To get cheesed off with people telling me I should 'get a little job'?

(265 Posts)
LukewarmBath Fri 26-Jul-13 15:40:11

My youngest child is due to start school in September. I am getting very fed up with people telling me (totally unasked for advice btw) that I need to 'get a little job'. One of the mums at school, who is a total busybody and doesn't know me very well at all, even printed off details about a lunchtime supervisor job that is going at the DC's school because she 'thought I'd like to get a little job as mini Lukewarm is going to school soon'. People constantly ask me if I'm going to get a job. Even family do it.

The fact is, I don't really need to work financially. DH has his own company and I do a lot of his admin work for him as well as lots of cold calling and dealing with invoices. But because it's from home, no one seems to think it's a proper job. I go to the gym, meet up with friends regularly and go on lots of nights out, so it's not like I need the 'adult interaction' from a job either.

I just wish people would mind their own business!

Next time just say ' I already have a job but thanks for the concern', smile blandly and ignore!

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 15:45:28

I find 'thanks but I have inherited so I don't need to work'smile

That shuts them right up!

Ezio Fri 26-Jul-13 15:48:59

Oooo, i like Valiums reply.

But i agree, it isnt anyones business what you do.

LukewarmBath Fri 26-Jul-13 15:51:13

Haha, great suggestions, thanks all!

I find it irritating too that they all assume I want a 'little job' working at a school or behind the counter at the village shop, or doing a bit of cleaning. Not that there is anything wrong with these jobs at all but everyone seems to assume that being at home = incapable of doing anything very taxing

BiscuitDunker Fri 26-Jul-13 15:52:19

I know the feeling. I left my job shortly after mat leave from having my dd as dhs wages ment it wasn't financially essential that I worked so we could afford for me to be a sahm. Ever since dd started nursery 3 afternoons a week all anyone kept asking was "so are you going to get a little job now?" And saying "I've heard there's a few part time jobs going at so-and-so,you should apply",it did my head in! I did seriously think about going back to work and/or doing a college course and everyone knew this but they still kept going on at every given opportunity!

Then I fell pg with dc2 and they stopped asking,so I've now got a few years before they start going on at me again lol.

i'd say the work you do for DH's company is a job, so you don't need another one.

ignore - you can't really tell them to butt out because they'll assume you're the one being rude hmm

but you can tell them that you work for your DH's company if you want.

yy to the idea that "little job" is all you can handle hmm

squoosh Fri 26-Jul-13 15:53:52

The phrase 'little job' makes my skin prickle, it's so patronising.

Tell them the only 'little job' you need to worry about is the one you wipe off your bum with £50 notes.

squoosh Fri 26-Jul-13 15:54:38

What is a 'little job', working with Borrowers?

grumpyoldbat Fri 26-Jul-13 15:57:16

I agree the phrase 'little job' is horrible. Tell them you do have a job you do really although I like valium's reply.

Groovee Fri 26-Jul-13 16:00:16

This sort of thing does my head in. My friend is her mum's carer. She gets the boys to school, walks the dog to her mums and takes care of her mums needs, then shops for her mum and then has to get back for the boys. Another mum kept telling her about term time only jobs because she was fed up "of people like her staying at home to get tax credits!" It did my head in. As my friend said she needs to be on call for her mum as her siblings work and by her being the carer, it means their mum has someone there.

EstelleGetty Fri 26-Jul-13 16:04:25

Grrr, that is patronising shite, that is. I'm in a kind of similar position, Luke. I don't have DCs but am studying for a doctorate, for which I work 40 hours p/w in my office and receive a pittance monthly salary.

I need to grit my teeth when people ask when I'm getting a job, or a 'real job.' Or if I'll get a wee part-time job while I'm 'a student.'

I. have. a. job. Seriously. So do you - you're an administrator for the family business, just tell them that.

Longdistance Fri 26-Jul-13 16:12:33

It is so patronising, that was my first thought even just reading the title.

I get this all the time, as I'm a sahm. Not through choice

'You can get yourself a little job' 'something to earn pin money' 'a little job in a coffee shop' Even though I'm way beyond qualified and experienced to do that, or any little job.

You're a household director of administrations grin

Ezio Fri 26-Jul-13 16:13:33

Groove, your friends should tell "fed up fanny" at the school gate, that term time jobs are not easy to find, i should know, im on JSA, and its been a year and no interview.

I never knew getting a job was so easy.

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 16:14:00

Ha YANBU! I get it all the time

I haven't worked since I got married, and I never plan to again.

Health visitor said to me how I should get a job now the kids are in school, and I said it was a bit late now, Im 31 and have been out of the work place for 11 years. She says "oh its never too late to retrain, I was 40 when I went back to school..." wow, live the dream..

Badvoc Fri 26-Jul-13 16:16:50

Just tell them you plan to sit around in your pants watching homes under the hammer.
I find that's shuts people up fairly quickly.
I am getting the same thing...

Kat101 Fri 26-Jul-13 16:17:15

Does your husbands company pay you? I would find that important for many reasons (tax, NI, employment contract rights, pension entitlements etc).

Ignore the little job comments, they are well meaning though fucking irritating

TabithaStephens Fri 26-Jul-13 16:18:51

I'd be bored if I didn't work. What do you do with yourself all day?

Goodtouchbadtough, isn't 31 a bit young to declare you don't want to work again?

whois Fri 26-Jul-13 16:24:37

I haven't worked since I got married, and I never plan to again

Are you ill or is there some other reason you can't work? Can't believe you plan never to work again, picking up after your husband is hardly a fulfilling life is it once the kids are grown up?? Unless you're multi-millionaire rich. Then you could probably have an exciting enough life to not work.

OP, sounds like you actually DO have a job (or a 'little job') with the admin work so just tell people that.

Hassled Fri 26-Jul-13 16:29:08

I used to get that (until of course I went and got a job!) - it's bloody annoying.

From the sounds of things you do have a "little job". If it will get them off your back, exaggerate it a little - add on a few more hours than you do or something.

5Foot5 Fri 26-Jul-13 16:30:16

OP - YANBU to be annoyed at these people who can't mind their own business. Plus I agree the "little job" term would make me fume.

But GoodTouchBadTouch - 31 too late? Really? And have you thought through the implications for when you retire and what your pension entitlements will be if you haven't worked in all that time. Maybe you can still fill your time while the kids are young but they won't always need Mum running round after them. Your own choice entirely but honestly 31 does seem very young to be ruling out any thought of a future career outside the home.

daisychain01 Fri 26-Jul-13 16:32:02

Just shock them - say something like "nah, I'm a complete indolent, I just cant get up in the morning".


ImperialBlether Fri 26-Jul-13 16:33:15

OP, make sure you pay national insurance when you're working for your husband's firm. Not that I think the state pension will still be around then!

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 16:33:30

I was 20 when I got married, so its been so long Id probably struggle to get a job stacking shelves... and hate it.

Definitely not millionaires, and there IS a lot of fannying about in coffee shops and online, (obviously not the case for you OP)

My husband says I enable him to give 100% at his career, by doing everything at home, plus other bits which take time like the dry cleaning and admin. I couldn't make more than the minimum wage anyway. Im going to have another baby in December, maybe a couple more after that.

I like to think of myself as retired smile

juneau Fri 26-Jul-13 16:34:02

How bloody irritating and condescending! I hate that people assume I'll want to rush back to work when DS2 goes to school too, although it's still a rather pleasing two years off yet. I took great pleasure at the end of last term telling one mother, who's always asking 'Well, we don't really need me to work and actually my DH isn't bothered'. Cue cat's bum face. Ha!

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 16:35:05

Re pension - I assume I wont qualify for the state pension.

squoosh Fri 26-Jul-13 16:36:36

Nothing wrong with returning to higher education in your forties though.

If you want to talk about patronising - I'm a (mostly term time only) childminder and my family ask me when I'm going back to work instead of doing my bit of babysitting.

My standard response now is that if I went back to a 'real job' I'd have to get dressed before 11 grin whilst looking confused.

Ezio Fri 26-Jul-13 16:38:53

Im nearly 30 and have been a stay at home mum for 6 years, 4 years on my own, im currently studying for a career, my DD wont stay 6 forever.

MegBusset Fri 26-Jul-13 16:39:38

YANBU. I have just started a p/t job (for financial reasons as well as DS2 starting school in September) and have had more than one person refer to it as my "little job". It's not a "little job" it's a JOB ffs with responsibilities and pay and everything. I'm not doing it as a hobby, I'm doing it to pay the mortgage!

sweetkitty Fri 26-Jul-13 16:40:21

I get this too, feel like saying I have degree, a phew professional qualifications and spent years in a professional job, so I have a fe years out and all I can get is a little job.

I'm going back to uni once the youngest is at school.

CailinDana Fri 26-Jul-13 16:43:30

You can imagine what it's like for my sahd friend whose dd starts pre school in september. A couple of people have strongly implied that he must be relieved to be getting back to "being a man" ( ie working) having played at being a woman (oh the indignity!) for a few years. They don't even ask if he's getting a job they just assume he is. When he says he isn't they are just gobsmacked as if he has said he's having a sex change. A man! Not bringing home the bacon! Imagine!

If one thing has become clear to me it is that there are a lot of stupid people in the world. Best to ignore them.

encyclogirl Fri 26-Jul-13 16:44:17

My friend gets this all the time. Her dh earns loads and she's inherited a few times also.

She's constantly been told about really shite jobs that she has no interest in and no need to do.

What's that about?

blueberryupsidedown Fri 26-Jul-13 16:45:28

I have a 'little job' and people still comment about that. I am childminding (and making a reasonable amount of money) but still people ask me when I'll go back to work. I am running my own business, paying taxes, national insurance, employing someone part-time, take regular training courses, and still people ask me when I'll go back to work. Hello.

TheCraicDealer Fri 26-Jul-13 16:48:20

I have no comment on the actually nub of this OP, but the phrase "cheesed off" isn't used enough imho.

Crinkle77 Fri 26-Jul-13 16:52:26

GoodTouchBadTouch Don't mean to sound like a doom monger but what happens if you split up, your partner dies, gets made redundant. I think it is very important to keep your skills up and if that means doing a 'little part time job' then so be it. There may be a time when you have to work and if you have not had a job for 11 years you would find it very difficult to get a job. Also what about when you retire?

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Jul-13 16:57:07

But you do have a job OP! You jointly run a business. People do have trouble accepting that a business is also a job. Even if once taking into account commuting, buying office clothes, lunch, etc and a poor salary you would be financially worse off making money for someone else working.

I made the decision years ago to concentrate more on property as it was likely to make me more money than my legal career. It did, yet I still get snide comments even though I lecture part time and run a property business!

Make sure your stake in the business is written into a partnership agreement or reflected in the company ownership though.

ZingWidge Fri 26-Jul-13 17:36:04

just say you are my full time PA.wink

job done

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 17:41:55

Crinkle, I haven't had a job for 11 years, which as you say, would make it very hard to get one now, even in Tesco's. Worse is that I only worked for 2 years in my life in total!

Must be incredibly hard to motivate yourself to do a job you don't like for money you don't need!

WilsonFrickett Fri 26-Jul-13 17:43:54

OP has a job. Although now the DCs are at school it may be a good time to put it on a more 'official' footing (if it isn't already of course) wrt to NI, pension contributions and making sure that your contribution to your husband's business is clearly recorded.

GoodTouch I really hope your life works out the way you plan. But I have to say yours is a high-risk strategy... And while you're of course entitled to live your life your way, it's a little bitchy to then knock your HV for re-training in her 40's. Good for her.

Ezio Fri 26-Jul-13 17:44:34

Good, you have a point, i cant even get a job in Boots.

oh yes I get that a lot too

I just say I love not working

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 17:48:23

I do have a point Ezio... who in their right mind would want to employ me?? Ive got no CV, experience, or motivation!

EldritchCleavage Fri 26-Jul-13 17:56:51

Classic bollocks of people behaving as though being at home looking after a family is not 'work'.

My sister was SAHM for years, to 3 children. Without her at home, my BIL's job with lots of long distance travel and long days, would simply not have been possible to do with kids. He regards them as a partnership-everything high-powered that he does, he has done with his home partner making it possible. BIL comes home to a well-run family house, clean laundry, children looked after. He'd have no social life or even clothes to wear without her, and you can forget making it to parents' evening or getting the car serviced. I think it's often the same if one of you runs a business that takes endless often unpredictable hours.

Now the children are older my sister has a part-time job, but she was lucky to fund something enjoyable. No way she would be doing drudgery for money they don't need just to prove to people she was, well, what?

You do not need to earn a wage to have worth, and shame on anyone who says otherwise.

Ezio Fri 26-Jul-13 18:01:07

Good, people dont wanna employ me and i want and need to work.

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Jul-13 18:03:38

GoodTouchBadTouch that's nothing really to beef about. The OP's situation is different because she at least has skills in the business that she could point to and describe if she had to get a job at some point.

OP, I've remembered that when I worked full time for a couple of years as a lecturer, very good job on a decent salary, but used to work from home during the long summer vacation a lot, my PIL actually asked me if I was going to get a "holiday job"!

intheshed Fri 26-Jul-13 18:05:44

I have what people class as a 'little job' (I'm a TA) so now people ask me if I'm going to get a 'proper job' when the kids are a bit older hmm

The only phrase that irritates me more than 'little job' is 'pin money' - as in 'ooh, it must be nice to have some pin money now that you've got a little job' . Get back to the 1950s!

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 18:09:41

Eldritch - That's a lovely post, and just how I feel.

Ezio - which is why it would be silly for me to even try to get a job, when I neither want or need to. I hope you find something soon.

LessMissAbs - not sure what you mean by beef? OP IS working, but still gets the same comments.

StickyFloor Fri 26-Jul-13 18:11:06

On a good day I calmly explain that actually I do some work from home which is enough, thanks.

On a bad day I say actually I can't be arsed to work anymore, and we don't need the money, so why bother? and watch their jealous / patronising jaws hit the floor.

Either way I kick myself, as the correct response I wish I could give is utter silence, smirk and a death stare - it really is nobody's business what I do with myself.

Ghanagirl Fri 26-Jul-13 18:11:53

Say I'm waiting for a BIG job

maja00 Fri 26-Jul-13 18:15:15

Just look horrified and say "oh god no!" grin

garlicagain Fri 26-Jul-13 18:15:27

Shed, you've just reminded me of some of XH's antediluvian rellies grin On hearing that we met through my very full-time job and I wasn't retiring upon marriage, they kindly allowed that it's good for a woman to have her own pin money. I was in the top 1% of earners.

I smiled gratefully and said, yes, I do buy a lot of pins.

comingintomyown Fri 26-Jul-13 18:15:52

FFS enough with the "cant even get a job in -insert retailers name- " its offensive to those of us who do in fact work for one of them. Right up there with "little job"

spanky2 Fri 26-Jul-13 18:19:09

When people say anything like that to me I tell them dh earns the money and I spend it. They don't know what to say then. There is a constant disregard for how hard it is to look after your family . I miss earning money .

comingintomyown Fri 26-Jul-13 18:20:24

I miss a DH earning the money and me spending it grin

Beechview Fri 26-Jul-13 18:21:15

I cant believe someone printed off a job for you!

I have a 'little' job in that its a professional role but I only work 2 days a week. I'm always being asked if I'm going to go full time or worse, if its even worth me working after childcare costs.
People should just mind their own business

Notsurewhattodonext Fri 26-Jul-13 18:24:22

My youngest starts school in September and I have just handed in my notice in a senior management role to be SAHM. what would they make of me? My DH is out of the house 15 hours a day and abroad at least a week a month. Both of us working doesn't add up so I am going to thoroughly enjoy shopping, gym and coffee come September before deciding what I want to do next.

Wilberforce2 Fri 26-Jul-13 18:24:48

This drives me crazy! I have one DS who is starting school and everyone including random strangers ask me if I'm going to get a job now as if I've spent the last 5 years sitting on my arse. My Sister phoned earlier about a job in her hospital but I said no because its an hour away and I have zero help with childcare, she then started going on about "what am I going to do with my time when ds starts school" like its any of her business!

What they all don't know is that I'm 11 weeks pregnant, cannot wait to tell them and shut them up!!!

Flobbadobs Fri 26-Jul-13 18:25:04

'A little job' always strikes me as a phrase used alongside a pat on the head, a little head tilt and a patronising smile..
Just tell them you work with your husband, or smile and say nothing, let their imagination run a little.. Well someone has to win the lottery don't they!!

MortifiedAdams Fri 26-Jul-13 18:28:29

Id just say "oh no, I couldnt do that - I might be taking the job away from.someone who actually needs or wants to work!" then do a clutches at pearls gesture.

TabithaStephens Fri 26-Jul-13 18:29:47

This thread is descending into stealth boasting.

AdoraBell Fri 26-Jul-13 18:31:58

Tell them you already have a job, admin for the company DH owns.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 26-Jul-13 18:35:36

I have a little job, I'm a lunchtime supervisor. Tell them to try it and see how little it is! It's not pin money either. Every penny goes into running our household. I to be a TA. Tell them to fuck off, you have a job!

SixPackWellies Fri 26-Jul-13 18:35:46

I recently jacked in my job because with commuting and childcare that cost about £300 per month more than I earned.

I now do freelance, and work with DH in his (getting off the ground) business.

We recently had guests to stay and the husband said when he found out I had 'quit' work 'well, it was not like you were ever going to be a high flyer now was it?'.

and today he sent me info about a local community group who needs someone to take their minutes for them once a month to keep me occupied.

3 DCs. 3 degrees. 1 PhD. A specialist in my field.

tell em fuck em I say.

I have a "little job". I work 2 days a week for local government, and I still get asked when I'm going to be doing a "proper job". I earn nearly the same money working 2 days, now that I did when I started working full time 15 years ago in a "proper job". (Yes, I know about inflation!)

It doesn't matter what you do work wise, someone will think you're doing it wrong. Just say how lovely it is to watch Jeremy Kyle and eat chocolate all day. It will confuse them!

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 26-Jul-13 19:31:30

OP just tell the, you already work for your DH. They are likely to be just making conversation and most SAHM's do return to work once their children are at school as no real reason to be home in the day.

Goodtouch, its a shame you have wrote yourself off so early in life. Putting all your eggs on one basket is a huge gamble. Should you split from your DH you would really struggle to quickly gain work to support yourself and children.

usuallyright Fri 26-Jul-13 19:48:29

there are loads of people out there working round the clock, kids in daycare, juggling different things...and fucking hating every second.
They're not trying to help you find a little job.
They're jealous of you.

internationallove985 Fri 26-Jul-13 20:08:01

Well politely tell people to mind their own business, then. You don't owe them anything. x

gintastic Fri 26-Jul-13 20:08:51

Humpf. I have a 'big job' - I get people telling me what a shame it is I have to work. Currently on mat leave with last baby, loving the summer but will be glad of the academic stimulation of my job come September.

Can't win.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Jul-13 20:20:04

Bleugh. Some of us are married to men who earn less than 20K y'know.

I'm a SAHM AND I work.

I'm fucking shagged and I could do without kept women rubbing their lifestyles in my face hmm


fedupofnamechanging Fri 26-Jul-13 20:30:40

I get annoyed by the idea that a sahp has no justification for sah once the dc have started school. I have plenty to do when my dc are at school. The school day doesn't actually last that long and schools have frequent holidays. In the last couple of weeks before the holidays, I had each of my dc off sick, in turn. I would hate to have to balance family life with a job.

I figure I put in the hard graft when the dc were tiny and now it's my time to do what I want grin

I, too, would like to know where all these jobs are, that women are supposed to get.

LondonMan Fri 26-Jul-13 20:32:46

OP, make sure you pay national insurance when you're working for your husband's firm. Not that I think the state pension will still be around then!

The OP will know this, but for anyone else who doesn't, it isn't actually necessary to pay any NI in order to get the rights that paying NI brings. Just set salary at the right level, £7696 this year, and you will pay no tax or NI, but will be over the salary threshold where your are treated as if you had paid NI.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 26-Jul-13 20:39:16

Higgs, dont let them get to you. Remember all the good points of working. Should things go pear shaped a SAHP has no salary to fall back on, is likely to struggle to get a job etc.

You are showing your children you can parent and work, they can achieve anything they want as well as have a family. Its not just financial benefits that come with a job.

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 21:52:52

"I'm fucking shagged and I could do without kept women rubbing their lifestyles in my face"

I didn't see anyone doing that.

"its a shame you have wrote yourself off so early in life"

I wouldn't say Ive wrote myself off. Or that Ive written myself off. We have 3 properties (2 without a mortgage) plus investments and more inheritance to com. My husband makes good money, and would have to be a spectacular bastard to leave me with no way of providing for them.

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 26-Jul-13 21:54:42

"The school day doesn't actually last that long and schools have frequent holidays. In the last couple of weeks before the holidays, I had each of my dc off sick, in turn. I would hate to have to balance family life with a job"

Exactly. And all for a part time job in a shop?

x2boys Fri 26-Jul-13 22:17:15

well your lucky for not having to work just tell em to bugger off!

fedupofnamechanging Fri 26-Jul-13 22:27:36

I do not like the phrase 'kept woman', when used to describe a sahm. I contribute as much to my family as my husband does - I consider that I do work, but my job doesn't directly generate money.

It does however, enable my husband to do his job. He would be unable to work as he does, if I was not here to cover child care etc.

AdoraBell Fri 26-Jul-13 22:32:36

My sentiment exactly karmabeliver

My OH would earn much less and the family wouldn't have the lifestyle he likes to maintain if he had to be available to collect DDs from school mid afternoon and then bring them home and feed them each day. And that's just the normal child care, it doesn't allow for days off school.

garlicagain Fri 26-Jul-13 22:47:41

Fiddlesticks. There are such things as nannies.

I'm not saying SAHPs don't work - you do - but there's no need to inflate the role, especially when you're talking to a poster who both parents full-time and works full-time.

There's some smug snobbery on this thread. It's unattractive.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 26-Jul-13 22:54:39

"kept woman" is true to a certain extent though. If you dont work then somebody else is paying to keep you in food, clothes etc.

Being a SAHP is not a job in any shape of form no matter how you dress it up and childcare options nowadays are so versatile that most professions can be covered. Given that so many believe their partners cannot work without them staying home to assist its hard to believe that so many others manage to both work hmm

fedupofnamechanging Fri 26-Jul-13 22:59:54

garlic, it depends on the jobs that the parents do, the number of dc they have etc. The OP works from home, in her dh's business - there is no difficulty for her to stay home with her kids if they are sick etc and to prioritise their needs. If you work for someone other than your husband, it can be a bit more tricky.

I think you need to earn a serious amount of money in order to pay for a nanny and if you need one to live in, then you also need a big enough house to provide room and she will need a car. A family needs to earn a serious amount of money imo, for that to be realistic.

I'm not saying that my dh couldn't work if I did too, but he couldn't do the type of work he does, unless I was here. Doing a job with fewer hours/less travel would result in a lower wage, so me working too, would just bring us to our current income.

I think what often happens is that women end up working full time, and doing most of the other stuff too.

For us, it is division of labour - we both do the thing we are best at, but I definitely believe that each of us needs the other equally, in order for it to work.

Jan49 Fri 26-Jul-13 23:04:35

"kept woman" is true to a certain extent though. If you dont work then somebody else is paying to keep you in food, clothes etc.

The person who is 'paying to keep you in food, clothes etc' is probably dependent on you to do the childcare and housework, so it's an interdependent relationship between the 2 parents where earning money, doing childcare etc is all divided between them.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 26-Jul-13 23:04:38

Happy, you have one child? You might find it not so straightforward if faced with massive child care bills for more than one. Child care is not as versatile as you seem to believe.

As much as my husband is 'keeping' me, I am 'keeping' him. He is free to focus on his work, while I take care of the kids and the house and everything else that needs doing while he is working. He doesn't have to worry about anything here.

Chunderella Fri 26-Jul-13 23:05:47

GoodTouch's remarks about the HV were extremely bitchy. There are plenty amongst us who don't think that choosing a life of financial dependence and ruling out any future workplace or educational involvement at the age of 30 is living the dream either.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 26-Jul-13 23:09:40

The HV overstepped the mark by offering her opinion that GoodTouch should be returning to work. Beyond her remit imo. Health visitors should confine themselves to weighing babies and sorting vaccinations. Few people want HVs telling them how they should be organising their family life - the exception to that being where there are concerns for the child's welfare or the parents have actually asked for help from the HV.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 26-Jul-13 23:30:49

I think most of the fussing and trying to cajole you into a 'little job' are motivated by jealousy. The people bothering you would probably love to be you. In particular there is resentment towards SAHMs in receipt of child tax credits (which they would lose if they returned to work). Enjoy your SAHM lifestyle for as long as it is viable and makes you and your family happy.

garlicagain Fri 26-Jul-13 23:41:43

Karma, HVs play a pivotal role in identifying domestic abuse and other deep-rooted problems. OK, that's not what you were talking about, and some do better work than others, but it's unfair to persist with the patronising comments.

Maybe the HV was on the alert for a "husband won't let me" type reply. Maybe she wasn't. No need to be supercilious.

(I am not a health visitor.)

squoosh Fri 26-Jul-13 23:48:06

The HV was trying to give what she thought was encouragement, nothing wrong with that. And good on her for retraining in her forties. I'd be proud of myself if I was her.

popupdrop Fri 26-Jul-13 23:53:51

I'm 33 and I've been a sahm since my DS was born 14 years ago. I was a single parent for some of that time and I've remarried now, in financial circumstances which mean I'll never need to work again. That is the main reason I've given to most people who ask (which is true), but the other reason is that I have some health problems and so does DS, but that is personal information that I wouldn't disclose to most people.

I have a rather bitchy neighbour though who seemed to revel in the idea that I'd be left destitute if my DH died or ever left me because I didn't have my own career, so I was more than happy to let her know about the various properties and investments he's transferred into my name grin

MorganMummy Sat 27-Jul-13 02:57:30

Because I work evenings and weekends (teaching) one of my mummy acquaintances persists in saying 'oh well, maybe it will build up to something later' or 'well, it's really for YOU, isn't it?' (I.e. not financial/as valuable as DH job). I want to hit her. I work 0.5 and I do the times I do as it allows me to only have DH in childcare a bit and mostly be looked after my me, and to keep my employability up for when he's older. We could just afford for me not to work (with strict budgeting) and in fact I did quit my full-time role after ML when flexible working was refused. But personally I want both the career and extra money when DS is older, hence my 'little job'.

If I could afford it easily I might do as you do,nothing wrong with it at all, but people can't seem to mind their own business whatever you do (SAH, WOHM etc). So rude. And it is a cliche, but I suspect they are just jealous.

MorganMummy Sat 27-Jul-13 03:01:52

The mummy acquaintance in question works 0.6, BTW, so half a day more than my 'little job',but it's 9-5 and in London so I suppose that's why it's a 'big job'. hmm

MorganMummy Sat 27-Jul-13 03:11:34


VixZenFenchell Sat 27-Jul-13 03:20:54

My DH gets this constantly - when I finished mat leave, I returned to a high stress job (but decent salary) and he stayed at home with the babies, then toddlers. Now DS2 has started school everyone is asking when he's going to get a job.

Like the OP, he does all the tax/invoicing/admin/stuff for our small business. But because it's from home and he's free to take the boys to school, pick them up, walk the dog, be there for school holidays / interview days / sick days etc - it's not counted as proper work. I pay him a salary from the business, we pay tax and the NI equivalent on it, it's money the family would lose in my tax bill if he didn't do the work (& I'd have to do it evenings and weekends) - but it's not out of the house, in an office, so it's not working.

Nobody has yet had the temerity to ask him when he's going to go back to being a proper man though. Thank goodness, or I might have had to kill them.

I couldn't do the job I do (long hours, high stress, on call frequently and unpredictably) if he was not the fab sahp that he is. So he's not a "kept man" any more than a sahm is a "kept woman". Without him I couldn't work, we'd be on the streets. You might as easily say he's keeping me in employment!

Anyone who asks DH when he's going to get a job gets met with "I have at least 3 on the go already, that's enough for now thanks".

ChubbyKitty Sat 27-Jul-13 03:36:31

I don't even have children yet and people ask me when I'm going to get a 'real job'.

That's right. 30 hours a week of being on my feet non stop, whilst sharing housework with DP is all fun and games and doesn't go towards keeping a roof over our heads or feeding us at all. Really.

This 'pin money' they all talk about - is it for sewing pins or hair pins, just out of interest...?

ChubbyKitty Sat 27-Jul-13 03:40:32

Sorry I got a bit agitated. But I work as much as the company can afford to have me and I work hard and so does DP and people think that we are 'lazy student types' because typically we start later in the day and therefore have a different sleeping pattern, and occasionally on a day off, we might have a lie in --the horror--shock

ravenAK Sat 27-Jul-13 03:59:43

I wouldn't like to be financially dependent on dh. I like to be wearing one leg of the trousers, on the basis that I've paid for that leg.

& if I were in the situation of not working whilst my partner did, I'd worry about some sort of cataclysmic break up where he ran off with a winsome milkman & cashed everything in to pay for plastic surgery & exotic pharmaceuticals.

I've seen too many apparently sane contemporaries (male & female) abruptly take it into their heads to push the 'Fuck It' button on their relationships to be overly complacent that it could never happen.

That said, nowt to do with random mums at school etc. If you are managing financially as a family, you've weighed up the risk of being left skint should you separate, & you're enjoying life, they can bog off & worry about their own lives.

For that matter, you could make a plausible argument that if you don't need or want to work, by taking work outside the home you'd be denying a scarce job to someone else who needs it more?

Just tell them you don't know how you would fit a 'little job' in around the job you have already along with a face like confused. I expect most of them don't realise how much you do, not that it is anybody else's business.

I work for my DH too although I have the advantage that he has an office so I can get a little bit dressed up to go to work and I have to physically leave the house. I don't do that many hours though and I don't work in the holidays unless I can do it from home. It works for us, saves a bit on his tax bill and keeps his salary bill down. Dh also employs another woman on a term time only basis, and another one works part time so she can walk her dog, so nobody bats an eyelid about me not being there every week - it is normal and if any of the other staff need a bit of flexibility they can have it, so long as they do their hours. I think more places should do that if they can. Perhaps there would be more acceptance of those who don't do the traditional 9-5 in the office with 4 or 5 week holiday.

I don't know who all these judgey people think they are. It is none of their business what the OP does and it is none of their business if she has found a flexible way of working that doesn't require her to be out of the house all day and have to use childcare.

If you could be arsed, type up what you do for you DH as an official looking job description, and say you've recently got this job and don't think you could fit a 'little job' around it.

everlong Sat 27-Jul-13 04:26:59

I've had this. Usually from other women who work.
They know better than to mention it now as I've put them straight- I don't want or need a job usually does the trick.

GoodTouchBadTouch Sat 27-Jul-13 07:53:57

"The HV was trying to give what she thought was encouragement, nothing wrong with that"

Rubbish, she was poking her nose in to our finances. I wouldn't have asked her if the reason behind her re-training was because her husband left her for a younger woman. Or tell a working mother that I wouldn't dream of marrying a man who couldn't provide for his family. I don't know why I have to put up with it.

I think jealousy does come into it to be honest. Its as if they hope Ill be left with nothing.

minibmw2010 Sat 27-Jul-13 08:16:42

I work from home, about 25 hours or so a week so only 10 hours off full time (did a35 he week in my last firm) while DS is in Nursery. My DH's friends always make jokes about me watching Cash in the Attic or similar shit. Really gets on my nerves. I'm busier than I ever was working FT in the City.

Regardless if you go to work or not, there's always some fucker that will try n have a pop at you

So.might aswell.just do whatever you want to do
That's the way I see it

juneau Sat 27-Jul-13 08:39:25

Fiddlesticks. There are such things as nannies.

Of course there are, but, believe it or not, many women actually WANT to raise their own DC - not rely on someone else to do it. Fancy that! A woman who actually wants to raise her own DC! Yes, really, we do exist. I would absolutely HATE to go back to my old office job and come home to my house, which I pay for, being run by someone else who knows my DC better than I do and who insists on 'sole charge', which means basically the way the DC are raised and the house is run is her way, not mine.

I totally agree with everything karma has said. My DH works very long hours five days a week, he frequently travels for business (this week he's away for six days, for instance), he can never do drop offs, pick ups, sick days, assemblies, sports days, parents evenings - you name it. If I worked too our DC would have no one to care for them who is actually related to them. So yes, I DO enable my DH to do the job he does and still have a family. Without me at home he simply could not work the hours he does, earn the money he does, do the job he does. I'm not blowing my trumpet, but it's true.

grumpyoldbat Sat 27-Jul-13 08:50:06

I think the problem is that a mother's place is in the wrong. The trick is to not care what everyone else thinks. How you do that I don't know, I constantly worry.

Floppityflop Sat 27-Jul-13 08:59:11

Even if you don't take a wage from the business you can pay voluntary NI. But check HMRC website in case you would get home responsibilities protection for certain years anyway. I can't remember what age your DCs have to be to get that - do check and the rules about state pension have recently changed anyway. I know that taking a wage from the business isn't always possible and can be complicated for married couples if HMRC thinks income shifting is going on, but you could discuss with your accountant if you have one whether it would be better for you and your DH as a unit or not.

I don't have DCs yet but my dad loves to tell me that my wages are just pocket money! I'd have loved him to say that to my grandmother who always worked full time as a nurse, she would have done one...

Floppityflop Sat 27-Jul-13 09:02:41

PS I should say do what you want, what makes you and your family happy. Why not go on a few short courses to make sure you are doing the best admin and marketing job for your DH? That will also help you if you change your mind and decide later that you need to go and work for someone else.

raisah Sat 27-Jul-13 09:11:11

Just say you are co-director of the family business so you have your hands full already.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 09:12:37

Juneau, I was replying to an assertion that DH couldn't work if DW weren't at home - as he'd have to do all the school pickups, sick days and so forth. It's a ridiculous claim, as evidenced by the many single parents and dual-working couples.

You're very, very lucky to have complete freedom of choice. Don't pretend you aren't.

cardibach Sat 27-Jul-13 09:25:44

GoodTouch -would you not say this: "I wouldn't dream of marrying a man who couldn't provide for his family" because it is clearly nonsense or because you consider it to be impolite to comment on the personal arrangements of others? Because I find it extremely rude, not to mention rather stupid, to think that women only work because their 'man can't provide' or that women actually think of men in these terms at all, actually.
You are 31. You could easily train/work if you wanted to. You don't, it works for you, that's fine. Try not to be offensive about the choices of others though, will you?

LimitedEditionLady Sat 27-Jul-13 09:27:05

I think its like one of those things people say automatically like when you have a child and they say "oooh when are you having another?'or if youre unmarried with your partner at a wedding and people say "oooh are you next"annoying.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 27-Jul-13 09:34:13

garlic, many people couldn't work in their particular careers if they didn't have someone at home. Not all jobs have the same hours each week, which makes child care a bit of a struggle.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 09:39:39

You're not getting my point, Karma. A SAHP does the work of a nanny/housekeeper.

ZillionChocolate Sat 27-Jul-13 09:54:45

OP, I think you need a stock phrase to spout when this comes up. Maybe "no need for your concern; as it happens, I already have a job".

LimitedEdition - it isn't 'one of those things people say' when they start pushing job descriptions in your face. That is going too far. That would be like giving you an ovulation kit instead of asking when you are having your next baby or handing you a registry office leaflet on getting married when you hadn't announced your intention of getting married.

Chunderella Sat 27-Jul-13 10:17:34

Even if the HV did overstep her remit, which is debatable, that doesn't make GreenTouch's utter snobbery excusable, karma. Going back into education later in life and obtaining a professional qualification is not something to look down on, particularly when one has clocked up a full two years in the workplace before ruling oneself out of any contribution outside the home ever again.

lemonluscious Sat 27-Jul-13 10:22:07, I am not getting a job because I am, you know, too busy painting my finger and toenails and eating chocolate eclairs watching Oprah.

perplexedpirate Sat 27-Jul-13 10:23:20

'Thank you, but I am independently wealthy'.
'Thank you, but I have a mysterious benefactor'
'Thank you, but a job would seriously cut into the time I spend on stage'

enpanne Sat 27-Jul-13 10:28:21

Not very subtle "I married into money and live the life of a WAG" thread.

perplexedpirate Sat 27-Jul-13 10:35:10

Actually, it's weird how its assumed that finances are the main reason that someone would have a job. Even if I was independently wealthy, I would still have to work as my mental health really suffers if I didn't. Admittedly, I might do something a bit 'lighter' than I currently do, but I'd have to work, regardless.

I don't get the mentality that having sufficient or abundant wealth precludes a person from wanting to work.

Keeping a home and raising children is just what every family does. Yes there is fulfilment to be had in doing it well but I find it hard to imagine solely doing that.

There are times when I have tried it, especially after having our second child whose disabilities and medical issues are hugely time consuming. But I still wanted to work so I am. It wasn't financially necessary and it wasn't easy either with DH working away every week and DS unable to attend a standard nursery, plus DD preschool hours to work around but I'm very glad I'm doing it.

I'm desperate to study alongside my work too, for an MA. And to set up another small business too. And finish writing my book. I also do some work for the charity that supports children like my DS. I like to be busy I guess.

Interestingly I've also been asked if I want a role running the PTA. I assumed this is because the school is in need, rather than any presumption about my own circumstances. Perhaps that was also the case in your situation OP?

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 10:47:52

YY, Perplexed grin Most genuinely wealthy people, men and women, do work ... because it's vapid not to.

Should add I can understand the exception where a SAHP choosing to work would leave a family in negative financial circumstances while full time childcare needs funding.

enpanne Sat 27-Jul-13 10:53:20

I doubt any school would struggle to employ a dinner lady, those jobs are in great demand from people who need a job that fits in with school hours.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 10:53:31

SAHP-ing as a job: 400 net pw smile

InMyShreddies Sat 27-Jul-13 10:55:11

YANBU. I am pretty laid back about it and don't really care what people think, I find it funny when people project their own insecurities about their own choices or lack thereof.

I work p/t, sometimes from home, and this apparently isn't a 'proper' job and I've had the whole 'pin money' thing too. I play up on it tbh and pretend I'm a WAG, but in reality I work because we need the money, which is strangely enough the exact same reason DH works.

Can anyone explain what 'pin money' is? confused I think DH would be a bit pissed off if his earnings went to mortgage and bills, and mine went on bonbons!

InMyShreddies Sat 27-Jul-13 10:56:45

Garlic - that doesn't include the shagging though wink

enpanne Sat 27-Jul-13 11:03:40

Fundamentally society is where it is today because the human condition is such that people strive to accomplish and better themselves, and want their lives to amount to something. This has been the way of things for thousands of years over which time society has progressed immensely.

Given this, it is hard for some people to understand people who aren't interested in accomplishing anything, who are happy to live off the fruits of the labours of others and don't do anything meaningful with their lives.

Ultimately the OPs DH is happy to fund this lifestyle so people should butt out, but it's not hard to see why others are confused by it.

Mimishimi Sat 27-Jul-13 11:07:58

Society sometimes sucks enpanne due to the exertions of others - it's not always onwards and upwards you know. If the OP does the books for her husband's business and admin work and they're happy with that, how does that equate into not accomplishing anything? For all we know she could be a fantastic musician or artist in her spare time. A lot of people work fulltime and never accomplish anything either.

InMyShreddies Sat 27-Jul-13 11:10:31

Enpanne - for the vast majority of people, both now and in the past, the motivation to work has stemmed from necessity. Most people have jobs that make money for people many levels above them. It is a small subsection of society that have a meaningful choice in what they do, and contribute to society and its evolution.

Contributing to society doesn't have to, and never has had to, involve going out to work set hours for someone else and receiving a paycheque for it.

InMyShreddies Sat 27-Jul-13 11:16:30

And I think enpanne that the OP is especially annoyed at people expecting her to do a job for its own sake, one which she has no motivation to do, whereas she is living her life (including some work which she has motivation to do) in a way which she finds fulfilling and purposeful. Surely that's all any of us can want? Sure, the personal is political and it's great when women achieve highly in the workplace, but it's also ok to want to focus on family and home because those things are massively important whether you think of it as contributing to society or not, and to not want to outsource it. Outsourcing stuff to nannies or whatever is great if that's what you want to do, it provides employment to someone else and you both pay taxes contributing to society, but looking after one's own children is valuable and no woman should denigrate it.

It's not an unreasonable assumption that a woman who has been at home with preschoolers might want to start to work again once the youngest is in school. Without exception all the mums in our village have done this, 90% of then running their own businesses (web design, comms consultancy, physiotherapy) to name a few but also some TAs, childminders, bar work and other employed occupations.

It's a recognised life path to follow, I wouldn't be offended by it, bar the terminology 'little job' which is patronising and I don't like the implications.

enpanne Sat 27-Jul-13 11:29:40

We're not talking about outsourcing to nannies though shreddies, this is about taking a job when there is no need for childcare, because the children are at school. The OP has very much painted her life as that of a WAG (gym, partying, socialising), so unless she cares to correct that perception, I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest she is doing anything 'purposeful' in the traditional sense.

LimitedEditionLady Sat 27-Jul-13 11:34:16

Dont get your knickers in a twist bertha,i have noticed people do say that,i dont think you need to go to tje extremes of saying its like someone giving you an ovulation test,you dont have to fill in the application the person mightve thoughy they were being nice.its not an overly invasive thing to do if they were being friendly x

LimitedEditionLady Sat 27-Jul-13 11:37:51

I dont think the OP has to prove anything to anyone,the few hours the kids are at school im sure people are busy doing allsorts of things.Im quite looking forward to mine starting school so i can stop squashing all my jobs in in the evening!

lemonluscious Sat 27-Jul-13 11:45:48

I always thought that I would be a SAHM fora long time, but now that my youngest will be going to school until late afternoon, I am beginning to think about getting a p/t job. On the other hand, I don't feel like a kept woman. I earned and saved quite a bit before becoming a SAHM and we couldn't both work and live how we do. We don't live in the UK and my DH travels 2 weeks out of 4. Our nearest relatives live over 8,000 miles away and where I live, English is not the first language so it's not like I can run to my neighbours and ask them to help me out. If I worked and my DH had to do school runs, pickups, teachers meetings etc. he would be screwed. When we move back to the UK (very soon grin) I think I am going to try and find a p/t job because I think that it is a lot of time to fill and I think that the kids won't notice that much if I am working p/t and then we can afford extra treats. My family will always come first though and I am not looking for a high powered career. I may not have contributed financially for a few years but my DH says that I am the rock in our family and if anything happened to me, it would all come tumbling down.

Englishroses Sat 27-Jul-13 11:45:56

You already have a job by the sounds of it! I would def want to be on the payroll though, then you have some financial security if your marriage ended (not dating it will of course).

grumpyoldbat Sat 27-Jul-13 12:06:58

If someone can afford to stay at home and wants to then they should. As long as they aren't using their time to commit a crime no one else should care.

louloutheshamed Sat 27-Jul-13 12:19:01

It's a bit of a moot point in the case of the op as she does have a job.

The thing the troubles me in discussions like this though is the whole idea that the wife sacrifices their own chance to have a rewarding career in order that the husband can have his. Why is it automatically assumed that when a
couple has children the wife gives up or goes part time not the dh? Can it really be that this works out best financially every time?? I returned to work ft after ml and my dh went pt. so many times It is implied that I ought to feel torn and conflicted as i am not at home whereas if I was a man I would just be providing for my family.

I have seen for myself with my pils, mil have up a rewarding job at 24, never worked again, while pils career went stratospheric. Yes she enabled him in a lot of ways and has benefitted in terms of lifestyle but now in her 50s she is unfulfilled, has no status and is quite
Unhappy. She has often hinted to me that she is envious of the degree of
Financial independence I enjoy.

grumpyoldbat Sat 27-Jul-13 12:31:23

It's wrong if a woman is forced to give up a career but that is not the same as a woman chosing to give up a career.

Fwiw my DH is avoiding going for promotion for the next 2 years so he can be at home more to support me while I work and study full time (70-80 hrs a week).

fedupofnamechanging Sat 27-Jul-13 12:52:00

vapid? garlic to not be on paid employment? I think you have bought into the political myth that a person is only worthwhile if they are generating taxation for the government.

Everyone is different and many people lead perfectly full and busy, interesting lives without being in paid employment.

As for that nanny add, even nannies want to know when they will get a day off and not have to change their plans each week to accommodate employers schedules. I suspect a nanny looking after my family ( 4 dc) would want more than £400 pw!

juneau Sat 27-Jul-13 14:40:00

Most of the mothers I know who work do so because they HAVE to. I know precisely one who does it purely for the joy/challenge of working and who could afford to stay at home if she wished. Of those who do work, the vast majority would love to not have to or to work just from home doing the hours that fit around their family commitments.

As for it being 'vapid' not to - oh please. You sound nothing but jealous garlic. And just because you don't 'work' doesn't mean that you don't do anything - volunteering, helping out at DC's school, etc.

GoodTouchBadTouch Sat 27-Jul-13 15:13:42

"As for it being 'vapid' not to - oh please. You sound nothing but jealous garlic"

If SAHM said that you career woman probably get all your self worth from your jobs because you don't really rate much as mothers, that would be just as ridiculous.

Don't most of the fathers work because they have to though too juneau?

It seems odd to me that it's accepted that mothers have a choice to work or not work but fathers don't, so readily. If a father of able working age, with school aged children, didn't work and reported they spent their days going to the gym and meeting friends for coffee I expect there would be, rightly or wrongly, quite a few surprised faces. But just by merit of being a woman of equally able working age, it's ok to do just that?

fedupofnamechanging Sat 27-Jul-13 16:27:25

If the dad was doing all the child care and housework and the mum was earning enough to support the family, then I wouldn't think anything of it!

I think that women stay home more because men don't need to take time off for maternity leave and so their earnings and career progression don't dip. Women are still affected by the fact that we physically have the .babies. If more men are to be sahd then society needs to be different

i do work in a very full time job (i work 6 days a week)
I also work outside of the home.

but i'm self-employed and earn no money at all (in fact, my business is closing in the autumn because the recession means I've made such a loss the last 3 years running that I am in a bit of debt and can't afford to try to turn it around.)
I don't intend to work again once my business closes, not full-time or in a real job, anyway.
I'm going to keep sself-employed status

juneau Sat 27-Jul-13 16:48:44

starfish most couples work this kind of logistic out between themselves and yes, it's usually the DH who works as he's usually the one who earns more. Why is this? Generally, it's because men earn more than women, even for doing the same job.

But either way, having one partner at home makes for a much more harmonious life, from what I can see. If I worked, for instance, all the stuff I do during the week - the washing, the shopping, supervising homework, hair cuts, doctor/dentist/optician appointments, cleaning, general tidying and sorting, play dates, exercise, etc - would all have to be done during the evenings and weekends and the quality of our family life would go down considerably as a result. Therefore, if a family can afford for one partner to work while the other to deals with all the other stuff (and both parties are happy with that arrangement), the whole family benefits IMO.

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 17:06:12

I do wonder how bored during the day I would get if I wasnt working/at Uni. Personally, I love working because it means I'm still using my brain and I feel like I'm achieving something, and not just a salary. I start feeling low if I'm at home all the time when my dc are at school. But that's just me.

I don't feel comfortable with the fact that some women depend solely on their husbands for financial security. What if he dies/leaves you in the lurch? What will you do for a pension anyway?? It scares me!!

JustinBsMum Sat 27-Jul-13 17:18:05

If my DH died at work I would be seriously rich!!

He is planning to retire v soon so I am not holding my breath grin (he also pays into a pension for me)

JackNoneReacher Sat 27-Jul-13 17:21:31

Next time ask them "why?"

And be prepared to respond appropriately eg "but i don't need the money", "only boring people get bored". Maybe they'll think twice.

juneau Sat 27-Jul-13 17:40:51

If my DH died at work I would be seriously rich!!

Me too.

I also have a pension.

Really, those of you who 'worry' about women who don't work should mind your own business. We may not work, but that doesn't mean we haven't planned for the future. You don't know someone else's financial circumstances at all.

MrsKoala Sat 27-Jul-13 17:41:22

I really hate this. As others have said patronising and intrusive.

I don't work either and that is an agreement between DH and I. And some people do have jobs that would need someone at home, which is why their salary is earned by both people. I earn 50% of my DHs salary because without me he wouldn't be able to do the job he does. Or to look at it another way you could say i earn my money by DH paying me for the services i provide to him. He would have to pay someone else probably a lot more than he pays me.

He could take a different job, earn much less and i could go to work and we would be about the same as now. But why? I am virtually unemployable and hate work because i am shit at it. This idea that we would all have 'rewarding careers' is laughable. I know few people, male or female, who have 'rewarding careers'. They have jobs. Jobs they hate.

JackNoneReacher Sat 27-Jul-13 17:45:04

Enpanne. It sounds like you measure achievement/betterment in terms of how much money a person earns. Not everyone uses this as a benchmark of success.

As the gap between rich and poor continues to grow im not even sure it can be said that society has progressed in the last 20 years.

Pixel Sat 27-Jul-13 19:01:03

This 'pin money' they all talk about - is it for sewing pins or hair pins, just out of interest...?

Here you are:- Pins and 'Pin Money'
Pins have been used for hundreds of years. There was a Guild of Pinmakers, or Pinners. Pins were relatively expensive during the Middle Ages and husbands gave their wives money especially for their purchase, as time went by pins became cheaper and the money could be spent on other items - hence the term "pin money".

This is also why we have the rhyme "see a pin and pick it up, and all day you'll have good luck" (sometimes changed nowadays to penny).

I agree juneau it does ease the pressure somewhat if one partner has less demands on their time. I used to work full time running my consulting business but with all DS's medical and therapy appointments each week something had to change. Because I am self-employed I had the flexibility to do that, so now I work three days plus a couple of evenings from home mostly, although DH plans to take on more of it when he goes self employed too.

I can see how it works for many families to have one parent not in full time employment and can see the value in that in lots of ways, but personally I wouldn't want to be at home permanently 24/7, especially once both children are in school. I know I would find a way of filling the days with endless 'essential' tasks and then it would begin to feel like Groundhog Day and I would resent being the skivvy at home while everyone else in the house was out learning interesting things or achieving in a job. I like to cook, I like to clean, do the garden, I even like ironing and doing household admin but if this were my life every day I would find it got me down after a while.

I also find personal satisfaction and comfort in knowing I can support myself in any given circumstance. But that's my personal view, it's horses for courses.

Am hmm at the idea that you can only have a fulfilling life if you work. Most people's full-time jobs are hardly fulfilling but just hard graft for little reward! There's loads of non-financial ways to lead a fulfilling life.

InMyShreddies Sat 27-Jul-13 19:29:06

Thanks Pixel, is it like decorative pins then for wearing, like brooches?

I do spend probably more time on Pinterest than I should so I do like 'pins' <groan>

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 27-Jul-13 19:30:22

Its not just if the main earner dies, what if they find another woman? Happens all the time and a pension wont be of much use in those years unless you are already of retirement age.

I think some men need to man up, if they cant do their job without somebody being home then its a wonder how all those single men or men with working partners survive. DH and I both work and share everything else, he doesnt earn my salary nor do i earn his.

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:32:17

Actually, lots of people's jobs are fulfilling!!

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:34:30

Agree with HappyMummy, why the hell do these men need a glorified maid at home to enable them to do their jobs properly?
I work full time without needing someone at home to wash my clothes and cook my dinner! It ain't the 1950s any more.

GoodTouchBadTouch Sat 27-Jul-13 19:40:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

GoodTouchBadTouch Sat 27-Jul-13 19:43:20

"why the hell do these men need a glorified maid at home to enable them to do their jobs properly?"

If you want it spelled out treacle, "these men" earn a lot of money, and have to be able to give 100% commitment. You cant make six figures and then be absent whenever the children have an inset day. Hope that clears it up for you

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:44:50

GoodTouch - your last comment was out of order. HappyMummy was merely stating that it is a sad place when adults can't rely on themselves to work, rather than relying on a woman at home who isnt allowed or cant be bothered to work.

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:45:46

Hope that clears it up for you.

GoodTouchBadTouch Sat 27-Jul-13 19:47:21

"relying on a woman at home who isnt allowed or cant be bothered to work"

Treacle, to come out with such rubbish, Im willing to bet you hate your job, I feel sorry for you

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:48:08

I'm sorry if that was rude.
But I'll be blown if I were to stay at home so my husband can have a better life or career than me.

You cant make six figures and then be absent whenever the children have an inset day

Yes you can.

GoodTouch your post reads like a stealth boast about how much your DH earns. I don't know if you meant it that way but it is a vast generalisation and not one that I know to be true.

Yes there are jobs that require a huge amount of commitment but I'm not sure they necessitate having a wife that stays at home to clean and cook. If a woman wants to stay at home to clean and cook that's one thing, but to say it's because their DH's job requires it sounds a little daft.

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:48:43

I love my job!!!!!

fedupofnamechanging Sat 27-Jul-13 19:48:51

So happy, what happens when your dh goes abroad on short notice for work, or has a late meeting?

It's quite easy having both partners work if only one has irregular hours/lots of travel, or if you can afford and want to employ a nanny or if you have one child.

For many people though, it is more difficult. If I was desperate to work, then dh and I would have had to make completely different life and career choices and that would come with sacrifices we wouldn't willingly make.

I resent being described as a glorified maid - dh and I are partners, who have divided up the necessary jobs of earning money and taking care of kids in a way that suits us best and that we feel suits our children.

The purpose of work, to me, is to support family life. I liked my previous career, but it didn't make me more worthwhile or interesting, as a person.

HiggsBoson Sat 27-Jul-13 19:54:49

Well all I can say OP is that I wish I haf your problem!

GoodTouchBadTouch Sat 27-Jul-13 19:57:03

"Yes there are jobs that require a huge amount of commitment but I'm not sure they necessitate having a wife that stays at home to clean and cook."

Well, why do so many families have nannies? Or live in au-pairs?

Because it makes it possible to have both parents in full time work.

The way I see it is that my children are better off with me at home, its not just so I clean and cook, but so they don't spend half of there life with strangers or in care surroundings.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 27-Jul-13 19:57:29

just read treacle's comment about not being allowed or being too lazy to work! I do work, but not in an office!

Just to add that dd's life is not 'better' than mine. We are both suited to what we do. I'm not saying there are no disadvantages to sah, but woh also isn't perfect - nothing is!

GoSuckEggs Sat 27-Jul-13 20:00:19

i am in my late 20's and i do not have a job. I dont want one. DH works very hard and I keep a lovely house, and enjoy lots of activities.

I have never been asked why/ told that i should get a little job, mainly because i dont think anyone would dare to ask to my face!

We do not have any DCs yet. I am a bit undecided as to if i want them now.

ubik Sat 27-Jul-13 20:00:36

"If you want it spelled out treacle, "these men" earn a lot of money, and have to be able to give 100% commitment"

It would make everyone's life easier if "these men" had to share the school run etc even occasionally. So much harder for working mothers to compete with someone who does not have to do the second shift at home.

HiggsBoson Sat 27-Jul-13 20:07:32

I'm definitely quite jealous. Get that out of the way.

I am however a bit miffed that people whose husbands/partners earn whopping sums of money that enable them to make the decision to SAH can somehow turn that into a problem.

I mean, honestly - listen to yourselves!

Boo fucking hoo.

Getting back to the OP, we're not talking about full time work for both parents necessarily here. We're talking about what a woman who has been SAHM while the kids are preschool (which often makes sense) now does when her youngest starts school and the not unreasonable assumption that she might want to work during that time.

It is possible to work around the needs of being the primary parent. It doesn't have to necessitate having a nanny or an au pair. It's not an unreasonable assumption that a woman might want to do that, to find work that suits school hours, but instead this thread has become a bit of a self-justification parade for a number of women who don't work because someone else covers their bills.

deleted203 Sat 27-Jul-13 20:17:54

It is a very patronising phrase!

I would give them a steely stare and say, 'Why the fuck would I want to do that?'

Puts the onus on them to stammer out reasons such as 'pin money'. You can then say, 'I don't need to. I have plenty'...

To anyone who suggests the need to work so that you are not bored I would briskly point out that there is something seriously wrong with people who need to get 'a little job' because they can't think of anything better to do with their lives.

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 20:18:52

" I keep a lovely house."

Don't know why but that comment made me c-r-i-n-g-e!

VixZenFenchell Sat 27-Jul-13 20:24:24

I resent the implication that I need to "man up". Not least because I am female!

Next week I am working Mon 8-6, Tues 8-6, Weds 8-8 (24h), Thurs 8-6, Fri 8-8 (24h), Sat off (but sleeping after Fri), Sun 8-8(24h), then back to Mon 8am start. Which nanny is going to cover those sorts of hours? I would need a live-in housekeeper - or a wife. Or in my case, a husband.

I also really resent the "I'd go mad at home all day but that's just me" types who imply that by being content at home my husband is less intelligent / needs less "brain stimulation".

What else was I angry about? Oh, he's financially dependent on me. Right, so I'm going to have an affair with a colleague and leave him high & dry? Rubbish. I don't think that would even occur to him to worry about. If I were to die at work or anywhere else he'd be rolling in it.

What works for some families works for them. Why does everyone have to belittle the choices of others to make them feel good about their own choices? Work, don't work. SAHP, WOHP, have a nanny / cook / housekeeper / cleaner or not, spend every spare minute as a family biking / swimming / running or sat together playing games or whatever.

As for "I wouldn't marry a man that couldn't provide for his family" - what bollocks. DH could provide for us, it's just that I can provide more. But only with his support and backup 24/7 at home. I married the man I loved, ability to provide didn't come into it.

lougle Sat 27-Jul-13 20:25:37

I don't think anyone means harm.

I have 3 DDs. 1 goes to a school on school transport. Another goes to a primary school, which I take her to. The third comes with me for the school runs.

One of the TAs at DD2's school sees me come with DD2 & DD3 each day. She assumed (fairly) that I have 2 children.

So, when she heard that DD3 is going to start school in September, she said to me 'Oooh what are you going to do with yourself all day? You'll need to get a little job.'

When I explained that:

-DD1 has SN
-I am her carer
-I am a Governor at her school
-I volunteer at her school
-I am joining the Independent Admissions Appeals Service
-I am volunteering at DD2's school

etc., etc., she apologised for her assumption.

Now, she often says to me 'there's no way you could get a're far too busy.'

It's not a slight, it's just an assumption based on the context people see you in.

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 20:29:36

I guess my problem is that i would HATE to rely on anyone else for money. I was raised to be independent, and I wish to stay this way. I also think it's good to pass this belief on to my dc.

Pixel Sat 27-Jul-13 20:30:04

* InMyShreddies* Sewing pins if you are still interested, as people generally had to make their own clothes smile.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 27-Jul-13 20:45:44

starfish, it became self justificaton because words like 'vapid' were used to describe sah!

I suppose the HV comment is just a difference in perception really. Working outside the home can be rewarding both financially, but more importantly intellectually, if you enjoy your job. Maybe the HV was communicating that.

Maybe she doesn't know that the OP doesn't need to work financially, she probably doesn't know that the OP does the admin stuff for the family business - lots of people do need to work so maybe that's her perception of the situation.

From a personal perspective, I'd be quite happy for a while fiddling around, doing my hobbies etc but it wouldn't be satisfying for the next 30 years, and wouldn't be something that I could look back on at 70 or 80 and think "I did that" and be really proud of it. I'd be compelled to do more whether that was work, or volunteering or whatever.

Used to describe a certain type of SAHP, wasn't it?

My viewpoint is coloured by having spent a year living in a part of the country where a lot of women with school aged children don't work and spend all day long at the tennis club, yabbering about nonsense in their expensive tennis gear, before driving home in their Range Rover to see what the gardener and cleaner have achieved that day then shoving an M&S micro meal in the oven before their DH's got home.

I know this is a small subsection of society, but in my mind the use of the word vapid seemed pretty appropriate when applied to this type of SAHP.

feelingdizzy Sat 27-Jul-13 21:06:45

I think to be able to choose to stay at home is a choice available to some but impossible for others.

I am a single parent have been for a decade ,not now but in the past honestly I would have been jealous that that option was available to some and not to me whilst I worked and went to uni with 2 under twos.

I would have loved the option to take some time out of it all and be home with my kids .So yes ,years ago I would have thought this about a little job,because I was so knackered and would have loved to have someone look after me for a bit.

So not pretty but truthful.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 27-Jul-13 21:11:18

I've come full circle on this. At the moment I'm channelling Caitlin Moran. Despite "How to be a Woman' falling a short as the new voice of feminism, she did make a couple of salient points (I'm paraphrasing, so forgive if I'm not spot on)

1. "We have to ask why women have basically done fuck all for 100,000 years" Yes, I bristled at this too, but she has a point. More than 90% of famous people in the history of the world are men. Why? Because women have confined themselves, or been confined, to the domestic sphere, where they influence very little outside their immediate family. For much of history this has not been a choice. It is now a choice. Forget "Behind every great man..."

2. "The key question to ask oneself is "Are the men doing this?" and if the answer is no, but women are, then it's a feminist issue". So, are men flocking to be SAHD in huge numbers? Are they fuck! Because they realise that being a SAHP has zero status in society, despite what "call me Dave" would like us to believe. Ditto being a volunteer, a carer etc. Men are not doing this shit for free. They are working for money, getting status, getting a pension. Women need to wise up. Society is relying on women's unpaid labour. It's about time that stopped.

Yes, one day in the future, being a SAHP will be a free choice and equal numbers of men and women will do it, but frankly, when 95% of SAHP are women, the argument doesn't stack up.

Talkinpeace Sat 27-Jul-13 21:25:12

I work enough hours to shop at Waitrose but not so many as to interfere with my Yoga classes
suits me

VixZenFenchell Sat 27-Jul-13 21:31:23

DH doesn't rely on me for money. We have a joint a/c and credit card, he has as much access to our money as I have. More, probably, because he sorts out bill paying & mortgage & stuff.

I guess the difference is I no longer view myself as a single independent entity - I am part of the unified entity that is my marriage. I am independently myself within that though.

Talkinpeace Sat 27-Jul-13 21:49:56

DH is my company Secretary and I am his.
His chargeout rate is a bit higher than mine, but my days are shorter
We both have national reputations in our different fields
we both take August off

I like my setup

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 27-Jul-13 21:57:52

Goodtouch, im very happy thanks. I didnt imply you werent happy simply because you have a different viewpoint but i dont have to result to insults.

Im sure most women believe their husbands will never leave or if they do will still give them their salary, a quick scan of these boards and the net shows that women leave themselves wide open if they rely totally on a man. Having a back up plan is sensible, not because you distrust your partner but because nobody knows what the future holds. My mum died and i saw what a struggle it was after.

Theres lots of other reasons women choose to work. Some dont feel its fair that the burden of earning falls to one person whilst the other gets to stay home not working, some do it because of the love of the job, some for the company, some for the pension etc.

I dont want DS growing up believing that just because he was born male he is expected to go out and work all hours just so his wife doesnt have to. I want him to see that its perfectly possible to have a house and family and both work to share the burden. Then again, im not money obsessed so as long as we can pay our own way im life and stay healthy im perfectly happy.

There seem to be some people missing the point here. The OP is not a SAHP with nothing to do except housework and childcare. She has a job, a job that doesn't take her out of her home but a job all the same. She works from home.

By doing the admin for the family business she is playing a part in the success of that business, just the same as if she worked for somebody else's business. Difference is that she works with her husband to ensure that his business runs smoothly. She isn't a SAHM any more than somebody who goes out to work part time is a SAHM all the time.

She doesn't have to justify herself to anybody, she is making a contribution. Just because she doesn't need the extra money from sources outside of the family doesn't make it any less of a job. If she didn't do it then her DH would have to employ somebody else to do it (assuming he doesn't have time) so they are keeping as much of the profits of the business within the family as they can. It makes good financial sense.

Frankly is she stayed at home being fed grapes and cake by topless man servants she still doesn't have to justify herself to anybody but she isn't doing that. She is working and if other people can't see it, well, it isn't any of their business anyway and they should just stay out of it.

Talkinpeace Sat 27-Jul-13 22:08:04

hear hear

MrsKoala Sat 27-Jul-13 22:08:16

Yes Karma, my DH travels about 25-50% of his month - usually at really short notice. He'd love me to work but it just isn't feasible without costing us a lot of money that i cannot earn and all the jobs i get are dead end, have no career progression or satisfaction for me at all.

Both sah and woh have pros and cons. DH loves his job and gets enormous satisfaction from it. I love staying at home and get enormous satisfaction from it. I suppose he could take a different job he hated which was less hours (don't know if he'd get one as far too overqualified and only able to do his one niche thing) and pay and i could go back to work in a call centre, we could send ds to a CM, and run around doing pick ups drop offs, cleaning all weekend etc and all be miserable. So the woh option seems to have a lot more cons than the sah option atm. It's not perfect but enables us to stay married, because i know we wouldn't be if i worked!

jellybeans Sat 27-Jul-13 22:13:52

I am sure I will get it soon although I am studying so tend to get 'ooh what are you going to do when you finish your degree?'In all honesty all I want to be is here for my 5 DC. I have put their needs first so long (SAHM for 14 yrs since 2nd child) I would find it so hard to miss their school events or pick them up from school etc. So unless something fits in I would not do it unless I had to. Luckily I am happy at home and with DH's hours it is easier for him with me being home. However if something ideal came up or the kids are older I may change my mind, who knows. I know people will judge me (a minority of working mums, mostly family members) but don't give a rats arse anymore. It's my life and I am happy.

* I know few people, male or female, who have 'rewarding careers'. They have jobs. Jobs they hate.*


I don't know many people that hate their jobs. Genuinely, I don't.

If you hate it, do something else. There is always something else. If it can't be found, create it. That may sound idealistic but life is too short to be in a job you hate.

I can't believe I'm saying this but where's xenia when you need her?

MrsKoala Sat 27-Jul-13 22:32:27

Richman - i agree with what you have said. But this also only really applies to men who are successful with careers etc. What status do other men have in the workplace? Truck drivers, manual factory workers, blue collar workers etc - Very little i would argue.

I studied History of Art, Women's Studies and Fetishism and the ideas of which you speak were hotly debated (Just look at the female impressionists and compare their domestic subject matter to their male counterparts).

My DH is shocked at how little i can earn compared to him. This is why feminism frees men as well as women. So they don't have responsibilities to subsidise their pay for traditional feminine jobs which are deemed 'low'. However i think this a class issue as much as a feminist issue. It only really affects a certain pay bracket.

And no my DH isn't earning a 6 figure salary (not even a 3 figure salary). So we aren't loaded and i don't go to the gym have expensive lunches/tennis lessons etc. I also help his admin as he is a consultant which means he has to go when a job comes in and we cannot bank on a salary or holiday time or anything like that. I would love to have a job as fulfilling as DH finds his but i just don't and wouldn't be able to get one without substantial time and funding (which we often don't have). So therefore i am not willing to work if i don't have to. I don't know anyone apart from DH who would choose to work if they didn't have to .

MrsKoala Sat 27-Jul-13 22:35:56

Sorry Starfish - your post made me laugh out loud. Do you think people love working in low paid admin, factories, fast food restaurants, cleaning? Do you think if they had the choice to do something else they would? What choices do many people have with children and bills, especially in the current climate?

LayMizzRarb Sat 27-Jul-13 22:36:54

What is really disheartening are the people on this thread who are sneering. Goodtouchbadtouch for one ' I couldn't even get a job in Tesco' . Plenty of people who work in Tesco are good honest hardworking individuals. Obviously not in your mind, as you are implying it is the bottom of the barrel.
They may earn less than you and not own property, but they are not some level of underclass. Some things, like humility, and good manners cannot be purchased, as you have proved. listing about how many properties you own, how much your husband earns, is incredibly vulgar.

I don't know koala, I'm sure some people love the jobs you have mentioned and some don't. My mum loved her minimum wage NHS admin job, whereas my friend finds her bar job dull. So alongside it she is setting up a photography business and making made to measure curtains to earn a living in a way that fulfils her.

Unless a person is in really unusual dire circumstances there are always choices.

MrsKoala Sat 27-Jul-13 23:27:58

Good for her. How much is that setting her back? Time/money/contacts/luck?

Things a lot of people do not have the luxury of having.

I know 3 people who stack in a supermarket at night and look after dc in the day. I person who is a carer at night and looks after dc in the day. About 10 people off the top of my head in my team at the call centre who cry regularly on the way to work, some who have been made redundant from much better more fulfilling jobs and go home to pick up dc and live hand to mouth with no time to spare. Some whose DH's are redundant and searching others whose dh's work away or nights. I know of 2 friends who after 6-8 years in the same crappy admin jobs are still on less than 20k and apply constantly to other jobs and never get interviews (but all they would be are other admin jobs and let's face it if they hate admin it wont be any better). Perhaps their expectations are too high and they should just be grateful they've got jobs. Maybe in this climate people are too scared to risk losing the job they hate. I think a lot of well meaning comments about people sorting themselves out and finding alternatives is just naive 'let them eat cakery'. If the reality was so easy more people would do it.

MrsOakenshield Sat 27-Jul-13 23:50:06

picking up on something said a while back, how can you class yourself as financially independent when it's your DH putting stuff (property/investments) in your name that has made you so?

Also, I think it's a poor life (and an old-fashioned one) for children to have one SAHP, and one nigh-on absent parent because he's so busy furthering his career. I would think most children would want to see a decent amount of both parents. What would happen if you were ill - presumably your DH would step up and take on the parenting that you have been providing? Given that he's a parent too, of course. Doesn't sound like it.

MrsKoala Sun 28-Jul-13 00:34:07

When i grew up both M&D worked full time all week. I was sent away all day Sat so the housework, cooking, gardening, diy and shopping could be caught up on and Sunday was spent with them at the pub unwinding after a busy week. i rarely saw either of them. Neither of them had careers - Just jobs. Jobs they hated.

If DH has made investments with money WE have earned then 50% of them are mine. He has only earned that money/bought that property/made that investment because I have enabled him to. If i went to work he would have to pay 50% of childcare and all other household costs so that has been earned by me, I have let him invest my wages and put them in my name. So i AM independent financially. It's just wages a different way really. I think people are devaluing the work done at home. Just because everyone can do it doesn't mean it's free.

If i was ill DH would lose his business or have to use money from our savings to pay for childcare till i was better.

DrCoconut Sun 28-Jul-13 00:58:58

Chubby kitty. Pin money is from the 18th century when women fastened their clothing with pins. Poor people had plain ones, rich had ostentatious jewelled ones. So a woman was given an allowance suitable to her social status to buy pins (and other accessories). Her DH was considered a tightwad if she had none and he was also not allowed to interfere in her personal shopping. So a woman's own money came to be known as pin money. People say silly things about my job like why don't I go full time, what does DH think etc. I out earn him so he's glad I work and I don't need to go full time so won't.

MerylStrop Sun 28-Jul-13 01:16:57

OP - just say - I have got a job, I work in the family business
And whilst you are at it get a SALARY out of it, or if it is just DH's business, think about how your investment of time and energy can be reflected in a share of ownership.
and, recognise it yourself as a job, and the skills you use in it.

TBH I think its a natural enough to think that parents of school age children might want to or need to work in some form. For many reasons, not least of which the assumption that you wont want to spend the rest of your life watching Jeremy Kyle.

Remotecontrolduck Sun 28-Jul-13 02:51:27

Some people are so rude aren't they and have no boundaries. I wouldn't even dream of asking someone to justify why they did or didn't work, way too intrusive in my opinion.

You're a grown up, you know what can happen if your relationship goes tits up and you need a job. However you OP most definitely have a job, if you put down your administration role on a CV then I'm sure you'd interviews!

If it's not neccessary for you to work out of the home and you don't want to then don't. Why go through the expense of childcare just to satisfy some ignorant woman in the playground. It is just jealousy that causes people to make this kind of remark ultimately. Ignore.

Athrawes Sun 28-Jul-13 04:12:53

If you are working for the family business in a role which, were it to be for another business, would pay you a living wage, then tell them to back off.
However, if you still require the tax payer to prop up your lifestyle choices, going out, to the gym, coffee etc., then that's just not fair. Why should we pay for you when you have the ability to work.
This isn't jealousy. Having children doesn't absolve you from the responsibility to be able to look after yourself and your children.
If your husband fell ill/left you/died then who would feed the kids then?
I don't get this dependence on men attitude, what kind of model are you to your children.

Lizzabadger Sun 28-Jul-13 06:01:51

Think what role models you are being for your daughters if you don't work. Do you want them growing up thinking that their lot in life is to clean and skivvy? Do you want your sons to grow up thinking that women are put on earth to serve men?

ZingWidge Sun 28-Jul-13 07:19:19

lizza that's not nice.
in fact I find it quite offensive.

kiwigirl42 Sun 28-Jul-13 07:40:12

I don't work as disabled but when I get helpful advice I reply ' no thanks, I'm quite happy sitting at home on my arse doing nothing while you work thanks'

usually takes the wind out of their sails grin

lizza a good role model is being a happy, kind human - how you achieve this has nothing to do with working or not working

JustinBsMum Sun 28-Jul-13 07:42:21

Most of these posts say a lot more about the posters' lives than any supposed 'advice' they pretend to propose.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 28-Jul-13 07:47:47

lizza my children will see that couples support each other, that we, as parents, made decisions that we felt benefitted them (much the same as households where both parents work). They will see division of labour is a perfectly reasonable way of life - that it is okay to do what you want and what you are good at, despite society telling them that only paid employment makes people worthwhile.
My dc will remember that mum was able to go on school trips and attend all their events and that dad made that possible. (He attends when he can, but me sah means that I always can).

Wuxiapian Sun 28-Jul-13 07:57:06


Sounds as if you have a great set-up, and, invariably, people will be jealous.

I'm fortunate enough not to have to work. I have a 6 month old and another on the way. I tell people, when asked, that I don't plan on returning to work, at all, and that's it.

koala you asked how my friend has managed to set up a photography business and made to measure curtains business. The answer is a little creative thought, good planning and a heap of hard work.

She decided what she wanted to do, applied to local biz development org for a small grant that paid for distance learning college course and equipment then got cracking. She went to the bank to get a template for a business plan then wrote it. She self taught to use Wordpress to set up a website then promoted her biz via social media and via local press. She did a lot of this set up work in the evenings and while the kids were in school. She called in favours from friends to have the kids, which she is now returning. She now has a full book of prom shoots and weddings for the summer.

Her soft furnishings work was self taught on an old machine she borrowed from an old lady in the village. She sews in evenings and while kids are at school.

Clearly there are circumstances where this sort of approach might be more difficult but there were a few people who said upthread 'no one would want to employ me' so I sit at home. Not a reason I subscribe to, the example above being an illustration of why.

Dahlen Sun 28-Jul-13 08:13:40

I think the role of SAHP is much undervalued. I'm not coming at this from an angle that that sees these women as "kept women" or women who have no purpose in life, etc. My only misgiving about the role is that far too many women end up being shafted when their OH's end up leaving them and they haven't made adequate provision for their future or assumed that their OH would 'do the decent thing'. I would love to see greater rights enshrined in law to protect SAHPs.

However, the role of SAHP has, and continues to be, very much a privileged one that only a small section of society has been able to enjoy (working class women have always worked). It is unusual. It's not unreasonable for most people to assume that you would probably need to return to work once your youngest child starts school - most women would have to.

If that had been me in your situation I would have taken the school mum's job 'offer' quite kindly. She'd gone to some trouble to give you an opportunity that she could equally not have bothered with. Of course a lot depends on the tone with which she delivered it and maybe she's a patronising idiot, but why assume that she has an opinion on how you ought to behave? Couldn't she just be doing you a favour?

You have a job OP - you are a parent and a clerk for your DH's business. You don't need to justify your existence to anyone and it's none of their business, but I think a little acceptance that your life is an unusual one would go a long way towards being able to accept that people are maybe not so much interfering as trying to help. In a way think of it as a compliment - if they thought you were a PITA they wouldn't bother to print out job opportunities for you and leave you to it.

juneau Sun 28-Jul-13 09:17:07

I think the OP was objecting to the patronising term 'a little job', as would I. Most of us are capable of doing far more than 'a little job', which implies something poorly paid and menial to keep our tiny brains occupied so we're not bored while our kids are at school. I am NEVER bored on the very rare occasions I'm on my own, and I know lots of non-working mums who are also never bored, because we're all intelligent enough to find stimulating things to do when we're not occupied with school runs, wiping bums, shopping, etc. Maybe I will go back to work - I haven't decided - but I sure as hell won't be doing 'a little job'.

The OP has to take it as a compliment that somebody has an opinion on her life and thinks she is either stupid or idle enough to need their help getting a dinner ladies job, which is probably about 10 hours a week, when she already has a job requiring a bit more skill and has an impact on the success of the family business? I don't think so. hmm

Btw, I have researched my family tree going back 200 years now, with a few exceptions, none of the w/c women in my family (which is all of them - I don't come from landed gentry sadly) had jobs. Their husbands worked on the land and they stayed at home with 7 or 8 surviving children. They didn't have paid work although I am sure they took part in the running of the farm but that is just what rural women did - it was part of their 'housework'. They certainly didn't pay for it. Seems to me that is a bit of a myth that some women use to beat up other women for their choices.

There are plenty of people who would be very grateful for a 'little job'. The sneering about being above this is what's so unpleasant about this thread.

No need to be offended at the offer, just say it's not for me but offer to spread the word among parents to see if anyone wants to fill the role. That way both school and parents potentially benefit.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 28-Jul-13 09:34:30

Agree juneau . Many sahp came from professional, well paid careers. Sah does come with some sacrifices, but I did not give up a career so I can do some menial job while my dc are at school. Why would people assume that this is a better use of my time that anything else I could choose to do?

But the OP said the woman in question doesn't know her very well, so presumably doesn't know her circumstances. And why does it matter? Why sneer at the offer because you are financially and intellectually above it?

A graceful thank you and an offer to pass the word around is all that's necessary.

Yes some may take issue with the phrase 'little job'. I don't think it's a great one either, for two reasons. 1) it's clear from this thread that some find it demeaning and 2) it's also vastly insulting to those who NEED those 'little jobs'.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Jul-13 09:39:55

True independence only comes from earning your own money.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 28-Jul-13 09:40:45

starfish, it's more about the idea that women sah because they are incapable of having a 'proper career' or that once the dc have started school there is no more value to us sah and the only value we have is if we are in the workplace, even if it doing a job we don't want or need and may be over qualified for!

That's just a projection though isn't it? We have no idea what the woman concerned was thinking when she made the offer.

There are plenty of examples on this thread of SAHP's who believe they have value. If you feel your life is valuable and that you will look back on it with pride when you are in your last days then it probably is, whether that's spent home making or out on oil rigs, if your time is spent productively it surely doesn't matter what others think.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 28-Jul-13 09:45:39

Lizza, although put quite buntly what you said is true. We should be encouraging girls to work hard at school and have them believe they can be anything they want to be. Whats the point of uni etc if its never used, housework and staying home is not exactly rocket science.

Starfish, i agree that lots would love a "little job" and there was no need for the OP to be offended. It sounds like the other lady had no idea she already worked and was trying to be helpful. Jobs on schools are always filled quickly as the hours and holidays match and are generally rewarding jobs.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 28-Jul-13 09:49:05

I think I am also uncomfortable with the idea of someone thinking it is okay to tell a virtual stranger what they ought to be doing with their time. Being a sahp seems to invite a lot of value judgements from people, who really ought to be minding their own business. I don't think anyone would approach a man and tell him that his life choices were all wrong and that it was time he did something completely different with his time!

charlottehere Sun 28-Jul-13 09:53:03

Say Darling I simply do NOT have time for a job. Big grin and saunter off.

Telling someone 'you should get a job' is rather different to waving a piece of paper in someone's general direction as per the OP. Although I get what you're saying about value judgements karma.

I suspect the value judgements often come from a genuine wondering about what SAHPs do during the day while their children are at school. Of course the time can be easily filled with home and family related tasks, but these are also tasks that other families have to find time to do, so in essence it becomes a luxury to be able to do them during the school day. I know I certainly find it easier on days when I'm not working to have a daytime town trip to pick up groceries and plan meals rather than having to do a rushed online order or scrabble about in the cupboards for something quick to cook, for example. But I wouldn't choose for all my days to be spent on family admin, so I also work.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 28-Jul-13 09:56:38

Happy, education is never wasted. A woman should go to university if that's what she wants, regardless of what she intends to do with the rest of her life. Again with this idea that sah is for thick people hmm

My education has been quite handy for helping my dc, amongst other things

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Jul-13 09:56:53

I work with families who have severely disabled children.
We work with them up until school age.

Many of the mothers are told 'oooh you can get a job now that XXXX has started school'

The mothers almost always end up feeling guilty that they are not rushing around looking for a job.

One that will allow them to take 10 days off a month for appointments?
Let them go at a moment's notice if their child has a seizure and has to be picked up from school?
Take unlimited sick leave as their child is vulnerable to chest infections and every bug going round?
Doesn't mind them having a nap in the day as they have been up most of the night with a child who needs moving, feeding and changing?

Yet people still tell them how exciting it is that they can get a nice little job hmm

Misguided advice MrsDeVere however I have a child who usually has between 8 and 15 appointments a month and has potentially life limiting epilepsy. It was bloody hard finding someone to look after him while I work as they have to be epilepsy trained and life support trained etc, and willing to take on the responsibility. Without that person I'd be fooked, at least until DS starts school.

On the flip side, many of the parents in my support group say how much they value work as it gives them a break (yes a break!) from the caring role.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 28-Jul-13 10:11:49

It's really easy to fill a school day. Not everything I do is house related - I do have some time to do the things I find interesting. I have also genuinely wondered about people who say they would be bored sah, but claim not to be bored in jobs where someone else has effectively decided what they will be doing all day! Why is my day viewed as boring but theirs is not? Surely setting one's own agenda is less likely to result in boredom?

Yes I think that too karma. The most bored I've ever been was when I was employed in the press office of a global bank but a lot of that was about my own attitude towards the job, I could have made the best of it but I chose not to. It's possible to be bored or fulfilled pretty much anywhere.

JustinBsMum Sun 28-Jul-13 10:16:02

There is a lot of envy I think in discussions about SAHM - suggestions like 'I would be so bored sitting at home all day with Jeremy Kyle' etc. But just think of all the millions of people who are retired. Ime everyone who can retire is, as they fear their pension disappearing somewhere or other.

They are not in their dotage nowadays, in fact, many use their retirement to gad about the world if they can afford to. Many spend a day or so a week minding grandchildren. But there are all those other days.

The upshot is there are millions of people home all day and probably, if they were truly organised, could be described as having spare time on their hands. But to do what?

Just because some people chase their tails running a home and a job should we all do that? Judging by the martyrdom on some threads it sounds pretty miserable (have done it and don't recommend it).

And doing a 'little job' - what, do something you find unrewarding for a minimum wage that hardly covers the travel costs, why??

I am not talking about people who live off the state, just those at home a lot.

My point is that those doing both job and home won't be doing it forever, DCs leave home, those just running home with a small job is fine if they are not requiring state support to do it, those just running home is fine too, the interesting little jobs aren't there anyway so they might as well make the most of it.

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Jul-13 10:17:28

I work and have a disabled child too starfish so I understand its importance and that most carers would love to have a job.

But I am specifically talking about people saying it to mums who have just spent 4 years on that rollacoaster of diagnosis and assessment, physio, OT, hospital stays etc.
And as soon as their child is about to spend a few hours a day at school, everyone is telling them they can rush out and start a whole new life!

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Its just something I come across regularly and the lack of understanding and sensitivity never ceases to amaze me smile

I'm on that rollercoaster right now. I've chosen to squeeze work into it to as I find it helps me cope mentally so I don't get completely and utterly absorbed by the worry of not knowing if DS will ever walk, talk or live past the age of 5. Sorry that sounds melodramatic, but in summary that's my situ.

I know lots of mums in my/our situations who would be mightily pissed off at the assumption they now have endless hours to fill, but equally as many who are counting down the days until their little one is in school or they find suitable childcare so that they can work.

There is so much lack of understanding and sensitivity generally towards mums like us who are caring for a severely disabled child, v annoying, but that's another thread altogether.

MrsDV I suspect I know the job you do but don't want to out you. If it is what I think it is then of all the professionals we have input from, your role is the one I find so, so supportive and brilliant and wouldn't be without.

juneau Sun 28-Jul-13 10:34:17

I have also genuinely wondered about people who say they would be bored sah, but claim not to be bored in jobs where someone else has effectively decided what they will be doing all day!

Yes! Totally agree. I've never been so bloody bored as I was at work when there was nothing to do, yet I had to try and 'look busy' all day. The last six months I was at work before DS1 was born was like that and I couldn't wait to go on maternity leave. No wonder I haven't rushed back to work at the earliest opportunity when my last memory of work was endless hours when I sat there thinking of all the things I could be doing if I was at home!

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Jul-13 11:00:04

Fair enough Starfish that is a totally valid way of looking at it. I understand completely what you are saying smile

Recently DS's DLA was awarded at high rate care.
This gave me the option of giving up work and claiming Carers Allowance.

I was being urged by quite a few people to do just that. I still struggle quite a lot due to losing DD and the various stresses of having a disabled child and partner.
Not with my work, I LOVE my work, but generally fitting everything in and feeling on top of things.

It was tempting for a while. Then I thought 'how many people in my position would kill for a job like mine, part time and reasonably well paid, in a field where you can use your own experience?'

When I put it like that to people they understood why I couldn't give it up.

And thank you. I think my job is fantastic. We are clinging on to the model with dear life as it is not really seen as target driven and time efficient sad

In other words we don't fix up and ship out quick enough!

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Jul-13 11:00:59

And of course you don't sound melodramatic!

I've weighed up that same option MrsDV, the finances weren't all that different when looked at in detail. Work option is working at the moment but I do have friends who look at my week especially when DH is away a lot and think 'WTF are you doing!'. It's exhausting but rewarding.

On that point, must stop procrastinating talking to you lovely lot and do my invoicing. Thats the bit I don't enjoy!

HiggsBoson Sun 28-Jul-13 11:28:01

Daughters really ought to be encouraged to achieve for themselves as opposed to marrying well though, surely?

Agree with Lizza on that point.

Why, oh why, oh why can some people not simply accept with good grace how incredibly fortunate thy are?

littlefirefly Sun 28-Jul-13 11:36:29

I think that carers should be seen differently to sahms though. I get Carers Allowance too as DS gets HRC DLA, he is school-aged. I am occasionally encouraged to look for work, but only by parents of NT children, and most of my friends these days are other parents of disabled dc, who understand our situation much better.

We don't have so many appointments these days and DS is settled in school (but there was a period when he had to flexi-school as he couldn't cope with a full day). So I do have to fill the school hours by myself. There is always a fair bit of work related to DS's needs, like making visual reminders, researching therapies, keeping up with the massive changes in SEN policy, applying for funding, chasing up the LA/DWP. There are some local parent support groups which I attend, plus a little volunteering I do to help other parents. And, as DS needs so much supervision at home, I have to do a lot of my errands/housework while he is at school. I do have a bit of time left over for some weekly classes/exercise, which provide me with adult interaction and helps me regroup so I can be in the right frame of mind for caring for DS. It's a very different situation to being a sahm to an NT school-aged child.

I agree firefly, there is SO much to do when you have a disabled child. The admin alone can be overwhelming. I use my work as a way of not getting bogged down in it all, but I do wish there more hours in the day (and night!).

I think, reading back this thread, that there are a number of SAHM's that don't know they're born. Be gracious about it, is all I'd say to them. No need to stick nose in the air and 'clutch at pearls' as quoted above, when a part-time job at their child's school is mooted.

Vix those hours are illegal surely? What on earth do you do?

MrsKoala Sun 28-Jul-13 16:34:34

I think the 'example' stick is a particularly nasty one to beat sahm with. It's usually pulled out as a guilt tactic for the arguer to 'win' in a kind 'for the love of god wont someone think of the kiddies' type way. It is also completely erroneous. Otherwise we would only ever do what our mothers did. How many people who work mums were sah? I know loads. My mum woh but it did not affect my decision in any way.

And who are these people encouraging dds to marry well instead of do well? Certainly not in my socio-economical bracket. Most people work, marry, have dc and then make their decisions based on what is best for their family. You would be surprised when you put down on paper the pros and cons that one usually is glaring as the 'right choice' (never without some sacrifice tho - but nothing is). Whether that be sah or woh. A lot of people i know actually cannot afford to go to work, but would love to, not the other way round. If you don't have any family who help and more than one DC and are not eligible for any credits or anything then it becomes impossible. Also no one i know is making this choice on taxpayers money.

I'm not sure the 'example' stick is a relevant one either. It is possible to set a good example to your children in lots of ways, it doesn't require a 9 to 5.

However I would say that your statement about work being impossible if you have more than one DC, no family help and no tax credits is incorrect koala. I am that person, and I know plenty like me, who do work under those circumstances. Most of us are self-employed but not all.

I know for some families the figures don't always stack up when it comes to returning to work, but this problem usually disappears once childcare is no longer a year-round cost.

Completely agree MrsKoala. The 'example' thing is also completely irrelevant to most children because they haven't the faintest idea what their parents do all day anyway, except they go out every day. The children couldn't care less if mummy is chairperson of a bank or a high flying lawyer or whatever.

Tell me, would all those who think the woman who offered the job description to the OP didn't mean any harm and was just trying to help, how would you feel if the woman suggested you cut back on your working hours because you were looking a bit tired or you should get a little job to fit in with school hours so your children see you more?

The fact the woman doesn't know the OP and her situation is less reason to butt in with her little job suggestion, not more. How would you feel if a relative stranger had an opinion on how you spend your time? I don't blame the OP for being irritated.

expatinscotland Sun 28-Jul-13 17:09:38

Working is over-rated for the vast majority. If you don't have to and don't want to, don't.

PurpleGirly Sun 28-Jul-13 17:23:58

Surely the idea of feminism was to give women the opportunity to chose their own path in life, with the ability to become whatever they want?

Not a stealth boast but DH earns a great salary and I work because I want to work - I love my job. The fact that DH travels, works long hours etc. also means that he has some flexibility if DS is ever ill. He allows his team time off for emergencies and could do the same himself if needed. The idea that a working man can never be called on to help is one that I find a bit odd.

Most people on here do not have a problem with the OP who works for the family business and she just needs the confidence to say this to people. I think most people have taken offence at the poster who feels that a HV who took a decision to improve is something to be belittled. Someone who seems to like to boast about the fact she has never worked and has no intention of ever doing so. The fact that she is totally reliant on her DP and quite is quite sarcastic to others who chose a different life. Most SAHMs that I know have worked prior to child are and for many it is the most economically viable reason with childcare costs etc. Very few in the real world are rich enough to think they will never ever have to work (especially at 31).

So to this poster, think about how you have portrayed yourself ... I am not jealous of you, I love my job and have a great life, a career and a lot of self worth. I don't feel the need to put anyone down for their choices and in this post I have not done so - good on you for being in a comfortable position but don't write your life off as one big long retirement, I hope everything works out for you, I really do, but none of us know what the future holds.

When there is a position going at the school or preschool in the village here it is quite common for the parents in the playground to all be given a piece of paper with details about it. Is that not what happened in the OP? I just don't see that the 'busy body' was doing anything other than helping the school out and trying to open conversations with other parents about the vacancy, albeit a little awkwardly.

That is entirely different to someone approaching another parent and making very personal remarks about their current job situation with no relation to the school, for which all parents have a shared interest in its success.

FWIW if another parent told me I should cut back on my work hours because I was looking tired I would thank them for their concern and try to get an early night or two!

I'm getting comments already and ds doesn't start school until 2014. Their faces are classic though when I tell them that I already have a job (which pays nearly 3x national average - don't actually say that), is totally flexible during the week and I don't need to work in holidays, so I can have it all and work and go to school plays, days out etc. Just because I don't come to school in work stuff and spend far too much time on MN doesn't mean I don't have a job. OP make sure your dh employs you so you get NI and you use your tax allowance then sit back and look smuggly at them.

Talkinpeace Sun 28-Jul-13 18:24:15

"I do not have time to work, I'm too busy managing my investment portfolio"

"with what DH pays me through our business, any little job would be taxed at 50% so I don't"

"I give my time to charity, its better than minimum wage for a tax avoiding multinational"

"I'm training as a yoga teacher so am busy every lunchtime"

take your pick

Don't tell me your serious about anything but the last on your list talk

MrsKoala Sun 28-Jul-13 18:39:49

However I would say that your statement about work being impossible if you have more than one DC, no family help and no tax credits is incorrect koala. I am that person, and I know plenty like me, who do work under those circumstances. Most of us are self-employed but not all.

The problem i have with these statements Starfish is they are usually touted by pulled themselves up by the bootstraps, yorkshiremen sketch in monty python, katie hopkins type people who know someone who managed to get up an hour before they went to bed, work licking the road clean for 28 hours a day, look after the dc AND study for a fantastic career in the evenings. Then this is applied to everyone else regardless of circumstance. There may always be a possible alternative, but sometimes the cost (not necessarily in money) may be too high. If it was so easy everyone would be doing it. Or is everyone who doesn't lazy?

Talkinpeace Sun 28-Jul-13 18:40:15

what, as replies to stupid questions .... grin
I've not even warmed up .....

MrsKoala Sun 28-Jul-13 18:43:07

3Birthdaybunnies - i'm also getting comments like this too and DS is 10 fecking months! Along with people commenting on him breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Seriously, mind your own business people!

ReindeerBollocks Sun 28-Jul-13 18:51:46

I'm getting this at the moment - but my situation is similar to the one MrsDeVere describes: a child with a complicated medical condition which requires a lot of appointments and time in hospital.

The child in question attends school, and now my youngest will be in full time school I keep getting the 'no excuses for not working now' line. However I know any employer would be sick of our constant absences - the child who is ill may attend school full time, but the fact is that his attendance record is below 85% so it would be a lot of time off.

I am trying my hand at freelancing work, as it gives me more freedom to wriggle appointments in, amongst clients so fingers crossed it will work.

Essentially it's no-one else's business, and that's what I tell the nosy people who want to know how I will fill my time with both DC in school.

AdoraBell Sun 28-Jul-13 19:19:36

For all the 'how will you fill your time' questions give a bright smile and say something like "you don't need to worry about me, I can fill my time, thanks" but don't tell them how you plan to fill your time.

I don't watch TV during the day despite being an SAHM and working full time never stopped me eating chocolate, so that messes up that stereotype.

Wbdn28 Sun 28-Jul-13 19:23:58

Tell people you work as a business administrator. You don't need to tell them that the location is your home.

It's been a good long while since I've seen a good SAHM v WOHM thread. grin Well done OP.

I just say I'm a landlord which I am but the management company does everything for me but they don't know that

I don't know if said people are lazy or not koala, I don't know their circumstances. I was responding to your generalisation that it's impossible to work if you have more than one DC, no family help and no tax credits, because that simply isn't true.

There may be other reasons why one parent doesn't work, but the list you gave need not be a barrier to work.

ErrorError Sun 28-Jul-13 20:05:24

Ooh my ex-p used to comment on my 'little job' (part-time) which was incredibly irritating and made me feel de-valued. I'm okay with what I do at the moment and enjoy the freedom to work from home (and browse MN!) alongside helping to care for my DM in a wheelchair. It's absolutely none of anyone's business how you spend your time or your money. If I was you and had the courage I'd be so tempted to give some over the top theatrical response to the suggestion of getting a 'little job', e.g. "I'm actually running an escort service", or "how little is little? am I too big for one?"

Talkinpeace Sun 28-Jul-13 20:46:42

"I have a 'little job' : I make dolls houses at home"

"I have a little job - dealing with small minded people"

"I'd love to get a normal job but when I'm called to do a hit, everything has to fit around it. Nice pen. "

"Oh, now the kids are full time at school I'm going back on the game, would you like to play with me? Golf of course"

SixPackWellies Mon 29-Jul-13 11:48:50

Love the 'hit' one Talking. I would LOVE to say that!

KellyElly Mon 29-Jul-13 13:49:53

I never understand why people get so heated about other peoples life choices. People do what's right for them and their family/marriage etc. All I know is if I won the lottery I'd give up work like a shot and fill my days doing all the things I enjoy but never get time to do grin

I'd love to know what Vix does that demands those hours - care work of some sort I assume?

nkf Mon 29-Jul-13 14:08:54

I don't think it would tbh. They are making assumptions based in their understanding of a recognised pattern. Really though, it's Just chatter to fill in space.

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