October 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm #253339
I have just become a SAHW and although it is wonderful to be free from working for awhile I am also finding it a bit daunting.
I’ll start at the beginning…………..
I have taken 3 months off work with the view of not returning in the new year.
My DH has a new job which means financially I no longer need to work but it still feels odd not bringing in any of “my own” money.
The kids have all left home and hubby is away for 3 weeks out of every month so I am faced with lots of time to do whatever I want, and although that might sound like pure bliss to some, I find it a bit scary.
When I told everyone at work that I was leaving they all asked what I was going to do and because it is hard to explain I just told them “I was going to do whatever I wanted.”
My main reason for taking the time off work is that I have not been very well lately and working shiftwork is making the situation worse.
So how do people cope with retirement when they are still young enough to be working?
I feel like I need to justify my existance because I no longer work and I have no kids at home.(although I do babysit the grandkids every week)October 2, 2010 at 11:03 pm #479239gleanertMember
Your taking retirement from paid work thats all!
Our society has made paid work a virtue and unpaid work something to feel guilty about or ashamed about.
Enjoy and remember there is virtue in living a simple life less reliant on generating money to live a life in excess.October 2, 2010 at 11:08 pm #479240peppiereMember
Good for you Michelle.After having your days (and nights ) filled with work. It must be daunting to face each day without the work commitment.
What about volunteering at your local op-shop 1 day a week.Gives you a social life as well as feeling like you’re contributing to your community.
Take some classes.Ask yourself what you have always wanted to do and then do it.
Enjoy it.October 2, 2010 at 11:11 pm #479241KarmaMember
I have been a SAHW for a long time now and yes am still young enough to be considered able to go out to work, still have two 20 something year olds, here less time than here. I found when I stopped paid work there was a long adjustment time, not months but for me a year or so but that was also at a time when I wasn’t into gardening quite as much as I am now. I think you miss the company and not dashing around, also peoples expectation is that you would want to go out to do paid work and why on earth would you give it up for of all things to stay at home. Things take a more leisurely pace but that takes time to appreciate.
I can understand you feeling a bit scared, that is natural. My advice is to do what you enjoy, your health is the most important, so get well. Try not to listen to other people and their opinions, we are all different and from what I have heard/seen of you on here you have your priorities in life well sorted.
I wish you well and if you ever want to meet up some time, PM me as I probably am not far away from you here Southside of Brisbane.
KarmaOctober 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm #479242
I think one of the things I find daunting is how to structure my days?
I think, like you say, I am so used to being busy, planning my life around work that I am worried I will fritter my time away.
I think I need a plan.;)October 2, 2010 at 11:48 pm #479243busylizzieMember
Time to learn those new skills Michelle. Enjoy your new found freedom. :metal:October 2, 2010 at 11:54 pm #479244WombatMember
Hey Michelle SM,
Just a thought, have alook here, this is the planning process we use.:D
NevOctober 3, 2010 at 12:07 am #479245SonyaMember
It took me four years to get used to it… only now finding my feet with it all.
Good luck, enjoy the trip and be kind to yourself.
You can work miracles to make your home so much better.
SonyaOctober 3, 2010 at 12:23 am #479246AndreMember
I can’t wait to be able to stay home full-time … would much rather be doing stuff I get little pay for, but huge satisfaction. .. (labour of love isn’t ‘work’ as far as I’m concerned) mind you, that won’t pay the bills (currently) but working on reducing my outgoings for that glorious day in the hopefully not too distant future.
Good luck to you Michelle .. if it makes you feel any better, I’m jealous. :metal:October 3, 2010 at 3:06 am #479247HummerMember
Enjoy your time away from paid work Michelle :tup:
You can always join forces with the local SES or CFA if you feel like doing more. You get to learn heaps of things and you are helping your local community.. I’m enjoying the SES more than I could have imagined 🙂October 3, 2010 at 3:27 am #479248ZeitgeistMember
Ask yourself 1 question. When your laying on your death bed, will you wish you had spent another day at work??? If the answer is yes, go back to work, if the answer is no, welcome to my world:tup: 12 years ago i was well on my way to becoming a millionaire, and i was miserable, i didn’t have a life, just stress and work. Gave it all away and never been happier.
Having said that it doesn’t mean i won’t work again, just means when i do it will be because i want to learn a new skill. For example, i’m about to volunteer my time to a beekeeper for a while. He gets free labour and i learn a new skill that adds to our ability to be more self sufficient ie. honey, wax and early flowering fruit trees that will now get pollinated better.October 3, 2010 at 3:32 am #479249
Just a thought, have alook here, this is the planning process we use.
Thanks Nev, that is a fantastic resource. I can’t believe I haven’t visited your blog before now. Lots of reading to catch up on.:tup:
It took me four years to get used to it… only now finding my feet with it all
I’m glad you said that because if things didn’t fall into place overnight I might have thought I was getting it all wrong.:hug:
PM me as I probably am not far away from you here Southside of Brisbane.
I might just do that, thanks for the offer. I am in Logan about 20 mins sth of Brissy.
The SES is only about 5km up the road from me. I had never thought about joining them but it is something I will really think about.
Andre your turn will come, I hope sooner rather than later.:tup:October 3, 2010 at 6:13 am #479250weaverMember
Like Andre I too am incredibly jealous. I think you should probably give yourself permission to simply enjoy being for a little while sort of like a detox from work program.
I have a stay at home husband who recently retired (at 43 yrs) and I am still in full time work but desperate to down size to part-time which will hopefully happen early next year. I cant wait.October 3, 2010 at 7:03 am #479251ApplebeeMember
When I first left paid employment 20 years ago I spent weeks just
sitting in the garden and feeling the dirt whilst weeding a little, it
was just something that I needed to do.
It is a big adjustment, but also a very precious gift that one has to
delicately unwrap. Once things settled down I found it very beneficial
to have a long term project that could provide me with the mental
stimulation and interest; and being totally void of the traditional
creative skills I chose to put my time into genealogy, mine and others, and trust me you never get bored, just fullon with that project!
In later years, learning how to become more self sufficient has been
an enormous time filler on some many levels and so rewarding as well.
We are not heavily involved with grandchildren etc. due to distance so
we pursue that which nurtures us as we grow older, and are currently
into Tai Chi and the big learning curve that it offers; and which is
mostly done at home with some brilliant dvd for guidance from teachers.
When we master the techniques to some degree we will then join some
I just love being at home and find the more I can nurture myself the
more I can nurture others.
I think being at home offers the opportunity of getting to know yourself
more deeply than a busy world allows and you begin to lose the fear of your own mind, thoughts, feeling and emotions and intuitive aspects
of yourself and your health can begin to open up.
On a different level, which is probably want you wanted to know anyway,
😉 after having worked out when I want to be active, when I want to be
still, when I want to socialise and when I don’t, I loosely structure my
I think also be careful who you invite into your world in an effort to
fill the void of work, as it can take a lot to uninvite those you might
find you wish you hadn’t invited.
Don’t be frightened of the Void, it is where the magic lies.
I am in a poetic mood today, aren’t I. Apologies :lol::lol::lol::lol:
Best of luck, Michelle-sm
Applebee munching on freshly picked peas.October 3, 2010 at 7:21 am #479252sue eMember
hi michelle, i completely understand how you feel as i experienced the same apprehension when i first gave up paid work. i took long service leave to see how i coped before i made a final decision just in case i had a change of heart but deep down i knew i wouldn’t as i was having health problems as well and i knew i could no longer keep up the pace. i consoled myself by telling myself that i would look for another job after a good rest and had caught up on many years of neglected chores. i finished up last January and it was very difficult to comes to terms with for a long time for the same reasons you mentioned.i felt i had to justify my existence and raced around trying to do everything until i realized that at this pace i may as well have stayed at work and my health problems were getting worse . i did go through a bit of a bit of a downer after that where i could’nt manage to muster energy or enthusiasm to do the tiniest of tasks and found myself sitting in the same chair in my jammies at 2 in the arvo wondering where the day went! so i did myself a time table allowing myself time to d the things i always never had time to do while working as well a few chores.i also made myself get into exercise (yogalates) i found this to be of enormous benefit getting me back on track by giving my day some structure as well feeling as though i had achieved something each day.slowly i have adjusted and learned to slow down a bit and am really glad i no longer have to go out to paid work.
the point i am making is that it is a big adjustment and it will be a bit difficult for a while. and i have been asked the same question”what are you going to do with yourself” and at first i would rattle off a heap of activities that sounded like justification for not paying my way. now i just say “whatever i damnwell please”
if you are over 50 you can join the university of the third age which has lots of courses that you can do without pressure of exams but still offer the stimulation of learning in a friendly environment. they are super cheap as well. i am at last going to pick up my high school french as well as some art classes, for no other reason than that i want to do them!
as someone said previously be kind to yourself and give yourself time to adjust. don’t feel that you have to be doing paid work to keep your place on the planet. there are lots of organizations looking for volunteers. there is a website on volunteering australia with a great list of things that may interest you. first f all though give yourself a rest and then you can figure out what you want to do.
hope this really long drawn out reply helps. sue
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