Author Topic: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!  (Read 11829 times)

COlady

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I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« on: November 06, 2015, 02:00:09 PM »
About this time last year I was 20 weeks pregnant with twins and planning on quitting my job when they arrived (I grossed about $92k in salary). I thought that it would be great to be a SAHM because I couldn't imagine the pressure of working full time (with overtime) and having twin infants. We'd been saving money for that last 5 years and had plenty of emergency money and money invested. We could live on my husband's salary and it was just no big deal.  My manager, the director of our department and I have a pretty close relationship and they gently proded about what I was going to do.  They wanted to keep me and around in some capacity even if it wasn't full time.  I said I'd keep it in mind.  After being on bedrest for 6 weeks and home with twin infants and my MIL whom I absolutely adore (for real) for 8 weeks I was itching like crazy to put on real clothes and get out of the house. I was starting to wonder if this SAH gig was really going to be for me.  I hired a nanny to watch the boys after my MIL left (one got RSV very young and was hospitalized in the PICU for 2 weeks so daycare is out of the question) and went to work starting at about 12 hours per week. 

The boys are now 8 months old and I've been working three 7 hour days per week doing the same work I did before I got pregnant.  As of November 1 I was given a $5 per hour raise from $70 per hour to $75 per hour (contract basis, pretty good $$).  On the two weekdays that I'm home by myself with them I get so depressed. It's like I'm a different person.  Part of the problem is that I feel pretty isolated at home.  I can't go to play dates because the boys have been sick with a cold and I don't want to spread that. Back in my fantasy SAHM days I always thought I'd go to the gym...I'd put the kid(s) in the daycare there and workout. I can't do that since one of my boys has weak lungs from RSV as I mentioned earlier. I haven't been able to find any time to workout since they were born.  We were walking about 20-25 miles a week when the weather was nice (which I don't consider working out, I consider it sanity) but now that it's cooling down and they're sick it's harder to get out.

I think I want to bump my hours up to four 7 hour days.  I mentioned this to my husband and we ended up having a long discussion about it on what was supposed to be date night, which ended with me in tears at the restaurant.  Pretty much, my husband always envisioned me staying home with the kids like both our moms did with us...that's what I envisioned too.  He said it makes him sad that I can't handle being home with them. I told him that he doesn't know what it's like as he's never done it. I feel guilty (I now know what MOM guilt is!!!) for not wanting to be home with them and wanting to leave them with the nanny for more hours per week.  I was talking to one of my good friends about the situation last night (she's been home with her 1 and 2 year old for a year now) and she urged me to wait a bit, that they get more fun when they get closer to a year.

I'm programmed to think about money, I always have been. This dilemma is more emotionally driven for me than money drive but here is the money breakdown if it helps:

If I worked 30 hours per week: 30 hours X $75 = $2,250 per week or approx. $1,688 after taxes (I'm using 25% effective tax rate for regular tax, SE tax and state tax).  Nanny would be approximately $600 per week including nanny taxes (FICA, unemployment, etc.). So I would net about $1,000 per week after tax or about $48,000 per year.  Not to shabby for 30 hours per week. Anyone have any words of wisdom for me???? If I hear "you have your whole life to work" from my parents one more time I'm going to throw up.

Has anyone been through this before? Any wise words of advice????
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 02:08:38 PM by COlady »

2bor!2b

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 02:17:55 PM »
I am a soon to be first time mom and don't have any inputs but I am posting to follow. I am hoping to go back to work after the birth and even hunt for new jobs but seeing your post has made me question if I would think differently after the baby is here.

People and choices change and please don't let anybody ever guilt you into making a decision. Whatever decision you make should be for your own peace of mind because on any given day, a working mom beats a crazy mom.

Noodle

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 02:19:05 PM »
Your babies will be fine, whatever you decide. I know plenty of working parents (including parents of twins) whose choices about working fall anywhere on the spectrum from "need to" to "want to" and all their children are happy, healthy and beautiful. What children need most are parents who are living their best and healthiest lives, and for you, that is apparently working outside the home. Kids are different. Developmental stages are different. Different parents are good at handling different times of life (if you happen to be the kind of parent who is good at teenagers, all the other moms will be green with envy, I promise). If your husband would like to see if he is the kind of parent who is good at staying home with babies, then by all means start working with him and the budget to see how to make that happen. And your friend may be right about her babies, but honestly 1.5 year to 3.5 years is my least favorite stage of childhood. They are big enough to be willful and wreak a lot of havoc on themselves and others, and not big enough to reason with. So do what works best for you!

Prairie Stash

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 02:25:44 PM »
I think its a myth that all women want to be SAHM and all dads want to work. There's a lot of societal pressure to be a SAHM, I think that's ridiculous. Just because you can produce twins doesn't mean that's all you can do, obviously you can do other fantastic things with your life.

How come you've never flipped it to wonder if your husband should stay home?

One power couple of my acquaintance, both engineers, developed a great solution. They alternated weeks off and job shared.  Their child always had a parent and both got to work.

mm1970

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 02:29:49 PM »
Your babies will be fine, regardless.  I can see your problems though.

Firstly, I don't have the personality that would thrive at home.  I just don't.  I see my friends who are at home - many of them do fine, but they do it by "going out".  So a lot of them spend a fair bit of money at the trampoline place, or bowling, or out to lunch, etc.

Secondly, Your difficulty is the sick kids.  That makes it super duper hard.  You are homebound.

Thirdly, they are young.  I have a good friend with a 5 year old and twins who are 2 (SAHM).  It is really hard.  She's at home.  She gets next to nothing done.  Two babies are a LOT of work, and it doesn't get easy. It doesn't even START getting easier in some respects until they are 3.  The baby and toddler years are hands on and HARD.  I can see it with my friend.  She and I meet once a week (usually) at the gym.  She can  only work out one day a week, when her husband is at home.  And he resents her when she goes.  It's her only 1.5 hours off during the week.  She talks about her problems and really - I have a three year old.  I'm just over the cusp to where it's a little easier.  Two year olds are harder and she has two of them.

Is there any way your husband can spend some time home, alone, with the babies?  Like, say, when the nanny gets a vacation, but you work.  He might understand more then.

TealBlue

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 02:31:30 PM »
A lot of people say "staying at home is a job!"  I'm not certainly here to argue with that, but I am here to say that not every person is a perfect match for every job! 

I work full time and my kids have anyways been in daycare and now elementary school.  When we adopted my daughter at age 2 (my son was 4 then), I took off 2 months as maternity leave and realized something- I am a much better mom when I work.  I come home ready and excited to see my kids.  Anxious to answer their questions, look at their homework, do puzzles, let them help me cook, etc.  When I was at home, I was annoyed all the time!  "Can I help you cook dinner mom?" became a question I dreaded because I just wanted ME time, even if it was just cooking dinner.  I found myself wanting my kids to watch TV so that I could get things done or watch something myself.  This isn't to say I'm a perfect mother now, however I know I am a better mother when I am fulfilling whatever it is in me that needs adult conversation, the feeling I'm adding financially to the household and I am meeting MY needs.  Many parents would look at that as very selfish and maybe they are right, but for me and my family it's the right thing for us :)

GuitarStv

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2015, 02:32:32 PM »
Tell the father to stay at home with the kids for a week doing everything that you've had to do.  Just one week.  That should bring him around.  Babies are fine in small doses, but can be horrific to be be stuck with for long periods of time.  They're energy vampires, everything they do sucks the life out of you.  If you haven't spent significant time with them, this can be hard to understand.

After one they start to become more human and are slightly better . . . but I don't think it's ever easy.

Rezdent

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 02:33:20 PM »
Deep breathe.

I hear you.  I tend to get anxious and depressed if I am home too much.

Background: my youngest was born with a fatal heart condition and put on life support almost immediately.  Followed by a new, still experimental surgery.  Followed by an RSV outbreak in the hospital that prompted her docs to discharge her a few days later because RSV would certainly kill her, better to risk an early discharge.

So my baby was medically needy and fragile.  Only close family allowed.  Once we were over that, no daycare or sitter would accept her so I ended up SAHM.  So.Challenging.

I love my kid.  I felt horribly guilty for wanting human, adult contact.
It's possible to adore your children yet not want to be home all the time alone with them.

You may want to mention this to your doc, just in case you've got some postpartum depression.

What I can say is, it got better for me.  Not all at once, but baby got healthier and I started to slowly get my life back.  This will happen for you too.

If it's feasible, I don't see why you couldn't work more hours if it makes you happier.  The babies will do better with a happy mom and I'm sure your husband could see this.
Also, big e-hug to you.  Twins must be very hard.

Argyle

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 02:36:56 PM »
It seems to me that part of the problem is your husband pressuring you/guilting you to keep on staying home.  That is not helping matters.  Listening to you carefully with empathy might help matters.

Before I had a kid, I thought, "Well, staying home doesn't sound particularly appealing to me.  But so many women have babies and say that it would tear them apart to go back to work, and they couldn't stand to miss a moment of their child's development.  So there must be something wonderful and fulfilling about it.  I'll stay open to that."

Nope.  Not wonderful and fulfilling to me.  Isolating, dull, and frustrating.  Sure, there were some good aspects.  Also some bad aspects.

It's worth keeping in mind that we were not designed to do it this way.  In traditional societies, all the women are around, and there is someone in the next grass hut, or in your own household, to spell you, to hold the baby, to watch the baby while you did this or that, to play with both her baby and yours, to talk to while you did whatever.  They even nursed each other's babies.  (More immunities that way!)  You didn't sit alone in a house with no adult to interact with for days at a time.  The instances of post-partum depression were much lower.

It's a lot to be faced with the lack of sleep, constant demands, isolation, and possible post-partum depression of two infants, and have a husband who doesn't get what the deal is and why you aren't living up to expectation.

The reasons he doesn't want to stay home with the babies?  Those are the same ones you don't.  Even if he think you "signed up" to do this, now you both know.  Course correction needed.

The studies find that parents of infants and toddlers actually work longer hours than parents of older children.  Why is that?  Because work provides sociability and something they can control.  Being a parent of a small child is all about being reactive for many hours on end.

I hope your husband will get with the program.  Meanwhile do not feel guilty about whatever you choose.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 02:46:30 PM by Argyle »

COlady

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2015, 02:37:30 PM »
I think its a myth that all women want to be SAHM and all dads want to work. There's a lot of societal pressure to be a SAHM, I think that's ridiculous. Just because you can produce twins doesn't mean that's all you can do, obviously you can do other fantastic things with your life.

How come you've never flipped it to wonder if your husband should stay home?

One power couple of my acquaintance, both engineers, developed a great solution. They alternated weeks off and job shared.  Their child always had a parent and both got to work.

We had talked about it at one point. My industry is volatile right now (energy) and who knows if I'll have a job with the same company next year. I'm in tax accounting where demand is high so I could find another job tomorrow but probaby not as sweet of a gig. My husband's job is very stable and we are on his health insurance.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2015, 02:55:15 PM »
Everyone's sweet spot is different.

Do NOT let your husband guilt you into doing something that isn't right for you.

This is a totally random, tiny suggestion related to walking--you could get on of those double bike trailers that converts to a double stroller. These have plastic wind shields that will keep your babies snug and toasty while you walk. My kids rode around in it all last winter and never even needed their heavy coats (just fleeces and mittens).

Whatever you decide doesn't have to be permanent. If the kids are healthier next year and you can do more things together (gym, library storytime, etc.), you could always reverse course. Or not.

maco

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2015, 02:59:56 PM »
It sounds like you're an extrovert. When I worked from home, I'd get all anxious going a whole day without face to face interaction. A walk to the grocery store (and picking up the stuff for dinner) was usually enough to recharge me.

G-dog

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2015, 03:09:07 PM »
Have you been checked for post-Pardum depression? It doesn't necessarily start immediately after the delivery.

Regardless, i am sorry your husband isn't being more supportive, but this may have been a surprise to him and he needs time to process.

Work more, or get out of the house more, as needed. It is possible that as the kids get older, you will want to spend more time with them (then less time, then more, etc.). You seem to miss exercising, so at least make that a priority.

Having twins is tough, especially as your first kids, and especially if one or both have health issues. Cut yourself some slack.

Imonaboat

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2015, 03:12:11 PM »
I know this won't help any, but I'm envious of the decision you get. I work offshore and overseas so I go 30 days at a time without seeing my children, if my wife could pull even basic live-able wages I would be a stay at home dad so fast. Hopefully in a few years I'll have saved enough for me to be able to stay close. (And yes I've cared for them alone for extended periods)

Maybe he would be willing to stay home for a few years? I didn't work for the first year after my son was born.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 03:45:59 PM by Imonaboat »

Christiana

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2015, 03:31:31 PM »
Maybe five 6-hour (or 5-hour) days would be a better work schedule for you...you would get adult interaction every weekday, and the twins would get a more stable caregiver routine (three nanny care days then two mom days then two mom+dad days sounds a little hard for everyone to keep up with!).  If the nanny side of that works out.

Gray Matter

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2015, 03:36:23 PM »
Maybe five 6-hour (or 5-hour) days would be a better work schedule for you...you would get adult interaction every weekday, and the twins would get a more stable caregiver routine (three nanny care days then two mom days then two mom+dad days sounds a little hard for everyone to keep up with!).  If the nanny side of that works out.

I like this idea--five six-hour days might be just perfect for you.  I went to 80% about a year ago (five shorter days) and can't imagine working full-time ever again--our evenings are so much more pleasant.

(I, too, am not cut out to be a SAHM, especially of infants or toddlers.  I absolutely head-over-heels loved my children at that age, but just could not be home all day at their beck and call.)

Also keep in mind that, assuming your company is flexible, you could do this for awhile and then, if you want to cut back later, you can.

MicroSpice

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2015, 04:54:10 PM »
This stuff is hard, no doubt. When people say everything changes after having children, it's no joke.

I went through similar feelings. I had my own business when my kiddo was born last year, and my work was flexible enough that I could do a lot of work at home. DH, though, had no real concept of how incredibly difficult it was to: a) care for the tiny human 24-7; b) do actual work that would produce income; and c) do random household chores throughout the day. All at the same time. However, when kiddo was about 3 months old, I had to work out of town for a week. DH was a SAHP for a week, and the first thing he said when I got back was, "I completely understand why there are times when you go 3 days without a shower and the house is a mess." Gave him a whole new appreciation for the difficulty of the situation.

However, my emotional gymnastics of whether or not I wanted to stay at home changed many times, due in part to what ended up being severe postpartum depression, which didn't actually being to clearly manifest until about four months after giving birth. It all ended with me shutting down my business, being unemployed for a while, and now currently being gainfully and happily employed full-time. Kiddo is in daycare part of the week, watched by the beloved grandmas for the other part. DH and I carpool to work, so no one is ever left to fend for themselves with what I am sure you know can be quite a strong-willed timesuck that is a child. But we love those little gremlins all the same.

You are not a bad mom if you want to work full-time, or part-time, or stay at home, or go to the gym, or have a drink, or interact with adults. If you do the things that make you feel like a human, you will be more human, and your babies will benefit as a direct result. If your cup is empty, you can't fill the cups of others.

Finally, I might get some flack for this, but listen compassionately to what your husband has to say. Just like you had ideas of what your family was going to look like and feel like, so does he. Yeah, they don't have to go through all the same stuff we do, for sure, but they are part of the team, too. So as you are having mom guilt, it's quite likely he may be having husband guilt. My husband felt worthless at times because he couldn't fix me or our situation and all he wanted to do was make sure everyone was happy all the time. Impossible. Consider going to therapy, consider marriage counseling, consider all the help. Big, huge, internet hugs to you. It's hard, but it will get better - go with your gut and communicate with your man.

urbanista

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2015, 07:24:11 PM »
I think I want to bump my hours up to four 7 hour days.  I mentioned this to my husband and we ended up having a long discussion about it on what was supposed to be date night, which ended with me in tears at the restaurant.  Pretty much, my husband always envisioned me staying home with the kids like both our moms did with us...that's what I envisioned too.  He said it makes him sad that I can't handle being home with them. I told him that he doesn't know what it's like as he's never done it. I feel guilty (I now know what MOM guilt is!!!) for not wanting to be home with them and wanting to leave them with the nanny for more hours per week.  I was talking to one of my good friends about the situation last night (she's been home with her 1 and 2 year old for a year now) and she urged me to wait a bit, that they get more fun when they get closer to a year.

I went through this as well. My husband had an idea in his head that he would go to work and I would raise the kids.

I tried, honestly. I stayed home for 10 months with a baby. The only thing that kept me sane was studying for my masters. I could stay another month at home but went back to work. As much as I adore my son, I am losing my sanity staying home with him full-time.

Did you consider that your (our) mums did this because there was absolutely nothing else to do for women back those days? They simply had no opportunity to go and earn $75 per hour in an office job while paying a nanny. That's the reason they stayed home, not because they enjoyed it. My mum actually wanted to work but could not afford as there was absolutely no child care until 3y.o. available.

teen persuasion

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2015, 08:45:45 PM »
Weird - I absolutely loved being a SAHM.  I think my favorite age is the newborn to 2 period - it is fascinating watching the daily changes, the learning and experimenting they do, the determination to master a new skill like crawling or fine motor skills manipulating toys.  I cared for a few extra little ones when my first kids were little, so there was a period when I cared for 4 under age 4.  Ultimately we've got five kids, two still at home, one in college, two out.  I'm working now (since DS5 hit school age), and I've got a way with teens (hence my name), but I miss having a baby around to interact with. 

This is not meant to make the OP guilty - this is to highlight that everyone is wired differently.  Follow your strengths, do what makes you happy and fulfilled, not what is forced and foreign.  Model what you want for your kids.

Goldielocks

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2015, 08:57:44 PM »
I think you should try it the scandinavian way.

He gets a 6 month LOA while you go to work FT.  toward the end of that you can find out how you both feel about SAHP.  I found out that my DH was much more committed to it that I was..   

He ended going back to work, we had child care, then 7 months later, he had a work shortage and ended up SAHP for many years.

I can't think of another way to truly decide / know what works for both of you as parents.

okits

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2015, 09:00:40 PM »
Is your marriage founded on very traditional gender roles?  You didn't really address the inequality of your husband being disappointed that you don't want to be a SAHP but not being willing to do it himself.  Of course it will interrupt his career and torpedo his job security; it does that to most professional parents who become full-time care-givers, not just the mothers.  Families sacrifice those things if the SAHP is really that important to them.  If you can bank $48k/yr by working the hours you want, that money is cold, hard cash today, which is security for your family right now, versus a promise or expectation that your husband's employment will continue as long as he wants.  And, it's what you want.  You more than have the means to make it happen (can afford a nanny, could hopefully live on your six-figure income if your husband stayed at home), so don't feel bad that what you want isn't what you expected. It is just as acceptable as parents who think they will return to their careers after parental leave, then opt to stay home. 

Gizsuat2

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2015, 10:16:59 PM »
I can relate to this - I worked full-time with my first, and part-time after the birth of my second.

I struggled with the shift to part-time.  I felt lost.  Things turned around for me when I started structuring my at home days more: Having a goal list, a schedule, etc.  Might try that?

obstinate

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2015, 11:17:20 PM »
A few thoughts. First, I think it's bullshit that he can't put his macho feelings about womens' proper place being in the home for two seconds, to support you. (That is what this is, when you boil it down.)

Second, my wife is somewhat experiencing the opposite pang right now (we have a 14 month old). And I do too . . . I wish I could spend more time with him, and I know that wish is only going to grow more acute as he gets older. I am very seriously considering the possibility of dropping down to working four days a week, even though it will set us back on our FIRE by a year or two (we are pretty close).

I think, no matter what you do, there's going to be some part of you that wants the opposite. On the other hand, when it comes to your own personal happiness and fulfillment in life, you are your best ally. I don't think you should feel any shame for wanting what you want. And your kid is not going to grow up to be a deformed monster because they went to daycare.

former player

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2015, 01:59:50 AM »
OP: Firstly, I am sure all the people mentioning post-partum depression mean well, but I'm not getting any of that vibe from your posts.  You sound entirely sane and rational to me, you know yourself and what works for you and what doesn't.  Don't start doubting yourself on that, as it would be the quickest way to develop PPD if you don't already have it.

Secondly, congratulations on putting yourself into such a great working and financial position: a high paid job with flexible hours and a paid nanny who costs much less than you earn.  That really does give you all the options.  Very often women with children don't have those options, and it can make everything miserable for everyone.

Thirdly, I think the only actual problem here is your husband's difficulty dealing with change and bringing his expectations up to modern standards rather than remaining mired in the strange and fleeting culture of the 1950s - which is the only short period in history, in a few select countries, when the so-called "social norm" (even then, not entirely normal) was that men worked exclusively outside the home and women worked exclusively in it.  As a social model it created all sorts of problems of which society is now much better aware but in many ways is still working through.   I strongly second the suggestion that your husband should spend a week at home with the babies while you go somewhere else, so that he can understand the issues, before you sit down and discuss the whole issue with him again.  Even just a weekend (it does need to be at least a couple of 24 hour days without a break) would give him a better insight.

Caveat here: I don't have kids, have never had kids, never wanted kids.  I'm taking it that it gives me a clear sight of the issues, but mileage may vary, of course.

11ducks

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2015, 04:36:16 AM »
Happy mothers=happy babies. You don't sacrifice you humanity, basic wants or needs when you become a parent. If you want or need to go back to work to keep yourself sane/healthy/happy, do it.

justajane

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2015, 06:11:16 AM »
I have two school-age kids and one toddler. All three of my kids have gone to daycare for 15 hours a week, even though I am a mostly SAHM. With my first, I was finishing my Ph.D. and earning no income. After the second I started doing freelance work that made far, far less than what you are able to command (Kudos!). Some months the freelance money would dry up, but for 15 hours the kids still went to daycare. Why? Because I can't fathom spending all day every day by myself with young children. There - I said it. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, but most of the time I just realize that I am who I am. Someone upthread mentioned being an extrovert and that causing problems. Well, I think being an introvert can also cause problems. I am one, and I have a problem with needy, young children hanging on me all day. I need my space and the quiet.

My husband and I didn't care that the economics of it didn't work out, in large part because we think childcare is a family expense. I've said this multiple times on here and I stand by it. My income alone should not be compared or weighed against the cost of childcare. We should weigh my husband's as well. Within those parameters, we can afford it. I would encourage you to not run the numbers all the time about whether or not your income can pay for the nanny. First, it clearly can. Second, it shouldn't matter. This reinforces the notion that childcare is the woman's responsibility and that, if she doesn't want to do it, she should find a way to pay for her release.

Dee18

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2015, 06:34:53 AM »
It's perfectly okay that you want to work and it's perfectly okay that he is sad about it.  Here's an interesting bit about how this woman enjoys both her work and her children more because of the duality. http://leanin.org/stories/deb-gruenfeld/      It was certainly true for me.  As for your husband, he had a vision of the future...and like all dreams that vision was probably very rosy.  When we lose a dream we often feel sad about it.  We feel grief over any loss.  But the at doesn't mean you should be a SAHM so he can avoid the grief.  It just means you have to let him have that grief, indeed it sounds like you are a little bit sad too that you no longer want that dream ...and then get on with the wonderful life you guys have.  Just like on the airplane with the oxygen masks, you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. 

Sareybox

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2015, 08:18:03 AM »
Hi,
I have 3.5 year old twins. When they were just under a year old I started back at work 3 days a week and I've recently upped that to about 33 hours a week over 5 days. I've nothing to add really as everyone else has already said it, but I wanted to let you know that I get it. I'm MISERABLE if I have to spend the whole day alone with them, frustrated, angry & bored senseless at the same time. I love them so much but I just can't spend all day alone with them. I also feel guilty about it, I don't *have* to work for the money but I do have to work for my sanity.

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2015, 02:30:08 PM »
Lol, with the posts, you all are reminding me why I started drinking 2-3 glasses of wine when the kids were toddlers and DH came home. 

They are teens now and I definitely want to take a year off to help them through this high school year, but mopping a floor and picking up Lego was not my ideas of a daily highlight. The wine helped make it more interesting, or let me feel ok about not doing those things.   Some of us really don't get into the SAHM thing when they are small.

frugledoc

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2015, 02:39:44 PM »
I think its a myth that all women want to be SAHM and all dads want to work. There's a lot of societal pressure to be a SAHM, I think that's ridiculous. Just because you can produce twins doesn't mean that's all you can do, obviously you can do other fantastic things with your life.

How come you've never flipped it to wonder if your husband should stay home?

One power couple of my acquaintance, both engineers, developed a great solution. They alternated weeks off and job shared.  Their child always had a parent and both got to work.

Not in the UK.  My wife is under a constant onslaught of questions from everybody from close family to virtual strangers such as:
- are you back at work yet?
- When are you going back to work?
- You'll HAVE to do something
- Why don't you get a nanny?

And so on.  If anything UK society seems to resent the stay at home mum.

Letj

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2015, 06:50:24 PM »

It's worth keeping in mind that we were not designed to do it this way.  In traditional societies, all the women are around, and there is someone in the next grass hut, or in your own household, to spell you, to hold the baby, to watch the baby while you did this or that, to play with both her baby and yours, to talk to while you did whatever.  They even nursed each other's babies.  (More immunities that way!)  You didn't sit alone in a house with no adult to interact with for days at a time.  The instances of post-partum depression were much lower.


This is absolutely true. It's one of the reasons why women in developing societies where people are closely connected and share resources rarely if ever suffer from post partum depression. These are societies where friends, neighbors and family are indistinguishable and the burden of child rearing is never on the shoulders of just the mother. I am often amazed at how some women in our society refuse the help of extended family members because they don't want people around after they've just given birth. This is precisely the time you need family and friends to be spending time with you.

Dictionary Time

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2015, 07:42:01 PM »
OP: Firstly, I am sure all the people mentioning post-partum depression mean well, but I'm not getting any of that vibe from your posts.  You sound entirely sane and rational to me, you know yourself and what works for you and what doesn't.  Don't start doubting yourself on that, as it would be the quickest way to develop PPD if you don't already have it.

Obviously no one here on the internet can diagnosis a condition like that in 1 post. But, when I had PPD after my 3rd child, it definitely manifested like that. I was always happy to stay home and we worked hard to make it happen. After the third, I wanted out, I felt trapped, it was one of the worst times of my life. It wasn't a "can't get out of bed" condition. When it was diagnosed and treated, I became myself again and loved being a SAHM.

Now I'm not saying that the OP has the same issue. Only she can figure that out. I'm just saying that it's not off-base to be aware.




totoro

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2015, 08:56:52 PM »
Can you work from home and have the nanny there? 

That would work financially and emotionally I think.  You can have the help you need, do the work you like, and be there for many of the daily moments you'd enjoy.

FWIW I'm not a total baby person myself.  Did it but didn't find it the be all and end all as a daily routine.  I sure love them when they start to walk and talk though - and every point after that.

dailycycle

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2015, 09:21:02 PM »
Just a piece of practical advice about working out.  Before my second maternity leave I had never done workout videos before.  Desperation led me to Jillian Michaels' videos (you can try on youtube).  Some are only 20 min, but they were hard enough to break out in a sweat and get sore the next day.  I used valuable nap time to do them or just got interrupted a lot.  I felt so much better each day after having done them.

K-ice

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2015, 12:46:04 AM »
Congrats for the baby!

Congrats for the well paying flexible job.

It sounds like you really don't want to be a SAHM and you don't have to.

I would try just the 4 days or reduced hours each day. It's too bad the 3-day 2-day thing isn't working for you. 30h a week sounds good. Maybe 5x6h. What is your commute like? If it's more than 20min I might prefer 4 days.

I think daycare was great for my LO who started at 10months old. I got to share all the important firsts by then :) I had SAH fantasies, but they didn't really play out in the first 10 months anyway. We will go to the art gallery, science center etc. it rarely happened.

My work is a bit flexible too and we were always the last to drop off at daycare after having a good breakfast together. My spouse is wonderful & incredibly involved with our child but also has busy but flexible work.

I know very few SAHMs. The one I do know doesn't really seam to do much to help her kids out. Then she seams exhausted on the weekends and expects her DH to do everything.

My LO learnt more in Daycare then I could do. I am teaching them lots. Just different stuff. The little one had their own real (yet small) drill at 4y. The other day his teacher said he is good with a hammer & nails. He was teaching the other kids. Slow tap, tap get it started then move your fingers :)

I think the time with your child is more about quality than quantity. You & your DH need lots of quality time in the evenings & weekends.

We took a walk today, spent 1/2 hour "window" shopping in the pet store, & spent 3 hours playing Lego.

How to deal w your DH & his beliefs? I equate daycare w school. They are trained to watch & teach your kids. Tell your DH you want to work but won't leave your children from 7am to 7pm at Daycare or with the Nanny. Work with DH so you can be the last to drop off and first to pick up. More like a 9:30-3:30 day if possible. Your kids will get the best of both worlds then. 

The 3-4 years before school will pass quick and you will be glad you kept up your job & skills.

Wishing you the best in whatever you choose.


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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2015, 10:53:02 AM »
I haven't had a chance to read every comment, so I apologize if this is redundant. You said your husband's job is more stable so he can't be home full time, but could he reduce his hours to work 3 or 4 days per week? Then he could spend 1-2 days at home with the kids and you could get a nanny for the days neither of you are home. This would give the kids more parent time, as well has help him to understand how hard it is.

You both had an idea in your head of how this would go, so it's understandable that it's hard to accept that it's not working out. I'm sure it's not the first thing that hasn't gone according to plan and it sure won't be the last, but it still takes some time to accept it and find solutions and that's ok.

The other issue is that you haven't had any time to exercise, and self-care is important, of course. So when you figure out your new schedule, try to block of a couple hours each week for you to exercise. Start small, and maybe over time you can build up. Maybe you can work out on weekends when your husband is home with the kids or on your way home from work. Try a few different times until you find something that works for everyone.

As a final note, I have a lot of nieces and nephews in the 2-7 age range. One mom stays home, one works part time, and 3 work full time. The dads all work full time. (One dad wanted to be home full time, but they couldn't afford it.) The kids all seem equally happy well cared for. And isn't that the most important part? So if working more will make you happy, go for it!

RetiredAt63

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2015, 11:25:52 AM »
Isn't it wonderful that we have the choice?

We lived in a rural area, so not many people, let alone other moms, and no other little kids.  I had a decent maternity leave, but baby screamed in the nursery when I went to the new moms' exercise class.  So much fun being called out half-way through every class.  I was so glad to go back to work part-time, and then full-time.  It was funny that semester, DH would work at home the day I went in, and I would get home and he would say "I got NOTHING done today" and I would look at him and say "What else is new?". He still thought I should be getting masses of things done the days I was home, major disconnect there.

The one working parent, Mom at home scenario was only really true for a short time period for a specific group of people - 1950's - 80's, middle class.  Wealthy people always had child care (think nannies and tutors and governesses) and working people (the vast majority) always had two working people - and on a farm, both worked at home, and most were farmers/peasants/serfs/whatever the label was.  Even in towns, women worked - in medieval times, many women were guild members.

This is technically a finances forum, so think of it in term of finances, long-term.  Some of your child care costs would be tax deductible, right?  You would be contributing to a pension, right?  You would have more income for more savings, right?  So 10-15 years down the road, when you might want to be part-time for some of the difficult high-school years, you would be in a better financial picture.  And when you retire (early or not) you will have your own pension money, you won't be two people living off one person's retirement savings.

And remember, back in the day, the common saying was "a woman is only one man away from poverty".  If he died, or was seriously injured, or left - she was up the creek.  We don't have to be that woman anymore.


COlady

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2015, 09:30:07 AM »
I read through all of your responses.  So much to think about! Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Regarding PPD, I think I have a hint of it. My OB prescribed me a low dose of Zoloft about 4 months ago but I really didn't want to take it while breastfeeding (even though she said the studies show it's fine).  I've dropped from two to one pump per day to try and wean off the pump. (One of my guys never latched so I had to pump for him). I'm sure the weaning is also messing with my hormones and emotions. I told my husband last night that I'm going to start taking the low dose of Zoloft and see how I feel. Poor guy is so patient with his hormonal wife. It's got to be confusing being a man and watching a woman's emotions.  Maybe I'll give the Zoloft a couple weeks to kick in before I decide whether I want to increase my hours.

Great idea on the suggestion to work more days of the week but less hours per day...but it just doesn't work out time efficiency wise. My nanny has a bit of a drive to our house and I wouldn't want to ask her to tack on another day.  Also, I have to get ready for work (clothing, hair, makeup) and that's a waste of time to do an additional day per week. Great suggestion to work from home - I can do that, I got everything setup to work from home when I was pregnant and then I realized that I didn't want to. I am an extrovert so I really enjoy going into the office.

I think I'll talk to my husband again about dropping his hours down.  It doesn't hurt for him to ask.  He's been with his company for 10 years and is very well respected so they may be more accommodating than he thinks.

honeybbq

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2015, 09:53:52 AM »
There is nothing wrong with wanting to work. You can still be the best mom in the world, AND work. Twins are hard. Sick twins are even HARDER. Release the guilt and do what you want. Find a way to balance that makes sense for YOU and your family. There is nothing wrong with having a nanny, or even doing daycare when your sick one is better in a year or so.

When I went back to work I would cry because I missed my baby. Then I would get to eat my lunch with two hands and pee with the door closed and I would cry because I felt guilty that I was so happy to do that WITHOUT my baby on my boob or screaming or whatever.

It doesn't mean you're not cut out to be a mom. :) Everyone has different needs.

COlady

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2015, 09:58:38 AM »
Is your marriage founded on very traditional gender roles?  You didn't really address the inequality of your husband being disappointed that you don't want to be a SAHP but not being willing to do it himself.  Of course it will interrupt his career and torpedo his job security; it does that to most professional parents who become full-time care-givers, not just the mothers.  Families sacrifice those things if the SAHP is really that important to them.  If you can bank $48k/yr by working the hours you want, that money is cold, hard cash today, which is security for your family right now, versus a promise or expectation that your husband's employment will continue as long as he wants.  And, it's what you want.  You more than have the means to make it happen (can afford a nanny, could hopefully live on your six-figure income if your husband stayed at home), so don't feel bad that what you want isn't what you expected. It is just as acceptable as parents who think they will return to their careers after parental leave, then opt to stay home.

In general we do not have traditional gender roles in our marriage. My husband is a neat freak and does a lot more dishes/laundry/clearing than I've ever done.

elaine amj

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2015, 10:27:32 AM »
What about a less expensive Mother's Helper for a few hours on the days you are home? A teen/college student to help you with the twins?

I think trying the Zoloft for a few weeks might be helpful. When I was a SAHM, I had to develop a network of local SAHMs to talk to/go on playdates with. I spent the first year home by myself and would go stir crazy by the weekends. Even harder for you with twins who require constant care.

There were many, many things I relished about being a SAHM (like staying in my pyjamas all day), but the constant baby care wasn't one of them. I love both my kids, but am not that maternal.

Kmp2

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2015, 11:21:12 AM »
I am going suggest that you try not to hear your husbands comments as a guilt trip to keep you from working, and try to hear it more like he is lamenting the fact that his kids will have a different upbringing then he did, and then he envisioned. He is allowed to mourn that.

I had always said I didn't want to be the full time SAHM, so my hubby was prepared for that, I much preferred the 2x80% solution! some childcare, some part time work by both parents so that each parent has time and energy to do their own thing, housework and childcare. I know he was still secretly hoping I would be one of those moms that terribly missed their kid when they went back to work, and just had to stay home... And now pregnant with our second he fully supports leaving our oldest in her day home when I am at home on maternity leave with our second. He works from home and has seen first hand how we get on each other's nerves... I worked 32 hours a week and loved it, it gave me a day off with my DD to do fun things or chores, and an extra hour a day during my working days to bike commute and get the exercise that keeps me sane!

When I went back to work my boss, had also just returned from her maternity leave, she has always thought she would be a SAHM, but a few months into her first maternity leave (Canada does get almost a full year!), she was itching to go back. they now both balance full time challenging careers, and she is definitely climbing the corporate ladder, while running around handling all the kids drop offs and pickups, appointments, sick days etc. as evenly as they can... Actually it's pretty impressive how they split the care work!

You are not alone, and you are allowed to change your mind. I too love the idea of working more days, but fewer hours a day if that's a good compromise with your husband, and while you have a nanny-tack on your gym session to your workday too! I absolutely understand that need, personal care does not subtract from parenting.

Imonaboat

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2015, 11:28:04 AM »
Is your marriage founded on very traditional gender roles?  You didn't really address the inequality of your husband being disappointed that you don't want to be a SAHP but not being willing to do it himself.  Of course it will interrupt his career and torpedo his job security; it does that to most professional parents who become full-time care-givers, not just the mothers.  Families sacrifice those things if the SAHP is really that important to them.  If you can bank $48k/yr by working the hours you want, that money is cold, hard cash today, which is security for your family right now, versus a promise or expectation that your husband's employment will continue as long as he wants.  And, it's what you want.  You more than have the means to make it happen (can afford a nanny, could hopefully live on your six-figure income if your husband stayed at home), so don't feel bad that what you want isn't what you expected. It is just as acceptable as parents who think they will return to their careers after parental leave, then opt to stay home.

In general we do not have traditional gender roles in our marriage. My husband is a neat freak and does a lot more dishes/laundry/clearing than I've ever done.

Have you given him the option to stay at home? It would be hypocritical to demand options for yourself but give him none. He may love it. I've heard plenty of people say that "they don't know what it's like", but as someone who has taken care of my children for extended periods, I found it to be amazing and far easier and more rewarding than what I had heard. I wish I could remain a stay at home dad permanently, and we are working towards that, I know many others that feel the same way.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 11:30:05 AM by Imonaboat »

TrMama

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2015, 12:06:57 PM »
I too thought I wanted to stay home with the kids. After our first was born, I was crushed that we couldn't afford for me to quit my job. It was the thing that got me so interested in personal finance in the first place.

When we were planning our 2nd pregnancy, we put in for my DH to be transferred to a much LCOL area of the country so we could afford for me to stay home. Initially I loved it, however, after 4-5 months I was bored out of my tree. Being home all day with needy babies is so, so hard. After 6 months my old boss called and asked if I wanted some contract work. I was thrilled! After 2 years in the cheaper place, we moved back to the HCOL city and I went back to work full time.

It's absolutely fine to want to go back to work. It happens to a lot of women. While you're taking the time to make up your mind, increase your nanny's hours and use the extra time to exercise.

James

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Re: I thought I wanted to be a SAHM! HELP!
« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2015, 12:40:30 PM »
I don't know if you have done this, but I suggest you give your husband permission to be disappointed you aren't a SAHM. There is nothing wrong with that hope, nothing wrong with being disappointed you aren't going to fill that role. Acknowledging that valid and real disappointment might help him move past that and into the real life of simply not having a SAHM for a wife, that isn't who you are, and life moves on.

Don't try to force anything right now, and don't look too far into the future. If work is going well and you have a good nanny, use those options and be happy about what you are doing, if that is work 4 days a week that's great, just don't commit to that idea forever. I completely agree with your husband cutting back, that should be a given if he wants more parental involvement for the kids, it doesn't have to be you.

Just know that your feeling will very likely change over time. You may want more time or less time with the kids and with work over time, and if your job will allow that flexibility that is great! I would bet you might be willing to spend more time at home as the kids grow older, and that possibility should give your husband hope, even while knowing it is NOT a promise.

After all that I would simply wish you good luck. It's not an easy road, my wife was a SAHM for many years, even homeschooled the kids, and now works 5 days and week plus every 4th weekend because she is doing what she loves at the library. (also completing her college degree part time) But it sure makes like crazy as a family and I will freely admit my life would be much easier if she was a SAHM, and like you we don't need the money she makes. But I would never question her decision or commitment to the kids, she is doing what is best for everyone and what she needs to do, and she bears the effect on the family in mind which is all I can ask. Your husband will deal with it fine, or you should bring him to a marriage counselor and let them help you talk some sense into him.