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Is it OK to not be busy?

27 replies

blinkboo · 13/10/2020 17:16

I'm just pondering as recently I've felt a bit weird and guilty about it.
I have two kids at primary school, 2 dogs and a DH with an important ish full time and very inflexible job. We prefer a slow pace of life and not using childcare. We live comfortably but can't afford any extravagances.
I don't work and am usually very happy pottering around reading, growing veg, seeing friends and doing various hobbies. I admit my pace of life is very calm and slow compared to people I know.
Does anyone else live like this? Is it just lazy? We are happy. I often day dream about a career but with DH's job and our desires around home life the only option to me would be a part time job I didn't really love. I've tried this before and found it a bit soul destroying.
Do you think there's something wrong with the way I live I guess is what I'm asking?
Anyone else out there live like this?

OP posts:
Friendsoftheearth · 13/10/2020 17:20

As long as you have your plan B worked out if the marriage fails, then enjoy op! You need to ensure your finances are ship shape and you would manage without your dh, and still be comfortable.
I work as a volunteer and have a lovely life as you describe. I spend time walking my dogs, seeing my friends, hobbies, exercise and have time to relax. I love it! I am also doing an on line course and I really enjoy that too. In the holidays it is full on with dc, so term time is spent doing things I enjoy.

As long as you are happy that is all that matters. Don't feel pressure to 'be busy' and fall into that trap - be happy you have the choice.

DanaScully53 · 13/10/2020 17:29

Meeeeeee. I got made redundant 6 years ago from a job I loved. Was going to take a year off then look for something. Roll on shoulder injury and waiting for op, i just decided i liked being at home. My job was decent pay and good redundancy so we dont struggle. I do sometimes feel guilty though if I dont have tea ready but OH never asks what I've been doing all day. I do garden and greenhouse and all housework etc and OH does barely anything apart from dry up and peel veg at weekend but he does have a physical job so I think that's fair. Guess were lucky to be able to live our lives like this when others struggle with both working.

nancybotwinbloom · 13/10/2020 17:30

Your busy doing the things you like!

hettie555 · 13/10/2020 17:33

I'm busy, but not with wealth creating activities. I work part time (no partner) and I know I should work FT to earn more money, but after HMRC have had their cut (not that I begrudge that) it doesn't seem worth it and I would rather enjoy life than try and break my back to earn a few more quid.

I never manage to get through my to-do list though and my house isn't immaculate.

weepingwillow22 · 13/10/2020 17:34

I am envious, it sounds great. Enjoy.

vanillandhoney · 13/10/2020 17:36

It's not remotely lazy to do what you love! I'm similar, although I do work part-time. I get the housework done, walk the dog, potter about at home, read, watch TV, do various hobbies - it's fine.

The judgement on adults who don't work stupid hours is awful imo. Not everyone needs to work full-time, and plenty of people can't cope with it either. As long as you and your family are all happy, keep at it! :)

Hiccupiscal · 13/10/2020 17:42

You are me. I am you.
Sometimes I think I should be doing more. I know friends judge, but I am happy.
I do all the same things you do.

Friendsoftheearth · 13/10/2020 17:53

I imagine many people will be reassessing their own lives now, after being run ragged - and then slowing down due to the pandemic. Quality of life is important. I have always been a champion of the four day week for that reason, because I think everyone should have the chance of more balance, we would be healthier nation for it. My dh thinks I am ridiculous as he looks at the economics. I try to outline that we would save in the end, mental health and physical health would improve, children would be more relaxed and happier. Old relatives would not need the GP so much if they had family to talk to. We would all be happier and healthier

Igglepigglesgrubbyblanket · 13/10/2020 17:55

Sounds optimal to me!

lazylinguist · 13/10/2020 18:09

I'm not very busy. I work very part time atm. I'm looking for a proper job and have been for ages, but there aren't many in my field where we live. But... I'm only looking for a job because I ought to and because I feel guilty about dh shouldering the financial burden. I would happily potter around tbh.

DaphieDuck01 · 13/10/2020 21:38

I live how you have described except I have a pre-schooler (and no dog yet).

I worked for many years around dc1 but then had other dcs and it became more and more difficult. Although, I miss the adult company sometimes, I can't face going back to work in an I'm trying to create my own thing and will more than likely end up doing voluntary work. I feel fortunate that I can make this decision - it really feels like I'm growing as a person now. A slide into perimenopause hasn't helped me to feel motivated about seeking work (and it is going to be all the more difficult now with the current situation).

Shizzlestix · 13/10/2020 22:02

Sounds lovely. I’d just feel guilty if I wasn’t earning without good reason and in case we ever split up. Plenty of people work around the dc.

MinnieMountain · 14/10/2020 07:25

I'm similar. I work 2.5 days a week.

We have a 6yo and a cat.

Working is as much for my mental health as the money. DH does contract roles and can also work long hours.

We're both a bit lazy (I'm a solicitor who's never gone for partnership, he could push himself more in his career).

tunnocksreturns2019 · 14/10/2020 07:28

Sounds lovely. Make sure you have life insurance and critical illness cover (I’m always the bringer of joy after my previously super healthy DH died of cancer in his mid 30s!)

ComicePear · 14/10/2020 07:30

Personally I wouldn't find your life fulfilling, because part of my identity relates to my job (which I find interesting and rewarding as well as sometimes stressful).

That doesn't mean you are lazy - it means that we are different people who are stimulated in different ways. If you and your DH are both happy with the current setup, go for it!

Magicbabywaves · 14/10/2020 07:32

Me. I have three children, with two at school. I keep wondering about going back to work, but I can’t see how it would be beneficial apart from the money. I like mooching about too and I do some voluntary stuff. I’m pleasantly surprised by the responses here, usually the replies are pretty snarky about people not working.

LockdownLil · 14/10/2020 07:36

Have you worked out what you'll both live on in retirement? We can't make it work on just one salary as we also need to save, contribute to pensions etc as well as help kids with university hopefully. Elder care is scarily expensive and we are all more likely to need it than not.

DilemmaDerby · 14/10/2020 07:39

If you are happy, safe I’d your marriage fails, enough money to retire and your DH isn’t pissed off all the finances fall to him then why change?

I’d love to live the life you are describing!!

justmeagain91 · 14/10/2020 07:45

It's good that you are satisfied. I'd be worried about the limited opportunities available to my children on one income though, and the risk if anything were to happen within the marriage. I'm not sure it's a lifestyle I'd want my children emulating either.

I work full time but am very committed to striving for a work life balance and prioritise time for me as well, no martyrdom here. This year has really helped in that I will now be WFH for the foreseeable so my life is fulfilled and busy, but not overly stressful. I couldn't do what you do, I'm sure plenty would if the opportunity was there.

garlictwist · 14/10/2020 07:46

I work part time. No kids. Other half works away a lot. I spend a lot of time by myself reading, running or just pottering. I sometimes wonder if I should have a bit more oomph but I used to have a full on job and just felt so tired all the time so prefer it this way.

Waxonwaxoff0 · 14/10/2020 07:46

Nothing wrong with it.

I do have a job but it's part time and not stressful. I finish at 2.30 so I can do the school pick up.

StillMedusa · 14/10/2020 07:47

I'm aiming for the same. Worked 5 days a week for the last 15 years and now, with one (has autism) dependent adult still at home, and a dog, I realised during lockdown that I just don't want to be out at work all day. I'm 52, struggling with the menopause, still have caring responsibilities and while I worked through lock down (special Ed with challenging behaviour) I'm done .. burned out.
I've asked to go down to 3 days after half term but am contemplating just doing random supply.
I want to walk my dog, actually get my house nice, keep house for my dh and be available when my first grandchild is born next spring (I'll have to be child care) DH agrees with me leaving but I feel guilt if I'm not earning something.

I'd like to find a new role.. but need time to do courses, and get skills not related to special ED. But only very part time!


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Auto · 14/10/2020 07:53

Nothing wrong with that at all, OP. Other people get to make their own choices and you get to make yours. I'd enjoy your way of life.

mrsmuddlepies · 14/10/2020 08:07

It sounds idyllic and many people will be jealous.
I do wonder how many men would also like to work part time and enjoy their hobbies, you hear so much about on MN, during the day.
I had a friend who never went back to work after having children. She was so shocked when her husband took early retirement in his early fifties. She was used to having the house to herself and pottering and napping. She certainly did not want someone else sharing her idyll.

Sleepingdogs12 · 14/10/2020 08:09

I have worked part time for 20 plus years ,and this has worked well with 3 children and a husband working long hours. I recently checked my pension forecast and have now decided to up to full time for a few years. Retirement is suddenly not so far away . It is great to have a good work life balance but boringly you need to also plan for the future. I never thought I'd work full time again but I am hoping to slightly move fields and I feel positive about it (see how long that lasts!).

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