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How long were you a sahm?

(27 Posts)
chicaguapa Tue 06-Jun-06 09:34:45

DD is 4.5 and DS is 18m. I've been a sahm since 6 months before DD was born - that's 5 years! I attempted to go back to work when DD was 1 but I didn't like the job and felt guilty putting DD into childcare for 3 days a week (- even though I'd gone back to work to fund her childcare as I wanted to socialise her!) so I left after 4 months.

I am enjoying being a sahm less and less as time goes on. I go to a coffee morning once a week but that's the only thing that manages to motivate me to get out the house. DS still has a 2 hour nap morning AND afternoon so it's easy to stay at home and let him sleep.

DD is going to start school in Sept and DS will start at a nursery a couple of mornings a week. So I am thinking about going back to work then even though my plan was to wait until DS had started reception. But I feel guilty that I want to do that now.

I do have issues with not being a sahm. I am always proud that I've wanted to be one but I'm getting fed up of feeling like I'm being treated like a 2nd class citizen and taken for granted. Both my children adore DH because they see less of him. Yet I'm the one giving up my life to look after them (and yes it does feel like that!).

muminaquandary Tue 06-Jun-06 12:38:04

Just a really quick one chica - I felt this way after 4 yrs at home, but went back to work 2 days pw and HATED it. The job wasn't ideal, it was too long a commute & hated handing over DS to au pair + nursery. Really pleased to get my life back now that I have finished. BUT you are not alone, lots of people go thru this & the lesson I have learnt is try a little at a time, don't bite off more than you can chew.

Also, now is the time you can do more fun things with your kids, involve them in your hobbies or find fun (and cheap) days out which you will all benefit from.

I feel that I have got a better equilibrium now that I have been back to work & seen how hard it is, I appreciate the simple things with DS more. Also am pgnant, so possibly in a different frame of mind, but I was DESPERATE to go back to work - probably too desperate so didn't realise how hard it would be. HTH.

NomDePlume Tue 06-Jun-06 12:45:58

I've been a SAHM since I was 29 weeks pregnant with DD, so that amounts to 4 years (almost to the day).

I know how you feel about the second class citizen thing. I tried to return to work when DD was 11 months old, but it didn't work out financially as my wages didn't cover the nursery/childminder & school holiday care (we have 3 kids, 2 school age). We were financially worse off when I was working, so we decided that it was better for me to be at home with the kids.

DD goes to school in Sept (my other 2 are in secondary school), so I've decided to go to college. It'll fill my days nicely, exercise my flagging grey matter AND give me a stepping stone for a worthwhile career.

Twiglett Tue 06-Jun-06 12:50:58

since June 2002 when DS was 17 months .. now have DS (5) and DD (2) .. love it in general .. but am starting to think about other stuff I can do although still don't want to do anything until DD in Year 1

I am getting worse at making friends though .. can't seem to be bothered atm

I don't feel like a 2nd class citizen .. I still remember what it was like to be employed and tbh I was a bit bored by it (had climbed to the top of my professional tree and been there for 3 years by the time I left)

Am stuck with thoughts of what I'll do when I do return to the workforce

PinkTulips Tue 06-Jun-06 13:01:37

2 years, was just finished college when i got pregnant with dd and never managed to get work while pregnant(odd how no-one wants to hire the fat wheezing woman who can't stand for long periods and is going to leave in a few months anyway!).

went back to a part-time job when she was 9 months as i was still breast-feeding but like others here it wasn't paying me to work, the job was a disaster (b*tch boss, usual story) and i realised the same week i was consiering quitting anyway that i was pregnant again so that sealed the deal.

part of me would love to be at home for my kids til they both start school but another part of me cries at the thought of 5 more years of isolation and boredom. i love my dd and adore spending time with her but the repitition of daily life: breakfast, play, nap, snack, play outside, dinner, play, snack, tea, bed, bottle, bath and repeat, tires me more than the most exhausting job ever did. add to that the lack of other moms to talk to or meet up with and i'm loving the thought of going back to work as soon as baby no.2 is finished breastfeeding.

KateF Tue 06-Jun-06 13:08:37

Have been SAHM for 7 years (dds 6.6,5 and 22 mths). Have struggled since dd2 was about 1 with boredom and missing job I loved. I felt I should be at home until they were all at school but have been working mornings for about 18 months at dds school otherwise would have gone mad. After much soul searching have decided that teaching is not the career for me and am going back to old job (charity sector) as a volunteer. Will start one day a week and hope a paid job comes up in the future, as it did before. Am about to sell stuff on ebay to raise childminding money!

DumbledoresGirl Tue 06-Jun-06 13:10:08

Chicaguapa - I have been a SAHM for just over 10 years now. My eldest is 10 this month and my youngest (4th) is 3 and going to playgroup 3 afternoons a week.

I can safely say that I felt the way you did after 5 years, and even tried part time work after 6 years, but only worked for 4 months as it proved harder than I felt the money warranted.

I would dearly love to go back to work but I am determined to stick it out until ds3 goes to school which will be in 15 months time, but I am only holding out until then because I feel 15 months isn't long to wait after 10 years. If I were in your shoes, I would look into part time work. Somehow, I didn't find that made me feel guilty as the children were only in childcare for short periods each day and not every day either. TBH I think they had more fun and stimulation going to a childminder then they did staying at home with me. I also appreciated them more (but then my job was teaching some particularly unpleasant individuals so the comparison between them and my children was very noticable).

For me the job didn't work out as I just wanted prepared to give it my all as I would have done before I had children. But it was worthwhile trying it out to see if that made me happier. Could you do the same?

DumbledoresGirl Tue 06-Jun-06 13:11:39

last paragraph should really wasn't prepared....

twinsetandpearls Tue 06-Jun-06 13:12:24

I was a SAHM for four and a half years, I did xome part time work but it was with pre school children and I took dd with me so it didn;t give me a break in the adult world.

I now teach two days a week and everyone is much happier, I wanted to wait until dd started primary abd was maybe settled but teaching posts near me and in my subject are rare - and this school is round the corner and has an on site nursery for dd.

Like you I wanted to be a SAHM and had issues about not being one, I was proud of the fact I could be at home with dd and give her such a great start in life but I did miss working and I could see that I was in danger of resenting her because i did not feel fulfilled and happy.

I now have a good balance, I have the odd twinge of guilt expecially am my working days are so long, I get into school about 6.30-6.35am and leave twelve hours later. So dd has to go to my mum's the night before and she takes her to nursery and dp collects her after he has finsihed work, but on a Friday dp finishes work early so dd finishes nursery at lunch time. But by only seeing dd for an hour or two before bed two days a week I get to devote the rest of the week to her.

I now enjoy my time at home more and dd doesn't seem bothered that she has less time with me, infact I think she prefers it as we tend to make more of the days we have together and we have more cash which always goes down well in this household.

twinsetandpearls Tue 06-Jun-06 13:16:06

I must say although I am happier my stress levels have gone through the roof, to the extent I am having blood pressure problems and have a constant tightness in the chest and have problems breathing a lot of the day.

So just make sure that your life balance is right for you as well as your children.

I can also relate to the kids preferring the dad, my dd screams with delight when dp walks through the door and it used to really piss me off that I was at home all day with her being a cook/ entertainer/cleaner/ social organiser and general dogsbody and I was never greeted with such enthusiasm.

But now I get the adoration and squeals of delight when I get home!

bettythebuilder Tue 06-Jun-06 14:29:13

I've been a samh since dd was born 3 and a half years ago, and before that was just 'sah' for a while! I must admit that I was starting to feel that, although the 'job' provided a challenge, it wasn't an "intellectual" challenge, iyswim.
I've been lucky enough to have a business idea, and have been working on my new business since January, and I feel that it has given me a new lease of life, and I'm starting to recover some of my confidence.
chicaguapa, do you think that a small business like selling books, cards, makeup etc(there seem to be loads around) would be somewhere to start?

chicaguapa Tue 06-Jun-06 14:58:22

So the general consensus seems to be that the grass is greener. Isn't it always?

I can relate to a lot of the replies. I did go back to work, hated it, couldn't give it my all and was completely happy again when I left. I appreciated DD more etc etc.

I suppose these things go in waves and I'm going through the initial 'boredom' sinking in again. So do I get the job, leave after 4 months and appreciate my children all over again - or benefit from the hindsight I got from the first time??

FWIW I've started an OU degree with the idea of becoming a MFL primary teacher in 2010 when I finish (gulp!) and when DS will be at school. This is a lovely plan which makes me happy. But it's a long way off and I'm so bored NOW!

I will have to wait and see how I am when DS starts nursery 2 mornings a week. I might enjoy twice weekly shopping trips to the Trafford Centre and be glad I never got that part-time job!

chicaguapa Tue 06-Jun-06 15:04:02

yes - bettythebuilder - I am stuggling with the lack of purpose (although some could argue that a degree is a purpose!). I have started another thread about a franchise opportunity which interests me - making packed lunches. But I was standing in another queue when motivation was being handed out! Which doesn't help much.

bettythebuilder Tue 06-Jun-06 15:58:25

I think that sometimes lack of motivation is linked to lack of confidence/purpose. Motivation is a lot easier when you are doing something you enjoy and/or believe in, or feel passionate about. A lot of the time a parttime job doesn't provide this!

DumbledoresGirl Tue 06-Jun-06 16:00:51

Is there anything you could change about your work experience that would make it more satisfying this time around?

When I briefly went back to work, it was working 4 mornings a week, so I really only had one whole day (other than the weekends of course) to do the SAHM bit. The school (my workplace) expected me to be around after my paid hours on each of those days whereas I was worrying about getting back fot the childminder and cutting costs there. I feel that if I were to do it again, it would have to be 2 whole days a week rather than 4 half days. Then, for the same money, I would still get 3 whole SAHM days, and I would only be expected to extend my hours twice a week rather than 4 times, and thus might be more ready to do so.

That is just an example. I don't know what work you did when you gave it a try, but maybe there is some element that you could change next time around that would make it more appealing?

chicaguapa Tue 06-Jun-06 17:26:14

Well I worked 2.5 days anyway as I'd figured that DD wouldn't have much concept of time at that age so 5 mornings would have just been 5 days in the nursery for her IYSWIM.

There were lots of things wrong with the job, it was a new area (marketing) and whilst I was just supposed to be an administrator I think they expected more of me in terms of marketing. I didn't feel concentrated enough to take that on. I also wasn't happy with the nursery so that won't have helped either. So yes, I could change aspects of it that might help.

It's probably worth mentioning that I moved 11 months ago to a new area so whilst I have found some friends via the coffee morning, I don't have the daytime social life I had before.

I want a job that I can do without having to give it my all as my kids are still my priority. But then I'd struggle to justify putting DS into childcare to do something that wasn't life changing. So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place then!

TBH I just need to tell myself that before I know it DS will be starting school and I'll be posting messages about them growing up too fast!

chicaguapa Tue 06-Jun-06 17:27:23

...and then panicking about going back to work!

DumbledoresGirl Tue 06-Jun-06 17:30:52

Well if you find a job that you can just walk into and do, and then leave at the end of the day, not having given your all (that still pays well) do come back and let me know what it is as I would like that too!

I hate to say it, but it definitely isn't teaching.

006 Tue 06-Jun-06 18:09:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

006 Tue 06-Jun-06 18:10:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scoobytwo Tue 06-Jun-06 18:33:25

ive been a stay at home mum for 12years
ds11,dd4&ds1
so looks like ill be at home a lot longer lol
i wouldnt want it any other way though

DumbledoresGirl Tue 06-Jun-06 18:36:05

Congratulations scoobydoo. I don't often meet anyone who has been at home longer than me.

chicaguapa Tue 06-Jun-06 18:56:15

scoobytwo - what do you do to stop yourself going crazy?

bosscat Tue 06-Jun-06 18:57:58

2 years and now I'm back at work 4 days a week and loving it! brain engaged, talk with adults, proper lunch breaks, and a lovely salary at the end of the month. I loved my time at home but it was time to go back for me. I really enjoy the time I've got with my kids now and don't feel so 'put upon' like I did at the end of my SAHM'dom.

bettythebuilder Tue 06-Jun-06 19:49:35

Aah, well I must say a nice fat pay cheque is one thing that's missing when trying to start up your own business - more like a big hole in the bank account!

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