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Giving up £60k job that I love to be SAHM

(383 Posts)
Moomo Wed 07-Jul-10 10:23:27

After a lot A LOT of thinking I have pretty much decided not to go back to work and to be a SAHM - at least for a couple of years. But am giving up a £60k job that I really enjoyed to do so. DH earns £30k so it will be a massive drop in our income but I just can't face going back to work and leaving DS in childcare.

I was just wondering if anyone else has done the same thing and whether friends/family etc have been supportive as most people I tell think I am totally crazy and try and convince me not to do it. I'm not so worried about my career but a bit worried about the loss of income - we can still pay mortgage, bills etc but will be alot less luxuries/no saving/pension etc.

Would be really interested to know if anyone else has done the same/similar thing and how it worked out. I'm pretty confident of my decision but when everyone around me tells me I'm crazy I have moments of self doubt!

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 07-Jul-10 10:29:36

Well if you have thought about it long and hard and have made your decision, well stick by it.

However there is no way on earth I would give up work full time. You may never get back in at that level. Would you not want to work part time?

Plus a 2/3 salary drop would be a struggle, to say the least.

If I were you I would stay at work and get my DH to stay at home.

EightiesChick Wed 07-Jul-10 10:30:13

I haven't done this, but just wanted to ask whether the option was there for you to take a career break for a year or more so that you do have the possibiity of returning if you later decide you want to?

How old is your DS?

I must admit that I have been glad to return to work myself and love my job. As my DH has now lost his, it is as well I did, too. My DH worked in what is commonly thought to be a very secure area of employment, too, so I'd just say - be sure that his job is as secure as anyone's can be, these days. But it has to be your choice and if this is going to make you happy then it's what you should do. Hope it works out.

Portofino Wed 07-Jul-10 10:33:21

What does your DH think about this? Wouldn't be more efficient for HIM to give up his job? I was the main wage earner when dd was born.

Giving up my job was totally out of the question - it was hard at first, but I so don't regret it.

pagwatch Wed 07-Jul-10 10:35:12

I did.

People did think I was a bit odd but I had made up my mind so what others thought didn't bother me in the slightest.

If you are happy with your decision then what anyone thinks cannot possibly impact you.

DH was earning slightly less than I was at the time but his career path looked better so it made more sense. Which was sensible as I would never in a million years earnt as much as he does now.

His prospects may be important. Also whether you could go back later without loss of status is significant too.

I never did go back and never will. And I am very very happy with how it has all turned out

AxisofEvil Wed 07-Jul-10 10:35:38

Given you earn double what your DH does it would seem sensible for him to give up his job instead of you. Unelss he is say in training and will be earning lots more shortly.

chimchar Wed 07-Jul-10 10:40:48

its only money....if you can do without it, and not be too stressed by it, then go for it!

i've stayed at home with my kids, and i've loved it....(not taken anywhere close to your pay cut though <<under achiever!!grin>>) i think its very much a lifestyle that you only get out what you put in...i've made great friends, and spent many days being out and about with friends and their kids.....there are never any issues if your child is unwell, needs to sleep in, has appointments etc..

i wonder if you could explore any other options available to you...part time/flexi time/job share break/unpaid leave etc before you make your huge decision.

good luck!

expatinscotland Wed 07-Jul-10 10:51:46

What Portofino and GetOrf said.

Or hire a nanny so your child is not in childcare.

I've never in my adult life had a job I loved. Or been paid so much.

You are so so so very very fortunate.

I don't think if I were in a position like that I could give that up, particularly in this economy.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 07-Jul-10 11:11:02

I know it is probably a miserable way of thinking - but you never know what will happen. If you give up 60K and live on a third of what you are used to (on your DH's wage) it makes you very vulnerable. What if he buggers off? What if he loses his job?

I would never voluntarily give up any kind of financial independence.

Also as Expat says do not underestimate how rare it is to have a job you love. You may never get such a suitable job again.

Oh I am all doom and gloom aren't I!

I worked FT from when my dd was a baby - I have never regretted a minute of it. I am not some Nicola Horlick career type either - back then I was just working to pay the bills.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 07-Jul-10 11:11:07

Is this your first DC?

I felt like that with my first, and cried every day for a couple of weeks when I had to return to work (out of financial necessity).
That soon wore off and DD1 was really happy and settled with her lovely CM. When DD2 was born I had no such misgivings about returning to the job I loved and I was only on a fraction of your salary!
Ultimately it is your decision, but I would advise against hasty decisions - you may realise in a year that you miss work terribly but can't do anything about it.
My advice would be to go back to work, keeping in your head that is will be for a six-month trial period to see if you still want to give up and SAH. Your salary is good enough to have a nanny rather than institutionalized childcare and this could make you feel better about leaving your DC. It's always tough at first, but it's really not such a bad thing and it's always easier to leave a job than to get one!

omnishambles Wed 07-Jul-10 11:12:47

Why cant dh give up his job?

autodidact Wed 07-Jul-10 11:14:21

Agree with Getorf. Is there a reason why you rather than your husband has to be the one to give up work? It seems a no-brainer financially to do it the other way round. Or could both of you go part time? Going from £90k to £30k is a very big drop indeed...

Fennel Wed 07-Jul-10 11:19:38

I agree with GrumpyoldHorsewoman. If you do love your job, and it's well paid, can't you at least try out going back to work and see if it's OK?

You may find it's not that bad, or that you relish the time at work, and enjoy your baby more when you are with him, for having had the time at work. and your child may like childcare, mine all seemed to.

Can the job be done part time?

fruitstick Wed 07-Jul-10 11:23:27

I have done it. I earned the same and DH is on about £40k.

I went back 3 days a week after DS1 and gave up completely after DS2.

We moved out of London to boot.

I don't regret it but I have realised that I am not cut out to be a SAHM - I'm just not very good at it, especially as we now can't afford a cleaner or any of the other luxuries we used to have.

But you can manage on less.

I started finding some freelance work when DS2 was about 12 months. It's only for one day a week but I feel like I'm keeping my hand in in the industry (maintaining contacts etc) and I'm hoping to increase it to 2 or 3 in September.

I think there is a middle way tbh. My goal is, long term, to be able to form my own career that allows me to work and still be around for them after school.

What I would say is actually it's harder when the children get older, they need you more emotionally if not physically. If I were you I would weigh up your long term goals. Would you be happy to give up work now, only to have to go back full time in a few years, or is there a way to go back now, save or invest the money to allow you to be more flexible further on.

I would also say that (in my bitter experience) it is much easier to persuade your current employer to allow you to work flexibly than to find a new flexible or part time job later on.

Hope that helps

amidaiwish Wed 07-Jul-10 11:24:56

dropping income from £90k to £30k is a huge drop
how does your dh feel about this?
do you plan to have another child - you could get pg quickly then have a second maternity leave, that might suit you better and be financially lucrative?!

do look at part time
or a sabbatical - keeping your options open to return if need be

those children will be in school before you know it, you might find 2 days/week working the perfect balance. or can you work from home and get someone to come in and look after them while you work?

don't throw it all away just because you have seen a nursery/childminder you don't like the look of. what about a nanny/nanny share?

i gave up my well paid job after dd2 and didn't look back. however dh and I earned the same, i was fed up of my job, and dh's prospects are/were good. he now earns nearly what our joint income was, i don't believe that would have happened if i hadn't supported pushed him.

amidaiwish Wed 07-Jul-10 11:25:56

i agree with fruitstick 100%. she talks complete sense smile

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 07-Jul-10 11:33:12

Is it that you personally want to give up work and stay with your baby, or is it that you can't stand the thought of childcare?

TrillianAstra Wed 07-Jul-10 11:35:34

I was about to ask that GetOrf - everyone asking 'why doesn't your DH give up work?' - maybe the OP wants to stay with her baby. It's not unheard of.

TrillianAstra Wed 07-Jul-10 11:36:47

It will be bloody hard, I would advise going back for a trial period, and in that time to try living on just your DH's salary (minus whatever you'd have to pay for childcare and comuting that would not be necessary if you were at home). See if you can live on that money and what your life would be like. Plus if you do decide to give up work you'll have made some savings.

SparkyMalarky Wed 07-Jul-10 11:39:52

I've done it - went back to work full time after DC1 but never went back after DC2.

I don't regret it at all. I do miss skipping out the door in clean clothes sometimes, but on the whole I am a nicer mummy not working and worrying about work (although I have replaced my blackberry habit with a mumsnet one!!).

It's hard work though - and it might put added pressure on your relationship - how does DH feel about being the sole breadwinner? Have you got savings you can fall back on if you need to? Do you have any money that's 'yours' (it's quite a shock going from having a regular wage to having to ask for 'housekeeping'!!). DH and sat down to talk about all of those things before I decided not to go back - and I have a long term plan for what work I do want to do - although like Fruitshoot, I think that kids do need you more as they get older.

Could you go back flexibly now and re-evaluate in a few months? Or if you have any more children? If you're still on mat leave, going back to work seems much scarier than it really is - if you find childcare that works for you, and you can find a balance between time and work and time at home - it really can be the best of both worlds.

That said, if you're happy that you're making the right decision - and you think it's the right one for all of your family - good luck! It's working for us right now

elvisgirl Wed 07-Jul-10 11:40:19

Someone once said there has never been anyone that on their deathbed had wished they spent more time at the office & I have always thought that made sense. I gave up my career indefinitely to be a SAHM 3 yrs ago for my first child & haven't loved every single minute of it, neither did I love every single minute of my job beforehand. I felt that having my first child & the first few years of his life is the most unique experience that I didn't want to miss. We have gone done to one car, not been on big hols, not really gone out much or eaten much, saved on nappy costs by doing EC, don't buy so much prepared food & got loads of stuff for DS secondhand - all of which is fine for us personally. I would have considered going back to work part-time once he reached 2.5yrs & was effectively fully verbal & had nothing of a baby left about him but planning second bub by that stage so no point in getting back into it only to drop it again. Good luck with your decision!

Oblomov Wed 07-Jul-10 11:40:39

OP ?

Ragwort Wed 07-Jul-10 11:41:14

You need to seriously consider whether or not you will be able to go back to work or not - I gave up working over 10 years ago - loved, loved being a SAHM (Still do - BUT - our finances are now very, very different and life is a real struggle) - no way can I get back into the sort of work I did before. No, money isn't everything by any means but it does put a huge strain on our marriage in that DH has to support us - we have our own business so I do work at that but our income is hugely reduced.

Oblomov Wed 07-Jul-10 11:44:21

I couldn't wait to get back to work, each time . God I love my job. actually its the people i work with i like. and the salary is good. not huge but good. but the difference is thats its p/t. I covered for a month full time once. it was too much.

Fennel Wed 07-Jul-10 11:45:03

actually, if anything I do have regrets about the career I've been buggering up for 10 years in favour of seeing more of my dc. I love seeing my dc (have worked part time or flexible full time throughout their lives, but in my career you need to put in a lot of time and effort to progress, and I am not doing that). I also loved my career and these days I'm just marking time in it, and I get very frustrated. It's lovely being with the dc but I'm focusing on the fact that the OP says she loves her job. It is a luxury to have a job you like, (and a bonus if it's well paid, I don't have that aspect). not something to be given up lightly.

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