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SAHM - to be or not to be!

(68 Posts)
nappyrat Sun 13-Apr-14 20:53:54

I am faced with a dilemma...should I become a SAHM to my 10 mo, or go back 2.5 days a week.

Don't really need the money, so it's not financially driven, but the job would be stressful, with much more than just the 2.5 days, and my LO is not ready for nursery (just yet). But I'm worried I might be bored as a SAHM (although I really hope not, as I think it's such an amazing thing to do), and might be lonely, lose my confidence, never earn this much again etc.

I am so torn. I change my view on an hourly basis. sad

Any SAHMs out there, please tell me whether it was the right decision for you, and why!

Thankyou x

PurpleWithaMysteryBun Sun 13-Apr-14 21:09:59

I love love being a SAHM on a day to day basis, thinking about the future is more worrying, however we never know what it may hold.

You can always try working for a few months and see, however I think it is harder to quit as you get used to payday.

Boredom wise, I volunteer and have made friends attending toddler groups. Etc I also have a dog as I like to be busy and it is a great at making you get out of the house!

Working was stressful in terms of not much time, getting chores and household stuff done, making sure DD lunch and bag was packed for childminder everyday took more organisation than I anticipated and that is with a very helpful DH. I didn't have to take my work home with me either :/ the crunch came for me with DC2 when really the stress of getting two of them ready everyday, missing them and not getting much £s for the exercise. It just wasn't worthwhile.
Good luck, it is such a hard decision

PurpleWithaMysteryBun Sun 13-Apr-14 21:11:13

On the flip side, my friend has 4 DC, working 2 days saves her sanity and she looks forward to the income when they are at school smile

Philoslothy Sun 13-Apr-14 21:13:38

I am at home on maternity leave at the moment and it has reminded me how much I love being a SAHM. Such a relaxed, stress free way of living , I am certainly thinking about not going back to work.

summerlovingliz Sun 13-Apr-14 21:15:19

Be a SAHM.. What a wonderful opportunity. You can always get a part time job later if you feel the need

Twobusyboys Sun 13-Apr-14 21:17:39

Love being at home. Its so worth the time with them when they are little. If you can afford it.
Are you planning to have any more dc? Once you hsve another being sahm has more benefits again. And with the extra dc they have fun playing together. And always have a playmate for going to park etc.

gilliangoof Sun 13-Apr-14 21:20:16

I love it. If you don't need the money I would go for it. You can always retrain in the future if you need to. You cannot get your child's early years back. Make the most of them if you can.

nappyrat Sun 13-Apr-14 21:53:13

Thankyou lovely MNetters. The reason I am so torn is that in future, I can't think of many (any?) jobs that have the level of flexibility I am looking for. I would want school hours, holidays off, etc.

The reason I mentioned the worry about being bored / lonely is that nobody around here seems to be a SAHM...Plus how do you meet new mum friends after the first year!? Baby groups, that makes sense, but when they're older, my perception is that the groups fade away (they all seem to be aimed at pre-12mo).

Ahh!! I am going nuts trying to figure out what I should do.

PurpleWithaMysteryBun Sun 13-Apr-14 22:17:24

I am sure there must be toddler groups? Libraries often have nursery rhymes, children centres have stuff and also churches often have groups (you don't have to go to church) ask your hv about groups?

MinimMum Sun 13-Apr-14 22:28:09

I love being a sahm and have never been bored. I think if you have imagination and hobbies/interests the freedom is immense.
Some people think its a life of housework and kids, well it is harder when they are little, but once they are at school its a lot easier.
I loved the pre school years and didn't bother with nursery etc and they started school at 5 well ahead of their peers, because I had the time to prepare them.
There are always lots of groups and activities to take them to during the day as well, and as long as you factor in some time for yourself you won't lose any confidence, well I didn't anyway.
I also think that it helped our relationship, there was no stress, no resentment and time for each other, which imo is important when dc are little.
I have no regrets and if I had to go back to babies and toddler days, I'd do it just the same.

OneEggIsAnOeuf Sun 13-Apr-14 22:34:11

Have you thought about maybe working for yourself in the future? It could give you the flexibility you want, and if you aren't desperate for the income you could take your time to find something that would really engage you. You could use the time you are at home to look at retraining if necessary, which would help keep your brain cells active and give you the opportunity to meet other people - it doesn't have to be people with dc the same age as yours.

I absolutely love being a sahm, but it isn't for everyone. I think, for me, i had a career which had already come to an end (for unrelated reasons) so giving up work wasn't such a big deal. Being with ds is simply more important to me than work right now. I fully intend to have a career again once he's older, but it will be something new, so i don't have the worry about keeping up skills/contacts etc that i would have had before, and am laying the foundations for my future career now.

However, tbh if i had still been working in my old job i'm not sure that i would have given up work, but of course my perspective would have been entirely different. As things turned out, there is nothing that could be worth more to me than the time i've got to spend with my ds. It isn't really something anyone else can give you an answer to - only you can know what you really want, and what is right for your family.

drinkingtea Sun 13-Apr-14 22:42:15

I loved being a SAHM for the first 6 years, but the last 2 years it's lost its magic and I have consequently become a lot less good at it for my youngest sad (always had at least one baby or toddler, or combination, at home, not that its lost its magic because I am a SAHM to a child who is out at school!)

Being a SAHM is great for as long as you are fully invested in it, but if you find yourself getting frustrated I think its time to go back to working outside the home perhaps... Doesn't really answer your dilemma of whether to try it in the first place, but if you enjoy the work and want to stay in the profession you are currently in it might be worth keeping the part time role, or you may feel stuck a few years down the line...

Can you postpone going back another couple of months?

drinkingtea Sun 13-Apr-14 22:48:45

Toddlers groups aren't aimed at under 1s - main focus is usually ... well... toddlers grin Most areas have a few toddlers groups, music groups (those 2 were the main ways I met people when my oldest was a toddler) and things like messy play and library rhyme time etc. Most areas, except perhaps the most rural, have lots of things.

Are you a teacher nappy? I was when my eldest was born and found it highly incompatible with having a very small child - I am not sure about flexibility to go back though, as I never tried to and wouldn't ever want to go back to "regular" teaching in a school if I could help it.

blueshoes Sun 13-Apr-14 22:52:41

I would suggest you go back 2.5 days and see how it goes. If you are planning to have another soon, the maternity pay for no.2 will come in handy.

You don't know whether you prefer working pt or being a SAHM until you go back to work. The end of my first maternity leave was when I was deepest in baby fug, especially if you think your baby is not ready for nursery. Going back to work was such an unexpected relief for me and I realised how much I missed it and clawing back some part of my identity and confidence from the all encompassing mummy role.

You do realise that if you give this up, you will not only lose the flexible job, you will probably lose any semblance of a career in your current field if you plan to take more than a year or two off. There are many off ramps but very few on ramps.

Whilst you might enjoy your time with your dc whilst they are pre-school, many parents feel their children need them more when they are school age when only their mummy (and not just any carer) will do. I personally would keep my powder dry and work pt to keep my options open for the dcs and for my family.

I love the balance of having a work life and a family life and not have one consume me.

nappyrat Sun 13-Apr-14 22:58:50

Thanks...drinking no I'm not a teacher, I'm a freelancer.

I'd echo the views about SAHM being one of the most important things I could do, I just know that in time reality will strike and I'll have to earn again & what I'm doing right now could be a good option. But that is a while away.

Thanks. These experiences are v helpful.

tinfoilhat Sun 13-Apr-14 22:59:56

Totally agree with MinimMum!
I am loving every day with my 2 dc, now 4 and nearly 3. There are endless possibilities for things to do together, the world is so new and exciting through their eyes and I've found it infectious. Each experience you have together is creating precious memories for them, and you.
These precious years go by so quickly, I really do feel you should cherish them.
I honestly can't understand why anyone, given the choice, would not choose to spend more time with their children, otherwise, why did they have them?!

Rangirl Mon 14-Apr-14 07:54:33

It is a decision only you and your DH can make As others have said I think the pre school years can be lovely as a SAHM But they do pass quickly(might not seem like it at the time !) and I see a lot of mums now whose children are at school who want to work but can't get a job I was always (very)part time and that has allowed me to keep working The idea of being dependent on anyone always seemed wrong to me (but I come from a very feminist background !)I would give it a go You can always leave if it does not work out

hm32 Mon 14-Apr-14 08:16:55

You could always go back and see how it goes? I did that, and I know now that my choice is 100% the right one.

redskyatnight Mon 14-Apr-14 08:23:41

I'd personally say that a 2.5 day job is like gold dust (unless you think you will have good opportunities in your field to pick up similar when the DC is older, and it is a good idea to at least give the mix of work and SAHM a chance.

I worked 2.5 days when my dC were small (though was 5 0.5 days) and I found it a good mix and enabled me to increase/change my hours when they were older. If you're worried about meeting people as no one you know is a SAHM I think this is a legitimate concern. I was in a similar position and really really struggled to make friends despite going to every group where there might be mums of young children - I found that most people just already had their own friends/network and weren't interested in even talking to me. If your DC is already 10mo you must have an idea as to how likely it is that you will meet new people?

MarshaBrady Mon 14-Apr-14 08:24:21

I say go back. It is hard to get back into work, especially something flexible and well-paid.

Can you use a nanny / nanny share? It would be easier on you and probably better for your ds.

Casmama Mon 14-Apr-14 08:27:01

I come from the other side of things in that I work full time but I would suggest you go back to work and give it 6 months to see how you feel.

Your bAby will probably surprise you - my DS went to nursery at 9 months and was perfectly happy to eat sleep and play all day.

If you go back and don't like it then you quit and have lost nothing but most of my friends who are part time enjoy that they spend most of their time with their kids but have some time to just be themselves and able to drink a hot cup of tea!

Llareggub Mon 14-Apr-14 08:29:13

SAHM is great when life is rosy. I resigned from my well paid and cushy part time job to be a SAHM.

Five years on I am divorced and my exH turned out to be an alcoholic who couldn't support us all. I was very lucky to be able to find a job that paid enough to support me and our children.

I would always advise anyone to stay financially independent. You might think it will never happen to you but it happens to a lot of people.

Lilaclily Mon 14-Apr-14 08:44:04

I'd go back definitely
In 5 years time you'll want the security of a job that is flexible & part time & good pay

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 09:06:47

The groups definitely don't fade away, I met more long lasting friends in the over 12 month groups because most of the people I met at the 0-12 month groups went back to work and we lost touch.

I think it's tricky to go back to work at 10 months because that's a prime age for separation anxiety and it can be really hard for them to adjust. But, done sensitively, they do and in a decent setting where they are allowed to form a bond with one main carer, so either a childminder, or a nursery where the keyworker concept is actually implemented - all nurseries have to assign a keyworker to each child, but depending on the nursery what this means may change - in some it means that person is the main carer for that child 90% of the time with the other workers only stepping in if that carer is unavailable, in some it is totally meaningless, each carer interacts with all children as much as any other, and the keyworker is just a point of contact for the parents.

HolidayCriminal Mon 14-Apr-14 09:12:04

I vote go back. Nice to have different things in your life.

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