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To SAHM or not to SAHM

(54 Posts)
tomme Thu 23-Aug-07 20:32:30

Since my DC were born I have been self employed and worked part time. I hate the industry I an in and have been accepted to do a degree starting in September to retrain. However I have suddenly realised that my deepest darkest desire is to stay at home and bring up my children DD 3.5 and DS 2. My husband has agreed he would be happy for me to do this until they leave primary school and possibly beyond.

The thing is lam terrified of being totally financially dependent on him and whilst totally happily married now I can't help thinking what if he leaves me years down the line and I have beer doing nothing how would I cope financially? I am not ashamed to say I like my standard of living (not loaded by any means) and do not want not to be able to provide this for me ad my children. My DH thinks I'm mental and think too much and should just do what would make me happy now i.e. SAHM full time

I just can't decide what todo mainly because I'm scared to jump into the unknown.

If you've made it this far thankyou.

Baysmum Thu 23-Aug-07 20:36:00

Go for it, trust your instincts. I didnt want to depend on my dh for money - but you get used to it!! You cant get this time with your kids back whereas who knows what will happen in the future - you can always make money if you need to! Good luck xx

myjobismum Thu 23-Aug-07 20:36:53

stay at home with ur babies if thats what u want!!!! u will regret it later in life if you dont - it wont be long til they are independant! worry about the things that go wrong, only if they do!

tomme Thu 23-Aug-07 20:39:56

This seems to be the opinion of everyone I talk to but I can't quite work it through in my head.

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 20:40:04

Well, it does make you financially dependent on your partner - no way around that really. If you find that unbearable then you need to try to find ways in which you could earn money while the kids are at school. I'm a freelance editor, so I can work in the evenings and at weekends, and when my kids get to school age I'll be able to earn about 50 per cent of a full-time wage by working during school hours.

I love being a SAHM to pre-schoolers, but I've never quite understood how home-making can still be a full-time job when the children start school. I mean, if women can make it work financially, then good for them, but how many times can you wash a floor? There are lots of part-time/self-employed options, you just have to find one that works for you.

LizaRose Thu 23-Aug-07 20:40:09

My mum took about 5 years of work when my bro and I were small (she was a teacher). She now recognises that she would have got further with her career without that break, but she does not regret it at all. She really encouraged me to take time off with my little ones and it is the best thing ever!

belgo Thu 23-Aug-07 20:41:27

make sure you have your own bank account and pension fund.

tomme Thu 23-Aug-07 20:44:51

I have 3 years until both DC would be in school full time. maybe I should just think to myself that Iam having 3 years off and then look at part time work or retraining. It doesn't seen quite as scary that way. But I would like to be able to drop them off and pick then up from school more often than not as my mum couldn't and it used to really upset me sometimes but on the plus side it did make me more self sufficient.

Psychobabble Thu 23-Aug-07 20:49:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkspottywellies Thu 23-Aug-07 20:49:10

I don't really look at it as being financially dependent on DH - yes he earns the money but that all goes into a joint account that all the household things come out of and we each have the same amount of 'pocket money' for ourselves. I am contributing to our family as much as he is I am also able to work a few hours here and there and my money also goes into the family 'pot'.

Perhaps you could both look at how your finances work so that you feel more comfortable with it as it seems that you really want to do it!

I'm still on the unpaid 6 months of my Mat leave and have to hand my notice in soon if I'm not going back. I don't want to go back to work but I don't want to let go of my job! I like it and I also hate the thought that I'll have to start again with applications and interviews in a few years time.

Hassled Thu 23-Aug-07 20:49:25

I used to hate the financial dependency thing, but then worked out that without me being a SAHM there would be childcare costs, as well as those for a cook, gardener, accountant, cleaner etc etc. While I have a clear financial dependency on my DH, he is also dependent on me to provide the sort of family life that he wants. Hence DH's wages are "our" wages, not just his. I have always kept my own bank account and do bits of paid work here and there (from home) which makes me feel more independent but do agree it's a tough decision to make. I think as time passes you'll feel less like you're taking "pocket money" from your DH and more like it's both of yours.

Loopymumsy Thu 23-Aug-07 20:54:11

Message withdrawn

tomme Thu 23-Aug-07 20:56:48

Thanks for your replies. The more I think about it the more I realise it's not the financial dependency on a day to day basis I worry about, but should I need to provide for my children in years to come I would be starting over again and have to accept a significant drop in income and therefore standard of living. DH thinks I'm mad for worrying about things that may never happen and says no one would do anything if they all thought like me.

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 21:01:13

Agree that it is best to have a joint account (you might already have one, of course), so that you don't end up asking for hand-outs. The money he earns should be as much yours as his.

I think a lot of women do worry about 'what if?' more than men do - I know that that's the case with me and my DP. On the other hand, if he didn't talk me out of that mindset occasionally, we would never have moved in together, never have bought a house, never have had the kids...

tomme Thu 23-Aug-07 21:05:46

We have separate accounts and we have agreed that DH would pay money into my account every month for housekeeping and extra for me to spend as I would want. Just writing that feels a bit like the "little woman".

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 21:06:50

I say BALLS to separate accounts! 'Little woman' is exactly what it is.

Loopymumsy Thu 23-Aug-07 21:11:38

Message withdrawn

iris66 Thu 23-Aug-07 21:12:34

I went back to work full time (suited, stilettoed and armed to the teeth with hammers for the glass ceiling) when DD was 5 mths old. It was fine and it worked for me at the time. 18 years on and I'm currently a SAHM to my DS (19mths) and 29 wks pg (currently wearing baggy T shirt, jeans & flip flops ). I worked from home for 3 years before stopping when I had DS and I love it. I regret (now) not seeing DD's firsts because I'm really relishing DS'. They're small and dependant for such a short time but, at the end of the day, they're happy if you are. Life is short. Live to make yourself happy and they will be to (and I include DH in "they")

handlemecarefully Thu 23-Aug-07 21:14:10

I remember having precisely this fear when I jumped the WOHM ship and became a SAHM. Feared financial dependence.

Now I rarely think about it.

However I partially regret giving up work - tbh I'm a little bored and understimulated by the groundhog day nature of SAHMdom (gave up 19 months ago)

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 21:14:57

Sorry - separate accounts needn't be 'little woman', but having 'hubby' pay you an allowance... couldn't cope with that at all! As others have said on this thread, if the decision for the woman to stay at home and not do paid work is a joint one, then I really think it is only fair if the man's wage is regarded as a resource to be shared jointly between them.

iris66 Thu 23-Aug-07 21:15:34

sorry, missed a bit - I do all the financial management of accounts (making life "easier" for DH) and certainly don't feel like a "little woman" lol

iris66 Thu 23-Aug-07 21:18:49

add up the cost of outsourcing childcare, cooking, cleaning etc etc.. an "allowance" wouldn't even come close to covering it!!!

shreddies Thu 23-Aug-07 21:19:44

I agree with all that's been said, but would second Belgo in saying that if at all possible you should try to keep a pension going. I'd feel very very insecure without that.

pinkspottywellies Thu 23-Aug-07 21:19:48

I'm in charge of our finances as well iris! I tell dh what he's allowed to spend!

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 21:21:19

Me too, wellies. he gets told off if he takes money out of the ATM without asking me first.

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