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Feeling guilty about giving up work- Why is it OK for me not to work? Feeling v v v guilty

(13 Posts)
OneLieIn Mon 01-Sep-08 19:08:11

I am now stopping work for a bit for the first time since DCs were born (other than shortish mat leave). The thing is I feel guilty about not working, like I should be working. Truth is my Dcs are at a fab age and phase where I really want to be with them (and them with me). With a big house move hopefully coming up, I want to be around for them a lot.

I think secretly DH is a bit pssed off at me as although he says it is all OK and I have my own savings to support me, I am the breadwinner and I don't want to be.

So, don't want to start a big fight on what is right and wrong - but why is it OK for me not to work? because I have always and still feel that I should bring in the ££ I need to live off. Am I just being stupid feling guilty?

Elibean Mon 01-Sep-08 19:32:09

Some of the guilt for not working-because-I-always-have is habit smile

It won't help if your DH is pissed off and not being open about it though - is there any way you can talk to him, and let him know its ok if he's pissed off?? I think its pretty normal to have mixed feelings about any major shift in family dynamics, but if its not talked about is when it gets tricky/guilt-provoking, IME.

pamelat Mon 01-Sep-08 19:36:26

You are only not working for *a bit*.

If you don't NEED the money, nor need to work for your sanity wink then I see no reason to stop work for *a bit*.

I have always worked full time until DD, am on a years maternity leave but will only go back part time, and even then only to preserve my sanity and for £.

threestars Mon 01-Sep-08 22:55:17

Make sure dh knows that this is not just your decision, it's a joint decision and he takes just as much responsibility for it as you do. This is to avoid resentment arguments in the future (of which I am well acquainted).
You don't need to have a list of reasons as to why it's ok not to work, it simply feels right for you and your children. If dh is against it, does he have a list of reasons as to why it's not right for the children?
This is a period in your life, and not the future written in stone.
Good luck smile

pinkteddy Mon 01-Sep-08 23:17:56

Just keep telling yourself you will never get that time back again with your children. You won't regret spending more time with them but you may regret spending too much time at work when they are all grown up and don't need you so much. As the others say, this is just for now. Enjoy it! smile

Tinkjon Tue 02-Sep-08 07:00:24

Being at home looking after children and running a house is working!! It's not like you're sitting down all day, watching Richard & Judy and drinking G&T's! Unless you are, in which case please tell me how

Blackduck Tue 02-Sep-08 08:09:40

OKay, I was the breadwinner, had 4 months off mat leave with ds and in the last five years have constantly worked (frequently in jobs I have loathed - that in itself is a whole other story...), point is three months ago I said enough is enough I was going to have this summer (well this wet thing between school terms) off and look for work (maybe) in Sept. DP well on side (sick of me moaning). Like you I felt guilty - I would say it took me a good six weeks (and a lovely holiday in St Lucia) to truely relax and stop feeling stressed about the whole thing. I wondered if I would cease to be important somehow. You know what, I have met loads of new people (school run), I had a house full at a barbie last Sat and it is the best thing I ever did. I will go back to work (I am actually freelancing on a very on/off basis). My mum always told me spend time with them when they are little because it is soon gone.
Agree with the poster who said make sure your DH IS on side - this is a joint decision.
Just wanted to say I totally get where you are coming from and it says a lot about our society that we only value ourselves by the pay packet we bring in.

MrsTittleMouse Tue 02-Sep-08 08:17:41

If you took the amount that you were earning, took off tax and NI, took off travel costs, and all the incidentals of working (wardrobe, haircuts, lunches etc.), how much more would it be compared to the cost of paying for childcare for all your DCs? Plus you will be on-hand for the big house move, which will save you and your DH money and stress. It can be invaluble to have someone at home to deal with all the stuff that moving entails.

It sounds as though you need to have a long chat with your DH, to be honest, if he is secretly pissed off with you. In that case it isn't about SAHM vs WOHM, it's about your relationship.

Morloth Tue 02-Sep-08 10:55:41

I hope it is OK! I just quit cause DS is starting school and I just couldn't be arsed organising all the childcare/nanny stuff to fit in with school hours.

Also was heartily SICK of the constant running that we seem to do when I am working. This is my first week "off" and it is SOOOOO NICE to have dinner at a reasonable hour and be able to do stuff through the day so can relax with hubby.

If you can afford and you are both on board, why not? DH loves it when I am not working, his shirts get ironed and his dinner gets cooked, of course we both enjoy the extra cash when I AM working but money isn't everything.

OneLieIn Tue 02-Sep-08 14:04:17

BlackDuck, thanks for that, that sounds lovely!

We had a chat, he is onside, I think he is just scared that we would run out of money. I have enough, but he is worried we would blow it all (hardly likely I think) and that we then could not pay the mortgage. As long as we cut our cloth accordingly, then he is OK with this. I think he is a bit panicy as all of this talk of recession plus the move (a downsize).

Money isn't everything I agree. I just want to be with the DCs, time has gone too quickly and I see them growing before my eyes. Plus I read my DD's school portolio and she is 'happy when I play with mummy'. 'sad when mummy goes away with work', that says it all really.

Don't know if I can do St Lucia though!!

Polaris Tue 02-Sep-08 14:10:46

I reckon your feelings will pass when a bit of time has gone by and you realise that it can all be done. I felt a bit like this when I cut back on working four days to two days - the guilt of not working was just a way of adjusting to a new situation. I find I can run the house better and look after the family now, and that benefits everyone.

MrsTittleMouse Tue 02-Sep-08 14:17:36

That's great news. Glad to hear that everyone else in the family is happy for you to stop work for a while.
Re: the whole financial thing - like I said, I think that most of the time we underestimate the cost of working. We spend a lot of money on getting DH to work (even though we purposely don't have a long commute), keeping him looking professional, and paying for work social stuff. If we had to do the same for me, on top of two lots of childcare, I would be basically paying to go to work!
The other thing is that if you're not chasing your tail trying to work and look after your DCs then you should have enough time to keep on track of your finances, and perhaps even have a regularly monthly audit, so that DH can be reassured that you're not heading to the poorhouse.

(not knocking those who choose to go back to work, by the way, I can understand the less tangible benefits like career progression, hanging out with grown ups and just pure personal choice)

Blackduck Tue 02-Sep-08 17:17:48

OneLieIn - good luck - I am sure it can work if you know you finances and know you are covered (we do), then go for it. It has been great, and not at all what I expected - I really don't regret it! CAT me if you want to talk some more!

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