 21:12:45

Thanks Glimmer,happy to give my opinion......glad it was good food for thought!!!

MrsJamin Sat 30-Jul-11 06:44:54

If you're a scientist is there a possibility you could write or edit journals or papers? That's something you could do at a distance, if you have decent writing skills of course.

StillSquiffy Mon 01-Aug-11 17:42:03

I tried to give up work in Feb and it was a disaster and I ended up stressed out of my tree - because of all the things you worry about yourself. My ex-employers have since asked me to work part time/ad hoc and I have jumped at it. It seems to be working well so far. Although I had gone through all my concerns about giving up work in my head, I found in reality I was absolutely bereft without the career I've had for 20 years, and no amount of rationalising stopped me feeling that way. I would definitely advise doing something to keep your foot in the door - the organising/shifting required is worth it.

glimmer Mon 01-Aug-11 20:45:26

Thanks for your replies.

MrsJamin - Normally you have to be asked to be an editor of a journal. Unlikely if you are not working full time with affiliation. I can write papers but nobody pays for them.... But I get yiur point which is excellent, there miggt be things that I can do even remotely.

StillSquiffy - thanks for sharing your story. I have asked my employer if I could work part-time remotely and they are looking into it. Since then I have spent hours and hours trying to get part-time daycare in the new place and it's impossible. I can't really work, without childcare, can I. (I am on the computer all day). So I guess I have to look into nannies - now how I will manage this from here I don't know.

But thanks - there is lots of food for thought here.

hypermum1 Thu 11-Aug-11 09:02:30

I have 2 children aged 6 and 8. I worked full time most of their younger lives and they went to a fantastic childminder and were quite happy. In my job I managed a team of 10 and it was incredibly stressful, but very challenging and busy and personally fulfilling.
However, I always felt very guilty about not being there for the kids. Sports days, assemblies, taking to and picking up from school, holidays etc. My husband has his own business and in May last year I left my job and started working part time for him. I get school hols off and am able to do school run every day. Its great and i realise how lucky I am but I do miss the challenge of my old job. Kaelle, i get what you are saying about questioning your abilities! My old company were very social so I had a fair amount of nights out and good friends and these have dwindled greatly since I left my job. I do sometimes feel useless and completely incompetent and like I have lost my independence. I also feel a huge amount of pressure to be all things to everyone, great mum, perfect house, look good etc etc. I guess I feel like i have lost a lot of me. I love being able to be there for the kids and not have them being the ones trotting off to a childminder after school .
I sound like I am moaning A LOT! I dont mean to as I do realise just how lucky I am and I really hope my DHs business continues to do well to allow me to continue part time but I am saying it is a double edge sword! I think when we give up work full time we gain a lot with the kids but you do lose a bit more of you. I plan to return to full time work when the kids are old enough (ie when eldest DS is off to seniors). Its hard to find the balance. But you have to keep kicking! I just keep telling myself they are not young for long so I have to make the most of it! xx

glimmer Thu 11-Aug-11 17:40:07

Thanks Hypermum,

I think working part-time is the ideal solution. I see what you are saying about
the job not as fulfilling, but you keep "your foot in the door", get a break,
have some diversity and then as you say, you can do something more demanding when the kids are a bit bigger. That being said, it sort of results in not having any "me-time", but at least a bot of diveristy. My employer has agreed to let me work remotely part-time for three months followed by re-negotitations. I am quite delighted about this, although it's hard to find the sort-of daycare I like (Would like to have them in for 2 or 3 morning+afternoons, but all programs seem to be 5 morning 9-12...) But yeah,
working some sounds a lot better than not at all.

Thanks for your replies. They have really helped me figure out what I want (most) :-) Goof luck for you.

NK7cc6a4bX11d90450bea Thu 11-Aug-11 21:24:57

Hyper mum.Really understand now stay at home mum I have one child seven years old desperately looking for quality work and there is none.I also dont want to upset anyone but having worked in industry for 30 years yes I am an oldie , I feel slightly more stimulating desirable than plankton.

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