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Is it selfish to use all my salary on childcare and pick that over staying at home?

(144 Posts)
Monae Mon 10-Apr-17 18:50:52

I definitely am obsessed with my son. He's my whole world. I love spending every minute with him and don't find him particularly difficult but I also have a side to me that doesn't want to just be "Mum" or "Ben's Mum" (not my son's name) IYSWIM?

I have a job (only a lab technician) but I went to uni and it took me years to get here, due to not being the brightest cookie. My DH is a great man but was getting very irritated when he was explaining that my salary = childcare costs so it makes no sense and that if he was in my situation he wouldn't even dream of considering not doing it (he can't go part time and his salary is triple mine at least). The conversation ended with him calling me "selfish" is it selfish?

2014newme Mon 10-Apr-17 18:51:46

I have to admit it seems a bit pointless!

Trifleorbust Mon 10-Apr-17 18:53:06

He shouldn't be calling you 'selfish' for wanting to keep up your career.

Gallavich Mon 10-Apr-17 18:53:27

It's not pointless or selfish hmm
You're keeping your career alive. You won't stay at home forever so don't let the grass grow under you. Unemployability in middle age is an absolute tragedy for so many women as they take years out of the workplace and can't get back in.

Monae Mon 10-Apr-17 18:54:35

I suppose it's pointless from a finance point of view, but I don't do my job for the money. He then claims that if it isn't for the money it means I'm picking the entertainment of my job over our son and that he thinks that's really horrible? hmm

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 10-Apr-17 18:54:40

Do bear in mind that if you don't go back to work you'll be financially dependent on this man. Not sure that sounds the best life plan to me.

sucue Mon 10-Apr-17 18:55:42

Surely childcare costs comes out of joint money, not your salary.

Plus you will be keeping your skills up to date.

Catsarefluffy Mon 10-Apr-17 18:56:02

No your not and i say that as a sahm.

2014newme Mon 10-Apr-17 18:56:59

Well you are picking the entertainment of your job over your son!

FluffyMcCloud Mon 10-Apr-17 18:57:22

Well, maybe look at it like you split the childcare costs between you so you et to keep half your salary and DH pays for half the childcare too ;)

Might you be entitled to tax credits support towards childcare?

There's more to working than money. I just increased my hours from part time to full time and the childcare costs plus loss on tax credits means our household income remains the same despite all the extra hours I work. I love my job and I agree it's great to be somewhere where I am not "mum" and I am loving it.

Funny how men never seem to have to justify returning to work after having a child, isn't it... angry

ChocChocPorridge Mon 10-Apr-17 18:57:22

No, it's not selfish, it's sensible - if something were to happen to your husband then where would you be if you let your career lapse? Why shouldn't you work and delegate the childcare - after all, it's exactly what he does - you're no more selfish than him for wanting to do the exact same thing he's doing.

I have two kids, and I went freelance (possible in my line of work) - over the 7 years i've had my kids, my rates have tripled, until now I earn as much as DP, who hasn't even had the disadvantage of covering school pickups, sickness, sportsdays etc. I'm not denying it was tough, and the day that DP said he wasn't even prepared to use flexi-time to be able to do drop-offs to help me find enough time to take a normal job nearly broke us - luckily the freelancing picked up so I could forgive him (and we had a chat where I told him how disappointed in him I was, and he took a new job where he could do drop offs)

It means that now my kids are at school and childcare bills are much smaller, I still have a good career and we have plenty of money to do whatever we need to do. If things work out, we might even be able to semi-retire by the time we're 45 (which would be awesome - and the kids would love).

Plus of course, they're his kids too - your salary would cover 1/2 the childcare, which is perfectly fair then.

Glittter Mon 10-Apr-17 18:57:53

It's much harder to get back into work at the same level if you take 5+years out. And why is your dh's career more important than yours, what if you split up?

Childcare isn't only your expense and I think it's beneficial for children to go to nursery.

sucue Mon 10-Apr-17 18:58:06

He's the selfish, shortsighted one. He'll be moaning that he's the sole earner next.

SantanicoPandemonium Mon 10-Apr-17 18:58:20

He doesn't sound like someone I'd like to financially dependent on. You're right to keep your career going - it'll give you options and the chance of furthering it when your son's in school.

MangoSplit Mon 10-Apr-17 18:59:03

You are not being selfish, and your DH needs to give some honest thought about whether he would genuinely want to be a SAHD if he earned less.

GreenHariboBear Mon 10-Apr-17 18:59:17

OP, I'm about to back to work after Mat Leave and I'm not looking forward to it - also, my salary will cover childcare + transport costs.

However, it's MY salary and MY career. I don't want to be completely dependent (financially) from my DH. I also want to go back to a grown up working environment.

Perhaps you could discuss flexible work arrangements with your manager, or look for a similar position but with friendlier hours/part time/job share?

soapboxqueen Mon 10-Apr-17 18:59:23

It's not selfish at all. You have to think about your future, pension, career etc If he's that bothered, he can go part time.

I'm a sahm, left my career because our ds has sen and the whole thing wasn't working. I worry all the time about being out of the jobs market, pension etc Don't get me wrong, I love being at home but it's not without its down side

CrazyDuchess Mon 10-Apr-17 19:00:10

It's incredibly smart to keep yourself employable!

I don't see it as choosing entertainment over your child hmm I need to work for the mental stimulation and adult conversation.

Plus you made the child together, you split the child care costs together!

pocketsaviour Mon 10-Apr-17 19:00:30

Hell no, it's the opposite of selfish. You're keeping your skills current and your career on track, plus avoiding the mind-numbing banality of being a SAHP (no offence SAHPs, I couldn't do it, my hat is off to anyone who does!)

Your H probably thinks you have a lovely fulfilling cushy life filled with calm and enriching activities and lovely walks in the park. He has no idea of the crushing monotony of just doing all the parenting (good and bad bits) and the point at which you are desperate to use your skills and brain for something other than deciding which yoghurt to buy.

Sallycinnamum Mon 10-Apr-17 19:00:55

This sort of attitude fucking enrages me.

I was a SAHM for 6 months (enforced as I had been made refundant) and I had a hell of a job getting back into work with even that short a break.

You are a person, not just a mother and it's bloody madness in this day and age to rely on one salary.

Yea, it's expensive when DC are young with regards to childcare but it's only for a short time.

It is definitely not pointless to keep working FFS

putdownyourphone Mon 10-Apr-17 19:01:12

Working isn't just about money - it's about keeping your brain active and alive, about maintaining adult relationships and having conversations that don't just involve paw patrol and play dates. Do what you want to do, is your partner going to be a SAHD? Has anyone called him selfish? I'm guessing not.

Monae Mon 10-Apr-17 19:03:42

2014 that's a bit harsh, it isn't like that.

Thanks everyone! Im so pleased with these replies.

Grumpbum Mon 10-Apr-17 19:03:52

I went back to work for 2 days a week made not a lot of financial sense to do so, however I worked bloody hard to get my career where it was prior to having children and it would be only 5 years before they would be at school full time and then what would I do? Picking up career would have been impossible as the area moves on too quickly. I think you are being sensible

Northernpowerhouse Mon 10-Apr-17 19:04:06

Money is not the only reason for going out to work - a major one admittedly but there is also the feeling of fulfillment and being part of the adult world. Also staying on the career ladder. Being a full time SAHM isn't for everyone. How about compromise and work part time?

My DC are adults now but I went back to work after each was born. At first nearly full time then part time after the third. There was a period of about a year when childcare used up my salary. The thing is that if I hadn't done that I wouldn't be on the salary I am now which allows me to help them with uni fees/living expenses. They are all lovely grown ups with a strong work ethic.

Do what feels right for you.

2014newme Mon 10-Apr-17 19:05:31

Look, I work always have. It us important to keep skills up but it isn't worth the hassle factor to be no better off.

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