Advice on being SAHP(7 Posts)
I need to go back to work for a few months after mat leave ends to keep my enhanced maternity pay, but I'm fairly certain I want to be a SAHP for a few years. I really love spending time with DS and the thought of someone else caring for him isn't what I want. DH and I would also like to have more children.
I currently earn a reasonable wage £28k, but could earn more. I don't particularly like my job. I'm almost full time condensed into 3 days. DH is a high earner, works very long hours. I've viewed a few nurseries near me, but after we've paid for nursery, we'd end up with around £600 a month from me working. I hated the feel of the nursery next to my workplace, but any other would be a logistical nightmare to get to given the long days I work. I don't like the idea of a childminder as it's someone alone with my child, as opposed to nursery staff who constantly have other staff there as well.
DH says he is happy either way, but thinks it would be better for DS for me to be a SAHP. I know he'd be a SAHP if he could, but it's not feasible.
Am I mad to give up a graduate job I have (I will never get the job I have now again, and will have to start from the bottom if I leave for a few years)? If I do become a SAHP what do I do to protect myself if things go wrong with myself and DH? I cant see anything happening with my lovely DH, but some of the threads I read on here are so sad! It's a very scary thought giving up my job that I'd worked so hard to qualify for.
Please could those of you that have made this choice tell me if you regret it or not? I love being a mother, and honestly believe that my being at home is the best thing for DS, but also nervous about leaving the paid workforce!
I have been a SAHP for ages now and I remember looking back that I had similar concerns over childcare. I kick myself now for worrying about childminders. Once DC1 reached school age I got to know so many childminders at the school gate, all bar one that I have met over they years have been seriously lovely people, some of their minders had been with them since they were babies and they had a lovely (appropriate, not I'm a replacement mother) bond. If/when I go back to work I will be spoiled for choice (providing they have space).
Before you decide perhaps go to a few local toddler groups, most groups quite often have quite a few childminders going along, see if you can get to know a few childminders before making up your mind about ruling it out as an option.
I only gave up my job due to redundancy but I think if I had my time again then a few days a week would be perfect. It's 'only' £600 now but once the DC's are all at school that £600 will be ever more useful and your childcare fees may be less. That time absolutely whips past too!
...sorry, not a massively pro SAHP post but some food for thought perhaps.
Do you envisage yourself going back to work at any point? Would you be able to get back in to what you do now or would taking time out make that really hard?
I know a few school mums who were SAHP until youngest in reception who have really struggled to get back to where they were before or even find a job at all.
Do you have a pension? Could you keep making contributions with DH salary?
For me personally part time was the way forward and now they are at school I do 4 days a week. I would have gone loopy being a SAHP.
I have been a SAHM for +10 years. I was in a similar position to you in that we were faced with the prospect of a high nursery bill (most of my salary) and the certainty that we would have +1 child.
We both preferred that I would SAH, and over the years it has been the right decision for us all. I will not deny that I occasionally have the odd twinge of did I do the right thing? Have I set a good example for my children? But I currently have no cause to regret our decision.
And bear in my that DH and I consider being at home to have been a joint decision - he bears the burden of being the sole earner as well as the responsibility of having chosen it for our family.
Our children have benefitted massively from having a parent at home (no, I'm not slating other families who do not have a SAHP, before anyone jumps down my throat). It was and is the right choice for us so I cannot regret having made it, even at the expense of any career or well paid job I might have had.
But I accept it's not the right choice for every person. And nothing anyone on the internet can say will guarantee security in your relationship (I'm scared by some of the threads about relationship breakdowns too).
Do what's best for you, re-evaluate in a few years and choose again.
Thanks for the posts. It's so hard to know what's best!
I think I'm going to treat the first few months back at work as a trial period and see how it goes. I'll probably put DS in the nursery as we have a place there, and re-evaluate.
Parenting seems to be designed to make you feel guilty at every turn!
I had a good professional post in a career that I enjoyed and had worked hard for my qualifications. I left last November to be a SAHM to DS who is now almost 17 months. I knew about 4 months into mat leave that I couldn't leave him at 1. For us my salary would have pretty much gone on nursery fees, I'd hardly have seen him, and I don't think he'd have been happy. DH and I made the joint decision for me to stay at home but what I did do is retrain to go freelance. I'm a proofreader working mostly in the evenings. This gives me my own money and some independence. I'm loving being at home with DS and spending so much time together but it is nice to do something professionally as well. Although being a SAHM is both the best and hardest job I've done yet!!
I'd have a discussion with your employer to see if they could offer you something to keep you working in some capacity. I went p/t and found a great child minder. DH was also able to juggle his hours slightly to reduce the clash with mine. I spent more time than anyone else with my dc. As they got older I ramped my hours back up. My employer has known I was totally committed too.
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