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Can I afford to be a sahm?

(50 Posts)
Charingcrossbun Fri 12-Dec-14 21:25:44

DS is 8 months and I am dreading my return to work. It's more than just "I'd rather stay at home". The very thought of work makes
my stomach ache. Sending my boy to nursery full time feels like paying someone to go on my holiday for me. Does everyone feel like this?
Work expects me back in feb, without going into detail it's a tough job that can't be done part time - I was not covered for maternity leave so know I am goin back to a huge pile of mess. I will also be letting them down and feel v guilty for my collegues who have been doing lots of extra work in my absence. If I don't go back I have to pay back maternity pay (which is only fair but a pain).
We rent and DP earns less than me & I feel bad about placing all financial responsibility on him. My parents keep talking to me about mortgages and how I'll never get one if I stop working - should I care?
The sensible thing to do is put DS (then 11months) into full time nursery for 13weeks & work full timeto mean I don't have I pay work money (11weeks of this will have to be after I hand my notice in
So they might be pretty cross). But even this feels like forever - they change so much in 1 week let alone 13. Plus DS does not sleep more than 3hrs at a time so work will be hell.
Wwyd? More than half your family income and stay at home...or should I just man up, no one wants to go back to work after a year "off"
but such is life..?

rollonthesummer Fri 12-Dec-14 21:33:10

1. Can you afford not to work?
2. What does your DH say?
3. Can you easily return to your job after a break?

ProveMeWrong Fri 12-Dec-14 21:45:35

It's really hard but I felt exactly like you about going back full time. They are just starting to get really interesting at 8 months and yes you do miss out on a bit. Would they allow you to extend your mat leave a few more months? Once they are walking and talking it's less difficult, maybe at 18 months?
I went back FT for a year when he was 12 months and my absolute sick making dread was unfounded. A lot of women on mat leave are desperately trying to think of a crazy scheme so they can stay at home. I went back, then took a career break as really decided life was too short to worry about my career and having bags of money. Saying that, husband is on a good wage (not mega bucks but ok) and we are frugal anyway. E.g. I don't have the latest phone and no 3G package, we have an old car, I cook from scratch and we eat out maybe once a week, I don't buy much for myself etc. BUT we did already have a mortgage with a good chunk paid off. I would go back if I were you, just to try it out. You may well find it quite bearable and even nice to have an adult conversation in another four months! It can't hurt to try and pay back your mat leave, then just go after that. Four months is nothing in the scheme of your babies' life and you will see them after work, cuddles in the morning etc. less time but more concentrated! Good luck!

rollonthesummer Fri 12-Dec-14 22:05:45

The dread is definitely worse than the reality!! I spent my whole maternity leave with DS (back in the day when you only got about half an hour full pay) and didn't enjoy it at all. Going back to work was fine though.

I had to laugh at this being frugal though...
we eat out maybe once a week

I think we last ate out about 6 months ago!!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 12-Dec-14 22:09:09

You need to move jobs.

PoppySausage Fri 12-Dec-14 22:11:55

I was feeling like you and became a childminder! Best decision ever! I did it until dd was 3 and have now gone into part time work whilst she is at pre school

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Dec-14 22:20:52

I was 6 months pregnant when I returned from Mat Leave #1, so did my 3 months and had another year off. Then returned after DC2 and immediately handed my notice in. I worked the full term (teacher) so that I didn't need to repay maternity pay.

That was 2006. Two additional children later and I'm still a SAHM. And loving it grin

DH salary was/is equal to mine so we halved our family income. But it's doable. You have far less expenditure when a SAHM, you learn to budget and you amend your materialistic expectations.

rollonthesummer Fri 12-Dec-14 22:25:53

You have far less expenditure when a SAHM

I have to say, that wasn't the case for me. I'm a teacher as well and my clothes aren't expensive and I take sandwiches (which I'd eat at home) whereas when I was on maternity leave with DC, I spent lots on activities, coffees, lunches, petrol, popping to Waitrose for a mooch and buying a lamp ;) I didn't spend a penny at work!!

apotatoprintinapeartree Fri 12-Dec-14 22:28:18

hello OP

I felt like you and just couldn't do it, it is the most sickening feeling.
So fortunately dh agreed with me and we moved heaven and earth to make it work, as for us there wasn't an option.
After 23 years I have no regrets and can honestly say I've had the time of my life and loved every minute.

However, for some people it spells drudgery, loneliness, boredom and a whole heap of negative feelings.

If your heart is telling you what to do, you must go with it imo, far better than regrets or guilt.
You can always go back to work at any stage, unless you want to stay in a particular career.

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Dec-14 22:38:21

I'm a teacher as well and my clothes aren't expensive and I take sandwiches (which I'd eat at home) whereas when I was on maternity leave with DC, I spent lots on activities, coffees, lunches, petrol, popping to Waitrose for a mooch and buying a lamp ;) I didn't spend a penny at work!!

That's your budgeting skills wink

The biggie is no childcare costs. Also less petrol, more time to cook from scratch. The every-day activities I do with DC are mostly free or low cost. I do occasionally meet friends for coffee but more usually at someones house. Oh, and I don't shop in Waitrose.

I realise that if I went back to work we may have better cars and might holiday aboard rather than in a UK caravan, and such. But that comes under the umbrella of embracing lifestyle change.

rollonthesummer Fri 12-Dec-14 22:49:25

I don't food shop in Waitrose, I shop in Lidl! When on maternity leave though, I'd go and look round there to break up the day!!

Charingcrossbun Sat 13-Dec-14 08:14:02

Thanks ladies, interesting that there are other teachers here too! I think the point about adult conversation is affected by that, not a lot of adult chat at my school - I know that sounds awful but it's true no staffroom or time for banter!
Interesting image of the sahm shopping in waitrose. I too am a regular there but never ever buy anything - I just go for the free tea! Sometimes I meet up with other mums there and we enjoy our free tea on a bench outside! Less classy but also less expensive than meeting in a coffee shop!
More time to be frugal is a good point too....

rollonthesummer Sat 13-Dec-14 08:25:35

Are you a teacher, OP?

Work expects me back in feb, without going into detail it's a tough job that can't be done part time

This confused me. There are loads of pt teachers.

tobysmum77 Sat 13-Dec-14 09:04:30

op you need to find something else to do to make money. There are lots of things selling overpriced cookware pampered chef, phoenix trader, running classes (teaching skills very useful), making stuff to sell on ebay. And you're saving on childcare costs so can earn considerably less.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 13-Dec-14 09:06:14

You do get more time to be frugal true. But meal-planning, ebay and free toddler groups aren't going to replace a salary.

speaks from bitter experience

rollonthesummer Sat 13-Dec-14 09:08:53

Are you a HT, OP? That's the only teaching role I can think of that isn't usually done part time?

Charingcrossbun Sat 13-Dec-14 09:15:54

Not an ht. Inco (with responsibility for CP) it's not that I'm not allowed to do part time it's that it would be the same work for less money. It is unlikely they would get someone to job share and emotionally I don't think I could take it - when I came back in may to show off baby having left in feb my classes told me they hadn't had another teacher, just a different cover teachers every lesson for months hmm.

Didiusfalco Sat 13-Dec-14 09:17:13

I think if you are a teacher you have options inbetween not working at all and going back to this job full time. I can understand you not wanting to go back - but its alot of pressure on your DP financially, surely you could investigate other job opportunities, supply, tutoring etc.

Moreisnnogedag Sat 13-Dec-14 09:23:41

I think the bigger thing is what does your dh think? It's a lot of responsibility being the sole earner (my dh is a sahd) and I think this sort of thing definitely needs to be a joint decision.

Moreisnnogedag Sat 13-Dec-14 09:25:26

Have you actually sat down and down a detailed budget? Because there's no point umming and aahing if you can't afford it.

Bonsoir Sat 13-Dec-14 09:28:47

IMO the sensible thing would be to go back for the 13 weeks and to start now to look for a less stressful, perhaps PT, teaching job.

Pensionerpeep Sat 13-Dec-14 09:36:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DaisyFlowerChain Sat 13-Dec-14 09:37:15

Go back for the period you need to work and give notice, either negotiate part time at your current place if they don't want to lose you or look elsewhere.

When your child is at school you will be very glad you kept your hand in and it's very hard to be the sole earner so your decision impacts heavily on someone else. Lots of men would like more time at home but rarely get the option.

Children have very few memories pre school age so unlikely to remember being home or at nursery. You will have thirteen weeks off as well as weekends so it's a great balance.

dingalong Sat 13-Dec-14 09:48:30

I felt like you. I use to cry driving the route Id have to take back to work.
Pt wasn't an option either

I thought about which I'd regret more - going back to work or not going back to work.

Dh wasn't too happy as I'd never said it would be an issue but his job and mine were incompatible with children.
Ive been a sahm for 5 years and mostly enjoy it but I'm pregnant with no3 and sometimes long for a quiet office (rather than chasing after ds3)

Dh had some problems with his business partner so I said I'd rather go back to work than he be completely miserable but he was able to resolve it without that happening. Support goes both ways.

As I have no interest in housework etc I'd rather go back to some sort of flexible working when dc's are school age as I need something for me too.

Pensionerpeep Sat 13-Dec-14 10:04:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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