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What to consider before being a SAHM?

57 replies

Nfblues · 17/04/2020 18:24

Hi all, I’m 23 weeks pregnant and before TTC we agreed that I would be a SAHM until nursery age, mainly DH’s choice. DH is very chilled and let’s me always go with what I want, however this is the only thing he’s ever put his foot down about and I know it’s important to him that DC doesn’t go to nursery until 3ish. I don’t mind and have agreed mainly because of how important it is for him, although I am very worried about losing my identity and having no money for myself.

DH earns enough for us to be able to afford all necessities alone (rent, all bills, food shopping, occasional eating out etc) but will be tight on any once in a while extras such as car emergencies, my car insurance, abroad holidays etc. Before covid we were in the middle of a house purchase (which is currently on pause) and so although I have a big chunk of savings, it’s for the deposit and not really for me to use as ‘my money’ whilst SAH. We have looked at our finances loads and DH will have £150ish left at the end of the month, he has said he will give me the £100 to do as I wish and the last £50 to keep for a rainy day.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on MN about mums feeling like they’ve lost their identity, don’t have any money for themselves and feel like they’re doing all the housework due to being a SAHM. I’m a bit worried about all this and would love to ask if anyone has any tips or things they think is important to discuss and decide before baby comes?? Tia Smile

OP posts:
InArrears · 17/04/2020 21:54

I am very worried about losing my identity and having no money for myself.

Why do you have to give everything up for something he wants?

What do you do for a living?

KindKylie · 17/04/2020 22:05

I would say that you won't be able to afford it if £150 is your only margin.

Babies aren't necessarily expensive but they do cost money - nappies, formula if you use it, weaning stuff and toys/activities.

What about travel? Memberships? Gym? Babysitting to go out? Things like the optician and dentist cost me quite a bit. I've always taken mine swimming from small, had soft play membership, met friends in cafes, had to buy breastfeeding friendly clothes and clothes in between sizes as my post-baby body changes.

Could you look at other ways of avoiding childcare til 3 if that is something you both feel strongly about? Work in the evenings or at weekends or both you and DH go part time?

Don't forget that giving up your job also has pension, NI, insurance implications.

Dozer · 17/04/2020 22:07

Loss of earning power and pension is a massive risk for you personally. Very little risk to your H.

He is being U and sexist.

Dozer · 17/04/2020 22:09

See if you enjoy mat leave or not and fully consider the medium and long term scenarios before making any decisions.

Ikeameatballs · 17/04/2020 22:09

I wouldn’t do it.

I don’t like the way that you describe your “D”H having “put his foot down”. Why don’t you both work reduced or compressed hours so that there’s a parent at home? Why is this falling solely to you when you don’t sound keen on it at all, for understandable reasons.

itsbetterthanabox · 17/04/2020 22:09

If he feels the child shouldn't go to nursery until the arbitrary age of 3 then he can be a sahp after your maternity leave.
I don't understand why you have to sacrifice it all when it's not what you would like to do.

Parkandride · 17/04/2020 22:11

Not a chance I'd do that for £150 spare a month. Plus if its so important to him why isn't he volunteering to stay home?

Things to think about, your pension - will he add to this for you? Also thinking about how you'll re enter the workforce later, training etc.
Also the plan for if he loses his job, gets ill, dies, leaves you - all the unpleasant stuff

Dozer · 17/04/2020 22:11

There are childcare options other than nursery.

He can’t “put his foot down” about something that affects you so much more than it affects him.

Sicario · 17/04/2020 22:12

Will he be sharing the child caring and rearing responsibilities or will he see that as "woman's work" in which case you might have a problem.

shwirurbsha · 17/04/2020 22:13

I wouldn't make such a massive decision until you've experienced it. Personally my mental health has suffered both times I've been on maternity leave. I certainly couldn't do it for such a prolonged period.

AhNowTed · 17/04/2020 22:13

The dynamic here is rather worrying.

"Let's me", "has put his foot down".

He's not the boss of you.

SueEllenMishke · 17/04/2020 22:14

My advice.....don't trust a man who insists you give up your job and become financially dependant on him.

Elpheba · 17/04/2020 22:15

I’ve got two dc and both times I stopped work until they were 17 months and 16 months respectively. But by then I was SO ready for work. I was so thankful I didn’t have to rush back and that both times going back was entirely my choice. I was ready for a change, I wanted a bit more cash in the household, I wanted to be able to justify putting them in nursery so I got a break! It’s tricky as you’ve already told him you’re on board and that it’s a deal breaker for him- but things change and neither of you know how you’ll feel once baby is here.
If he feels that strongly there’s nothing to say he can’t take some time to be a sahp? Or like pp said there is work available that minimises or takes away the need for child care if that is his issue.
But agreed that £150 spare doesn’t seem an awful lot if you actually want to enjoy doing things/activities with the little one- have you definitely considered every expense- haircuts etc? Prescriptions? I’d be hesitant to confirm with work (assuming you work now) That you don’t plan to return and I’d leave the option open for now...

Ummumm · 17/04/2020 22:17

I really don't think you will know how you feel until your actually on maternity leave and are coming towards the end. I remember personally I felt very strongly that I didn't want to go back full time so opted to go part time instead. But I don't think I could have made a decision before that as it's so hard to tell how your going to feel about leaving baby and going back to work. Also, you both may feel more comfortable about putting baby in nursery or in childcare at that time. I don't think decisions like this can be made until baby has arrived and you can asses your situation both emotionally and financially- so much can happen in a year.

MissBPotter · 17/04/2020 22:18

He can’t put his foot down as he’s not in charge of you! And if you don’t want to, don’t. I think working part time is far better as you still have a job, somewhere else to go than baby groups and the supermarket and you earn your own money. Plus you can go back full time if you want to later on. I have seen friends relationships really struggle with this where there is very little left at the end of the month and then a big expense comes up and there is resentment towards the wife for ‘not working’ (even though it is hard work being a sahm). £150 is hardly anything really. Will your mortgage offer still be valid with only one earner? Definitely don’t make any rash decisions yet.

FriedasCarLoad · 17/04/2020 22:18

I love being a SAHM. I don't have to miss any of the special moments of milestones and, better still, I don't have to miss her - all those ordinary moments matter too. I know I'm very privileged to be able to SAH.

I've found that I can save the family quite a lot of money by being at home. I can take the time to grow lots of our own food, prepare everything from scratch, look around for what we need from second hand sources, etc.

It's worth making sure you have a support network in place, or at least baby and toddler groups to go to, otherwise it could get lonely.

Crabbo · 17/04/2020 22:20

I don’t think £100 a month will be enough for you to be honest. My husband does all the grocery shopping and bills etc but even so I still end up spending bits day to day as a sahm - little top up shops in the week, snacks for the kids when we’re out and about in the day, lunch for you as you’ll be at home more, baby groups or activities (swimming etc), potentially extra petrol to what you spend now if you’ll drive to places with your lo etc. Plus presumably your current bills will increase a bit with the cost of the baby - nappies, baby items...?

Ohnoherewego62 · 17/04/2020 22:20

No, if you can still work part time or a few hours here and there then do so. Don't allow yourself to become dependent on him financially. Or guarantee that what's left over at end of month wont be needed for something else to cover an emergency cost etc

It is knackering being a care giver to a little one buy my partner and I both work and rotate to look after our little one so we both have our own finances, can equally contribute to Bill's etc I appreciate not everyone's job or circumstances can allow for this. We dont see a lot of each other as a result but no childcare costs and financial independence for the two of us.

I took 9 months maternity but was so glad to get back to work when it was up! I was so used to being on the go constantly that when it stopped for a while, I felt a bit lost!

Rainbowqueeen · 17/04/2020 22:20

As a family you would probably be better off both working part time and sharing the child care
Keeps you both employed, both contributing to your pensions and keeping your skills up to date.

Do you have any savings? I would also start living on a more limited budget now and saving as much as you can. It gives you that safety net plus gets you used to budgeting.

Finally I’d make it clear that your mental health is just as important as any desire he has to have a SAHP for your child and that any plans you make around this will change if your mental health starts to suffer

MrsSiriusBlack1 · 17/04/2020 22:21

Work in evenings maybe? Don’t give up work if you’re not completely comfortable doing it, what happens if an unexpected big bill happens? No £100 for you and that’s a slippery slope towards financial abuse. I wouldn’t leave myself vulnerable like this.

SittingAround1 · 17/04/2020 22:21

You shouldn't be a SAHM unless it's what you really want to do. Your husband has no right to dictate this to you especially as you stand to put yourself in a very vulnerable position.

3 years out of the job market is a long time and you may find it hard to get going again after.
How many children are you planning on having?
Proceed with caution and keep your options open.

PippaPegg · 17/04/2020 22:22

It's not his choice. HTH Confused


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OhTheRoses · 17/04/2020 22:22

Is your dh prepared for how skint you are going to be?

£50 gor rainy days is not enough.

What is your job; what is dh's job?

When baby comes have you actually worked out a budget. Haircuts, tights, make-up, yours and children's clothes, birthday cards, your phone, fiver in your pocket, petrol, parking, occasional coffee, soft play, mother and baby group, toys, swimming, bis fares, etc. £25pw really going to do it?

I gave up work because ds1 was ill; we can check our privilege. That first year was very hard - and dh didn't put his foot down Hmm. DS is 25 now op - please just reflect how out of date this attitude is. That first year, I had about £5 pw to spare and a dh on an upward trajectory who married me because I was an independent career woman.

Reality check I think.

MuchTooTired · 17/04/2020 22:23

Things I wish I’d truly considered before being a sahm:

Pension, career options when I returned to work etc
How relentless being a sahm is, and how jealous I’d feel when dh skipped out the door to go to work when both kids (we have twins) have exploded in a poonami
How much housework he’ll do
How much downtime away from all of them I have (none for bloody ages)
Lie ins
Night feeds
Who I am apart from their mother and his wife. I truly felt/feel I’ve lost a lot of myself and don’t know who I am so much now, or what I enjoy that’s not child related
Being 100% financially reliant on someone else, and wtf would happen if we split - how on earth would I afford to raise the two before the free funding kicks in
Where I’ll get adult conversation from where I’m just me and not mother of twins
Idiots who think I don’t work or do anything at all and just sit at home all day eating biscuits.

The financial implications have been the biggest one, and feeling like a drain. We share finances jointly, I have full access to all monies, and have never been denied anything at all. I just hate being reliant on someone else, and being financially vulnerable especially if dh just buggered off.

On the flip side, I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve got to spend this time with my DTs which I’ll never get back. I think part time or a job working opposite hours to dh would’ve been best for me so I didn’t lose myself so much.

TwigTheWonderKid · 17/04/2020 22:25

I loved being a SAHM but it was a decision jointly taken. I earned more than DH so it really was a joint decision which affected us both. We do, and always have, made joint financial decisions and, as we work as a team we are both able to undestand and appreciate each other's contribution to our family and understand that whilst what we may contribute is different, it is equally important. He couldn't go to work without me looking after the children and running our home and I couldn't do that without his financial input. However, I suspect it helps that we both know that either of us could do what the other one does.

If your DH is that bothered about a parent being at home then maybe he should consider being the SAHP?

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