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Any SAHM's of school age children who used to be a WOHM?

(14 Posts)
MaplePecanPlait Tue 03-Feb-09 09:25:57

I gave up a stressful (long hours) part time job before Xmas to stay at home to spend some time with my DCs. The idea was that I could take them to some extra curricular activities as I was finding it hard to find decent childcare. DH and I have aged mothers who help out but cannot cope with driving DCs to various activities (I have more than 3 DCs but don't want to disclose too much for fear of being identified on here).

Other reasons for stopping work were to reduce stress at home as I used to get home at about 8 each night and was not paid for any of this over time (career progression reasons!!).

I am not really asking for comments on the merits of working or not working but more on how you adapted to life at home with the DCs at school. I really feel guilty that I should be out at work and would love to do something worthwile that would fit in with everyone. DH says there is no panic to return and prefers me to do something I would love so I don't moan like I used to I guess.

I am looking for work but as you can imagine this is not the easiest thing to do at the mo. Lots of applications and no responses....grrrr. Would love to work from home but no spectacular skills or talents.

BonsoirAnna Tue 03-Feb-09 09:28:19

I think you need to deal with the guilt issue first and foremost. Obviously you do not need to feel guilty if you are a SAHM to more than three DCs and your DH earns enough to support you all. Are you feeling guilty about not earning money, or are you feeling guilty about not using your brain/time productively?

MaplePecanPlait Tue 03-Feb-09 09:33:54

Thanks Anna

Guilt about both really.I do like making my own money and really feel I should use my brain too I suppose.

I think it comes down to the 'having it all' debate. When I work it seems idyllic to be at home and everything under control but now at home feel that I should be out and contributing!

BonsoirAnna Tue 03-Feb-09 09:36:59

I think it comes down to "conflict of interest" (which has been discussed very recently on another thread). It is quite possible to believe that all the following are desirable for a mother:

- earn own money
- apply brain to something difficult and of value to wider society
- be at home and available for children before and after school
- not be stressed for family
- run an organised home

but it is a pretty hard act to do all of them simultaneously smile

thirtysomething Tue 03-Feb-09 09:42:53

you are spot on Anna. I've been in a similar situation (gave up a demanding part-time job which I asbolutely loved as it just wasn't leaving enough time for family stuff and I'm also studying part-time too) but i definitely feel there's a gap where the job used to be, though I know I've made the right decision as I'm so much less stressed which has to be good for the kids. I think the trick is to find something - maybe a course not a job, or voluntary work - which doesn't eat into any time when the children need you and which gives you fulfilment and adult-time.

ANTagony Tue 03-Feb-09 09:52:53

I'm a stay at home mum with a fledgling business but I think there are many factions to enjoying and adjusting to it.

I used to work really long hours and this was my main social outlet. Stopping at home I miss some of this. The other stop at home mums I know are lovely but have not had similar backgrounds or particularly had a career before being a mum. Sometimes its lonely.

Feeling I have some value and contribute to society is really important to me so I'm chair of the PTA at school, involved at the playgroup and hope to become a magistrate when my youngest starts school.

I think you can save quite a bit of money being at home and there are lots of things that you could do for pin/ treat money if you don't need a salary as such. These aren't necessarily a career move but let you get the best of all worlds. Things like taking in a bit of ironing and/ or ebaying the kids old stuff, a bit of cleaning etc.

MaplePecanPlait Tue 03-Feb-09 10:12:56

Thirty - you are absolutely right, there is a gap.
there is loads to do here in terms of housework, decorating etc that I could really get stuck into and should whilst I am here but I am, I suppose, a bit lonely and un stimulated.

I used to volunteer at the CAB giving advice which was fab but I am reluctant to do this in case I miss an opportunity to work part time. It may be enough to do one day a week with them again and then work for myself in some capacity. The flexibility of being at home is wonderful after all.

ANT - thanks for your comments. I don't need a salary as such but it would help out and then the DCs could do all the summer activity hols they want to do. Old dilemma though that I need to work to pay for them but only really need them to go and do activivty hols if I am at work. What is your business you are starting?

BonsoirAnna Tue 03-Feb-09 10:31:36

On the domestic organisation front (housework, decoration etc) you need to structure it as you would a work issue: write a huge long laundry list of all the tasks ahead of you, then arrange the tasks logically in different areas, then prioritise them.

Just doing this "gets you going" and you can then tick the tasks you have achieved off mentally. You need to create your own reporting structure and give yourself a little pat on the back as you achieve things, or it just feels endless and thankless.

You can also show off your achievements to your DH and DCs wink - it is nice to be appreciated.

Leo9 Tue 03-Feb-09 10:35:31

I think it sounds like a fantastic opportunity, the world is your oyster smile

I think just try to relax and let everyone settle to having you home and enjoy some 'home' time, why the hell not!

I definitely think it would be good to look at doing a course of some kind, if you're not going to work again any time soon. It's a fantastic time to study something you're interested in and it could even be career-changing. I am very jealous of the opportunity you have here! Also I think it's a fantastic example to set children, when they see a parent studying. My mum did her degree when I was at junior school and I was so proud of her smile

Whatever you do, forget the guilt, just enjoy!

basementbear Tue 03-Feb-09 10:37:42

I know how you feel - although I was never particularly career-minded and was glad to give up work to be a SAHM, now the DCs are both at school full-time I used feel really guilty about not working. However, I have started volunteering with a local charity, and got more involved with the DCs' school by going in and helping various classes with reading practice etc. There are plenty of worthwhile causes out there that would love your time, experience and skills if you really want to get rid of the guilt!!

chocolatedot Tue 03-Feb-09 10:51:48

I worked in investment banking for 18 years in a pretty senior high pressure role and then gave up when I had my third baby. I've just gone back term time only to a consultancy firm after 5 years out.

When my kids started school I did feel guilty and I found myself apologising in an embarassed way that "I do nothing really" whenever anyone asked what I did for a living. I also started to lose my self confidence. However, I always took pride in having a well run house, well looked after children and fabulous evening meals. It was great for us as a family to have all chores sorted during the day with evenings and weekends free to enjoy ourselves.

As I say, I am now back at work part time. I love it but if the choice was between full time work or no work, I would choose the latter without a doubt. I would do anything to avoid full time work.

GrapefruitMoon Tue 03-Feb-09 11:00:18

I am sort of in a similar position at the moment - though I have been a sahm since my eldest started school, my youngest is now at school too and so I am at home without children during the day for the first time...

Maybe first make a list of the things you want to do at home in terms of decorating, reorganising, etc. You could set yourself a deadline to get those things done by or else allocate a number of days a week to doing that.

However, I found that once the bulk of this stuff was done I started to feel at a loose end. Yes, there is always plenty of housework to do but I find housework boring and am better doing it under pressure within an hour or two a couple of times a week...

If you haven't helped out at your children's school before maybe you could do that? My kids always love if they catch a glimpse of me there during the day! Or if there is a type of work you have always wanted to try, maybe see if you can do some voluntary work in that field to see how you go?

If you want some paid work, make sure to tell everyone you know - often the best way to hear about a vacancy, especially in these times.

MaplePecanPlait Tue 03-Feb-09 12:16:43

Thanks everyone!

Leo 9 - I appreciate your idea about doing a course but feel I am a little over qualified ATM. I did a degree when younger and then 2 post grad things whilst kids were young. I think I should be using them I suppose as they took so much of my time and our money.

Chocolatedot - I can see that working term time could be great but also see your point about stretching your self. It is nice to have relaxed evenings where I can help with homework, have food ready and be calm rather than coming home and stressing that homework isn't done and house a mess.

Grapefruit - I agree that housework is dull. I do like the house to be tidy and clean but to be frank I could be doing it all day every day and still only just keep on top of it (old house with lots of nooks and crannies) and it's just not that stimulating. However, I do get the point that it is satisfying when you see the results, just can't do it everyday. So I will try and condense it into blitzes say three times a week and then move on.

You have all been really helpful. Thanks so much.

I have emailed two CAB bureaux to see if they need volunteers as I know this could lead on to paid work with them, plus they should NEED me which would be nice. I would then like to make some pennies doing something from home (mmm, see another thread coming on?)

ANTagony Thu 05-Feb-09 16:20:19

My business is workerANT its early days and the website needs further work but the basics are in place. The idea is its an advertising board for getting quotes for jobs and for people/ businesses to advertise services. A kind of fusion between the yellow pages and ebay. Where workers bid on work and if they win it feedback gets left. So when you want to choose someone, rather than picking at random, you can actually see what others have thought of their service.

Its aimed at people like myself and those looking to suplement incomes like students, early retired maybe military partners who move around quite regularly.

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