SAHP sort of by chance(7 Posts)
So I've become a SAHP due to being made redundant while on mat leave (technically I am still employed till my scheduled return to work date, but then I will be made redundant unless another suitable role crops up which is looking unlikely).
Anyway, we had always planned to have two DCs eventually. We have one at the moment. I always wanted a big gap as I thought I'd be going back to work and we are (relatively) young (31) so that's not so much of a pressure. Money isn't really an issue atm and DH is happy for me to SAH. So now I'm thinking we might as well go ahead and start TTC DC2. It wasn't the plan, but the way things have panned out it kind of makes sense maybe? Did anything like this happen to anyone else? Just wondering if anyone changed their family planning due to something like this and would you do it again?
My situation was quite different although has some similarities - I never planned to be a SAHM, but was offered and took voluntary redundancy when on second maternity leave - I had been intending to look for a new job when I returned to work and cost of childcare outweighed my take-home salary at the time, so it seemed to make sense.
So, I took redundancy and thought well I might as well enjoy some time with the DCs and spend a little time planning next career move and then get next job… But then we moved across the country to somewhere where DP now works away Mon-Fri and I didn't know anyone, and suddenly felt much more reluctant to look for work in this situation.
We had planned to have third DC with a similarly short gap as between DC1 and DC2 (c2years), but have ended up with a much longer gap because of the stress of moving and various things. Result is that I am now pg with DC3, and by the time this one is born and I am ready to look for a job again I will have been out of full-time work for at least 7 years - much MUCH longer than I ever would have imagined.
(And I still have very little clue what to do when I do go back)
Anyway, your situation - I think before you decide whether or not to ttc no2 you should really think about how you feel about SAHMing and about your work and career.
Ime being a SAHM to a baby and toddler was v different to being on mat leave with just one - the latter was tough, but full of other people also off work and with time to talk and have coffee etc. You can't do so much baby stuff when there's an older child around, it can be harder to make new friends, and if you're friends from DC1's mat leave are back at work it can be much lonelier.
Also, consider that it's going to be much easier in most professions to get a FT job then apply for PT working after Mat leave than to get PT working from the get-go. May not apply to you, but if it does and you do want to work PT, it might be more sensible to try to get a new FT position, wait til you qualify for ML, have DC2 then apply for PT working on return.
Do your work offer any kind of career counselling/coaching as part of the redundancy package? If so I would definitely take it up and explore your assumptions and expectations about work, and think through what your options are carefully, and if not perhaps consider trying to source something similar privately and get your thoughts straight before you fall into making some pretty major life decisions that you could end up feeling unhappy with.
Thanks for responding - that's all really useful advice.
Re being a SAHM, although it 100% was not the plan, I am quite happy that I am able to do it. When I was much younger I always imagined I'd stay at home with my DCs till they started school, but I liked my job, so when I was pregnant I never dreamed I would do anything other than return to it. Now that role doesn't exist, I am struggling to picture a job which I would prefer to staying at home with DC1.
The FT / PT thing is something I've thought about too and it is a buggar that I probably won't be able to find a role at the same level which is PT. I had planned to go back 3 - 4 days a week. If I do go back to work in the near future it would be to something a lot less challenging (I imagine) that would allow me to work PT from the get go. My job was quite specialist, though not particularly senior, and was in an industry that is experiencing huge problems atm.
We do have a career counselling service which I will make use of come my return to work date.
The exact same thing happened to me. In the end I was pg again just before dd turned 1. Unfortunately 2 MCs in quick succession but ds was born a month after dds 2nd birthday.
I worked pt for a few months before ds was born and now started again 3 days a week when he was 18 months. The part time work thing was an issue and I've had to go self employed to make it work (there a no part time jobs in my industry unless I make my own!)
Sorry to hear about your losses Oddsocks.
Definitely lots to think about.
From a child care point, its cheaper to `get it over with`, otherwise you will be looking at 5 years each rather than say ... 2 years for a three year old and 3 for a two year old. At approx £160 a week each thats some saving. £41K if you work it out!
Agree it is cheaper to get it over with from a childcare point of view. I have 2 dd 19 months apart and I actually found being a SAHM to 2 much easier than just 1 as it is less lonely and busier and before you know it the older one is starting nursery etc. and you don't need to find reasons to be out and about and structure your day.
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