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Deciding to be a SAHM...
How did you decide?


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#1 Feral_Pooks

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

I'm wrestling with this at the moment.

We agreed before we even conceived DS that I would be a SAHM for the first year, no questions asked, then review the balance at that time.

We have both agreed that, since there isn't a financial *necessity* for me to return to work (though of course the thought of extra money is always a nice one, although me working anything less than full time would not give us much of an immediate financial advantage), it's best for us at this time if I stay a SAHM *for now*.

However the need to justify my SAHM-ness seems to have really increased since DS has been approaching age one.

I've looked into getting part time work in my field, 1-2 days, but it's pretty much impossible to find. If I'd been able to go on mat leave instead of resigning (long story) I might have been able to negotiate part time but coming in as a new person, it's pretty rare and the jobs I've seen want people with way more experience than me.

There have been aspects to not being employed that I really have struggled with, especially keeping up my interests related to my profession, and I don't get a lot of satisfaction out of "keeping house" and I am pretty average at it.

However I've made a concerted effort to make some positive changes. We have activities 3 days a week (kindagym, swimming lessons, music time), I have enrolled in part time online study, and I'm getting involved in some volunteer work somewhat related to my profession. I'm feeling really good about it. Actually I'm feeling more comfortable with where I'm at now, than I have in a long, long time.

I also have this feeling... (And I don't mean this as a criticism to working mums, because a) I've always planned to be one, b) I probably will be one soon enough and c) this is about me, not anyone else) that DS is just not ready for childcare. Even at kindagym he is around my ankles and gets overwhelmed. He is a bit behind, developmentally. He loves seeing other children but he can't interact with them much. And he is quite a sensitive type who won't sleep unless things are *just so* and can suddenly get quite overwhelmed and hysterical and even mum or DP struggle to comfort him when that happens. And we had such a rough start, he and I, that I feel like in the last few months we have just started to have a much better relationship and I'm keen to help him feel more secure. Then I wonder if it is me with the attachment issues, not him...

At the moment I feel like I would prefer to be at home with him, or worked very part-time, until he is 2 1/2-3, and perhaps won't need a day nap and will get more out of interacting from other kids.

I realise this will have implications for our income and my career but I am even more uncomfortable with some of the alternatives. The only alternative I can imagine is that DP goes to part-time, but that would hinge on my finding part-time work.

So I'm wondering, how did you come to decide to be a SAHM, and for how long? It's certainly an unpopular decision in my circles beyond the first 6-12 months, and one I know I'll be quizzed about. I'm curious, please share!

#2 galleygirl

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

Hi,

Like you we decided before conception that I would stay at home. We never put a time frame on it but I planned to work in his business as needed and be with the kids. I was a flight attendant prior to kids and returning to that just wasn't practical for us.
After 2 years and 2 kids I started a small business which helped me learn new skills and created a sense of independence. In in all I was a SAHM for 5 years. After such time I became separated and now divorced. In hindsight Im really pleased I was able to be there for my kids full time. It is difficult but worth it. On the flip side I do feel a bit resentful having been 5 years out of the workforce. I still run my small business but needed to source full time office work after the divorce for financial reasons. I had to start from the bottom again. Had I worked at least part time, I would have felt better prepared to enter the workforce. Everyone's situation is different. You have to so what's right for you. Further study, volunteering are both great things to do during this time. It's good you are thinking about it all and being proactive. Good luck!

#3 Flaxen

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

I was working FT in a job I hated, and was actively looking for a new job when I concieved DD.
A week after i found out i was PG I was offered two jobs but turned them down due to my changed circumstances.
I went on maternity leave from the job that I hated but stayed at, and 6 months later resigned as it was clear i wouldnt return there.
Childcare is not something i want to do with DD, but i would have had our finances been less than adequate. We have had to make adjustments, but its not been much of a change as we thought it would be.
It has also opened up the option for us to move to the country, if i was in a job still i would have balked at the idea, thinking it couldnt be done. But with nothing to tie me down there, and with DH's job being on the road, we had no problems making the move - I wish we'd done it earlier now.
I love being a SAHM, and in my circles its common, as is working part-time, so i didnt feel the need to justify it to anyone. I dont think you should ever be concerned with what others think of your decisions, do what is right for you and your family.

Edited by Flaxen, 18 February 2013 - 09:16 AM.


#4 Kreme

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:19 AM

I pretty much adopted a wait and see attitude because I knew that many of my friends changed their minds about what they wanted to do after the baby was born.

After my first child I went back to work but it was a no brainer. I was working 3 days a week, but 2 were from home and only 1 in the office. My mum volunteered to come to stay for the 2 days I was at home so she looked after DD while I worked. And because we only needed one day of care we were able to afford a nanny for the day I worked in the office. And if that wasn't good enough, I was already pregnant with my 2nd when I went back to work, so I knew it would only be for 6 months.

I enjoyed working, but circumstances changed by the time my second round of maternity leave ended. My mum didn't feel able to look after 2 kids so close in age, my manager left and the new one "didn't believe in" people working from home  rolleyes.gif. So it would have meant putting 2 kids in daycare 3 days per week and spending 6 hours a week commuting. I decided to resign and I have been a SAHM ever since. My kids are now 6.5 and 5. I work part time from home (contracting for my old employer - apparently working from home does work after all  biggrin.gif )

For me avoiding daycare was a big driver. I'm just not keen on MY babies and little kids going to daycare (that's for my kids, I have no opinion on what others do!) and really wanted to keep them at home until they were 3.

But that isn't a reason I feel comfortable sharing with others because sometimes it offends them if they have chosen daycare for their kids. So I would just be vague when questioned, using phrases like "we're happy so we are just going to carry on the way we are for now".

Many people have said things to me that were rude, obnoxious and just plain ridiculous. My kids did not end up clingy and refusing to leave my side, in fact they have both transitioned to preschool and school with ease. And my brain hasn't withered up and died.

But it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks, because we are comfortable with our decision. As a family we are very happy and our stress levels are very low, which is what we wanted to achieve.

My advice would be just consider what matters to you and your partner. The opinions of others are irrelevant. Good luck with the decision  original.gif

#5 Red nut

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:43 AM

I'm an older mum, and have spent my whole adult life working to get where I am career wise. I earn twice as much as DP, which makes it well worth while after childcare costs. I think I would deskill pretty quickly with prolonged time off, though part time is a very realistic option. And I love my work, look at it as a vocation, and find it very rewarding.

For these reasons, I doubt I will ever be a stay at home mum. But were my work circumstances different, then I think there are tons of benefits to being a SAHM, and my decision might be quite different!

#6 Maple Leaf

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

It wasn't a hard decision for me. I always knew that I would have 3-4 years at home with child 1 until she goes to kindy and then 3-4 years at home with child 2 as well. DH was right on board with it too.

It's always been the plan, I feel no guilt about it and honestly would feel more guilty using daycare as it's just not for us.

You just have to follow your heart.

DD2 starts kindy next year, 2 days a week- and I will be into my second year of study (starting a new course this year) and then hopefully will creep back into the workforce.

I fully expected to put my career on hold for this amount of time and couldn't imagine it any other way.

The vast majority of my friends are SAHM (one other friend works 3 days a week and dislikes it and would desperately like to drop down to 2 days) so I've had no one judging me at all as we all seemed to do the same thing. original.gif



#7 zande

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

For me (and my DH) it was never a "decision", we always said way before I got pregnant I would be staying home until our kids reached primary school. I didn't have a career to give up, so that might have helped. And we were fortunate that DH earned more than enough for me to stay home (and we didn't really have to make many financial sacrifices).

It's a decision I've never regretted. Having said that, my youngest started f/time school last year and I now work 3 school-hour days a week and I love it! I also have some flexibility in my work days so don't miss out on school stuff, and I get all of school hols off (and no, I'm not a teacher!). Best of both worlds for me now.

#8 Lady Lovely Locks

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:01 AM

I have been on  maternity leave since the start of May 2012, and in the past week have decided that this May when I am due to go back to work that I am only going to do one day a week. I am also finishing my degree and if I were to go back full time I would have to drop down to part time study, which would double the time I have left studying, so my theory is short term financial pain for longer term gain.
Also it will enable me to have the next year with my DD before I enter the workforce in a new industry which will require lots of time and energy, and DP would then reduce his workload to care for DD and study.

#9 MintyBiscuit

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

Both DH and I were on the same page with having a SAHP when our kids were little. DH earns a truckload more money than me, enjoys his job and goes a bit strange when he's at home for long periods. I on the other hand hated my job, earned pretty mediocre money and quite enjoy being at home. I also loved my time in childcare and working with kids, so while I knew it would be different being my own child, I knew I could handle days on end of looking after a child. We waited and paid off debts and got ourselves sorted financially so that I didn't have to go back to work. While there is always the option for me to go back to work if I want to, I don't right now.

DH grew up with a SAHM, and loved it. I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandparents and as a latchkey kid, and while it wasn't all bad, I wanted something different for our family. We are in the fortunate position that it's an option financially, but I also know we would have made further sacrifices if necessary to make it work.

I've always been very conscious of maintaining who I am outside of being "just a mum". This has probably been a bit easier for me than some because my work wasn't something that contributed to my identity, it was just a job that paid the bills. I'm starting part time study next week so that I'll be qualified if and when I do return to work, and I've joined a gym so that I have a few hours a week where I'm solely thinking about myself. The house is not immaculate, but it never was, and it was never part of the deal. The key for us is that communication is always open, and the times I've felt DH is not pulling his weight or expecting too much from me just because I'm at home, I've called him on it and we've fixed it. So I'd suggest if you do decide to remain a SAHM, make sure you keep talking to each other and that you're both clear on the expectations of each other's roles in the household.

As far as what people say? Rarely does a week go by when I'm not asked when I'm going back to work. A lot of the time a simple confident "I'm not for the moment, we're able to have me at home and we prefer that for DS" is all that's needed. If pressed, it's a matter of childcare in the city would mean me earning next to nothing, which is not worth the trade off, and childcare where we live would mean DH and I needing to split our shifts and barely see each other, which is also not worth the trade off. It's a little bit BS, but no one questions it.

Good luck with your decision original.gif

#10 MrsLexiK

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

This could all change I understand but for us we based our choice on the fact my DH earns more.  To me ensuring my bills are paid is much less stressful then losing my spot on the career ladder.  It's not like we would struggle for a year or two if DH became the SAHP because even in my field it would take me a few years to get to where DH is now and then by he would have passed where he is now if that makes sense.  We both have fond memories of one parent being a SAHP durning our lives or at least if there was no SAHP for a period there was a very a parent who was very very flexi (in my case, in DH's case both his parents did stints as SAHP's)

I will either study or study and work part time (for me it wouldn't matter what I was doing as long as I was making enough to cover the food budget + petrol etc to get to the job I would be ok with stacking shelves if that makes sense) depending on how much I can cope with and what our family needs.  This will mean that when I am ready to renter the workforce on a more full time basis I wouldn't of just been taking a break I would have kept my qual's up (or gotten new ones)

For us mainly due to our age difference I suppose I will need to return to work full time or at least part time my DH is at present in a physical job he won't be able to do this much past 67 (I don't see him being able to be on the tools much past his 60's it doesn't work that easily with physical work) which will mean he will most probably be part time fora few years then give up when he can no longer work part time.  The thing is though who is going to hire a 50 something year old women who has been out of the workforce for x amount of years.  So by me going back to study I will probably be enter the work force again when I am 30ish and be able to build myself up again.  Taking 5 years off isn't such a big deal for me as in the long run it is better to do it now whilst I am still young then get to 40 and realise oh crap how will we live off my wage for 10 years!

#11 Lishyfips

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

I've been a SAHM for seven years now, with a situation similar to yours, OP. We can get by on one salary, there's not a lot of new part-time jobs in my industry and I couldn't stand the idea of both my husband and I gone from 7am till 8pm with the kids in daycare. I figure it's a relatively short time in my life to spend at home with the kids, so I'm taking it. Plenty of years of work to come...

Before kids I had a career I enjoyed, was well paid (equal to my husband, back then) and got a lot of self-esteem from my job. I always planned to stay home till the kids started school but I've struggled with it over the years. There was the initial loneliness when I was home all the time with a baby and hadn't yet formed a circle of friends with young kids. I've felt excluded at social situations with non-parent friends - offended when they show no interest in my 'job' as a mum when I've heard all about their careers and social lives. I'd get furious (after the fact) when people asked me when I was going back to work. I suddenly felt overlooked, as if my IQ had dropped, my opinion no longer mattered, I was irrelevant because I no longer had a city job.

There are lots of things that have made staying home easier for me as time has gone by. My kids got older and became the most delightful people to be around (at least for some of each day). The longer I was home, the more friends I've made who are in the same situation. I found other projects to keep me 'engaged' - and I don't mean the housework, which gives me very little satisfaction whatsoever. I don't know, it just takes time to settle into the job.

Over the years I've seen friends return to work, become incredibly stressed by the routine, still doing the dreaded housework, not even enjoying their jobs like they used to. And I look at my stressed-out husband gone from 7am till 8pm or later, and I think at least by me being home I can make life easier for everyone in the family. I'd hate the kids to have two frazzled corporate parents. I'd hate to be fighting with my husband over who was going to do the washing. The washing sucks, but I figure it's no more tedious than answering work emails - every job has its mundane tasks.

I guess what I'm getting at is, if you've got a one year old then you're just getting started being a parent. If you can afford to stay home, do it if you think it's best for your child, for you and your partner. Fight the pressure from society to rush back to work. Your brain won't atrophy. You needn't pop on an apron and some rubber gloves. You might struggle with this new job, with your changed identity, but you'll still be you. Your family might just have a better quality of life if there's someone home with your son till he's older.

Wow, now I really need to put down the iPad and do something...

#12 baddmammajamma

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

Pooks:

I'm getting in my all terrain vehicle and veering somewhat off the main road here -- but I remember your recent posts about your "niggling" concerns about your son. If you haven't already made the appointments with the relevant professionals, I would strongly urge you to do that asap (because these things take time!) And make sure you see a more supportive GP than the last one because every parent deserves to be listened to.

If your son does in fact have some catching up to do, that could impact your decision significantly.

For me & with my daughter's situation, it meant that I couldn't work during the day (as she had a lot of appointments and just wouldn't have adapted well at that stage to most conventional child care arrangements). It also meant that we needed more money to cover all of these great services (so I ended up adjusting the content of my work to focus on projects on the other side of the world so I could work at night from home).

I know that I am EB's "Most Likely To Remind Parents To Act Upon Their Concerns" -- but I just know how easy it is to let things slip a little when you are sleep deprived, busy chasing a little one, debating important things like to work or not to work...

Good luck with your decision. I appreciate that it's not an easy one!

#13 Ice Queen

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

When I had DD I didn't have a 'job' to take maternity leave from.  I owned my own business so worked from home and then sold the business when she was 1.  So being a SAHM has never been a conscious decision, it just happened as I didnt have a job to go back to.  But here are the reasons I am staying put as SAHM.

I had 20yrs of career and working.  I am over it and would stick pins in my eyes before I got in a car at peak hour to arrive into an office to spend 8hrs having my soul sucked out of me by a computer.  There is more to me and my life than working.  I actually feel a much more complete person at home, I am not defined by my job anymore and I love that.  

My DH earns enough to keep us comfortably for now.  So financially we are ok.

I didn't want to send my kids to childcare especially under 2.  Our lives have been easier than many of my friends with the lack of bugs and sickness and that alone to me has made that decision worthwhile.  My kids are pretty clingy too and just aren't the run into childcare barely waving mum goodbye type of kids.  I hear people say how their kids love childcare and I dont see that with mine.  My DD would prefer to be home than at kindy and she is nearly 4.

My DH is utterly useless around the house and with the kids in a practical sense.  If I worked I know I would be doing the majority of the childcare, housework, cooking, shopping etc.  For me it is not worth the stress and I would spend most my wage on shopping delivery, cleaner for longer,ironing lady etc.  

I am a very self motivated person.  I do think this is important.  I can plan my week and Fill it with interesting stuff for us to do.  I don't get bored at home and I most definitely do NOT spend my days doing housework!  I have looked at being a SAHM like any job, it takes time and effort to be good at it and build up to having an interesting life.  I am confident enough to make playdates, coffees with friends etc.  Also I am quite a fast, efficient person so housework and washing gets done quickly!  I am up to my 5th load of washing today (Monday is my washing, shopping, cleaning day so the next two days I do no housework at all).

I have an interest at home.  Again, important to stop yourself getting bored because no matter how much you do go out and about, you inevitably spend a fair part of the day at home.  For me I love to cook.  i can spend 3 hrs cooking dinner, baking a cake and fiddling in the kitchen so while DS sleeps, DD watches TV and I am happily engrossed in my own happy world in the kitchen.  DD helps too.

My kids aren't full on, difficult kids.  I do think this makes a huge difference.  I have a good friend who couldn't wait to get back to work after 6mo with her first bub but this baby screamed for months on end. I have babysat her and I would have gone back to work too.......She is nuts!  Mine will play quietly, they have always been good daysleepers and I have been able to do things with them under my feet.  

My 2 BF's were SAHM mums and 1 still is so I had company and no pressure to work.  To them, I was normal being a SAHM so I never doubted my decision.

Sooooooo.......long reply!  I think there is a lot that goes into the decision.  I am happy, my kids are happy, my DH is happy.  That is why I do it.  biggrin.gif

#14 Chchgirl

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:16 PM

I was pushed into it a bit, I had no daycare for under 2's anywhere I lived in 1999 when she was 12 months old..my mum still worked (still does!) and rightly so my mother in law wouldn't do it full time. Wasn't worth my while travelling to the city for a part time job in a job I hated..

I was a career changer so wasn't affected by staying at home for 7 years with two kids!

#15 cinnabubble

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE
I had 20yrs of career and working. I am over it and would stick pins in my eyes before I got in a car at peak hour to arrive into an office to spend 8hrs having my soul sucked out of me by a computer. There is more to me and my life than working. I actually feel a much more complete person at home, I am not defined by my job anymore and I love that.

My DH earns enough to keep us comfortably for now. So financially we are ok.

Don't you get concerned that your husband is required to get his soul sucked so you don't have to?

#16 bikingbubs

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

My decision to resign was an easy one - I was only working 3 days a fortnight with very little financial gain, and we were also wanting to TTC.  I returned to work for only 2 months before I realised that it wasnt going to work long term.  I got my BFP the month I started back at work (have a 19 month age gap) and I had no intentions of being where I was working long term anyway.

TBH, we hadnt really commited to me returning to work or being a SAHM so it was kind of led by what I wanted to do.

I think you need to think long term as to what your plans are and if you would be happy being at home that long.  I think the study thing is a good way of keeping yourself & your mind occupied though (I too am starting study soon!).  

Although I love being a SAHM, it is also a struggle sometimes! A lot of my friends are SAHM's so that helps in regards to getting out & about and also being able to talk to them about my (and their) troubles without the "oh you are just a SAHM" attitude (because there really are ups and downs despite not being "at work").

As you are probably aware its really only a decision that you can make as everyones situation/dynamics/personality are totally different! I am the sort to keep busy or we all go crazy, but my friend who is a SAHM rarely leaves the house - and this works for both of us original.gif

#17 Beancat

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

We didnt really "decide" as such, it just happened.  i went on mat leave with no 2 in Dec 11 for 12 months. Then in Sept discovered I was preg with no 3 - a total surprise original.gif
AT the time my work was handing out redundancies and in the previous two years i had been studying a dip ed to change careers at the start of 2013.

It was a no brainer really.  Instead of going back to work in Dec 12 and working in a job i dont really like withy a 2 hour commute each day until April 2013, we decided i take the payout and stay at home.  

I am now a qualified teacher and have registered to do a bit of relief work, but I have not permanent job as such.  I'll stay at home for the rest of this year and look at re-entering the workforce next year.

CC or avoiding it has not been an issue for us.  My eldest stayed in CC 2 days a week last year and loved it and now while he is at 4yo kinder DD goes one day a week to give me a break and her a different experience.  We have an excellent centre, which makes the decision to send them easier.

I would say I dont love being a SAHM, but I do like it and I know my kids, esp the 4yo, really like having me around.

Edited by Beancat, 18 February 2013 - 12:40 PM.


#18 mummabear

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

There was never a question about me going back to work, unless I strongly desired to do so! My personal beliefs supported being at home and thankfully I have a husband who agreed. My youngest started school last year, and there are no plans for me to return to work. I have more than enough here to keep me busy, I like being around to attend the kids school things, and to be here if they are sick. So for us, me staying at home works well. I was never a high income earner before we had kids, so we adjusted to one wage.

It is an individual decision. Do what is going to work for you and your family. Kids have to come first. And everyone's opinion on how to achieve this will differ. There is no point staying home if you are miserable, and no point going to work if you are miserable!

#19 kpingitquiet

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

For us, it was an easy decision. I was already not working due to immigration and remodeling our house for sale. So it made no sense for me to start a career here to work for five minutes just to leave again. Then we decided we wanted more than one child and I would want at least a year at home with them, too. But I'm choosing to work on a degree while I stay home, and have done some freelance work from time to time if I felt the need or our finances needed a small boost. Truth is, we'd be golden if I had a fullt-ime income as my husband does not earn terribly much. But, for the time being, we're happy with our lifestyle and I really want the chance to study without the added stress of work on top of that. It will be interesting enough juggling study, kid(s), and personal interests.

By the time I finish my degree, I will have been out of full-time employment for nearly 9 years, and a SAHM for close to 6.

#20 Feral_Pooks

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Lots of food for thought here!

QUOTE (kreme @ 18/02/2013, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...As a family we are very happy and our stress levels are very low, which is what we wanted to achieve.

My advice would be just consider what matters to you and your partner. The opinions of others are irrelevant. Good luck with the decision  original.gif


This is a priority for me also, due to mental health stuff. Great point.

QUOTE (HollyOllyOxenfree @ 18/02/2013, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've always been very conscious of maintaining who I am outside of being "just a mum". This has probably been a bit easier for me than some because my work wasn't something that contributed to my identity, it was just a job that paid the bills. I'm starting part time study next week so that I'll be qualified if and when I do return to work, and I've joined a gym so that I have a few hours a week where I'm solely thinking about myself. The house is not immaculate, but it never was, and it was never part of the deal. The key for us is that communication is always open, and the times I've felt DH is not pulling his weight or expecting too much from me just because I'm at home, I've called him on it and we've fixed it. So I'd suggest if you do decide to remain a SAHM, make sure you keep talking to each other and that you're both clear on the expectations of each other's roles in the household.

As far as what people say? Rarely does a week go by when I'm not asked when I'm going back to work. A lot of the time a simple confident "I'm not for the moment, we're able to have me at home and we prefer that for DS" is all that's needed. If pressed, it's a matter of childcare in the city would mean me earning next to nothing, which is not worth the trade off, and childcare where we live would mean DH and I needing to split our shifts and barely see each other, which is also not worth the trade off. It's a little bit BS, but no one questions it.

Good luck with your decision original.gif


Great post Holly. I think I've only just started figuring out how to hit that balance a bit better. Work was/is a massive part of my identity and I do have career goals I'd like to pursue, study will be an inevitable part of that so I guess I'm lucky I can do that while at home.

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 18/02/2013, 11:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pooks:

I'm getting in my all terrain vehicle and veering somewhat off the main road here -- but I remember your recent posts about your "niggling" concerns about your son. If you haven't already made the appointments with the relevant professionals, I would strongly urge you to do that asap (because these things take time!) And make sure you see a more supportive GP than the last one because every parent deserves to be listened to.

If your son does in fact have some catching up to do, that could impact your decision significantly.

For me & with my daughter's situation, it meant that I couldn't work during the day (as she had a lot of appointments and just wouldn't have adapted well at that stage to most conventional child care arrangements). It also meant that we needed more money to cover all of these great services (so I ended up adjusting the content of my work to focus on projects on the other side of the world so I could work at night from home).

I know that I am EB's "Most Likely To Remind Parents To Act Upon Their Concerns" -- but I just know how easy it is to let things slip a little when you are sleep deprived, busy chasing a little one, debating important things like to work or not to work...

Good luck with your decision. I appreciate that it's not an easy one!


Thanks BMJ. I have seen my regular GP and she too has suggested a "wait and see" approach and to talk to my MCHN, which I have an appointment for this week, although I'm not her greatest fan. I'm hoping she will be able to refer us on for some assessments/specialists, I'm suspecting she will be better placed to do so than the GP anyway as my GP seemed unsure about what is developmentally appropriate for DS... He has made a few developments in recent weeks so perhaps my concern was premature, still, it's frustrating to be brushed off by someone who has just commented they don't know what would be a concern or not for a 1 year old.

And BMJ, his 'personality' is a big part of why I feel he needs me (or his dad or Nanna) to be home with him and gently help him to cope with some of the things he finds hard. I'm perhaps doing some "wait and see" myself, in the sense of whether or not he does need some additional professional support.

Thanks for your concern, I haven't dropped the ball, I'm just trying to find the right person to help make the referrals. I might even talk to my psych next visit.

Thank you everyone for your replies, it's definitely giving me more to think about.

#21 flowermama

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

When we had DD1 the plan was for me to return to work part time when she was one. I did go back for a few months one day a week with MIL looking after DD1 but when she couldn't do it anymore we decided I'd stay at home full time. There were several reasons; DD1 was/is very sensitive and didn't at the time interact easily with other people. She was also very attached to me and I felt she wouldn't cope well with childcare. I don't regret it at all, it was the best thing for our family and I loved being able to spend so much time with her. She's now at kindy and loving it  original.gif

#22 Ice Queen

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:10 PM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 18/02/2013, 10:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't you get concerned that your husband is required to get his soul sucked so you don't have to?


laugh.gif  He would probably say that he didn't want his soul sucked up by the vacuum or the washing machine!

He loves his job far more than I ever did and has no real interests at home so he would be bored brainless at home.  Also as I stated later in my post he is hopeless around the house, his compromise to leaving his dirty socks lying on the floor is that he has to work.  Make sense?  If he cleaned, bathed the kids and cooked, maybe I wouldn't be so harsh in my decision but that is his choice every day as he leaves his butter knife lying on the sink for the 'maid' to clean up.

#23 Nataliah

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

We decided on me being the SAHP purely because of birth and boobs, we both wanted to do it, I got dibs by virtue of biology.  Financially it would have been the same whichever of us stayed home.  I am having 12 month off minimum.  When I go back to work I will need to go back to work full time, neither of us was comfortable with putting our baby into full time childcare prior to 12 months.  In reality, getting fulltime childcare within the next 12 month is unlikely anyway, waiting lists for CC are insane.

You know what though, we might change our mind.  I might hate it at home and might go back to work earlier while DH stops working for a while.  We might get a CC place and feel DS is ready earlier than 12 months.  I might find a way to work part-time.  I might decide to have another baby straight away (unlikely)...


#24 ImpatientAnna

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

Like you, I never fathomed taking longer than 12 months of mat leave. I had worked my way into a good position, and I had organised 9 months mat leave but had the option to return after 6.

Then DS was born. Since the day he was born he has been a clingy, sensitive soul who loves other kids but will scream his little lungs out if away from his mum for too long. He is now 15 months and still the same. Still like me to snuggle up next to him to go to sleep for naps, and nap conditions must be perfect. Yesterday he was at the park with his dad and apparently he ran the last 20m home because he missed mum. They were only gone an hour.

So his nature combined with the crappy centres in our area, made us decide child care wasn't right for us. We can manage.

The first few months after this decision were hard for me because I had never not contributed financially. I just had to work through it.

The arrangement works for us because it means DS has a parent with him all the time which he loves, I get through a fair bit of the domestic crap during the weekdays so we just share bits and pieces on the weekend, along with primarily quality time all together. DS loves other kids so we do arrange tons of activities during the week to keep him in the loop socially.

Being at home as also allowed me to study so that when DS is school aged, I will have a more family friendly role and will be the bread winner then

Anyway I guess this

#25 laridae

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (Lishyfips @ 18/02/2013, 11:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I look at my stressed-out husband gone from 7am till 8pm or later, and I think at least by me being home I can make life easier for everyone in the family. I'd hate the kids to have two frazzled corporate parents.


Do you think maybe that your DH might not be so frazzled if he didn't have to work such long hours so that you can stay home?

Sure, it would be nice to stay at home & look after my child, but I couldn't do that if it meant my DH was stressed out by shouldering all the responsibility of earning money.  I could stay at home - if my husband took on another job that extended his hours out to what yours does.  As it is - we both work fulltime, him from 7am-3:30pm and me from 9am to 5pm (with about 5 mins travel time for him and about 15 mins for me).
I'd much rather have a non-stressed out DH and work myself as well though.

If you can SAH and not have one parent stressed out by the work they need to do you keep the family afloat financially - by all means, go for it, if that's what you want to do, and if you prefer to work, go for that.




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