To think my sister should just go back to work

(144 Posts)
allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:01:26

I know everyone is having a tough time at the moment but I am beginning to wonder if my sister is being unrealistic about being a SAHM. She has a 4 year old (now at school) and a one year old. Her husband works for the council in what was a well paid job but due to cut backs they are beginning to struggle financially. Personally I would think that returning to some sort of part time work would be beneficial for all now. She is very funny about this sort of thing and thinks that pre school child care is the work of the devil and that mums who return to work are bad mothers. Most of my friends with babies have returned to work once their children are one years old mainly for financial reasons and I can see they are not bad parents. So AIBU or is she BU. It does grate on me that I work to support my lifestyle so why shouldn't she, after all they chose to have children? Sorry if this seems harsh but I am getting a bit fed up of hearing how hard up they are.

Deflatedballoonbelly Mon 17-Oct-11 20:02:24


keep your nose out and let her do what she wants.

LingDiLong Mon 17-Oct-11 20:02:27

YABU, it's none of your business.

FabbyChic Mon 17-Oct-11 20:03:16

If she works she will pay childcare that could eat up all her earnings then it be pointless, however as his income sinks she does have the opportunity to apply for tax credits if applicable.

Her lifestyle choices are really none of your business if she wants to be a SAHM she can be. So but out.

Just tell her if she is hard up get an evening job or weekends that she can do whilst her husband is home.

PenguinsAreThePoint Mon 17-Oct-11 20:04:38

Completely and Utterly none of your business.

GuillotinedMaryLacey Mon 17-Oct-11 20:05:14

Oh don't be silly. I have worked since DD was a year old, hated every minute of it and earned about sixpence after travel and childcare. I'm about to have dc2 and DD will go to school in September. I won't be going back to work just yet, the logistics and cost of school runs/after school care and baby childcare will cost me far more than I could earn.

usualsuspect Mon 17-Oct-11 20:05:26

You don't work to support her lifestyle ,so whats your problem?

cjbartlett Mon 17-Oct-11 20:05:43

Just tell her to stop moaning about money if she's not prepared to do anything about it
Or suggest she gets a weekend job - there'll be plenty around in the run up to christmas

BluddyMoFo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:05:44

Think what you like.

JeanBodel Mon 17-Oct-11 20:05:54


If you had come on here to say, 'I'm fed up with my sister moaning all the time about how hard up she is', then fair enough.

But you say it as though it's so easy. She should just get a job. There are so many factors involved in that sentence that you really are not in a position to judge.

newbiedoobiedoo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:06:00

You work to support your lifestyle, her dh works to fund their while she RAISES their children. YABVVVU to think you're entitled to even have an opinion on this...IMO smile

ilovesooty Mon 17-Oct-11 20:07:09

You can think what you please, but as it's none of your business it would BU to make your thoughts known to her.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:07:46

For those of you that say it is not my business and I should butt out then does that mean I should stop taking her calls then? As that is her main topic of conversation. I have suggested that maybe she could do something when her husband is at home to take care of the children but that also meets with a flat no. They winge at me that I do not see them often but my job is mostly 7 days a week so difficult for me to get up to see them (they live 3 hours away) and I miss the children, so suggest they come and stay with me (I pay for everything when they do) but that is also a no, as it costs too much to drive down. See that makes no sense to me either.

usualsuspect Mon 17-Oct-11 20:09:17

you sound like a lovely sister

halcyondays Mon 17-Oct-11 20:10:44

It's up to her, isn't it? She mightn't be that much better off anyway after paying for childcare and if she wants to be a sahm it's up to her and her dh.

my2centsis Mon 17-Oct-11 20:11:05

YABVVVU goodness I would hate to have such a judgmental sister. It's not like her kids are 10 forgodsake. How rude

newbiedoobiedoo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:11:42

Well it doesn't HAVE to make sense to you! Just steer the conversation away from money? Or, if she's a close sister tell her to shut up about it!

MilkNoSugarPlease Mon 17-Oct-11 20:12:03

Get over yourself

LingDiLong Mon 17-Oct-11 20:12:26

As others have said, it's really not as simple as you make out. You can't just get a job to cover childcare costs when you have 2 small children. It's also unbelievably hard to get evening/weekend work - believe me, I've tried myself. 100s of people apply for those kinds of jobs and they tend to go to young kids who they can pay a bit less to.

And ultimately if she's a whinger, then she'd whinge even if she had more money.

Well, just give it to her straight then. Tell her you're sorry she is having financial difficulties, and the only way out that you can see is for her to go into paid employment.

FWIW, do you think people are just walking into jobs right now? The market is flat.


it's her family and her life.

FabbyChic Mon 17-Oct-11 20:13:50

If she gives you that much grief about it just tell her unless she is willing to do something about it nothing will change and to stop moaning at you about it, cos you aren't a bank and cannot subsidise her.

TheSecondComing Mon 17-Oct-11 20:15:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:15:24

yabu really.

Some of us actuallly enjoy working and want to go back. Some people don't. I think it's up to her and her husband to do what they think is best but yanbu to be fed up with her moaning.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:16:24

Actually before you all think I am an awful sister, I am the one who is always there for a chat when things are going wrong no matter what time of night or day, remembers birthdays etc and picks thoughtful presents that mean stuff to those that recieve them. I just was thinking out loud to try to find suggestions to help her. Going back to work is more a moral issue for her and it is tough to hear them struggling on basic rations (well her not the children obviously) just to make ends meet.

newbiedoobiedoo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:19:03

"Actually before you all think I am an awful sister, I am the one who is always there for a chat when things are going wrong no matter what time of night or day, remembers birthdays etc and picks thoughtful presents that mean stuff to those that recieve them"

Yeah, and then bitch about it on the internet! smile If she doesn't want to go back to work then she doesn't want to! There's no law to say you have to listen to her moan about being on rations! And tbh it doesn't come across as you trying to find suggestions to help her, just wanting to moan about you working and her not!

TheSecondComing Mon 17-Oct-11 20:22:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

halcyondays Mon 17-Oct-11 20:23:16

Tbh struggling a bit financially is just part and parcel of parenthood for an awful lot of people unless they have a very good job or relatives who provide free childcare. If not then families usually have a big drop in earnings in the early years because either one parent stops work or else they have bug childcare bills. Of course going back to work doesn't make someone a bad parent but it's her decision.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:27:07

I came on to ask if I was being unreasonable, which it is apparent you think I am. I still don't see the reason for all the vehemence, we are all having a rough time of it, but I still believe that eventually if you try to help yourself then things get better. I can only draw my opinions on what I see happening to my friends so was hoping to draw on a wider pool of knowledge from here..... hmm

Melissad Mon 17-Oct-11 20:28:04

I spent about nine years as a SAHM (including almost two years when both girls were at school full time whilst I watched Loose Women looked for work) and I loved almost every minute of it. I'm 100% sure it was the right thing to do. I love working part time now, but didn't want to work when they were preschool age and didn't. My husband supported that 100%.
Are you a little bit envious of her being a sahm because you'd prefer to do that, if you could?

Miette Mon 17-Oct-11 20:29:03

Just tell her that you don't want to hear her complaining about being poor as you don't approve of her wanting to look after her baby herself. I'm sure it will go down very well.

whackamole Mon 17-Oct-11 20:29:29

YABU, it has nothing to do with you.

BUT YWNBU to tell her to stop moaning she could change things a bit but won't.

Have you tried asking her what she thinks the answer is?

OriginalGhoster Mon 17-Oct-11 20:29:44

She must have considered her options. MYOB.

Does she critisise your choices, too?


toptramp Mon 17-Oct-11 20:29:55

As your sister is making it your business by winging to you; yanbu.

Jawbreaker Mon 17-Oct-11 20:31:17

YABU, nosey and judgemental. It's absolutely none of your business how your sister and her husband manage their childcare, finances or any aspect of their lifestyle.

I think people are being a bit harsh
Imagine the reaction if the sister posted here
It would be

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:32:22

OriginalGhoster - she actually says she envies my lifestyle, which I tell her is silly as I only tell her the good bits and the bad bits are not at all that nice.

AmberLeaf Mon 17-Oct-11 20:32:59

It does grate on me that I work to support my lifestyle so why shouldn't she

YABU and jealous.

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Mon 17-Oct-11 20:35:40

Do you have kids? If not it will be v hard for you to see things from her perspective. It is v hard to get a part time job that pays enough to have much left over after paying 2 lots of childcare- even if the eldest is in school there is still after school club etc to think about. Plus if she has been out of the workplace for a while it will be even tougher.

I'm sure she could get a job in a supermarket etc in the evenings. And I'm sure she knows it and has wrestled with whether it's worth it, like many of us have, especially if she has had a professional job before. Also, if she has been very vocal about being a SAHM before things were so tight financially she might feel she will lose face if she changes her mind.

I would either try and make helpful suggestions about cutting costs/budgeting/selling stuff on ebay or just steer the conversation to something else.

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Mon 17-Oct-11 20:35:40

Do you have kids? If not it will be v hard for you to see things from her perspective. It is v hard to get a part time job that pays enough to have much left over after paying 2 lots of childcare- even if the eldest is in school there is still after school club etc to think about. Plus if she has been out of the workplace for a while it will be even tougher.

I'm sure she could get a job in a supermarket etc in the evenings. And I'm sure she knows it and has wrestled with whether it's worth it, like many of us have, especially if she has had a professional job before. Also, if she has been very vocal about being a SAHM before things were so tight financially she might feel she will lose face if she changes her mind.

I would either try and make helpful suggestions about cutting costs/budgeting/selling stuff on ebay or just steer the conversation to something else.

RIZZ0 Mon 17-Oct-11 20:37:52


Och, where is she?!

YABU btw

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 20:37:53

AmberLeaf - see my above comment

MillyR Mon 17-Oct-11 20:43:16

I don't really understand your point. You are saying you are working to support your lifestyle (by which you mean you support only yourself, unless you also care for some elderly aunt and a couple of foster kids that you didn't mention), while you think she should do the same (by which you actually mean that she stop the work of looking after her kids 24 hours and spend part of that time working for pay to support her kids).

I fail to sure how you providing for yourself and her and her DH trying to work things out so they can provide and care for 2 extra people are in any way comparable.

shineynewthings Mon 17-Oct-11 20:43:34

Well that's what sisters are for to provide a listening and tolerant ear whilst you moan about the same thing over and over again. You are being reasonably unreasonable though.

Naturally you're concerned for your sister and her family, but some mums just want to stay at home with their DCs and they should be able to, no matter what position they form that stance from. Do you have DCs yet? if not just you wait, even mums who happily trot of to work often feel a twinge when they have to leave their DCs behind.

IMO, your sister's not wrong to winge and complain, I think it's dreadful that women are more or less forced by economics to work and leave their DCS (sometimes babies) in day care even if they have a husband that works full time, I mean what is the point? Wages are shit...

IntergalacticHussy Mon 17-Oct-11 20:50:14

'it does grate on me that i work to support my lifestyle so why shouldn't she?'

i'm sorry but you haven't done yourself any favours with that question.

Firstly, you say they're beginning to struggle financially on one income, which presumably means that they don't enjoy the same 'lifestyle' as you put it.

Secondly, she is working. As a mum!

You do seem to be getting a bit of a pasting here, OP. Maybe it is none of your business - but by repeatedly moaning about it to you, she is kind of making it your business, or at the very least soliciting your interest in her business.

Personally, if someone's going to moan repeatedly to me about being hard up, while taking no measures to improve the situation, then I'd probably start being blunt with them too (along the lines of "You have two options - spend less or earn more). And being your sister kind of gives you carte blanche - well it does in my family anyway and I have the scars to prove it grin.

Maybe next time she starts, you should keep bouncing it back at her with "Well how do you think you can improve the situation?" type comments. I'd be disinclined to let her drone on endlessly.

SansaLannister Mon 17-Oct-11 21:09:31

Not your business.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:13:30

Thanks Whereyouleftit and the others that have atleast acknowledged that by constantly telling me about it, is making it my business. I shall take on what you have suggested.

pinkytheshrunkenhead Mon 17-Oct-11 21:13:51

You just sound a bit jealous. Everyone likes a moan just suck it up because it is none of your business

Ephiny Mon 17-Oct-11 21:17:37

Personally I probably would try to get back into work in her situation, it seems like a sensible thing to do. But that's her decision, or between her and her husband, not really any of your business.

So YANBU to think she should go back to work, probably best to stay out of it though, as I doubt you'll convince her. And YABU to be so resentful of her not having to 'support her lifestyle'. Live your own life and let her get on with hers, you'll be happiest that way I'm sure!

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:21:03

I'm unsure exactly why I would be jealous? Of what exactly. That's just a lazy way of saying IABU.

AScatteringofPoorSardines Mon 17-Oct-11 21:27:34

YABU, I don't think you are getting where your sister is coming from. It was incredibly important to me that I was a SAHM, your sister obviously feels the same.
I guess she feels close enough to you to be able to moan to you (without having to hold back and put a brave face on it) about the cutbacks she has to make for this to be possible. Yes, it's her choice, and perhaps hearing it gets wearing for you, but she is your sister and you should accept that this is the way she wants to do things and support her emotionally shouldn't you? It doesn't cost you anything.

LineRunner Mon 17-Oct-11 21:31:51

I'm wondering what happened with the husband's salary? A council job is a council job. I think Southampton imposed a 5% pay cut but wasn't that unusual? I suppose I'm wondering if their has been an overtime ban or something like that, for such a change in their circs.

I think that there are mass redundancies in the offing in local government in the next three years, starting next April, from what I read, so if your sister can start to research possible work opportunities then she probably should.

I agree that if she discusses this with you and cries on your shoulder then she does make it your business. Do you ask her what she thinks the solution for her family actually is? Could you encourage her to throw some ideas 'out there'.

One day her children will be paying your pension, btw! smile

ha! where I work there are people being made redundant left right and centre, people becoming "at risk" and forced to take a job for much less than they earned, oh and there's a pay review coming in to force soon, don't know what will happen but doubt it will be good news. Oh and through all this my colleagues are told to stop whining and be bloody grateful they have a job. Don't forget the rising costs of fuel and well...just living.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:51:51

Yes, overtime bans and being moved into areas with less hours, its not that great being in the public service right now, hence my general opinion that now is the time to consider other options even if they are less savoury. I recently turned down a job as it was an hourly rate rather than salaried even though it was a lovely because I would rather know what I was getting each month but that was my decision.

lurkerspeaks Mon 17-Oct-11 21:54:52

I am in a similar situation with a close family member. Money is really tight, life is terrible, whinge , whinge, whinge every time I speak to them.

Yet everytime I suggest something constructive - like getting a job complimentary to her husbands hours, doing some evening home working (she was in a field where this was possible) my suggestions are poo-poohed. Basically she views herself as a professional but doens't earn enough to pay for childcare. Her husband doesn't really earn enough to support them all but she isn't prepared to do anything to earn the extra cash they need. They are currently surviving on handouts from her parents which is not sustainable in the long term.

I on the other hand with my massively stressful, hugely competitive, long antisocial hours job are just amazingly lucky that I have a large disposable income. No thought/ acknowledgment is ever given to the huge amout of effort that goes in to earning that income and how maybe a life where the most stressful thing is working out what to buy in Asda (although as a confimed Waitrose shopper, that would be stressful) or what to wear to Toddlers would be a welcome change.

Oh, and I think I'll be paying my own pension thank you very much. And probably paying for her kids to go to Uni as she and her husband seem to have no funding vehicle in sight for that expense either.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 21:57:09

Here here! Well said Lurker

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 21:59:11

YANBU to think that she should stop moaning about being hard up whilst at the same time bring against going back to work.
Sounds like she wants her cake and eat it too.
Truth is, many cannot afford to live comfortably on one wage, so if she is not prepared to go to work (on principal) she will have to make do with the money her DH earns.
As for it all being non of your business, well your sister obviously thinks it is your business as you say that she discusses it all with you regularly.
What are you meant to do OP ? Just agree that life is sooo unfair on her and offer tea snd sympathy or tell her that she can change things if she is prepared to.

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:01:10

Lurker you took the words right out of my mouth- agree completely.

Arachnophobic Mon 17-Oct-11 22:03:01

Actually OP YANBU. It's annoying listening to someone drone on about it all the time. I think there are always ways of making money, with children or not.

Evening and weekend work, e-baying, Avon, the list is endless.

And clearly it is your business. As your sister has spent so much time talking to you about it she has made it your concern.

skybluepearl Mon 17-Oct-11 22:06:04

You are very jelous by the sounds of it. Yes she is skint but at least she is bringing up the kids and spending time with them.

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 22:07:55

You still are not saying what I am jealous of. Which is because I am not, I'm just frustrated in trying to help her.

Arachnophobic Mon 17-Oct-11 22:08:08

OP, I don't think you are jealous at all, just a bit fed up.

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:09:13

Sky OP's sister spends many a conversation complaining.
Not a lot to be jealous of there.
I would say it's the other way round, OP's sister is jealous of OP's disposable income.

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:10:20

Hence the constant moaning and complaining.

Arachnophobic Mon 17-Oct-11 22:10:43

sky-blue I just read your post again, are you suggesting that if someone works they are not spending time with the kids or bringing them up? And how do you know anyway? For all you know the kids are at home sat in front of the telly constantly!

KittyFane Mon 17-Oct-11 22:13:28

Or stuck at home all day with a miserable moany mummy sad

I don't think that the OP sounds jealous, in the least.

The OP's sister is making it the OP's business by talking to her about it regularly. It's not wrong for the OP to suggest ways of alleviating her sister's financial issues. If her sister doesn't want to work for whatever reason, then fine, but perhaps she should moan a little less.

Bogeymanface Mon 17-Oct-11 23:08:02

You still havent said whether you have children as I think that it is an important point. If you dont then you wont really get how "get a job" isnt always that simple.

We need more money but if I got a job we would be worse off, thanks to child care, so short of benefit fraud there isnt much we can do. H is looking for a better paid job but even with his experience and qualifications, he hasnt got anything in 18 months of applying.

I do think YABU in saying "just get a job" but YANBU in saying that her constant whinging is getting you down. Perhaps she moans to you because she doesnt have anyone else to moan to?

Tanith Mon 17-Oct-11 23:17:13

My lovely little sister is a SAHM, has been for all her kids. She's hard up, too, and I'm there for her any time she wants a chat, a moan, a gossip - whatever she likes really. That's what sisters are for in my book. She's not lazy, she works hard at home. I love her loads and I would never ever dream of questioning or resenting her decision to stay at home, let alone criticise it on a public forum.


Catsdontcare Mon 17-Oct-11 23:23:00

It really makes my teeth itch when people refer to themselves as having a "lifestyle". Not really relevant but my sil used the phrase "our family lifestyle...." today to and it really grated hmm

TickettyBoo Mon 17-Oct-11 23:29:53

YANBU in my opinion, it's natural to care about your sister's choices in life so I would see it as your business as you clearly care about her and also she has made it your business by moaning on to you constantly; something even the most patient person would get weary of eventually.

However, I would just say that if being a SAHM is that important to her you have to respect that too; instead of offering solutions maybe you could focus her on the future and get her to consider longer term plans "you're doing a great job at bringing up your kids, and it is hard just now, but maybe in a year's time you could consider something that might interest you? What do you think you'd like to do?" kind of conversation?

QuintessentialShadyHallows Mon 17-Oct-11 23:30:19

oh cut the OP some slack, she is just interested in opinions! If she is not herself a parent, she will not know the true cost of childcare! She will not know that most jobs dont cover the cost of nursery care for a small child!

screamingbohemian Mon 17-Oct-11 23:38:43

But people here are telling her the math doesn't work out, yet she doesn't care.

Zahora Mon 17-Oct-11 23:40:44

I totally feel for your sister, it's not easy having young dcs and financial stress on top. I do also sympathise with you having to listen to her moan about her situation. Can't be easy for you and it sounds very frustrating if she isn't ready to listen to your advice. My advice to you is to just listen and be there for her and let her vent if it's going to make her feel better. That's what sisters are for.

Harecare Mon 17-Oct-11 23:40:50

When she moans is she looking for advice or does she want a friendly ear or does she want YOU to help her with money?

If she wants advice then give it to her - suggest becoming a CM, it's a way to get paid while looking after your own children plus others if you are an excellent HHM, creative and great with children.

If she just wants to moan and you are fed up with listening then tell her that you'd prefer not to hear how hard it is for her to be a HHM with no external income of her own. Either do something about it or stop moaning - at least to you anyway!

If she is asking you to give her money to subsidise her choices then you have every right to be annoyed, but I don't think she is, is she?

allmyfriendsaremarried Mon 17-Oct-11 23:42:22

Let's get it straight I do not look down on SAHM, my mum was one back in the 80s for which we are both eternally grateful. I may not know the cost of having children but I do know the costs of running a home, which is virtually impossible on one wage for just myself let alone 3 other mouths to feed and clothe. I can turn the heating off and wear another jumper, live off pasta and rice etc to do the stuff that I want to but I know that you can't do that with children. 'Lifestyle' may have been the wrong word to use but she says she envies mine, despite never having actually lived on her own, she went straight from the family home to marital home and we all are guilty at times at thinking the grass is greener. Hence why I came on here to get some advice. I see my friends who have gone down the back to work route, they admittedly had good jobs before they started their families so maybe that helps?

Bogeymanface Mon 17-Oct-11 23:53:31

Perhaps when she says that she envies your lifestyle she means that she envies the choices you have? With no children you can do what you want, when you want. Everything she does, work or not, has to be based around her family. And having gone from your parents to her husband she may be envious of the life you had that she didnt.

I still think YABU in suggesting that she should just get a job, it isnt that easy. If you dont like being her ear to moan at, then say so, but dont slag her off and suggest that she should just pop down to the jobcentre and get herself a school hours job, they are less common than Hens Teeth!

screamingbohemian Mon 17-Oct-11 23:57:44

So... you don't know the cost of having children, yet feel free to judge your sister? I think that's BU.

Young children don't have to cost that much. You can get most of what you need very cheaply, they don't eat that much, if you're a SAHM you don't have the expenses associated with work (clothes, transport).

The main expense with young children is, really, childcare. Which your sister doesn't have to worry about.

Do you even know how much childcare costs? For two children? Probably more than their mortgage or rent.

To have a knee jerk reaction of 'get a job' without knowing the math is really unfair.

allmyfriendsaremarried Tue 18-Oct-11 00:03:55

Maths not math. Anyway I do have a rough understanding of childcare costs because, believe it or not, people without children do talk to those that do have children about these things. One of my friends even pointed out that he was better off as a SAHD than being on minimum wage but then he does not winge about not being poor either. Anyway thanks to those that have not seen me as a childless gorgon that has no idea about how these things work, but instead offered some good advice that I can pass on in a tactful way.

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 00:06:30

screaming your childcare v housing costs point is a very good one. It would cost us 3 times our mortgage per month to cover fulltime CC for my little one and before and after school care for the three older ones. I had never thought of it like that before, and I am glad you pointed it out because I am getting a bit of earache from my mum about this ("well I worked when you were little", yes mum you did, and YOUR mum and dad did the childcare, which you said on the day I gave birth, that you wouldnt do for me!).

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 00:07:49

Maths not math

I feel v v sorry for your sister.

allmyfriendsaremarried Tue 18-Oct-11 00:11:00

So do I. Hence why I'm trying to find a way to help.

alwayspoor Tue 18-Oct-11 00:14:00

I actually agree with where you left it. OP YANBU, your DS is making it yiur business.

BecJackMissR Tue 18-Oct-11 00:17:54

Oh dear, some people are very quick to judge on here !!! In all honesty, I would probably just tell her to please stop talking to you about her money issues, and if she wants more money, then to maybe get work. Being a SAHM can be tough, but I have also experienced being a working mother too, full & part time.

I hope it all works out for you smile

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 00:19:58

allmy the maths/math thing aside (I hate pedants!) have you ever had a bad day at work and you moaned at your partner/husband/BF/GF/whatever and then rather than give you a hug, tell you that you are brilliant and your boss/client/co-worker is a wanker, they tried to solve your problem? If you have then you will know how really bloody annoying it is when someone doesnt just listen, hug you and make you feel better but tries to tell you what you should be doing to make the situation better.

She doesnt want you to solve her problem, she wants you to listen and make her feel better. Do that, and you will be the best sister ever smile

But thats not to say that you shouldnt sometimes say "Hey, do I get a chance to moan now?!"

MsTownmouse Tue 18-Oct-11 00:35:27

You are and you aren't. I am guessing that you find it hard to appreciate her point of view that looking after the children is her priority at the moment , she is probably unaware that to a full time working sister her views won't resonate. There is no right answer . If she is phoning you because you are a welcome and friendly voice then just carry on and be happy you are seen as such - if it is really teeing you off then offer what help you can and try to organise the phone calls so they won't impact on you so much. People are different and I can see both points of view. Give her a break but equally ask her to give you one f you need one.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 00:38:11

Er... I'm American, and we say math

I'm starting to feel very sorry for your sister too.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 00:43:55

bogey I think I've had that same conversation with my mum grin

DownbytheRiverside Tue 18-Oct-11 00:44:02

Not your business, but you are free to tell her how bored you are with her grumbling.
Stick your fingers in your ears and chant 'Lalala not listening'
She may get the message. Or not.

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 01:38:08

Screaming I did think you were US! And I am gonna take a wild guess here but ... you didnt win with you mum either, right?! grin

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 01:38:29


Arachnophobic Tue 18-Oct-11 01:38:42

Why do people assume on here that work equals massive childcare costs? What about evening or weekend work? Which lots of parents and carers have to do to make ends meet.

All the negative posters seem to have forgotten this very important point.

I think that had the sister posted her problem people would have come up with all sorts of money making ideas and had she whinged or ranted too much there would be no end of people queuing up to tell her she wad BU.

Arachnophobic Tue 18-Oct-11 01:39:11


Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 01:47:32

Arachnophobic Evening and weekend work is easily doable, if you are married to a 9 to 5-er. These days its unusual to have a job that really is nine to five with no overtime, "work to the job not the clock" etc

I could walk into a job tomorrow with my old boss, but as H (the main earner) cant guarantee being home in time then I cant do it. More people work shifts (and unpredictable ones at that) than work "office hours".

And how many nurseries/childminders do you know that will give that much flexibility?

Arachnophobic Tue 18-Oct-11 01:50:14

E bay, Jamie at Home, Kleeneze, Pampered Chef, the list goes on..........

sundayrose10 Tue 18-Oct-11 01:54:13

Hear hear not here here.

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 01:55:33

With party planning you need to plan ahead, several months ahead! What part of "unpredictable" did you miss?

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 01:58:06

I should add that my H makes up the rotas and even with that we cant work more than a fortnight ahead.

Arachnophobic Tue 18-Oct-11 02:04:01

So basically, Bogey there is no way that OP's sister could make any extra cash, and you base this on your own experiences?

Forrestgump Tue 18-Oct-11 02:08:37

I feel for your sister in her situation, but I also agree with you.

Don't let her decision to not work wind you up, you do what is right for your family. She obviously can't grasp that maybe they need an extra income?

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 02:10:18

I'm not saying that she cant make extra cash, just that evening/weekend work and party planning isnt always quite as simple as it first appears.

Arachnophobic Tue 18-Oct-11 02:17:05

Put it this way, and now I draw from my own experiences. I have two DCs and work three days a week. I need to earn more to cover the bills but don't want to do any more days. So, drawing on my skills, I advertised myself for weekend and evening work while DC's are in bed. Nothing happened for ages but I got some occasional work two years ago which later dried up. I got some more work last year in the Spring which again dried up but there may be more of the same next year. And I also have an interview in November.

My point is that I have had to endure some disappointment at times but if you try hard enough your perseverance can pay off, despite the obvious childcare/shift work obstacles.

Arachnophobic Tue 18-Oct-11 02:21:21

And my DP does shift work, for the record.

my2centsis Tue 18-Oct-11 02:34:19

I really don't think by a sister talking/venting to her so called sister should be considered as making it OPs business. Maybe she just needs someone to talk to and thought OP wouldnt be siting there with her judging her about working or not.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 03:34:59

bogey of course I didn't, but luckily she's thousands of miles away grin

Look, some people have a combination of circumstances that means it's very difficult for them to work when their kids are young, especially during a recession when there's loads of competition for every job.

Not everyone has tat to sell on ebay. It's hard to do Avon and the like when everyone you know is skint. It's even hard to clean houses if you don't have any references.

If you don't want to hear your sister moaning, that's fair enough, and tell her so. But please try to have a bit more empathy. It doesn't cost anything, after all, and that's what family is for (supposedly).

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Oct-11 07:14:53

YANBU. I also have a family member that is a SAHM, complains constantly about being short of cash & asks me (and others for money) and yet has retired GPs offering to mind the child for free and makes no effort to contribute to the family finances. I understand your frustration. If someone makes a choice that leaves them out of pocket, fine. But they really shouldn't make a song and dance about it and expect sympathy.

cory Tue 18-Oct-11 07:38:14

I worked part time when dcs were little- but we did lose money by it.

And tbh I always felt a bit pressurised by those friends who made money by selling Tupperware and soaps and things: if they had a limited social circle it was the same people who ended up having to subsidise their lifestyle every time. To me, those selling party do come across as a form of begging: fine if the other person can afford it, very awkward if they can't. When you know somebody is trying to make a living it is quite difficult to say "well, actually, I don't want any Tupperware and it's too expensive for me anyway".

Ciske Tue 18-Oct-11 07:54:11

It can be very annoying to listen to someone complain constantly without making a move to improve their life. Your sister can't have it both ways and expect your income while refusing to go into work for 'moral' reasons'. So in that sense, YANBU.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 18-Oct-11 11:28:20

YANBU in a childless way to think why can't she get a job and stop moaning about being hard up.

Truth is, it's nigh on impossible to get a job in the current Market having been out of work due to being a SAHM, add into that a job that fits around school hours and childcare fees of £600+. If you find a job that would fit that critera and still earn her enough money to ease up her finances, then tell her to apply by all means. But those jobs just don't exist, especially in the current climate.

I don't think you deserve a pasting on here, but now you are armed with the reality of what it takes to be a working parent, maybe you could reconsider your sisters stance and be a bit more sympathetic.

Hammy02 Tue 18-Oct-11 12:08:29

YANBU as she appears to keep moaning about the same thing without doing anything about it. What does she want you to do? Give her some of your hard-earned cash? Madness

MrsMooo Tue 18-Oct-11 13:42:56

Is she's asking you for money then YANBU, if she's not then YABU and need to just tell her to stop moaning about it if she isn't willing to try and change things

You both need to unhoik your judgeypants about being a SAHM/WOHM though

kelly2000 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:49:39

Just ignore her whinging, and change the subject. If she gets snarky at you ask her what she wants you to do? But please do not tell her she does not work, full time housekeeper and nanny is a difficult job, it does not become easier just because it is your own children and household and you do not get paid.

slubadub Tue 18-Oct-11 15:49:34

OP, I get this the whole time from my DH: he moans about how much he hates his job, I give him constructive advice on how to change that (change jobs or change attitude to this one, one or the other), he doesn't take my advice and instead insists on continuing to moan. He wants to have his cake and eat it. Same with your DSis, by the sounds of it: she wants to have kids, she wants to stay at home with them, she's unhappy with the consequences, BUT she doesn't want to change anything and wants to continue to moan to you about them. Frankly, she can't have it both ways. There's no judgement there of either of their choices, it's just a pragmatic response to the less than pleasant situation they both find themselves in.

I have learned with DH (and it took me ages to draw it out of him) that having me listen to him moan helps him get through it: ie crap job + moan to me = OK job (which is good enough for both of us, these days). I hate listening to him whinge (I'm very much a fix-it-or-stop-moaning kind of person), but (a) times are tough, and we are grateful that he has a job at all, and (b) everyone's different and if that's what he needs, that's what he will get from me. Maybe a similar approach might work with your Dsis? Kindly point out that we all have ups and downs, that you can listen to her moan while watching TV on mute although you find it difficult to do given she won't change anything to help herself, and that you do so out of love for her. It's only fair that she should take responsibility for her actions, and know that she can't just dump her woes on you without a thought for how that might impact you. We do tend to take advantage of our nearest and dearest from time to time, and sometimes it pays to remind them that we are deserving of a minimum of thought and consideration, too smile.

KittyFane Tue 18-Oct-11 16:50:07

Your sister's AIBU could sound like this:
I am SAHM and my DH is the sole earner, we want and need a higher income as it is impossible for us to afford a better standard of living on DH wage alone. However, I am not prepared to go out to work and put DC in childcare, I believe that nurseries are not good for DC and if you send your DC to a pre-school, nursery- you are a bad mother. I want a better lifestyle though.
AIBU to complain constantly about this unfair situation to my sister who goes out to work and can afford a more luxurious lifestyle

I imagine she'd get a pretty negative response.

OP, you don't deserve the comments at the start of this thread, YANBU.

Fixture Tue 18-Oct-11 17:58:40

YABU. You clearly disapprove of your sister's choices, but they are nothing to do with you. So, you go out to work - but that doesn't make you a martyr, since you get paid for it.

"It's only fair that she should take responsibility for her actions, and know that she can't just dump her woes on you without a thought for how that might impact you."
A very good point slubadub (fantastic name by the way). Listening to repeated moans does have a effect on the listener. Which, as far as I am concerned, makes the listener fully entitled to have an opinion on the moaner and the moan.

missyclavel Wed 19-Oct-11 12:51:05

V irritating to hear your sister (or anyone else) moaning constantly when she could do something to improve her situation.
The OP isn't suggesting full time work with all the childcare expenses that would incur. She could try to find evening or night work/ weekend work/ become a childminder/ take in ironing and plenty of other things. She can still be a SAHM/ not miss out her children/ not have to subject her children to nursery. She just doesn't want to and in addition wants to moan all the time!
If I were you OP, I would tell her that you would prefer not to chat about that subject any more but you are very happy to talk about anything else.

alexishurricane Sat 19-Oct-13 01:55:30

allmyfriendsaremarried - I know this post is dead but I felt the need to comment and ask what you did/what she did in the end?

Everyone bashing you about being a crap sister, bore off. She absolutely made it your business by being a moaning myrtle and it definitely is as simple as get a job! I have a child and completely agree, if you cant survive on one wage, introduce another.

Tbh I think these people responding were inadvertently defending their own situations and offering no helpful or constructive feedback as a result.

Maybe its something about older women, they seem to be all for staying at home scraping through life on bread and water but feeling fulfilled as a mother. I've just turned 21, my OH is 23, our baby boy is 13 weeks old and I will be going back to work after christmas. My parents worked full time from when my little brother and I were 6 weeks old. They worked hard, they gave us a wonderful and enriched upbringing regardless of the fact they both worked full time professional jobs (mums a sales exec at an oil company and dads a highly sought after social worker)

I will be working hard in order to provide my son with the things he needs - school trips etc are not cheap!

MistressDeeCee Sat 19-Oct-13 02:42:02

YABU. Its none of your business, & it sounds as if you are being very judgmental about your sister. You've no right.

If she moans about her situation (yes sisters do that sometimes, about different things. Thats family for you then tell her to shut up, you're not going to listen anymore unless she makes changes, and thats that. But aside from that - its her & her DH business - not yours.

LouiseAderyn Sat 19-Oct-13 09:23:27

As a former childminder, can I just point out that it is not that easy to just take this up as a way to make a living.

I had to spend a couple of months attending a course in order to register, my home had to be fit for mindees, which is different to just having a home fit for your own dc ( for ex my dc could nap in their own bedrooms but had no spare room for mindees so had to prepare for that). Does the sister have enough spacefor additional kids to play, for ex? The money v level of responsibility means that it is not an easy option.

Also I think that a cm who disapproves of working mums might not be the best choice.

As for Avon etc - a lot of those things don't generate a proper income and rely on friends subsidising your 'business'.

Beastofburden Sat 19-Oct-13 09:37:06

A far more sensible option would be for the sister to plan for going back to work in due course (not yet, clearly). What training and qualifications will she need not to be stuck at that stage? What can she do now?

greenfolder Sat 19-Oct-13 09:46:35

your issue really isnt that your sister is not working at the moment.your issue is that she continually talks about her lack of money. strongly suggest that you develop ways of changing topic- or be honest with her- she has chosen her life- 2 be STAM for her 2 children that she chose to have with the husband that she chose- and good for her, but you find it wearing to hear about money problems everytime she calls.

me and dsis are chalk and cheese- i have always worked with children- she doesnt. horses for courses- i bite my lip when she moans about not having enough time etc.

PedlarsSpanner Sat 19-Oct-13 10:10:15

Zombie alert

Chrissakes alexisishurricane

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 19-Oct-13 10:16:31

Zombie thread guys. wink

Fleta Sat 19-Oct-13 10:20:24


I'm a SAHM - my daughter is at school. AFAIC it is far more important for me to be a SAHM now than ever before.

At the end of the day it is her choice.

3littlefrogs Sat 19-Oct-13 10:24:48

I went back to work when DC3 was 1 year old. It was 2 years before I began to keep a little bit of my salary, and a further 2 years until I was able to keep about 50%. That was during term time. In the holidays I went back to only being able to keep a little bit.

Child care and travel is extortionate.


xCupidStuntx Sat 19-Oct-13 13:46:39


why the fuck did soneone feel the need to bump this two year old thread? the mind boggles

bellablot Sat 19-Oct-13 13:56:18

YANVU and very judgemental, keep your nose out!

noddingoff Sat 19-Oct-13 23:46:44

A brisk, "If ya can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em" should do the trick. Harsh but true.

frogspoon Sun 20-Oct-13 00:26:03

YANBU to be annoyed and frustrated by your sisters moaning down the phone about struggling financially.

However YABU to decide whether or not she works, that's her choice.

Next time she starts moaning down the phone, just change the subject.

fridayfridayfriday Sun 20-Oct-13 00:58:17

OP, It's "Hear hear" and not "Here here". Correcting other people when you can't get your own shit right.

Viviennemary Sun 20-Oct-13 01:14:50

It's really not up to you to decide whether or not she goes back to work. Of course if she asks you for your opinion then give it. If she doesn't then it would be best to keep quiet about it.

Pitmountainpony Sun 20-Oct-13 05:19:44

She clearly wants to stay home and care for her kids more than the extra money to relieve financial pressures. Does not mean she can,t grumble when it helps her about money being tight...that's what you do with friends and family sometimes to relieve the worry a bit. If you are not ok with that tell her you don't ever want to hear about it. Be prepared for her to be less tolerant of your grumbling when you want to though.

Yetanotherrandomman Sun 20-Oct-13 06:41:13

I disagree with others here and think this is a clear YANBU. I think that if you grumble about a problem to someone, it is totally reasonable to expect sympathy and a solution. In this case, the solution is for her to get a job.

It is your DS's choice to be a SAHM - but if she takes that choice it is her responsiblity to accept the ramifications of that choice, ie, having less money.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 20-Oct-13 10:23:30

Alexishurricane, why on earth did you reinstate this thread? confused

Pagwatch Sun 20-Oct-13 10:32:33

Why the holy fuck do people resurrect 2 year old threads ?


Helltotheno Sun 20-Oct-13 10:52:22

Maybe its something about older women, they seem to be all for staying at home scraping through life on bread and water but feeling fulfilled as a mother. I've just turned 21

Not to continue a zombie thread but... crass and ageist generalisation much dahling?

Pagwatch Sun 20-Oct-13 10:55:56

So resurrecting a zombie thread and posting shite

Two badges for Alexishurricane.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 20-Oct-13 10:59:16

YABsoU I don't even have the words to express it.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 20-Oct-13 11:00:02

Oh FFS - zombie thread angry Well at least the OP will have had time to see the error of her ways by now

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