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the highs and lows of being a working mum

(40 Posts)
BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 09:18:09

My head is in a muddle at the moment. Im hoping this thread will bring some clarity.

My DH thinks as a SAHM ive "got it easy". The atmosphere has turned to one of resentment (even though this was a mutual decision). Im thinking I may as well throw the towel in and start applying for jobs. will I live to regret this? Should I just suck up my husbands resentment and carry on as I am?

The grass is greener. Ive got it into my head that if I go to work he will finally respect me. Or will he just turn to "my work is harder than yours" and then Im back at square 1?

I just dont know what to do.

If I could run away, leave him, leave the kids, I fear that I would.

WipsGlitter Fri 05-Apr-13 09:23:19

What does your husband do? Do you think you have it easy?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 09:32:06

He's an IT team leader. Through his eyes I can see how he thinks Ive got it easy. Truth is I struggle of things to do with the kids, Im crap at stimulating them. If I went to work would he stop resenting me or will it get worse? I'll never earn as much as him (13 year age gap).

KnockMeDown Fri 05-Apr-13 09:35:16

As you say, the grass is always greener. When your DC are poorly ( again) you don't need to call work and feel guilty for not going in, even though you know you are doing the right thing, as nursery won't take them back for 48hours after vomiting. Some would send them in anyway, and feel guilty for that, too! This has been me this morning, so have had to get DH to change his plans for Monday, so I can go in on my day off, to work back being off today. And the cost of childcare is huge - do you think it would be worthwhile financially, once you factor that in?
Of course, it is great to have your own space and time, to be some one other than Mummy smile But it is a case of weighing up all the pros and cons.

hotbot Fri 05-Apr-13 09:35:51

I would down tools,go away for a weekend, let him see how hard it is,
But then I'm no pushover, fwiw I work full time, so does dh, and I don't think a sahp has it any easier or harder than anyone else, caring for kids is bloody hard work, which ever way you have to do it.

WipsGlitter Fri 05-Apr-13 09:36:57

When I was a stay at home mum I split the day into morning and afternoon. I tried to get out and do something in the morning then we just pottered in the afternoon. Don't worry about 'stimulating' them, I read on here "everyone fed, no one dead" as a goal for each day!

How old are your children? Is returning when they are bigger an option?

KnockMeDown Fri 05-Apr-13 09:39:12

Sorry, should have asked what age your DC are. Finding childcare for school holidays can be tricky too.
Your DH will need to realize that house work would need to be split between you if you go back to work.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 09:41:11

Theyre 1 and 2.

Is it depressing being a WOHM? What are the downsides?

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Apr-13 09:41:21

I think you have bigger problems than work vs don't work tbh. I think you're right that if your DH doesn't respect you he will continue not to respect you, whatever happens

Trills Fri 05-Apr-13 09:42:04

What Stealth said.

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Apr-13 09:43:14

I don't find it depressing. But I know plenty of people who don't find being a SAHM depressing either

WipsGlitter Fri 05-Apr-13 09:46:15

As with being a SAHM there's ups - more money, a 'break', you can potter round the shops at lunchtime, mental stimulation.

Downs - covering illness and school holidays, rushing school runs to and from and collecting from in the afternoon.

Something's happened I think for your DH to start talking like this.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 09:51:52

Wips, yeah we recently had a massive financial scare when the boiler broke and we had to pay 2k for a new one. thats the proverbial straw. but DH has always been the resentful type. always.

KnockMeDown Fri 05-Apr-13 09:52:35

I went back to work part time when DD was 1. This was a good balance, as I got back in to my work role, and DD loves her nursery, and we still get family time. BUT my wages are almost all swallowed up with nursery fees. shock This will go down soon when her free allowance kicks in, but as you have 2, you would need to be bringing in a very good wage, or use family for childcare. I don't think it is as straightforward as it appears when you are surveying that greener grass.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 10:03:09

Knock, thank you for bringing up the childcare issue. we dont have family that could provide that level of childcare. hmmm now what?

I wont be able to bring in an excellent wage.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 10:04:44

Maybe HE should pay for childcare?

Justaoneoff Fri 05-Apr-13 10:11:32

It sounds like your DH needs reminding of just how exactly you being a SAHM benefits him. He can go into work if the DCs are ill or on holiday, he can work late at the drop of a hat, he can go out with his workmates if they have a work do, and he doesn't have any pressures, because he knows that you are there to see to whatever comes up. Having children has not changed his work pattern, and he is still just as reliable (as far as work is concerned) as ever.

If you were to go back to work, there is childcare to take into account - someone has to pick them up, there are financial penalties if you are late let alone the cost of getting them looked after in the first place. Everything to do with the house gets pushed into the evenings and weekends, and if you have any illness (and there is plenty about at the moment), someone has to be available when the nursery or childminder can't take them. Unless you can afford a nanny of course.... And then there is the guilt and the stress, and feeling like you're not able to give either the children or work your full attention.

If your DH is the higher earner, all the childcare issues are probably going to end up being your bag, as his earnings are needed to cover the outgoings - or that is what he will argue - so unless you really don't like being a SAHM and are desperate to get back into work, it probably won't be the resolution to your problems. I think your DH needs a reality check if he thinks you have the easy option, and he needs to understand that in fact things are easier for him because you ARE a SAHM...

KnockMeDown Fri 05-Apr-13 10:18:32

Perhaps you could list out ALL the things you do, and beside that put the amount you would need to pay someone else to do it. Then give it to him. I imagine he would be surprised!

AngryGnome Fri 05-Apr-13 10:21:27

There isn't an easy option for any parent. It depends, I think, entirely on your own temperament/preferences and whether or not you are able to exercise any choice in your lifestyle - if you want to work, but have to stay at home as you cannot afford childcare, then i would imagine that it is difficult. And vice versa of course.

I work part-time, DH full time. I find being at home with DS much "easier" than working, but that's more to do with the nature of my job and my attitude to it, rather than because childcare is inherently easier than working.

I dont think this is as simple as who has it easier - its about a lack of respect for different roles in your family. How do you feel? Would you like to go back to work?

strongandlong Fri 05-Apr-13 10:29:10

Putting aside your DH's attitude and feelings about this, do you want to work? I think that's the first question to answer.

Upsides: greater financial autonomy, adult time, potentially enjoyment of the job itself and a sense of accomplishment, pension, opportunity for development and progression, sense of purpose once your kids are less dependent on you.

Downsides: less time with the DC, lots of effort for little financial return (in the early years, at least), stress of arranging childcare, pressure of having to fit 'life' around the job (these last two should be shared by both of you, but often end up falling on the woman).

I work FT (in a similar job to your DH) and I know I'm happier than I would be if I was a SAHM. I also like the financial 'independence' (not that we don't depend on each other financially now, but I know if my relationship breaks down I could survive, for example). For me/us the pros outweigh the cons.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 10:43:01

Justaoneoff I've copied and pasted your response into an email to DH.

To be frank, it sounds like me going to work would be ideologically beneficial rather than financially beneficial. He will think I'm 'pulling my weight' and doing a days graft like him. In this limited sense, it would be worth it. Just so he can't argue that I 'have it easy'. I will do anything to escape this mindset of his.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 10:44:43

"Putting aside your DH's attitude and feelings about this, do you want to work? I think that's the first question to answer."

The answer is no. I truly believe (through gut instinct and research) a one-to-one environment is best for my toddlers at this age. But that only works if there is no resentment.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 05-Apr-13 10:46:29

strongandlong I've never had financial independence before (terrible at 30 I know) so that side is certainly appealing.

ChablisLover Fri 05-Apr-13 10:54:26

OP - I am a working mum

I work reduced hours (4 days a week)

DH works full time (over 50 hours) at home

He still sees me as a housewife as I used to work 3 days and then was made redundant but got another job and have slowly built up my hours as my ds got older and to school

Its hard when he is sick, off school (as he is this week and Parents are looking after him - can cause huge arguments - another story) and when I come in and i have to make tea, do homework, washing etc

but i have my own money, can contribute to the house/holidays and yes i dont have the perfect house/life but it is quite good sometimes

EldritchCleavage Fri 05-Apr-13 10:59:55

I think with two children that young, your working outside the home (you already work, FGS) would bring enormous stresses that your DH is simply not considering, which other posters have mentioned. And I agree with others that all those stresses would probably get heaped on you.

That said, that won't be the case forever, and perhaps discussing a plan with your DH as to when you would like to start WOHM and what you'll do in the run-up to that (training etc) would be a good idea. If you both agreed you would be at home and if you both agree a plan for the time when you get a job he jolly well has to stop being an arse in the meantime.

Your DH has to own his part in this (presumably you didn't trick him into marriage and children?). Resentment is a childish reaction. He should recognise the benefits he gets from the current situation as well as the burdens, and if he wants something different, advocate for it and be very realistic about what it means and how much domestic/childcare work he is prepared to do.

I am WOHM and DH is SAHD, by the way.

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