Advanced search

What do women do after being SAHMs?

(190 Posts)
peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 09:26:28

Genuinely not meant to be an insulting question, was just curious if returning to employment is the only lifestyle choice / only 'acceptable' lifestyle choice when your children become adults.

OP’s posts: |
WeDontTalkAboutLove Fri 14-Aug-20 09:33:50

My SIL is a SAHM to school age children and I think she is planning on doing a degree/getting a qualification in an area that interests her before returning to employment. Her household is happy with this and I can't see why it would matter what anyone else thinks in terms of it being acceptable!
Obviously, it depends on family finances. Lots of SAHMs are so because it saves the family more money than working with FT childcare so when childcare is no longer needed, they return to work to bring in more money.

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 09:38:29

I guess that makes sense! I suppose it's the most fulfilling for kids and mothers. I guess I was just wondering if anyone actually feasibly said "fuck this, I'm gonna be a SAHM and then after do whatever I want" rather than returning to employment, or is that naive, wishful thinking? I can tell it's not a common thing for loads of reasons, I was just wondering if anyone maybe managed to hack an alternate path ... grin flowers

OP’s posts: |
AlwaysLatte Fri 14-Aug-20 09:46:04

Also thinking of doing a degree when the kids are a little older. My husband is retired so we enjoy lots of gardening and walking and various house projects - will visit some museums and galleries when things get safer too. Thinking of buying and managing a holiday let somewhere for a bit of extra income.

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 09:51:31

@AlwaysLatte That sounds very wholesome honestly. If you don't mind, could I ask you a couple questions?

Mainly just wondering if you've had a career/ job previously and if there was a point where you decided you'd done enough to be satisfied (or was motherhood the catalyst for this choice?). What would you say to people when they asked about your job? (as much as I try not to be insecure about my life choices, I've got a lot of internalised bollocks about what it means to be "unemployed" in very uncertain terms.

Ta so much! flowers

OP’s posts: |
sar302 Fri 14-Aug-20 10:42:42

I became a SAHM basically because I was still receiving treatment for birth injuries by the time my mat leave was over and couldn't face going back. We didn't / don't need the money, so it's not a problem from that angle.

I'm educated to masters level and had a career before. Now my toddler goes to nursery a few mornings a week and I'm studying a further professional qualification, aiming to go back to work in the next couple of years.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about getting back into the work place. My choice to be a SAHM was somewhat forced on me through the above circumstances, so wasn't my first choice, although I'm thrilled to do it now. We're not planning on having any more children though, and I'm not sure what my husband would think if was just off work indefinitely once our child was at school! Also not sure what I would do with myself. I enjoyed working and my career, but having a child has changed my outlook on that a bit, and it's not the most important thing to me anymore.

yomellamoHelly Fri 14-Aug-20 11:01:37

I became a TA when my youngest hit KS2. Lack of any responsibility suited home situation / time off for illness / appointments etc... and got all school holidays. (School office jobs - which pay better - were too tricky to get in on.) Have now retrained as a teacher as youngest moves on to secondary.
Have had the high-flying career with lots of 'networking' and travel and it just wouldn't suit things now (plus I'd have to spend a few years refreshing my qualifications which would be quite annoying - could do the job in my sleep once I got in the groove).
Have 10-15 years left and my priority is being able to have a full life rather than the big career. We're sorted with house and stuff so I'm not sure it would be worth sacrificing my soul to that extent.

idlevice Fri 14-Aug-20 11:15:57

I still have school age children but am not planning on going back to work unless I found a miracle paid job doing something I like for the hours I like. I currently volunteer at two different places and have got two other places I want to volunteer at when I have the time! There's loads of different volunteering roles & it suits me as I can do as much or little as I like & actually feel appreciated.

I have a masters, previously worked at a professional level for 10yrs & earned more than my partner before DC. I still love that area but personally found that having two parents doing a professional role doesn't work with DC unless you have family to help or effectively a nanny to cover work travel, working late, illness, etc I chose to give up work in our household as we didn't have family help & I didn't want the alternative.

Baaaahhhhh Fri 14-Aug-20 11:18:34

It's more complicated than that. My experience was going back to work after DD1, then finding it tought, DH worked away all week. Dropped down to part time, then basically working for no income as childcare wiped it out. DD2 came along, and went back to work again part time, but then thought sod this, and became a SHAM. This was 15 years ago. DD1 now left home, DD2 going to university. What am I going to do now?? Retire :-)

Caveat, DH still works away most of the week (well he will when they re-open), and I have to do everything "domestic & financial". He earns a good salary, so I don't need to work for the money. I might, big might, try and find something voluntary in the next year or so, just for the social side.

YouJustDoYou Fri 14-Aug-20 11:20:50

I loved being a SAHM. But I also wanted my own money. My children are still young, but I won't be working forever into my 60s (my job I managed to get is very high energy, I'll want to rest in about 15 years I think!). I'll retire younger I think. Can't wait.

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:22:07

@sar302 Are you looking forward to going back to work? Honestly I see it as quite admirable to go back to work when you don't have any financial need to, but I'm a lazy bugger grin If it's not too personal to ask, do you see yourself going back to work for career goals / self esteem or improvement / stigma etc etc or a combination of many factors? Sorry for the bombardment, I'm just really interested in this topic haha! flowers

OP’s posts: |
AlwaysLatte Fri 14-Aug-20 11:23:55

@peachpuppy I was lucky in that the job I had was connected to my semi professional hobby so I really enjoyed it, however the admin side of it I didn't particularly enjoy, and certainly without that hobby connection I wouldn't want to do it... however it's tricky as I was in the job a long time and now I've been out of the workforce for more than12 years since my oldest was born, so I'd have to start again. Meantime my husband has taken early retirement and we're enjoying having time together. I think the degree would just be for my own satisfaction, although I can do some private tuition if I wanted to.

flatoutpanic Fri 14-Aug-20 11:25:40

I’m thinking of going straight from SAHM into early retirement, or perhaps starting a small business. Basically because I’ve made myself unemployable.

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:25:45

@idlevice If it's not too personal, does volunteering fulfil your career goals (if you have / want any career goals that is!)? I think it's a really honourable cause, and I'd like to get into it more in the future, just trying to plan 40 years ahead in my overexerted brain blush grin

OP’s posts: |
AuntieDolly Fri 14-Aug-20 11:28:17

I ran an ebay shop for 12 years, then got a job in a school!

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:28:58

@AlwaysLatte you say without the hobby connection you wouldn't want to do it- do you think even if you didn't want to do it, you still would have? Sorry if that makes no sense, I'm just wondering if the concept of not wanting to go back to work after having children is a common thought that people just push through grin flowers

OP’s posts: |
peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:30:23

@flatoutpanic What do you think makes you unemployable? Is it solely the time element i.e. would you like to work in other contexts? If you do start a small business, I'd always be keen to support it though! flowers

OP’s posts: |
peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:31:48

@AuntieDolly Oh amazing! I ran an eBay shop as well for a little bit (though albeit I guarantee it was much less successful hahaha!). How did you feel acclimatising back to a workplace environment after having kids? Did you manage to find work relatively quickly or was it an uphill struggle? flowers

OP’s posts: |
PaundryLouder Fri 14-Aug-20 11:31:52

My youngest has just started school. No desire at all to go back to the field of work I legt 8 years ago - it's stressful & didn't play to my skills. I've been volunteering for a bit to revitalise my CV and plan (hope!) to do freelance work in a similar field. Caveat being that we have no family nearby, and eldest has HF ASD so finding childcare around school (& the holidays) would be hard esp as we live rurally. I would like to contribute financially but don't need to, and our lives are pretty stress-free just now so no great wish to change it. I do feel some people judge me for not working, but whatever. I'd rather be judged by them than spending hours a week wishing my life away in a job I hate (yes I know not every job is the same, but I've hated almost all I've had!)

LottieBubble Fri 14-Aug-20 11:34:02

I’ve been out for 9 years then got a job as a Police Emergency call handler: if I thought I’d pass the fitness test I would have applied for Officer.

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:35:09

@PaundryLouder No judgement from me, I think it's admirable to do what's best for you and your family at the risk of totally pointless social stigma, honestly! More power to you flowers

OP’s posts: |
Ahorsecalledseptember Fri 14-Aug-20 11:35:21

Work as TAs in my experience.

peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:36:46

@LottieBubble Was this a job you were always interested in, or do you think motherhood affected your career goals / requirements in any way? Very cool job though, not going to mess with you wink grin

OP’s posts: |
peachpuppy Fri 14-Aug-20 11:38:12

@Ahorsecalledseptember Do you think this is mainly due to emotional bonding stuff or their babies flying the nest, or is the TA career path just more readily available to those who've been SAHMs? Interesting either way tbh

OP’s posts: |
flatoutpanic Fri 14-Aug-20 11:38:13


*@flatoutpanic* What do you think makes you unemployable? Is it solely the time element i.e. would you like to work in other contexts? If you do start a small business, I'd always be keen to support it though! flowers

I have a degree/masters but have been out of the workplace for so long, I have zero confidence in any skills I may have to offer.

Other than that, I would love to work. I don’t need to financially, but obviously that’s not the only reason to want a job!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in