View Full Version : Considering becoming a SAHM any advice / Tips?
Hi Im looking for some advice / tips and or personal experiances from thoses of you who have had every intention on returning to work but have decided to become SAHM's instead. Im due to have my frist bub on 2nd March 2006 and thought that i would go back to work after a few months but im not really sure that i will be able to leave Bubba Squirt once he/she arrives. On the other hand im not too sure how i would handle being a SAHM either i have worked full time since finishing yr12 in 1998 (for the same company for 6+years) and have worked partime since i was 15 so ive never not had a job and it sort of scares me a little. Im entitled to 52 weeks unpaid mat leave and im just wondering if i take that then maybe use that time to make my decision. My dh has a good job and i know that we will get some help from centerlink so money is not my concern besides my parents survived with only dad working and my dh earns more then dad used to. Im just concerned that i will be lacking in adult compay and the brain stimulation as well as the inderpendace of earning a wage.
Any words of advice that you can offer will be great.
Thanks Shannon and Bubba Squirt
I say wait and see. Take some maternity leave and maybe leave some annual leave in case you decide to go back and need time off if bub is sick.
It's something that I dont think you will know until you experience it. I love being a full time SAHM but I have very close friends who love going to work 1 to 2 days a week. Others are happy returning to full time work.
What I did was took all maternity and all my annual leave (we needed to $$$) and then took all of my unpaid leave entitlements (2 yrs). But I am able to ring them up at any stage if I wanted to and go back to full or part time- flexible employer.
Happy to stay home as i am having so much fun and love being a mum!
Shannon - I don't really have any advice for you but I can share my experience.
Like you I started working when I was 15 with a part time after school job and since graduating from uni I've always had a full time job. Also before my DD was born, I also thought that I would definately return to work, perhaps even full time, but at least part time, as I didn't think I could handle being a SAHM, due to the lack of adult company and brain stimulation. I've always earnt my own money, so I can understand how you feel about being independent and having your own wage. I'm still receiving some maternity leave payments, so that is not an issue for me.
I've been off work for 3 months now and my DD is 10 weeks old and so far I am loving it. Early days I know, but I haven't had time to get bored. To be honest I haven't had much time for Dr Phil or Oprah (sorry, not into the soaps), as caring for a newborn and doing the housework can be very timeconsuming. I do however, find some time to go the gym/pool, catch up with friends and even meet up with other mums and their bubs.
Whatever you decide to do, be flexible, as you don't know how you will feel until your little squirt comes along. If you have the finances sorted and you have the option to be SAHM (even for a year), its worth considering. You can take one year maternity leave but go back earlier if you find that you are bored or don't like being a SAHM.
I have found that there are lots of activities that you can do to keep yourself busy, connect with other mums and bubs like playgroups etc, you can even indulge in a hobby if you get time or do some community volunteer work.
As for me, I'm still enjoying my time with DD and now having to start thinking about my own return to work. I initially took only 6 months maternity leave and am not sure about taking another six months unpaid maternity leave, or going back to work part time. At this stage I'm not ready to leave my baby, plus I'm planning to breastfeed for at least six months, hopefully up to a year. Also childcare is an issue to consider, its very hard to get a place for a baby or child under 2. We've had DD's name on waiting lists since I was 5 months pregnant, and it looks unlikely we'll get a place at a child care centre for 2006, but maybe a place for family day care. If I go back part time, my mum and/or mil may help us out.
Its a tough and very personal decision, good luck with your pregnancy and birth and remember to be flexible, you don't have to decide until squirt comes along.
if your going to be a SAHM you need to keep busy, join a playgroup, mothers group, its also a chance to volunteer for your fav organisation a couple of hrs a wk, join that bible study group you always wanted(these are just egs)~whatever! surround yourself with supportive, like minded woman. like us here at bubhub! so you continue to feel that what you are doing is important and that you dont start to feel like you are missing out on anything. like someone els said, keep your options open atm, because with only one little one, you may still feel like working just one or two days a wk, its also important, i think to have a bit of your own money in your purse so you dont have to ask dh all the time, this can also be done by arranging for the family payments you recieve to go into YOUR bank account :) good luck, being at home with your children is a wonderful thing, but just go with the flow and see what happens :)
Before my DD was born I thought I would be fine to go back to work at 6 mths but after she was born my views did change. Due to us moving interstate I had to go back to work but if given the choise I wouldn't have. I worked for18 mths then we were able to buy our own house so I could stay home and have another child. I found the first 12 mths at home the hardest. I was in a new area and knew nobody so things got a bit lonely. After 12 mths I decided to find a playgroup and then I found this site and through both have meet some great people. Yes there are days where i miss the mental stimulation of work but being a SAHM provides a different kind of mental stimulation. I really enjoy helping my kids to develop into wonderfull, confident little people.
My advice is to wait and see how you feel after your bub is born and if you do chose to be a SAHM don't do what I did and leave it 12 mths before you get out of the house and meet up with people.
Good luck in your decision
Hi Tubbychook (Love the name BTW!!)
I was CERTAIN before I had DD, that I would want to return to work after 6 months, mainly because I thought I would be bored... WRONG!!! I would be SOOOO happy if I didn't have to go back to work - I just love being a SAHM...
I've had my name down at childcare centres since I was 6 months pregnant, and DD is 7 months old now. In that time I've been offered 2 places - 1 when DD was 5 months old, which I turned down (I couldn't leave her then!!). DD is in childcare 2 days a week now, and I'm starting work 2 days a week shortly... For me, working part-time is a great compromise (I'm saying that now - I haven't even started back yet!! :p ).
My social life is probably better now as a SAHM than it was whilst I was working full-time. I've met some fantastic people through Bub Hub and formed some (hopefully) enduring friendships with people who are in the same head space as me at the moment. A big part of enjoying being a SAHM (in my opinion) is a good support network - which I luckily found through Bub Hub.
Like others have said, keep your options open. Take your full maternity leave and just check that you are able to return earlier if you want to. Personally, I think you won't know until you're living it... I had never pictured myself as a Mum who went to Mother's Groups, and compared stories about our bubs over coffee - but that's the reality of my life now and I love it!!
All the best with whatever you decide to do! Enjoy it!
Here’s my story…
I took a 2 month early maternity leave because I just couldn’t cope with the Australian summer heat and putting up with icky people on the trains to/from work who wouldn’t give up their seats to big truck pregnant me!
Initially I was planning to take 12 months maternity leave, but by the time Thomas was 5 months (just a month after my unpaid maternity leave) I decided to go back 2 days week because I love being independent i.e. not taking any money from my husband as I don’t get any payment from the government, plus also I love working. So here I am now, and loving it!
Being a part time SAHM/working mum is fantastic for me and for Thomas also of course. He’s having fab time at the childcare, he’s a teacher pet coz he’s a happy and easy going bub *me is proud*, and my husband is one proud man!
So like others have said, keep the option open. And it is indeed a very personal decision.
Good luck and all the best!
I had a hard time figuring out what I was going to do with my maternity leave etc. Like you I worked full-time since I was 18 and enjoyed going on regular holidays and living a fairly independent lifestyle.
I worked up until I was 37 weeks with my DS. The first 6 months were so exciting but then I realised I had to do something about going back to work, not that I really wanted to but we needed the money. DH and I checked out the local childcare centres - and we just didn't feel right leaving our DS with them (our personal choice of course). So we made the decision that I wasn't going to go back full time (maybe part time if my work agreed with help from the parents on taking care of DS) we also decided we needed to downgrade our house so that we didn't feel the $ pressure.
Anyway I found out that they (my employer) never told my replacement (who I'm mates with) that it was maternity leave position - they just assumed I wasn't coming back! So knowing this, I went into my work and told them I wanted to come back full time and they then told me there wasn't a position for me and that maybe I could be 'on call'!! What a joke hey! I had people telling me that I should 'sue' them etc. Lucky I wasn't depending on going back full time - and they're very lucky because not so long after that I found out I was pg with #2.
You have a very hard decision to make, but don't make it now - give your employer the leave your entitled to (make sure your replacement is for 'maternity leave'), you'll know the right decision when the time comes.
BTW I've been a SAHM for 16 months now and I'm loving it - I wouldn't have it any other way.
Best of luck...
Like many of you, I've been working full time since I was 17 and loved knowing tht I was earning my own money and independence etc. When I got pg with DD I worked up until I had 6 weeks to go - although DD arrived 2 wks early! - I hadn't decided if I would go back or not so I took my 12 months maternity leave on the priviso that I would give 1 month notice either way. So I waited right up until 1 month to go and decided to be a SAHM!
DD is now almost 1 year old and I'm loving it and I know it was the best decision for me. I understand other people's reasons and wants in going back to work, but for me being a SAHM was what I wanted DD has even taught me so much!!
But you do need to keep other interest up too. I've joined the gym and go there 3 nights a week - it gives me adult time and DH and DD time together too! I also started cleaning houses for friends and relatives it gives me my own pocket money, but I can also take DD with me. Although now she's a little older I've given up on the cleaning!! She keeps me busy enough!
Hope this has helped, but as the others have said - keep your options open and make your decision when your ready. :)
I was planning on going back to work as well after about 6 mths. But i just couldn't bring myself to!!! I think that if you are financially able to be a SAHM then it really is the best option for bub!
However, sometimes i do miss the adult interaction! (I'm a hairdresser - love to chat! :p ). But hey isn't that what bubhub's for?!! He he
I thought i'd get bored & somedays when DD is being a clingy, whingy bub i want to go back but i don't think i could. She's 5months old and i've not left her for more than 30min to have my eyes tested. Just can't do it.
We go to new baby group & are thinking about gymbaroo. We also get together with mums we've met through baby group during the week. We struggle but i don't want to miss a single minute :)
I only asked for 4 months maternity leave and then when that was nearly up I thought 'what was I thinking!? There's no way I could leave her now!' So I took the remainder of my 52 weeks with every intention on returning and then, same thing, when the year was almost up I thought 'what was I thinking!? There's no way I could leave her now!'
So here I am - SAHM and enjoying every second of it - even the whingey clingy days! :p
I've been home now since 3 months before Nick was born. He's now 11 months old and I've loved it however over the last couple of months the routine has started to bore me sometimes. I was used to working long days and although it got to me, the problem solving was satisfying.
Yesterday was Nicks' first day at daycare - he's just going one day a week - and I would have to say that he really enjoyed it and so did I. I think it was terrific for him to interact for a whole day with other little people so much so that he didn't want to get in the car and come home.
For me I found that I could think more clearly yesterday - I didn't have to follow his routine, I could do my own thing for the first time in a long time.
I think the key - depending on your babys' personality I guess - is finding a balance for you and for them. It's important for them to socialise and it's important for us to socialise also so my advice is to try staying at home but be sure to give yourself and your bub time with others when you feel you need to because you will both benefit tremendously.
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