Work PT or housewife?(17 Posts)
So, I'll try not to drip feed, bear with me.
I have DS1 who is 4, starting school next week, and DS2 who is 1 and at nursery 4 days a week. I work 4 days a week around the school run.
I do enjoy my job, it's easy and there are nice people, but - there is no chance of progression and the pay is pitiful. Really I think of it as a way to pass the day, get away from the pesky toddler for a bit. DH earns so much more than me that my job really doesn't make a difference.
Since DS2 has come along and I've returned to work, I am not finding that I can get all the housework done in the witching hours between end of school and bath time, DS2 is a limpet at that time of day, he is scared of the Hoover, dinner needs cooking, you know what it's like. The mess is stressing me out and of course I pass on the stress to DH and the boys, as much as I try not to.
We have moved house. The place needs a lot of work, we are planning an extension and we will have to move into rented for 6-9 months while that goes on. That means sleepless / disrupted nights, unsettled kids, packing, unpacking, eurgh. Plus all of the decisions that go with managing building works. So lots to do on top of the usual.
So, to get to the point, it seems like an idea to give up work for a few years and get on top of things, see if I enjoy being a housewife. It wouldn't impact financially, as I said my pay is pitiful. I like cooking, I like a clean house. I could plan the house decoration and grow veg in the garden. (I know, I know).
But if I am lonely / bored and hate it I will have lost a job I enjoy which fits around the school run, which I hear is like gold dust! But perhaps it would mean that I could then be brave enough to search out a career which excites me, instead of settling for something which fits the school run and is easy.
As you can see I have a lovely life and I am not complaining! I'm just wondering whether to make this leap in the hopes of improving our lives, take pressure of DH (who has very pressured job) and look after kids better. But it's a risk, I don't like risk. Would I resent my DH, picking up his pants off the floor and making him dinner while he was in one of his work lulls with weeks off, drinking and watching tv? Or working 20 hour days, so again everything is on me to do? Would he feel resentful if I hadn't done some bit of housework, like I had been lazy? If the power in the relationship was off it might cause problems.
Or does it make sense because I have to do those things already, on top of working?
I am so lucky to have the opportunity, not many do.
(Please be gentle, first post here)
Can you go down to 3 days a week?
Or get a cleaner in to help?
The loneliness would be an issue for me, plus not being able to escape the noise and dust once the building works starts...
Work can't reduce my hours unfortunately. I've tried having a cleaner (three actually) but no matter what I say they seem to just Hoover the middle of the room and dust around things rather than get stuck in. Where are all the good cleaners...
Yes the loneliness is a concern for me too.
Are you able to take time off from work, like a year out on unpaid leave? The company I work for does this, so you still have your job at the end of the decided time but you have the time off to try other things.
Personally I wouldn't. (Having been there done that) I would cling on to that job for ever last shred of sanity it provided me and I would persevere with finding a good cleaner. Have a meeting with them and write out a comprehensive list of what needs done and say what the problems you had with previous cleaners were so they know what to make sure to do (I am a cleaner and this is standard)
No don't give it up. It won't be that long till they're both at school and you are likely to be bored. Don't under-estimate the benefit you will get from getting away from the house, having adult company and keeping skills fresh. Even if this job doesn't have progression you may want to move forward in the future which will be so much easier having worked in the interim. The young children phase really does pass quickly.
This is so interesting! It is very different advice that I get from my family and friends, who mostly say if we can afford it then I'd be crazy not to...
Jenny I haven't asked but I imagine the answer would be shocked laughter. We are drowning in work, totally understaffed, no way they could keep my post open for me. I asked to do the same hours but over three days but they said they need someone there for four days, which is a shame because I could then gave one day to do house stuff without kids
IF you gave up work and your LO is not in nursery anymore, would you actually be able to get anything done on the house
we certainly didn't?
I wouldn't either. It'll be far harder to try and find another job around school hours than to revamp your housework schedule or continue to look to for a cleaner you're happy with.
I do know where you're coming from with the messy house though. I have a 3.5yo and a clingy 9 month old and the to-do list is endless. I just do what I can and have a list of priorities and squash the frustration down telling myself that in a short time it'll be easier when they can play together a bit more, or when DC1 starts school. In the meantime, they're fed, clean and happy which are the main things atm <desperately keeps repeating to self>
No I wouldn't. I would be bored senseless in a couple of years but everyone is different.
If money isn't the motivator what about a volunteering position though so you were still doing something but more time at home?
Splintery - DS2 would stay in nursery maybe 3 days a week, otherwise yes you're right I would get nothing done!
Sierra - that's exactly how I thought, until this idea got hold. Very true.
Aldi - yes maybe a volunteering thing if I did get bored, that's what I was thinking. And cookery courses, a masters if I get desperate??
I know that in a couple of years when DS2 is bigger I will be able to get more done in the evenings, it will be easier. But then again i feel like a change.
It can be very difficult to return to work after a large gap to bring up a family. Can you get a pt job that will keep your hand in and keep your skills up to date? It's surprising how technology changes in such a short time. Ive interviewed returner mums who are great but have limited knowledge in basic pc skills, sending emails etc.It really weakens their application.
Also, are you comfortable in becoming entirely financially dependent on your husband? How would you get money, would he give you an allowance or 'spends'? You say your pay is pitiful, but at least it's something.
Can you send your DS to nursery 5 days a week (typically this would be just marginally more cost than 4 days, not the cost of another additional day so worth checking). That would give you a free day to get tasks done.
I work 3 days, DD2 goes to a CM 4 days & we spend the 5th day together. Saves my sanity. No I'd never give up the job in your place.
If my dh could support us both I would definitely become a house wife for a year or so. It sounds like you have a lot going on in your home life and I know quite a few mums that don't have to work and they are constantly busy with running the home, exercise and whatever else they get up to. We work to live not live to work. Take the time to find the career you want, I would if I were you.
Look for another part time job, or volunteer. While they're teeny I would want to be with them - you don't get the time back. But adult company is so important also.
Hi OP, going by how you worded everything, it feels to me that you already want to quit your PT job and give the Housewife idea a go, but are looking for reasons not to (you mentioned risk which shows me you have fear of change).
To me, it doesn't matter what the rest of us think you should do because of our own experiences or fears, it's about what you FEEL you should do and what seems right for you at this time. This is your experience, if you want to quit I say quit, you can always pick up a hobby that gets you out of the house once or twice a week and gives you that extra "me time" that you need. Or, you will find another, better job when the time is right! Good luck
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