to think that the further you are from the world of work, the crazier being a working mum sounds?(1000 Posts)
I did it for 3 years - motherhood and a (part-time, but) demanding job... when you were always running from pillar to post, and buying take-away pizza, and feeling guilty because your child was crying when you left, and always being tired and hassled and answering your blackberry on your days "off" and being f**ked off because your job wasn't half as interesting as the work you used to get when you were childless and in the office full-time-plus....
Almost 2 years of being a SAHM later, my working-mother-friends come round for coffee on their day off and moan about all of the above.. It sounds familiar, but now even their moaning exhausts me. I'm more in a swapping recipes for lemon-drizzle-cake and making my own pizza dough sort of head space. These days I just potter around - my whole life has slowed down.....
Don't get me wrong - I realise I'm fortunate that we can manage without the wage (and not everyone can), but I find I am barely worse off (once the childcare is taken into account, and it is so much easier to spend money wisely, now that I don't have to buy crappy pizza because I am too exhausted to cook or book my holiday at the last minute because I wasn't organised earlier). And life feels so much better now that I'm not always exhausted... and I actually have time to do interesting stuff like read (grown-up) books... and there is no stress around childcare and the like....
So when my friends come round and moan about their blackberries ringing and being side-lined for promotions and feeling stressed about organising a child's birthday party when they have no time to really do it and so on.... instead of feeling oodles of sympathy... all I can think is... WHY? WHY? Why are you doing it then?
AIBU? I sort of suspect I might be
Yes, YABU. What works for you is great, it doesn't mean it would work for them: financially, emotionally, intellectually, practically.
Well yes that sounds shit but I'm a FT working mum and that's not my life <shrug>
Er, because they need the money, maybe? Or because even though they prefer the lifestyle, it's not always a bed of roses? Someone else may have a moan about the less joyous parts of being a SAHM, but it may not at all mean that they don't want to be one, just that it isn't perfect, and grumbling is cathartic.
Also, what Noel said, I don't recognise any of the gripes in your post, and I'm a "working Mum".
You answered yourself in your OP really - you are lucky enough to do without one wage.
On the otherhand there is a vast difference bettween working to make ends meet and a dedicated career person. the former has to work, the latter enjoys it.
I was bored out of my mind when I was a SAHM.
Horses for courses and all that.
I'm sure most of us would moan about our children, but asking why we had them then is not going to make you popular.
Give it 10 years as a SAHM and you might be wishing you'd stuck to working.
Why don't you ask them? if they're your friends and all that.
I do agree with Holly though, I would probably feel a lot more ambivalent about work if I didn't have a career I love.
Not my world either - I work ft, have a Blackberry, but I make my own pizza dough, book holidays, read books and bake cakes. And so does DH.
These sorts of threads always end up badly because there is a certain smugness about being supported by the DH and doing yummy mummy stuff all day.
Yummy Mummies IMHO should be taken away and have all the saccharine extracted from their very core
Oh yes I must have missed the memo about not being allowed to bake/cook if you are a working Mum.
(Although I would still feed my DS frozen pizza once in a while with absolutely no qualms even if I was at home all day every day).
Don't you ever moan about your life, at times?
I do know what you are saying. I was a SAHM for 10 years and what is wonderful is the lack of stress, or at least a certain kind of stress. But you are only 2 years in, and at some point you might decide you need a bit of stress, time pressure, independence, company, to talk to people who aren't also SAHMs, and all the myriad things that working gives you. Never mind the money.
It sounds like your job was too stressful and your children were young. I think I would have found that hard. Juggling everything when you don't love your job is pretty thankless.
I got bored at home, in the end. I don't bake, I don't sew, I had decorated the whole house. I wanted to work.
We all need to think about what we really need to be happy.
Another reason I was a rubbish SAHM. I am crap at baking and I don't sew
Actually, to make one serious point, one reason I work is to "gift" time with our son to my DH, and vice versa for my boy. If we both work PT, we can pay the bills, enjoy our careers, and both enjoy plenty of time with him.
If I suddenly stopped working
we wouldn't be able to pay the mortgage my DH would have to work all the hours of every day to compensate. And actually, I don't think that would be a good thing for any of us.
I have been a sahm for a decade and I love it. But I have loads of friends who are WOHMs and they are neither moany nor cliche.
I think you are being very unreasonable and if being a sahm is making your ability to understand that others make different choices you might want to do something to change your environment a bit. You might be getting a bit set in your ways (as my mum would say)
But I'm a full time working mum and although it can be hard, making cake and pizza dough just isn't my thing. I find my job very interesting and I'm very proud to have achieved so much in my career.
I think your life sounds lovely but that's because it makes you content so it's obviously right for you. Which is the best situation.
But it wouldn't make me content or lots of other people I know who find their careers very stimulating so YABU.
I work full time, used to be a SAHM. I do more nice things now than I did then, I think it got so bloody boring that I slowed down too much and became a lifeless baby-feeding machine. Now I go to work, see my kids, cook (sometimes, DH does more), do fun things in the evenings and weekends, and generally get a lot more out of life.
I don't recognise the world you describe at all OP
I worked pt when my children were small, and certainly didn't waste time going round to friends houses and moaning on my days off. I was too busy making pizza dough, playing with the kids and mopping wee off the floor etc!
Maybe you have particularly moany friends... Perhaps they'd moan even more if they were home 24/7 !
I think the mistake (and of course if all your friends are in exactly the same position that you are in then it's not a mistake from your pov) is in thinking that wohm = your experience.
I have a reasonably well paid job, 3 days a week, no commute really at all. I do work sometimes on my days off or in the evening, but that's my choice and a quid pro quo recognition of how amazingly flexible my employers are in enabling me to take time off/switch days etc to fit in with unexpected family commitments. Most working mothers I know are in a similar position to me.
My life wouldn't be easier if I was a SAHM. We'd be in financial shit.
TBH, I don't think I moan much JamieandtheMagicTorch
I do think mothers in general moan too blinking much... have never understood how people can have endless boring conversations about how many times they got woken up the previous night... I mean - HELLO - Babies and toddlers wake up at night. DD is 18 months and still waking 2 or 3 times a night, but she will grow out of it eventually, and over all I just feel incredibly blessed to have such a generally happy and healthy little girl. I do often find myself wondering WHY people have children if they find them so bloody irksome?
I enjoyed my job prior to having children - I can't really think of a career I would prefer tbh, and I am good at it, and got promoted easily and given interesting work. However, I really love being with the children - watching them grow up is endlessly fascinating to me, and I felt very torn leaving my child in commercial childcare.
I suppose what I'm getting at is that a couple of years ago I would have been hugely sympathetic to all the working mum moans, but as time has gone on - being a working mother seems increasingly barmy... and I am finding it harder and harder to dredge up much sympathy.
Lucky for you. Jolly good. Aren't you great. Not everyone has the same life as you. Empathy would be good.
Single parent. Working. Knackered. Pissed off with your smug tone.
Read your post back and see how many "I"s are in it.
Are you truly incapable of understanding that other people may feel differently to you even when those same people spell it out to you?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Oh come on Stripy! You're moaning now!! Granted, it's not about how often your dcs wake in the night or how hard your working life is. But it's still bloody irritating...
Mainly it sounds like you don't like your friends that much, Stripey!
I am happy for my friends, both SAHM and WOHM, to talk to me about anything. Sometimes that includes moans about sleep deprivation, careers, childcare, families, relationships....I don't really mind as I like them and appreciate them confiding in me.
If you feel like people ONLY moan to you, I guess you need to change the subject more often. Or find people who better suit you.
YABU. There are so many variables.
We are all trying to do our best with the circumstances we are in aren't we?
If you think your friends are moaning too much then either get new friends or ask them politely to stop.
But don't use their moaning to extrapolate your half-baked theory that all women would be happier as SAHMs just because you are, because it simply isn't true.
Genuinely, if I found myself sitting at home thinking 'gosh this is the right way to live, i don't have much time for those who chose differently' I would be alarmed.
It is a short skip to the Daily Mail, meeting Barbara for a cup of coffee at 10.20 every other Tuesday and getting exited about the new Per Una range.
I work ft in a big job that's challenging and interesting.
I cook, clean, bake make a mean lemon drizzle, spend plenty of time with dd.
DH doesn't earn enough for us to live on. It's a lot to fit in. We both get tired, but it's how we have decided to live and we are all happy. No moaning here!
I survived the sahm phase for about 3 years. Year 4 I felt like I was going brain dead. I was too depressed to bake etc, I felt so isolated in my kitchen on my own. Got a lovely flexible part time job after 4.5 years and I love the balance that is now in my life.
Yanbu to have your opinion. I think wohm's are often knackered and like to moan about it, but they might find the alternative even harder. To think that sahm-ming would be easier for everyone would bu.
re: the "I don't know why people have children" comment. To be fair, one doesn't know ^quite how irksome they are until one is already lumbered.
Oh yes, that is so true. I used think "how can I possibly do a supermarket shop and visit the GP on one day"
Even when I was working 40+ hours a week (part time hahaha) nights, weekends, 13 hour shifts, with a high needs 6 month old who only napped in the sling, co slept and BF all night, I honestly don't remember moaning. Occasional rant or sigh on Twitter, but seriously that was it
I didn't have the energy
So you think they should give up work so that they moan less??
I agree with a pp-get new friends or ask them to shut up!
I don´t go out to work, my best friend does.
Sometimes we both have a moan, sometimes one of us, sometimes neither.
She´s my best friend, I love her to bits-she can moan on at me for as long as she likes when she needs to tbh.
"I do think mothers in general moan too blinking much"
Until this I thought you were just being a bit nobbish.
VinegarDrinker yes, lovely to share care, and keep both careers going. We did consider that, but in all honesty, it wouldn't have worked for us.
Pagwatch thanks - I think you're right I may be a bit intolerant or maybe you just have less moany mates I do think there is something particular about my working friends, desperately trying to keep careers thriving whilst still making gingerbread with the kids and having fantastic sex and studying a part-time philosophy masters because they still want me-time. Yes, yes, I know you can do all this stuff (because I tried), but it is incredibly exhausting... Perhaps it is the preserve of middle-class, highly educated, career-minded women, who also want to be very hands-on with their kids who are trying to do the impossible and therefore understandably MOAN all the fecking time...
When they moan though... I just want to shake them... and say... "Be grateful for your lot. And if it stresses you out this much. Stop. Doing. It."
I moan about my job and my children. And I work with children, so I get to moan about them too. It's a right moan-fest here.
Did I forget to mention it's also a seriously responsible job as well as physically demanding
<gets out tiny violin and woe is me face>
Seriously, OP the problem lies with the fact you see your friends moaning to you about the trials and tribulations if their lives as a chore. Change your friends, or your attitude.
Swapping lemon cake recipes? Zzzzz
OK, I get you. Which should they stop? I'd go for the sex. Too much trouble, IMO
Stripey some of us just can't "stop doing it"
What would you suggest I do? I don't have a DH I don't have a safety net.
you sound unbearably smug.
Ah, see, this is where having No Standards Whatsoever helps the stress levels.
Our house is chaos, we eat freshly cooked or convenience food when we feel like it, if DS and I feel like a PJ and CBeebies day we will bloody well have one. But we are all happy, well balanced and not dying of malnutrition, so all is good.
To be fair to the OP, she's talking about her friends, not all WOHM
Yes earlier I am struggling to understand the 'stop doing it' bit. Not an option for all.
Yabu as you suspected. Each to their own, they may need to work for financial reasons/to stay sane/to keep on a hard won career/for future independence etc etc
I agree, Jamie. Plus they might end up with more kids to moan about.
but jamie because they're just friends, the OP won't know the personal private ins and outs of their financial obligations. so she won't know whether or not they have to work.
We could easily have afforded for me not to work when the DDs were tiny. Infact, I tried being a SAHM twice, for 6 months each time.
But, both times I felt like I was climbing the walls with boredom within 2 weeks. I hated being a FT SAHM...how many times can you make a fresh pasta sauce, or tidy a cupboard. Swapping recipes for lemon drizzle cake...? I'd rather stick pins in my eyes, ta very much
Being a SAHM bored me shitless...and I didn't look forward to weekends, because my whole week was actually just a weekend.
For me to be happy and energised I needed to go back to work, part time, doing a job I adored. It gave my week structure, exposed me to intelligent, adult conversation for 2.5 days per week (not SAHMs droning on about nappies), and made me appreciate my days off and weekends.
I think Stripey seems incapable of not projecting her own experiences as a WOHM on to everyone else. So you found it stressful, guilt inducing etc? That was you.
that is true. I can see how your back would be up if you don't have these choices
You last comment makes it sound more like you are irritated by women who try to be perfect at everything and then complain it is hard.
I think there are some people who do that but it isn't restricted to wohm. A woman I know but tend to steer clear of is endlessly taking on stuff and then moaning about but she is a sahm. Her thing is being chair of the PTA and organising the teas at swimming and helping with the theme day at school - all fab but that is all she ever talks about and it is always in martyred tones.
I think you are complaining about something that has nothing to do with being a wohm or a sahm tbh.
I would get new friends though. They do sound a bit whiney and you don't seem to like them anymore. It happens sometimes
Stripey - in 5 years when your dc are at school and your husband has become resentful about earning every penny you spend and you want to go back to work and find nobody wants to employ you , well THEN I think you will see why they work and you'll feel really foolish about this thread.
I look forward to reading your friend's comments 'Our mate Stripey was bloody smug about sahming for years and insinuated we fed our dcs crap and left them with ravening wolves whilst we climbed the corporate ladder. Now we're better off and she can't get a job that she thinks she deserves all she does is MOAN. Are we being unreasonable to think WHY did she do that?'
I'm a working mum with a decent job, but my experience is nothing like what is described in the OP. I've never had any guilt about working and I love my DS very much. Maybe some people are better at coping with being a working mum than others.
Now, SAHM's moaning about having to entertain the kids during the school holidays baffle me...
Different people make different choices about their lives for a multitude of reasons - working mum or SAHM, neither is any barmier than the other.
Very perceptive post Pagwatch
I know someone like that
Can we not counter stripeys unreasonable and cliche comments about WOHMs by posting unreasonable and cliche comments about sahms.
After all many of us will at some stage be both. And most people I
like know just think women are pretty great dealing with their responsibilities in the best way they can.
Ta [winning and hopeful smile]
Another working mother who just does not recognise the world you describe, nor do any of my working mother friends moan as much as yours. Maybe we are just better organised? I can quite happily fit in everything I need to do because I love making lots and lots of lists and being efficient.
Putting on my cod pyschologists hat for just a tiny moment, I suspect what you are trying to do is justify a choice you may not be entirely happy with.
But hey, what do I know?
Haha, YY laqueen How many variations of lemon drizzle cake are there. How very interesting
WHY? WHY? Why are you doing it then?'
1. Need the money
2. Enjoy working (although a lot less now I have DS)
3. Have neither the patience nor stamina to look after DS 247
4. Like the adult company
5. Worked hard to get where I am
6. DS is only going to get more expensive - someone has to pay for that
O yes and as to the anguished WHY of your post, sadly some of us weren't quite so clever to snag a moneybags hubby - or indeed any hubby at all. So there's your 'why' from me.
I prefer to be working now the DC are in school but was fortunate to be able to stay at home when they were little.
I'm not a moaner by nature and it helps that I enjoy and feel valued in my work which makes me a happier person than I believe I would be just staying at home all day although a major factor in me being a SAHM would be not having a car - I love the freedom my car gives me.
Too right Pag
It's so boring.
Right stripey- now that you've posted a bit more, why not go back and re-write the op so you're being upfront about what you really intended to say. You aren't mildly bemused by your working friends who sometimes have a bit of a moan about the kids waking in the night. You actually just want to moan yourself (oh the irony!) about other mums who aren't doing the same as you.
It's fairly clear why you gave up work: you said yourself that when you went part time you weren't given interesting work to do, and you also felt guilty about using childcare.
Well, this clearly comes as a revelation to you, but we don't all have that experience. Some of us keep working after children and don't get lumbered with all the boring stuff- our careers remain interesting. And we don't all feel guilty about using childcare. My children were thrived in nursery, there was absolutely nothing for me to feel guilty about. 3 days in nursery, 4 days at home a week- great combination when they were small, and I was able to get back up to full time work when they started school because I'd kept my hand in
Its a shame it didnt work out for you being a WOHP but don't assume it's like that for us all
YABentirelyU for generalising. I love being a working mum (admittedly in a not very stressful job) and very few can 'just not do it' and not have to worry about money. If you had said "My friends take on extra stuff that they don't need to do like a philosophy course, and then moan about not having enough time", then fair enough.
Every time DH moans about some insanity of their procedures I'm so glad I don't work.
I having to fill out forms requisition, finance and health and safety forms is not something I miss.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I know MN would die a slow death without all the SAHM/WOHM to-ing and fro-ing but it isn't half dull.
It's like being surprised that we don't all like the same food, or fancy the same men/women, or enjoy the same TV programmes.
Newsflash! People are individuals!
Oh fuck, I can still write coherent English, when not interrupted by DCs.
Why in 2013 are we still arguing about this bollocks? Most women I know have been SAHM and WOHM and something in between over several years. We all juggle different pressures and challenges during our families lives. I love my job, I am a happier person and a better parent for having it. That's me though, works for me and mine.
I think you should make new friends. Ones who like making pizza dough. And then you could discuss how to make better pizza dough with them. And the long winter mornings would just fly by.
She is looking after kids and home, hardly a teenager...
I worked in a madly busy high pressure high paid high status international travel job was very happy to chuck it in to be a SAHM. Have loved it and wouldn't change a thing (have worked from home but only made £8k a year so doesnt really count) but realised I am madly jealous of fellow SAHM who has just got a 5 day a week interesting job during school hours. My youngest starts school in September <dusts off CV> quite excited at the thought of changing camps from SAHM to WOHM if someone will give me a job
Phil, you've hit the nail on the head - most of us will be/have been both sides of the fence so where's the solidarity rather than bitching about each others choices?
We never seem to get threads started by bored WOHM just wanting to have a dig at SAHM. Funny, that.....
I never felt a moment's guilt for going back to work. Why should I, when working made me an infinitely better, nicer, more relaxed, more pro-active Mummy to my DDs?
They spent 2 days a week at a great nursery, with all their little friends and bubbly young nursery nurses, who were paid to be smiling and patient and fun and creative all the time. The adored their nursery.
Then for one day per week, they were doted on and waited on hand-and-foot by their besotted grannies.
Then 4 days with me...but the nice, calm, positive, energised me
It was a win/win/win situation all round
And, like spero I am extremely organised - my house has always run like clockwork, whether I was a SAHM, or worked part time, or even full time (as I did for a short while, when the Dds were toddlers).
Fresh towels were put out every day, rooms were tidy, cushions plumped, bathrooms sparkling...probably because I wasn't faffing around perfecting my 127th recipes for lemon drizzle cake
I've seen bashing from both sides and it is grimly funny that the reaction seems to be
'how dare you judge my choices you smug cow - at least I am not (insert smug judgey criticism of other posters choice)'
And they never, ever see the irony
YABU - sorry, I work in a full time, 'demanding' and well paid job. I've worked bloody hard and relish the challenges my job offers. I also have time to do lovely things with DS, friends and family because I have good time management. Don't get me wrong, I can feel tired and do look forward to holidays but this post is more about your lack of ability to manage a positive work/life balance in your previous role. By the way, I love marksies drizzle cakes
Janey68, most excellent point <adjusts fetching pyschologists hat>
I wonder why that is?
I have been a SAHM for purely selfish reasons and happy to admit it. Am sure DDs would have been fine in decent childcare.
Janey, have you really never come across Xenia?
Actually, I don't think she really starts threads, so that's not fair.
Op starts a thread spouting cliches shite about wohm. Then they wohm pile in with cliches shite about sahm. Yet they are failing to see the irony...
I try never to unfairly judge another's choice in life, but a little part of me always twists inside when someone is championing a 'choice' which is denied to many I.e. the luxury of not having to work if you don't want to...
Ha yes according to Xenia SAHM are essentially prostitutes <grabs push up bra and feather boa>
Sleepyheads- WOHM will quite rightly defend their position when attacked. But I said they don't start threads simply to attack people who make different choices. You do need to ask why that seems to be the case ...
I genuinely have no choice. I have no DH to allow me to sit at home and bake lemon drizzle cake. I wonder how many of my friends I have offended when they've run me to ask how my day has been and I've said crap because of this and that and the next thing.
Anyone is entitled to do and be whatever they like wohm sahm p/t f/t and anything in between. But to sit smugly having no sympathy and inwardly shouting why as the op does is just horrid. imvho.
Xenia is her own unique micro climate. I am just as bad as a sahm in her eyes because I chose a poorly paid area of law in which to specialise.
Haha! Ipad auto corrected 'sahm' to 'sham'.
All the WOHMs are I know are super organised and up together.
I'd say the majority of posts from SAHMs and WOHMs have been eminently sensible actually. Couple of tired cliches, definitely, but "piling in" is over egging it.
You answered it yourself OP. You weren't earning much more than the cost of your childcare. Other people earn enough that there is a point.
YABU, just because you gave up juggling both doesnt mean other mothers should. The majority work and parent very succesfully.
Work isnt always just about money. Its about company, using you mind, having a life outside children rather than being a bore that can only talk about one thing. Its also a huge responsibility to make the other adult the only earner and getting back into work when the children go to school and dont need you will be hard.
I work for many of the above reasons plus I dont want DS to grow up believing he needs to work a job for many hours as by virtue of his sex he is expected to work so that his wife doesnt have to as she fancies reading or baking instead.
Op, you should have concentrated your efforts on achieving a £100,000 per year career, and then your dh could have stayed at home to make pizza dough and lemon drizzle cake and listen to your moaning friends.
Maybe they are moaning to make you feel better about being stuck at home with nothing more interesting to think about than lemon drizzle cake?
The OP produced the cliches. I would never have dared to mention pizza dough or lemon drizzle cake if she hadn't. It would have seemed patronising and not at all what I think women who don't work do. But it seems it can be.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Op maybe you were shit at being a whom? Just like I was shit at being a sahm.
I am only ever going to refer to baking as 'dumb fuck baking' from now on...it's just unfortunate that I won't get to use the phrase that often, as I have never actually baked a thing in my life.
I spent 6 months trying to be a SAHM, and tried to intergrate myself into the SAHM coffee-circle...all they talked about, all they feckin talked about was babies, and babies development, and more babies, and the best nappies, and more babies, and breast-feeding, and more babies...
If I could, I would have bludgeoned myself into unconciousness with my coffee mug - but felt it would have seemed rather churlish.
I'm a SAHM and I hate it. My kids are all in school all day now and I've been out of the workplace for 8 years (made redundant. At the time I couldn't find anything else to fit in with the hours I'd been working and that paid the same wage so I decided to take time out. Fast forward to now and I've done an Access course, been accepted to Uni (to do Teaching) and had to quit after half a term due to being not meeting criteria for childcare costs, but unable to afford it ourselves. That was five years ago. After that, had dc 3 and been fighting pnd ever since. So, present day, have almost 7 hours each day to myself with very little to do. Am not into baking (actually loathe cooking), not into gardening, crafts, home decorating, or anything else supposedly 'motherly'. Miss work like crazy and am thoroughly sick of dp (and all his friends from what he's telling me) feeling that my 'job' now is cooking, cleaning, being a Mum and 'taking care of dp' (his words). I miss my 2.5 days at work, but can't find anything that would fit in with school hours and not leave me out of pocket in after-school (and breakfast club) fees each month. So, yeah, op, you're lucky that your life is as you want it, but please don't think we all have it/want it like you.
Has it come down to whoms v shams?! just trying to lighten things up a little...
FirstTime, what, you're doubting your choices because a few random people you've never met have made boring cliched judgements about women who don't work? I think you should work on your self esteem tbh.
I like dumb fuck baking! Does that make me a dumb fuck?
you read the recipe and you do as it says. big fucking woop.
Worried- have u thought of contacting your local cvs for voluntary work? Quite a few options and expenses generally paid
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
You shouldn't feel guilty FirstTime if that's what you want to do and you can afford it. If that isn't the case and it is best for you/your family to return to work, don't feel bad about that either.
My real life friends are a mix of FT working, PT working and SAH parents. Actually I couldn't remember immediately who is doing what without thinking about it, as I like them as people so other stuff stands out - personality, humour etc.
At different times, they have chosen different routes. I work full time because I enjoy my career, need the money and it works overall for our family. Perhaps I will do differently in future.
SAHM and WOHM are not different species, judging by my friends anyway, so it all seems a bit of a pointless debate to me.
Actually am perfectly capable of dumb fuck burnt baked goods despite following recipe..
Salbertina - what's cvs? Haven't heard of that. I did do some online IT tutoring, which I absolutely loved, but it averaged out at around £40 a month(!) for all the hours God sends. They've recently emailed me to see if I'd like to come back on board (I stopped because our internet was always down) and I'm umming and ahhing, but the money is really, really bad...
Oh lovely. Another thread where the wohm's all round on the sahm and can't see the irony in doing that!! Lol!
And as for the person upthread who said that wohm's never start this sort of discussion off. Oh yes they do! All the bloody time!
I wondered how long it would take someone to say that sahm's are 'swanning around' how they were 'bored shitless' and 'brain dead' and that you're unemployable if you've had a period of sahm'ing. Didn't take long.
well it sounds like you need more practise.
i have an overwhelming urge for lemon drizzle cake now.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
you sound ok, stripeybear, glad to be at home and all that. very reasonable if you can afford it, and you're right, taking childcare and takeaways into account the mothers who work might not be gaining much. what you gain from being with your children is beyond price.
working mums are, however, maintaining an employment record. which you aren't. and which might leave you looking a mite foolish in ten years' time when you want to work again - or when your oh finds someone else and leaves you in the lurch, which we hope will never happen.
studying/training/taking extra qualifications will help. volunteering also. you need to have a record without gaps, you need to be doing something to improve your position, to update your skills etc, all the time. ready for when the world of work looks amazingly attractive, or when its the only option.
What is a lemon drizzle cake?
Community volunteers service (possibly different name regionally):
Well I'm a full time working Mum and I don't recognise your description.... Easier to pace myself at work then all day with my wild toddler. Maybe you just weren't very organised?
DP is a SAHD but never makes lemon drizzle cake. Pizza dough once in a blue moon.... He is also averse to Cath Kidston and doesn't swap recipes with anyone. Maybe he's doing it wrong.
Your post sounds terribly smug and self-satisfied. But I don't think that's a SAHM thing. Maybe it is just you? Your friends must find you a barrell of laughs.
You are assuming an awful lot about both WOHM and SAHM, as there are may variables, you are going to be way off the mark for many.
Yes, all the WOHMs are rounding on the SAHM. Can't you see us all, rounding?
OR, someone posted on AIBU and was told, yes she was BU.
and the usual bunfight ensued
op It's basically a stealth boast stating that your dh earns enough so you don't have to work. I love going to work personally but dd is at school.
And you assumed my comment was aimed at WOHMs why? I m not the slightest bit anti wohm. Are we supposed to only be on one side?
Fwiw i think the bash and counter bash about sahm/wohm seems to produce posts of jaw dropping thickness, sometimes from even normal sensible posters.
Most people arn't boring or twee or selfish or brilliant or funny or dull - especially dull - because of how they spend their day.
My friends are a pretty even split between sahms and WOHMs. They are great and pretty similar in the things that matter - funny, responsible, interesting, kind, smart.
I don't understand the animosity and I don't understand the trotting out of clichés which, if men used them about women, we would think they were utter arseholes.
and the usual Bunfight ensued should just be posted immediately one of these threads starts
Ooooh its The Usual Bunfight Ensued
I can just post TUBE and <hide thread>
@mrsbunny Perhaps the OP couldn't earn much but that doesn't mean that other people can't.
amazed that the wohm's on this thread can't see how ironic their spiteful mockery of sahm's is.
Also feel a bit sorry for people who say they 'absolutely hated maternity leave' and were 'brain dead' as a sahm. Perhaps that's a lack of imagination and effort on their part rather than a fundamental flaw in the role of a sahm! When I was working I met just as many fuckwits, probably more, than when I was a sahm. At least sahm's can get away from there. Kinda hard when the fuckwit is sat opposite you in the office.
Actually i do think most posters are being quite reasonable, always exceptions
Pagwatch-I didnt assume anything about your post. I merely pointed out that the op used many cliches when talking about wohm. And the same old cliches about sahm were spouted back.
Like yourself I have a mix of friends who are sahm/wohm-I find none of them boring or only able to talk about baking/nappy rash. Women should do what suits them and their families. No need for people to try and deride other peeps choices to make them feel better.
"Most people arn't boring or twee or selfish or brilliant or funny or dull - especially dull - because of how they spend their day."
Well, exactly Pag.
Boring people are boring, regardless of what they're actually doing.
You can sit drinking coffee and eating lemon drizzle cake with people who can make you throw your head back with laughter...and you can sit drinking coffee and eating lemon drizzle cake with people who want to make you bite your own leg off with boredom.
@russians - earn what you like, earn a fortune. someone else gets to be with your baby. enjoy your money.
i don't mind either way. my point to the op is that sahm is a vulnerable position and she needs to watch her back. while the rest of you forge ahead with careers, she might be making herself unemployable.
nevergoogle that wasn't a lemon drizzle cake, that was the MN bat.
<in training for MI5>
I was a working mother with 2 sons, returning to work at 6 weeks both times. To me it just meant being very organised. I had a lot of support from DH ( though he worked full time too) we had a nanny when they were very little and she became our childminder once she was married and had her first child. I used to recruit a student in the summer or my mother would cover for teh odd week. I enjoyed my work so much that it was worth the little bit extra time and thought needed to ensure we were all ready in the morning and still ate nice food - I can't turn to packets and takeaways due to gluten allergy and vegetarianism in our family. I think sometiems that aprt time work is not the good idea it sounds, you are identifying yourself for the "mummy track" and have all the complications of working life with not too much of the rewards.
Ah. I thought you post echoing mine and finishing 'and they fail to see the irony....' was a comment about my post before yours.
If it was just a coincidence then please ignore me.
I think sometiems that aprt time work is not the good idea it sounds, you are identifying yourself for the "mummy track" and have all the complications of working life with not too much of the rewards.
I quite like the mummy track. I prefer spending time with my dc's than at work.
I know LaQueen
Sometimes I have decided if I find someone funny and interesting or fuckdull and tedious before I have even asked if they are a sahm or a wohm
It's reckless but I am a crazy mixed up gal.
daughter, if you're reading this, i don't mean you! you sorted your career before having the baby. now you get to stay at home, play with the baby, and do lots of good things. that's my clever girl. i love you.
now look! i'm caught both ways. reasonably, i want to advise stripey not to be unaware and to keep some kind of eye on the possibility she might want to go to work. but my baby might think i'm criticising her, because she stays at home, too. no!
oh i've got to get off this thread! this hole's getting bigger and bigger. time to stop digging, bunnywoman!
I am not mocking either choice.
I am merely pointing out that the OP seems to lack empathy, won't understand the financial ins and outs of her friends and seems smug.
Nothing to do with whether she works in or out of the home.
I agree, it's great that we now have the same choices as men
the choice to be out all week and not see much of our kids awake
I feel liberated.
Oooooh I like TUBE as a new acronym. (Is it new? I am...)
I want to know what the Mummy Track is now, though. And how I identified myself as being on it. Or not.
"It's reckless but I am a crazy mixed up gal."
Me, too Pag ...care for a tequila stuntman...or, shall we have the lemon drizzle cake...?
Hannah, do you pour scorn on fathers who work long hours in the same way? Or is it just mothers that you feel the need to judge?
What a smug, self satisfied OP.
Being a working mum is barmy, be grateful or stop doing it. Honestly what a lot of nonsense, I'm irritated that I am even responding.
Actually, really...it's just boring people, who bore me shitless...
But, boring SAHMs are the worst, because they have a whole arsenal of boring baby-based shit, to bore me shitless with.
Hannah I really don't think it is to do with how 'clever' you are. Some people like babies, enjoy their company, others don't. I didn't. I really disliked a lot of it. I loved going out on adventures, but staying in and playing games a toddler liked I found hellish. Time never moved so slowly than when playing 'schools' with a toddler and 12 teddies.
We are all different. Not necessarily better, just different.
I have just had an epiphany.
Ultimately these threads make me want to send lots of posters to their rooms and think about their behaviour because it's none of their business so they should stop shit stirring.
These threads turn me into my mum
Vinegar, we all judge. There's a lot of judgment on this thread. Ironically, it's mostly directed from the wohm's towards the sahm's.
And whilst I'd never admit it aloud, I would judge a family with two full time working parents of very young children who didn't need two full time incomes.
Obviously I wouldn't say anything, but I'd certainly judge inwardly. We all do that. Just look at the judgment above from wohm's who think sahm's are braindead, dull, unemployable etc etc etc..
It's not ideal for young children (google attachment theory) to be in daycare full time. If someone's going to judge the sahm for being 'dull and unemployable' or the part time worker for being 'on the Mummy track' then why can't I judge someone who wakes her kid, sends to childcare, picks kids up and puts kid to bed?
Im with Pagwatch on this thread ridiculous to pigeonhole people and marks you out as a leetle bit thick...
Laqueen you should have spent time with some of my old work colleagues. Super bright top league with lots of "mental stimulation" but dull as ditchwater I would rather chew my own arm off than voluntarily spend time with them.
Also dont see this as two "camps" my friends do all sorts of things some are SAHMs some are professors/top level government/fashion etc
But you see how objectionable and unfair you find those judgements? Why do you think a reasonable response is to post nasty stuff implying that WOHMs care less about their children than you do?
You kind of lose the right to complain about the nastiness if you are posting grim stuff yourself. Don't you?
dropping my boys off at breakfast club this week an hour early for school, I announced, "They've had breakfast I'm just sick of the sight of them", before returning home for a day off sick on the sofa under a duvet.
mwaaahahahaaaaaa. this is not an entirely relevant post i understand that.
I have the answer to the whole issue, it's the stay at home dad.
I've told DH to crack open the cookbooks and get the lemon drizzle recipes ready.
as someone who was a sahm, and eventually did have to go to work, i know how much having kept busy helped, and filled up any gaps in my cv.
Hannah - curious to know how you would determine when/if a family needs 2 incomes?
Could you link to these threads please hannah
Out of interest Hannah, in your family where 2 people work and don't "need" the dual income, whom would you judge / expect to give up work?
Feminist working mum here (WAHM, self employed, vocational job, main breadwinner) - just to save anyone having to guess. That's enough info for anyone to judge me without having to read the rest of the post, if you want!
To point out the obvious, a lot of working mums have no choice but to work. Financially speaking.
That aside - I do understand how working and having children can leave women feeling as if they are doing 2 things badly rather than 1 thing well. So much depends on how much support you have at work and at home. Some mums, if they are able, choose to focus on their family at the expense of work/career - others do the opposite (I hear a LOT from ft working women with young families that it doesn't matter who is looking after their children, as long as they are safe and cared for, etc. I have never seen any evidence that this is true - while I would dearly love to see dads more involved with childcare, and taking time off work in the way that mothers do, I see no actual evidence that fulltime nursery care for babies and small children is good for them, whatever people feel subjectively).
I find I am not happy to only see my children at the weekend - so make considerable compromises with my work and other areas of life (fitness, social life) to try and fit both in.
Personally I loathe everything being 'timetabled' - I think it turns children into problems, especially small children, and often leaves me trying to cram work in at daft times of day when I am exhausted.
However - my career would not allow me to take say 3 or 5 years away from work. There is no realistic part time equivalent of what I do. My partner would not be able to support us if I was not working. I would not be able to find part time work without taking a much lower status, low paid job in a different field.
So while I do get some job satisfaction from what I do, and I have a basic happiness at spending as much time as I can with my ds - I would probably complain of all the things your friends complain of, OP.
I have posted because you wondered why they live as they do. I hope you can see these are some answers.
Not angry at all hannahsisters- you trying your cod psychology again?!
Just waiting for you to link to a few of these threads started by WOHM solely to attack SAHM!
It is ridiculous to say whether more threads are started by wohm slagging off sahm or vice versa unless you read every single thread ever posted and keep a tally.
OP have you ever found yourself wondering "WHY?" about your friends' partners working? Assuming that is, they are men?
If not, why not?
can't remember the names or dates, but there are, as you will be very aware, a vocal and sizeable group of women who come on here mostly to mock sahm's. I remember pulling one up about it last month when she compared sahm'ing to slavery or prostitution
Being a working mum can be really stressful. But on the other hand a lot of people who have taken a number of years out of the workplace will find it hard to get back in at any sort of level. I know a couple of people this has happened to. If you don't care about than then fine. Enjoy being a stay at home Mum if you can afford it.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I am offended by your posts OP. You seem to think all working mothers have a choice.
I DO NOT.
We could not afford the mortgage if I worked.
I am currently going through a bit of a fucking tough time given that it's the busiest time of year at work, I've recently had a miscarriage, a death in the family and a whole bunch of illness.
So I'm moaning more than normal. My friends are supporting me, thank fuck, though I suppose they could be posting things like this without my knowledge.
But the point is I moan to get things off my chest to my friends, while also hoping things will change. I keep my eyes out for other work, I am reducing stresses where I can, but in the meantime I can't simply afford to quit my job.
Open your eyes and don't be such a bitch. STOP. DOING. IT.
I find it incomprehensible when working mums moan all the time. I also find it incomprehensible when sahm moan all the time.
If you don't like where you are either do something about it or quit moaning.
Some working mums drive me potty, some sahm drive me mad.
All in all, you do what is best for your family and to hell with what anyone else thinks.
I hate the assumption that all SAHM's are boring and just talk about nappies and formula. There is a middle ground and some of us SAHM's are just as bored with talking about babies as the next man and avoid it like the plague.
Why on earth can't I be a SAHM and mentally stimulated and interesting to talk to? The two aren't always mutually exclusive - Christ I've worked with some boring bastards in the past too. What is the conclusion - that only boring people stay at home and only interesting people go to work what a load of fuckwhittery.
I've been a SAHM for 10 years and haven't baked a thing in that time or exchanged a single recipe - too busy talking about the economy or some such with my equally interested friends.
OP you do sound very smug it has to be said, all that pizza dough crap, gives us SAHM's a bad name doncha know?
If I didn't work, argh fucking typos!
Must add among my friends there are SAHM and working parents and I never judge them for their working choices. Families do what work for them.
Ironically I have very much enjoyed a large slice of lemon drizzle cake this afternoon, delicious it was, and I managed to fit it in with my exhausting crazy WOHM schedule.
why can't I judge someone who wakes her kid, sends to childcare, picks kids up and puts kid to bed?
Ah, so all that stuff about judging families was bollocks then?
It's just mothers you judge?
"then why can't I judge someone who wakes her kid, sends to childcare, picks kids up and puts kid to bed?"
Because Hannah plenty of adults really don't enjoy the baby/toddler years and find them very draining and tiresome. It is perfectly possible to love someone very much, and yet often be bored by them/their company - I know, I felt just like that about my dear Dad.
But, very, very quickly the child gets older, and needs to go to bed later and later - and, as a parent you get to enjoy the rest of your life being a parent to your child, and spending time with them, and loving them and enjoying them.
Having read the post above my last one, I would like to admit that exceptional circumstances mean moaning is probably beneficial. There are things you can't change but jobs generally you can re-train, and sahm can generally find pt work when the kids are older etc.
God OP, I feel sorry for your friends. The wohm life you describe is not mine. Our family holiday in April was booked back in October, my kids eat a freshly cooked meal every meal because I meal plan and then do grocery online shopping according to the list, my blackberry is switched off Friday evening and not on till Monday morning and I am a senior woman in the City so not side lined for anything, thank you very much. I do have my moans but my friends are lovely and supportive.
Ah, you met Xenia there, hannah
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm friends with both sahm and wohm and never get any of this shit in real life. I work freelance at home so feel more like a sahm.
I wouldn't dream of judging someone for working or staying at home. How silly is that.
And where the hell is Scottish mummy?
funnily enough BigAudio, that wasn't Xenia! I know it sounds like a Xeniaism, but it was someone else!
Lemon drizzle cakes is astonishingly divisive. Yet now I really fancy some.
I love lemon drizzle cake. I actually wouldn't mind a good recipe. Mmmmm.
Hahaha at Xeniaism
Sounds like a cult.
YABU for asking why they are working mum's OP, but you should know that. You have no idea if they choose to work, or have to work and since you aren't an integral partner in their relationship it's likely there's a lot you don't actually know- even if you think you do. And YABU to judge everyone else the same as them.
YABU as well in that they are your friend and friends moan to each other- do you really think somewhere in the past or down the line you haven't done the same to them? Moaning about family, friends, job, home, parents, school, kids? Because if you haven't, you will.
I can understand why you'd be annoyed by repetitive moaning that's exactly the same, but again can you say you've never done it? I used to moan a lot about work-at the time all i could do was leave because the issues I had could not be sorted, but i couldn't leave because there was no jobs. My friends probably got sick of hearing about it until a new job came along. Now I'm seeing another friend go through exactly the same and i remind myself of how i felt back then when it frustrate me.
You may see an 'easy fix' to their problems but it may not be as simple as you see it. Why don't you just ask them? You may be surprised by the answer you get
Of course it was Xenia.
Tilting at windmills, HannahQuixote.
Lemon drizzle cake is best eaten while "running from pillar to post".
As Pag said pages back, do we have to counter unreasonable and cliched comments about WOHMs by posting unreasonable and cliche comments about SAHMs ?
After all many of us will at some stage be both. And most people just think women are pretty great dealing with their responsibilities in the best way they can.
Sorry for stealing, Pag, but I thought it might be worth saying again.
and now I'll be accused of arselicking I expect
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
of course it's a wind up. but it's a larf innit.
fwiw, initially i worked part time after DS1 was born before finding it flipping impossible. PND, still breastfeeding and not sleeping at night. so I chose to give it up and i was a SAHM for about 3 years. I had to take an evening job purely for some social interaction and mental stimulation during that time and worked on some art projects for an exhibition in 'spare time'. I returned to work when DH was unexpectedly made redundant from his job. Initially part time as that was what was available, then full time. DH assumed SAHD role for about 3 years.
As of this week we are both working full time for the first time since DS1 was born 8 years ago.
So I've seen it all from many perspectives and to summarise there really is nothing worse than a smug judgemental SAHM.
I suspect the real thread title should be, "AIBU to think the that the further up your own arse you are, the more in need of a MN reality check I am?"
I've got loads of SAHM friends and plenty of working friends too, we are all incredibly supportive of one another and never make digs at each other either. We respect each others decision to work or not and help out when we can with lifts, having DC's to stay etc. I just cannot imagine having this discussion for 'real'.
I love my friends dearly though so maybe that's why unlike the OP who just seems to want to point score
Hooray. I invented something.
I'm a PT working single parent and I moan, moan, moan, moan, shout and grumble all of the time. I'd like to not work but am rather fond of eating and having a warm, cosy house.
Having said that I expect that in 20yrs time when my kids will have hopefully both finished Uni I will look back and figure it was worth it. Won't stop me being a ratty cow in the meantime though.
I count myself a sahm, although technically I'm on the 'mummy track'
I've also been full time wohm (for a very brief period of 6 months)
I don't necessarily believe that having the means and ability to do everything men do is a positive. I don't know many men who wouldn't jump at the chance of working fewer hours so they could see their kids more. I wouldn't be so envious of men and what they do! There was a big survey recently of working mums and it revealed that a tiny infitismal number of mums want to be full time. The 'mummy track' might be a handy way for old fashioned bosses to dismiss women, but doesn't make me feel pressured to work more.
Oi, I'd like a tiny bit of credit for TUBE too, please.
Please? <keen newbie face>
Just advance search 'prostitution' as posted by Xenia.
I like working and would do my job full time if the hours were available.
Well done for the whole TUBE thing.
<<pats head fondly>>
The thing that I find a bit hard to process, is that anyone gives a fuck what anyone else thinks about whether they are a WOHM or SAHM. I'm a WOHM and I care about the debate on a political level, bur I really don't give a monkeys uncle that hannah (or any one of yous lot) believes my kids are neglected/deprived of love/attention/lemon drizzle cake
Quick rehash, ex longterm wohm but currently short-term sahm
which explains my lack of brain cells ; ) but forgot what TUBE was again?
Nope. I swear on my life that the 'slavery and prostitution' remark was not made by either Xenia or scottishmummy. It might have been inspired by a Xenia comment in the past, but it was made by someone else.
I have not read the whole thread, but have skimmed through and agree with those who say that when your dcs are older you will regret the decision to not work at all.
My dcs are now 15 and 10 and I have just returned to ft work, having worked every combination of pt work possible over the last 15 years to juggle and accommodate my dcs and my career, self worth and contribution to the household income.
But, the most valued and totally unexpected reason that I am glad that I made the choices I did was recently when my ds wrote in an essay that both his parents had a good work ethic and this motivated and inspired him to work hard at school. I have to admit that I was gobsmacked when I read it, but it made me realise that everything we do is noted by our dcs even if they don't comment on it and our actions are what are shaping their future.
"I don't necessarily believe that having the means and ability to do everything men do is a positive"
Sometimes I despair! I really hope you are not bringing your children up to believe this bollocks.
"I don't know many men who wouldn't jump at the chance of working fewer hours so they could see their kids more"
But can't you see that the way you are advocating of women staying at home, means those same men have to work longer hours to pay the bills? HannahsSister
Or would you have everyone at home all the time, and living off thin air?
Xenia doesn't think children should be put into full time childcare. She thinks you should get your finger out, out earn your husband by ££££££ who will SAH until you send them off to top schools. Or get a nanny.
She's very anti people moaning about their lot in any case, both wohm (earn more, buy in paid help) and sahm (get your finger out, earn £100k)
TUBE - The Usual Bunfight Ensued
A brand shiny new meme invented by
me Pagwatch upthread
Hannah then could do a little bit of work and find those posts yourself. Advance search is there.
Thankyouverymuch Pagwatch, very gracious
I feel like a total loser now
Pickled you must make Mars' LDC
it's the dog's bollocks
Xenia has her own island. I want to live on it with her and fight about the division of labour.
That was not what I meant.
I meant that men don't necessarily enjoy working all the hours god sends and only seeing their kids at weekend, so why would this be seen as some feminist ideal? How many women, apart from the ones on Mumsnet that is, enjoy being out of the house all day and only seeing their kids to wake up and put to bed?
and telling women that they must work like dogs and subcontract childcare elsewhere is removing one form of subjugation for another.
So, surely the way forward is more flexible, reduced hours working available for all that want it, HannahsSister, not widening the gulf between "workers" and "non workers".
" and telling women that they must work like dogs and subcontract childcare elsewhere is removing one form of subjugation for another."
I must have missed the bit where anyone said that.
Most men don't work all the hours god sends and only see their children at weekends.
Honestly, it's another middle class mumsnet thing, where everyone who works has some sort of high-flying career where you work a minimum of 60 hours per week, travel all the time for work and have the Blackberry permanently at your side.
Lots of us have dhs who work 40 hrs, don't actually earn loads but also don't work out of hours, don't have 4 hr daily commutes and see quite a bit of their children thanks.
The number of men doing school run and attending parents events at ds's school is very, very high. I really think that outside the London rat race things are changing.
So, surely the way forward is more flexible, reduced hours working available for all that want it, HannahsSister, not widening the gulf between "workers" and "non workers".
Absolutely! Most sensible comment on the thread.
It's not the bloody 'Mummy track' it's a sensible way to keep working and spend more time with the children. And yes, before someone jumps in....only if part time is an affordable option!
I do it to avoid being yet another Tory stereotype 'the single mother on benefits' ...so I am now a 'career obsessed woman who dumps her kids' (see Daily Hail for further definition)
You'll be supporting the Green Party's manifesto, then, hannah?
or worse, "single mother on benefits bakes own lemon drizzle cake"
I started off thinknig the OP was getting an undeserved kicking - I know when I have a week off the enormity of going back to work seems huge, especially as my first dayback usually involves getting up at 5, however, as the thread has gone on the OP seems to hve more and more the attitude that the default would be for the woman to stay home - life stressful? Give up your job. And it's that attitude that means that the woman's career will always be seen as secondary to her husband's "real" job. As for working single parents, well bah the lot of you.
Single mums shouldn't ne allowed lemon drizzle cake
just who do they think they are BigAudio?
Single mums shouldn't be allowed to afford lemons.
tut tut gordy. And if you want any more kids you'd better stop "pursuing your career" and get round to "snagging a man" now before you find you've "left it too late". Or some such shit.
Hannahsister, fwiw, I don't think it's ideal for parents to be working all hours and putting babies and small children in full time childcare either.
I live well outside london and know a fair few toddlers that are dropped at nursery before 8am and picked up after 6pm - 5 days a week.
I loathe the assumption that as a feminist I am supposed to find that an ideal way of combining work and family.
I want to see much more flexible working, paternity leave that isn't tokenistic, parental leave that is flexible, and a cultural shift that encourages men to spend more time with their children as well as accept shared responsibility for running a household.
We shouldn't be allowed any cake at all - only nice biscuits and the occasional plain digestive
Yes those single working mums just want to bake and have their lemon drizzle cake and eat it.
nice biscuiys meaning the plain ones with sugary tops? OK then. But no hob nobs.
I don't want to snag a man I am probably
a) to career focused
b) a sexual
c) too beautiful
d) too fat
e) too left wing
f) Not Liz Jones
oh god yes - definitely not naice ones with chocolate and stuff
stick with biscuits gordy, stick with biscuits.
I agree with Spero and Earlier
For some, it's not a choice.
Lucky you, OP, lucky fuckin you.
.....and I do love spending time with my DD, it's just that I have no choice.
Exactly Iam. The question 'why would you work when you have children' is either staggeringly naive or as many have said, deliberate shit stirring.
I had to go back to work when my daughter was young because if you leave the law or medicine for a few years you are not realistically going back because in your absence thousands of younger and hungrier people have swarmed up the ladder. I had to go back because I was a single mother and it was either work or go on benefits. Not much of a choice I think.
It may not be 'ideal' to have young children in day care but nor is it 'ideal' to have a child raised by a depressed, resentful and poor mother.
Or is what is being argued that on those women clever enough to bag the big bucks husband should be allowed to have children?
assuming the relationship and his career are future proof, yes, I think that's what the argument is.
..and his physical and mental health, and that he can walk past a bookies, and that he doesn't develop a gluten allergy and leave the lemon drizzle baker redundant also.
Well, shit happens. I never set out to be a single mother but here I am. I wish you all lives full of opportunities to make the most of your choices and sufficient grace and empathy to recognise those less fortunate.
As you were
I think there are actually posters on MN who would respond, when asked what I was actually supposed to do when ExH buggered off without warning, 'Give the children away to a nicer mummy with a proper life.'
hmm, that award winning architect I married, well, he doesn't have that job anymore. seems a shame to kick him out or fall out of love with him for it...best i just earn as much as i can and keep the kids lives as stable as possible no?
I do not get this thread.. whats the question?
I am actually quite excited now I finally feel we have dug down to the bedrock of this debate - there is, for some, only one 'proper' way of being a family and that involves snagging a wealthy husband who then never appears in the debate.
Sod SAHM and WOHM
WALES ARE BEATING FRANCE
There is no point, no question. Just meanderings in the tides of hope, virtue and goad.
It was worth it for dumbfuck baking alone.
Hahaha. The difference is that in real life sahms aren't smug, self satisfied and boring like the OP. Instead sometimes they find things bloody hard, and admit it because staying at home isn't a bed of roses either. Too much lemon drizzle cake is not only bad for the waistline but also most people's sanity.
So the OP feels sorry for me not liking maternity leave. That's sweet And shock horror I work in a job share and don't need the money, how smug is that?
Spero and I now have a cake recipe.
o I do not have a wealthy husband, he teaches!!
But It does mean I can bribe him with a fiver!!! (Only messing of course).
Yes, rainrainandmorerain, that's what I think.
It's not feminist to 'play them at their game' if their game is a shit one.
Far better to slowly change our culture of working, so both parents have the option of spending more time with dc's. I continually hear 'feminists' say they want to do the same things as men. And we do have that right. Thank goodness. Equality is essential. But time and time again women, perhaps because we get pregnant, give birth, breastfeed and do the maternity leave, say they'd rather be at home more, either part time or full time. That's not a failing.
How many women, apart from the ones on Mumsnet that is, enjoy being out of the house all day and only seeing their kids to wake up and put to bed?
Huh?? Not many. I often do not even get this on my working days but that is life. They need a home they need food. Where else will I get it?
I never understand the tensions between SAHM vs. WOHM. Isn't it lovely we have so many options to suit our individual circumstances?
Just realised I know very few (current) FT working mums. Can only think of two & their DHs work very PT. Plenty 100% SAHMs/SAHDs. Mostly part-time SAHPs. I belatedly realised in my old profession that Mothers were a rarity of any kind in it.
Weird because I am applying for FT jobs so presumably I will soon join the WOHM madness. I do have a choice & I think it's time for a change. Time I had some life of my own again.
It's the counter argument sunshine. For every wohm saying sahm's are brain dead, unemployable or 'going insane' there's a wohm missing her kids and bit working 'through choice'
The answer is more flexibility, decent pay for part time roles and for employers not to overlook part timers as less committed women on the 'mummy track'
I wonder, reading this thread, if the great division isn't so much between SAHMs and WOHMs (which I do think is a bit of a media led 'debate' anyway) -
But between those working mums who are basically happy with the way things are, in terms of leave/work/childcare (happy to embrace a traditionally male career model) - and those of us who want to see a more radical transformation of working lives to allow a greater flexibility for BOTH parents, and alternatives to full time childcare for pre-schoolers.
I think there is also a big gap between those parents who are working because they have to, and those who work because they want to.
I don't ever hear feminists saying they 'want to do the same things as men'. But maybe they are different to the 'feminists' in inverted commas in your post........
I only ever hear feminists talk about what a crap deal patriarchy is for women and men and how changing the whole way society works with its very prescriptive notions of who does what according to people's genitalia.
Changing it into a society that determines that work, parenting, domestic work (and anything else you'd like to mention) would be done according to people's skills, aptitude, abilities and preferences.
Not what's between their legs.
I continually hear 'feminists' say they want to do the same things as men
Do you, hannah, do you really?
And why the inverted commas?
i think i just fell in that gap, I have to work, no question, but I really enjoy it.
in fact, I'm very proud that I provide for my family the way I do, i sure as hell can't bake.
I agree. The male career model is not great when babies/small children are involved. I only know one family where both do this. They're both commuting and out from 7.30 to 6.30 and baby is with a childminder. They're not happy with the situation and I'm not surprised.
rain I am happy with my life, and our family's work/life balance, without being happy about the wider situation. But then we have what could be described as the sort of childcare/work utopia you are describing (we both work PT, in careers we enjoy and at a level appropriate to our experience, DS, almost 2, is with one of us 3 weekdays and in a small parent-run cooperative nursery the other 2 days. )
If additional paternity leave was paid at the enhanced rates maternity pay is, in most organisations/companies, we would definitely be utilising it.
and to be honest, the 'male career model' is not great when they're older either. I've got a teenager and I'd sure as hell not be happy to have her to her own devices for 50 hours a week.
Hannah i was hoping you were going to answer catgirls question. Dh and I both work full time. We don't need the dual income. So who are you quietly judging then? Me or dh?
My DD is a teenager and she is in college longer than I'm at work.
Hannah, as someone else said on a feminism thread, you seem to be confusing feminism with capitalism. Things are shit not because uppity women want the same shit as men but because we have all been landed up to our necks in the hideous consequences of greed, materialism and ever rising house prices.
I would love to have a sweet little part time job knitting cupcakes or whatever but for now I have to go where the money is. And that is true for all of us no matter our genitalia.
perhaps your teenager could get a job. I was 12 when I got my first job.
Novice, I wouldn't judge you out loud. But privately I'd wonder why either one of you wouldn't want to reduce your hours a bit to maybe spend more time with the kids. They grow up way too fast and I want to hang out with them, call me weird.
"LineRunnerSat 09-Feb-13 18:37:24
I think there are actually posters on MN who would respond, when asked what I was actually supposed to do when ExH buggered off without warning, 'Give the children away to a nicer mummy with a proper life.'"
Oh you are being silly. All we'd need you to do would be invent a way of turning back time and then going back to make different choices. Obviously you'd have to do your inventing in the children's nap times.
well to be fair it's easier to knit when you haven't got a penis getting all caught up in your yarn.
I was a SAHM for 7 years. By the end of that I was crawling the walls with boredom and frustration. Went back to work FT, then unexpectedly got pg with DC3. Had him, then went back FT when he was 6mo, so I can see it from both sides I suppose.
I loved being at home, for the first couple of years, but after that felt so bored and unfulfilled.
It depends on the individual, I have some friends who have never worked after having DC's they are happy with that.
I have others who couldn't wait to get back to work. They are happy with that.
All my DC's are sucessful, happy, balanced individuals. I think that this is because I was a happy individual, whether I was a SAHM or a WOHM.
As long as the choices you make are right for you and your family, do what you want as far as I'm concerned. It's none of my business.
Well precisely. This is way it's so unnatural all these pesky women going out to work with their neat retractable genitalia. Men in the home environment will be continually tripping over their willies or getting them in unfortunate proximity to the lemon drizzle mix.
rofl. I guess that explains what DH has being doing at home all day.
I call myself a feminist panda.
I think all pandas are feminists. Look how grumpy they get about having sex and looking after baby pandas.
I shall now view all offers of home baked fancies with some suspicion.
I saw pandas at the zoo. They spend most of the year apart, only meeting for a quick shag. They also spend most of their lives asleep on a shelf
<wipes tears from eyes> honestly this thread has been the most fun I've had on mumsnet in ages. like the old days I tell ya.
Heh - well, I call myself a feminist quite wholeheartedly - but I am one of those feminists who think it (feminism) can survive as quite a broad church...
HannahsSister40 You are being a bit patronizing now..
Just because people work does not mean they do not "hang out" with their children. People do have holidays,some evenings,days off,weekends and so on.
Oh yes, she'd bloody love it if I worked full time! (advertising the empty house on Facebook and shit like that I expect)
Those teenage feminist pandas love FB.
Those pandas see feminism as a black and white issue......
so many great mn names from this thread.
HannahsSister40 Do you work at all?
hannah thinks that working would make her DD have FB wreckage parties and that's why panda feminism is all wrong.
I work 4 days a week, DD is in nursery for long days but DH is a teacher so she's only in term time. It's not ideal but it works for us. I could give up work and we could change our lifestyle but I don't want to. I grew up in a household where money was always tight and I hated it. I don't want the same for my DD.
Plus, although I'm happily married I don't want to ever be in a position that if my marriage broke down I couldn't support myself or DD. I've seen enough threads on here to know it can and does go tits up, often.
I'm happy for SAHM who enjoy their lifestyle. It's just not for me.
Baffled by hannahs comments
I have shared the care of my DC for the past 18 years with DH - we are both in senior roles .
Most of my friends do to some extent- I dont know any parents who are in the dont see my children when they are awake scenario that she describes.
Mind you my teenagers are not always awake until midday - does that count?
The problem with the lemon drizzle cake seems to be that when made by SAHMs these are often the same people who parent by the book, so when 'dumb fuck baking' leave out the decent stuff and the cake tastes like arse.
Fails to acknowledge thread is not really about cake
A bit of a smuggles thread, me thinks!
OP why don't you drop your friends who work and just swap recipes and buy Cath Kidston home accessories with the other SAHM friends! Then you won't have to hear about the RW at all!!
I work part time, but I don't need to. I do it because I find being at home mind numbingly boring and need more stimulation. I moan about my job sometimes too but I know the alternative is less desirable.
I hear Pandas are fond of tasting eachother's arses. They don't care much for cake though.
flat tyre I actually think lemon drizzle cake is massively over rated, in rhe same middle class kind of way as futons, smoked salmon and Jane austen.
A clementine cake is far superior, alrhough again, I'm not sure it is allowable for single parents/ working mums.....how about coffee and walnut?
My mum was a SAHM for 35 years. 6 months before he died, my dad ran off with another woman and changed his will to leave the lot to his mistress. My mum lost her home, their life savings, dad had even written to his pension trustees to request his mistress receive the widows pension. A 3 year legal battle resulting in a solicitors bill of tens of thousands of pounds saw mum left with 50% of a pension. This is one of the reasons that I will never rely on a man for money, as well as the fact I love my job and would be bored senseless being at home all day. But each to their own.
Working is nothing to be ashamed about. You have to work to live. Unfortunately people are getting to used to hand outs or top ups. I AM NOT slagging of benefits for a second!! They are needed as a safety net to help stop poverty and of course should always be around. However too many people use them these days to stay at home and then go about stating how working mums should be ashamed for leaving their poor children in day care..
People are really struggling to find work at the moment and I am so grateful I have my full time job and my husband has his. It must be horrible the worry of cutting the household income now more than ever with all the cuts coming in
If we did not have savings I would be crapping it by now. Jobs are going daily by very high numbers more so in the public sector where both me and my DH work. It is scary times. You do not know what is around the bend so whilst you sit there judging everyone else just remember you might actually have to leave your children one day to work all week for your money.
BAD Carrot cake over lemon drizzle any day !
I made a lemon drizzle cake the other day. And then I took it to work to share with my colleagues, leaving my poor children deprived, both of hanging out with me, and home baking.
Why did I even have children...
We may indeed be allowed coffee and walnut, BigAudioDynamite, after all without the extra caffeine from the coffee we may not be able to balance our blackberries on our noses, whilst changing doing the one nappy change a week we have to for out kids we only see for 27 minutes on a Sunday.
Oh my goodness Hannah, I was doubting you were for real but questioning such a sad story is plain nasty.
I took it that her mum and dad got divorced Hannahs. And I find your comment rude.
Hannah, you may not believe that one example, but may I reassure you, as a family lawyer, there are PLENTY of women left up financial shit creek without a paddle because their Big Daddy Megabucks was perhaps not quite as signed up to the notion of until Death Do They Part as they had thought.
<goes back to bamboo shoots>
Totally agree Spero.
I work in pensions. See similar.
Why Hannah? because it doesnt fit with your happyeverafter notions of life?
Keep an open mind - good advice for any women- wohm or sahm
Hannah - still hoping you will answer MY question actually: how do you determine whether a family needs 2 incomes to justify both parents going out to work? Do you have a checklist I can refer to?
Most women five years after a divorce are significantly worse off than when they were married. Most men however have recovered their financial position or are doing better.
Why? Because most men work in jobs that pay better than most women. So stick that in your lemon drizzle and smoke it.
It's not nasty, I'm questioning the legalities. If they were married, which I'm assuming they were, she'd be entitled to her half of the house at the very least. As an unemployed person I can't see how she'd have ended up with tens of thousands of debt and only half a pension! The default setting would be house transferred to her after his death. The only exception would be if they hadn't married or the house was in his name alone.
O and because most women get left with the children. But that's ok, because that is the 'ideal' for children isn't it?
there is no judge on the planet who would award the half of the house which she legally owns to a mistress he's had for 6 months!
And the award for the most navel-gazing thread of the year goes to....
Ta da... The OP.
You're very lucky that you found a second 'job' that you're good at, that you find rewarding, stimulating and most importantly, genuinely enjoyable.
I always find it slightly amazing that people seem to think that all women are cut out for full time motherhood. I mean ... why would they be? It's not as if everyone on earth would be a good architect or a good teacher, or a good chef.
So why do some people think every women will be amazingly good at motherhood and find it inherently wonderful? I honestly think it takes a rather incredible amount of blinkered, unquestioning lack of analysis to reach such a stand point (but then again, the original post delivers this in spades).
Slightly odd for someone who describes themselves as 'your typical middle class, highly-educated, driven woman'...
Well hold onto your hats sahm ladies because the gov is slashing all public funding for most family cases. Arguing in court over your finances will involve hefty legal fees or you representing yourself.
How much is enough to give up work?
How Long is a piece of string?
It depends on where you live, your outgoings, number of children etc etc.. Best worked out with a spreadsheet and calculator.
He had changed his will, presumably they were divorced, and after '35 years of marriage' it's reasonable to expect that Edwina and any siblings were no longer dependents.
I'm confused now, as a wohm who dares to enjoy work, am i allowed lemon drizzle cake or not?
Hannah, have you ever heard of the saying "when you're in a hole, stop digging"?
Hannah, you are missing the point. Pick apart one story all you like but you have to accept BECAUSE IT IS TRUE that a lot sahms who lost or severely compromised their earning capacities are going to get a nasty shock if their relationships are not future proof.
Shenanigans, step AWAY from the lemon drizzle, you don't know where it's been.
spero - agree. I was one. Thought I was ok we'd be together forever and all that hearts and flowers crap. But life snuck up and kicked me in the banjoolies and here I am.
Reality check spero: nobody has a future proof life, whether sahm, wohm or panda.
Hannahs - you're a helluva lot more future proofed if you have your own job, your own earning capacity and your own pension than if you've given it all up and are relying on a man. Taking yourself out of the job market in this current climate could make it difficult to get another job. You know, if life kicks you in the banjoolies and you need one in a hurry.
It's a damned good job I didn't give up work when me working was more or less optional.
Because suddenly after 12 years of marriage I am a single parent, and it's not optional at all.
Death, divorce and disaster. Any one could strike any one of us any moment. Just saying.
Hannah do you intend to work when your children are at school? Left home? Any time of your life? Do you have a line of work you are trained in ?
Does your partner/husband work?
Sorry if you have already answered I cannot seem to find them.
No agree, but you can take certain courses of action, do certain things, to help protect your future, to reduce the risk. Does your dh pay into a pension? Do you have insurance? Are you paying or have you paid your mortgage off? If so, why did you bother when you simply can't future proof
Er, that is precisely my point Hannah? I have been kicked in the teeth quite enough by good old reality to know that we ALL need to protect ourselves.
So the smug, smug, smuggery of a lot of these 'o my husbands got such a big wallet' type threads is also tempered by concern for these women. Are they really sure that compromising their future earning capacity to such a degree is safe?
Hannah, yes sounds good, but we don't have the kind of jobs that go well with doing "reduced hours". Its actually less stressful to do 5 days (I know because I have done both 3 days and 4 days) as mine is client facing and dh does deals/mergers & acquisitions. We both like "hanging out" with our kids unless you also privately think that people like us don't love our children as much as you love yours or love them less than you love yours? ..
Novice I am in absolute agreement with you - also a client facing role and five days much easier to manage than PT, and less stressful.
OP I get where you're coming from having been SAHM, WOHM and WFHM (work from home) but you sound very smug and self-centered.
Er, thanks Hannah - but that's kind of my point. How on earth do you have the insight into anyone's life/finances/circumstances to be in a position to judge whether both parents have to work? But I guess you are happy enough to judge that based on your own version of the perfect family life
I really hope you don't have to eat
lemon drizzle humble pie any time because your own circumstances take a turn for the worst and force you to be an Inferior Parent who WOH
I do work, but only 2 days, so always refer to myself as a sahm.
I had 15 years of full time work and savings behind me before I became a sahm. I've always paid into a pension. My name is on the house too, which is two thirds of the way to being paid off. Any more questions?
I think these things do have to be considered. It's all very well to be completely dependent on a man who earns lots of money and say you are set up for life. Well you are not I'm afraid. Perhaps the maintenance will be generous whilst the children are still dependents but after that well I think people are more or less on their own. It might never happen to you and I hope it doesn't but it certainly happens to some people.
So you've made attempts to future proof thrn
and yes my husband works and is well paid.
Well jolly well done you. Just spare a thought for the many, many women who are not in such a favoured position.
So you work because you want to. Not because you have to?
Hannah I work 3 days a week - I dont call myself a SAHM
That can't possibly be to me unless your fingers are smoking
Any more questions?
So many, but they'd get deleted.
Lol, I'm drowning in hypocrisy, double standards and irony!
Evening all. We'd just like to say we're nodding approvingly at the general PARD on this thread (and we're loving TUBE).
But, acronyms aside, there is some "ahem-ing" we need to do at the personal attacks on here. Please do remember personal attacks are against site rules; feel free to attack the post (rather than the poster) instead, though.
Also wanted to give a 5* star rating to Pagwatch's post below. It kinda sums up where we stand over in MNHQ, too...
Fwiw i think the bash and counter bash about sahm/wohm seems to produce posts of jaw dropping thickness, sometimes from even normal sensible posters.
Most people arn't boring or twee or selfish or brilliant or funny or dull - especially dull - because of how they spend their day.
My friends are a pretty even split between sahms and WOHMs. They are great and pretty similar in the things that matter - funny, responsible, interesting, kind, smart.
I don't understand the animosity and I don't understand the trotting out of clichés which, if men used them about women, we would think they were utter arseholes.
I am not sure who you are accusing of drowning you in hypocrisy and double standards, unless you are getting confused between that and the truth.
Can't be bothered wading through 15 pages but I'll a FT WOHM and the life the OPs describes is nothing like mine. DH and I share all the work, I cook far more now than I ever have before, see the kids loads. My life works for me and I feel very lucky. If anyone wants to sound off to me, I'm ready to listen because that's the least I can do to help.
Yes I do think you actually do not know what you mean yourself. This has been a long non thread. I thought you were being serious at first but clearly not.
You are wise Paggy. I sometimes find it difficult to believe you're a sahm
What on earth is pard and tube anyway
(Down with the acronyms)
I am sorry Olivia. I feel like I've been told off. I've never been deleted before
Not sure why you think you are drowning in hypocrisy,double standards and irony ??
Is it because I only work 3 days a week - umm as a midwife that equates to 37.5 hours = fulltime
Actually, the other reason I haven't read it is because it's bound to have descended into a pointless bun fight, the like of which I never observe before SAHMs and WOHMs in RL. I just felt the need to say that WOH doesn't have to follow the pattern the OP describes and therefore doesn't have to be so "crazy"
You are wise Paggy. I sometimes find it difficult to believe you're a sahm
not engaging. It's like being 14 again surrounded by a load of angry girls repeating the same crap ad Infinitum without actually listening. The number of times I've been deliberately misinterpreted on this thread is depressingly predictable l.
Bye Hannah. Sorry you feel that way but at an utter loss to understand why.
Hannah just for the record all I meant by my latest comment was you'd posted ten secs after me but it looked as though you'd replied to me, which is pretty impossible. I wasn't being nasty. Too stuffed to be nasty
I truly dont understand what you mean by your hypocrisy,irony and double standards post *hannah
Flounce if you must or maybe explain what you mean ???
Yabu but you have probably gathered that by now
I know what you mean about the difficulties in balancing everything and wondering if its worthwhile. But its too complex to have a one size fits all approach. I don't need to work in the financial sense but I do because;1. I hated being a SAHM and the imbalance it created in my relationship.2. I like my job. 3. I want to be financially independent. 4. I don't find the play dough head space is for me. I just end up sitting in a corner rocking and shouting at my children believe me it ain't pretty. 5. I want a pension. 6. I want DD to associate women with going to work and therefore wanting to aspire to more than being at home. But these are all personal opinions. They are not by any means right for all. I could just as easily have said I want to be at home and given valid but opposing opinions.
I have been a WOHM and SAHM and there are compromises on both sides. Funnily enough I have been talking to DH tonight and we acknowledge that both of us working has some detrimental effect on our children. DD (yr 2) is definitely not doing so well at school right now and I would be foolish to think the 3 days where she is in school from 7.45 to 6 don't have some role. DS is way behind in reception as I cannot spend as much time as I would like with him. Equally, I am happier than I ever was as a SAHM and I am not going to compromise that just so my children do slightly better at school. A better answer would be to find a work around solution where we can spend more time with the DCs on school work or we can reduce the length of their days in some way . My own feelings are they will reach their own level at some point anyway.
I know SPB. Sometimes I just have to fucking bake to make it all seem real.
What?? Nooooo you di-int! You can't delete me!
Don't you know who I am? <cats bum face at MNHQ>
Ooh ooh what did you say
well...as far as I was concerned it was probably my most insightful post ever apart from...
"well to be fair it's easier to knit when you haven't got a penis getting all caught up in your yarn". nevergoogle, 2013. (you can put that in the next book HQ)
Why was that deleted? Nt a personal attack
nooo, that's now my most insightful post on this thread. the other having been deleted.
As a woman I frankly find it embarrassing that others of my gender freely admit to caring more about cake recipes than exercising their intelligence, education and economic power. But that's just me. Ultimately it takes all sorts, but I put it roughly on par with girls who want to be glamour models - you're giving us all a bad name.
hannah my parents hadn't divorced, but their financial circumstances were complicated by the inheritance tax planning arrangements they had entered into.
Ahh that makes a bi moe sense
And what were the acronyms Helen was throwig about? PARB and erm soemthing else
or am I missing the joke?
not sure, what are you shocked at?
I think things get deleted sometimes when reported by fragile types.
Pard is polite and reasonable discourse
Tube is the usual Bunfight ensues.
But I don't want to be in charge of remembering unofficial acronyms
PARD - i have no idea, i'm hoping P is for Panda
TUBE - The Usual Bunfight Ensued.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
PARD = polite and reasonable discourse
TUBE = thread up bum egg
Yes well, this thread is the usual egg up the bum.
Panda's And Recipes for lemon Drizzle
Pandas Make Slimy Lovers
I think it's why generally working mums are friends with working mums and SAHMs friends with SAHMs - you can't understand or identify with the working mums because that's not your life and you chose to give that up - which the working mums obviously haven't!
Tbh I quite thrive on the chaos of working part-time - I have my off days but I am really fortunate to have a flexible job so I can manage it reasonably easily and I think I would be bored to SAH. Hence I wouldn't really identify with your conversations about swapping recipes - unless I tasted something you made that I really really liked and wanted to cook myself. Obviously I do still cook from scratch for my children and I am better at baking since I went back to work!
The equating sahm and glamour girls. Chandellina, apols if I am just being slow.
Thread up bum egg?
What is a bum egg. Is it a gnormous pile.
Pandas are rarely domesticated.
or, more topically, Panda Makes for Suspicious Lasagne
One could always become Nigella Lawson; then one would be able to obsess about cake recipes, whilst working...
Thread up bum eggs are what single mums deserve for easter.
Feminists are just great wherever you findus
BAD I often wish I was Nigel Slater
Novice, I mean it's a bit of an embarrassment that women freely admit to living the easy life because their partner pays for it, not even because it's the decision they've decided is best for the family, blah blah. I similarly find it embarrassing that so many women want to trade solely on their looks and sex appeal.
The lemon cake image discounts the status of those who do want to work and excel and not be equated as mumsy types who don't need or have the appetite for the big challenges.
Where are you OP? The part that I find most annoying about your post is the assumption working Mothers feel guilty at leaving their children to go to work - speak for yourself. I never have, such a negative and pointless emotion.
I feel pride at earning money in order to bring up my children.
chandellina I think I've got a bit of a girl crush on you
Chandellina, thanks, get it. tbh I don't know anyone where the sahm or sahd is for anything other than family reasons. Or so they say!
OMG (steps gingerly over the bodies) I'm here shesariver Have been out to the leisure pool.. It was great... there were flumes and a wave machine and everything...
I think people are confusing me with Hannah. Was shocked to read up the page that the OP thought this and that... when I hadn't said a dicky bird since page 2.
(coughs politely) Have no problem with WOHM or SAHM tbh - I was just wondering why people choose to do one or other and then moan so fecking much about it. However, on the way back from Coatbridge, DH has pointed out that when I was a WOHM I moaned all the fecking time. So I'm afraid, it is unequivocal. I ABVU
I am a FT working mum, I'd prefer PT but due to DH's redundancy last year I am sole breadwinner.
I couldn't care less about what anybody else thinks about my choices. This works for us, but I am entitled to have a whinge about work or home life whenever I want. Life is not always a bunch of roses!
FWIW, I couldn't be a SAHM. I love my children, but all day every day with them does my swede in . I need some time out. Maybe though, this is because when all your friends are in the same situation as you (so all SAHM) all you seem to talk about is kids and sorting them out - at least at work I can have other conversations as well!
Because I'm a single parent and I have an ounce of self respect don't believe in sponging off the state by having my part time wage subsidised.
Make cake, drizzle lemon on it, that drizzle shizzle rocks.
Stripes you weren't shagging in the pool today we're you?
Well I'm currently on maternity leave with DC3 from the job I love and I am going insane. DH has morphed from being great and understanding how crap being at home can be (because we normally both work PT but he has gone back to FT for this year) to a moaning minny who blames me for everything that he doeesn't like in the house and I am obsessing over minor things because there is nothing but home in my life at the moment. I need to work, I need to pee by myself, I need to be respected and have intellectually challenging work (I'm a scientist).
I am generally very anti-SAHP though, I think it is far better for children to have parents who share the childcare equally. DH and I parent in different ways and that can only be good for the kids, it is certainly fantastic for the girls to have such a positive male role model in their lives. I am blessed though, when I was pregnant with DS and exhausted I would sleep all weekend and come down at teatime to find he'd made homemade pizzas with the girls for tea after making rockets out of cardboard boxes all afternoon. Not that I'm boasting about my wonderful DH at all, oh no.
I'm sure I read somewhere that there have been studies done on the children of lesbian and gay couples in America and generally those children do much better than the children of more traditional couples. The reason is thought to be because there are no obvious gender splits both parents tend to be more involved in the parenting of the children (as opposed to some fathers married to SAHM thinking they can leave the kids up to their wives).
I work ft and always make my own pizza dough (and bread for that matter). Takes 5 minutes to put ingredients in bread machine. Holidays are booked months and months in advance. None of these things are particularly time consuming so just for that Yabu.
I do miss 'me' time as social life tends to include kids, house can be a bit of a disaster at times and not as clean as I'd like but hey ho, can't have everything.
YABU to assume your own experiences are reflective of every mum.
However, I do kind of get what you said about mums who try to do everything a d burn themselves out.
I have a friend who I went to Uni with. She is very successful in her career and works long hours, has a two year old daughter. She also does a lot of networking, is a social butterfly and now wants another degree - but she is really unhappy. She is very stressed, feels torn every which way - but insists on taking on extra things and striving for perfection. THAT seems crazy to me.
I work three days a week, my DH works full time nights, we have two kids and have found a balance which works for us but others might hate it. Such is life.
Oh stop saying fecking OP. Spit it out.
And if I'm not,wrong, the premise if this thread is you having a moan.
I stopped reading halfway through... I cannot believe the sexism of some
one poster. It makes me very, very angry.
OP your post is smug, offensive and you just crapped all over single mothers.
Stripeybear, I almost wept reading your OP. I would give anything right now to be in your privileged position. I am a single mum working flat out, self-employed, DCs solely reliant on my income. Recently collapsed at home with pneumonia and full blown 'flu. Only able to take off 4 days sick, despite barely being able to get out of bed. Still needed to do school runs and shop for DCs and now back full on working. though still very ill.
I would LOVE to be in your position. The house is filthy and a complete tip. I have an enormous backlog of work undone for the business. Had already cared for DC1 through his own virus the week before my own, with him off school AND me trying to work, between looking after him.
Our lives, OP, are poles apart. You talked about, 'booking my holiday at the last minute', when you were working. Some of us have never been able to take a holiday at all! You talked about 'pottering round' nowadays and this really did make me weep. I would LOVE to be pottering round right now. I still feel incredibly ill - fortunately only been this sick about 3 times since I had my DCs.
If the DCs get some food today, that's my main aim. It won't be home-cooked. It won't be a lemon drizzle cake. It may well be pizza. I've never ever had time to cook from scratch or make a cake since DCs were born and have always done everything absolutely alone.
I seem to be surrounded by women exactly like you. They not only have OHs but also family, mums, other people they call on in times of need. I don't have time to cultivate friendships with them or have them round for coffee. I'm always always working. Parents are dead. Illness has tipped things into a whole different category of 'challenging', so I do admit I'm reading you post at a particularly hard time but it really got to me!
I think perhaps you can't have any conception at all of the life of a single parent who has no back-up support or alternative source of income. I would however, echo what others have said or implied about the danger of what would happen, in your set up, should your OH leave you and you get no maintenance and then have to fend for yourself. That seem to me to be the vulnerability in your 'system'.
My strength is that I'm wholly self-sufficient and rely on no one to 'bring home the bacon'. I won't be baking cakes or having coffee mornings but I will never be left high and dry with no career or earning power oneday, should my OH dump me. (I don't mean to imply that your OH would ever dump you but I do know that it can happen).
My vulnerability is that we're all reliant on me alone and so I can't be ill. I can't take time off to potter around or book a holiday. So when I AM ill, everything falls into chaos....hence my emotional response to your post and my 'envy' - but just for today I hope - of your privileged life.
I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time. I was really directing my moan (I have admitted I was moaning - sorry!) at parents who are in the position to choose whether to work or not - and I do realise that is of itself an extremely fortunate position to be in.
For me, the measure of a good parent is one who has does the best they can for their children in the context of their particular circumstances. I remember being in Africa and meeting mothers who would try and treat their children's malaria at home, knowing they might die, because the expense of medicine that would certainly save their lives had such an adverse affect on the family budget. Who can judge them or anyone else, when they are only doing their best? If feeding your children food you didn't make from scratch is what you can manage today - then they are loved and fed.
I'm sorry you're feeling isolated and unsupported. My suspicion is that other people are a little bit shit about stepping into help. I hope things improve. Incidentally, from reading between the lines, there are parts of your life that you take for granted, I'm sure, that I envy hugely - just sayin' as it is easy to look at others and think it is all easy for them.
Had a quick flick through the thread - think it was Spero and others who mentioned employability, and just wanted to comment on that.
I think the crux for me is that I always imagined that the feminist project together with better education and career opportunities would create choices for women - instead, what we seems to have achieved is a cadre of well qualified, able women, who are terrified to stay at home with their kids less they lose their market position. I'm not saying all women want to stay at home with children - I know that is not the case - and if you're happy being a working mother and enjoy juggling kids and a rewarding job, well that is fantastic - I'm talking about women who would like to slow down and be at home when the kids are young, but feel it is risky, and that they will never get their career back where it was
In the end, whilst mindful of the horrors of being completely unemployable later, I desperately wanted to be the person who looked after my baby, and I felt the risk was worth taking to do that. In fairness, our personal situation is reasonable - our mortgage is nearly paid (I paid half, didn't have a rich husband or an inheritance before you ask/judge), I have some pension provision already and so forth. I also set aside £10k of a redundancy pay out for retraining, as I thought I might need to do another masters or some other professional training before going back to work.
I do wonder if mothers have got too bound up in the idea that taking a few years out of the workplace will mean they can never do a meaningful, well-paid or interesting job again. It just feels like a lot of this thread boils down to scaremongering.
So, yes, I am more financially vulnerable than my husband - but we are married, I would be protected to some degree in a divorce, and he is also in a scary position - as a SAHP I can leave him and swan off with his DC and a big chunk of the assets. Doesn't' it come down to - you picked your husband to father your kids - at some point you have to trust that things will work out well, not the worst case scenario.
Work is only one aspect of our lives (an important one) but should it be the most important. Who knows how the labour market will be in 5 years plus time when I fancy another job? Maybe it will be harsh, and I'll be grubbing about for the most menial job - who knows? However, I'm mindful of my lovely friend who kept plugging away at a job she didn't need or like, only to be made redundant the week after her youngest started school. Children are an absolute - they need us so intensely for a blink of an eye. I just wish that being a SAHP for a period of time when children are young was accepted as a valid choice, which people could cheerfully support. Some of the comments on this thread taste an awful lot like sour grapes
Stripey I felt like you. I was wrong. Well protected in case of a divorce does not exist. It just doesn't.
Louisianablue (or anyone else if they know) - I am REALLY interested in that research you mentioned, about how same sex parents share parenting. If you can remember where you came across that, I'd be really grateful if you could tell me!
worried345, you are under a huge amount of pressure. I think your point about just not having time to build a support network of other parents is very important.
I do sometimes hear women (whether it is intentional or not) almost 'blaming' other mothers for finding working with children hard. Apart from the fact that it takes a lot of effort to truly understand what someone else's situation is - there is often an implication that we only find it hard because we MAKE it hard for ourselves. By trying to be 'perfect', do too much etc etc, especially at home. 'Well, if you WILL have a Cath Kidston-perfect spotless Stepford Wives cupcakes life then of course you'll find it hard!' they trill.
I've had this from women who have NO FUCKING IDEA what my life or house is like! I'm not a single mum, but have found it exhausting and at times miserable trying to be a working mum (and I'd say on balance that I enjoy my job). Keeping on top of the absolutely bare minimum (wash clothes, buy milk, get food in house, put food in front of dcs) can be hard if you are working a lot - and your partner is too. Obviously for worried and other single mums - with no support - it is likely to be even harder.
It may be your perception that some of the comments are 'sour grapes'. If I was in a shittier frame of mind I would suggest some of yours are 'wishful thinking'.
People will do what they have to do, what they think is the best thing for their families. End of story.
Everything else is just window dressing.
You want to stay at home? Awesome.
Someone else wants to go to out to work? Great.
Lots of people work/don't work because their choices have been limited by circumstances. Threads like this are horrible for that very reason.
Stripeybear - just to pick up on your point about career women feeling anxious if they stay out of the job market for a whole to focus om family -
Unfortunately, that is a very well founded anxiety. Typically, before women have children, they compete very well with men in terms of work and earnings.
However, after they have children, overall they will earn less - not just for the time when they are not in the workforce, but when they return as well. This makes interesting reading - look for the point at the end about men's earnings overtaking women's in their 30s.
Comments about how hard it is to re-enter the workforce in a satisfactory way are not sour grapes or scaremongering. That really is how it is, unfortunately. It is a gender inequality issue.
Your clearly not a divorce lawyer are you stripey?
earlierintheweek It sounds like you have had a painful divorce - so sorry to hear that. It obviously depends on what assets you have, but marriage is the best framework for supporting a SAHM - the starting point for the division of assets is 50/50, with a presumption that assets follow the children where there is insufficient to meet their needs from half the marital pot.
That obviously breaks down where there is little to divide in the first place, or where the parent with care has difficulty securing a reasonable contribution because the other parent is in and out of work, or earns very little anyway.... but partnerships like this are vulnerable without divorce too, and being married is the best protection you can have.
You can only do your best. Our household is more vulnerable now that we have a sole earner, say if my husband lost his job or died or developed a gambling problem and cut off my access to his bank account... but can you plan your life on the basis that bloody horrible things will happen?
IME, unfortunately, the things that have always got me, I the things I never even imagined might happen
Stripey - I am not going to discuss the personal details of my life except to say that in my personal experience you are wrong, it doesn't work like that. And the experience of lots of others on this thread would also bear that out.
What I will say is that you are perfectly entitled to do exactly what you want anyone is, whether it's WOHM SAHM or anything in between, but you should be aware in doing so that you aren't as cushioned as you seem to think you are.
I do take your point rainrainandmorerain The thing - the problem is having children per se, isn't it? Prior to having kids my career was going great guns... I was blazing a trail... then I had a child and I felt like I was standing still... well I was standing still...
I suppose I am taking a huge hit by giving up work - I know that and accept that, but think it is worth it in order to be the person who looks after my child.
If you take your argument to its logical conclusion, then it is really an argument for not having a children at all as they damage your career
Right... off out.. hope everyone has a good morning
Stripey- some of your more recent posts have been more balanced and reasonable and you are trying to show some compassion towards posters
such as worried.
Unfortunately that doesn't cancel out your extremely ill thought out, smug OP, which comes across totally as mischief making at best, shit stirring at worst. There is no point to it other than to have a cheap swipe at women who frankly have more in their lives to juggle and think about than frigging pizza dough.
If you genuinely didn't mean to cause offence I would think twice before starting a thread like this in future, Because it's clearly hurtful to those women who, like you, don't have an interesting work life, but don't have the choice you have (at the moment!) to jack it in
And for those of us who do have interesting jobs and choose to do them rather than need to, its maybe not so hurtful but it's definitely insulting. And then the likes of hannahsister piles in with her nasty sexist comments and sweeping generalisations about children in nurseries having a less positive experience than if mum didn't work... Its not intelligent debate, it's just shit stirring .
To be fair, Stripey - it's not 'my argument', it is how it is! I call it structural sexism...
As things stand, having children IS likely to damage your career - if you are a woman.
If you are a man, it doesn't have a negative effect.
This doesn't mean that as individuals we can't buck the trend - and it's never a reason for mothers pursuing the path they want to, work-wise.
But unless we recognise that overall mothers are disadvantaged in the workforce, we won't change that situation.
the only thing I get from the op's posts is the fact she can afford to have these points of view
money is the deciding factor in everything, well it is to me
It depends on your personality.Some people are the type to get a lot done,and some cant manage.I like challenges, and want to do absolutely everything myself from bringing up my children to earning the money (control freak)
I do think a lot of it is organisation.I only had 2 weeks maternity the first time.I didnt know how to cook and I wasnt very domesticated.Now I have 2 children and a job I have managed to complete my degree, batch cook meals every weekend,and everything is very organised.
You do sound insufferably smug.. I can't give up work because I earn nearly twice as much as DH. This is the main reason the vast majority of working mums work. Although it has to be said that swapping lemon drizzle cake recipes isn't how I would fill my time if I were a sahm.
You can't win on this thread. As working mum and main breadwinner, I now feel like my problems and unhappinesses are down to not being organised and not one of life's 'achievers' (despite being Oxbridge grad/higher rate tax payer).
Maybe it is because I am an older mum and bloody tired all the time. (waits for some sprightly fifty year old with ivf triplet toddlers to spring up and tell me all about her fab job as a CEO....)
To sound less self pitying..... I am aware that personally I do not like a life that is minutely scheduled (never have) so if that is the price of being a 'successful' working mum, then it's not one I want to pay. I do want time (at my age) to stop and pick the daisies a bit. Batch cooking is something I need to try and do though.
I am not organized and probably moan, but I wouldn't give up my job for the world. Not only is it interesting (and I was very rubbish at household management anyway), I like talking with my colleagues, working on projects, interacting with students, and I also appreciate the financial freedom it gives me, as well as the pension. We need the money, but that isn't what drives me to work, it's because I'd only be at home for three days before starting a new project/book/website anyway, and I'd rather get paid for it.
Me and my friends who work full-time wouldn't swap it at all (ok, perhaps 4 days a week but not for less pay). We have noticed we tend to have a more equal balance over childcare/stronger identity than our friends who quit work and although we might have struggled through the early years, are now reaping the benefit. There is also the political dimension of women withdrawing from public visibility and life mentioned by another poster.
People do cheerfully support SAHP as a valid choice. What people on this thread do not fucking support, is said SAHP judging WOHMs from her position of peivelwge. That is when the grapes tend to sour.
It sounds from more recent posts like maybe you do understans factors which contribute to choosing to be a WOHM....which suggests your OP is a purposeful dig/a bit of sport/you not actually being happy with your choice/what?
Rain I go for a 'just in time' lowering standards approach. My job is very intense and I find I don't have time/energy to think of great meals or have the house looking wonderful. But and this is a big but, I have made this choice. Don't feel bad if you are not organized, you may be too tired to be both organized at home and at work (betting you are great at work). I spend my time on work, husband and children, the rest is a bit chaotic but we are all where we should be, in relatively clean clothes. I don't think setting crazily high standards is the way to go (I'm sure some can, but I can't be 100% in every area of my life at any one time).
I dont do amazing meals rainrain very far from it.I just do things like lasangne and cottage pie.This is impressive for me as when I had baby no 1 I couldnt cook,was in a situation with no maternity leave and was stressed and unorganised.
I thought I wanted to be sahm but when I did maternity leave with no 2 recently I realised it wasnt as exciting as I thought and I realised most of my friends spent their time watcing homes under the hammer and walking down the shop. I realised I definitely liked having aspirations and goals, and am not ready to give them up for a long time yet.
I appreciate reponses.... but.... see the post I made below.
I am not talking about 'amazing' meals - or having high standards of housekeeping. I am talking about ANY meals. ANY housekeeping. I am also, sadly, not great at work. I am a lot worse since I had ds, and cannot imagine that the arrival of no.2 shortly is going to make me any better.
In all honesty - I do think this is just me, tbh. I have achieved some impressive things with my career, that I am proud of - I have out earned my partner significantly and bought us a nice house in a lovely area. I am over 40 and I am not as hungry/desperate to prove myself in the world of work as I was, although there is still much that I am interested in exploring, from a creative pov. I am disappointed that looking after one child and working leaves me so bloody tired (been to the doctor, a lot - nothing systemic wrong with me, although I am ill a lot. Not depressed, either). I also have a partner who works from home who shares childcare and (to some degree) housework. Oh, and we have a cleaner once a week.
I do think it is me that is the problem. I have another friend in the same line of work who like me worked very hard when her babies were very small - she has ongoing health problems and some sort of fatigue - she says she thinks she was 'broken' 5 years ago, when her daughter was born and she had to keep working. She just hasn't recovered. It sounds dramatic, but that is the closest to how I feel.
Rainrain - If your the main breadwinner cant your dh do the majority of cleaning/cooking?
chesty - not an option, in a nutshell.
He works full time too - and is self employed like me, and in a creative job - but earns less ( it is a more erratic/lower paying profession).
If I asked him to pick up the majority of household jobs on the grounds that he earns less than I do, he would refuse.
(I'm not sure what I think about that. If I posted a reverse aibu saying 'I work full time, so does my partner, he earns more than me so expects me to do the majority of cooking/cleaning - I wonder what response I would get!)
He genuinely shares the childcare in a way that more men should - BUT he does find it an effort, and there have been times (in arguments) where he is at pains to remind me that he does much more on that front than pretty much every other dad we know of. This is true - but the implication that I should be grateful is not one that I appreciate. I do not constantly remind him that it is thanks to my superior earning power that we are in the very nice house we own, for example.
The added complication is that both our jobs are unpredictable. We never have a year's work lined up - unemployment is only a stone's throw away. This makes planning any kind of long term childcare a pita (can't plan much in advance, wouldn't want to be stuck paying for childcare we weren't using if we weren't working that month). It also means that formalising an arrangement such that he stop working (which he wouldn't do anyway, work is too important to him) to allow me to work more would put a lot of pressure on me (more than if I had a full time paye job, iyswim).
So on we go.
Rain since I went back to work pt I've been ill so much. I'm having blood tests to check things are ok and taking loads of supplements but I'm still full of cold this weekend. It's all fine til I'm ill and then things start to fall apart. Be kind to yourself, you can have a healthy diet & not cook all day. You can have a good life without working on something 16 hours a day. I read what folks do on here & they must not sleep to fit it all in and mn to tell everyone about it too
Rainrain - You should tell him that most dads to do lots of childcare if their wives work its what they are meant to do.
Worried 345 I really hope you feel better soon. That sounds like absolute shit. If you are near Bristol let me know - happy to do some shopping for you if that helps. I am not at working at the moment, so lots of time on my hands.
the op is right that marriage gives you some protection but it is NOT the holy Grail. If your ex gets arsey, you can get dragged out in long legal battles that will very quickly eat up £20-50K or even more of your assets. Yes, children are the courts first priority but the husband also has a right to be housed. Even if you are comfortably off, once you split that money has to fund two households so you are inevitably going to take a bit hit. Plus the move more and more is against spousal maintenance for joint lives and the expectation is that once your children are at school, you get a job.
This is obviously going to be difficult if you have never worked or not worked for many years. You will be looking at jobs at the less skilled end of the market, your earnings will be low. Even if you do get a house out of the divorce, you still have to spend money on your utility bills and maintenance/repair costs.
My basic advice would be
- if you have children, get married
- if you have a skill/profession, try hard to keep your hand in
- if you don't have a skill/profession, build up some savings
- make sure the main bread winner is covered by life insurance/income protection etc
- don't make assumptions about how your life will pan out
- don't be smug
-don't judge others choices when you know or understand little about their lives
chesty - yep, for sure - his point is always that he works full time too, when we have a conversation (or argument) about childcare. It is an odd one - intellectually, calmly, he has no problem at all about doing what he does, in theory! in practice... when he is angry about something else, sometimes he says things which make it sound like he feels he is doing something EXCEPTIONAL, for which I do not show enough gratitude.
His attutide toward my career is the same. Calmly, rationally, he has no problem with it - he is quite happy to acknowledge the pleasant material things we have that my earnings have bought for us. He says he would not have been able to do anything like it on his earnings.
But when he is in a bad mood and looking for things to criticise - he often makes out that I have been 'lucky' in my work (of course, I have - an element of luck comes into a lot of things! I have also worked very very hard). He makes out that although we both work, I have been 'luckier' than he has.
I have said on another thread - I actually dread getting into a position where I earn less than him (with a new baby on the way, this might happen) - as I think he would very quickly use HIS position as main breadwinner to drop out of doing as much household work as he could.
handbagcrab - that's a lovely post, I really appreciate it. yes, I've done the thousand blood tests too! I did get a diagnosis of post viral fatigue a while ago - but bearing in mind all the doctor said was 'rest and take it easy', it wasn't much help. I have never been so consistently ill with various things as I have since having a baby. And it takes so bloody long to recover. That has been a real shock - I was very healthy pre-mum days, and never thought much about illness at all.
Oh gosh - Janey68 I didn't really think I'd been that smug... I dashed out an OP where I very clearly said "Don't get me wrong - I realise I'm fortunate that we can manage without the wage (and not everyone can)" and people took the ache - but then it is a very, very sensitive topic.
Rain I'm an older mum in my 40s too. Give your DH a kick up the butt from me... if you're pg, you're making a bloody baby - how much work is that? I think you need to think about what you need? If you need every penny you earn fair enough... but when I really thought about it - we didn't.... just sayin'
Spero I think that's probably a bit too prescriptive a list! I think you have to accept that some women feel so strongly about raising their children themselves that they are prepared to take the risk and make themselves more vulnerable career and finances wise. Money isn't everything, y'know I think the important thing is understanding the choice you have made - I suppose it would also be nice if we could all cut each other a bit of slack and respect each other's choices...
Anyway, interesting discussion....
Stripey - I'm sorry if I offend but I found your Op and the first follow up exceedingly smug too.
"An interesting discussion"
No a shit stirring thread that has upset several posters and offered little constructive.
Are you a politician stripey?
Money isnt everything,y'know
You cant see that it IS MONEY that has given you the choice ?
i can't see how people do.
do everything at once.
i'd rather do one thing really well
I think it's more important to understand the concept of 'choice' and recognise that no choice is made in a vacuum. It might look like a 'choice' to have children and stay at home to look after them, but if it's only 50% of the population who can physically carry a child and give birth to it and that same group has structurally less power and earns less money, it somewhat reduces the 'choices' you can make, doesn't it?
Choice is always a political issue and on this subject, a sexually political one at that.
"Money isn't everything you know" try telling that to someone who can't afford to heat their home or feed their children Stripey.
It sounds like you just weren't cut out for it. I work full time, not cos we need the money, but because I want to. Dd never cries at drop off, we spend afternoons playing,I bake, I earn, I do not complain. Think I would be bored out of my skull in your shoes! But then that is the beauty of choice...
stripey, sadly we could not live on dp's earnings. Nowhere near. he doesn't earn minimum wage, really, as self employed person.
Uinfortunately too, I can't scale down work I do. I am either employed, or unemployed. There is no part time.
So when we are both working flat out and earning, then actually, we could get by with less money, tbh. However - I cannot adjust my job to make that happen.
That is something else to bear in mind about working mums (parents) - of course it is worth exploiting any flexibility in our work circumstances, but it isn't always there for the taking. I would love to work fewer hours - but then I would stop working all together.
i could look at a complete change of career - it would mean considering work that is lower status and less well paid,as well as bearing the costs of retraining. I also have, as someone who works at home, some flexibility that a job working away from home wouldn't give me.
As badinage says - no choice is made in a vacuum. The majority of successful people in my profession are men who are either childless or who have wives who work less than they do and do the majority of parenting. I want neither to be one of those wives - nor a 'proto' man in the other role.
Chubfuddler >Oh dear. Working parents are raising their children themselves too you know op.
It is not the same as being a SAHP though - if you're away from them for 40 or 50 hours a week, you largely have to delegate raising them to someone else. OK, you might get to choose some broad limits on how they are raised, for example, choosing a nursery out of a choice of 2 or 3, but whilst you are not there someone else will be making decisions on a minute by minute basis about how to raise your child. It is really not the same as doing it yourself.
The trouble with this whole debate IMO is that women's "choices" are mainly still dictated by the earning power of their spouse. There are plenty of men who would like to slow down for a few years too, particularly if it were even more socially acceptable, but that is rarely a choice for them. At the heart of the issue is the fact that men still on average earn more for the same work, and that many women fall or are pushed into lower paying careers.
Biology is a minor part of it by my reckoning, as demonstrated by the legions of women who are desperate to get back in work even when they have a "choice."
Rain I sympathise. I was in a similar position in that the work I did requires huge flexibility and possibly long hours. To get the most interesting work, you basically needed to be available from the crack of dawn till 6.30-ish and possible evenings and weekends. You wouldn't necessarily work all that time, but you needed to be able to do it a the drop of a hat, and prior to kids I would routine be in hte office 10 hours a day.
Before I had a child, I always imagined that work would be ok-ish because we live by a nursery that runs 7am to 6pm and I assumed that DH and I could swap about... when it came to it, and I actually had a child, I just didn't want to be away from her for 50 plus hours a week. That meant accepting much less challenging roles, with fewer opportunities for promotion.
I'm sorry that you have no flexiblity to reduce your work commitments - it is exhausting, and it does feel endless - though this stage too will pass.
^ It is really not the same as doing it yourself.^
Why does someone else doing the childcare equate to 'worse' though, whether that's a child's male parent or a trained and qualified child professional?
It might not be the same.
It might be a darned sight better though, from the child's point of view especially.
Erm - parents decide the values they want their children to grow up with ,the food they eat,the clothes they wear,their routine etc whether they are WOHP or SAHP.
You are confusing childcare with child raising .
I work (and always have save 2 lots of Maternity leave) because as Spero says:
1) I like it, it gives me an identity away from x's mum or y's wife
2) I like earning my own money to spend how I choose.
3) I like staying with DH out of choice not nenecessity.
4) I would hate DH to have to shoulder the full financial responsibility of the household
5) I am good at it
6) I think it is good for the dcs that we both work and both parent. (And now they are old enough they say this is what they like best too)
Yes I plead guilty to some of the behavior you described in your OP. But for me the solution would be to work f/t not give up work.
Or TUBE or whatever it was was the acronym for The Usual Bunfight Ensues.
Stripey bear - Lots of people share the childcare so they are always with 1 parent,or work jobs that mean their children are with them
Stripey - how did your husband cope then being away from his child when he was at work? How does he cope now?
Why was there a difference between you if there was one?
This is our situation chesty.
Stripey, will you home educate? Cos otherwise you know...someone else will be raising your children .
OP do you think that caring for a child every morning, every evening, and every (broken) night of their lives, as well as two days at the weekend, is insignificant? Playtime, teatime, bedtime, bathtime, storytime, settling to sleep, up half the night, ready in the morning, travelling to childcare - is that nothing? Because to me these are really special and important times and I feel your post at 14.29 ignores them.
Coraltoes - that's a good point. And Stripey says she did WOHM for 3 years plus she's been a SAHM for 2 so that makes 5, which means, child at school?
Men cope with being away from their children because society expects nothing else. Women meanwhile must be bad mothers if they don't feel guilty about being at work.
I can honestly say I feel no guilt myself. I'd feel guiltier taking the easy life funded by my dh while throwing away my dreams and ambitions.
Also, in your DH shoes I'd be tempted to think a nursery might instil slightly less judgemental values do DC than you. Main carer doesn't have to equal best carer.
Btw the behavior s that I do are checking work emails on my "days off". I cannot imagine getting stressed about a children's party , how hard can it be ?
Threads like this make me glad I am neither.
AIBU to think that the further you are from the world of work, the crazier being a working mum sounds?
YANBU - it's called getting stuck in your own little world and losing perspective. It's called becoming closed-minded and forgetting that different people have different circumstances, and that even when they have the same circumstances different people make different choices, because not everyone likes the same things.
OP, Yep, I'm away from my DCs 40-50 hours a week.
They are in education, at activities they love and seeing their friends.
I presume you home educate and never let yours out of your sight?
The thought of making my own pizza dough and swapping lemon drizzle cake recipes makes me feel rather queasy. Even in my years as a SAHM I can't imagine I would have done such quaint 1950s things.
>Why does someone else doing the childcare equate to 'worse' though, whether that's a child's male parent or a trained and qualified child professional?
There's good evidence on early years childcare - I believe it concludes fairly robustly that nurseries are not beneficial for children at all until they are at least 3 years old - unless their home situation is significantly chaotic (I'm talking about mothers who are drug users etc - not a bit of philly on the carpet after breakfast!).
I wasn't comfortable with a nursery for a young baby, so when I worked we had a nanny. In our area, you need a reasonably paid nanny is going to cost you about £6K a year for every day you work - so for a 5 day week, you're basically setting aside £30k a year. I think my wage was ok - but by the time you've paid that bill, commuting costs - higher rate tax on your own pay, suits lunches etc - I was lucky to have £50 a week over - so giving up work was fairly cost neutral. You have to remember that over certain thresholds, you get no help from gov on meeting childcare costs. We had some lovely nannies - but I do think children in general prefer their mother... and I suppose I believe that no one can raise your babies like you. Fair enough if you don't want to.
Badinage My husband loves his job - and wouldn't want to stop working f/t to care for our children. Maybe we are odd, but my babies were mostly looking for me at the end of a day with a nanny or when they are sick or when they wake in the night - but I have extended bf and coslept - so maybe other children are different. Anyway, there is no way I could contemplate leaving them over night, while I tootled off on business... whilst for my husband, his work-life has continued pretty much as it did before he had kids.
Can't think if someone asked or not, but DH is considerably happier now that I've given up work. The house always ran smoother on days I was at home before, and now it does that all the time. He never gets asks to cover me whilst I work early or late. It is easier and calmer. There is less money coming in, and I suppose we are more vulnerable as a household as we are totally dependent on his income - but there will always be downsides to every decision. I can understand how others reach different conclusions, but I think this works for us.
Coraltoes Yes - I was thinking about home educating http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1678900-to-suspect-I-would-make-a-better-job-of-teaching-my-child-P1-2-3-than-the-good-local-primary
I do thing the issues are different though - as children get older the issues are around education, not care... though I think I could easily be convinced we have the balance wrong in the UK and start formal education too early.
stripey - yes, I have found that i am very unhappy when I am away from my young son for long periods of time.
if I had to drop off at a nursery/cm by 8 am to get to work, then only get to pick him up after 5, just get to do tea and bedtime with them - then have 2 days out of seven with him for longer than that - I would be very very unhappy and seek pretty much any way I could to change that.
The older and more independent he gets (he is nearly 3) the happier I am for him to spend time away from me (time in which he is happy, with relatives or some time at nursery).
As a feminist, I have no truck with the idea that mothers 'should' feel guilty about leaving their children. But also as a feminist, no one is going to tell ME I feel the 'wrong way' about my child for not being happy to leave him in large amounts of professional childcare when he is small.
As for the 'they will go to school' argument - what utter nonsense, I'm sorry. They go to school when they are 5. Not when they are one year old, or 2. There's a reason for that. It is because a greater degree of independence and an ability to cope with learning in that environment when they are 5. It is stupid as asking if you are going to be wiping their bottoms when they are still at university.
OP, So you were thinking about home educating, but actually don't?
Stripeybear - Thats not what all or even most dads are like.If they are very family orientated they dont want to leave them and work away once they have children.
Lady Widmerpool yes, small children require so much looking after, don't they. I'm sorry you felt I was dismissing all the things that working parents do, but if you're away for a 10 hour stretch at work, you inevitably miss an awful lot too. TBH, it is just a personal thing - I have tried it and it's not for me - though I appreciate other people make different choices. And no, earlierintheweek my older daughter isn't at school.
Oh I thought children in the UK were at school when they were 5. My mistake
Is your older daughter too young for school or have you chosen to home ed?
OP you are so lucky to have choices......many do not.
The OP raised the issue of time spent away from DCs.
I was pointing out that I would be 'away from them' for 40 hours a week anyway, what with them having school and friends and all. Oh, and my DCs went to the Nursery year at the local school when they were 3, and into Reception when they were 4.
Before that they attended lovely nurseries so I could work. As ExH had de-camped, I had to keep working, and work harder and work more. Like Worried345, I'm somewhat bemused by the suggestion that doing the very best I can for my DCs as a lone parent is somehow letting them down.
Christ - where to start with your last post?
Please link to this evidence on early years childcare. But make sure it's from a proper academic source and not some misogynist who thinks that women should be at home and would rip up his/her 'evidence' post-haste if anyone suggested in response that fathers did the childcaring instead of nurseries.
Why did you only take your wages into account when you weighed up the costs of childcare. Why didn't you add your husband's salary to the overall sum and then subtracted childcare, seeing as that was a joint responsibility?
Children 'in general' don't prefer their mothers, beyond the breast feeding stage. They are capable of loving an infinite number of people, as long as those people care for them and love them.
Ever wondered why your husband's life continued much as normal, or why it's socially acceptable for him to leave children overnight while working, or not to feel any guilt whatsoever about not missing his children while at work, to the point where he would consider giving up his career?
As long as women keep expounding these myths about children preferring mothers, that mothers are better equipped to look after children and worse still, judging other women who don't buy into this mythology and see the bigger picture, women will continue to be put down and confined to low-paid work and childcare whether they want that or not. And men who actually want to spend more time with their kids and share the financial burden with their partners will be chained to a worplace, whether they want that or not.
My children haven't reached school age - there is a nice local State school - I'm not ruling out HE or private - I'm just starting to think it through.
I think if I was at home all day twiddingly my thumbs I probably would want to do some sort of work - other than making lemon drizzle cake However, I do have 3 degrees and a decade of experience working at a fairly senior level, so I hope I wouldn't be completely unemployable. In my early 20s I set up a business - it started making profit in its first year and eventually sold as an on-going concern - though I didn't really like working bymyself tbh - but setting up a business might be an option. I also wouldn't be opposed to taking much lower paid work or doing some voluntary work or doing another professional qualification... I think it takes a bit of courage to throw in a well paid job to stay at home - but I don't think it has to be seen as such a terrible decision.
Rain I think you hit the nail on the head... it is all very well saying it is a gender equality issue and men need to share care equally and all that jazz - but it is IMHO women who feel it most keenly when they are separated from their children for long periods. I would say this is pretty much why you have the conintuing patterns of labour market participation that we have. Women want to spend time with their young children, and men are for the most part, happy to work full-time.
I do sympathise. I did that with my older daugther and I found it hard
[actually they did two years in Nursery and then Reception at the local school] <gone gimmer>
Stripey - I would say in my rl 80% of men would be happy to do an even split of childcare, and a lot of men change to jobs without travel once children are here.
^ I would say this is pretty much why you have the conintuing patterns of labour market participation that we have.^
And I wouldn't say that.
The reason we have those continuing patterns of labour market participation is because of sexual inequalities that currently don't favour parents who want to work and parent for equal amounts of time as eachother. It's currently set as a default that fathers will work and mothers will not. It discriminates against the mothers who want to work, the fathers who do not - and those parents who want to spend equal amounts of time at work and with their children, earning money according to their skills and abilities and not their sex.
Well I think that the less you see your dcs the less you miss them. FWIW DH and I woh 3 days per week each. He is no less desperate to see them after 2 days away than I am. I also have stayed away for work since they were 1 and 3, leaving them in their father's care. Why on earth wouldn't I ?
it is IMHO women who feel it most keenly when they are separated from their children for long periods
Men are discouraged from letting themselves feeling that way, and discouraged from admitting that they do if they do feel it.
A couple may feel just as strongly as each other but each will never really know how strongly the other feels, so will revert to the stereotype because a mother's feelings are assumed to be stronger.
Exactly as Badinage and Trills say.
The default mode is always 'easier'.
OP - your description of working life doesnt in any way reflect mine or my DH or the way DH feels about the DC.
He would have snapped up the opportunity to take Mat leave .
My choice to be a WOHM was in part not wanting to give up a job I love and partly because it wasnt a huge sacrifice to leave my DC with their own father (age 1 after a years mat leave each time) while I worked part time.
The difference is though, that I realise these circumstances along with a short commute - 15 mins and a flexible working pattern apply only to me .
I would be foolish to start a thread telling all women they should work because it was easy/ worked well for me !
ChestyLeRoux Sun 10-Feb-13 15:43:58
Stripey - I would say in my rl 80% of men would be happy to do an even split of childcare, and a lot of men change to jobs without travel once children are here.
That's interesting - am discussing that figure with DH and we don't know anyone whose family has a SAHD. We know some families where the DH does a full working week compressed into 4 days, so that they do a day's childcare as well. We don't know anyone whose got a p/t working DH, while the DW works f/t.
What sort of jobs do you rl friends do Chesty? Just interested!
>Men are discouraged from letting themselves feeling that way, and discouraged from admitting that they do if they do feel it.
I asked DH for a comment and he said: "Bollocks"
However I suspect he was supressing his true feelings
Im saying who would be happy to do it.Most dads work round the mums here though, and its about even mums and dads that do nursery drop offs/pick ups.Also men attend the surestart cafe, and we have quite a few single dads.
All sorts really mainly the hotels,shops,warehouse etc.I knew lots of men that left travelling jobs when they had children.Dh left the forces and took 30% paycut first off, but he doesnt want to leave them as its too hard to be apart for more than a night.Lots of his friends have done the same.
Also rhythm and rhyme group and the charity parenst group in town are both 50% men here.
Money isn't everything you know (passive aggressive fucking smiley emoticon)
Fine. Then you won't mind paying my mortgage for me every month eh? And my council tax. Ooo the gas bills going to be a bit hefty this month. I will pm you my account and sort code for the transfer.
Of course money isn't everything dear heart, but it is a massive part of what I need to keep a roof over my daughters head and food in her stomach.
OP Your husband thinks it's bollocks that men can feel discouraged from showing their feelings about missing their children?
DH has been a SAHD for the past 3 years or so. We know plenty of couples with this arrangement but I'm thinking me and stripeybear don't live in the same area or planet for that matter.
Our children have gone to him for the cuddles when they are hurt, or walked right past me and ask him for a drink. It hurts at first but the kids needs are met. And if you're hung up on attachment parenting, then there's no reason why the attachment should be to the mother and not the father.
It's supposed to be about the kids, not me.
I believe us swapping roles a few years into this parenting malarky has given the children a more balanced outlook on male/female roles. But only time will tell, so I await to see how they approach relationships and parenting themselves in the future. I suspect they won't tolerate the inequality you are promoting and why should they?
I don't think he was suppressing his true feelings and neither, it seems do you Stripey.
The point we're making is that it isn't just some mothers who miss their children when they are at work; some fathers do too. As there are some mothers who don't miss their children while at work and some fathers don't either. Socially though, it's more acceptable for your husband to say 'bollocks' to the suggestion that he might miss his children and have fears about admitting it. It's regarded as more 'normal' for fathers to be able to function quite happily at work with no separation anxiety at all - and for children to feel no separation anxiety about their fathers not being around for long periods of the day.
Fathers also have the benefit of not being negatively judged by other parents or people generally - and certainly not other men - for being FT working parents. Mothers do though. Fathers often get judged negatively by others if they are SAHPs, or work part-time because child-care and home management is regarded as a low status activity. But oh wait, women get judged negatively for that too.
Notice how it doesn't matter what a mother does, she'll be negatively judged for it? And how since mothers are women, that points to sexual inequality and nothing else?
I worked full-time (5 days) for 4 years as a single mum and it was a bit too much. There was no time for anything. Now I work part-time (4 days) and I feel I have a good work/life balance. I wouldn't want to work 5 days again, but I most certainly wouldn't want to not work ever again. I had a year at home when dd was born and it was very boring and lonely. I missed the social aspect of work, the sense of purpose and the money.
If feeding your children food you didn't make from scratch is what you can manage today - then they are loved and fed. - Sorry but that did make me chuckle.
In answer to the last part of your OP, isn't it obvious??
You know nothing of their finances. They work because they have to.
I'm very glad you don't have to but please don't rub it in for those who would love to do what you do and can't.
I will be arsed to enter into this tired old debate when men start saying "being a working dad is just so stressful! Why do it?!"
E.g when Hell freezes over.
Sorry but that comment 'money isn't everything' has just disgusted and enraged me so much that I conclude this op is just shit stirring or very unhappy with the choices she has made.
So I am not going to engage with this any further.
"If feeding your children food you didn't make from scratch is what you can manage today - then they are loved and fed".
<sneers while doing the sprouts and supervising 5 year old boy prep sausage/pastry spirals>
Spero I'm right there with you.
What badinage, linerunner and trills are saying so eloquently
Striped- you kicked off by writing an inflammatory op, clearly intended to big yourself up somehow because your husband earns more than you (wtf?) and putting down women whose lives aren't an exact parallel to yours. You're not helping by continuing to post talking about 'evidence' which proves that nurseries are detrimental to children under 3, and saying that parents who work don't raise their children, and that mums are the 'number one' parent and other such bollocks.
This isn't intelligent debate, it really isn't and you aren't doing yourself any favour by continuing to dig this big hole
yep, sign me up for the spero fanclub instead.
You're right stripey, my children are different to yours. They "look for" both of us. They want daddy as well as mummy, probably because he mucks in and all that. Terribly unconventional, I know.
Sorry it has wound you up so much Spero
Janey68 I'm sorry you don't feel that is an intelligent contribution to the debate. Go google early years, nurseries, under 3 research - it if you don't believe me - there is a growing body of evidence that nursery is detrimental to children under 3 - there was a huge meta study paid for my gov through SureStart around 2007/8 that came out with scary results...
People make different choices and families have different option to them to choose from - but whilst there is no point in pretending that taking a 5 year break to be a SAHM doesn't harm your professional status or employability, equally there is no point in pretending that nurseries are "good" for babies and under 3s.
Another working mum here who doesn't recognise working mums from your post. At times my job is challenging and at times I am on my blackberry on my day off but I love having a career, I love knowing that I have another 30 years to work and have a proper career to do it in and I love that I am not reliant on my husband for money. We have lots of family time, I have all this weeks meals cooked and frozen but I never swap cake recipes, I don't like cake. SAHM is fine for a bit, I tried it twice but it's not for me.
If you genuinely believe that research, why do you think it's only mothers who should stay at home and not fathers then? I appreciate you don't know any SAHDs and less still single SAHDs. But would you berate a single or widowed dad for going to work and putting his child in a nursery, or is this guilt-trip only reserved for women and mothers?
The point is Stripey I dont see an intelligent debate about nursery care but a nasty dig at anyone who parents differently to you.
You seem unable to comprehend that other parents circumstances/needs/lifestyles are different to yours .
If my friends came round and were stressed,upset or tired about any aspect of their lives whether SAHP or WOHP I would make them a cuppa and LISTEN not judge .