Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

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Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  beckyj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:10 am

Hi I'm new here having been recommended to come to this forum by somebody on mumsnet.

I went back to work this week after having 9 months maternity leave with my daughter. I already have a son who is 3 so they are now both at nursery 3 full days a week.

The dilemma is this, after paying for childcare we are only £25 better of each month than we would be if I didn't work. It's a no-brainer financially, why pay someone to look after your kids if you're not actually making any money from working?

But my husband really doesn't enjoy his well paid job and would give it up in an instant if he could do. Even if I did work full time I wouldn't even earn half of his wages, so that's not an option.
Since returning to work after having my son, I've not been doing the job I was trained for, I've been working in the office on different, perhaps more responsible tasks. However it's not that enjoyable because it is very full on, time consuming and there are always problems that need solving and clients who want it NOW! A bit like childcare really!

My son will start school next September but then there's the issue of breakfast and after school club and holiday clubs - more expense and no time off for the poor little boy. We don't have any family living locally so sending him to the grandparents for the day is not an option.

Any suggestions? I think I need to convince my husband that running the house and taking care of the kids is not the easy cop-out that he thinks it is. But also I am worried that if I leave to labour market now, how will I get back into it, 5,6,7 years down the line? My Mum always says she regrets not retraining after being a stay at home mum and not having a proper career once we kids had grown up.


Any advice welcome please.


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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  alec eiffel on Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:34 am

Hi,

First of all, I have no children thankfully so you can just ignore me from now if you wish!

Do you know what your DH's real issue is with you giving up work. It can't really be financial if he knows you're only £25 a month better off when it all comes out in the wash - could it be psychological that even though he knows all your salary goes out to pay for childcare he also feels a bit more comfortable knowing you share the financial burden (I don't know, people are weird).

Is it because he's a bit jealous that you'll get what you want and he'll still be stuck doing something he's not overly fond of? Or that he'd feel obliged to continue doing that job even if he wanted to make a change because you'd be relying on that salary? So he couldn't take a less well paid job if the opportunity for something that would make him happier came along but didn't pay as well.

Talk to him, when the children are in bed or some time you're less likely to be interrupted and thrash out the issues. When I gave up work we had an agreement and we listed the things that would be my responsibility - I have a proper job role as well as just sitting on my ass quilting all day. So Dan knows when he comes home other than emptying the bin and a few other bits and bobs he doesn't have to do anything around the house as long as I've been doing my job when he's out doing his. Work out the budget so you can both see in black and white what it means and what options you have.

You never know he might just think that you need a bit of time to get used to being back at work and might not quite realise that you are serious about this and it isn't just a reaction to being back at work and being back in the routine of it. Talk to him, put forward your viewpoint and listen to his then see where you can go from there. Good luck and welcome to the board!

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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  TP on Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:58 am

beckyj wrote:Hi I'm new here having been recommended to come to this forum by somebody on mumsnet.

I went back to work this week after having 9 months maternity leave with my daughter. I already have a son who is 3 so they are now both at nursery 3 full days a week.

The dilemma is this, after paying for childcare we are only £25 better of each month than we would be if I didn't work. It's a no-brainer financially, why pay someone to look after your kids if you're not actually making any money from working?

But my husband really doesn't enjoy his well paid job and would give it up in an instant if he could do. Even if I did work full time I wouldn't even earn half of his wages, so that's not an option.
Since returning to work after having my son, I've not been doing the job I was trained for, I've been working in the office on different, perhaps more responsible tasks. However it's not that enjoyable because it is very full on, time consuming and there are always problems that need solving and clients who want it NOW! A bit like childcare really!

My son will start school next September but then there's the issue of breakfast and after school club and holiday clubs - more expense and no time off for the poor little boy. We don't have any family living locally so sending him to the grandparents for the day is not an option.

Any suggestions? I think I need to convince my husband that running the house and taking care of the kids is not the easy cop-out that he thinks it is. But also I am worried that if I leave to labour market now, how will I get back into it, 5,6,7 years down the line? My Mum always says she regrets not retraining after being a stay at home mum and not having a proper career once we kids had grown up.


Any advice welcome please.

I can see your dilemma. Its looking at it long term isnt it. The labour market can be hard to get back into when you have been out of the loop. Tough one.

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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  appletree on Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:32 am

Would YOU be satisfied being at home all day & not working? That is what you have to consider. Personally I LOVE being at home, I find it much more rewarding than ever being at work.

When we did the sums it didn't make much financial sense for me going back to work after our second was born as I would be going back part time too. After paying for childcare, fuel to and from work, work clothes, buying a lunch, secret santa and various office contributions we worked out I would be better off staying at home. And to be honest I am SO glad that i did. My youngest started school in September and DH doesn't want me to go back to work now either. He likes the fact that if one of the kids is ill there is someone at home to take care of them including all school holidays, when we go on holidays we only have to consider him booking time off its simpler than both of us trying to sort it out for the same time, I do all the shopping and sort the house out so evening and weekends are for "family time". He knows when he comes home from work he can chill out as basically everything has been done.

I will go back to work one day but right now I feel that my place is in the home. If you look at it like this, you have to work until your 65ish so taking a few years "out" now isn't that big a deal in the general scheme of things. When the kids are bigger and don't need me to be at home anymore I will go back to work then, I have no idea what I will do, I might re-train, who knows!

And just for the record just like being at work some days aren't easy and you have days when you want to scream and get out of the house when the kids are driving you up the wall! I suppose it depends on the job you are doing now and how YOu feel about giving it up for a few years and how easy it would be to get back into. It might not work for everyone but it works in our house Smile
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  beckyj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:53 am

appletree wrote:Would YOU be satisfied being at home all day & not working? That is what you have to consider. Personally I LOVE being at home, I find it much more rewarding than ever being at work.

When we did the sums it didn't make much financial sense for me going back to work after our second was born as I would be going back part time too. After paying for childcare, fuel to and from work, work clothes, buying a lunch, secret santa and various office contributions we worked out I would be better off staying at home. And to be honest I am SO glad that i did. My youngest started school in September and DH doesn't want me to go back to work now either. He likes the fact that if one of the kids is ill there is someone at home to take care of them including all school holidays, when we go on holidays we only have to consider him booking time off its simpler than both of us trying to sort it out for the same time, I do all the shopping and sort the house out so evening and weekends are for "family time". He knows when he comes home from work he can chill out as basically everything has been done.

I will go back to work one day but right now I feel that my place is in the home. If you look at it like this, you have to work until your 65ish so taking a few years "out" now isn't that big a deal in the general scheme of things. When the kids are bigger and don't need me to be at home anymore I will go back to work then, I have no idea what I will do, I might re-train, who knows!

And just for the record just like being at work some days aren't easy and you have days when you want to scream and get out of the house when the kids are driving you up the wall! I suppose it depends on the job you are doing now and how YOu feel about giving it up for a few years and how easy it would be to get back into. It might not work for everyone but it works in our house Smile


I agree with completely. I can't see how I could possibly keep the house ship shape, do the washing and cooking etc and ever have anytime off if I keep on working. Whereas being on maternity leave and only having my daughter with me for 3 days per week while my son has been at pre-school I have been able to keep on top of things.
And being able to look after the kids when they are ill without having to make allsorts of arrangements at work at short notice is definitely a good thing. They are only going to be young for a short time and now that this opportunity has arisen I think I would probably be mad not to seize it and might look back in regret in a few years. Especially when they are older and don't want/need me so much.
As for getting back into work, perhaps in a few years I'll be ready to do something different, its 33 years until I retire, so that's plenty of time to work. Now we just need to have that discussion......

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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  stiltwalker on Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:22 am

Good luck with whatever you decide and hope you manage a reasoned conversation. I am Sahm with 2 little ones, gave up work after no 1 as I ran a tearoom so the hours would have been impossible to cover with affordable childcare. I thought I'd miss work but no sirree, not one litle bit! I'm taking the opportunity to do an open university degree in childhood and youth studies so I have better career options when we decide I am going back to work, this will also hopefully open doors in the type of careers where term time working is an option to solve the pesky school holidays problem! My oldest has mobility issues and being at home means I can take her to all her appointments and groups and still have time to do stuff with little man too. You could maybe look into doing something like party plan or avon if you really feel the need to bring a bit of pin money in but you will also be contributing financially to the household by having time to shop around for cheap deals and the best prices, cooking from scratch, being able to cook long slow (and therefore cheaper) cuts for stews and casseroles etc.

And welcome aboard!
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  Bitsy Beans on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:39 am

Can I say How spooky this is. I am totally fed up with being a childminder and after discussions with my H we are going to have an experiment with just living on his wages. Will be an education of thinking before wilfully spending but I do think it's achievable if we are more savvy about what we spend our money on. I am excited by the challenge, I suppose more so because it could lead me to being the SAHM I've always wanted to be.

I think the challenge you have in convincing your H is that whilst there is no immediate benefit to him with you being a SAHM there is a benefit in the long term. How much do you cook from scratch? Can you convince him of the benefits of you being at home ie. You'll save money because you can cook everything from scratch including for example stuff like tortillas if you have them stuff like that. I think there is an idea that looking after a house isn't a full time job but it is, more so if you're at home 24/7.
There could be a wee bit of green eye, I mean he'd like to jack in his job but has he thought about what being at home with the kids is like. I know one SAHD and he's found it really hard, all their mates work, toddler groups are top heavy with women etc it can be REALLY lonely, as it can be for a woman too. Many of my friends work so there are days when the only people I saw were kids, their parents at pick up time and the clique at school Rolling Eyes

Good luck with what you decide xxx
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  beckyj on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:57 am

Hey Everyone, thanks for all your support. We had a brief chat today (while the kids were napping). It turns out that he's more concerned about our daughter missing out on experiences at nursery! I agree to a point, but she's only 9 months old at the minute, probably best for her to stay with her mum if possible? There are a few nurserys round us that take children from age 2-5, I'd totally be up for her going there a few mornings a week to socialise with other children her age. And with only my daughter at home for 3 days while my son is at preschool it will be easier to go to music classes and toddler groups that he has been growing out of.

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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  Bitsy Beans on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:13 am

Depending on when she turns 3 she will be entitled to free nursery/pre school. As long as you go to toddler groups etc she will be fine.
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  appletree on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:02 am

You can do activities with them at home that they would do at nursery such as painting, baking etc...
Also toddler groups/ play groups are a great way to socialise, we used to go to loads check out your local library they do reading groups for toddlers too and swimming pool for mother and toddler swimming groups, I also paid for both of mine to do a few pre-school hours between the ages of 2-3, when they were 3 they both went to nursery part time.
Good luck, hope you get it sorted! Very Happy
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  2boysmum on Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:53 pm

I was in the same position as you a few months ago, my kids are older though, my youngest is 7. I worked 16 hours but had to pay out childcare, bus fares to and from work etc and I hardly had any money left at the end of the month. DH and I sat down and discussed it and he was quite happy for me to stay at home while our youngest is still at an age where he needs to be taken to school, have someone at home if he's sick, easier life altogether. I am using my time at home to do an Open University degree so that if I do go back to work we will be better off.
My DH has been very supportive of me becoming a SAHM and I think that helps a lot if you have the support of your partner, we had many discussions about what we would do and how bills would be paid etc before I even considered handing in my notice at work, it's a lot to think about.

However I can honestly say it is the best thing I have ever done!
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  alec eiffel on Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:02 pm

2boysmum wrote:I was in the same position as you a few months ago, my kids are older though, my youngest is 7. I worked 16 hours but had to pay out childcare, bus fares to and from work etc and I hardly had any money left at the end of the month. DH and I sat down and discussed it and he was quite happy for me to stay at home while our youngest is still at an age where he needs to be taken to school, have someone at home if he's sick, easier life altogether. I am using my time at home to do an Open University degree so that if I do go back to work we will be better off.
My DH has been very supportive of me becoming a SAHM and I think that helps a lot if you have the support of your partner, we had many discussions about what we would do and how bills would be paid etc before I even considered handing in my notice at work, it's a lot to think about.

However I can honestly say it is the best thing I have ever done!

That's really nice to hear.

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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  marciared on Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:17 am

How did you get on?
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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  sunrisecards on Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:10 pm

my children are now 22 and 19 so not really children any more lol and I was lucky enough to work in childcare when they were little ( see my post in introductions ) this worked well and I don't think my children missed out as they were with me had lots of friends in the various creches etc and we all had the school holidays off
but now I think I'm feeling that I never had the time to be the Mum I really wanted to be which probably sounds mad but children are little for such a short time ( even though it doesn't feel like it at the time ) and I wish I'd been able to be a stay at home mum , I love being at home and I often feel old fashioned when I talk to my friends and say that I love having a tidy house , work shirts washed and ironed and ready to wear , hubbys dinner on the table when he gets in and baking homemade cakes
at the moment I work more hours than I want to , am always rushing , I'm always tired and often think there must be more to life than this , I work in retail now and end up working over christmas which I hate so am making plans now to cut hours etc so that I can be at home more , one day I will have grandchildren and I want to be able to have the time to look after them and enjoy time with them
so what I'm basically trying to say is if you can afford it then stay at home - children are only young once and life is too short - enjoy x x x

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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  TP on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:58 pm

bumping this up for any new guests browsing the forum.

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The Decision has been made... Finally!

Post  beckyj on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:59 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thank's to everybody who replied to me when I posted MONTHS ago! Sorry I haven't got back to you with an answer, but it's taken this long to come up with the decision about whether to give up work and become a stay at home mum. Very Happy

I've been looking at other jobs and ended up applying to ASDA as they are opening a new store in my town. I had an interview and they liked me but in the end I had to turn it down because the pay was almost 50% less than I am earning now! There's no way that would pay for one child to go to nursery, let alone two!
So after giving it serious thought I have decided that if I give up working now and leave the land surveying industry, not only will I not be able to get another job in the same profession; there is no way I'll ever be able to earn as much anywhere else.
I'm going to ask my boss if I can work school hours from September (when my little boy starts school) and hopefully with a combination of me or my husband taking annual leave, holiday clubs and grandparents coming to stay we'll be able to cope with school holidays!
Another deciding factor was that my husband is not keen for me to give up work completely, he feels that as I worked so hard at university and then in my job for the past 11 years that I shouldn't just give up. I think he's probably right, though I'm not going to admit that to him! If I could just get a job that would let me work from home in the same industry it would be great...........
OK, so some would say that it's better to look after your own kids than pay somebody else to do it for you, but now my little boy is 3 1/2 I can see that there is no way I can provide enough entertainment and stimulation for him at home, especially with his little sister around too. He loves his friends and teachers at his pre-school class.

So have we made the right decision? I hope so. I think it is right by us, the right one for our family. We'll see how we go with working school hours, I might not be able to fit all of my work into those reduced hours so we might have to think again in the future.

Thank you all again for all your advice and suggestions.



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Re: Should I keep working part-time or become a stay-at-home-mum?

Post  TP on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:21 am

thanks for coming back to tell us.

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