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Considering being a SAHM

(7 Posts)
MaverickSnoopy Tue 02-May-17 14:16:15

I am currently on maternity leave with DC2 which ends at the end of June. I then have nearly two months annual leave on the end of it so due back late August. Pre mat leave I loved my job but I had a new manager who wasn't too fond of me. Pre this manager I had been achieving well, including a recent award from my employer for excellent performance. We moved house before mat leave and so workplace is a good hour commute. I have lost all confidence and I know that my manager is unable to provide a good work life balance. I have seen others with children managed out since this new manager started. I don't have the energy for a fight. Part time is not an option in my current job. I am pretty decided that I want to leave and have three months notice and need to return to work for three months to keep occ mat pay. If I leave then I will hand notice in at end of June. However current job has a great package and we are comfortable financially.

Alternatively I am looking for part and full time jobs closer to home. However not many jobs around and salary/package not as good meaning not possible to afford childcare. I am of course looking. Could look for a job in city of current job but I have concerns about the commute and so would prefer not to do this, although salary would be better. Commute in the mornings and evenings is 1hr which is fine but if children were ill and I needed to come back then it would take me 2hrs. DH works further away although we would split illness as we did before.

So I'm thinking about staying at home. I enjoy working but I'm very much in the mummy zone at the moment and am enjoying my children desperately. The thought of not doing homework, school drop off, being at home with little one etc makes me feel sad. Little one is also very fragile and does not take to other people (even close family who we see weekly), so this is a small contributing factor too. I know she would be fine in the end but I don't want to put her through it. Did not feel like this the first time around at all! We could just about afford it. We could cover all bills, costs of running a car and food, after that we would have about £100 left over each month to pay for everything else - clothes, birthdays, Christmas, holidays etc. So in practice I don't think we can afford it. How does that seem to others? Impractical?

I've started a blog which is still in development stages and I'm looking at other options too including freelancing etc. However this I expect would be very slow and I don't ever seem to have the time so I don't know how practical this is either.

I guess I just wanted to run my thoughts past people who have been faced with these choices. Talking with some older friends whose children are now grown up...they tell me...you don't look back and wish you worked more...

I'd welcome some views.

InDubiousBattle Mon 08-May-17 18:12:55

Hi, I'm a SAHM with two dc (3.5 years and 22 months) and absolutely love it. I think however your budget is just so tight that it would be really hard. What is the area you live in like? I'm really lucky in that we have lots of parks, woodland etc nearby so have some free stuff to do but even then then there are some wet, rainy days when it's nice to be able to bundle them to a soft play centre. Equally we do cheap children's centre sessions and toddler groups but even at £2-3 each doing that a few times a week would really eat into your weekly cash.

Would you have any money set aside for emergencies? Dp needed a filling replacing last month which was an unexpected cost we could cover- it would worry me if we couldn't.

I know nothing about blogging- will it give you an income eventually? I don't think you're miles away but at £100 a month a growth spurt involving two new pairs of shoes would wipe out your budget.

AndNowItIsSeven Mon 08-May-17 18:17:14

I don't see how it could be affordable , are you able to cut back on some bills. Or work a couple of evening shifts in a call centre/supermarket?

AndNowItIsSeven Mon 08-May-17 18:17:55

I think you need £100 a week as a minimum.

MaverickSnoopy Tue 09-May-17 16:30:38

I've had another look through our budget and I think that actually it would be more like 200/250 for those things. We also have about £4-5k in savings but obviously we wouldn't want to use that for daily living or it would be gone. So yes we can probably cover unexpected costs.

I do want to generate an income from home but I don't know how long this will likely take and so I'm looking for a back up. I have to hand my notice in in 6 weeks if that's what I plan to do which is why I'm in the process of getting the ball rolling. Being a SAHM would be a back up and as an interim, but I need to know it's achievable. The other worry is if it doesn't work then I've given up a job/income that's like gold dust and as I've relocated, the new area has lower salaries and less possibilities so it would be harder to cover childcare costs.

We have good home insurance, life insurance, wills and DH has income protection (ironically it comes to about 100/month). We've cut back as much as we can - freeview box, mobile phones are 10/month etc.

We have lots of parks in the local area which are good for the little one. Anything further afield with the older one we can do on weekends. Plenty of free activities too so lucky in that respect. However I don't go out and about that much and people do come to us too so I don't imagine I'd be spending lots on activities. I haven't done since I've been on mat leave.

I'm incredibly split. I had a chat to a friend today who was very enthusiastic about it. She used to work in finance and we discussed the budget and she felt it was achievable with a frugal lifestyle but I think that's the crux of it, I'm worried that it would be too frugal and if I could have it. I've always been able to easily buy nice things, although we save for them but we don't have debt. I won't be able to buy nice things, or at least for now. I'm not materialistic but I value good quality products in the hope for longevity. But now I'm looking at my mental health which was suffering working for this manager.

I'm waffling now. Apologies!

InDubiousBattle Wed 10-May-17 13:48:51

I suppose as an experiment you could look at your house/garden/wardrobe/cosmetics and ask yourself how you'd feel about not replacing/upgrading much for the next few years!

£250 a month for extras is tight but more feasible I think. At the moment when all direct debit and bills are paid we have around £1250 a month left for fun and food (I don't tend to include food as it seems to vary a lot week to week). It's fairly comfortable but we are trying to save out of that too.

I'm always a bit conflicted about this myself. I loved my job but I wasn't a high earner and tbh I could return that it if I wanted without serious damage having been done. The upshot is, after having two dc close together we aren't any worse off as a family by me not working because of the cost of childcare. I often wonder if our decision would have been the same had I earnt a much higher salary and had to make substantial sacrifices. I almost always come to the conclusion that I would SAH anyway, even if I earnt twice as much and childcare cost half as much. I love being at home with the dc whilst they're little. Don't get me wrong we have good days and bad days but the good so far outweigh the bad!

Justanotherusername99 Thu 25-May-17 16:36:51

I'm watching this with interest. I'm in a very similar position, although only have 1 DC. I was always a career girl and really don't want to be completely unable to re-enter the market in 3 years if I SAH, but my bosses are awful and my job would mean 12+ hour days plus a 3 hour daily commute to earn around £10/day after childcare and travel. More than anything, I just don't want to only see my DC on the weekend sad.

I'm so torn about what to do. It's nice to know that there are others out there also feeling conflicted!

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