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Leaving my job to be a SAHM - advice?

(25 Posts)
wishinwaitinhopin Fri 04-Apr-14 12:14:04

My son is 1 year old and I am a full time teacher. If you know teaching it involves me leaving the house at 7am and returning at 5 (sometimes 10 If teaching evening classes) but working every evening and most of the weekend. It causes me severe anxiety and stress and the doctor has prescribed me anti depressants. I cry every morning when I have to leave my son and nearly every evening when I see him before he goes to bed. He is closer to his dad and when he sees me he sometimes cries like he doesn't know who I am. The amount I earn compared to nursery fees means after paying them I'm left with about 300 a month. I'm at the point where I don't think I can bear it anymore.

SAHMs and dads.. Do you find you're better off financially not working? (If you have a partner) Do you have ways of making money whilst being a SAHM/D? Do you find working tax credits help?

Am I doing the right thing? I feel I am working myself to death for 300 a month that is then spent on travel expenses and I am missing my child growing up.

I can't work part time because then the wage is below the nursery fees.

DaffodilLily Fri 04-Apr-14 12:45:09

I have every sympathy for you! I know the majority of teachers work their socks off with very little respect.

If it is financially viable, then DO it! As a teacher you could tutor or mark exam papers part time etc.

milkyman Fri 04-Apr-14 12:47:44

go for it! you don't sound happy currently. could you teach adult ed classes and evenings and weekends?

zirca Fri 04-Apr-14 12:51:12

I did it. LOVE being a SAHM, and most importantly my DS is so much happier. We do have less money, but you cope - we shop at Lidl now, buy his clothes/toys second hand from charity shops etc, and don't eat out any more! You could do some tutoring, but would need childcare still for that.

AntoinetteCosway Fri 04-Apr-14 12:57:30

I was in exactly the same position as you, right down to the £300 leftover after childcare each month and the age of the DC. I did it for a year and decided that I couldn't go on like that.

I quit and became self employed-I now tutor in the evenings. It was the best decision I ever made. I get to spend my days with DD, I make about £500 a month (so almost twice what I was bringing home when I was teaching and paying for childcare) and although we are living on a tight budget compared to when I was working full time and we didn't have DD, I am happier than I've ever been, DD is thriving, DH is happier at work knowing that we're happy at home and I am so, so glad that we are getting this time together.

ZuleikaD Fri 04-Apr-14 13:04:19

I didn't want to go back to work after DC2 and requalified as a childminder. No childcare fees and what I make just about makes ends meet. No foreign holidays or new shoes, but we work it out. Haven't decided yet whether I'll go back to office work when all the DCs are in school (there's three of them now) but I can DEFINITELY recommend being at home with your own children.

ZuleikaD Fri 04-Apr-14 13:07:42

Oh, and you will do a lot of shopping on ebay. :-)

wishinwaitinhopin Fri 04-Apr-14 14:14:03

Oh wow!! Thanks everyone. You have made me feel so much better. I feel like I 'should' work and I'm worried how people will react (namely my Father who sees a full time permanent position as the holy grail). I'm so unhappy at work though.

wishinwaitinhopin Fri 04-Apr-14 14:18:35

And to answer your Q yes I could tutor and I could maybe do evenings and weekends (I teach 16+ And adults). My partner and I are thinking if we make this decision now might be the time to have baby number 2.

Timetoask Fri 04-Apr-14 14:19:29

Could you possibly do a job share? At my son's school a few forms have two teachers who share the week, 2days vs 3 days. You wouldn't have to pay childcare for the days at home but would be leaving your career completely?

wishinwaitinhopin Fri 04-Apr-14 14:24:23

They don't do that where I work. You're either full time or part time. Full time 21,500. Part time half of that (and you'd still be doing a stupid amount of work) and id still have to put son in nursery for those days. I literally wouldn't break even.

Melonbreath Fri 04-Apr-14 15:09:05

You would still be working, you'd be working at bringing your child up. This isn't a permanent decision, kids grow fast and like people said you can privately tutor until you feel ready for anything else.
I love being a sahm. I'm £200 a month worse off but I'm infinately happier, as is dd.
As long as the bills are paid that's all that counts.

Fortyisthenewthirty Fri 04-Apr-14 15:25:58

I'm mostly a SAHM. I'm in the lucky position of having a job I can do one day a week (my mum looks after my lb)

I mostly love it. I do more cleaning than I'd ideally like, as I feel that kind of thing is part of my 'job' now. I do love having my day at work too.

I also have a fairly substantial volunteer job too (which takes up about 6-10 hours a week). I can do most of this with my lb, so I don't need childcare for it. It's great for my CV and gives me another purpose.

Theyaremysunshine Fri 04-Apr-14 20:49:11

I work 3 days a week. It suits me. I'm a better mum and happier for it.

But you're not happy. I have massive admiration for FT mums. Amazing people. I couldn't do it to my shame.

You go for it. Be happy. Think about tutoring or supply to keep your hand in. Know you may need to retrain in a few years. Know you're doing something difficult, challenging and immensely valuable in staying at home.

Good luck OP. Enjoy your family.

wishinwaitinhopin Sat 05-Apr-14 17:03:10

Thank you for all being so nice smile

Chunderella Sun 06-Apr-14 17:53:31

Are you married, and if not do you have significant assets either together or separately?

Pagwatch Sun 06-Apr-14 17:59:46

My advice would be to see if you can find a way to pay into a pension while you are not working and make sure you are both really clear about how you will be financially protected and how finances are organised while you are not earning.

Don't assume anything. Discuss it. Agree.
The number of threads where suddenly a sahm is being given pocket money or dh isn't talking to her because he imediately wants her to ind a job once he changes his mind.

Chunderella Sun 06-Apr-14 18:47:36


Also, you mention tax credits. Do you know what your income would be, and have you done a benefits calculation? You really need this information because it doesn't matter whether tax credits help other people, it's whether they could help you!

findingherfeet Sun 06-Apr-14 21:37:59

Go for it! You will never get the time back and it's precious, you won't regret it.

I went back to my high stress career for a year and hated it, I felt I was compromising both my role at work and role as mum, doing neither to the best of my ability. Thankfully we can pay our bills with just hubs wages (not entitled to anything) it means we have significantly less income but so long as we can afford basics this is ok with me. Compromise etc

It can be bloody hard work dealing with a demanding little one (delightful too) but if you are prone to depression/anxiety recognise it might not disappear just because your not at work.

I sort of loved my job and felt a bit of a failure to leave (and judged my my friends particularly those without children) but the crazy hours and working at home was too much for me, right now my babies are my priority and while I will go back to work, I will treasure this time and recognise I'm very fortunate.

wishinwaitinhopin Mon 07-Apr-14 03:16:09

We are not married yet - will get married either this year or next. No assets together. He is extremely supportive and happy about me staying at home as he thinks my son will be happier and he can't stand seeing me so stressed.

wishinwaitinhopin Mon 07-Apr-14 03:16:09

We are not married yet - will get married either this year or next. No assets together. He is extremely supportive and happy about me staying at home as he thinks my son will be happier and he can't stand seeing me so stressed.

deXavia Mon 07-Apr-14 03:52:40

I would echo pagworth - Discuss, discuss and discuss again with your DP. Work out finances for now and how they would work in different scenarios - what if he lost his job, what if you split up, does he support the idea of SAHM once the kids start school ...
And also think about different plans for yourself as the kids get older. As a teacher you could tutor or mark exams - either of which would keep you up to date and your skills current.
Don't get me wrong I absolutely applaud your desire to do it - and
I know this sounds very cold and calculating but I've lost track of threads on here or conversations with friends where the Mum stops work and then a few years down the path something is different and there was no Plan B.
Talking it through doesn't mean you cover every eventuality but it does help clarify.

Minifingers Mon 07-Apr-14 06:04:13

I was a teacher who quit to be a SAHP.

My children are school age now but I think I've burned my bridges on teaching in the secondary/tertiary sector. Been out too long.

However, I do some work for a charity, all evenings and weekends which means no childcare. I earn about 12 k a year for about 30 hours a month work.

mathanxiety Mon 07-Apr-14 06:12:44

Read and reread and reread Pagwatch's excellent advice, and also deXavia's.

Don't take anything for granted about money or about the relationship.

And always, always have some part time work in your field as well as SAHMing.

Chunderella Mon 07-Apr-14 09:50:39

I agree with the excellent advice to do a bit of tutoring or exam marking to keep your hand in. Particularly if you're thinking of quitting work before you get married, as unmarried SAHPs who are financially dependant on a partner have less protection than those who are married.

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