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I dont want to work

565 replies

LadyOfPleisure · 24/07/2017 00:58

I have moved heaven and earth, done extra studying, to return to work in a fulfilling and interesting career. I should pat myself on the back, and be bloody glad, but I am not. I am earning reasonably well per month, and it is not full time but 60%. In a standard week I will work from around 11.30 three days per week, and from 7.30 two days per week, until 16.30 all days. So two long days, and 3 short days.
I am a well educated woman, with a bachelor and two master degrees. Still studying modules, to add to my qualifications. Being an airbnb hostess because I like to have guests to broaden our horizons, and I like the extra income.

Dh travels a lot with his job, I do the lion share of after school activities and sports. My two dc are different ages, and they do the same sport but at different times, in a different place twice and three times per week. The older one can cycle, or take the bus, the younger one cant. They need to have dinner before they go, as activities are around 6pm, lasting 60-120 minutes. The older play at regional level. This will mean that ds1 (15) will need to sort dinner for the two of them at least once a week.

My dh earns more per week than I do per month. We dont need me working to make ends meet. I took a long career break when the dc were small. I felt it is my turn now, before I get too old. I have retrained, and worked hard, and I am enjoying my first proper summer holiday in years. I dont want it to end. Part of me want to continue just doing what I want! Relax, chill, enjoy my kids. I go back to work first of August, and I just want to .... resign. I want to STILL be there when they get home from school, cook their dinners, get them to their sports, and be there. I know it is silly.

The feminist in me is angry with myself. The lazy gobshite in me wants to raise my glass to egocentricity. I want to go to the gym when it is empty, go for coffee, go shopping....
All my friends work, so it will be lonely...

Dh is happy for me. He says I should absolutely go out there, enjoy adult company, have good colleagues like he has, and not waste my brain at home.

Only, reality is that he wont be around to help with much. He tries, but he has a demanding job. At his level, although his boss is flexible, he is working with both the US office and the UK, and his hours are long when he is home. He cant just cut a conference call to the US and say "sorry chaps, got to take my kid to sports, my wife is knackered".

First world problem, I know. And I am 45. It is now or never. So why am I so sad, and why do I dread going back to work so much, I spent the last 8 years moaning that I am "nothing but a mum and have no life at all"!?

OP posts:

maudeismyfavouritepony · 24/07/2017 01:13

Fuck knows. I'm in gone same position but the husband not taking responsibility is wearing thin. If you were divorced, he'd have to step up. Men don't step up because it's macho not to.

He could find a family friendly job,
You could reign in activities. You could have less money but more time together.

Seriously, women do it all. Ask your husband what his role is in looking after the children he chose to have.


Twinkleheth · 24/07/2017 01:16

I just want to say that life is short. We don't know what's round the corner - my advice is if you can do what makes you happy without it impacting on the people you love, then go for it. I worked long hours for years, then I lost my son to sudden death - I now work from home with my own small business. It's not all about money, it's about spending time with the ones you love, having time for yourself and feeling contented. Achievements don't have to be linked to a career. So, if your DH is in agreement then go for it. Even if he isn't, speak to him about it!


ohtheholidays · 24/07/2017 01:54

If you don't need to work for the money but your worried about quitting work and your tired because of all the running around you do could you employ a cleaner?and maybe someone to do the ironing?Having 2 less things to worry about and clawing back some of that free time you miss might just be the happy balance that you need.


Flyatnight · 24/07/2017 02:21

You don't need the money, you don't want so work, so don't work. It's that simple.


NurseButtercup · 24/07/2017 02:41


I'm not surprised you're tired, you're juggling all the balls and pretty soon you'll burn out (sounds like you're very close). Are you hating your job at the moment? If no, do you think you'd cope better if you reduced your hours at work and outsourced some of the household chores?
I'm looking ahead 9/10 years when both your kids have left home and you've got an empty nest. You may regret throwing the towel in on your job.

If on the other hand you hate your job - money isn't an issue so just leave.


vikingprincess81 · 24/07/2017 02:50

You sound knackered OP, and with little wonder.
Maybe over simplistic but is reducing your hours a possibility? If you did the 11.30-16.30 days but stopped the long ones? It would keep you current in your career for when the kids are older, but also give you the space and time you want.
As for the feminist in you? Who says being a mum isn't the most demanding job there is? You'd have time to volunteer for worthy causes, be there as emotional support for your kids etc. Honestly? I could stop work but we'd struggle. If I could with no financial worries I'd be at home with my kids. It doesn't make you a bad person to want to be around your kids Flowers


user1498911589 · 24/07/2017 02:55

Feminists can choose to stay at home as well as having a career, it's not about having it all, it's about having the choice.


Aquamarine1029 · 24/07/2017 03:42

First of all, change the way you think about feminism. Feminism means being able to do whatever the hell you want to do because that's what YOU want to do. It doesn't mean you must have a "career." If being a stay-at-home mom is what will make you happy and your family will benefit from it, then that is what you should do.


Wallahibillahitallahi · 24/07/2017 03:57

Feminism doesn't mean 'doing what the hell you like, because you want to do it' Confused

That's called having the privilege of having a choice. It's got nothing to do with feminism


user1498911589 · 24/07/2017 04:39

That's called having the privilege of having a choice. It's got nothing to do with feminism

Yet previously feminists campaigned for women to have to have the vote, to be able to work etc etc.


ExpatinBah · 24/07/2017 04:50

OP - let me put it in simple terms - do not waste what fantastic opportunities you have.

I am a SATHW - boring as hell. DH earns a tax free 5 figure sum per month and I have every opportunity to do the classic 'go out for coffee, shop till I drop and do sod all else' - guess what, I do not because I find it boring.

I have no qualifications other than mediocre O levels and by god, I wish I had gone onto other areas of qualifications (I went straight into work at 16 as I could, nor my parents afford it).

The glass is half full - not half empty.


habibihabibi · 24/07/2017 05:23

I'm with ExpatinBah (waving across the gulf) and would absolutely make the most of the opportunity of enjoyable work whilst you can.

It is lovely to be at home for the children but when they are in school, mind numbingly dull.
I find, certainly here, friends fall in to non working and working camps and now I work, I see a lot less of the former. Coffee mornings, book clubs and day filling faff really hurt's my head.

Can you try to restructure your day? Start early and be home in the evening.
Scale back the children's activities to a manageable level and let the elder do more for the younger.
It's ok to have a meal like ham and cheese sandwiches once or more a week.
Use the holiday time to train the children to be more independent.
Drop the airbnb and get an aupair for cultural interest and general help.
Make one weekend day yours and get your DH to take responsibility for the children.


newbian · 24/07/2017 05:32

With a flexible job and older children, honestly I wouldn't give up work unless you really hate the job. They'll be out of the house soon and they are at school most of the day anyway, right? Every SAHM I know who reached late 40s/50s was desperate to work or do something as the kids start to grow up, and those who haven't been able to are BORED to death especially when their DHs still work.

I've also seen plenty of situations where the high-earning spouse becomes unemployed, ill, burns out, etc. and so the other spouse being able to work and bring in money is key to supporting the family.

Agree with previous suggestions - perhaps rearrange work schedule, get a bit more help around the house, think about your children's activities and how you can make it less stressful (e.g. can they ride with another parent to training? alternating?), and get DH to chip in more.


FritzDonovan · 24/07/2017 05:45

Totally understand how hard it is to keep ontop of everything while dh works long hours away. I left my career because of it, and like pp, find the interminable sahm role mind numbing at times.
Can you cut back /look for something similar with shorter hours to keep you in the job market until the kids leave home? I think you'd regret giving it all up - the breaks are so much more enjoyable with a bit of work in-between to make you appreciate it Grin


ChaChaChaCh4nges · 24/07/2017 05:49

Only, reality is that he wont be around to help with much. He tries, but he has a demanding job. At his level, although his boss is flexible, he is working with both the US office and the UK, and his hours are long when he is home. He cant just cut a conference call to the US and say "sorry chaps, got to take my kid to sports, my wife is knackered"

This makes me really angry. Because I work FT in a really demanding client facing job with a six figure salary job but I still manage to make every single play, festival and sports day for three children. Because i prioritise it.

Sure, I don't say "I can't do the call with LA on Thursday because it's DC2's parents' evening." I say "I have a prior commitment on Thursday that means either we need to move the LA call forward 30 minutes, or I only participate for the first hour and you catch me up afterwards, or we reschedule - I could do next Monday if that suits?"

In the (thankfully very rare) situations when I've had to make last minute changes to me schedule to deal with home stuff I've simply said "Please forgive me, something's come up at the last minute and I have to deal with it right now; I'll get back to you as soon as I can." It's always presumed to be a work issue if I don't specify.

It helps that I have an excellent reputation so if I reschedule my colleagues and clients know it's because I have no choice and will still deliver.

I hear my male colleagues tell their DWs that they can't make X or get home in time for Y and I just think - bullshit. You just don't want to enough.


ChaChaChaCh4nges · 24/07/2017 05:50

...changes to my schedule...


Cailleach666 · 24/07/2017 05:59

OP I gave up work when my kids were born,. I don't regret it for a second. I had a brilliant career, but being at home for my kids was absolute top priority.
My youngest is 17 and I still only work 15 hours a week. No way will I ever work full time again.


theporcinegrappler · 24/07/2017 06:06

I hear my male colleagues tell their DWs that they can't make X or get home in time for Y and I just think - bullshit. You just don't want to enough
Ain't that the truth!


ChaChaChaCh4nges · 24/07/2017 06:09

Just to be fair - I also see male colleagues that do make the effort to get home and pull their weight. But not that many, frankly.


lizzieoak · 24/07/2017 06:12

Not everyone finds being a SAHP boring. I find work extremely boring. I like my own company, reading, cooking, going for walks, taking care of the house. I'm a single parent so have to work, but this assumption that everyone needs to work to be intellectually fulfilled baffles me. Maybe it's an introvert/extrovert thing? How can you get bored at home when books/the internet exist?


Zephyr01 · 24/07/2017 06:13

If the OP, or some of the responses, were written by men there would be cries of 'cocklodger'.


ExpatinBah · 24/07/2017 06:14

Habibi - waving from the Gulf back! Too hot to do anything else :-)


Cailleach666 · 24/07/2017 06:15

If the OP, or some of the responses, were written by men there would be cries of 'cocklodger'.

How rude.


UsedToBeAPaxmanFan · 24/07/2017 06:22

OP I really wouldn't give up working if I were you. It maybe you could look to restructure your hours? Would you be able to work 9.00 - 14.30 rather than 11.00 - 16.30 on your short days?

Working is about much more than money. It's about self-worth and being a contributing member of society as a tax payer. Those are not things I'd give up lightly for the opportunity to drink coffee and go to the gym mid morning.


NashvilleQueen · 24/07/2017 06:24

One of my (female) bosses once told me that women fall over themselves to justify why they can't be at a meeting at 8pm or 7am whereas men just say they're unavailable with no further info. They don't feel the need to explain or to go into minutiae of nativities or parents' evenings. Her advice was to be a bit more enigmatic and so long as she knew where I was that was completely fine. So now I do the same. I say 'sorry that's not convenient but I can do X or Y as an alternative'. No one questions me and everything gets done. I don't feel like people know the ins and outs of my domestic life or that I'm apologising for having one.

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