Starting to wish we had old fashioned me (mum) stay at home, he (dad) go out to work set up :((107 Posts)
that's it really and I never thought I'd say it but both me and DH work full time- love my job- I probably do 60/40 childcare stuff he does shopping, some washing, I clean and sort out bills etc....we ate both a bit knackered and things get half done. I am starting to think my grandparents lifestyle was a better arrangement- him to work her at home doing everything to do with the home whilst he is at work and children are at school. They had a very organised lifestyle and evenings were relaxed and free. They would eat together, see family etc as all the chores had been done in the day and his work was done for
it's never as easy as that; remember what they say about grass being greener? It's true. I used to long to be a SAHM, then I had to become a carer for my Sn son and whilst I cherish a lot of what I have- the time, being together as a family (especially initially as DH worked nights) it's balanced out by financial insecurity and loneliness.
i think it's a really tricky one - having been a working mum but now a stay at home mum, there are advantages & disadvantages to both... i don't think there can be an absolutes... and even though i know that for my dc at the moment it is definitely working out better me being at home, there are all sorts of concessions i have to make in terms of my own self esteem, and how i feel about the balance (or lack thereof) in my relationship with my dh
I agree DH with shift patterns is hard- I am looking at the ultra ordinary 2 parents 2 children DH job 9-5 DW housewife, children at local school, family round corner set up that my grandparents had and I am feeling envious as we seem disorganised and rushed in comparison!!
Mrs ravel- what are the real downsides of being a SAHM - I am genuinely interested as I haven't been on that side of fence and I just think about my happy g' parents ( without knowing what was really going on in their heads). !
Downsides avry but isolation can be easy to get into, financial insecurity - it only takes one redundancy and the family is wiped out (been there!0, sometimes it feels Dh has all the chances to gomout and meet people whilst I am here in a fixed routione of school pick ups, meetings about the boys, etc etc etc
If you do it though consider how you can keep something separate: i;ve found I get along better by always having a college course on the go (am at post grad level now LMAO), a hobby or something that is not home life based.
for me, i've found that i've lost my identity a bit now that i'm not working.
not because i defined myself by my job, but because my world has closed in so that i rarely talk to anyone other than children, mums of children, the checkout ladies in waitrose etc. Whereas when i was a working mum i had a wider frame of reference, and while i was at work i was just me, not 'mummy'.
that loss of identity has made my relationship with dh unbalanced in a way, he perhaps sees me more as 'just mummy' rather than as a woman. i'm struggling to articulate this, sorry. I think that there is unconsciously a bit of a drop in his level of respect for me as an individual.
he absolutely agreed it was going to be better for the dc if i stopped working, and he is openly very happy about the good effect it has on the dc... but somehow there is a little frisson missing... (that's the other thing about being with kids all day, i have lost hte ability to write/speak coherently)... i will definitely go back to work when youngest dc (now 17 months) is around 3 or 4...
I went back to work a few weeks ago after my second year long maternity leave. God, it feels great to be back at work.
If we had to have a parent at home it would be dh.
'family round the corner'
I'm a SAHM without family round the corner, and that does make it harder. I love the autonomy of my life in some ways, but the day-to-day household stuff does bore me to tears. If I just had to look after the children it would be a breeze!
I currently do one day a week in a voluntary job (out of the home and not child related) as well as other stuff like helping out at toddlers, preschool etc.
Funny isn't it because I crave what others may see as 'dull' - I want to go food shopping rather than on- line, I want to clean the house rather than have a cleaner..this is because we spend more money in our current lifestyle - the reason I can't give up work is all about money - DH job could go at any time so I understand the pressure you feel. Some friends who don't work talk about lack of identity and l can understand that- but I have too much identity !! I don't feel a lack of respect for SAHM , I think they are more sensible and have got their priorities right somehow.
of course the difficulty is that you might want to "prioritise" (to use your word) your dc when they are pre-school, but then once they're at school you may want to go back to work again, and it's not always easy to get back into employment after an absence.
i was incredibly lucky to land a brilliant and fairly unique job when ds1 was 4 - well paid, flexible hours, interesting work - and it was such a hard decision giving it up as i doubt that when i'm on the employment market again there will be something similar... but after ds2 was born i stuck it for 6 months and it just wasn't working out...
in an ideal world i'd probably work maybe one day a week now (kids are 10, 3 and 1), and then when all are at school i'd work a 3 day week but with shortened hours. that would be best of both worlds. but the reality....
the shit thing about working ime is that you still have more than half of the childcare, cleaning and other family matters to sort out. That is why the traditional sahm set up is sometimes appealing to me. Then I'd just have the one job.
Joric I went from WOHM to SAHM a couple of years ago.
I dunno really.
It is a lot less stressful but I am bored to tears and feel like I am wasting my life. And I worry about what kind of job I will be able to get when the kids are older.
But it really isn't ideal having the kind of life you describe, where all the free times goes on chores and the money goes on childcare, either.
The biggest plus for us now is the fact that when something goes wrong - a child is ill, teachers go on strike - it does not turn into a major crisis. Overall, as a family, we are having a better life, but I am the one that is paying the biggest price for that (something dh recognises; he is very appreciative, which ought to be something you can take for granted but I know there are many partners out there who aren't).
I don't envy my SAHM granny. The person I do envy is my mum, who had her children young enough that she was able to have 10 years at home with us and then go back to her career (teaching) afterwards.
And my other grandma was widowed in 1953 with 3 children and once said to me that in a strange way it was the best thing that ever happened to her because it allowed her to have a career that she really enjoyed.
But I also know that I am very lucky to have had the choice thanks to dh earning enough, so that when combining job with children got unbearable I was able to walk away.
I think the biggest problem with the old set-up was that there was no choice or flexibility whatever. There must have been many women who thrived in their allotted role and many more who hated it and whose talents were squandered. (Not to mention men who would have made great SAHDs.)
Like all of these posts-
Mrsravel- that's the main problem with me too , my head is a big mush most of the time so it's interesting to hear that you feel the same at home.
Sybil - you are really not wasting your life, you are living it with your children- I feel bad about rushing here, rushing there - we don't seem to just 'be'. I also hadn't considered the lack of choice and now that I have taken my Rose tinted glasses off I do remember my grandad being a bit , let's say macho.. Something that would drive me mad.
I'd also forgotten about the lack of independence - nanny not having her own money- everything organised by grandad.
Its interestin reading pros and cons for lots of reasons.
I've only had a 'proper' career in the last five years. Had oldest DD when I was 24, worked part time and was very much typical set up. I started studying (part time) for law degree when dd1 was 2. I finished when she was 7 (by which time I had split from ex h, met and fell head over heels with DP, had dd2). Sat my last law exam when dd2 was 4 months. Took a year off with her and started my career at the grand old age of 32. Now have great job with good money. I enjoyed being a sAHM but prefer the life I have now. DP shares every aspect of chores etc. We have a cleaner. We also make sure that our weekends are solely for family time. And for me, a job I love is important. The kids won't be on my hands for ever, which means I will have something I love to fill my days in the future.
I'm full time with no family help. Hopefully i am going to drop to 4 days soon for a couple of years.
I think that it will improve everyone's quality of life as I can do some of the household "extras" on the day I am off and so when DH is at home it is more family orientated.
SAHM makes the family very vulnerable. What if your husband is made redundant, gets ill, dies? Better to spread the load IMO.
Sounds good K999 It's the balance that's missing here and my OP talks about the opposite to what we have at the moment- we need something in the middle!
Are you me dandy?! We have no family help only bought in and 4 days is just what I was thinking!
Interesting point Jopric and I agree.
I have a demanding f/t job, 2 kids and a husband who is away for 6 weeks at a time so I have to do everything. I'm organised and manage it and love my work, but yes indeed.There is a certain satisfaction in clear division of labour.
4 days - we would be able to maintain security, independence etc and do most of the chores on 'day off' leaving weekend for family things
Get a cleaner (who does ironing too!)
Shop on line
Organise a routine (for me DP cooks every night. I bath kids. I clear dinner dishes. He put kids to bed. I organise lunches etc for next day. We both sit down roughly 8ish for us time)
Take turns at weekend. I have a lie in on a Sat (with cup brought to me) and DP has the same on a Sunday. Even doing little things for each other can make like more bearable!!
Moondog- Your husband being away is pressure on top of pressure but there are things I hadn't really thought about - mainly the lack of independence and security ( redundant DH and it all goes pear shaped). On that note, I'm strangely starting to feel for the DH who are the sole earners- that is a lot of pressure.
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