I wince when women refer to being a mum as "a job"

(502 Posts)
CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:02:11

It's so mimsy ish, so martyr and yet at the same time.

Our parents would never have said this, is it just the heightened expectations everyone has for everything thee days ?
Would dads say this?

Eg I have two jobs, I'm a mother (or worse "mummy ") and a hat maker." (or whatever )

Fuck off.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:02:47

Yet at the same time smug.

I deleted smug. In a fit of ire ;)

I think being a mum is hard work but not necessarily a job. I tell my husband I've been working just as hard as he has.
But then, I don't like to class myself as unemployed so whenever anyone asks I say housewife.


MrsMushroom Tue 04-Dec-12 17:06:40

I don't give a bugger what you call it. Or anyone else. If it makes them happy so be it. You call it what you want and don't judge others for their choices. YABU to wince. There are worse things.

RedZombie Tue 04-Dec-12 17:06:56

I was chit chatting with some sales rep recently who said, when I asked of his wife works, said 'he has the hardest job a woman can have, she's a full time mother'. I wanted to punch the smugness right out of him.

I loathe the term 'full time mother'.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 04-Dec-12 17:07:34

I wince when women make woman-bashing comments from a position of smug ignorance, but hey, what can you do?

You do know people get paid to do childcare, right?

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 17:08:26

If it was a job you'd get a holidays and sick pay. Its your whole bloody life!

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Tue 04-Dec-12 17:08:27

Yeh me too but I wince even more when people ask me what I do.

girlgonemild Tue 04-Dec-12 17:08:43

I think yabu. It's a way of women trying to get a little respect for their role as mum in a society which only really values money making status building employment. I'm guessing people who say that are just saying being a mum is equal to any other job.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 17:09:46

Sorry, am I suppose to think it's all puppies and kittens and sweetness and light?

It's not. It's bloody hard work. And the pay is crap. Not to mention the sick leave and holiday time.

If it's not a job, then what is it?

When people ask me what I do, tbh I have no idea what to answer and tend to give a rambling long-winded explanation that I'm predominantly a SAHM but I also teach craft workshops occasionally (like one every month or two) and that I'm also a student with the OU. I don't really mean that I class being a SAHM as a job but it's what takes up most of my time.

If I'm asked on any forms what my occupation is I put down that I'm self-employed (job title depends on the form).

I wouldn't expect Dh to say "Dad & Software Developer" just because his job is full-time. Actually I wouldn't expect it for a part-timer with regular hours either. I think it's because my work is more ad-hoc.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Tue 04-Dec-12 17:09:59

being a responsible adult is a hard 'job'. Wether you work a paid job or take care of family and home, that does not really matter. You still have to do things that tire you, things you don't like to do, things that you do like etc etc.

cornycarrotshack Tue 04-Dec-12 17:10:14

I have several jobs. I include couch surfer.

IveBeenGoodSantaIPromise Tue 04-Dec-12 17:10:58

It's not a job but it is hard work.

But the term 'full time mum' is the worst - every mum is the world is a full time mum whether they also go out and work or not.

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 17:11:06

Does it really matter what other women do or don't do though?

Does it really matter THAT much? To get so angry about it?

purrpurr Tue 04-Dec-12 17:11:28

YABU. Every element of being a mother combined would command a £60,000 a year salary.

I think it's martyrish to say it's NOT a job, as if to say "It's just something I have to do, no one else will do it..." Insert sigh, eye roll, shrug and/or various other passive aggressive body language displays. How is it not a job?

Ugh I hate "full time mum"

I don't become a part time mother when I walk out of the door to go to work.
SAHP don't become part time parents when their DCs go to school.

FabulousFreaks Tue 04-Dec-12 17:13:10

I think it is a reaction to the fact that mums get so little respect for what they do

SolomanDaisy Tue 04-Dec-12 17:13:17

So CQuin, what do you do?

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:13:41

Well when there is a box to put occupation in, I have to put mum, because I don't want to put disabled drain on society, or Nothing. We do have to quantify the amount of time and effort that goes into parenting, lots of people don't.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 04-Dec-12 17:15:20

Depends what you understand a job to be

If you think that for something to be a job, a person has to get paid for it then you're right. Being a parent is not a job.

If, however, you take the broader meaning of the word job - ie anything someone is required or expected to do, their responsibilities, their duties - then it is a job. When you choose to have a child, caring for that child becomes a job that is required of you.

justmyview Tue 04-Dec-12 17:16:01

In RL, I don't come across people saying this. I agree that being a Mum is not a job. To me a job = paid employment, although I acknowledge that others take a different view

Whodhavem Tue 04-Dec-12 17:16:13

And when parents say they are "babysitting" thier own children!

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:16:27

In have two jobs. Neither is "being a mum"
No idea why you need to know !

Kayano Tue 04-Dec-12 17:16:38

It pisses me off

'I'ma full time mum.'

As opposed to what? A part time mum?

LimeLeafLizard Tue 04-Dec-12 17:17:05

So CQuin, what do you do?

That is what I was wondering..!

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:17:10

Lol at "dont judge "

This is Mumsnet ! smile

chickydoo Tue 04-Dec-12 17:17:18

Being a mum is not a Job
It is life, all the stuff we have to do with kids is to be expected. We decided to have kids. It is what it is.
I also work out of the house 35 hours a week, now that really is a job. I need to do it to pay for the luxury of having kids.
I still have to do the mum stuff, cook, clean, shop, mend clothes, help with homework & all the school stuff for 4 kids.
Being a mum is a life choice, it is not a job.
If you want to describe your job as a full time mum, up to you, not my choice.
Op I agree with you.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:18:12

One job not paid.
I don't think the "mum is not a job " can be rationally argued. It just grates.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:19:08

Omg at rabbits.

CRINGE at filling in box as mum.

EW ew

TerrariaMum Tue 04-Dec-12 17:19:18

I don't use the term myself, but I can understand why some do. When DD was about 6 months old, FIL and I ran into an acquaintance of his and she asked me what I did. I said I was a mother, no embellishment, no nothing. Nothing about being a fulltime mum or it being the hardest job in the world just the sentence 'I'm a mother.'

She gave me a sort of contemptuous look and said 'No, no, I mean what do you DO?' Because being a first time mum with a 6 month old was nothing to her. It didn't count.

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 17:20:01

What do I do OP? Waster? Refuser of proper work? Unemployed? People ask what you do, I say I am a sahm. That doesn't mean someone who has a job isn't a parent or that my husband isn't a dad. it just means the work you quite happily pay someone who has a "job" to do is done by me. Why is it only work if it is someone else's children?

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:20:44

Do you say sahm OUT LOud? !!


I've never heard anyone say it

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 17:20:57

People who fill out "wife" on Fb as their employment status, judge them

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 17:22:02

oh sorry, I fell for it. My mistake. Didn't realize you were a bitch troll

I used to use the term "full-time mother" (cringe) until I became a mother. Now I know better! All mothers are mothers full-time! the fact that I also (not instead of) do something else all day doesn't change that!

Pinkforever Tue 04-Dec-12 17:22:23

Yawn yet another sahm bashing thread-how orginal op/bridge dweller.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:22:58

Yes, perhaps wording it a bit differently would be less offensive, I'm at home full time, parenting my children, as opposed to full time mum.

To me I have no career, the last job I did was seven years ago, not counting a brief encounter when I tried and failed to keep the job. So when people ask what I do, what my occupation is, or what my job is, the nearest thing I have is being a mum. I don't want to belittle anyone else, or big up what I do, I just don't want to feel a bit humiliated that something else has been taken away from me by my disability and health problems.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 04-Dec-12 17:23:01

no one ever asks me

MorrisZapp Tue 04-Dec-12 17:24:24

Oh get a grip. 'full time mum' just means a mother who looks after her kids instead of having employment outside the home.

I'm a mum all the time, but I'm not a full time mum. I have a full time job, which ends at 5pm each day. Full time means full time working week.

No judgement meant at all.

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 17:24:59

Being a parents is a lifestyle choice? What? No more than a regular job is.. jobs are only had to provide food, shelter and generally keep you alive. Like parents do. It's all part o the family dynamic, someone had to keep children fed and someone has to keep children form sticking their fingers in plug sockets be that mother, father, or child carer.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:25:06

Wow OP, did you mean to be so rude? Are you regularly this offensive to people?

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 04-Dec-12 17:27:07

You cringe at someone saying they are a SAHM? Considering that's a pretty accurate description of what that person is doing, I'm wondering what you'd prefer them to say?

If someone is at home with a small child, they're taking care of that child full-time. If that child is being looked after by someone else, that person defines themself by the job (childminder, or nursery worker, or whatever). I'm not sure why the parent's description should be entirely different.

I agree about "full-time mum", it infers somehow that mums who work outside of the home aren't mums once they step out of the door. hmm

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 04-Dec-12 17:28:08

ah Halloween you're right. Shall move on now!

Jennyrosity Tue 04-Dec-12 17:29:54

I've just given up to stay at home with my daughter, and when people ask me what I do I plan on telling them I'm a kept woman.

It'll keep the conversation going, at least.

babythrashling Tue 04-Dec-12 17:32:18

Oh dear CQuin, you sound awfully angry and bitter about something....perhaps you are jealous of SAHMs? It certainly sounds that way.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Tue 04-Dec-12 17:32:34

What do you mean 'mums get so little respect for what they do', Freaks?

Do you mean SAH mums and who do you want respect from? confused

I don't expect praise or applause from anyone for being a parent (or do you not mean working mums like me?).

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 17:32:34

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Feeling bitter about something OP?

Indeed. I think 'full time mum' is an unfortunate phrase. Like others, I don't stop being a mum because I'm working outside the home. I agree, parenthood is a lifestyle choice (and not really a 'job' in my view), and one we both wanted to make, so we're both parents, but have careers too. We had them before we had DD, and we will have them long after she stops needing us.

Very happy for other people to be SAHP but it's not for us. (Largely because I'd be pretty crappy at it.) To be honest, I wince when people post on Facebook what it would cost to pay them for their time 24/7/365 as a mother.... Really winds me up.

tiggytape Tue 04-Dec-12 17:32:47

YABU - I don't think most women do it to be smug. They do it to justify themselves.

50 years ago, of course people wouldn't say SAHM was their 'job' because it didn't matter then they didn't have a 'job' in the conventional sense (making money). Nobody thought any less of them or thought being a housewife was only half a job that should be done in conjunction with a glittering career outside the home as well.

Now there is a stigma attached to being a SAHM even if your children are tiny let alone if they are school aged. Staying at home is seen in society as a bit lazy or an indulgent thing to do or something that's not very ambitious or worse a bit wimpy and subservient. So when people ask, women who are at home with their kids normally go to some pains to explain that they're not sat in a coffee shop all day and that they are working hard even if its not for money.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:33:04

I guess I could now put Carer into the box mind you, as I am officially a carer for my DD. But I don't seeing it being a career that takes off given that I also get nearly thirty hours a week care myself.

Mumsyblouse Tue 04-Dec-12 17:34:28

I work full-time (in my job) so I can't really be a 'full-time' mum as well, can I? Why do working mums find this phrase offensive, I don't get it?

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:36:17

I didn't work for some time.
Not jealous. I prefer working.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:37:02

Rabbits. ALL

I get equally annoyed at people who have no grasp of what I do all day. I've had this conversation so many times at work (shift work, evenings and weekends)

Customer- "so, is this all you do?"
Me - "no, I've got a 3 year old."
Customer - "but you only work here 4 nights? Do you work anywhere else?"

I feel like explaining that when I arrive at work at 6 pm I've already spent 12 solid hours looking after a toddler and the house and when I crawl into bed at 1.30am I get up and do the same the day after on 5 hours sleep - rinse and repeat.

But I don't. I just say yes, I'm too frigging tired to explain!

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:37:43


No troll

Bonsoir Tue 04-Dec-12 17:38:33

Some people take parenting seriously, do it consciously with application --> a job.

Others pass on their genes but do little or nothing to ensure the well-being of their offspring --> not a job.

lakeofshiningwaters Tue 04-Dec-12 17:39:22

So what should I call myself instead OP? I personally hate SAHM - I certainly don't stay at home all day! Full-time Mum, also poorly worded but what shall we use then?!

If I had decided to go back to work, then someone else would have been doing early years' education, a significant proportion of cooking meals and tbh, would prob have had a cleaner too. Should I say I'm a Mum, EYs practicitioner, chef and cleaner? Course not cos I'm not a twat.

GreenEggs agree with you.
Jennyrosity like your suggestion, can I steal it?

I don't much like it when people call being a mother a job, and I like it even less when people say its the hardest job ever. (patronising, and surely not true?)

When people ask what I do, (SAHM) I say, "Oh I'm looking after the kids, for now..." as if the situation is about to change imminently.

Oh er, should have read the whole thread.

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 17:43:27

You are spot on there tiggytape.

This came from the "Women who have it all" fake feminist bullshit spouted in magazines over the last 20 odd years. Now everyone needs a title.

What would your prefer SAHMs call themselves/what they do CQuin?

Bonsoir Tue 04-Dec-12 17:45:00

Anything you would have to pay others to do if you weren't doing it yourself is a job. Window cleaning, ironing, catering, supervising homework... whatever. And depending on where you live and what support services/outsourcing potential exists, there are often jobs that you have no choice but to do yourself.

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 17:45:03

30 odd years

Yermina Tue 04-Dec-12 17:46:40

I call myself a full-time carer, because that's what I do: care for my children (which also involves running the home as they can't do it for themselves), instead of paying someone else to do it.

If looking after an elderly, incontinent parent full time earns you the title of 'carer' then so should looking after small children.

hiviolet Tue 04-Dec-12 17:46:41

So "full time mother" is unacceptable because it offends working mothers? So what IS acceptable then?

Judging by what I read on MN, it should probably be "stay at home mother who will regret not having a job when her husband walks out" grin

Bonsoir Tue 04-Dec-12 17:48:38

I don't "care" for my children, I bring them up and teach them to be independent. Very different to caring for people who are adult but unable to take care of themselves and who constantly lose independence.

Bonsoir Tue 04-Dec-12 17:50:11

"Judging by what I read on MN, it should probably be "stay at home mother who will regret not having a job when her husband walks out"."


And, by the same token, a WOHM is "work out of home mother who is green with envy at life of leisure of SAHMs and will rub her hands in glee when said SAHM is left penniless on divorce."

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 17:50:55

. it just means the work you quite happily pay someone who has a "job" to do is done by me. Why is it only work if it is someone else's children?

fantastic point Halloweennamechange

I guess it can be a question of semantics:

When someone says 'what do you do?' the answer is: I look after the kids. Fine.

'What is your job?' is asking for a title - (I have always hated that.) Surely, the answer is, I don't have a job. I look after the kids.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:52:47

I think then that you mustn't be a very pleasant person.

Sorry about that.

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 17:54:46

and op, youre calling yourself CQuin - sequin? correct? makes me think of kirsty allsopp all homemaking and domesticity

oh the irony

you need to change your name for me to take you more seriously I think...

Asinine Tue 04-Dec-12 17:56:42

I have been criticised for being (in no particular order)

a career woman, (I don't know how you could leave them in nursery all day)

a part time professional (I understand you have personal problems aka children but you need to come to training on your day off)

on a long career break (what waste of your training)

Reading these threads where women get to slag off other women's choices is so depressing, I may as well watch the news.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:57:25

hey - let's not discuss the question - lets just slag!

YAY! ;)

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:58:04

dont misunderstand me I dont give a fuck if they are a sahm or whatever

its calling it a JOB that makes me giggle in awe at its shitness

CashmereHoodlum Tue 04-Dec-12 17:58:20

I find that people don't put me down for being a SAHM but they seem to think I do a lot more than I do. Someone asked me what I did after my youngest started school so I said I was unemployed and explained that the DCs were now in school and she said 'no you're not, you're a manager' and started listing off all the tasks I supposedly do. I don't/didn't do a fraction of what she thought I should be doing. I find that when people find out I am a SAHM they often start heaping praise upon me in a slightly desperate way. These are generally those who have not seen the state of my children or my house, I should add.

I have recently started a business and all anybody ever says on the subject is 'isn't it lovely that you will be able to be there for the children', when I haven't said anything along those lines.

I've rambled a bit but I find that most people I meet try to make me feel good, even when it makes me feel a bit bewildered. I think giving 'mum' as an occupation can give a false impression of what one actually does.

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 18:00:01

What do you mean "it's um... shitness?"

KenLeeeeeee Tue 04-Dec-12 18:00:13

I get you, sort of. I'm a SAHM which is fucking hard work but it's not a "job" because I get paid shit all to do it. grin

If it was paid employment, at least I'd get a sodding lunchbreak & time to have a wee in peace. <weeps>

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:00:44

yes the head tilt and " well thats the most important job of all"

well its not REALLY is it

* weighs up A&E surgeon with going to playgroup* ;)

Jux Tue 04-Dec-12 18:01:11

It's social commentary isn't it?

I know quite a few men who think they are the only one in their family who work. That's because yhey get paid by someone else. The mother of their children spend the day playing, apparently.

Today's society is very focussed on what you do in terms of earning, and people who don't earn are so much more looked down upon, that I can quite see why many sahm's would term motherhood as a job for the outside world. Just an effort to get a bit of respect for what they do.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:01:16

When i started work I was STUNNED people expected me to close the loo door!

freaks all ;)

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:01:48

ah but those of us with voluntary roles...
I find it hard to describe that as a job.. its something I do.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:02:01

i've got a job

it's a research post - shite pay - 4p an hour i think someone said on MN a few days back

it's way better than pretending not to judge while calling someone's personal description of their occupation as 'shitness'

Tortington Tue 04-Dec-12 18:02:53

oh do stop being contraire - yes name calling others is your signature but ffs leave it out and make a decent contribution ...for once

JenaiMathis Tue 04-Dec-12 18:02:55

I don't "care" for my children, I bring them up and teach them to be independent. Well put, Bonsoir

There are different ways of achieving that aim as I'm sure we both appreciate.

Some people do manage to make housewifery (as opposed to parenting) a full-time job though, which unless you live in a castle seems a bit rum. If you're fortunate enough not to have to work, then it should be a piddling little PT job with plenty of time to do lovely things.

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:03:15

the shitness of saying its a job.

not the job,although natch often there is UBER shit involved

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 18:03:16

Are you an A&E surgeon CQuin?

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:04:03

i AM

you got me

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 18:05:11


babythrashling Tue 04-Dec-12 18:06:04

But it doesn't make you giggle at all, CQuin, it makes you so enraged that you need to post a thread on Mumsnet about it. You may not think you have issues about this subject, but it's abundantly clear from your posts that you do I'm afraid....Sorry for you.

RedZombie Tue 04-Dec-12 18:06:05

heaping praise upon me in a slightly desperate way. These are generally those who have not seen the state of my children or my house, I should add grin

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:06:06


CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:07:14

so enraged?

or a bit bored at swimming lessons? ;)

Caerlaverock Tue 04-Dec-12 18:09:07

I took redundancy to try my hand at going it alone and spending some more time with dd, my ancient bil constantly beams at me and asks if I enjoy being a MUm NOW. The implication is that when I was in employment dd was motherless and I was an evil gin drinking harridan

Pinkforever Tue 04-Dec-12 18:09:31

If you dont feed it,it will die....

Labootin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:10:34


kilmuir Tue 04-Dec-12 18:11:41

I always imagined a surgeon would be better at grammar!
Why do you care OP?
Does not make you a better mother whether you work outside the home, full or part time. To each their own. I don't care what you do as long as your children are well cared for, educated and have fun

JenaiMathis Tue 04-Dec-12 18:11:49

RedZ that made me grin too.

It's a shame the OP seems to be on a wind-up because there are a few good posts on this thread that will disappear when it goes "pouf".

CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:12:31

I'vve already say i dont care what they do, its the JOB bit that i think is cheesy

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 18:13:19

Really want to watch ER now... angry

Labootin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:16

Dead horse flogging

You've just missed Tarquers doing a super swan dive.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:34

shall i have potatoes or crusty bread with my dinner later?

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 18:15:54


Although I'm Irish and have to say that.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 18:17:03

Both! I have to say that because I am a greedy sod!

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 18:17:33

I agree with Bonsoir and think if you're doing it properly it is akin to a job. It depends how you approach it. Of course it has no monetary value but then again it depends what context you're operating as a SAHM in. Round my way a SAHP and not necessarily a Mother atall would be testament to a bit of wealth and not an embarrassing thing to admit to.
Also, I know some SAHP that sort out the investments from the bigger income that one has gained as a result of another being at home. It is all legally tied up and if a split was to occur NO one is going to be left penniless. The status of the SAHM in the context I know is therefore not marginalised at all - people are very happy to admit it!

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:18:16

i have particularly tasty-looking chilli bread though

it's to have with cauliflower cheese...

mummyonvalium Tue 04-Dec-12 18:19:10

There is definitely a perception that SAHP = a bit lazy, and this is probably why SAHP's feel they have to justify their position.

I think it is sad though that there is this perception. 40-50 yrs ago it was the norm to stay at home and now we are in a minority. I think it is harder to be a SAHP because of this - so few parents SAH and society is not set up for us any more. I believe this makes it much harder.

The honeymoon of being a SAH lasts about a year when everyone is on maternity leave and because this is all most people do, this is what the memory stays as - a romantic vision of playdates. For this year there is so much support and everyone is lovely and then there is an exodus as everyone else goes back to work.

In my experience I was left on own with two children and I didn't know what to do with them all day. So I had to make a new social network and new friends which was quite hard when my children were a little bit older, as people were already in groups. I had much more time on my own with them than I ever had for that period and it was really hard work by any definition - trying to make new friends and building up again.

It is maybe not right to call it a job however, it is all consuming for the parent who is a SAH, particularly when they are little.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 04-Dec-12 18:22:29

If someone calls their work as a nanny/childminder a 'job' does that make you giggle/want to tell them to fuck off?

Or is it just when someone refers to looking after their own children?

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 18:23:00

I cringe when adults use the winky face. The winky face is the mark of a moron wink

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:24:45

mothers just can't win, can they? whatever they call themselves, they'll be someone there to jeer and sneer. And often another mum. Marvellous.

I suppose logically that if you are looking after your children full time, such that you do not have to pay a professional to look after them, then you are doing voluntary work. Which I have never heard anyone say.

But then logical objections like 'it's not a job, it isn't paid' often mask some other more emotive prejudices. If someone caring for a partner with dementia described it as a 'full time job', would anyone be quick to correct them?

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 04-Dec-12 18:24:56


MustStopOutingSelf Tue 04-Dec-12 18:27:22

its calling it a JOB that makes me giggle in awe at its shitness

You still haven't answered why it's a job when you pay someone who do it but it's not when you do it yourself?

Nor have you told me what I'm actually supposed to call myself? like I give a fuck what you think

Jins Tue 04-Dec-12 18:30:38

It's not a job because the hours are too long and the perks are too few. There's no opportunity for an uninterrupted rest break and sick leave is impossible. grin

It is work. It is hard work.

Does it matter what someone calls it, really?

Why would anyone wince?

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 04-Dec-12 18:36:50

Would it be different if we thought about this in terms of Occupation instead of Job?

JenaiMathis Tue 04-Dec-12 18:41:41

It's a role, with various tasks associated with it. Those tasks very from family to family, but the main objective is to raise children who are as happy and healthy as they can be.

The KPIs are going to vary wildly however.

noddyholder Tue 04-Dec-12 18:42:21

My voluntary work is the hardest by a long way. Everything else I do feels like a hobby in comparison

Pitmountainpony Tue 04-Dec-12 18:42:58

Oh lord another defensive thread by a working mum.

I think uabu to be bothered by the trivial matter of how someone describes how they spend their days....

FellatioBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 18:43:04

What do you call someone who is at home with their children full time then?

Viviennemary Tue 04-Dec-12 18:43:33

I makes me laugh when people say it would cost a partner £100,000 a year to get the services they provide. Why don't they go and get themselves such a job then. It's all a bit silly. If people want to be an SAHM or call it what you will. Fair enough. But it isn't a job as I understand the word.

Lifeissweet Tue 04-Dec-12 18:43:38

When I got married I had just had DS and wasn't working (or on maternity leave - my contract ended just as I gave birth). The registrar insisted on writing my occupation as 'domestic duties', which made me laugh because it sounded so archaic - like I was a housekeeper or something.

I don't know what I would have preferred her to write, though. 'Mother' is not a job, I agree - it is a state of being!

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:44:13

shall i do a few mushrooms to go in the cauli cheese i wonder?

FellatioBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 18:45:06

No Dame. That sounds wrong.

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 18:46:23

how does it feel then for the children to know that they are being cared for by someone who seems to have zero status in society

what of these children? while women argue and bitch about their choices?

isn't it all a bit of a meaningless whinge OP? Who really cares? You say you're at swimming, while bitching on MN about mothers who SAH/full time parent?
Aren't you supposed to be watching your kids - wonder how they feel knowing you'r'e not even bothered to watch them try hard at their swimming?

anyhow, have a lovely evening OP.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:47:12


Jins Tue 04-Dec-12 18:47:47

I think it's more than a job because you can finish a job.

Occupation is a good word.

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 18:48:12

carrots don't go with creamy sauce Dame. Cauliflower cheese sounds just fine

Caerlaverock Tue 04-Dec-12 18:49:14

Why does labelling mothering as a job give it status? Seriously? Why not just accept it for what it is? Being a mother is lovely/frustrating/boring/rewarding whatever but it isn't a job.

It all seems a bit pointless tbh OP.

We are all parents, some people stay at home with their DCs because they choose too
Some work outside the home.

Does it matter what people decide to call their current occupation?
Why would it actually make you cringe?

Do you ask a lot of people their occupation, for this to bother you this much?

Viviennemary Tue 04-Dec-12 18:50:22

DH is cooking my tea. It doesn't mean he has a job as a chef.

noddyholder Tue 04-Dec-12 18:50:57

The sahm v wohm thing I have only ever encountered on MN never ever have any of my RL mates ever mentioned it in the way it is here.

The term working mum is a little too close to working girl, dontcha think?

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 18:51:21

DH and I agree it is rude to just ask outright of a relative stranger what they do...especially in such economic times. So it really doesn't matter of a person what they do. If you like someone, does that likeness waver if they don't have a job or occupation you approve of? Because if so, we are really becoming a more shallow society. Sad.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 18:51:51


It's not a "job"

You wouldn't refer to being a wife or a daughter as a job, so why do it for mother.

I hate "full time mum" as well

None of us are fekcing part time.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:53:26

i'm a chef, and i'm cooking dinner, AND a mum

fuck me, THAT'S multi-tasking wink

So, in your opinion, what should women say about parenthood?

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 18:56:57

VivienneMary, for some though the flexibility and commitment one person can give to paid employment as a result of the other being a full time SAHP reaps much greater monetary reward than 2 incomes minus the child care. In some cases the value of the SAHP is £100,000 if not a lot greater.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 18:57:45

Why not just say - I am a mother

There's no need to add to that really is there?

mrskeithrichards Tue 04-Dec-12 19:02:57

I came across a girl I went to school with no Facebook. She had her employment status as 'fulltime mummy' with her employer listed as 'DSS'

I judged.

Viviennemary Tue 04-Dec-12 19:04:08

I was being a bit snippy Goldenbear. Sorry! I agree that a lot of people couldn't do the jobs that entailed working away from home a great deal and travelling abroad unless they had support from the other parent. But somebody will come on and say they could probably. But I think it would be difficult. You have got a point there!

Pinkforever Tue 04-Dec-12 19:08:02

If looking after children is not a job then why are those parents who work outside the home paying nurseries,childminders,au pairs,whatever a small fortune?-surely if its not a job then they should be doing it for free? just saying.....

My friends who work dont feel the need to question the fact that I dont-they dont give a shit but then they are secure in their choices....

crookedcrock Tue 04-Dec-12 19:08:52

Strange thing to get upset about? Your attitude and attidudes like yours are why people (women) feel the need to justify being at home full time with their children. Yes.....full time, full time mothers. I work, neither phrase upsets me in any way. Re rearing small children v working as an a&e surgeon, why would you think your job is more important. I presume you pay someone to care for you children during your working hours, is their job less important than yours? This has to be a piss take.......

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:09:22

I just hoiked my jps a little MrsK smile

wordfactory Tue 04-Dec-12 19:10:13

Being a parent is not a job it is a role. And we each fullfill our roles differently. I cannot see how for one parent it is a job but for others it isn't.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:11:00

breadcrumbs on the top or not?

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:11:41

So just to be clear

SAHMs have 1 job

WOHMs have 2 jobs


I just don't consider taking care of my child a "job".

DublinMammy Tue 04-Dec-12 19:11:47

I say I am a live-in dog-walker and chid-wrangler. If they seem judgy I judge them right back, file them away under "Twat" and carry on with my day.

DublinMammy Tue 04-Dec-12 19:12:33

Yes to the breadcrumbs, DameMargot, mmmmmm

crookedcrock Tue 04-Dec-12 19:14:46

but if someone else is taking care of your child it is a job catgirl?!

crookedcrock Tue 04-Dec-12 19:16:15

mrs k. r., I'm judging too (you, not her...)

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:18:55

shall i put some garlic butter in the bread before i heat it up?

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:19:07


Taking care of someone elses children for money is a job. Looking after your own children is not a job

Doing someone elses cleaning for money is a job. Cleaning your own house is not a job

LucieMay Tue 04-Dec-12 19:19:56

I do not recommend this site to the OP haha!

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:20:40

To get back to the op -

Yes, I have heard a dad describe himself as 'full time dad' - he then had to qualify it/explain by saying he was looking after the children so his wife could work.

I am self employed (ooh, how I envy all those 'working mums' as they seem to like to call themselves, with their sick pay and paid bloody holidays....call that a job? eh? eh?). Sometimes I work full time, which means I have to pay someone else to look after ds, or see if my (also self employed) dp can pick up more childcare time.

Sometimes when work is quiet, mostly when I am waiting to hear back from someone about a project, I look after ds full time.

I have never had any problem saying i was 'working full time' or 'being a mum all day' depending on which i was doing (to be accurate, i suppose it is mostly a bit of both).

i get the argument that 'mum is a state, so we are all full time mums' - but that's defensive sophistry. When we work full time, we are parenting part time. If we weren't we wouldn't need to pay someone else to look after them. It is literally impossible to work full time AND parent full time.

That doesn't give me problems when I describe myself in whatever way is appropriate at the time - I don't see why other mums are so desperately defensive about it.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:21:05

God that site makes me boak sad

HoneyDragon Tue 04-Dec-12 19:21:42

People always wince when I say what I do for a living.

It's tough being a professional Free Loader and Cunt, but really I think it's terribly rude when they wince.

merlottits Tue 04-Dec-12 19:21:54

What the hell is an A&E surgeon? You just made that up!

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:22:28

What do you mean 'mums get so little respect for what they do', Freaks?

grin grin grin proud

HoFlippinHo Tue 04-Dec-12 19:22:54

Blimey CQuin - have you been on a typing course?

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 19:23:55

You wouldn't refer to being a wife or a daughter as a job, so why do it for mother

I have never had to wipe dh or my mother's arse, if I did it would be a job and I would be a carer. That's why.


I hate "full time mum" as well

I am a full time wiper of arses thank you. So yes, it is a fulltime position and my dh only wipes arses on a very part time basis. For the record. No he is not less of a parent but that does not change the fact that it is what I do in contribution to the house. You don't seem happy with anything a sahp says they are? What is an acceptable term in your eyes?

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 19:26:15

I prefer vocation anyway....

that site is nauseating, I am well impressed she is the highest paid person though ever as she is paid in pure love... I get mostly a lot of crap and screaming. Pure love would be nice.

bumblingbovine Tue 04-Dec-12 19:27:31

<<I makes me laugh when people say it would cost a partner £100,000 a year to get the services they provide. Why don't they go and get themselves such a job then. It's all a bit silly. If people want to be an SAHM or call it what you will. Fair enough. But it isn't a job as I understand the word.>>

Well £100,000 a year is OTT but when my sister who was a SAHP died leaving a her husband with a 6 and 4 year old to look after, my BIL found himself considerably poorer than he had been, He certainly had to pay out around £20,000 a year in childcare, help with the housework etc. That was of course much less of a loss of HH income than if my BIL had died, but my BIL had life insurance whereas my sister didn't because she "had no job"

My sister could easily have found a job earning £20,000 a year but she chose to save the household that expense instead. Her reasons may have been more to do with spending time with the children, believing she would be better for her children at the work than a child carer would etc but the economic value of her time was nonetheless a fact. As far as I can see her time had a monetary value to the household, hence it was a job of sorts.

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:27:48

I agree with catgirl How can you class your relationships as jobs?? confused

if you are a SAHM, why do you need to say you have a job??? You dont have a job, and that is OK

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:29:17

To pick up on Hallowe'en's point, and I asked it myself earlier -

If someone was caring for a parent with dementia or a disabled sibling, such that it took up most of their time and meant they were not in paid employment -

Would you object strongly to them describing themselves as full time carers? Or describing caring as a job?

Genuine question.

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 19:31:04

takataka read my last post or rainrainandmorerains

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:31:18

I'm not unhappy with anything a SAHP says.

I just don't think bringing up your own children is a "job". Like doing your own cleaning is not a "job".

It really doesn't matter. It's work. It's hard work. It just isn't my definition of a job. If it's yours, well hooray. We are allowed to have different opinions

"Full time mum" is an annoying term (to me) due to the implication there are "part time mums". There's something a bit smug sounding about it to my ears. Again, we don't have to agree.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:32:48

Relationships are not all the same. Writing a card to an elderly relative hundreds of miles away a couple of times a year is very different from spending every day caring for them, washing them, getting them on and off a commode, wiping arses and helping them eat, after preparing all of their meals, and doing all their laundry.

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 19:32:54

no, of course you haven't got to agree, but you did agree with an op who said women who say this make them cringe..so it is possible some people might be offended?

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 19:33:58

and you did make a bad point about sahp being the same thing as wife/daughter

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:34:27

I wouldn't object to someone saying they were a carer

I would find it odd if they refered to caring for a relative as a "job"

If I cared for a parent with dementia it would be hard work, take all my time and be the reason I wasn;t in ft employment but no way would I describe it as my "job"

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:35:22

My point on the wife / daughter things was regardless of the amount of work involved caring for your family is not a job.

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 19:35:51

Catgirl, IMO you don't have two jobs and a SAHP has one. You have one job and you are a Mother. I suppose a SAHP calls themselves that to draw the distinction I just outlined. If you are a SAHP your 'job' is providing care in the hours that you would be at work. You of course can be very good at that or very shit just like people in paid employment - there are people who are efficient and good at their work, there are others who are not.

valiumredhead Tue 04-Dec-12 19:36:22

It's my job. Couldn't give a stuff wether you like the term or not.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:36:36

Me wincing a "full time mummy" offends some people...the term "full time mummy" offends me

It's like a circle of offensiveness smile

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:37:04

i would find it very disrespectful to call caring for my mum a 'job'

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:38:17

Does a lot of this stem from working mothers (defined here as being in paid employment) feeling unhappy with how they think they are perceived?

I work (am the main breadwinner) and have lots of conflicting feelings and often feel i don't know the best way of doing things - but NONE of this makes me angry at mothers in different situations, or how they describe themselves, including those who for whatever period of time do full time parenting, rather than part time parenting.

Maybe i am happier with my choices than I thought!

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 04-Dec-12 19:39:18

I think if you are happy with your own lot and confident in what you are doing, you really don't think twice about what other;'s do rain

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:40:28

rainrain my interpretation is that it stems from SAHM not being happy with the way they are perceived....they want to qualify what they do as 'a job'...

if i cared for a parent and someone asked me what is my job. I would reply that I cant work as I take care of my mum/dad

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 19:43:59

But this thread wasn't started by a SAHM (or whatever!) getting angry at what a mother in paid employment called herself, was it?

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:46:29

i dunno....is CQuin a SAHM? I have no idea

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:46:44

I think it stems from both SAHMs and WOHMs feeling unhappy about how they are perceived

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:47:46

I dont actually care what other people call themselves TBH. I just find it mildly weird that you would describe relationships as 'jobs'...

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 19:49:18

In RL, i dont know anyone who gives a fuck how others perceive them, SAHM or WOHM/WAHM....

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 19:51:32

Do you really find it 'weird'?

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 19:54:41

I find it a little bit weird if someone says it's their job

Or maybe just a bit inaccurate

But IRL it rarely comes up and it's not something I give a lot of thought to

Stuff like that website makes me boak though because it's so bloody twee

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 04-Dec-12 19:58:38

if i cared for a parent and someone asked me what is my job. I would reply that I cant work as I take care of my mum/dad

So next time someone asks what "I do" I will say, I can't work, I take care of my kids

That will go down very well I am sure.

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 19:59:44

Calling it a relationship is very abstract to me and doesn't relate atall to the substantive work involved in being a SAHP in the average working day. Like in a job there are things you have to do, should be doing to do the job right. To say it is just a relationship awards nothing to those efforts and so it is a completely inaccurate description.

kerala Tue 04-Dec-12 20:02:31

Utterly baffled that this would bother anyone. Really?! Gosh some people must be terribly sensitive/insecure if how another adult describes how they spend their time causes so much upset.

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 20:03:06

I cringe whenever someone vociferously insists that SAHP is a job (the hardest one ever, indeed), no breaks, no time off. Why bother? When you desperately try to justify your existence by exaggerating how difficult it is, and conveniently forgetting the advantages, you come across as a pathetic martyr.

Don’t compare being SAHP with your pre-children working life. If you’re going to compare the worst of staying at home, compare it with the worst of being a working parent. The latter is often described through rose-tinted glasses about how you can go to the toilet in peace, or browse the shops in your lunch hour.

Whereas for many people, it’s actually very stressful to be the only breadwinner. You don't switch off from being a parent while you're at work, you still worry about them and think of them. You bust your arse to meet targets to keep that job, and that lauded lunch hour is actually spent paying bills or working through so you can leave on time. When you get home, all that stuff that SAHP can do leisurely through the day – cooking, cleaning, washing, admin – it’s all waiting for you, but you want to see your kids too.

Being a parent is not a job, just as being a wife or a brother or a son is a job. Being a parent is a role and a relationship - important ones, if you strive to do it well.

You are not a cleaner/chef/taxi driver/nurse. Your labour is not valued at 100k. You do not meet the professional standards for all of these occupations, you don’t have anyone scrutinising your work or managing your time. You did not have to apply for the job, maintain professional skills or meet development targets. You are not accountable to any professional bodies, nor are you bound by any particular guidelines or rules. In the vast majority of cases, you can concentrate fully on childcare, knowing that your needs are being provided for by someone else.

It is hard work – but you have considerable freedom to do it as you see fit, so recognise and enjoy that fact. And if it sucks so badly, do something else.

kerala Tue 04-Dec-12 20:07:48

I have never heard anyone doing this though. All I hear is SAHMs being ashamed of what they do and bigging up the bits and pieces they do that is not childcare/keeping the home fires burning. Which I find abit sad and further evidence of how society really doesnt value looking after your own DC. IMO the anti SAHM vitriol is misplaced.

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 20:14:31

Also - a job is something which has or creates value for someone other than you & yours. Nobody pays us for making our own dinner, doing our gardening, washing our clothes or cleaning our houses. Nor should they.

To all the people saying paid childcare workers have a job, so SAHM is a job - let's be generous and leave aside the fact that you don't apply for the job, nobody's supervising you, you can't get fired, you don't need any training or qualifications.

Paid childcare has a value to you, because your child is important to you and you presumably care about their wellbeing. The actual childcare worker gets no benefit from it. So you compensate them with a salary.

The analogy would be that you have sex with your partner because you both enjoy it, hence neither charges the other. But if one of you wanted titillation from a third party who wasn't doing it for their own enjoyment, you pay for it, aka. prostitution. (NB: An industry I emphatically do not support, used only for illustration!)

I'm guessing nobody charges their partner for sex, so why would you for childcare?

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 04-Dec-12 20:17:45

A person who raises decent well brought up citizens who pay taxes has created a a value to society. I wish we didn't live in a world that only valued money, You sound really bitter fenix makes me sad.

wordfactory Tue 04-Dec-12 20:24:15

But attempting to place a monetary value upon a voluntary role is equally sad. It doesn't increasde its value to society.

In many ways society has every right to expect, nay demand, that wll we parents raise good citizens. We can't expect a reward for it in terms of respect.

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 20:36:58

No need to feel sorry for me! I agree that raising children adds value for society, if done well.

I am saying that all parents - working or otherwise - can add value in this way. Being an exclusive SAHP doesn't mean you're doing a better job that any other parent who does outside work as well.

When people push it too far and act like SAHP have the hardest job in the history of mankind, they risk losing sympathy and respect for the very people they are trying to support.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 20:38:15

Well, I still refuse to say I do nothing, I certainly don't do "nothing", I don't have a career or a paying job, but I work bloody hard raising my children, one of them with additional needs who I actually get paid to care for, I'm disabled with multiple illnesses, doing day to day stuff is actually bloody hard for me, raising kids is hard, I don't want a medal or anything, I just don't want to answer people asking me what my occupation is with "I don't do anything" or "I'm disabled" as if that's what my day's work entails.

Fair enough, by definition I do not have a job. I do not collect wages (barring carers allowance, but that again doesn't really qualify as a job because I am a carer for my daughter.

I am not a nothing, I am not a nobody. My career is not Disabled. So what can I say other than I work hard at being a mum. At raising my children well. Maybe it seems insignificant to you, but to me I feel useless enough having a body and mind that let me down so often, without being told that my role is not worthy of being considered work, or a job. And that I am wrong to consider it so.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 20:41:49

Except the monetary (paid or unpaid) bit of defining mum as a job is bothering a lot of people here.

All I can say (apart from kerala, I appreciate what you are saying but you sound really unhappy with what you do - I hope you get happier in whatever you do next) - is that as a self employed breadwinner, I don't object to any way mums describe themselves. how you self identify is up to you and good luck with it.

permaquandry Tue 04-Dec-12 20:43:47

If you are an employable adult and not currently employed purely because you are with your children all day or whenever they are not at school, then surely 'sahm or 'full-time mum' is your employment status?

You would otherwise be 'employed' or 'actively seeking work'.

How else could you describe your status? 'Unemployed' is very misleading.

I worked for 13 yrs up until my 1st child was born and will return to work when childcare will no longer be needed.

It does not mean that a mum who works is a part-time mum, it's just a way to describe your employment status, or am I missing the point?

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 20:46:05

Sorry! i didn't mean kerala, I meant Fenix. Fenix, you sound tired and unhappy. I hope things get better.

Rabbits, you work harder and have more on your plate than me, at least. i take my hat off to you. You can call it a job. that's what I mean by self- define.

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 20:49:42

Of course you don't do nothing.

autumnlights12 Tue 04-Dec-12 20:53:04

I'm a full time mother= 5 words people trot out occasionally and often without much thought. If a wohm doesn't like it or is offended by it, this says more about her and perhaps underlying issues she has. I often say this cos it's a pretty accurate description of what I do. Don't care if it offends.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 21:02:04

Sorry I don't mean to be miserable like that, I just had a very difficult bedtime with the children, and I am emotional. Questions like what do you do for a living, or what is your job/occupation make me feel inadequate because I can't do anything but feel like a burden.

I am looking for something I can do from home around my life, but I have to adjust to this life first, it's not easy. Right now I face homelessness due to not qualifying for an extra room for my daughter, who needs it due to being a risk, and so I couldn't afford my rent after a silly mistake stopped my benefits. But because I have worked up debts over the years trying to cope with my health issues, it's all complicated. I have to fight to get my daughter diagnosed, fight to get the money I need and she needs, fight to make sure we don't end up in a bed and breakfast which will do neither me nor her any favours. Phonecalls, letters, appointments, meetings, I do them all, along with medical appointments for me (arthritis, kidney disease and mental health) my DD (non-diagnosed behavioural disorder, most likely ADHD) and my son (partially deaf, suspected ADD). I have to prioritise food and keeping a roof over our heads over finding education I can do and that provides me with an opportunity to find a work from home career.

But it's not a job, it's not work. sad

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 21:07:01

brew thanks wine

just because something is not 'a job' doesn't mean it isn't tough. or tougher than a job confused

ConsiderCasey Tue 04-Dec-12 21:09:50

I don't care what anyone calls it really, but I just want SAHPs (whether full-time or part-time) to feel appreciated because the truth is we'd be buggered without them.

Rabbits, you're not a bloody burden FFS!

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 21:14:53

I know. Sorry, my bad mood has awoken my inner drama queen. I'm soothing her with chocolate. blush

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 21:22:18

Hmm, didn't meant to give off the impression that I'm in any way unhappy about my situation. Don't pity me.

I just feel quite strongly about people being honest with themselves and not exaggerating the downsides of being a SAHP to the extent that they forget about the perks.

There's a lot that is really enjoyable about the role, especially compared with being a parent also in paid employment. I hate to see it devalued by pithy remarks about being twenty different occupations, or putting a ridiculously inflated price on it.

It doesn't have a price, but when done well, parenting does have enormous value. It can be enjoyable, monotonous, unpredictable, hilarious, overwhelming, enlightening - it is not the hardest thing in the world, nor the easiest. It's a changeable, challenging relationship but not. a. job.

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 21:28:24

This is why I hate these arsebuggery threads. Seriously, what is the point of making each other feel bad?

Big hugs to you Rabbits, you don't need to justify yourself to anyone although I can see how easy it is to feel as if you do on threads like this.

If you are a parent and you do your best to raise happy and healthy children then I say well bloody done! Whatever your situation is.

SrirachaGirl Tue 04-Dec-12 21:31:44

The FACT is that if you choose to have dependent offspring there is a minimum human capital requirement necessary to maintain them. Ditto a home. Couples can make different choices about how they do this. They are all valid...and they all require an output of human energy; it can be done internally or outsourced according to your specifications. What you, or others, call it is neither here nor there.

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 21:32:11

Fenix, most SAHP would not suggest it is the hardest job ever but how many people are employed in jobs that could by reasonable definition be described as the hardest jobs ever - not many! Therefore, there are as equal number of parents that work full time that are exagerrating the hardships incurred - oh, a bit like your post. Every point you made could be turned on its head to support how this furthers the disadvantages of a SAHP. For example, if you are the only one earning, the 'breadwinner', you have an income and there is a security in that. Equally, you have an opportunity to progress your career.

If you're SAHP you're not a better parent - of course not but it is a fact that you are doing additional work in the day with the children which you cannot do if you are working.

Equally, people's circumstances differ - it is not always as simple as saying if you don't like it go and find a job. It is not being a 'pathetic martyr' it is thinking about things cleverly so that you get the optimum benefits for your family. That is no more a Martyr line to take than a person deciding they need a full time job to support their family. What's the difference? In my own circumstances it is not beneficial for me to return to work at the moment as my DP cannot share nursery/school drop offs and pick ups. Those people that did find this balance found themselves redundant recently- it is NOT a huge coincidence. He is also a year off being a fully qualified Architect. You cannot become an Architect without a job so he also has to study for that. Given this context it would not be a clever move for me to just 'get a job'.

ConstantCraving Tue 04-Dec-12 21:41:55

What Fenix says.

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 04-Dec-12 21:57:06

noun \&#712;jäb\
Definition of JOB
a : a piece of work; especially : a small miscellaneous piece of work undertaken on order at a stated rate
b : the object or material on which work is being done
c : something produced by or as if by work <did a nice job>
d : an example of a usually specified type : item <the limousine was a long white job>
a : something done for private advantage <the whole incident was a put-up job>
b : a criminal enterprise; specifically : robbery
c : a damaging or destructive bit of work <did a job on him>
*a (1) : something that has to be done : task (2) : an undertaking requiring unusual exertion <it was a real job to talk over that noise>
b : a specific duty, role, or function*
c : a regular remunerative position
d chiefly British : state of affairs —usually used with bad or good <it was a good job you didn't hit the old man — E. L. Thomas>
: plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes <a nose job>

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 04-Dec-12 21:57:49

something that has to be done

an undertaking requiring unusual exertion <it was a real job to talk over that noise
a specific duty, role, or function

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 04-Dec-12 21:59:46

Someone may not like someone else says they do a job, but they do a job. Lets not let our own issues get in the way of facts. A job in no way has to be financially remunerated

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 22:01:28

Goldenbear, "hardest job in the world", "most important job in the world", "24/7, no breaks" - this type of drivel is pervasive, both in MN (to a lesser extent) and in real life.

I don't know about you, but I don't hear any other group claiming this about their occupation or role. All jobs have their stressful parts, most have at least something enjoyable about them, others have high levels of difficulty or barriers to entry.

There is no "it is a fact that you are doing additional work in the day". SAHPs don't necessarily do anything extra than a working parent doesn't do. SAHP with kids at school can quite easily use this as leisure time. SAHP of any age children can have staff to do cleaning and childcare. SAHP can be run ragged with demanding kids or can have a pretty chilled out lifestyle. It all depends on their individual situation.

I don't see anyone here telling you to get a job, Goldenbear. If you wanted a career, I'm sure you'd have one.

In most circumstances, and barring disability, I tend to think, 'so you just don't want it badly enough? Fine, but not the same as can't.' If not working suits your situation, great. Embrace that. Enjoy your role for what it is, don't make it out to be something it's not. And if it doesn't make you happy, don't be a martyr, change it.

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 22:04:21

Well if you're going to break out the dictionary definitions, which is a bit boring, then let's agree that the closest match is "something done for private advantage".

So cooking dinner tonight is a job. Cleaning my bathroom is a job. Sleeping with my husband tonight is a job. Wowee, I feel so important now I have ten extra jobs!

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 22:11:12

I really cannot see why it bothers you and others like you so much fenix.

justmyview Tue 04-Dec-12 22:16:23

I'm with fenix

Tamdin Tue 04-Dec-12 22:20:14

I agree hoflippinho the typing and spelling have definitely improved!

impty Tue 04-Dec-12 22:28:57

A typical conversation...

Oh what do you do?

Me: oh I don't work.

Oh are you unemployed at the moment.

Me: no i stay at home with the children.

What am I meant to say? What's the correct description of what I do?

It can actually be quite hard to describe my role in society. I'm not 'unemployed', as in between jobs. 'Housewife' has negative connotations. I gave up paid employment to look after children.
Then because this role often perceived as being quite dull I am quizzed about past jobs.
So, how would you like me to describe myself?

LibrarianByDay Tue 04-Dec-12 22:30:16

Fenix has made some extremely valid points, I think.

I am mystified as to why SAHPs say they feel undervalued but then insist on devaluing themselves with silly job descriptions.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 22:32:16

But impty

That works fine

You are not describing what you do as a "job" but you are letting the person know that you are raising children. Which no one would question in terms of either value or the amount of work involved

LibrarianByDay Tue 04-Dec-12 22:33:54

Impty - what's wrong with just saying "I don't have a job at the moment, I'm at home with the kids"? Surely that describes what you do perfectly well?

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 22:34:54

Impty, why not just skip forward and answer the first question with "I'm looking after the children"?

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 22:35:45

Yes - "I'm looking after the children" covers it just fine

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 22:36:07

fenix, I don't hear ANY SAHP say these things in RL. Can't say I have even read this on MN.

It is a fact you're doing additional work in the day if you are embracing the role properly! As with paid employment people are human and underperform or are lazy in the role. In all my employed roles I have come across those kind of people.

You clearly don't have an understanding of an effective SAHP. I'm not exagerrating my role to justify myself being at home, often I think I'm not good enough in this role. Some SAHP I know take it very seriously as they see their role as hugely influential in their childrens' future but im not taking about the average set up here with the average income.

Equally, I know SAHP that exist in that role as it is what they value as being important. On principle they don't think they should both be at work when their children are under 4/5 and not at school. So it is not a case of not being able to get a job it's that they both don't want one as they think in their set up one of them should be at home.

You are deliberately misunderstanding my point about context. It is all about the circumstances, suggesting that I just dont want a job badly enough is nowhere near the reasoning behind my SAHP existence.

autumnlights12 Tue 04-Dec-12 22:36:28

because that's 13 words.
'I'm a full-time Mum' is 5 words.
Besides, it doesn't really matter.
And anyone who cares about the phrase 'full-time Mum' needs to examine their own issues.

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 22:37:46

fenix, I don't hear ANY SAHP say these things in RL. Can't say I have even read this on MN.

It is a fact you're doing additional work in the day if you are embracing the role properly! As with paid employment people are human and underperform or are lazy in the role. In all my employed roles I have come across those kind of people.

You clearly don't have an understanding of an effective SAHP. I'm not exagerrating my role to justify myself being at home, often I think I'm not good enough in this role. Some SAHP I know take it very seriously as they see their role as hugely influential in their childrens' future but im not taking about the average set up here with the average income.

Equally, I know SAHP that exist in that role as it is what they value as being important. On principle they don't think they should both be at work when their children are under 4/5 and not at school. So it is not a case of not being able to get a job it's that they both don't want one as they think in their set up one of them should be at home.

You are deliberately misunderstanding my point about context. It is all about the circumstances, suggesting that I just dont want a job badly enough is nowhere near the reasoning behind my SAHP existence.

impty Tue 04-Dec-12 22:43:20

I'll tell you why. If i say that im looking after children the assumption is I have young pre school children. But i don't.
I often then, spend time, justifying why i haven't gone back to work.
Frankly, i don't see why i should have to. In RL however, i am often asked to justify my choices.

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 22:50:01

Goldenbear, good for you if you have never read this on MN. But it's out there

That aside, I'm not trying to comment on your personal situation - I don't know you and it's not hugely interesting to me how you arrange things. I really only care on a broader, societal level. I'm using the impersonal you, but perhaps I should change it to one to make it clearer?

The difference between being lazy or under performing at home, versus under performing at work, is there is recourse for sanctions and dismissal with one. (Let's not go into child protection examples here, since we're discussing the majority of parents, not the rare worst case scenarios).

I don't understand why it's relevant to mention that you know SAHPs who see 'their role as hugely influential in their childrens' future' - surely the same is true for all parents..?

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 22:51:25

Well if they are at school saying you are "looking after children" isn't accurate

They are at school for most of the day. You are not looking after them whilst they are at school. I am not looking after mine whilst I am at work.

So say whatever it is you are doing whilst they are at school.

impty Tue 04-Dec-12 22:56:05

Well i eat lunch every single day so will start saying that that.
A lady who lunches... that'll wind some people right up. I like it [grins]

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 22:56:56

Impty, "I'm fortunate that I can take some time off now that the children are at school."

If you do something else, you can add that you study, you're volunteering, you're caring for someone, you're relaxing or you manage your investment portfolio. Whatever. Others might be curious but nobody can force you to provide an explanation, so you can choose to steer the conversation elsewhere.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 23:04:10

Eating lunch isn't a job though is it.

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 23:05:00

Or she could just save herself all that faffing about and say what she wants.

I'm still laughing my arse off in awe that this upsets people. It's almost as if some of you feel that women are stepping on your toes by considering motherhood work.

I think you need to get over yourselves.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 23:05:27

Why not say you are having some time off, if that's what you are doing (those are your words)

You are entitled to some time off. You don't have to justify it

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 23:06:50

Motherhood us work. I know that. In a mother. It isn't a job though.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 04-Dec-12 23:07:17

Stupid phone.

autumnlights12 Tue 04-Dec-12 23:08:29

oh dear. If you need to overthink something as trivial as this, you have issues. Big ones.

takataka Tue 04-Dec-12 23:09:01

What do you mean impy about the SAHPs who are hugely influential in their dcs lives? The ones not in average setup or with average income? Surely the amount if money a parent has doesn't make them more or less effective...

silvercup Tue 04-Dec-12 23:13:17

I'm a SAHM and refer myself as that...when I got married recently the registrar asked me my occupation, & then insisted on filling it in instead as "full time mother". That annoyed me (although it was hardly the time nor the place to comment) - every mother is full time surely?!

SchnitzelVonKrumm Tue 04-Dec-12 23:13:26

Oh god yes. I like Michelle Obama but "mom-in-chief" just makes me wince.

impty Tue 04-Dec-12 23:16:09

I haven't said I'm taking time off. I said I gave up work, and never went back.

This is part of the problem. I think that Sahp's (which i agree im not) often feel the need to justify their choices to those in employment. It wasn't always this way.

But bloody hell we are all allowed to make those choices. If we women were more supportive of each other, the mothers at home would not feel the need to make their choice a 'job'.

impty Tue 04-Dec-12 23:17:28

Takataka that wasn't me who said that..

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 23:18:00

I agree silvercup, some would say it's just semantics but it really irritates me. Though more so in an institutionalised setting, rather than when said by a well-meaning mother in light conversation.

chickydoo Tue 04-Dec-12 23:25:33

If your kids are at school all day & you don't work outside the house you are either
A Bloody lucky
B unfortunate
C Bloody Lazy

Sure be a sahm when the kids are 'at home'
when they are at school if you need money then work like the rest of us, ( job availability & health willing)
If you don't need to work then you are in the affluent minority.
All that ' I can't work because of school pick up, or what would I do if the kids are sick or have forgotten their recorder"!
It's all an excuse most of the population deal with it.
Be a housewife & mother without paid employment if that's your thing, but don't try & justify it by saying it is a job!

fenix Tue 04-Dec-12 23:26:47

Impty, it wasn't particularly clear from your post, so I wrote 'taking time off'. I'll amend that to "I'm fortunate that I don't have to work now that the children are at school."

I disagree that women are not being supportive enough, I think the real issue is that both parents could have more choices. So childcare subsidies and friendly workplace policies to ensure that both parents can continue their careers or pursue outside interests. I think lots of people would be happier with more balance, and it's nice to have a hand in work and childcare, to stay skilled in both.

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 23:35:56

No Fenix, it is not necessary to change it to 'one' - how patronising.

I don't agree that sanctions prohibit an inefficient, lazy work ethos - it at least it didnt in the places I worked and I'm talking major, huge organisations.

Seeing as you are being very blunt and to the point I thought I'd do the same in mentioning those that feel having a positive impact on their childrens' future definitely involves the principle of one parent being at home FT. That is a a view I hear in RL, I don't agree with it but it is definitely a decisive factor in one person being at home with most I know that have this set up.

Dromedary Tue 04-Dec-12 23:38:44

You're right - being a SAHM isn't a job. It's a lot like a holiday. You can go for walks in the country, go to a friend's for coffee, do a bit of shopping. Yes you need to look after the children, but you can still do a lot of the things you like to do. Plus, most people like being with their children at least some of the time - that's why you have them. So I wouldn't in any way compare it with being out in a full time job.

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 23:44:10

What utter bollox - where the hell do you holiday?

LibrarianByDay Tue 04-Dec-12 23:53:00

It's not where you holiday, it's when!

I choose to take my holiday when my children are off school and, yes, it's a fucking holiday! That's what I call it, that's what it feels like, that's what it is! To me at least. But that's because I'm not doing it all year round. If I was I'd probably begin to forget what working really felt like.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 04-Dec-12 23:53:14

Its not utter bollox goldenbear depending on circumstance. My day at home off work and sahping is much easier than my work days. Once the dc are in school being a sahp is a piece of piss. A couple of lunches, a school run and a bit of tidying do not a 'job' make.

The thing is that your time is your own baring the school run and that is a luxury compared to working.

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 23:55:59

What about people like my DH Dromedary? He adores his job and would be incredibly unhappy if he was unable to do it. That's why he worked so hard in uni.

A walk in the country would bore him to death and he works with his friends so had coffee with them every day.

Most people enjoy their jobs at least some of the time.

GothAnneGeddes Tue 04-Dec-12 23:56:14

Is the "the WOHM make arses of themselves" thread?

This is so depressing, SAHM being belittled and (some) of the WOHM coming across as hideously bitter.

People should the general right to describe their lives as they choose. If someone wants to call themselves a full-time mum, I have no problem with that and I speak as a WOHM.

All those saying that motherhood isn't considered as a job and spluttering at the very thought that it should be, you need to treat yourself to some feminist analysis.

What we "value" in society doesn't occur in a vacuum. For all the talk of motherhood being an important job/role/task there is very little actual support for mothers and mothering.

But hey, lets just all slag each other off instead. That will solve everything.

LibrarianByDay Wed 05-Dec-12 00:00:21

Allyours I don't think enjoying your job and feeling time spent at home to be a "holiday" are mutually exclusive.

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 00:02:17

Chickydoo... Why C Bloody lazy? I get fortunate (voluntarily at home) and unfortunate (would prefer to be working).
Plus your final comment comes across as incredibly bitter. It is to people like you that those who stay at home feel the need to 'justify' themselves to.

Dromedary... I disagree that being at home with pre school children is like a holiday. The good days are great but there are many times sahp's would happily hand over the children and go back to work on the bad days.

The reasons many people chose to stay at home are much more complex and difficult to explain. Usually many factors are in play. It makes you vulnerable if only one partner is working and most sahp's are very aware of that.

Parenthood becomes a job and work when people feel the need to justify themselves. Working parents feel, often, that everyone should work like they do, and make sahp's feel the need to justify themselves.

Balancing work and parenthood is difficult. If one parent is at home then it is easier. There's no doubt. It's understandable that resentment sets in. However, as I said before a bit of mutual respect would go a long way.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 00:09:38

No it's where, as in where do you holiday that your perception of 'a break' is comparable to a SAHP that is doing a good 'job'!

Well being at home full time with my DC- one a toddler, one 5 means I don't have time to think about what work used to be like. Some of its coming back to me though - that's it , turn up, write adverts, research projects, drink good coffee, not have any worries about little peoples' safety ....constantly! Oh that's it, it was not the bad - I've just remembered.

Dromedary Wed 05-Dec-12 00:57:02

Goldenbear - I holiday at home, or take short trips for a couple of days. Obviously, I wasn't comparing being a SAHM with holidaying in a luxury hotel in the Caribbean.
The key thing is that as a SAHM (and I'm assuming you're looking after pre-schoolers) you are in control - with some adaptations you can do what you like. And I am assuming that you like your children - if they are the children from hell, then that's different.
I remember when I was looking after my children as newborns while running a business. I couldn't afford any maternity leave, as the self employed got almost no maternity pay. The nursery wouldn't accept children that young. I wouldn't recommend it, it was very draining, but I noticed that I was enjoying the babies more than plenty of other new mothers, on lengthy or permanent maternity leave and surrounded by doting grandparents etc. They moaned about what terrible hard work it all was!
I do feel for the dads - all this emphasis on how hard it is to stay at home, when many of them are commuting long distances and working long hours, and then come home and help with the children. I hope they start to catch on and take their share of the maternity/paternity leave.

Mayisout Wed 05-Dec-12 05:44:48

Seems feasible that you would enjoy babies more if you knew it was only a matter of time before they were off to nursery and you to more work.

The bottom line as I see it is that the working mums feel guilt at leaving their DCs with someone else, however well they justify it, and however good the childcare is, so have a go at SAHMs.
And that is where Cquin started from. Not saying that working mums arrangement is better or worse for DCs, just that it causes guilt.

Man on mastermind stated his profession was being 'a parent' the other night!

DH and I both looked at each other with raised eyebrows!

Mind you at least something else I can put on cv!

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 06:40:43

Sorry impy you didnt smile it was goldenbear

Snog Wed 05-Dec-12 06:46:36

A lifestyle but not a job

valiumredhead Wed 05-Dec-12 07:37:16

You're right - being a SAHM isn't a job. It's a lot like a holiday

Oh yeah, sure it is.

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 08:05:25

Am hiding this thread as I have -- work-- a lifestyle to do.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Wed 05-Dec-12 08:10:02

I am laughing hysterically. Even before the kidney infection that knocked me on my back, being at home was really hard. I've not had a full night's sleep hardly in the past seven years, never stop when I am at home, literally never stop. I had a night out in October, one of about three or four nights out I've had in those seven years. I've worried about money every step of the way, and had to learn to cook, learn to budget, learn to sew, on a tiny budget. I've never had a proper holiday (as in fly somewhere hot and beachy) but I can be sure it's nothing like a holiday.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 08:16:26

It's not a job.

valiumredhead Wed 05-Dec-12 08:18:35

Before I was a SAHM I was a full time Nanny.

So I do exactly the same job as I did before children.

One job I got paid for - one I didn't.

One I was respected for - one I am not.

One is MUCH harder than the other.

Neither was like a fucking holiday.

I don't have a lifestyle, I have a life.

People that spout crap like that do so ime, to make themselves feel better about their own life style

Hard work, undoubtedly. A job, no. A choice, yes.

gettingeasier Wed 05-Dec-12 08:33:24

No its not a job

Also hate that phrase "as a family" eg We are going to the beach tomorrow as a family.

Agree with Noddyholder earlier , I have never heard all this debate in RL

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 08:55:05

I'm really shocked at the posters on this thread who insist on their right to use words as they see fit whether they are offensive or not! Perhaps these same posters say coloured or half caste or backward? Too bad if people are offended - that's their problem and they clearly have issues.

The thing about "full time mother" is if you are a SAHM with school age children who are out of the house all day, what happens then?
Do you cease to become a full time mother?

I have 3 children all at school. I also work full time. It doesn't make me a part time parent does it?
And SAHM with school age children, do you stop saying you are a full time mother when they start school?
Because surely, by the logic on this thread you would have to because you aren't with them all the time?

This debate does not exist in RL. in RL,parents get on with their lives, they either go to work, because they enjoy their jobs or can't afford to stay home or they stay home with their children.
It's that simple.

We are parents. We live out own lives based on our circumstances and choices. No 2 people live identical lives. But for some reason as soon as someone here makes a different choice, 10 people feel compelled to jump in and let them know it's the wrong way.
And then it disintegrates into point scoring, and explaining why x is better than y.
It's stupid.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 09:24:30

I work part time and feel very happy with the balance. I enjoy spending time with my kids when I am not at work. I enjoy going to work and talking to people with logic and reason and being able to finish a conversation. I don’t feel guilty about putting kids in childcare the days I work. The contrast is good IMO.

I have to say I don’t feel like being at home is ‘work’, there are chores to do but they need to be done whether I am at home or at work; there is more opportunity to get them done if I am not at work out of the house.

I don’t really think it is the SAHMs who have to ‘defend their position’ at all. It appears to be the WOHMs who are scrutinised more. What are SAHMs defending exactly? confused The reasoning for staying at home is generally ‘it is best for the kids’, ergo they think WOHM aren’t doing best by their kids. Where as WOHMs go make their decision because they need the money or they want to continue their career…there is no implied judgement on SAHM in their reasoning…

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 09:27:25

The term full time mother is offensive to working parents as it implies lack of parenting. But it is equally offensive to SAHPs implying that they do and indeed should be on 24 hoir duty. That looking after DC s their sole responsibilty not to shared in any way and time off is slacking. Men even SAHDs would not think of parenting this way. Too corrosive

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 09:28:49

I don’t really think it is the SAHMs who have to ‘defend their position’ at all read this thread. Lazy is mentioned more than once.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 09:33:44

lazy is a possibile reason for being a SAHM once kids for gone to school, is all has been said...

its not really something to defend is it? Im inherently lazy, I dont care who calls me lazy. I do care if people suggest/state/imply I am not doing right by my kids...

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 09:34:50

well actually, I don't grin...but I can see how others would...

specialknickers Wed 05-Dec-12 09:39:38

I'm a full time mum. I work outside the home sometimes, and I'm here to say it's the most fabulous holiday ever from my full time job. Not only do I get paid (GASP) but I get to drink a cup of coffee unhassled, to wear nice clothes and best of all, when I talk, people shut up and listen. I feel more invigorated after a day's outsidethehomework than I ever do after a day on a beach with DS I promise you.

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 09:44:30

I have only read the last page.

What word should the adult that is responsible for the home and family, is unpaid by an external organisation, and lives with another adult that is paid by an external organisation (or their own business of course) use in self-description?

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 09:45:03

do you think it would be so invigorating, if you did it every day?

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 09:46:49

Impty I think the way to defend being a SAHM is to simply point out that this is what you want to do. Or that you have no choice. Talking it up as a job or worth hundreds of thousands of pounds or that it requires a 24/7 watching brief is counter productive as soon any woman who doesn't provide that will be considered a poor parent and the pressure upon women particularly SAHMs will become ever greater.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:48:02

Comparing the term 'full time Mother' to words such as 'half caste' or 'backward' really is one of the most stupid things I've ever read on Mumsnet. And I've read some shit here over the years.

redskyatnight Wed 05-Dec-12 09:48:31

I used to have a school hours job.
I would drop the DC at school, go to my paid employment, work for 5.5 hours, then pick up the DC from school. Then I would look after the DC and do housework/cooking/general organising.

I'm currently not working so I guess that makes me a SAHM. It is exactly like a holiday - or at least for 6 hours of the day it is. I'm not doing anything that makes it into a job - taking the DC to school, cooking, general organising comes under the category of things that just need to be done.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 09:51:14

Hully I would use SAHP as this is a term that makes no assumptions about number of hours or chores or responsibilities the person does.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 09:51:19

i agree with wordfactory

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 09:53:39

But SAHP is so DREARY. No one would want to talk to someone who described themselves thus, even if it was accurate.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 09:54:00

Autumn words matter. Only someone without any intelligence can't understand that.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 09:57:23

But Hully the term working parent is dreary too! And full time Mum is just too loaded with expectation.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 09:58:07

Yes because the word, 'Lazy' has positive connotations. It is not offensive at all, is it??

People who are lazy may also seek out work to avoid looking after their children all day every day. IME people with a hardworking ethos exist in a working capacity and if they decide to be a SAHP they apply that ethos to that role. In contrast, those who are lazy in paid employment, e.g spending working time organising their social life, wedding, always leaving on the dot, expecting others to compensate for their absence- well if those kind of work shy people decide to be SAHP they will continue to apply that ethos to that role and hence be pretty shoddy at it!

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 09:58:22

They are all dreary. We need new terms.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:00:04

you implied that the word 'half caste' has the same level of offensiveness as 'full time mother' which is beyond ridiculous. Only a wohm with a massive chip on her shoulder would have an issue with it. There is nothing offensive about it. Indeed there are wohm's on this here thread baffled by the notion of 'full time mother' being offensive. Words are important. But also easily misinterpreted. And sometimes, people with chips on shoulders, will look for and find offence everywhere they look.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 10:03:06

YES EXACTLY GOLDENBEAR LAZY PEOPLE EXIST IN BOTH CAPACITIES OF wohm AND sahm...Thats why I dont really see it as something SAHM need to defend themselves against...I dont think any on on this thread has said being a SAHM isnt hard work have they?

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 10:03:44

Ooo..sorry for shouting. Multitasking

Im glad you find it invigorating. Do it every day, 8.30-5pm
Then do the ASC pick up. Go home. And do all the housework, homework, admin, dinner, packed lunches, school uniform etc

it might not be so bloody invigorating then

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 10:08:33

It's a nightmare doing both without staff, and one does rather wonder what the point of such an existence is, round and round on the treadmill with a little holiday every year IF YOU'RE LUCKY.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:11:13

I sometimes tell people I've 'taken early retirement'. Might not work for younger Mums. I'm an old fart, so fits fine.

Dromedary Wed 05-Dec-12 10:13:30

I agree that if you look after young children (who don't yet qualify for free nursery time) 7 days a week on your own with no help from partner or grandparents or anyone else, it is draining and going to work for the odd day each week would give you a breather and a change of scene. But if you are the kind of SAHM who shares childcare to some degree with other family members and has a network of SAHM friends, I'm sorry but assuming there are no particular complicating factors I think it is a doddle. If you have a DP you can even go out in the evenings with friends without having to find the money for a babysitter.
And no, I don't say this because I feel guilty that my DCs went to nursery from a young age - it was a great nursery, they loved it, and I never felt a second of guilt about them being there. They also didn't go full time - I worked around them for some of the week (not always easy).
I don't have a problem with people who are SAHMs. But stop pretending that it is really hard. If it is a lifestyle choice, and your DP is supporting you financially, you are very very lucky. I think that DPs in this position are carrying a far heavier load, and a lot of the talk about how hard it is to be a SAHM is probably designed to hide from men that this is the case.

ArtfulAardvark Wed 05-Dec-12 10:17:42

I work at home but I have to say it shit like this, smugness and superiority from those with careers looking down SAHMs that stopped me going to help at school - why should I help their children learn to read for free, I will just teach mine at home.

Hmm and another bug bear the professional mothers/fathers who largely ignore me then decide to walk/talk with me in preparation for asking me for free childcare. I may not have a career but I am not stupid, if I like your child I will allow you to think you have manipulated me, if I do not I will be "busy"

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Wed 05-Dec-12 10:18:38

I "wince" whenever I read judgemental claptrap such as the OP.

KrisMoose Wed 05-Dec-12 10:18:44

shurrup fishy

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 10:19:23

full time mum is term term used in real life though, i've never heard anyone say stay at home mum in rl.

people need to stop being so sensitive and get over it.

PrettyHairClips Wed 05-Dec-12 10:24:17

"If it's not a job, then what is it?"

Has anyone answered this question from page 1?

why do people need to get over it? Do SAHM need to get over being called lazy?

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:24:44

Drome, you can't generalise. Like everything, it depends on the situation. I was a wohm with my eldest and found it quite easy on a practical level.I I became a sahm when I had dd2,, who was not an easy peasy baby like dd1. She cried. She wanted me all the time. I found it hard. Then I worked again when they were at school, about 22 hours a week. It was a lovely job and I had a fantastic work life balance. Then along came dd3 and I'm sahm again, doing small amount of freelance. I'm loving it because dd3 is very laid back, happy smiley. Wouldn't say it's 'easier' than when I worked. I loved the job and genuinely saw it as a wonderful way to spend my time. The job I did after having dd1 was hideous, however. Stressful managerial position working with some very awkward passive aggressive types. I couldn't wait to leave. Depends on the job. Depends on the children.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 10:25:07

aardvark a lot of the helpers at our school, work too confused

TwinklingWonderland Wed 05-Dec-12 10:25:33

Yanbu. Being a parent isn't a job, its a life choice. I don't expect anyone else to pay me for this or give me a medal. I work less hours in my job now I'm a mother because I'd like to spend more family time. Childfree people have to do housework too, not just parents!

ArtfulAardvark Wed 05-Dec-12 10:25:49

Dromedary - I think anyone in your scenario 2 with a ready, willing and available source of childcare would chose to go out to work at least part time, I certainly know I would.

Those of us who had jobs rather than careers, without the marvel that is free family childcare would struggle to balance the books if we had to pay for it all.

Am a bit nonplussed that being a SAHM would make someone dreary, I know plenty of WOH and SAHM who are dreary, a career isnt what makes you an interesting person is it? Sense of humour, interests, travel are things which make a person interesting and are not the sole domain of the employed.

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 10:26:22

If it doesn't have a salary it isn't a job

PrettyHairClips Wed 05-Dec-12 10:26:24

Dromedary - how does having other SAHM friends, make it a 'doddle'?

ArtfulAardvark Wed 05-Dec-12 10:31:12

takataka - they dont round here it was primarily SAHP, generally with children in reception to year 2 - by year 2 generally they have gone back to work or got a job in the school.

I have to say I would not have referred to it as a job but when you have that "mine is bigger than yours" conversation and people ask what you do I dont know how you are meant to answer it if you dont work at all (not really been in that situation as I WAH)

Its just so damn rude to base your entire assessment on a persons worth or interest on what they do for a living.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 10:32:29

Well I wouldn't want to be called lazy in any capacity so I personally would be offended by someone saying that to me. The fact is when someone uses the word, 'job' an inherent effort is implied, when someone uses the word 'lifestyle' or even just 'mother' they are fairly abstract notions that give no credit to the additional practical efforts involved, even if that is very much the case. That is why context is so important, redskyatnight might consider being a SAHM very much a holiday with children at school all day and just the cooking/cleaning to do. I have a 20 month toddler at home in the day. I have to provide the activities for her. I do the school run for my other DC and I literally do everything else around the home. My DP gets in at 9.30 4 nights a week, sometimes later - last night it was 10.30. He goes into work one day at the weekend to catch up. I do all the domestic chores. I am sure a lot of people in the world do a lot more than me but I'm not lazy. I never was in an employed capacity and im not in this capacity!

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 10:34:33

tantrums what i mean is people need to stop getting their knickers in atwist abotu what others choose to do, or have to do.

i don't think for one minute sahm are lazy at all, i think they are doing an extremely worthwhile job, raising the next generation

equally i think a wohm, is also working hard, and doing what she feels is best for their family

ive never met anyone that i don't think is doing what they feel is best for their family and i think thats the most important thing

but in terms of people getting offended about other people callign sahms full time mums its just silly as stay at home mum is not even what most sahms do, there not even at home that much the ones i know, they are off popping rouund the shops, or going to the library, or toddler groups,going to the park, or meeting with friends fo coffee and taking the children swimming etc
so really they are certainly not stop at home people, as that makes it sound liek they don't leave the house
so really fulltime mum, describes what they do with their day best
that why its the term used in real life

and i agree a lazy person is a lazy person whatever they do,you could geta lazy person at work who is always slacking, and a lazy person at home with children, yet they are lazy because they are lazy
not because of they are a sahm or wohm

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 10:38:30

callign sahms full time mums its just silly as stay at home mum is not even what most sahms do, there not even at home that much the ones i know, they are off popping rouund the shops, or going to the library, or toddler groups,going to the park, or meeting with friends fo coffee and taking the children swimming etc

grin white

Stay at home=does not go out to work

Not never leaves the house.

ArtfulAardvark Wed 05-Dec-12 10:44:06

Jeez I'm an antisocial person I found all that baby club, coffee morning sh*t draining in the extreme but it was a necessary evil for my child to socialise with other children. I'd much rather be sat in a quiet office fiddling with an excel spreadsheet and getting paid for it.

I guess if you are a social animal then you may see it as a breeze, personally glad to see the back of all that.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 10:45:33

yes but saying stay at home parent, makes it sound like what they do, stay at home all day, when they don't, they are off doing the above

not the ones i know anyway

MarshaBrady Wed 05-Dec-12 10:51:07

All are dreary. I just go with I have two children. Do you work usually said in response, yes no.

The term sahm only works on here. I don't hear stay at home in rl.

Jins Wed 05-Dec-12 10:51:29

I hear stay at home mum in real life quite often. On the other hand I never hear full time mum.

ArtfulAardvark Wed 05-Dec-12 10:53:52

I know what you are saying yellow, not all SAHMs are sat on the sofa all day watching tv and eating pringles grin

There are plusses and minuses to being a stay at home parent and to being a working parent - I dont see why its necessary to align yourself into one camp and make a judgement on the validity of the other persons decision.

Women have gone from a situation where historically they were told by men that they have to stay at home and be good wives and mothers to a situation now where they are judged and told by men and other women that they have no validity if they choose to do that.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 10:54:03

white the OP is about whether being a SAHM is 'work' as in 'a job'...i love that you reeled off that list of activities in defence of that...as in;

'how very dare you? I dont stay in the house all day, I have this to do!'

specialknickers Wed 05-Dec-12 10:54:06

"Try doing it every day and see if it's so invigorating" I'd bloody love to! Could you just mind DS (he's three, but he's lovely honest) for 12 hours a day for me whilst I do? I've got a bit of a long commute (2.5 hours each way) and so if he's sick or something, you're kind of on your own, but that won't be a problem will it? I mean, it's not as if looking after children is hard, like a job or anything is it? Oh, by the way, I can't acually pay you. And if you could pop a bit of washing on and put the hoover round, that would be great ta.

And OP if you're reading I know lots (well, three) full time dads too and you're damn right they call it a job. Probably never worked so hard in their lives.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 10:57:15

no-one is saying that SAHMing isnt a valid choice ardvark...not on this thread. Just that it is not 'a job'

Jins Wed 05-Dec-12 11:00:14

But how many working mums really do judge stay at home mums. I've never come across it in real life. I've certainly never come across anyone that considers a SAHM to have no validity. There's a lot of offence taken on MN but a lot of that is because the opinions get so polarised that hurtful comments are bound to be posted. I just don't believe that the OP or anyone else for that matter actually cares enough to wince about this. If she's got the time to do that then she's underemployed one way or another smile

Sometimes people take offence where none is meant. Everyone should have confidence in their decisions (you can't always call it choice because family finances dictate so much)

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 11:01:08

"Try doing it every day and see if it's so invigorating" I'd bloody love to! Could you just mind DS (he's three, but he's lovely honest) for 12 hours a day for me whilst I do? I've got a bit of a long commute (2.5 hours each way) and so if he's sick or something, you're kind of on your own, but that won't be a problem will it? I mean, it's not as if looking after children is hard, like a job or anything is it? Oh, by the way, I can't acually pay you. And if you could pop a bit of washing on and put the hoover round, that would be great ta.

well yep, that is about the size of it for WOHMs isnt it? confused

It isnt generally the 'job' which WOHMs find hard..it is the logistics and the balancing, and managing sicknesses etc

ArtfulAardvark Wed 05-Dec-12 11:02:08

Im not saying I never get my judgey pants on about the Monday to Friday drop the children off at 7am, pick them back up at 7pm parents who dont even spend time with their offspring on the weekends.

I then give myself a serious kicking and tell myself its none of my business

a) I dont know their motivation they may need the money and b) if it works for them I have no right to judge them and project my values on someone elses life.

well special thats the reality of working full time. Sorting out childcare, sick children, commuting then coming home and doing everything else. Cleaning, laundry, dinner, homework, admin, everything.
I have never once said looking after children all day is easy, or that SAHP are lazy or anything like that.
But working 45 hours a week, sorting out 3 children, and a house etc is not "invigorating" and just an opppourtunity to have a coffee in peace either.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 11:04:21

on the days i work I have to get up at 6am to get 2 children to different childcare settings and myself into work by 9am. I dont go to bed until 12am because I have the kids homework, dinner, cleaning, washing up, washing, packed lunches blah blah...

for me it is worth the effort as I am part time and like I said I enjoy the contrats. But, full time is another matter

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 11:16:05

takataka, i'm not saying it in a how very dare you kinda waygrin

i'm just saying that sahm, isn't a very good describing term when these people are not even at home most of the time

and that, thats why fulltime parent describes what they do more than sahp

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 11:16:24

anyway i'm off now

Feelingdetached Wed 05-Dec-12 11:22:31

It's is a job. It not in the same way as paid employment, most people make this distinctions it jinks, just pedant ffs

BerryLellow Wed 05-Dec-12 11:24:46

CQuin stop winding people up grin

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 11:26:23

So 13 years ago DH had a job opportunity which meant long hours, many nights away a lot a stress and pressure, but a bit more money. The most cost effective way to do that was for me to become a sahm.

New city, no friends (at first), no family. His load was earning the money, mine was (and still is) everything else. Now I know single parents have to do all this, and truly hats off to them.

We move around fairly frequently, so new friends to make, new schools to find, new house to decorate, etc etc.

DH is a 'full time parent' even if he is not actually here physically, I'm sure we all agree. He's earning the money that puts the food on the table and the roof over our heads.

But I work bloody hard too. Therefore I have a job within the home.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 05-Dec-12 11:29:18

I'm not getting into a debate about working/SAH mums - I'm baffled why these choices matter to anyone but you and your families. I work FT... works for us.

However, I must say if I asked a woman what she did and she said she was a carer and it turned out she meant she was a SAH I'd think 'What an ARSE'.

Viviennemary Wed 05-Dec-12 11:57:21

I think it depends on how you define job. To me a job is paid work for an employer. Or self employed is paid work and getting a wage for services provided. So a parent at home in my opinion doesn't have a job as I understand the word. I don't have a job. I worked for years and now I don't. And I don't suppose being on Mumsnet 24/7 counts as a job either. grin

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:17

This thread just convinces me it is working mums with a chip who cause these argumental threads. The SAHMs have made their decision and just get on with it.

I mean I must say if I asked a woman what she did and she said she was a carer and it turned out she meant she was a SAH I'd think What an ARSE
What is that all about Proud? If you're caring for small DCs your caring for small DCs, why not call yourself a carer if you want.
...but I spose you work full time so don't feel entitled to call yourself that so in your opinion no one else is allowed to either cos it rubs salt in (or that's the interpretation I would put on your comments)

I work full time. I still care for my dcs?

Jins Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:51

I see both sides drizzlecake. There are plenty of threads started by people who say they can't imagine having a child and not staying at home. How they feel sorry for children in nurseries etc.

Once the insults have been unleashed then people jump in feeling offended.

I just don't see it in real life. I've worked and I've stayed at home. I've got zero interest in what anyone else feels is the best for their family.

FellatioBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 12:12:08

Me neither Jins. I have always done what suited me best, and I think it was the right thing to do. I really don't give a flying stuff what anyone else does.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 12:13:36

I must know a lot of opinionated people as I do come across these discussions/ have these discussions with people I know in RL. I've recently had this conversation with a mum friend from school who is worried she is doing the right thing putting her 2.5 year old I to nursery 4 days a week. I've spoken with my DB/SIL about it, I have spoken to my friend who is pregnant with her first about it, I have spoken to my Dad, mum and MIL about it. Hell I've even spoken to my DP's cousin about it.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 12:15:20

I should add I don't care if their opinion differs to mine.

PrincessScrumpy Wed 05-Dec-12 12:17:15

I would never call being a mum a job but have no opinion re "full time mum"... I look afters dds (who are napping right now) and work 12 hours a week flexi time in evenings and weekends, going in to work 10 days a year when dh takes holiday to look after dds... I haven't found a quick way of explaining it and the job I do is very varied so hard to explain but also fairly dull to explain, yet people seem annoyed if I don't give details as if it's a secret. Not something I think about a lot tbh.

a friend's dh put on fb he was babysitting while his dw was out - noooooo, I do hate that, they are his kids!

Jins Wed 05-Dec-12 12:17:47

I think having a discussion with a friend involves asking for other peoples opinions. I would agree with that. I've had those discussions with people who have opinions that I value.

The people who come on MN and generalise and posture with no actual knowledge of the situations that other people find themselves in? Those opinions count for nothing and nobody should pay any attention to them, let alone get offended or believe that's what everyone thinks.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 12:22:06

Yes this was what I was referring to up thread about context.

TBF I think I'm pretty unusual in knowing a lot of opinionated people in RL.

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 12:30:48

The people who come on MN and generalise and posture with no actual knowledge of the situations that other people find themselves in? Those opinions count for nothing and nobody should pay any attention to them, let alone get offended or believe that's what everyone thinks

AAaaah. The calming voice of reason smile

drizzle was it not you posting that working mums had a chip on their shoulder??

LibrarianByDay Wed 05-Dec-12 14:04:49

WRT Goldenbear's post at 09:38

^No it's where, as in where do you holiday that your perception of 'a break' is comparable to a SAHP that is doing a good 'job'!

Well being at home full time with my DC- one a toddler, one 5 means I don't have time to think about what work used to be like. Some of its coming back to me though - that's it , turn up, write adverts, research projects, drink good coffee, not have any worries about little peoples' safety ....constantly! Oh that's it, it was not the bad - I've just remembered.^

No, it really isn't where! Where you holiday will not change your perception of what 'work' or 'a break' is.

Yeah, yeah, I'm sure you remember how easy work was, blah, blah, time to drink good coffee, blah, blah. (you forgot to mention that you could go to the toilet on your own though). Except that your memory is totally incomparable to my current perception since, and forgive me if I am wrong, you haven't actually tried to do both at the same time. So it's a rather pointless point you're making.

Besides which, if you had the time and hadn't killed off your brain cells by sitting on your arse at home all day had read my post properly you'd have spotted that I said it was my experience. other people's may be different of course. But in my experience being at home with the children 24/7 is a holiday.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 14:48:21

I love the bits crossed out which show the posters true colours
helps us see the true worth of their output.
you're welcome

Kalisi Wed 05-Dec-12 14:51:57

I'm a SAHM. I consider it a job. I also have full time mummy as my occupation on facebook. Fuck you all grin
>dons armour and 'yummy mummy bag' shield<

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 14:55:09

the 'full-time' thing is a good description.
When I worked, whilst I was of course their Mother 100%
I was not there 100%.
I was an hour away, in good traffic.

you do realise how people are going to view you with that dont you Kalisi?

No, I am at home with* my children full time is accurate

Full time mother implies that working or having school aged children makes you a part time mother.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:06:19

to people posting on Mumsnet perhaps Tantrums. Not so much in the real world.

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 15:07:08

Economically inactive is good

Kalisi Wed 05-Dec-12 15:08:19

I'm ready. I've even got a yummy mummy teacup. Yeah I went there!

Kalisi Wed 05-Dec-12 15:09:46

Should havw probably name-changed for that one hmm

catgirl1976geesealaying Wed 05-Dec-12 15:10:08

You can get those even if you work, you know

Should you so wish

True enough autumn

Kalisi Wed 05-Dec-12 15:12:44

Yeah but you can't admit to it on MN! shock

difficultpickle Wed 05-Dec-12 15:13:24

I'm a full time mum and a full time lawyer. I don't stop being a mum when I'm at work and I don't stop being a lawyer when I'm at home. If the definition of being a 'full time mum' is being at home with your children what are those people called who have school aged children and stay at home? On that basis they should be calling themselves 'part time unemployed' as clearly they cannot be a mum whilst their children are at school confused.

catgirl1976geesealaying Wed 05-Dec-12 15:30:46

I have two horses

If I didn't work but looked after them "full time" (and believe me I could, there is enough to do to take a full day), I wouldn't describe that as my job.

It would be a lot of hard work. It would occupy my full day. But it wouldn't be my "job". If I pay someone else to do it, it is their job, but it would not be my job if I did it, because they are my horses.

It not being accurate to describe looking after them full time as my "job" doesn't detract from the amount of work involved in doing that, or devalue it or mean I would not be occupied. It just isn't a "job".

Nor do I consider the raising and care of my child a "job" part time or full. Motherhood is not a job - it's a role.

If you are a SAHM with school-age children, you are likely not to be doing more than an extra few hours child care than a WOHM, so in those cases the term "full time mum" is inaccurate as well.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:32:48

following the logic of your argument, you must be a 'part time Mother' when at work. Because you can't change nappies and help with homework whilst in a courtroom.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:37:32

not that I'm bothered. And not that most of the wohm's on this thread are bothered. Is depressing that wohm's are yet again using this opportunity to be unsisterly and anti feminist by referring to sahm's as 'sitting on your arse all day' 'part time unemployed' and 'on holiday.' If I accused a wohm of being an absent parent, missing milestones and sub contracting their care to some teenager with one GCSE, there'd be a very understandable uproar.

jellybeans Wed 05-Dec-12 15:40:03

Your opinion but doesn't bother me. I use stay home mum or full time mum on forms. But I don't mind housewife either. I do see it as my job for now. If that bothers you then that's your problem really?

difficultpickle Wed 05-Dec-12 15:47:58

I think the term full time mother is ridiculous. It applies to all mothers who have care of their dcs irrespective if they are WOHM or SAHM. That was the point I was trying to make.

jellybeans Wed 05-Dec-12 16:05:07

It is used pretty often though. It was put on my youngest DC's birth certificate. Their choice of phrase. Usually on forms it is 'looking after home or family'. I think full time mum is OK as it just implies you are literally looking after DC full time, usually pre school.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 16:16:55

Yes Jellybeans. Except on mumsnet where it's a hideous affront to the sensibilities of wohm's. ffs.

its not an affront autumn

I just question why anyone would be happy to be called a part time mum, either because they work or because they are SAHP with school age dcs

My children are teenagers now so I dont feel any great angst about working, I also SAHM are lazy or whatever else was said.


YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 05-Dec-12 16:45:24

autumn - it would be nice if you addressed the point upthread about at what point you will stoip using a term when it is clear, for whatever reason, other people find it offensive. Just because some idiotic registrars use it doesnt make it right either. They are not saying it officially because they have been told to, they are saying it because they are dense.

I do find 'full time mum' quite annoying - what am I today then - am doing 8 hours work and looking after the dc.

Do we have part time grandmothers because they live away or part time dads because they are at work? The terms we use are important, they have meaning and influence culture.

SrirachaGirl Wed 05-Dec-12 16:56:49

I think Kalisi has the right idea; do whatever works for your family and call yourself whatever you want. My kids are all in school now and I don't work so I think I'll change my status to "SAHM to fur-babies" I have a mug that says English Springer Spaniel Mom.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 16:57:31

there's nothing to address though. It's a non issue.

But it may be an issue to others though autumn

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:11:24

well then it's their issue. Not mine. I'm not going to start calling myself a domestic engineer or 'economically inactive' or a 'housewife' (I didn't marry a house) to please the professionally offended.

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 17:21:55

Professional napper?

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 17:44:31

yes full time mum is the term officals use, that was also what the registrar put on my sons birth certificate too.

and when asked i think i said stay at home mum, and the registar put down fulltime mother

so its is the term banks registars and drs etc use
heck ive even seen it used on tv quiz shows and tv in general

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 05-Dec-12 17:46:19

I can start calling you economically imactive though or a housewife even though dont really like it though yes? Because its your issue and not mine?

When you say ' I am a full time mum' you are really saying 'I am more of a mum than you people who do any amount of work' its so bloody Daily Mail.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:47:41

Youbroke, you can call me what you like, no problem. I know what I am!

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 05-Dec-12 17:48:32

Well if bank registrars and the tv are using it then it must be right.

Kalisi Wed 05-Dec-12 17:52:38

You can call me what you like. You can also call yourself what you like. Including full time mum if you wish. Having a job outside the home just means you have more options. You can say on Monday ' I'm a brain surgeon' and on Tuesday you can say ' I'm a full time mum. Neither are incorrect.
I only have one option at the moment, until I crack Hollywood

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 17:52:51

Librarian, no I really did mean WHERE, as in you must holiday In some pretty dull places and expect to have NO rest! Or do you mean your experience in being a SAHM was more akin to having 'leave'-probably a bit more of an accurate description. If this was the case you must have been 'sitting on your arse' all day as any person I know who is good at being a SAHP does not experience this 'holiday' you talk off.

By the way my brain cells are very much intact thanks very much - even if they have depleted I'm not worried as I started out with a lot more than the average person. Its people like yourself that should worry more about this natural depletion!

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 05-Dec-12 17:57:07

youbroke, i don't mean because officals like banks, registrars drs use term that means its right [although i do think this dscribes what sahp do] i'm just trying to agree that this is the used most often in rl

just like working mum is the rl term, never heard anyone say oh i'm a work outside of the home mother.
they simply say working mum.

its how things are said in rl rather than the cyber world

But autumn you were quite vocal earlier about people calling SAH
lazy, part time unemployed etc.
So that's ok because it's your issue is that correct?

goldenbear I find it amazingly hard to believe that you don't get 5 minutes to sit down and you are on your feet working for 14 hours a day tbh.
I think SAHM work hard and are bloody amazing for doing so but it's not non stop all day every minute, can't even drink a cup of tea is it?

Why do people think they have to justify things like this? I couldn't care less if you sit watching trashy tv all day but there's no need to exaggerate.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 18:07:05

tantrums according to whites earlier post SAHMs pop to the shop/go out for coffee/go to the park/ take kids swimming..they aren't just in the house all day you know! grin

.....see that is all stuff I look forward to doing when I am on holiday from work

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:08:09

TBH Tantrums, I don't have the time for the exchanges with yourself.

TBH golden for someone that doesn't get a minutes rest, you still find a lot of time to spend on here.

taka yep, that's what I do when I'm on annual leave.
AKA holiday. grin

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:24:33

I'm multitasking - you become quite adept at it when you're SAHP, well if you have any brain cells you do.

autumnlights12 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:24:55

Youbroke, seriously, call me whatever. It doesn't bother me. I was highlighting the hypocrisy and double standards. I just chuckle when I hear words like 'economically inactive' and 'unemployed' because whilst 'full time mum' is a commonly used term used in official forms, to quickly describe a woman who looks after her children full time, it's intention is not to offend. Whilst the others are to cause offence. But it takes a lot to offend me, so not bothered. Very meh non issue.

So you do have 5 minutes to sit down then?

Because earlier on you were saying never getting a rest etc.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:36:53

Do you want me to explain multitasking to you?

OwlLady Wed 05-Dec-12 18:42:14

For me it is a job and I actually get paid by the government to do it
I am a Mother of a severely disabled child fwiw

why can we not recognise that looking after people, in whatever form is actually 'doing a job' why are we still stuck in a place where people are derided for caring about other people?

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:42:50

Taka, if your so hard done by why dont you make some sacrifices, you know be a little less selfish, stop being a part time mum and join us (SAHP) on our eternal holiday? Oh sorry have I belittled you and mocked your choices (spouting the bolloxs above)?

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:47:20

Owl because we still live in a predominately patriarchal society that only awards respect and status to work with monetary value. Ideas reinforced by many a female on this thread it seems.

Yes taka make some sacrifices. Don't pay your bills. Live in a shed. Eat breadcrumbs grin

Actually I didn't think you sounded hard done by, just sharing what you do on holiday. But still.

And golden multi tasking? Pray tell what else you are doing whilst sitting down mumsnetting?

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 18:50:44

golden I am not hard done by confused i have already said that I enjoy my work and my SAH role. I like the contrast

But I dont have a choice about working, unless we were to live in a cardboard box grin

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:50:48

I'm cooking as I'm on my phone - ok with you?

I award respect for honesty.

Staying at home with young children is a difficult job sometimes.
However it is not, as some people choose to describe it, a job where you literally, literally never get to drink a cup of tea.

It is also a job where for the most part you are responsible for your own time management, where you get the freedom to decide that you are going to go out with friends, or go swimming, or the beach or to sit in the park.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 18:55:14

That was a rhetorical question that's why I included the bit about what I was saying was bollox. I was trying to point out how one could easily find a fault with your choices. As you seem to think it is fair game to belittle SAHP.

I beg you to point out exactly where I have belittled SAHM?
Because I have said many times on the thread that I think SAHM do a good job because that's what they chose to do.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 19:01:23

Well what job is Tantrums? What Job will not allow you to have a drink?

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 19:03:09

And then contradicted yourself by implying with Taka that it was one big holiday. I thought you valued honesty?

There are plenty of jobs where you don't have time for a break.

Having small children is tough, whether you're looking after them all day or not. When they are at school, much less so.

I don't think arguing that being SAHP is really, really tough is true or doing us any favours.

Please, don't misquote me.
I said the things that were described earlier were things I looked forward to on my annual leave. Which is true. I have never said or implied that being a SAHM is one long holiday, even when someone, was that you ? Was reminiscing about work being just turn up, drink good coffee blah blah blah.

I have said, and will always say I admire people who stay at home to look after their children if that's what they want to do.
But let's not kid ourselves that what you do is so utterly time consuming you cannot have a coffee when in actual fact, it is not.
As above, you manage your own time, you choose if you want to go swimming, for coffee, playgroup etc or have a day at home.
People who work for an employer don't have that option.

It's not a competition, who has the hardest life, so why try and turn it into one? Accept the choice you made, accept it may not be a bed of roses 24/7 but for the most part you are happy and content and just get on with it.

catgirl1976geesealaying Wed 05-Dec-12 19:21:55

What job will not allow you to stop for a drink?

Try mine. I can have a drink if I get my PA to make it and drink whilst working. Same with lunch.

I was doing emails from my phone less than 2hrs after DS was born (he was asleep, I still couldn't move legs after epidural having been prepped for EMCS)

Snog Wed 05-Dec-12 19:22:59

It's nonsensical to call being at home with your own children a job
If it is a job then I work full time in paid employment and also have another job 6pm - 7.30am and weekends as a SAHM - which is clearly rubbish and nobody would claim that.

Being at home with young children involves work but is not a job. It is a lifestyle that you may or may not have actively chosen.

If you consider it a job then is it also a job to be a housewife with no kids at home?

On the subject of laziness you can indeed be either lazy or industrious in either capacity, but if you are lazy at work you are unlikely to keep a job very long these days.

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 19:27:38

drizzle was it not you posting that working mums had a chip on their shoulder

No, Tantrums not what I said. What I said was that wohms with a chip on their shoulder start these threads, not that they had a chip on their shoulder per se (sp?)

Full time mother implies that working or having school aged children makes you a part time mother So what if it does? My DCs are grown up, what does that make me, not a mother at all? It's semantics.

In the end most mothers are sahm or wohm at some point in their lives, some have family near by to help, some have DH's who work away, some have short hours, some have long commutes, some have six DCs, some have one, some have easy DCs, some have whingey so trying to score points is a waste of time. It's hard work regardless imo.

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 19:31:15

I think the posts prior to mine prove my point

OwlLady Wed 05-Dec-12 19:32:27

I find it difficult to be lazy sad

someone show me how...

This week I have been in a&e and then vets and then vets again and then hospital again

I want to be able to have a normal week, it never happens

That's the thing drizzle it's hardly accurate to say someone with grown up children are not mothers, that working parents and SAHM of school age children are part time mothers.
The implications are that unless you are with your children 24/7 you are "part time"
Parenting is not something you can do part time is it? You are a parent, regardless of the age of your children, or your current occupation.
That was my point.
And sorry if I misquoted you.

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 19:50:55

you are more of a mum if you are at home with the kids all day

no one who works outside the home likes it but it's true.

if you are at home you are the goto guy. if you aren't at home someone else has to fill that role.

when the kids are small they won't know/care who does it as long as someone does...they won't remember sub about 4 anyway

stop sweating this stuff

More of a mum?

What an utterly stupid thing to suggest.

KrisMoose Wed 05-Dec-12 20:08:25

Perry you are brave!

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 20:09:55

yy more of a mum

knows more of what's going on with the child at any time
knows what they are up to as they are there with them
knows their ever changing preferences better as they are spending time with them observing them change

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 20:12:01

Define 'more of a mum'

DameMargotFountain Wed 05-Dec-12 20:16:20

i'm more of a mum than a woman with 2 DCs

having 3 <pointed look>

<tongue firmly in cheek>

these threads always end up in some sort of shitey bun-fight

really, if you're a parent, you're a parent - there's no fucking top dogs, who's better than who, you're a parent. full stop

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 20:17:28

Catgirl, well exactly you do get to have a drink. This is often the scenario I find myself in - i'm drinking whilst doing something else, whilst all the time saying, 'hot, hot, careful'.

As a SAHP I do not spend my time shopping, or going to coffee shops. Sitting in cold parks is not all it's cracked up to be. I would not expect my 20 month old to go shopping with me and sit in a coffee shop. How are either of these activities stimulating for a toddler? I would not expect my 5 year old to go shopping with me. He would enjoy a piece of cake from a cafe but he wouldn't enjoy being rushed because my toddler was climbing out of the high chair.

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 20:20:40

if you are the primary care giver to your child you are by all measures a ft mum
if you work outside the home you hand over all of the care of that child to someone else for a period of time
thus your actual mumming is somewhat less than that of a mother who stays at home

this has nothing to do with love but factually if you work outside the home you mum less

PerryCombover Wed 05-Dec-12 20:23:15

btw i am not judging anyone
it's entirely your business what you do

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 20:24:11

Now we're getting down to it huh?! grin

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 20:30:28

Prior to children I had a job that had incredibly long hours and I had an 1 1/2 commute each way. I could not return to that job, it was not compatible with having a 12 month old baby- if i had returned to work after ML. Despite the demands of that job i find being a SAHM a lot harder. So to me a demanding job In itself is not 'tougher' than the job of SAHP. It is utterly dependent upon what support you have in that role as to how much easier it is than paid employment. As I said I don't have a DP that arrives home at 6 to do bath time. He gets in at 9.30, 10.30 4 nights a week, he goes in to the office on a Saturday or Sunday. My mother lives 4 hours away, my Dad works in Africa 3 months at a time, my MIL is in her own words a very much 'hands off' Grandma. I have a brother who is busy being a Partner in a Law firm and is father to 3 so I can't exactly ask for help from him. If you had a great support system I would imagine a) I could work pt and b) I wouldn't be as exhausted!

Viviennemary Wed 05-Dec-12 20:33:04

More of a Mum. That's about the silliest thing I've ever heard. Most SAHM's that I've known realise they're lucky to have the choice and it would be much harder to have a job outside the home. A friend of mine called it a lazy life and she was an SAHM for quite a good number of years. She had five children.

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 20:40:52

Your friend was wrong and if she had 5 children it does beg the question wtf was she doing with them all day if she found it easy- I would imagine not much or not enough! Yes SHE sounds lazy.

Oh yes and I have a friend that works, has 1 child who is now 5 but has always said that it is easier going to work.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 20:43:06

perry are all the dads that go to work, lesser parents then than their SAH wives?

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 20:44:31

Have just had a chat with the next generation about this (dd's). They had some interesting points.

1. Anything that involves time and effort should be classed as work, and therefore a job. The example they used was voluntary work.

2. Working mums who manage to work, and raise their children and run the household need to realise this isn't a possibility for every family.

3. 'Unworking out of the home mums' should respect that those who work as full time parents.

3. Men don't worry about these labels, why should we?

4. We all need to 'get over ourselves'. grin

Goldenbear Wed 05-Dec-12 20:44:50

'lucky to have the choice'?? I've sacrificed quite a lot for that 'choice'. After I had my DS we continued to live in a 1 bedroom flat until he was 2 so that I could continue to be with him at home from 12 months.

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 20:48:20

Love that being a SAHM is a 'life choice' but choosing a job where you only get a coffee or lunch if your PA can slot in time to make it for you isn't.
ROFL at that.

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 20:51:17

Good points Impty.

I wonder if it is the fact that many SAHM and WOHMs feel put upon or overworked which causes the rivalry over who does more of what.

CoteDAzur Wed 05-Dec-12 20:51:45

OP - You are right. Being a SAHM is not a job because jobs take only about 8 hours per day, with a lunch break, and you don't have to work at your job over the weekends.

Being a SAHM is more like slavery. 24/7, no breaks, no days off.

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 20:58:20

I can't take credit for the points Drizzle. I agree this is a bit like the "who is more tired game" couples play. No one wins, everyone feels hard done to, and the resentment builds.

SplendidTopHat Wed 05-Dec-12 21:05:39

I think its time to flounce. Mumsnet really is a pile of shite at the moment. So many thickos I might top myself. Bye.

Nellycats Wed 05-Dec-12 21:06:22

No it's not a job, it's a state or being, even a title. Not a job though, as there is no contract, no pay and it's for life.

Is your partner your boss? When he guves you money do you genuinely consider it your pay? How about tax then? do you actually sleep with your boss then? If you genuinely feel so, your relationship has some serious power problems.

It's wrong to equate it in any way with volunteer work as that one implies the volunteer does for free what was meant to be paid. Whereas parenthood works in the exact opposite way - it's free and whomever substitutes that care that is not a parent or relative gets paid.

Because if its your job to be a mum then how about being an uncle, or a grandaughter or a niece. Is that your second job?

It's a relationship, love is meant to be what's driving it and not a contractual starting point, the way a job does.

Sadly, I think the reason some women insist in calling it a job is plain insecurity, as they don't like to be thought as idle.

For the record, I have no issues with SAHMs, it's bloody hard work, but "full time mummy" makes my teeth itch.

SolomanDaisy Wed 05-Dec-12 21:11:37

Why does it all have to be so dreadfully hard? I had a job. A senior, well-paid job. I loved it, but it had it's crap bits. I decided to stay at home because I wanted to spend time with DS. I didn't do it because it was harder or easier than work or because I thought it was developmentally essential. I just wanted to. Just like work, I love it but it has its crap bits. I get to go for coffee, DS is quite happy to do that. I got to go for coffee when I worked too. At work people rarely followed me into the toilet and handed me toilet paper, but then DS rarely writes to the paper to complain about my decisions. Meh. It's all good, why the competitive misery?

LibrarianByDay Wed 05-Dec-12 21:23:07

Nah, Autumnlights lol! Not my true colours at all. Just a very tongue in cheek homage to the usual SAHM/WOHM arguments. But there was always going to be someone who failed to see the heavy sarcasm! grin

LibrarianByDay Wed 05-Dec-12 21:24:45

Forgot to mention that was in response to Autumnlights post at 14:48. I realise the discussion may have moved on since then. Or then again, maybe not!

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 21:36:32

but then DS rarely writes to the paper to complain about my decisions

grin soloman

fenix Wed 05-Dec-12 21:45:44

Nellycats, great argument.

Goldenbear, choosing between two things, even if neither is particularly appealing, is still making a choice. So if you had other options available, yes you were fortunate to have been in a position to chose. No doubt there are parents who would both have to work to afford that same one-bed flat. The decision was still what you considered best for your family, overall. Otherwise you'd have done something different.

LibrarianByDay Wed 05-Dec-12 21:49:17

Goldenbear (WRT your 17:52 post).
It isn't where you holiday that makes it dull! It is what you do, or don't do.

I really have no clue as to what your problem is. I have said twice (make that three times now) that I am talking about my experience. I can assure you that I holiday in perfectly lovely and extremely interesting places. But even if I didn't, why would a dull holiday location mean I wouldn't have any rest? What a bizarre concept!

And, no, I meant holiday - a day when I am exempt from work. If I had meant a vacation that is what I would have said.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 05-Dec-12 21:52:46

When I work, I am doing part time parenting.

I am paying someone else to look after my 2 year old child because me and my DP are working and not available to do full time parenting.

On weeks when I have no work and can look after ds all the time, I am obviously - OBVIOUSLY - doing MORE parenting than when I am working.

When I am working ft and DP is doing full time care of DS, he is doing more parenting than I am.

As a self employed working parent, I understand completely that this is the deal.

You can say you are a full time parent while you are working full time if you like. But we are doing part time parenting.

That might be because working parents have no choice but to work, to earn enough to keep the family going - or because we get a huge satisfaction and validation out of our work, a sense of identity and achievement etc etc - or because long term our careers won't continue if we take too much time off when the children are small. Whatever.

But working, for either parent, DOES involve part time parenting. It has to.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 05-Dec-12 21:55:21

PS this thread was getting me down, with the endless 'women ripping into each other' posts -

But then someone compared 'full time mum' to 'half caste' and 'backward, in terms of it being an offensive term, and I ROARED with laughter. Made me realise how little of this I needed to take seriously.

fenix Wed 05-Dec-12 22:09:28

Being a parent is a relationship. Who here would describe themselves as an 'part-time wife', 'full-time brother' or 'occasional grandchild'? Whether you stay at home all week with your children, whether you work away during the day or perhaps overseas for months at a time - you are always a parent.

If you're a good parent, then presumably you're doing whatever you do because you genuinely believe it's in the family's best interest. So if you're working to feed and clothe your kids, or to model that adults can combine family with achieving career goals, or doing a job which contributes to society, or finding alternative care for them because it stimulates them - then that's being a good parent. If you stay at home and give it your all because you believe it offers similar benefits - then that's being a good parent.

Neither scenario means you are a better parent, nor does it necessarily mean you are putting in less time or attention on your children.

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 22:14:24

Disagree with Nelly - it is a job. A job which requires you to be there doing certain stuff but unfortunately unpaid. I didn't float around in a 'motherly' state of being half the time smiling and wafting a duster (or going for coffee) then work hard in a 'motherly' role washing up, seeing to DCs, no it was a job with long hours and loads of effort especialy as DH abroad alot. A job I did coscientiously.
Mother, uncle are nouns I think. mothering is a verb.
Full time mummies imv are dedicated and whisk little Bodened DCs between ballet and bridge lessons, lacrosse and whatever whilst the au pair cleans the house. Good on them, they're happy, Dcs are happy that's what counts.

Nellycats Wed 05-Dec-12 22:15:31

Quite right, fenix

Nellycats Wed 05-Dec-12 22:16:32

Drizzlecake, if its a job, can the "boss" fire you if you're not performing well?

Nellycats Wed 05-Dec-12 22:23:43

I'm not in any way underestimating what hard work being a SAHM is. During maternity leave I lied being with my baby but there was no respite, my sleep was a joke, adult conversations distant dream and the housework never ending.

As a freelancer I get worst of all words: work during school ours, pick the eldest from school, feed/entertain/breastfeed baby to sleep and then continue working through the night. But that job pays the bills and requires me to be performing in a certain way, or my clients will fire me.

My children cannot fire me, unless I act in a criminal way. Thank goodness, my children nor my husband pay me - that detail makes all the difference smile

Nellycats Wed 05-Dec-12 22:24:28

blush my phone is an idiot! During maternity leave I LOVED not I lied...

drizzlecake Wed 05-Dec-12 22:25:21

If you're a good parent, then presumably you're doing whatever you do because you genuinely believe it's in the family's best interest. So i