What to do when it all falls apart.
Recently I’ve been chatting with friends and acquaintances about keeping your independence when your a SAHM. We were talking about a radio station that were running a ‘competition’ so to speak, where the public called in and said why they needed to win $10,000. There were 2 different people daily with different situations, they didn’t know each other but one of the callers had to decide if they needed the money more than the other caller and if they should keep it for themselves or give it to the other person. They would hear the other persons reasons for needing the $10,000 but the choice was theirs, keep it or give it.
Anyway, one caller was a young woman who had been married for 15 years, had 4 children and her husband had decided to end their marriage and he had started a new relationship with someone from his work place. He told the ex wife she was to move out of the family home, he was keeping the car and he was also cutting off her allowance. She had no job as she quit to raise the children and run the household.
The second caller was recently married, no children but suffering a illness that required an operation, which would cost them $9,000. The operation could be life saving:
Both these cases seem fair, but who would you chose to get the $10,000?
The stranded mother or the caller requiring the operation?
The decision was for the single mother to make the choice weather to give it or keep it, and she actually kept the money for herself.to get back on her feet and start again after her marriage ended.
As you can imagine were many back and forth opinions and I guess you could say it had many different perspectives both positives and also negatives.
I would have given it personally to the caller requiring the operation, apparently that operation was going to help basically save his life. I get that the single mum was doing it tough, but she had her health. Something that I think many of us don’t appreciate.
What do you find more important, setting yourself back up after a break up, or getting healthy and possibly saving a life?
So it got me thinking about all the ‘what if’s?’ To do with this single mothers situation.
What if you are a SAHM, you are solely reliant on your partner and the relationship ends? What do you do? You have no money as he controls it all. You have no where to go, as you need money in order to leave and reset yourself up. You have no job or employment so therefore no income coming in for yourself. So many variables.
Is this why some partners insist on ‘looking after things?’ So that they have the ‘upper hand’ or ‘are in control’ if things do end?
It is a tricky, and can be sensitive situation.
I myself have never relied on a man until I left my job after my first child. I was bought up by a single mother who worked 2 jobs to make ends meet and raise 3 children and pay the mortgage and bills etc. I always wanted to support myself and not have to rely on a man. And I did right up until 3 years ago.
I worked after I had my first child. It was great, I had my independence. I had my own money, my hours were flexible and I was still able to be with my child. I pretty much didn’t take maternity leave, instead my employer was extremely flexible and allowed me to work from home 4 days and in the office one day. It was such a great experience and understanding company allowing me to basically have the best of both worlds.
I would be up at 6:30am checking emails whilst my little guy laid beside me watching and having his morning bottle. Then we could play and when he would go down for his morning sleep where he would sleep for approx 2-2.5hrs, I’d get a load of work done. Then it would be play time again for a few hours, followed by him having his afternoon sleep, again for another 2hrs where I’d get a solid chunk of work done then also. I found I was wet productive as I wanted to get the ‘work’ done so that I could play with my little guy. I was still doing about 6hrs per day, much like an office job but from home and still around my little one. Anyway we moved house and my employer was wanting me in the office more than I could commit too and after many conversations, my husband decided it would be too far and hard for me to travel whilst being a SAHM. He was also working long hours and it would mean our little guy would have been in day care from approx 7:30am until around 6pm 5 days per week. So I resigned. I sometimes wish I still had my independence and own thing going on but I also feel very blessed to be able to have all this time with my little guy and now also my little girl.
Once we moved we had another child and let’s say life is busy! I now have a 3yo and 15mo…. 🙂
I often think though, what would I do if he left me or if I left him?
I have no savings as he gives me a weekly allowance that is to pay for groceries, put fuel in the car, pay my mobile bill, buy the kids clothing and nappies etc. I wouldn’t know what to do. He looks after all the bills as he has the salary.
It got me thinking.
Should I try to work in order to have money for a ‘back up plan’?
That would mean that both my children would be in child care and that would possibly cost what I would be earning?
I’d also have rent to pay, I’d need to purchase my own car and also pay all my own bills.
So how would I do all that?
Children are simply not accepted into care straight away, most places have wait lists and hopefully days avail that I’d require.
Oh but getting a job is also not quite that simple. There is the application process, interview process and then hopefully a position that can, 1 – pay the required amount I’m salary for me to support myself and my children. 2 – be close to where I’d live or the children’s care centre so I wouldn’t be spending long periods of time commuting to and from work with children, and 3 – possibly be flexible enough to understand that being a single working mother i may occasionally need flexibility for my children.
Speaking out aloud about it and rationalising thoughts makes me realise just how hard things could be.
There always seems to be a compromise. But at what cost? Should I have resigned and given up all my independence? Should I be looking to start work again ‘just Incase’ something were to happen? Should I trust my husband will always look out for and after me and our family?
You our can never predict the future.
It certainly made me wonder what would I do.
What would you do?
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