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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.

girlsyearapart Tue 27-Nov-12 20:19:50

Doesn't he give you maintenance money??
Really feel for you I'm a sahm and I can't wait to get back to work

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:21:03

Oh and I feel driven to post this tonight as my ex has informed this evening that despite him promising to support me in the future because of the sacrifices I have made for our dc (I have made ALL of them, him none), tonight he tells me I am lazy and he owes me nothing and I am on my own.

<gets in time machine>

wewereherefirst Tue 27-Nov-12 20:22:14

Oh that is awful! I get what you are saying but I'm not going to go and get a job, just in case my husband leaves me, your position is awful, But it is rare.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:22:21

He gives me child support but obviously this will stop when dc reach a certain age. No spousal support as I daren't claim it as he will quit his job. He says he will pay for his dc but never for me.

wewereherefirst Tue 27-Nov-12 20:22:39

Oh that is awful! I get what you are saying but I'm not going to go and get a job, just in case my husband leaves me, your position is awful, But it is rare.

peasepudding Tue 27-Nov-12 20:22:59

That is tough. I think women still have no idea what having kids can do to their financial security. sad

peasepudding Tue 27-Nov-12 20:23:46

X poste. What a bastard

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:25:19

Oh I never realised for one second what far reaching affects this would have. I wasn't professional but I had a good, well paid, enjoyable secure job. Where I live with current experience I would never be unemployed. I literally cannot see a decent future for me and dc.

ggirl Tue 27-Nov-12 20:25:34

It is a big risk relying on someone else for your financial security.
I gave up work for a good number of yrs and really regret it. My earning potential is about 50% what it could be.
I am advsing my dd to be financially independent despite having children.

emsyj Tue 27-Nov-12 20:26:01

"I get what you are saying but I'm not going to go and get a job, just in case my husband leaves me, your position is awful, But it is rare."

Is it? This is exactly what happened to my DMum, and exactly why I won't be following her and giving up my job.

Genuine question about whether it is rare, by the way - I don't feel like it is because I have seen this happen first hand, but maybe it is... Suppose there may be more women who stay in unfulfilling relationships because the alternative is quite crap. Perhaps?

Your exhusband is a twat. Not all husbands are twats. Some people are twats. My DH may yet turn out to be one too, I know thats a possibility.

But just because I'm the one career-less, that doesn't mean he doesnt make any sacrifices. He works himself into the ground in a shit job, does all the overtime he can and comes home to care for me and the DSs. So at least for the moment, he isnt a twat.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:28:39

Suppose there may be more women who stay in unfulfilling relationships because the alternative is quite crap. Perhaps?

Yes, I certainly did. He was practically cheating in front of my face before I finally threw him out.

I was not wrong about how crap it would be and how bleak my future would be but some things cannot be tolerated.

ggirl Tue 27-Nov-12 20:28:52

I have seen this happen to more women the older I get .

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:30:58

Ok your dh's are not twats. How about ill health or worse? There's more that can happen than your dh being a twat.

It's VERY dangerous for there to be only one earner in a family, I never realised quite how dangerous till just now.

PepeLePew Tue 27-Nov-12 20:31:45

Hear hear, Emma.

I don't think your position is that rare. I nearly gave up my job - thank heavens I didn't or I would be in the same position as you. My good friend did and is now worrying about her future, getting back into work, what she will do when child maintenance payments stop. I know at least four other women of various ages in the same position.

I never dreamed my ex would walk out. Knowing I could support us made a dire situation a bit more palatable.

My dds will learn to make sure they can always support themselves financially, and never to rely on someone else. Life has a habit of throwing up nasty surprises.

peasepudding Tue 27-Nov-12 20:32:31

I am 41. Youngest dc is 2 and oldest 6. Both terrible sleepers. I have clung onto my job for dear life. I would never give up what little financial security I have - the job I am doing pays half what i earned pre dc, but the thought of trying to get back into work when dc2 goes to school is too much. I will be 44.

I was brought up in a single parent family though was always sure about this.

coldcupoftea Tue 27-Nov-12 20:32:48

Oh gosh that is awful sad

I know your son has SN, but is there no way you can retrain, even just a part time distance learning course or OU? What type of work did you do before?

I really sympathise, my mum was a SAHM for 15 years then she and my dad divorced, he left her with nothing and she became a single mum on benefits. She was an amazing mum, but I know it ground her down and she felt very bitter about it. She was disabled too, which made things more difficult- employers used it as yet another excuse not to employ her.

Good luck OP.

hamtastrophe Tue 27-Nov-12 20:33:19

I have to agree with you OP. I took voluntary redundancy with the full support of my wonderful DH as we decided that this was best for our family. I was in a well paid job with part time hours that had been negotiated after maternity leave.

18 months later (and after the birth of our 3rd child) he left me as he suddenly developed a taste for shagging women half his age.

I cannot get back into my old industry as a part timer, no way, they only ever advertise full time posts.

I am now a single mum of 3, living on benefits. I would never have dreamt that this would be the outcome of my life when I took VR.

I will definitely advise my DD to never give up her financial independence.

Sorry you are in this situation.

peasepudding Tue 27-Nov-12 20:33:21

Sorry, meant so was always sure that women should be financially independent

baublesandbaileys Tue 27-Nov-12 20:33:23

"your position is awful, But it is rare."

no it's not, the OPs story sadly sounds pretty familiar to me, not me personally, but its not an uncommon theme amongst people I've known (particularly when there's a child with SNs involved sad)

There are so many potential ways for relying on another person to earn can go wrong - the earner can die, be dismissed, be arrested, become disabled, or of course bog off!

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Tue 27-Nov-12 20:33:30

I'm stuck in a similar position akaemma except at least ex OH has the decency to pay a proper amount to ensure ds and I are okay. I am still umming and erring over getting back together after he cheated 3 times but it's very early days, I only threw him out 3 weeks ago. The future scares me, I am re-training so that I can hopefully work from home as soon as ds is in nursery.

kiwidreamer Tue 27-Nov-12 20:33:52

Oh that is shit, really shit, what an arsehole. I know its probably not a realistic option but is there a way to give him primary custody, I know emotionally you probably wouldn't ever do that but some way to get him to really see the work his two children entail might help him de-arsehole?

I do know what you mean in some ways, I left a very very good paying job to be at home with our children, five years on I would never be employed at that level off the bat and would have to work my way up again from a fairly low wage and some days I do feel very vulnerable for my future should the worst case scenario happen and my marriage fall apart... no indications whatsoever of that happening now but that is no guarantee is it sad

My SIL was ranting about her partners ex wife and maintenance etc etc and I had to say hang on, they made decisions together as a family that saw her leave the workplace and give up her financial independence and then the husband decided he didn't want to be married to her anymore and she is screwed. That could very very easily be me one day and it is scary.

HoleyGhost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:34:26

It is not rare, people change and different problems can have similar results (psychotic episodes, other ill health, redundancy, death).

OP - I don't know where you live or what your experience is, but is it worth renewing contact with old colleagues? Also, temping sucks but could give you some up to date experience.

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