unemployed and becoming a mother - dependency looming(17 Posts)
I'd really appreciate some advice.
I moved to this town because of my partners work. Work in my area is non-existent here, but the reason I decided to move was because work in my area was drying up fast all over the country and I was faced with a choice: emigrate and have a chance of pursuing my career or stay and risk joblessness.
Leaving the country would have been potentially disastrous for my partners career, which was just starting to make progress. He also has family responsibilities that make moving difficult. The types of places I would easily find work are in countries where he would find it difficult if not impossible. There didn't seem to be a workable compromise, even though we discussed it at length.
So, I decided to stay, and for the most part we have been very happy. However things have been worse than I thought in terms of my career. I thought I would have been able to sell my skills and experience to employers outside my sector: I couldn't - nobody is interested. I went back and did a masters course part-time, but it has led nowhere, and I am 'over-educated and under-skilled'.
I have lowered my standards completely - and for the past year I have been looking for any work - retail, office jobs, anything, just so I could have some financial independence (which I was always used to). Its amounted to little except some short-term temp jobs.
We are planning to have a baby this year, and although this might sound crazy - it's not because we're particularly ready, but because (i) we have a strong relationship and love eachother dearly and (ii) I'm nearly 33. I know that's not old but it has always been our preference not to wait too long.
So I'm facing a pregnancy where I am in a position I never thought I'd be in: dependent on my partner for money. He is more relaxed, saying he will work to provide for us, and he works hard in a promising career, but I am terrified - its not just about money but about my independence. We are not rich and on his income we will get by ok but will not have money for any luxuries.
I also studied for years and worked hard to get my qualifications. It seems a shame that I am relegated to involuntary housewife, even though I make the best of everything and enjoy domestic work (I've taken up all sorts of domestic tasks and am now something of a chef!!).
My question is this: should I wait or go for it? My friends with children say that I won't care about my career or work once I have a baby, that my priorities will change - that I will change. But what if they're wrong and I'm broke, lonely and frustrated?
If we moved location at this stage and I tried to salvage my career, it could take a couple of years, plus my partners work would take a hit.
I would strongly recommend getting a job before you get pregnant. Even if you don't plan to go back to the job after the baby.
Maternity leave is hard enough on mat pay - but mat pay is better than nothing and while they cost as much as you want to spend - there are some essential expenses when you have a baby.
Have you thought about how much more dependent you might feel after you have a baby if you feel stuck at home?
Of course, that's why I'm writing this. The problem is I can't find a job - anywhere. I send out applications constantly and have done for the last year and a half. I get the odd temp admin job and nothing more. I've tried doing courses, networking, doing an interview skills class, etc. But I can't find any job. The recession hit pretty bad here.
In your position I would relocate if you think you'll find work elsewhere. Yes your partners work may take a hit, but not as big a hit as yours is taking and will take. Why should he not bear some of that burden.
I would also make sure I didn't get pregnant unless I was married. If you're already concerned about being dependent, you need to at least protect yourself a bit by being married.
I am going to be contrary and say go for the baby. If you have worked 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your due date (I think that's it) you will get mat allowance. You could keep doing temp bits and pieces to make sure you get this.
I am in a similar position, sort of. Just finished interim contract and pregnant with second so no job to return to and little chance of getting one between now and when baby due. So will be out of the job market for a long time and worried about that.
Don't see yourself as being dependent as it's something you are doing for your family. You are supporting your partner's career while taking some time out of your own to raise a child. The money he earns is family money and you are facilitating it being earned by selflessly moving to somewhere that is harder for you to pursue your career.
You can always think about setting up your own business. Think about the skills you have from Masters and how you could sell yourself in consultancy terms. I am thinking about this too.
" relegated to housewife"????
Did you mean to be so rude?
I don't see becoming a mother as "relegated to involuntary housewife" as that is the position in which you already find yourself? I don't agree with the poster who said you should relocate to where you can find work as from your post it seems this would be abroad and if you want to have a baby, you will then end up in a foreign country, without family support, possibly less-favourable maternity benefits and a partner who may be out of work. What kind of area do you work in?
If you're going to try for a baby while potentially being unemployed, please, please get married first. If you're not married, you have no claims on any of your partner's assets or income except for child support which is something like 15% of his salary. There is no such thing as common law marriage, contrary to popular belief. If you need to leave him or if he leaves you (sorry to be pessimistic but it happens) you will be seriously screwed. There are a couple of threads on Relationships at the moment with people in similar positions.
It won't be forever. I spent 4 lovely years with my young dc as a "dependant". Yes there wasn't a lot of money sloshing about but luxuries aren't important to me. Now DC are at school I'm back at work and wouldn't change a thing. It doesn't have to be a bad thing and being a full time mum is no less worthy than sitting in the office all day.
Call me tradtionalist but I too think you should get married
I agree with plutarch. You have already given up a lot of chances in terms of your career so your partner can advance his. If you have a child, and are unmarried you might at some point find yourself a single parent, with no job, no rights to any assets (which may include your home) built up during your relationship, and no protection. Nothing in return for what you have (willingly) given up.
Nothing to lose by popping down to the registry office with a ring and a couple of friends. A nice day, a few memories and security to gain.
Can you look at it in a glass half full kind of way? If you want to have children now is a good age to do it. If you were working a lot of your pay would go on childcare, and of course you would see a lot less of the children. You could have 2 children quite quickly, and then do what makes sense to find work when the 2nd child is due to start school.
This stood out for me We are not rich and on his income we will get by ok but will not have money for any luxuries. If you are in a loving committed relationship based on being equals and both want children luxuries won't matter - you will find a way.
If going without luxuries (however you define that) or you are worried about balance in your relationship then I would reconsider.
Thank you for all the replies, and to Hoppingreen I do apologise if I sounded rude: what I meant is that choosing to be a housewife is 100% fine, but being sort of forced through circumstance - if that's not what you want - could lead potentially to problems. I hope I didn't offend. And to 'Unexpected' I work in international development, so its hard to find work outside of the 'developing' world. I take your point about marriage...I guess its something to think about. I'm a bit freaked out by your answers although of course I did know all this already!! I guess we're "in love" at the moment and its hard to imagine things going so wrong that he would't voluntarily want to support our children in the future, he's such a nice, sweet person and he's a real family-oriented man. But people change...I know that! It was always me who said I never wanted to get married - he was all for it but I gave all these feminist reasons why its a relic of the past and has no role in modern society. Yup...I might have been a bit hasty on that one, lol. Not sure how I can do a u-turn now...my reasoning might seem a bit calculated and not very romantic...
Are you in the uk? Much of the advice may not apply if not
I was a SAHM and I was dependant on my OH just as he was dependant on me.
I needed him to financially support us. I was ok with that and so was he.
He needed me to run the home and take care of our young family. He could not of done it without me and I could not of done it without him.
I didn't look at it as just me being dependant we were and still are dependant on each other.
It is a partnership.
My DC's are all in full time school now so I have restarted my career, funny enough not the career I left behind. I have new skills and a different outlook on my life and I am much happier in my job than I ever was before I became a SAHM.
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