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A place for stay at home mums and dads to discuss life as a full-time parent.


SAHP with all kids in school

200 replies

whatamidoinghereanyway · 13/04/2016 07:03

I work from home just a couple of hours on the mornings when I can, recently I've had to wind down my work to look after a sick relative. I've decided that at least until September I am doing nothing apart from caring for my home and family.

Life has been so much better and it has made a massive impact on our quality of life, we really do not have lots of money...but have 'enough'.

My children are 14,13,9 and 6. I've been helping with homework, revision, exams, going to school, building relationships with friends, teachers and in the community. I already volunteered At 2 of my children's schools so I will continue with that. We are all really happy and my husband prefers the situation too so he can focus on his job and know things are in hand at home.

Why then do I feel so ashamed of telling people?! I've even considered lying and saying I'm working when I'm not. Please can I have reassurance that I'm not alone in wanting to be there for my family, especially now I have two teenagers.
I'm extremely fortunate we have a main wage earner in the family.

OP posts:
lavendersun · 13/04/2016 07:09

Don't worry about it OP. We have just moved 200 miles and whilst I am still finishing off some work on my old projects remotely I am planning on taking the summer off!

I didn't used to do much in the summer hols anyway and there are only 3 months until then so I am just going to do my CPD and an exam I need to do for now, unless a to die for job comes up in my field.

Enough money is just fine isn't it if you all consider your quality of life has improved.

You don't have to justify what you do to anyone, just knowing that "Life has been so much better" is enough.

MuddhaOfSuburbia · 13/04/2016 07:21

Why then do I feel so ashamed of telling people?! I've even considered lying and saying I'm working when I'm not.


I've got a chronic illness and the symptoms have been bad recently

First thought-at least I can tell people I'm POORLY when they ask why I'm at home

It's ridic

whatamidoinghereanyway · 13/04/2016 07:24

The government and media condition is to feel like we are somehow worthless if we are not working full time. Of course we are to them as we are not 'contributing to their economy' but the value of caring and being there is underestimated.

OP posts:
RickOShay · 13/04/2016 07:26

You don't need anybody's respect except your own. Try to respect yourself, start in little ways, you will find that naturally you don't care what other people think.
I am also a fit sahm to school age dc. Childcare and housework are undervalued, not,everything has a price.

DelphiniumBlue · 13/04/2016 07:35

I had a period of not working whilke my DC were teens, everything worked so much better, and both DH and I were much less stressed. 4 DC are time consuming, and teenagers do need time from you.
I don't suppose anybody in RL will care what you do. If pressed you can talk about volunteering, or hobbies. Make sure you keep doing a variety of things and keep up your skills, so that you can return to work should you want to.
Enjoy the time with your family!

DesertOrDessert · 13/04/2016 07:37

Last year, I quit my job, and moved several thousand miles to follow DH's career. My youngest started school in Sept. The kids love it. I can go to all the plays, assemblies etc, am here when they get back from school (school bus, see not even a school run to do), they can go to activities after school - swimming and karate atm, all the little "kevin needs to come to school in skybluepink trousers, tee-shirt and cap the day after tomorrow" are sortable. Yes, my MN time has increased, but weekend are for us, as a family. It's ace. Working had a different set of benefits. You just need to do what is best for the family atveach stage. And that isn't necessarily the same for each and every family.

SqueegyBeckinheim · 13/04/2016 07:41

I'm a SAHM to one school aged child. I took the decision to give up work when my daughter started school as the hours I was working were completely incompatible with school hours. I don't have much in the way of transferable skills from my old profession, the sort of part time jobs many do are closed to me, and I'm very very fortunate in that I don't need the extra money.

I like being there for DD, my mum was a working single mother and to be honest I hated going to different people's houses after school each day, and I hated not being able to do after school activities because there was no one to take me. I don't say this very often because I don't want to upset people who do work, and I don't judge others (I know others judge my choice though) I just know what I want to do.

I do some writing, I'm trying to write a novel, but I can't see myself taking on any kind of formal work in the near future.

HolditFinger · 13/04/2016 07:44

Good for you, OP. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

blueskyinmarch · 13/04/2016 07:48

I am leaving my work just as my youngest is leaving school and heading for uni. I am reclaiming myself and doing things i want to do rather than doing things i feel i ought to do. I also need to improve my health and see this as an opportunity to concentrate on that. I am unapologetic!

You do not need to be ashamed OP. Be proud at what you are offering your family, they are obviously thriving on having you at home.

StuRedman · 13/04/2016 07:50

I'm a SAHM to two older dc and one who goes to preschool three full days a week. I left work over a year ago due to ill health.

Tbh I don't do a fat lot when the youngest is at preschool other than some light housework and taking the dog out. I mostly hibernate on the sofa. But it is lovely to be available in the day for them and to be able to pop out to the shops, get the washing dry outside, all the stuff I couldn't do when I worked full time.

We are a bit skint but that can't be helped. I'm not currently able to work but am hopeful I can again at some point in the future, only part time around school hours though.

brrrr · 13/04/2016 07:51

If you look after someone else's children that is a "valid" job. If you clean someone else's home that is also a "valid" job.
But working unpaid to support your own family - you are undermined and disrespected.
If you and I pay each other the same amount of money to look after each other's kids, that is just nonsense. But allegedly that is contributing to society Hmm

cantbelieveImquittingcoffee · 13/04/2016 07:53

For totally different reasons I worked very little for a year or 2 a few years back (basically I screwed up hit a career brick wall and needed to take a break) which meant that I took on a very basic customer service job 20 hours a week and the rest of the time - I just let myself BE. I was single and child-free at the time, not in a relationship, in good health and in my 30s (so no reason NOT to work), but I could afford to do it as I rented out a room in my property - and there were definitely people who resented what I was doing. A friend of mine (who was in a similar position) pointed out that our society is designed for certain things to be deemed acceptable/the norm (ie having a job, having a relationship, having a family) and if you choose to live outside of any or all of those norms there will be people who resent it. Don't let yourself be the one who resents what you are doing! I completely understand the feeling of wanting to hide it but just know that you are doing the right thing for you family, so I would say enjoy the privilege of being in a position to be able to do it.Smile

harryhausen · 13/04/2016 07:59

Good for you OP.

I seemingly have the best of both worlds. I work from home for myself full time and also get to do all the school stuff (although I don't volunteer).

However in reality I'm constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I feel like I do neither properly. I find I have to work many evenings and weekends to make up the time I loose doing school stuff. I'm exhausted. Quality of family is a little bit crap. My dd is due to go the secondary school in Sept so I see I'll have lots of supporting to do (at least at first). My dd is in Y4. I find they need more of my time as they grow not less.

So, if you told me you'd decided to concentrate on your family I'd be well jealous I think. I wouldn't judge you one bit. Just say the truth.

DesertOrDessert · 13/04/2016 08:01

brrrr so, so, so true. One of the few times I truly wish there was a like button on here. You comment is spot on. Flowers

Potterwolfie · 13/04/2016 08:17

I've been at home since DS1 was a baby, although I've also always worked freelance part-time from home during this time, DS is at high school now and DS2 at primary.

It works for us, although I permanently have a notion of 'not quite doing enough' as I don't work outside the home, but it's only me putting myself under that pressure. DH works overseas a lot (away every month for at least a week) and we agree that one of us needs to be here to look after the DCs, we don't have family nearby to help.

Even though I'm happy with our arrangement and have masses of support from DH and family/friends, I do have a nagging feeling that I'm just not achieving enough.

brrrr · 13/04/2016 10:46

I can't "work" - ie paid employment -due to DS1 who has ASD, despite putting him in to breakfast clubs, after school clubs, it just causes meltdown after meltdown. He is 8 and now has clinical expression. Sad His school have refused to help due to the fact that he is well behaved. The effect on our family, other 2 younger DS, is hell frankly.
But I am notorious amongst the school mums for being lazy, staying in bed all day Hmm and being a waste of space. No evidence to support any of these allegations, in fact quite the opposite - we all attend billions of activities, outdoor stuff, and I don't get time to sit down. We have zero help from family or professionals.
But I don't "work" - and that is the final judgement Angry

brrrr · 13/04/2016 10:48

Dessert - thank you so much for the Flowers Smile

brrrr · 13/04/2016 10:53

There is another thread, "why do you work?" which is full of righteous posters who admit they work for visually zero money. It is seen as contributing to society - but I do this too, for the princely sum of Β£62.10 per week carers allowance, and am just seen as useless.

Linny2013 · 13/04/2016 15:27

You should be proud of yourself I think being a stay at home mum is a difficult job I have a toddler brought him up every day since he was born πŸ˜€ life would be very easy if I left him with someone else to bring him up 12 hours a day, I have friends who can't do it and need a life for themselves everyday and weekends so I am proud of myself for bringing him up like my mother done with me and feel lucky I have been able to do it as my partner has a good job and we don't need to struggle πŸ˜€ I am a great mum and my child's happiness comes first πŸ˜€

MrsEricBana · 13/04/2016 15:32

Hi OP. I don't work, my dcs are teens. I get snippy comments but it works for us overall although there are personal downsides for me. I just ignore the snippy comments about how can I be busy / "Oh I could never not work, I have a strong work ethic" etc although sometimes it gets me down a bit and I do feel vulnerable not being a wage earner in case my/our circumstances should change.

Canyouforgiveher · 13/04/2016 15:38

I seemingly have the best of both worlds. I work from home for myself full time and also get to do all the school stuff (although I don't volunteer).

However in reality I'm constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I feel like I do neither properly. I find I have to work many evenings and weekends to make up the time I loose doing school stuff. I'm exhausted.

this was me. I didn't work for myself but had a very flexible job for a great company where I could work from home most of the time. In reality I was constantly stressed, constantly wondering what I had missed on my to-do list constantly feeling I was doing neither job well. I quit a couple of months ago and am not working since. Luckily dh is a high earner and I don't need to work at this point. luckily also my many years of working have left me with decent savings and pension. I have 2 children still in secondary school and one in college.

I absolutely love not being constantly stressed. I still do all of the school/family stuff but now I am not trying to catch up with work at night/juggling conference calls etc. Today I had a meeting with dean of students at 8.30 about a serious issue at my dd's school. then I came home, walked the dog, had a coffee and I am about to meet a friend for lunch. I feel no guilt. I contributed to the workplace for years. right now it is more important that my children get my focus and support for their remaining years of high school and that I take care of myself for a change.

Lalalili · 13/04/2016 15:43

brrr I completely agree with your first comment. It's horrible that you get judged by the other mums like that. Of course you work.


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Linny2013 · 13/04/2016 15:43

I have a strong work ethic πŸ˜€ but our kids are more important than any job πŸ˜€ my mother didn't work for 8 years till myself and my brother were at school and she has an amazing work ethic πŸ˜€ being a stay at home mum is a privilege I think πŸ˜€ if you can live without having to work and be at home with them πŸ˜€

DerelictDaughter · 13/04/2016 15:43

Because women know no tact when making it clear they think your choice/decision/circumstance is a poor/self-indulgent one if it doesn't involve something they can easily process as 'paid work'. You can be training, taking time off for your health, you can have one tricky child who needs you at 3pm not at 5pm when a job might let you home...

I've seen it dressed up as 'needing to work for self-respect, needing to be useful in society, not letting my pension contributions lapse, not wanting my husband to see me as a doormat' etc etc, but it's as if people aren't able to think about those (perfectly valid) things by themselves, they still need it rammed down their throats at the school gate.

I took a few years out of work for career crisis + health + tricky child reasons and heard it all tbh, even though it was nobody's business AND i was training myself for a new career plus actually earning a bit of money while I did that. I even read about myself here on mumsnet, so that was nice. It has to be water off a duck's back, really. Nobody knows your personal circumstances like you do, and it's almost socially acceptable to think of non-employed mothers as missing a few brain cells - and to let them know. Stuff that. (I now earn far more than the twat who wrote about me here - she also owned up to her salary on one of the nosey threads. I wouldn't ordinarily care but I have to admit I am quietly smug about that.)

Jecan · 13/04/2016 15:44

I'm mainly a SAHP even tho my DC are at school - I work a few hours a week - not enough to pay any tax as the country we live in taxes couples earnings together so if I earn enough to pay tax, I'd be earning less than now as if be taxed at the higher rate. (If that makes sense)

I enjoy having the time to myself, it makes me a better mum when my kids come home and as the others have said I am available to the dc when they need me.

BUT wow the snippy comments I have to put up with from friends in the UK - it's as if I'm lazy by not working. Somehow i think in their eyes I was a better person when I put my dc in childcare all day and worked myself to exhaustion.

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