to think that the further you are from the world of work, the crazier being a working mum sounds?

(1000 Posts)
StripeyBear Sat 09-Feb-13 15:06:38

I did it for 3 years - motherhood and a (part-time, but) demanding job... when you were always running from pillar to post, and buying take-away pizza, and feeling guilty because your child was crying when you left, and always being tired and hassled and answering your blackberry on your days "off" and being f**ked off because your job wasn't half as interesting as the work you used to get when you were childless and in the office full-time-plus....

Almost 2 years of being a SAHM later, my working-mother-friends come round for coffee on their day off and moan about all of the above.. It sounds familiar, but now even their moaning exhausts me. I'm more in a swapping recipes for lemon-drizzle-cake and making my own pizza dough sort of head space. These days I just potter around - my whole life has slowed down.....

Don't get me wrong - I realise I'm fortunate that we can manage without the wage (and not everyone can), but I find I am barely worse off (once the childcare is taken into account, and it is so much easier to spend money wisely, now that I don't have to buy crappy pizza because I am too exhausted to cook or book my holiday at the last minute because I wasn't organised earlier). And life feels so much better now that I'm not always exhausted... and I actually have time to do interesting stuff like read (grown-up) books... and there is no stress around childcare and the like....

So when my friends come round and moan about their blackberries ringing and being side-lined for promotions and feeling stressed about organising a child's birthday party when they have no time to really do it and so on.... instead of feeling oodles of sympathy... all I can think is... WHY? WHY? Why are you doing it then?

AIBU? I sort of suspect I might be sad

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:08:33

Yes, YABU. What works for you is great, it doesn't mean it would work for them: financially, emotionally, intellectually, practically.

NoelHeadbands Sat 09-Feb-13 15:08:51

Well yes that sounds shit but I'm a FT working mum and that's not my life <shrug>

Anniegetyourgun Sat 09-Feb-13 15:10:16

Er, because they need the money, maybe? Or because even though they prefer the lifestyle, it's not always a bed of roses? Someone else may have a moan about the less joyous parts of being a SAHM, but it may not at all mean that they don't want to be one, just that it isn't perfect, and grumbling is cathartic.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:10:34

Also, what Noel said, I don't recognise any of the gripes in your post, and I'm a "working Mum".

HollyBerryBush Sat 09-Feb-13 15:10:57

You answered yourself in your OP really - you are lucky enough to do without one wage.

On the otherhand there is a vast difference bettween working to make ends meet and a dedicated career person. the former has to work, the latter enjoys it.

corlan Sat 09-Feb-13 15:11:29

I was bored out of my mind when I was a SAHM.

Horses for courses and all that.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 09-Feb-13 15:11:47

I'm sure most of us would moan about our children, but asking why we had them then is not going to make you popular.

Give it 10 years as a SAHM and you might be wishing you'd stuck to working.

nkf Sat 09-Feb-13 15:13:58

Why don't you ask them? if they're your friends and all that.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:14:18

I do agree with Holly though, I would probably feel a lot more ambivalent about work if I didn't have a career I love.

CMOTDibbler Sat 09-Feb-13 15:16:04

Not my world either - I work ft, have a Blackberry, but I make my own pizza dough, book holidays, read books and bake cakes. And so does DH.

HollyBerryBush Sat 09-Feb-13 15:18:17

These sorts of threads always end up badly because there is a certain smugness about being supported by the DH and doing yummy mummy stuff all day.

Yummy Mummies IMHO should be taken away and have all the saccharine extracted from their very core grin

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:19:13

Oh yes I must have missed the memo about not being allowed to bake/cook if you are a working Mum.

(Although I would still feed my DS frozen pizza once in a while with absolutely no qualms even if I was at home all day every day).

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:19:46

Don't you ever moan about your life, at times?

I do know what you are saying. I was a SAHM for 10 years and what is wonderful is the lack of stress, or at least a certain kind of stress. But you are only 2 years in, and at some point you might decide you need a bit of stress, time pressure, independence, company, to talk to people who aren't also SAHMs, and all the myriad things that working gives you. Never mind the money.

It sounds like your job was too stressful and your children were young. I think I would have found that hard. Juggling everything when you don't love your job is pretty thankless.

I got bored at home, in the end. I don't bake, I don't sew, I had decorated the whole house. I wanted to work.

We all need to think about what we really need to be happy.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:20:35

Vinegar

Another reason I was a rubbish SAHM. I am crap at baking and I don't sew

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:22:34

Actually, to make one serious point, one reason I work is to "gift" time with our son to my DH, and vice versa for my boy. If we both work PT, we can pay the bills, enjoy our careers, and both enjoy plenty of time with him.

If I suddenly stopped working we wouldn't be able to pay the mortgage my DH would have to work all the hours of every day to compensate. And actually, I don't think that would be a good thing for any of us.

Pagwatch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:26:20

I have been a sahm for a decade and I love it. But I have loads of friends who are WOHMs and they are neither moany nor cliche.

I think you are being very unreasonable and if being a sahm is making your ability to understand that others make different choices you might want to do something to change your environment a bit. You might be getting a bit set in your ways (as my mum would say)

RubyrooUK Sat 09-Feb-13 15:26:51

YABU.

But I'm a full time working mum and although it can be hard, making cake and pizza dough just isn't my thing. I find my job very interesting and I'm very proud to have achieved so much in my career.

I think your life sounds lovely but that's because it makes you content so it's obviously right for you. Which is the best situation.

But it wouldn't make me content or lots of other people I know who find their careers very stimulating so YABU.

TheMagicMumber Sat 09-Feb-13 15:29:54

I work full time, used to be a SAHM. I do more nice things now than I did then, I think it got so bloody boring that I slowed down too much and became a lifeless baby-feeding machine. Now I go to work, see my kids, cook (sometimes, DH does more), do fun things in the evenings and weekends, and generally get a lot more out of life. smile

janey68 Sat 09-Feb-13 15:30:26

I don't recognise the world you describe at all OP

I worked pt when my children were small, and certainly didn't waste time going round to friends houses and moaning on my days off. I was too busy making pizza dough, playing with the kids and mopping wee off the floor etc!

Maybe you have particularly moany friends... Perhaps they'd moan even more if they were home 24/7 !

sleepyhead Sat 09-Feb-13 15:30:51

I think the mistake (and of course if all your friends are in exactly the same position that you are in then it's not a mistake from your pov) is in thinking that wohm = your experience.

I have a reasonably well paid job, 3 days a week, no commute really at all. I do work sometimes on my days off or in the evening, but that's my choice and a quid pro quo recognition of how amazingly flexible my employers are in enabling me to take time off/switch days etc to fit in with unexpected family commitments. Most working mothers I know are in a similar position to me.

My life wouldn't be easier if I was a SAHM. We'd be in financial shit.

StripeyBear Sat 09-Feb-13 15:34:17

TBH, I don't think I moan much JamieandtheMagicTorch
I do think mothers in general moan too blinking much... have never understood how people can have endless boring conversations about how many times they got woken up the previous night... I mean - HELLO - Babies and toddlers wake up at night. DD is 18 months and still waking 2 or 3 times a night, but she will grow out of it eventually, and over all I just feel incredibly blessed to have such a generally happy and healthy little girl. I do often find myself wondering WHY people have children if they find them so bloody irksome?

I enjoyed my job prior to having children - I can't really think of a career I would prefer tbh, and I am good at it, and got promoted easily and given interesting work. However, I really love being with the children - watching them grow up is endlessly fascinating to me, and I felt very torn leaving my child in commercial childcare.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that a couple of years ago I would have been hugely sympathetic to all the working mum moans, but as time has gone on - being a working mother seems increasingly barmy... and I am finding it harder and harder to dredge up much sympathy.

earlierintheweek Sat 09-Feb-13 15:36:50

Lucky for you. Jolly good. Aren't you great. Not everyone has the same life as you. Empathy would be good.

Single parent. Working. Knackered. Pissed off with your smug tone.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:37:39

Read your post back and see how many "I"s are in it.

Are you truly incapable of understanding that other people may feel differently to you even when those same people spell it out to you?

This thread is not accepting new messages.