help me to decide once and for all(47 Posts)
Im coming to the end of my maternity leave. I work as a teacher (pt 3 days) and I would be going back to work in September. However my entire maternity leave I have been struggling daily with the decision whether to go back or to quit work and become a Sahm.
I posted a thread about this in relationships in the past which I will link to in this thread. The majority opinion you can guess was to go back to work. I have also received that advice from other people I know in rl. For a long time I was 70:30 decided on going back to work.
The problem is although my head fully understands and agrees with that decision I feel like Im literally cutting my heart out. In my heart I now know I desperately wish I could stay with my boys. Especially when I look at my baby I feel sick at the prospect of not being there with him. This is exasperated by the fact that my childcare arrangements are complicated. Dc1 is 3 starting nursery in Sept and dc2 will be 10 months. I can not afford wraparound care in nursery which is what would have made life easiest for me and dc2. So insted he will be with childminder one day and with dm 2 days. The problem is dm lives in another city and he will be overnight with her for 2 days. This helps me as i can concentrate on my work and the real thing i have been dreading is getting the two of them ready and out for a 8.30 start for me.
My previous thread had a bit more about my pros and cons for both decisions which I will briefly outline here.
Basically I like my workplace and colleagues. Its part time and keeps me financially independent of dh who is controlling with money. However I hate the job and feel like I wont be able to give my best to my students due to my family commitments which will mean I have less time for school work at home. The potential of this makes me feel very guilty.
Also my dh does not help at all in any substantial way with the housework or with the kids. Its all very much when it suits him rather than when I need him. We spoke about it and although he said he would help cover childcare costs he point blank refused to make any other commitment to help with drop offs, housework etc. I am a person who is easily stressed out and I am ashamed to say that I do take it out on my kids. Before my maternity leave started i was a bear with my dc1 and even now get easily rattled. As everything is left to me I dont get a break so tension builds up then explodes which I know is completely wrong. I am tentatively planning to work on that.
With regards to sahm obvious pros of being with my dcs, not having to pay someone else to do a job I actually enjoy (when Im not stressed out) ). I have saved up a substantial amount of my maternity leave, part of which I will have to pay back but what does remain I could use to train further or study further. I could also use it for counselling something I desperately need. Dh has offered to still pay for childcare if I am at home so I could put baby with childminder at least once a week and get some time for myself. My dcs are also close in age and dc1 is going to start school next year so I feel this is the last year he and I have to enjoy being at home together. Dc1 struggles with change and I know the hectic pace of getting him ready out of the house on my timescale and leaving him in nursery/childminder till 6 (which is what I will have to do to ensure I can get some of my school work done) will not suit him. I only plan to stay out of work for the year and then go back to work gradually via supply first then full time.
Basically the choice is between having a really crappy year for me and dc or having a relaxing year. Another option is to go back to work for a term so I can keep my full maternity savings and then quit but again that is not the fairest option to my colleagues and students.
Please help me decide. Im literally tormented with this decision and feel like its the hardest one I have ever had to make in my life.
Hard as it is I would very strongly advise you not to quit. You don't seem ready to leave your controlling arsehole of a husband, but becoming dependent on him, even for a year, would be a monumentally bad idea.
Sorry for very long post. Here is my previous thread on the same issue.
Please help me. I need to decide soon.
I'm sorry OP, but your husband sounds like am arse. Do you like him? Because it doesn't sound like you do. I'd be very wary of becoming financially dependent on him.
For that reason alone, I think that you should return to work.
And I've just read your previous
Definitely do not become dependent on this man.
When I started reading I was ready to give an opinion on your job but as I read on I couldnt help feeling that it's your partner who you should making decisions about!!!
I am a mum of five and have always worked part time in similar stressful roles as yours but apart from when I lived alone between marriages I have done so with the help of a co parent and it's still tough.
So on one hand Id say if u can and it's causing you so much stress don't go back but on the other Id be concerned that if and when you decide to leave this frankly unpleasant man, you would be better placed to do that with a job.
Cailindana I have contemplated leaving him but if I did I would need to move back to my parents at least in the short term (who are more controlling and abusive) for childcare and living costs as no way my dh would leave our home for me. (Been there done that). The cost of travelling to work and stress would be tenfold. I wouldnt get to see my dcs as much as i would like. So I would basically have to quit my current job and find a new one local to my parents which is doable. However my worry is that my dc would see their father even less and spend less time with then then they currently do as I cant guarantee/work out whether he would make that effort.
My dh can be a dick but he also has good points. Before dcs our relationship was ideal in many ways and he does appreciate me though he doesnt really help unless Im on my knees or he feels like it.
With the financial control thing he is improving. I now have a general idea of what is coming in though what goes out can be vague. I dont have any access to his account which his salary is paid in to but he does transfer £400 to my account monthly to cover household and children costs and I have access to a savings account in his name if I really need it. Some people would say (my dsis included) that he is not financially abusive. Im not sure. Its the attitude that concerns me. As if Im his enemy and he must protect his finances from me that concerns me. The savings account was supposed to be joint but in the end he put only his name on it. I think because he wanted to retain control. So I keep my savings separate from him.
I feel like he is a bit useless with young dc but Im hoping things will improve as dc get older. He does promise to be more involved when they get older. Whether that will happen remains to be foreseen. I feel for the sake of my kids I should give him that chance.
I think you're being naive to say that you will have a relaxing year. A marriage should be a partnership and you say he is willing to pay for childcare - well ffs they are his children - that is a given!
he is controlling with money
You will have more stress with this if you are SAHM than anything else!
And if you do decide to reassess the relationship then you will be in a much worse position.
definitely go back to work
This decision is about what suits my kids and me. Im not taking him in to account. Also to clarify my dm is an angel its my dad and siblings who live at home who would be hell to live with. It would take a while for me to be able to get out of their house if I left dh. So could be a case of out of the frying pan in to the fire!
My advice hasn't changed. You're not ready to leave him so do not leave your job.
You came from one abusive situation into another. You are stressed and anxious, because that's how people get when subjected to abuse. You also think the only way to leave is to move back with your parents. That's not the case. You will figure this out. You are taking the first steps. But if you quit work you will be closing your jail cell, locking it and throwing away the key. It could take you 20 years, your children's entire childhood to get the key back. And you will have to face the grief and regret of wasting your life being skivvy to an abuser. Don't do it to yourself.
He doesnt help but he doesn't hinder either if that makes sense. I just get on with it. I do what I can but I dont kill myself over housework. So its not stressful for me in that sense. He isnt abusive verbally or physically in the way that my family actually are. Its the financial thing that is a problem but with my savings I feel like I could survive for the year.
The overall problem is my dh and his attitude you are right but that would require more strength, energy and resilience from me to fix then I currently have.
What is the point of this man, what do you get out of this relationship now?.
I doubt very much you will have a relaxing year either way frankly given his own behaviours towards you. I also think your sister has no idea whatsoever what financial abuse is either (and he is still abusive towards you in other ways as well as financial). There is still not full transparency.
This is a prime example of financial abuse:-
"I dont have any access to his account which his salary is paid in to but he does transfer £400 to my account monthly to cover household and children costs and I have access to a savings account in his name if I really need it"
Bet you that the £400 is not enough. There is no full access to funds and likely some conditions to meet to access his named savings account. You have to ask him for money don't you.
You need to keep a degree of financial independence; becoming a SAHM in such circumstances thus giving him more power and control over you is an extremely bad idea. As Cailin rightly states you are not ready to leave him so do not give up your job.
Would you have to move back to your parents at all; I would not. I think you would need to move elsewhere anyway. Its also because of them that you've married someone like your H in the first place; look at what you learnt from them about relationships. Just because he is not physically abusive does not mean to say that this person is any better; you've basically swapped abusive parents for an abusive partner.
Re your comment:-
"The overall problem is my dh and his attitude you are right but that would require more strength, energy and resilience from me to fix then I currently have".
Ahh, that word fix; that will also keep you trapped. You still on some level think you can fix him?. You cannot fix him; you did not make him that way. He acts like this also because he can and enjoys seeing your discomforture. His actions are not loving ones.
Also your children albeit young will and are already learning about relationships from you both; think very carefully about what you are teaching them.
I would also suggest you read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft because your H is in those pages. Womens Aid would also be worth contacting too. This is no life for you or your children to lead.
OP, I mean this kindly, but why are you posting? The advice you are being given now is the same as last time.
You won't find anyone who will think that becoming financially dependent on an abusive man is a good idea
Of course he hinders. He's given yo two children to look after almost entirely on your own. I can't think of a bigger hindrance than that. Plus he isn't honest about money so you're always unsure - again hindering you.
You don't have the energy to leave him at the moment. But don't shoot yourself in the foot by cutting off your only independence.
Sorry but why would leaving him mean living bsck with your family?
Plenty of people leave marriages without doing that?
Rent somewhere or better still boot him out, but you probably can't do that cos I bet the house is in his name isn't it?
Your concerns and fears re going back to work and the impact upon the children, are ones that parents share with you all around the world. But for your dc they are minor compared to the concerns of raising children with your husbands examples of family life.
I was decided on going back to work painful as the decision was. However I spoke to my dm yesterday who knows me extremely well and she basically said why are you doing this to yourself. I am battered and bruised from my past. I fear my mental health cant cope. I lose it almost daily with my kids now. You ask what Im teaching them about relationships by staying with my dh but honestly Im not teaching them any better now except to lose your cool under pressure. I desperately need counselling. I feel like Im at breaking point emotionally and mentally. Going back to work will just push this prospect further back as I wont have time. Im always trying to do the right thing rather than the thing I really want to do. Going back to work is the right thing for all the reasons I mentioned and those you have put above. However it really isnt what i want to do. I dont feel like staying for a year at home will jeopardise my future. But it will give me the space to heal myself and concentrate on my kids rather then fighting on so many fronts. The money is not always enough but I can manage it.
I probably don't have enough experience to give you good advice on this issue, but I would agree with the other posters and one thing I would say is don't feel guilty about not being able to give your 'all' to the students. Do what you can, and remember you are only human.
You are a good person and you have to preserve as much of yourself as possible to give to your children when you are not working (if you choose to work). Who is to say that whoever would teach those kids instead of you, if you chose to be a SAHM, would be fantastic and dedicated? A lot of people simply aren't.
I think the fact that you feel guilty about it shows your heart is in the right place, and you are probably underestimating your ability to do a decent job with all your experience and still preserve enough energy for your children.
Independence is really important when you are in a tough situation. Whether that means always having your resume 'up to date' so you can look for another job when you're not happy with your job, or doing all you can to keep your sense of self, independence and contact with your working world if you feel like you can't rely 100 percent on your husband not to control you.
sorry I got the name of the OP wrong in my post... but my post is meant for the OP thanks
I would also say, you should only think about yours and your children's happiness in the long term (not just for this coming year). Don't worry so much about disappointing other people or what is 'fair' to the rest of the world. Your children are the most important, and a happy mother who has choices and the independence to improve her situation, makes a good mother in the long run.
I too say keep working, but make it easier for yourself. Can you reduce your hours at all? Or, go back to work but in a different job.
I think that teaching is particularly exhausting if you have other issues going on in your life.
Why are you talking to your mother at all?. She is over invested and not acting in your best interests either.
BACP are good and do not charge the earth.
Staying at home with him will just hand him more opportunity to control you further. You will not therefore heal yourself in that house.
Re your comment:-
"The money is not always enough but I can manage it"
That's because he holds all the financial power which he will never fully relinquish to you. Bet you as well he spends as and when he likes, he places no restrictions on himself.
I was going to say become a sahm until I got to the part about your DH. Do not give up your job and your financial escape route from this man.
It sounds like you have an impossible choice. If your father and siblings are abusive, why would you allow your ds2 to spend a night there every week? But becoming financially dependent on your H is going to be catastrophic as well.
You need to find the third option. If you've decided to give up work, you really must use this time productively to make a better life for yourself. Counselling yes but you need to make material changes too.
Good luck, OP. You really are going to need it.
Wordy and chocolate have got to the heart of some of my concerns. I worry I will be constantly playing catchup with my kids and my work. Having to triage whose needs are more important at the time. Its really not as simple as just going back. I have to have faith I can do a half decent job of it as this is other peoples childrens future and I wouldnt want someone to be so cavalier with my children's education. And to do a good job I fear I will have to overlook my own kids. I can get my career back but I cant get my children's baby years back.
I can get my career back
But what you need is a job that pays you enough money to have financial independence. Career is a secondary concern.
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