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Don't give up work to be a SAHM unless

(937 Posts)
akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:18:01

You have a HEFTY private income or can work from home.

I gave up work, usual reasons, wages would barely cover childcare, WE wanted kids to be at home with a parent.

Fast forward. I now have two dc, the father of my dc cheated on me, physically, emotionally and financially abused me.

One of my dc has SN and cannot attend school for the moment.

I've been out of work for 10 years now, I have no profession. In 6 years time our child support will stop as will most of our benefits. I will near fifty having not worked at all for 18 years.

My future is shit. Utterly grey and bleak. All I have to look forward to is a state pension. While my ex earns a fortune, travels the world and has new relationships.

This is reality for me. So think long and hard about giving up work to stay at home because no matter how shit your job is it's preferable to my future don't you think?

And it was all decided for me by a man who decided he hated me and didn't want to be married anymore and a child being diagnosed with significant SN.

It's that simple.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:35:03

I am doing OU, it's my age that's the main thing against me. I can't retrain as I am ds's carer. I am trying to turn it to my advantage though, maybe teaching children with SN could be a possibility in the future. I certainly have the experience, but again I just can't commit to anything because of ds's needs.

LynetteScavo Tue 27-Nov-12 20:35:08

But just having a job is not enough, you need to have a job which pays enough for you to be able to cover all bills.

SIL, a single parent of one child had stop working as her DD's SN meant should wouldn't be able to attend school for long periods of time, so I can see how easily it can happen.

For me, being a SAHM for a few years was a risk worth taking.

Hassled Tue 27-Nov-12 20:37:22

Hindsight is a wonderful thing - I worked through having oldest 3 DCs, and then with DC4 decided to take some time out. It was a lot of time out - I'm back now but again earning probably 50% of where I'd have been without that gap. I don't regret it - I loved that time at home and it benefitted all the kids - but would I do it again? Probably not. So much of my financial future is wholly dependant on the continuation of my happy marriage - and that's always going to be a gamble - you can never absolutely predict a relationship. I found that out with my first marriage.

emma - you've had a hell of a shit time and I'm sorry. How long has SN DC been out of school for? Can you see it being resolved - is there anywhere suitable for him/her on the horizon?

wordfactory Tue 27-Nov-12 20:38:00

Sorry to hear this OP.

I know quite a few women who have been left in very difficult positions through their DH's illness/redundancy and as a lawyer I met hundreds if not thousands of women going throuygh divorces.

Women with children are extremely vulnerable.

nailak Tue 27-Nov-12 20:39:08

alternatively you can be a sahm, carry on doing charity work, volunteer work, studying, training etc so you are still employable?

Many people who work for charities started off as volunteers etc, took all the training on offer, also if you volunteer at school, childrens centre etc they may allow you to join them in their staff training sessions etc,

you can always study part time, distance learning, local council adult learning centres with creche etc.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:39:25

Oh and on top of that he left me in £1000's of debt, which he won't help with and tells me I am stupid to pay, I should just f*ck it all off like he does. Only, I have to live here and deal with the debt collectors, bailiffs and the like.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:41:19

Hassled he's been out a year and so, so happy, confident, not self harming anymore, no more aggression, learning happily at his own pace. It was the right decision but at a massive price.

wewereherefirst Tue 27-Nov-12 20:47:08

My mum was 45, two failed marriages and two children behind her, she's had a very successful career post having my children and siblings. I know it's not easy and she was a SAHM but I know that you can recover yourself and your financial independence. You need to evaluate your skills and your role as a mother of a child with SEN- there's increasing need of people with experience in that area.

I am doing a degree while being a SAHM, I will and am employable if my DH fucks off.

Are the debts in your name?

Imsosorryalan Tue 27-Nov-12 20:48:00

Sorry, I'm going to go against the grain here. Being a SAHM has been the best thing I ever did. Personally for the amount of time I have been able to spend with and give my children and also for them.
I'm very sorry you're in this position op. what a shit place to be however, everyone is different and generalising doesn't help soon to be SAHM or women planning to be a SAHM.
If you are unable to work or retrain when you're ready surely that is down to government policies making it harder for women to get back to work.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:48:25

Some of them, others in both.

Imsosorryalan Tue 27-Nov-12 20:48:48

Hmm not sure if I can paste an active link via my ipad sorry!hmm

Imsosorryalan Tue 27-Nov-12 20:49:29

Oh forgot to add, I am now working after a short spell of volunteer work

Hassled Tue 27-Nov-12 20:50:17

Very glad he sounds so happy - you may have had the misfortune to marry a wanker, but you're clearly doing a damn good job at this parenting malarkey.

The more you tell us, the more I think you should get yourself pronto to a good solicitor. Spousal support isn't necessarily optional, is it? The quitting job threat - well, if he did carry it out (bloody unlikely) at least he'd be on an equal footing with you and there would be some justice.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:53:30

Actually he has a job where he could quit and be employed on a consultancy basis ie self employed and then I'd never see a penny or so he says. I know it sounds like I am being defeatist but I do think he has it all sewn up.

scurryfunge Tue 27-Nov-12 20:54:35

Staying at home and delaying a career is fine if you are confident that is what is best for your family. I have to have the security of maintaining my career and do not want to rely on another person financially. I do not need to work but choose to because of the security and independence it achieves. I would be screwed if I was not working and my DH decided to leave ( married 21 years).

Graceparkhill Tue 27-Nov-12 20:56:19

I agree you need sound legal advice especially about his debts and the consequences for you.

Other thing I wanted to say is please don't give up hope.

You never know what's around the corner and it may be that good things will happen.

It sounds like you have been through an awful lot but at least now you have piece of mind. You are not old BTW. Life expectancy now for a woman is

approaching 80 so you have lots of good years ahead !
Good luck

DialsMavis Tue 27-Nov-12 20:58:56

Totally agree Aka, I split from ex after being SAHM & ended up on benefits, used the time (& financial
Assistance) to go to Uni. I have just graduated and am now job hunting. I am now in a new relationship with another DC. DP cannot understand why I am insistent that I will work for nothing (due to childcare bills, although they will be split between us, out household income will not improve when if I ever get a job) , which will in turn lessen his prospects at work as he will have to be available for drop offs and pick ups, time off when DC sick etc.

I love him dearly and he is a wonderful man, whom I trust implicitly. But I will NEVER allow myself and DC to be in that position of vulnerability again.

baublesandbaileys Tue 27-Nov-12 20:59:20

its really not as easy as doing a bit of studying and volunteering, then you'll be fine, lots of graduates who are doing lots of unpaid work are finding that even with all that it's taking a year or two to move onto being paid, and then its often at a very low starting wage!

Its IMO naiive to think that a bit of helping out somewhere and a bit of pt study = easily to find a job that pays enough to actually go to work as soon as you want/need to get back into work again

There really is no comparison with being IN recent well paid work

Hollygolightley Tue 27-Nov-12 21:01:41

I agree with your message about how dangerous it can be to give up your job and be a SAHM. in an ideal world it would be lovely if we could all give up work and be SAHM and create boden children live in Laura ashley houses with cath kids ton accessories but you are then entirely dependant on someone else financially and this can seriously limit your finances in the future if your relationship breaks down. Or you are stuck in a miserable relationship because you can't afford to leave. Trying to be a part time mother and maintain a decent career is the difficult option.
I hope you see some way out of feeling like you are now as it must be desperate for you and I hope you have some support around you from family or friends.

cutegorilla Tue 27-Nov-12 21:01:46

I don't think you need to not be a SAHM. I think you just need to have back up plans.

I'm very sorry you have ended up in this situation. It's awful to put your trust in someone and be so badly let down.

OwedToAutumn Tue 27-Nov-12 21:05:35

I know a man who threatened that he would give up his job, so his XW wouldn't get any money, and the judge said he would take it all out of capital, as he would have intentionally have made himself unemployed.

Also, if he were freelance, wouldn't his earnings be verified by HMRC? If they were to do an investigation of his affairs (gosh, how would they find out?) they would look at his lifestyle, and ask him to justify how he could afford it. They don't just look at accounts, bank statements etc., they are cleverer than that.

Thisisaeuphemism Tue 27-Nov-12 21:05:42

I'm sorry to hear that Emma. He sounds like a massive twat.

I feel in these discussions there's an assumption there that sahm have given up good work To stay at home. in my case, somehow, i never reached my umm career potential and the decision to stay home rather than do a crappy job was an easier one.

I agree with you tho on financial independence. I hope to get some back soon.

We do have ill health to deal with though - mine.
I know that what you are dealing with is shit, and I hate that anyone has to deal with it, but you saying that noone should be a sahm doesnt seem any different to me to that thread on aibu asking why have children if you're going to "palm them off".
I chose to be a sahm. However, I've been diagnosed with a myriad of problems since having DS2 that would have prevented me returning to my job anyway (I quit after they refused flexible working after DS1), so have little choice but to be "just" a sahm now.
So thanks for the warning that my DH might leave me, but for now I'll just have to stick with praying that he doesnt realise how shit it is to be a carer for your mentally and physically ill wife when his friends are off living the life of riley.

FunBagFreddie Tue 27-Nov-12 21:07:58

I tend to agree with you OP. You just can't rely on a man like that, otherwise you're in a very vulnerable position.

wewereherefirst Tue 27-Nov-12 21:09:26

I know its not easy to find a job, but at least I am trying to improve my employability while my DC is still a baby, with a view to working in the future. Currently, if i went back to work, my husband would have to top up my wages to pay for childcare- because I do not have a degree and can't access the better paid jobs.

What do I and others in my situation do now then? Cause I'm fucked either way.

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