I love my children too much to work full time..

(403 Posts)
LostMarbles99 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:31:31

AIBU to be royally pissed off at the person who said this to me today?

Am just back at work 2 weeks after birth of first baby who is now 7 months. 'Friend' was adamant that I must regret it and then proceeded to say that she loves her children too much to be working full time.

Yeah because I hate my child and can't wait to get away from him hmm

I'm working full time as I'm the main earner and we need the money.

Why are people so insensitive?

What do you say?

HeyMicky Sat 31-Aug-13 20:33:04

I say I love my job. I say it's important for my daughter to see me working and contributing to the household income. I say mind your own business

shoofly Sat 31-Aug-13 20:33:05

YANBU that is a shocking thing to say!

BOF Sat 31-Aug-13 20:33:10

You say "Haaaaahaaa, did you mean to be such a cock?"

Labootin Sat 31-Aug-13 20:33:48

Fuck off seems to cover all the bases

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:03

Say "I love my child too much to see the bailiff's take our house away"

BruthasTortoise Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:09

"I love my children too much to let them go without food in their stomachs, clothes on their backs and a roof over their heads" is my stock answer when I encounter insensitive cows like that.

ubik Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:09

That person is an idiot. There are some about.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:26

what a silly woman

I love my children too much to fail to pay the mortgage tbh

NutritiousAndDelicious Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:30

She's a twat and probably jealous of your financially independance/freedom from the monotomy. My DSister says things like this to me sometimes, I just laugh. Winds her right up.

TempusFuckit Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:34

I love my children too much to see them on the street?

Not that it has anything to do with her or me, but have you been back at work two weeks, or did you go back when your 7mo was two weeks old? If the latter, I'd steel yourself for more similarly offensive comments.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:54

but yeah, fuck off is better grin

arethereanyleftatall Sat 31-Aug-13 20:34:55

Yanbu at all. What an utterly horrible and insensitive and incorrect thing to say.

MoleyMick Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:24

"I love my children too much to not put a roof over their heads."
"Stop being a sanctimonious, offensive cunt."

MsVestibule Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:32

The only response to somebody as ignorant as that is "That's nice. I'm not that fussed about mine." Completely deadpan. And then break contact; this is no friend of yours.

BonaDrag Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:42

Oh dear, this person isn't your friend. No point in saying anything IMO, just don't meet up with her so she can keep her barbs to herself.

I'm a WOHM and it's not possible for me to love my child anymore.

My cousin is a SAHM and I've met alley cats who are better parents.

Really, whether you work or you stay at home has NO bearing on how much you love your children. She's a twat.

TiredDog Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:42

Did you mean to be so rude?
Or just stare in silence

Elsiequadrille Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:46

What a silly thing to say.

fanjobiscuits Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:46

Does her other half work full time? Does he not love their children?

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 31-Aug-13 20:36:02

Oh, I like it that DS sees me as fun Mummy who spends every spare minute we get together playing rather than just some woman who's always there'

To some woman who said similar... I'd never say it to a normal sahm but she was a cow.

LillyNotOfTheValley Sat 31-Aug-13 20:36:19

YANBU, I would be too! In fact I read your title and was about to jump at your throat grin

Each to his own, I work because I want to, that does not mean I love my children less.

NatashaBee Sat 31-Aug-13 20:37:04

YANBU. You can't pay a mortgage with love.

lecce Sat 31-Aug-13 20:38:07

YANBU.

The day I went back after being off for a year with ds2 a colleague, who had joined the school while I was off, gave me a whole lecture about a former friend of his who'd had to become a SAHM as she 'had such a strong bond with her baby'. He also went on and on about how said baby was a beautiful little girl - implying that if I'd had daughters and not smelly, grubby sons, I too would have given up on work as well as all those handy little things like having a house to live in and food to eat.

I'm afraid I have no clever replies as I just nodded and smiled weakly, while thinking what a massive arsehole he was being sad.

LostMarbles99 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:38:16

I went back 2 weeks ago when baby was just under 7 months, it was hard but I'm getting there. The evenings are tiring as I feel pulled in so many directions, trying to have quality time with my son and keep the house, food, washing etc going.

I need supportive people not wankers masquerading as friends.

foslady Sat 31-Aug-13 20:38:16

Wow - stupidity and insensitivity in one mouthful. Agree with those re roof over heads/food in stomachs, then avoid her

parabelle Sat 31-Aug-13 20:38:19

-what Natashabee says.

Delayingtactic Sat 31-Aug-13 20:39:10

Agh OP I came here all ready to let rip and now you've ruined it <petulant >.

But fuck off would be my response.

Yonionekanobe Sat 31-Aug-13 20:40:13

Whoa! Got my blood pressure going there OP!! wink

Anyone who said that to me would be out of my life for good.

Does the father if her children work? I assume if he does he hates them...

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 31-Aug-13 20:40:50

"Oh well....when he's hungry I'll just give him a lovely cuddle. That overrides all physical necessities anyway."

NOT! What a silly cow she must be.

needaholidaynow Sat 31-Aug-13 20:41:51

So people who go to work full time don't love their kids? hmm

I would love more than anything in the world to be home with my children, but unfortunately I'm I the same boat as millions of other parents out there- I have to go to work full time. It would hurt me deeply for anyone to think I don't love them sad Or even worse, for my boys to think I don't love them because I need to go to work.

Your friend is really insensitive!

Finola1step Sat 31-Aug-13 20:44:46

Good grief. That's all I can say on the matter.

KingRollo Sat 31-Aug-13 20:45:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Finola1step Sat 31-Aug-13 20:45:22

No. Thought of another. She's no friend!

christinarossetti Sat 31-Aug-13 20:46:05

Sounds like a 'spoiling' type of comment to me ie she's jealous, envious of you in some way and wants to spoil your decision/ situation.

Rise above it.

MutantAndProud Sat 31-Aug-13 20:47:36

Yep, it would be a fuck off from me too.

MIL tried to shame me once about working full time. She said 'minimutantDD is doing really well considering you work full time'. My MIL is a cunt.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 31-Aug-13 20:47:45

My response would have been 'I love my baby to much to make her stay home with a sad depressed Mummy'. I love DD, but I hated maternity leave and was horribly lonely and sad. 9 years later I know my relationship with DD is so much healthier than if I had stayed home.
As a plus it was a really good thing I went back as ExH left us and fortunately I have good career to support us.

BigW Sat 31-Aug-13 20:49:29

I love my DS too much to work full time too. Unfortunately I live in the real world where I have to earn money to, you know, buy food and stuff. Bitch.

valiumredhead Sat 31-Aug-13 20:49:38

It's the flip side of the comments I get for NOT working outside the home.

Myob works well for both situationswink

mashpot Sat 31-Aug-13 20:50:02

Oh I couldn't wait to tell you to Fuck Off, pass it on to your friend please. But, you only say that sort of thing when you're insecure about your own situation/choices so I thnk your friend has some issues of her own - not that that's an excuse

everlong Sat 31-Aug-13 20:50:26

She's a dick.

She's smug and she's no friend.

Awful thing to say to a woman returning to work after a baby.

TempusFuckit Sat 31-Aug-13 20:52:42

Well if it makes you feel better, I went back two weeks ago after 9 months off, and my colleagues were giving me catsbum mouths for leaving on time from day one. You can never win.

I'm with you on the evenings (and the mornings, urgh). I'm fucking knackered.

TiredFeet Sat 31-Aug-13 20:52:49

You just have to stay strong, it sounds like you have to go back to work, and so it is an incredible act of love to go back and provide for your family. I know how much it tore me apart to leave my son at 7.5 months so I feel for you.

Do try and find a balance in your life though, it is so so tough, I know that feeling of wanting to make the most of every precious minute you have with your child. Make sure your OH pulls their weight in terms of house work, get a cleaner if you can (we just have one fortnightly, but it helps) and lower your standards - simple quick healthy meals and learn to ignore if the house is a bit chaotic.

KingRollo Sat 31-Aug-13 20:55:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coco27 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:55:28

It is just being plain nasty do not dignify it with a response.

MrsDeVere Sat 31-Aug-13 20:55:31

Someone said similar to me when I couldn't afford the therapy my DS needs. Its only available privately. Its not a life threatening condition but it does have a big impact on his learning.

'I love my child so much I would do anything to get them what they needed' Went on about it for a while, all the time with a far away look in their eyes.

Like default on the mortgage, take out a loan I couldn't pay back? Lose the house, get the bailiffs in?

Made me feel like crap. Still does.

It was only a couple of years after my DD died (they knew that).

I know its off topic. Sorry blush

Its one of the reason I HATE passive aggressive crapola. Pushes all my buttons.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 31-Aug-13 20:57:15

I'd have responsed with either "your husband works full time, does he not love your child then" or "i love my child so work to feed and clothe them and i love my DH too much to expect him to have to work to support us all as im too lazy too". Easy to think of replies after though.

CorrinaKedavra Sat 31-Aug-13 20:58:03

What a dickhead.

I'm a former teacher and have been told I am wasting my Teacher Training (I'm not - I took a degree which I will have to pay for) from colleagues and that I should be working because I had a vocation and was very good for their children by parents I see from time to time.

The fact that both of mine are disabled escapes them.

I was back at work and straight into an OFSTED when DD was a couple of months old because my twat of an XH refused to work. I got criticised for that, too!

Can't win.

CorrinaKedavra Sat 31-Aug-13 20:58:56

Oh Christ MrsDeVere, what a fucking idiot that person was angry

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 31-Aug-13 21:01:12

Oh sad That's a horrible, horrible thing to say to anyone, but really unforgiveable to say to someone who has only just returned to work and left a baby to do so - it's not an easy thing to do for most women and the last thing you need is shite like that. Cow.

(Lecce - did you know you can strike though whole sentences these days! Just use the -- without spaces -- at each end smile Got to love Tech!)

(Staying off topic MrsDV - how much money would you need? Can't we fundraise for him????)

searching4serenity Sat 31-Aug-13 21:01:49

Mrs DeVere - that's terrible, I'm so sorry, please don't focus on that if possible. What an utter bitch

OP-same - what a bitch. Is she the self-obsessed type, and / or completely stupid?

CatAmongThePigeons Sat 31-Aug-13 21:01:50

She probably is hating being a SAHM and is trying to make herself feel better, or she's a cunt.

AnyFucker Sat 31-Aug-13 21:02:48

OMFG

What an absolute bitch.

DustBunnyFarmer Sat 31-Aug-13 21:03:26

We were staying with a couple we've known since university a couple of years ago when she (sahm) came out with this gem: "i don't know why people bother to have children if they're going to carry on working full time!" I replied "if you're really not sure perhaps you should ask Bob (her husband)". The comment was definitely aimed at me, but it cuts both way in my view. Men are rarely on the receiving end of comments like this. Made me reappraise the friendship and I think its probably on its last legs.

AnnaRack Sat 31-Aug-13 21:03:41

"Yeah, well I love my children too much to waste my precious time on people I didn't ask for their opinion. Goodbye."

Portofino Sat 31-Aug-13 21:04:03

What a load of old shit some people spout. I have lots of friends - working, SAHP, part time etc and none of us have ever felt the need to judge each other like this. I understand full well that most days my friend with 3 under 5 at home has a MUCH more stressful day than mine. She loves her kids too, very much, but is driven to the point of almost madness. Life is not a competition. You do what works for you.

AnyFucker Sat 31-Aug-13 21:04:19

Dust, that was a fantastic reply.

Lweji Sat 31-Aug-13 21:04:22

There's a difference between love and dependency.

I went back to ft work when DS was 4 months old, because otherwise we'd be in financial difficulties.

Still, it was something I enjoyed.
And I never felt guilty at all about it.

LazyMonkeyButler Sat 31-Aug-13 21:05:06

I was going to comment but previous posters have just about covered everything.... It was a truly cuntworthy thing to say.

I worked over 40 hours last week - like everyone else, I love my kids enough to want to be able to pay the rent on our house!

AnyaKnowIt Sat 31-Aug-13 21:08:12

What utter shit

from a sahm

How about saying you love your dc too much to let them go hungry and end up on the streets? What a horrible thing to say. I went back to work recently and am still struggling with leaving dd for long hours. But even if I did have the choice financially I would still want to work, I think it will be best for the family in the long run. I hope she didn't make you think you weren't doing the right thing, YANBU to be pissed off. She was being an insensitive idiot.

NonnoMum Sat 31-Aug-13 21:08:53

I love my baby too much to be totally financially dependent on my DH, because you do realise that one in two marriages end in divorce, don't you dear friend? By the way, how is your DH?

Shlurpbop Sat 31-Aug-13 21:10:20

YANBU
I went back after 10 weeks, admittedly only part time. Not, as many people seemed to think and tell me, because I was a crap, child hating mum, but because my mortgage had to be paid!
If i had my time again I would have longer off but life isn't perfect and you have to make the best of it.
I find "ooh, is that an offer to pay my mortgage for me?! How kind!" usually shuts them up smile

Great reply to that dust, I'd also like to respond to that with a flippant, oh I just wanted to give up a year or so of my life to putting on huge amounts of weight, getting crap loads of stretch marks, having to have a massive amount of stitches on my lady parts and never really being able to sneeze without being worried about peeing again. Didn't really care about the baby at the end obviously.

MrsDeVere Sat 31-Aug-13 21:13:04

oh chipping you are a love smile

I have just managed to get a reassessment for him regarding one of his other diagnoses so I am going to use that as a pushing point to try and get this sorted out.
I had to take him to GOSH every couple of weeks for months to get him diagnosed for this particular thingy and the consultant said 'yes he does have it, severely. The treatments are generally very effective. Unfortunately they are not available on the NHS' Bub bye then.
hmm

School are supposed to be putting special programmes in place but they haven't as yet. Bloody bollocks the lot of them.

Anyway OP

the person who said that was covering up for something. Over compensating. She probably leaves her baby in the utility room all day why she shags the gardener.

LostMarbles99 Sat 31-Aug-13 21:14:28

Thanks for these comments. I do feel sad that I've had to leave my baby but at the same time, I like my job and I always knew I'd have to go back some time.

I'm a teacher and the work load is intense and requires me to work evenings.

It's going to take me a while to get used to being a working mum and not be so sensitive.

Peachyjustpeachy Sat 31-Aug-13 21:18:14

The thing is, she may not have been thinking of you at all, just stating her feelings about the bond with her child.

I worked full time when my dd was tiny (back to work at 7 months) after having a baby through ivf and after 13 years of trying.

I had the whole gamut of emotion and every day when I dropped her off I would cry because I loved her so much and didn't want to leaver her. I wished that I didn't have to work...bills to pay.

I might have uttered similar comments too....Not commenting on anyone else's choices but being wrapped up in my own lack of choices.

Please don't take it to heart. Either she meant to upset you and is a complete cunt or else she is merely selfcentred.

impatienttobemummy Sat 31-Aug-13 21:18:35

I've cried over comments like this in the beginning, my friend is a SAHM and she gets nasty comments too so you can't win! Her last DC is starting school and if she had a £1 for evey person who asked her why she isn't going back to work she could give it to me and I wouldn't have to work!

She is no friend of yours and a complete bitch

Portofino Sat 31-Aug-13 21:26:48

Yes, you have to get thicker skin I think. I remember before we moved to Belgium, Dh was already there and it was the day of my leaving do at work. Dd (then 2) woke up with a rash. I was all on my own and panicking and pressing speed dial for the doctors. I got an early appointment, was reassured that dd had had a mild allergic reaction, probably to strawberries (not meningitus!) and was fine. I took her to crèche and went to my leaving do. Which was totally spoilt by 2 women making comments out loud about how I could possibly leave my "really sick" child to go to work, and how they never would have done such a thing. It pissed me off no end. Dd was fine by the way, she just had some spots.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 31-Aug-13 21:27:59

I don't think you should become less sensitive, I think people should not make such twattish comments.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sat 31-Aug-13 21:28:20

angry at your 'friend' and Mrs Devere's 'someone' too. They are both extraordinary twats.

SPBisResisting Sat 31-Aug-13 21:29:49

Ha ha well I love my children slighlty less then. I go to work. I don't really have to. But I enjoy it and find it fulfiling its something I choose to dedicate time to, just like my children.

filee777 Sat 31-Aug-13 21:33:01

I love my children too much to have them grow up watching me stressed about money. I work because it is best for us and our family time together is so much better and more fulfilled with me adding to the money pot.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 31-Aug-13 21:33:27

MrsDV - it's so bloody frustrating isn't it! It takes so long to get things sorted out, only to be told they can't help! I hope he gets the treatment alongside this other thingy - but if he doesn't PLEASE let us know - you KNOW we would all want to help. I'm - what's the term .... err... broke grin but am a very willing fundraiser for you. I wish you had said something before now! x

DIddled Sat 31-Aug-13 21:36:15

'Kiss my arse you smug spiteful bitch'- would be wasting six words on her.

I went back when my son was 5.5 months old - I must have hated his guts!!!

Ignore and detach- hope you are ok.

noisytoys Sat 31-Aug-13 21:38:46

Tell her I work full time and send my DCs to my DMs for 3/4 of the school holidays (where they love it, have all the care and attention, miles of Cornish beaches, woods, lakes, parks, whereas all I could offer them is extended holiday clubs) hmmgrin

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 31-Aug-13 21:40:26

Ease pass a message on from me, are you ready....

"fuck the fuck off and when you get there fuck off some more"

Thanks

Chiggers Sat 31-Aug-13 21:41:09

Meh, let it wash over you OP. Not worth fretting over, after all, I'm sure you have more important things to fret about. You could rattle out the old MN phrase "Did you mean to come across as an idiot"???

ElBombero Sat 31-Aug-13 21:42:46

Fucking hate these self righteous know it alls. I would tell her your offended

MadameJosephine Sat 31-Aug-13 21:45:17

I'm going back to work on Monday, DD is 9 months. I am not looking forward to leaving her but I have bills to pay and if anybody said that to me they would be very likely to get a smack in the chops!

NorfolkIngWay Sat 31-Aug-13 21:48:13

Do all the fathers of these children hate their DC then ?
Its just a way of justifying their life OP .
If you enjoy SAH say so -don't make negative comments about others it makes you look like a wankbadger

I know exactly what you mean, I have been back at work for 2 weeks as well, also full time, and the amount of people who have been shocked that I'm back full time, along with the 'you must really miss him' comments. Not helpful at all.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 31-Aug-13 22:03:03

You have to laugh at them. Honest to God, but some people are just stupid.

Sahmof3 Sat 31-Aug-13 22:03:05

The woman is obviously an idiot and idiots are not worth responding to...just stay away from her. Whatever you do, you can't win. I've had loads of bitchy comments at school from mums who work about the fact that I'm a sahm.

Tinlegs Sat 31-Aug-13 22:03:18

I love my children so much I want to set them a good example by working hard to provide for my family. Bitch!

AFishWithoutABicycle Sat 31-Aug-13 22:06:54

What she said -'I love my children too much to work full time'

What she meant -'I have no self esteem and need to validate myself by being a sanctimonious bitch'

miffybun73 Sat 31-Aug-13 22:07:12

YANBU, you should just pity her for being so stupid and insensitive.

BasilBabyEater Sat 31-Aug-13 22:07:58

I think a good response would be "oh, I obviously don't love my children as much as you do your's. Your kids are so lucky to have a mother who loves them so much, would you like to adopt mine? Because I just don't love them that much and you're obviously better at loving children than I am".

And be really dead pan.

What an arsehole, I'm back to work next month full time with a 5 month old and it breaks my heart, if anyone sad that to me I'd be furious .

williaminajetfighter Sat 31-Aug-13 22:09:43

Urgh I can actually picture what that woman looks like. Probably has a Cath Kidston oilcloth table cover.

Just tell her you hate your child and was desperate to get back to work. Nuff said...

BigW Sat 31-Aug-13 22:09:46

Just popping back to say it reminds me of a conversation I once had with a friend about school choices. She is choosing to have her children privately educated. We don't have that choice so are moving areas to be nearer some good schools.

'Ahh, yes well you see, education is very important to DH and me'

Like I don't care about education because we are not sending DS to private school. angry

cantsleep Sat 31-Aug-13 22:13:19

YANBU

Whoever said that is a complete twat. I am a sahm but only because I have no choice. If dcs were all well I would get a job. All my friends work and I really admire them and what they do for their families.

I have to admit I'm also a little jealous as would love a few hours away from what I have to do every day at home.

If I were you I would just ignore the person who said it as they sound rude and stupid.

baddriver Sat 31-Aug-13 22:13:58

Then I guess I love my children a medium amount as I work part time. Thank goodness for these walking barometers eh

SPBisResisting Sat 31-Aug-13 22:15:13

'Ahh, yes well you see, education is very important to DH and me

What on earth was your response

Trills Sat 31-Aug-13 22:16:15

Do you normally think this little before you open your mouth?

Trills Sat 31-Aug-13 22:16:50

If you always speak without thinking like that I'm not surprised that you don't have a job.

trixymalixy Sat 31-Aug-13 22:16:53

I think I'd have two choice words to say to that person.

Trills Sat 31-Aug-13 22:18:01

I'm secure enough in my choices that I don't feel the need to put down people who chose differently to me

LostMarbles99 Sat 31-Aug-13 22:21:31

I'm laughing because this women does have a cath kidston oil cloth!!

How did you know that?!!

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 31-Aug-13 22:21:34

I love my children too much to inflict myself on them full time.

If it wasn't for the influence of their CM I would be worried about how they were going to turn out. grin

Honestly, I think this is one of those comments that is just an expression of one person's feelings and not a moral judgment.

I think plenty of women do feel they love their kids too much to go back to work full time and miss out on looking after them all day long.

It's not something I feel, and I'm sure I love my children as much as anyone. But my love works differently, I suppose. I don't feel any need to be there for everything.

BigW Sat 31-Aug-13 22:21:43

I am embarrassed to say that I didn't really say anything - just went away feeling upset and a bit like I was letting DS down. sad

It was only afterwards that I started to feel angry. She's an old school friend, so I tend to give her the benefit of the doubt even when she probably doesn't deserve it.

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 22:25:52

How long has she been your "friend" for?

Ifancyashandy Sat 31-Aug-13 22:26:37

You encountered an absolute twat. Unfortunately they walk amongst us.

RhondaJean Sat 31-Aug-13 22:26:39

What a complete cock of a woman.

Don't waste your time on her op. when little Jenny and jimmy grow up resenting her relentless gaze upon them, your revenge will be complete.

Mwahahahaha.

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 31-Aug-13 22:30:39

That is the most asinine thing I've heard for a long time. In fact, there's nothing you could have said OP which would have penetrated her thick judgmental skull to change her warped mind.

NoComet Sat 31-Aug-13 22:35:14

It's insensertive in that no one ever says things like that to a childs father. people forget that mothers can and do earn the main wage.

Personally I wouldn't of worked full time if it had meant DD1 going to the CM nearest school with DCs who ignored and bullied her.

Wonderstuff Sat 31-Aug-13 22:44:21

Why is it women feel all this guilt about working and there is no expectation on men? My brothers ex sat telling me how she couldn't imagine working right after I went back. I was very tempted to tell her why I chose to have a mortgage rather than sit on my arse on benefits, but I was restrained (not judging anyone else on benefits, but she has never worked, moved out of home to a council house when her first was born, is on number four now and well, just isn't the life I'd choose). Reality is I wouldn't want that life, working is a good thing, we can afford a nice life, my children see both parents working and both parents doing housework. I teach too, and it's manic during term time but I get 3ish months off with my children miss nursery giving me time off without them

You know she's talking shit, rise above it and don't spend anymore time or energy on her.

Pickle131 Sat 31-Aug-13 23:08:35

Why is she so insensitive you ask? It sounds like she genuinely cannot put herself in your position. For her, she is so besotted with her children that because she has the choice to stay home she can't imagine giving that up. I think it was insensitive but the many venomous comments on here calling her all sorts of unkind names just show a reversed snobbery that because she stays at home she is lazy / a bad example / uncaring. Why not just say 'Gosh that's hurtful, of course I love my children just as much as you do'. End of. Unless she's actually trying to make an unkind point she'll apologize for being thoughtless and maybe will think twice next time. Best to be kind.

roweeena Sat 31-Aug-13 23:14:13

People like that really need to be told to f**k off.

I would say that I had trained bloody hard for my career and I would be doing both myself and my DS a massive disservice to not be going back to work.

Steer clear of this poisonous woman, judgemental ones like her will have a comment about every aspect of your parenting - be warned.

BlueJess Sat 31-Aug-13 23:22:00

The thing is no matter what you do someone will judge.

A 'friend' of mine went back to work part time when her DC was 12 months old. I was a SAHM until my DC started school.

When I told her that I was returning to work full time (after 5 years out) she said "well of course I prioritise motherhood over my career".

My jaw just dropped, I was so shocked. This from the woman who sat weeping on my sofa during her child's settling in sessions.

Some people will always judge if you don't exactly emulate them and validate all their parenting decisions.

nonameslefttouse Sat 31-Aug-13 23:29:04

I had something similar said to me, I just told her dh and I decided to have children therefore dh and I support the children, she just went off muttering! This was a couple of years ago, now all I get from her is its alright for some two weeks abroad!

Now I just smile and mutter under my breath!

manicinsomniac Sat 31-Aug-13 23:37:03

haha, I would have gone with MsVestibules reposnse.

I went back to work when my youngest was only a few weeks old and was back in lectures (was still a student at the time) by the time my oldest was 2 weeks old. As it happens I adore my job and would have done so whatever but I'm a single mum, so what other option is there?! If there's only one parent in a household full time work is the only way of surviving.

Stupid woman.

Noggie Sun 01-Sep-13 00:14:37

People say all kinds of things to 'justify' their decisions- one mum said to me that she couldn't go back to work as she didn't have parents nearby to do the childcare. I didn't say anything but felt a bit bemused- I spend a lot of my salary on childcare because we don't have any family nearby! Just have to smile and carry on wink

rockybalboa Sun 01-Sep-13 00:24:41

What a knob. I love my children too much to spend every day with them, I'd kill them!!! Plus we need the money (which is the harsh reality of the situation to be honest)

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 01-Sep-13 00:27:49

Yanbu. It's a stupid, insensitive and smug thing to say.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 00:32:21

yanbu

i think she is probably bored and trying to justify her decision to be a sahm

Amy106 Sun 01-Sep-13 01:25:36

Nasty, mean spirited thug of a woman. Don't take a blind bit of notice of her.

bragmatic Sun 01-Sep-13 01:48:45

A friend of mine responded to "I can't imagine how you could leave your children all day" with "I can't imagine having so little imagination."

bragmatic Sun 01-Sep-13 01:49:33

You could muse that it's sad that her husband doesn't love her children very much. He works, no?

Chottie Sun 01-Sep-13 02:09:25

OP please ignore this person, I do not understand why they even had to make any comment on your family and your decisions, it is frankly none of their business

williaminajetfighter Sun 01-Sep-13 03:16:43

Lost marbles - beware the cult of the Cath Kidston oilcloth... From which much smugness emanates!

MrsKoala Sun 01-Sep-13 04:59:11

They sound like a dick OP with something to justify. i would defo have said something like 'i good do you? i fucking hate mine. I only had them so i could guilt them into looking after me when i'm old'.

However, i also hate comments like:

I love my children so much I want to set them a good example by working hard to provide for my family

Which is what i seem to get all the time. As a SAHM i don't think i should be made to feel bad for 'not setting my dc a good example' which is totally untrue btw. It's the flip side of the same judgemental coin imo. I have also been called lazy repeatedly for not going back to work yet (DS is 11mo).

Mimishimi Sun 01-Sep-13 05:26:36

It's an awful, smug thing to say.

Wow, I work full-time AND study full-time. Does that mean I actively loathe my child? Do I win?

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sun 01-Sep-13 07:35:02

I have been a SAHM and a full-time working parent, so feel qualified to say that this woman is a class-A twat. Pay her no heed OP.

Easier said than done, I know, I am still pissed off that dh's aunt told me that her DD was "too clever to be a SAHM" when I was a SAHM. This was about six years ago, and I should probably think about moving on now :D

PrincessScrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 07:43:12

Really insensitive thing to say but at the same time I don't understand how people do it - I planned dd1 so I could take full 12 months mat leave and as it came to the end I couldn't leave dd everyday for the whole day. It threw me as it's what I'd planned and financially what we thought we needed. I ended up going back 4 days a week. Was made redundant but turned down a job I was offered within the company (I was a senior manager) to take a job in a school. Crap pay but means I see dc (now have dtds too). I really didn't want to be a weekend mum and have someone else raise my dc. I know that sounds harsh and is never say it in rl.

Dackyduddles Sun 01-Sep-13 07:49:33

I'd definitely have said 'did you mean to be so rude?!' Or odfod.

Mainly so the idiot would know I'd be putting it on mn later. She's a fool. Avoid her.

ParrotsHilton Sun 01-Sep-13 07:49:59

A collegaue of mine, when announcing her pregnancy, claimed that she wanted to be a 'proper mum' and give up work after its birth. In front of the mother of 3 who works full time. Twat.

PrincessScrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 07:50:43

Meant to add - I wouldn't put my own emotions and expectations on other people so don't look down on anyone for their choices and what works for their family - a happy parent is a happy child so that's the important thing.

Dackyduddles Sun 01-Sep-13 07:52:16

Mrskoala

Me too. Thoroughly agree with you. Because apparently I'm a lazy arse who is setting her kids a really bad example for womankind by being with them.

You really can't win for trying tbh.

How very lovely for people who don't need to pay bills or have a husband who earns enough to give up work , fortunately for mine I love them enough to keep a roof over their heads so I work full time.

inabeautifulplace Sun 01-Sep-13 08:05:08

I think I'd go for:

"How lucky you are to be totally dependent on your husband"

You could even add

"I think it's great that some people are prepared to sacrifice their independence for a return to old fashioned family values"

Lastofthepodpeople Sun 01-Sep-13 08:11:21

Gosh, that's rude.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 08:13:03

Some mothers actually can't go back to work full time when they are so young - they actually cannot get their head around it at all.

Her wording was iffy but I understand what she said.

We have had this dilemma and I have decided to sacrifice income for time with my children.

Yes we don't have as much as some people but we do lots of quality time together and I know I will never regret the time I've spent with them.

We both work btw (earning a bit over the NMW) and have a strong work ethic - we just make sure we have jobs that fit around the children.

Our older two are working now - I've had one sick day in 6 years, my husband has had 1/2 a day in many many years, son had a week off sick in 5 years when he had appendicitis and was in hospital and daughter has had one day in 3 years.

They all know the value of money and appreciate that we chose time with them over income. It isn't a straight decision between work or starve.

I appreciate you've chosen a different path and this woman may have hit a nerve but surely we all do what we feel is right and should respect each other for that?

It works both ways obviously - sometimes those of us who choose to be at home more wonder if we should have gone down the work route.

Respect the difference I say - the world needs us all :-)

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 01-Sep-13 08:13:36

I went back to work full time when DS was 5.5 months old. As a single parent not getting maintenance, with a mortgage and bills to pay and food and baby things to buy, I didn't have much choice. Over the years I've had comments from friends, family, colleagues and even complete strangers shock. I mostly ignored them, commented back to a few, but if it happens again I'm going to try some of these responses.

She's probably jealous that you're the main wage earner, OP. Whatever the reason, she's an insensitive cow, so there'll be more snide comments from her before long. I guarantee it.

FinallySaidMama Sun 01-Sep-13 08:14:07

She is a cunt OP - and if she asks why you're avoiding her then I hope you tell her exactly why!

Although it has gone said, you can't win anyway you do it! Like other SAHM's on this thread, I've been on the receiving end of comments like
'Ooh, I like to set a good example to my children by working'
'Don't you worry your husband will leave you?'
'I couldn't stay at home all day, I'd be so bored'
And my favourite of all time, written right here on MN
'I think all SAHM's are basically thick'

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 08:14:57

*but we do have lots of quality time together

Blimming phone!

I ' can't get my head around ' going back to work Helly but I've still got to go back unfortunately or my mortgage won't get paid.

TiredDog Sun 01-Sep-13 08:29:59

I have decided to sacrifice income for time with my children

Would you sacrifice your home?

People who talk about sacrificing income for time with their children usually can sacrifice income. It's not an option for many.

angeltattoo Sun 01-Sep-13 08:32:52

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, lots of belly laughs and rolling around the floor. Maybe wipe away a tear of laughter. 'good one you fucking twatbadger old friend'

Then look at her, 'oh, you weren't joking?' i assumed you mst be because of course no one is stupid enough to suggest that every working father and mother in the world don't love their children. Ha ha'. cuntface

EverybodysGoneSurfing Sun 01-Sep-13 08:37:20

When I was about to go back to work (teaching) after about eight months, another mum told me she was not returning for another year because her DS 'was the kind of child who needed special nurturing' and 'she would never forgive herself if a childcarer didn't realise how important he was'. I read that as all about her, sent DD to nursery and actively made sure no one emphasised her over-importance!

EverybodysGoneSurfing Sun 01-Sep-13 08:38:43

Oh, and yes, for me that choice would have meant no home not just less income!

kungfupannda Sun 01-Sep-13 08:38:48

I think comments like this are always a front for some sort of doubts about a person's own choices.

I know someone who constantly posts on Facebook about their wonderful children and how much joy they bring them and all the lovely things they're planning on doing, with lots of open criticism about other, less wonderful, parents.

Which would be all fine and dandy if I didn't happen to know perfectly well that they barely lift a finger to interact with their own children, find them hugely challenging, and are quite scathing about them in real life.

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 08:47:54

OP, your friend's comment was thoughtless and insensitive.
Plenty of women return to work because they have no choice.
Plenty of women return to work (ft or pt) because they want to.
Either way, they are no less likely to love their children with all their hearts than someone who stays at home with them.
I would try not to let it get to you. It was a stupid thing to say but I doubt she really meant to suggest you don't love your DC's as much as she hers.

I have a friend who is a sahm. My job pays for us to be able to have some treats and holiday. I also like working blush although not at all looking forward to returning from mat leave. I think I am lucky.
She told me (unasked, i didn't raise the topic of her not "working") that she thought it was really important to be at home when they turned from school. I felt sad. All this was said in the comfort of her large drawing room in her lovely London home call paid for by her husband's lucrative job. No idea some ppl!

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 08:48:55

Sorry. Meant to say I work pt.

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 08:51:09

There's nothing clever about choosing to live on the breadline.
And if your choice means that you don't actually live on the breadline then it's not really a sacrifice is it? It's having the luxury to choose.

emuloc Sun 01-Sep-13 08:55:39

Some of the replies on here are frankly shocking and unkind. You do not have to agree with what was said to the op but to go over board like that helps no one. I get a bit tired of the general thinking towards SAHM but in all honesty who cares who does what as long as your children are cared for and loved. Perhaps women should be a bit kinder to each other.

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 08:55:45

Oh, and it doesn't get any better over time.
I worked with a woman whose DCs were teens. She was taking a couple of years off and crowed on about how she thought it was so important because her children needed her at home at this difficult time of their lives (GCSEs or A levels). Well, she might be tright. But again was overlooking the fact that other ppl don't have this choice. She had the choice because her DH was very well paid. Not because she was a better mother than those who don't have the choice.

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 08:56:54

emuloc absolutely. Women should be kinder to each other.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 09:08:37

What an ignorant bitch

I like the response above: roll about on the floor belly laughing for five minutes, then get up, wiping tears from your eyes and say 'oh god, you actually weren't joking were you ...'

Samnella Sun 01-Sep-13 09:10:25

Yanbu . It was a stupid thing to say. If she's a good friend I would assume it was ill judged. Tbh you get comments either way. I have worked and stayed at hone at various points and had people exclaim how I must miss my children or insuate I am not as intelligent as them as I am at home. Both the shitty end of the stick which only serve as a reflection of the person welding it.

Your children will be fine either way. Just have a stock answer of 'it works for us' and forget about these silly people .

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 09:23:16

One person's breadline is another's adequate income.

Some feel they need a certain type of home or to live in a certain area whereas others see bricks and mortar as of little importance.

It's all horses for courses but it's a touchy subject.

None of us wants to think we made the wrong decision so we jump to the defence and berate the opposing choice.

Trust that you are all doing what is right for you and your family and just accept that there will be people who cannot comprehend your decision, whichever side of the fence you are on.

Jinsei Sun 01-Sep-13 09:33:28

Some mothers actually can't go back to work full time when they are so young - they actually cannot get their head around it at all

What nonsense! They'd get their head around it pretty quickly if they were going to be homeless or hungry otherwise. hmm

He11y It sounds like you really don't get it.

emuloc Sun 01-Sep-13 09:42:28

I get what you are saying He11y.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 09:43:23

I get that people have different priorities and that some people just want to berate other parents for choosing a different path.

If you're comfortable with your decision, why does it worry you what others think?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 09:43:54

Thanks emuloc.

SPBisResisting Sun 01-Sep-13 09:44:13

But some people want to work and don't feel the need to justify it with "breadline" comments

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 09:48:33

I didn't bring up the breadline comment - I was just saying that it's all subjective and we all work with what we have.

I completely get that some parents want to work.

I work part time and I love my job. We need it, yes, but I'd do it even if I didn't because I get so much out of it.

Full time work wouldn't have worked for me when mine were that young so we found a compromise.

I was just explaining that some really won't be able to understand both sides of the fence.

I really don't care what people think of my decision as I'm comfortable with it.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 09:50:03

When I say we work with what we have, I don't mean work for money!

I mean we organise our family around the situation we are in.

needaholidaynow Sun 01-Sep-13 09:51:44

I'm due to go back to work in November, and I'm so scared of "missing out". It's actually really getting me down because the kids will be at home with DP and he doesn't appreciate it all as much as me and I feel a bit resentful towards him.

By your logic though He11y, you don't really need your income, you could just cut back on your outgoings.

Can you see why that feels quite offensive?

Silverfoxballs Sun 01-Sep-13 09:55:39

I do have one friend who could not bear to leave her DD after being the first person to successfully negotiate a return part time with her company,this is many years ago.

They certainly didn't end up on the breadline but she was by far the higher earner so they lost a huge amount.

I certainly wanted to work and have not needed to work for quite a few years but chose to. Though ill health is now changing the playing field.

It is true that what is perceived as an adequate income for some is not for others.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 01-Sep-13 09:56:10

I'd like to think she was just stupid. But I got snipey comments when I was a SAHM (you're so privileged, you must miss your career, it must be grating to be totally dependent on your DH), a few but not so many when I went back part-time - oh I wouldnkt do a low paid job like that, what's the point). Part-time was jolly hard BTW. And then when I went full-time plenty more snarky comments (it will be a huge upheaval for your DC, how does your DH feel about it, what are you going to do in the holidays).

Our DC are 15 and 18 now and tbf dd has said she really missed me the first year but both DC are relatively independent, know their way around London, get their own stuff ready for school (I have never had to take forgotten kit/work to school - I can't so they don't forget it) and can make themselves a simple hot lunch.

Looking back and looking at the snarkers - I don't think any look that happy and in their fifties many of those who snarked over me getting a job and working again will have very empty lives as their DC leave home.

Some people will always snipe whatever you do. Looking back over a generation of having children I feel a little pity for them because rather than focussing on what they are doing and being positive they are constantly looking for negatives in everyone else because that's the only way they can justify their own inadequacy.

melliebobs Sun 01-Sep-13 09:57:27

Sorry don't have time to read through all 160 replies but this kind of response really gets my back up. Yes I'd love to be a sahm but I have to work. I love my dd and therefore want to keep a friggen roof over her head and avoid the big bad bank taking our house away! I'd also like to provide her with occasional little luxuries that I wasn't as lucky to have when I was growing up. Like a holiday once a year. Even if it is camping down the road. Grrrrr

Caffe1neAddict Sun 01-Sep-13 10:00:26

I had similar comment- woman in my department decided to come back part time after birth of her dc1 whilst I returned full time. But I think now she said it as mask to justify her decision- she's since said she feels torn and not doing either job well. My guess is she'd really like to be sahm but couldn't afford it. I'd take 'friends' comment with pinch of salt- she's talking about her own decision, not yours. It's about the quality time not quantity of time.

Delayingtactic Sun 01-Sep-13 10:26:51

The problem with this kind of comment is that its divisive and almost forces you into a wohm vs sahm argument. I was thinking what I'd say back but everything I thought of was a slur on being a sahp, which is why I settled for fuck off. (But I do quite like odfod). My DH is now a sahp and I obviously don't think negAtive things about it but this stuff makes you antagonistic about sahp.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 10:40:53

TravelinColour - I'm obviously not going to go into the ins and outs of our income vs expenditure as it's missing the point.

Priorities are fluid and subjective.

I'm not sure why people would be offended to be honest.

We need my income but undoubtedly we could cut back somewhere if we had to and rest assured we would if we felt it was in the best interests of our family.

Just as an example - some argue a warm house is essential, others argue they survived without central heating and clothes do just as good a job. Many will falls somewhere in between and have heating but be frugal with it.

Who is to say which is correct?

Some would say an annual holiday is essential and others will say of course it isn't. Some will say a weekend camping is a hoholiday and others will disagree. We all base the decision on our own experience and our income and situation at the time.

That is just two examples - we could all think of more I'm sure.

As long as the children are health and happy, does it actually matter?

Seriously, why would anyone take offence as long as they are happy with their choices?

pff i love my bed too much to work but needs must grin

also the 'full time' dig sucks.

working part time is actually harder than full time in many ways as you don't offset as much of the 'home' and childcare work as you would if your children were in full time childcare - you just race and do it all.

i stayed off for years with ds mainly due to health problems. i made the most of it and i can see what he gained from that way (there'd have been other gains the other way obviously) but if i had another child i'd want to be working. i'd want that balance in my life and to feel financially independent even if skint.

Seriously, why would anyone take offence as long as they are happy with their choices?

if someone told you they couldn't stand your husband as they thought he was an ugly arrogant twat who made their skin crawl why would it bother you unless you weren't happy with your choice?

maybe because it's bloody rude and none of their business.

Part of me thinks that people who say they ' work with what they have' are either certainly no where near the breadline.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 11:03:42

Did someone call the OP an 'ugly arrogant twat who made their skin crawl'?

I missed that part. I thought the other person simply stated what was happening for her at the time?

Part of me thinks a lot of people on this thread cannot see outside of the box and are just out to criticise.

I'm guessing that's because you aren't comfortable with your choices and I feel for you if that is the case. It must me hard to feel you may not be doing the right thing for your children.

I hope you aren't basing that on what others think though. Please don't do that.

Yup your right in not comfortable going back to work when my baby is 5 months old to keep a roof over our heads but I do it because I HAVE TO . So no I'm not at peace with that at all.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 11:09:10

op friend is basically questioning her. How could you possibly go back to work .....

if she said I feel I could not do it fine but to make a statement well I could not as I love my children so much is ridiculous and spiteful as its questioning the op's feelings towards her children

sadly you will meet many twatish people in time that see parenting as a competition who loves their child the most, who sacrifices the most they are mummy/daddy martyr's best avoided as no one will will quite be as good/suffer as much/love their children as much as they do or switch off when it their company

I'm guessing that's because you aren't comfortable with your choices and I feel for you if that is the case. It must me hard to feel you may not be doing the right thing for your children.

ha ha ha!

i'm guessing you've learnt diggy, passive aggression from a master at some stage and it was probably a painful apprenticeship. it must be hard for you.

JennyPiccolo Sun 01-Sep-13 11:14:17

That comment is the work of a total penis, it needs no further analysis.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 11:22:08

Have a good day guys, no matter what your lifestyle.

I've just got home from a night shift so I'm gonna have a cuppa grin

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 11:27:45

If anyone genuinely believe they the OPs 'friend' made that comment just as an innocent observation of how she was feeling at the time, then I'd agree 100% with swallowedAfly's comment above. The comment was passive aggressive shit, and anyone trying to defend it is giving us a massive clue to how they operate too.

Maybe the OPs friend really can't get her head around the fact that some people want to or need to work full time. Maybe she really is that limited in her understanding. There is no need to SAY it though, especially to someone who is supposed to be a friend. And the parallel with criticising someone's partner is a valid one. I might think 'why on earth is my mate shacked up with someone I find ugly and boring' but I'd be seriously taking a look at myself if I felt the need to SAY that to her. I mean, what's the point, apart from to try to make someone else feel bad? Why on earth would someone who's content with their life do that?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 11:29:21

'Have a good day guys' - bingo, swallowedAfly- that's passive aggressiveness right on a plate, that is grin

BlingBang Sun 01-Sep-13 11:29:52

She was probably only thinking of her own feelings and situation but was really insensitive. Not surprised you are miffed.

Saying that, nice to see all the usual slurs coming out about SAHM, hiding behind a pithy comeback to twatty friend.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 11:37:09

what slurs ?

there are no critisims of sahm just the op's friend

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 11:40:40

That isn't a friend - that is an idiot. I wouldn't even bother to reply.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 11:42:35

Can't see any slurs about SAHM tbh- just a few good comebacks which the OP should have made to this bitch of a 'friend'.
Can't remember ever seeing a thread started about people having a pop at SAHM either.
Up to each family to do what they feel right for them- within the boundaries of the choices available to them of course.
OP- I would lose this 'friend' pretty fast. At worst she's a passive aggressive bitch; at best she's extremely narrow minded and cannot cope without questioning out loud why other people do things differently to her

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 11:47:54

There is a lot of armchair psychology going on here.

Why can't you all just be happy with your own decisions?

Why are you so worried what others think?

There really is no need to feel offended or to be so rude if you are comfortable I'm your own shoes.

Nobody can judge you if you really believe I'm yourself.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 11:48:09

*in yourself

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 11:49:00

*in your own shoes

Blimming predictive text! Grrr!

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 11:51:59

I am surprised the op is upset. It seems to me that she didn't decide to work - she had no choice so the daft bat who made the comment to the op is rude and insensitive.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 11:52:08

It's not armchair psychology rofl

It's called BASIC respect. Manners. The norms of social interaction.

If I don't understand why my mate married a guy who in my eyes is ugly and boring, I kind of try to open my mind to the earth shattering idea that she is not me, and may have different opinions. And if I really cannot get my head around the scary fact that we're not all the same, then I at least follow the norms of social interaction and don't feel it necessary to TELL her that I could never marry her husband because I find him ugly and boring.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 11:52:10

not surprised

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 11:54:55

what a load of smug twatishness He11y

we live amoung people, to gain acceptance is part of human nature not because we are needy but because it is how we live within a community/society

many people their life is not dictated by their own choices or wishes, when it is it is very easy to say I do not care what others think

Because Helly not every person has the circumstances to allow them to be happy with their decision , in fact for some people it isn't a decision , perhaps that's why. It's a luxury to be able to decide.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:03:00

YY to what freudianslipper and 50shades say.

And just to clarify, whether there is a choice, or not,it's still monumentally ignorant and rude to feel that you have to comment on another persons actions in a critical way.

If I was so fucking ignorant and rude that I felt it necessary to tell her that I couldn't possible marry her husband and that I don't think her choice is as good as mine (which is what the comment by the OPs friend amounts to) then actually I wouldn't expect her to question her choice of husband and feel insecure. I would expect her to question her choice of 'friend' though

SoupDragon Sun 01-Sep-13 12:20:39

Surely the only correct answer to the comment in the thread title is "Who do you think you are - Peter fucking Andre?"

...this stuff makes you antagonistic about sahp

Surely it should make you antagonistic about rude twats, because that is the only sort of person who would make this kind of remark

kungfupannda Sun 01-Sep-13 12:21:04

The thing is that not everyone is happy or sure about all of their choices.

If they were, forums like Mumsnet probably would never have been invented. People constantly question their decisions and their methods, particularly where children are concerned. It doesn't make them weak or silly or insecure - it makes them normal human beings, wrestling with something fairly major, ie the raising of a whole new person with all that entails.

And most people are aware of this and aware of the implications of making comments like this.

People don't like being criticised, because the vast majority of people aren't so confident/arrogant/however it manifests itself, as to think that they are getting it right 100% of the time.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:22:05

So it touches a raw nerve for some people, 50shadesofmeh?

I can understand how people would feel upset if they really didn't want to be leaving their child, or staying at home, and someone else judged them for it.

I don't really believe we have no options. I do think a lot of people don't look outside the box when they are considering their options so it's not that they lack choice but rather they have limited their options in the first place.

Obviously I don't know what people see as priorities but it wouldn't matter anyway as it's down to personal choice.

There is always a way but sometimes the alternatives aren't easy either.

Live and let live I say.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:24:14

To be honest, some of the replies on here have been a bit more than rude!

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:30:23

All you are doing He11y is displaying your own inability to get your head around basic facts. Such as, some people need to work to pay rent/ mortgage/ council tax, etc
Those things aren't optional and it's not a case of 'cutting back' or reassing priorities.

And anyway, like I said, even where someone is choosing to work ft, why on earth do you think a 'friend' would say something as nasty as 'I couldn't do that because I love my children too much' I mean, WHY?
Do you seriously believe that's within the norms of social interaction? really?
Why would a friend feel the need to say anything out loud even if she's stupid enough to think it?

If she'd said 'I just cannot get my head around working full time', or 'I don't think I could cope with it' then it would still have been unecessary, but to actually say 'I can't because I love my children too much' - wow, that really takes the biscuit for nasty, passive aggressive bitchiness

you're made up surely? no one can be that daft and not realise it?

do we only get to make these choices you talk of by virtue of being married to someone who has no choice but to work full time so as to support your choices?

how much choice did your partner get?

i'm a single mum, i guess i could quit my job and sign on if i didn't 'like' my 'lifestyle' working.... do you think i should?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:37:57

It honestly sounds to me that the friend had a knee jerk reaction and was speaking from her own thoughts.

She could have put it better but, as I said ages ago, for some people it really is something they cannot comprehend.

I appreciate not everyone will feel that and it's hard to appreciate how someone else may feel that shocked but that's how it is with a lot of parenting choices.

There is undoubtedly working parents who cannot comprehend not wanting to work and they may come out with a knee jerk reaction too.

never mind that i legally do not have the right to do so as my son is 6 and i could be forced to go and do full time workfare without childcare if i quit my job.

still it's a choice right? i could be more creative. i've heard prostitution is quite profitable? or maybe we could live in a tent in a field?

honestly. you must be made up.

please he11y - tell me more about my choices and how i really have loads but am just not thinking outside the box enough?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:40:48

When I was a single parent I worked part time, swallowedAfly,

Right now I have a friend who is single and having to make a massive sacrifice to be at home with her daughter.

She is doing it because it means so much to her.

I'm not saying that is right and you are wrong or vice versa - I am saying I respect you both for doing what you feel is right for you and your children.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 12:40:52

So being a rude cow can be excused by it being a knee jerk reaction? Erm ok.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:43:23

It's not excusable as such but it may not have deserved the judgement in this thread.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 12:43:41

What sacrifice is your friend making he11y?

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 12:43:51

the op's friend does not respect her choice or rather the situation the op is in and the choice she is having to make that is the whole point of this thread

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:44:46

'Could have put it better....'

Or- she could have just minded her own business and not felt it necessary to say anything

'Knee jerk ' verbal reactions are what young kids or immature teenagers do. They are the ones who open their mouths and say something bloody rude because they are still learning the rules of social interaction.

Nasty passive aggressiveness on the other hand is a technique which some adults spend years honing.....

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:46:34

My friend is giving up her home Portofino and will be living in a van.

That's extreme and further than I would go but it does show there is options outside of the usual ones iykwim?

Where there's a will there's a way.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 12:47:16

I am sick and tired of the assumption that when a mother says she has to work it is because she is either rubbish with money, can't be creative enough to think of a way out her situation, not able to 'think outside the box', not prepared to make sacrifices, spends her money on holidays and handbags and evenings out and has made a decision to work.
Why can't people realise that when a woman says she has to work she most probably means it. I don't think having a roof over their heads, heating and food are things that can be cut back on.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:47:33

We will have to agree to disagree, janey68.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 12:48:18

When you say living in a van do you mean a transit van or a caravan?

Delayingtactic Sun 01-Sep-13 12:49:05

Soup what I meant is that some of the comebacks people have suggested are not against this woman in particular but against sahm in general, which is shit. My DH is a sahp and I hate it that people might judge him and us.

Righto then I'll let my mortgage default and go but a van to live in then because my kids will gain so much from me being home they will forget the fact I made them live in extreme poverty.. Ok them :-/

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:49:34

Works two ways, soverlucky.

Maybe we can accept that when people say they made sacrifices that they really did make them and they don't live in a mansion or have a partner earning loads of money?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:51:30

Delayingtactic - that was why I first posted.

Some of the posts on here have been awful to be fair and few seem to understand it is not cut and dried.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 12:52:23

Where have I ever said this helly?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:53:43

If you felt that was right for your family then you would do it, 50shadesofmeh.

I wouldn't dream of suggesting that is the right path for everyone.

We all do what is right for us and our family.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:54:28

Said what, soverylucky?

secondchances Sun 01-Sep-13 12:55:35

I couldn't imagine doing anything else now but working & looking after DD. Yes it was hard at first because I had to get used to my hours & used to the cost of childcare but DD slipped into the routine a lot quicker than me. She doesn't mind that I work, she often asks me how my day was. I'm a different person since working. I'm confident, sociable & love meeting new people now. I'd say im the happiest I've ever been. Just because im a working mother doesn't mean I love my DD any less.

mirry2 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:55:48

Some mums are twats whether they're sahm or work away from home.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:56:55

There, that's telling you, 50shades.
He11y has inside knowledge of everyone's individual circumstances better than they do themselves!!

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:57:26

Of course it doesn't, secondchances!

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 12:58:15

I'm not sure what you mean janey68?

I'm not sure why I didn't think of the Van idea before Janey lol.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:00:06

I was asked what my friend was doing and all of a sudden the choices are work or live in a van.

Do you guys ever think outside the box?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:01:59

Absolutely 50shades! In fact I don't know why all us mums don't just go out and find a van to live in? Just not quite sure who would fund it though... Plus of course pay for our food, clothing, Internet ( which presumably He11y hasn't sacrificed!!)
Oh of course- that'll be the dads who don't love their children as much wouldn't it?

Honestly- this thread is beyond real

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:02:27

I know it wasn't aimed at me specifically but I don't think anyone assumes or has said that all sahp's are wealthy and live in a mansion.

I believe a sahp who says that they have made sacrifices just like I believe a wohp who says they have to work.

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 13:03:33

It is true that some parents might make cutbacks to spend more time with their DCs and maybe others wouldn't.
But the point is, surely, that it doesn't mean the SAHP neccessarily loves their DCs more than the FT / PT WOHP, which is the potential implication of OP's friend's comment.
None of this surprises me though sadly, as I can reca,ll a thread not so long ago where mothers were berrating ech other for the size of their changing bag. Go figure!

Therealamandaclarke Sun 01-Sep-13 13:04:32

Bastard spelling. Sorry.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:06:09

Parenting can bring out the worst in people, that's for sure.

Maybe the OP could have a quiet word with her friend and say she felt upset about her comment as she does love her child and is doing what she feels is right?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:06:11

Therealamandaclarke- you've hit the nail on the head.

Where on earth does someone even get that idea in their head, that whether you work ft, pt or not at all, is a measure of how much you love your children?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:08:05

It has been said on here that people who choose to stay at home didn't really need to make sacrifices, soverylucky.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:08:18

She might not think that what she is doing feels right.
You can still love your kids but be forced into a shit situation.
That is the point some of us are trying to make. If you haven't made a decision but be forced into it then it makes the comments by op's friend even more hurtful than it is in the first place.

Do you accept that some parents don't have a choice and it doesn't feel right?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:08:53

Oh Christ I've heard it all now. A 'quiet word ' to explain that actually, she really does love her children?

Er... Nope, lose this 'friend' sharpish OP. Someone that narrow minded (and unable to think outside the box as to why someone else might be working!) is hardly going to find it easy to get their head around it. Save your breath

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:09:16

some don't need to make sacrifices. That is a fact.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:10:49

Ok, under what circumstances does a mother have no choice but to return to work when their child is a few weeks old?

I've been on the receiving end of the attitude that I should " just cut back" " cut my cloth accordingly"
" cut down on treats"
So maybe it does touch a raw nerve. The fact of the matter is if I didn't we wouldn't pay our bills.
I would ADORE being a Sahm but I'm not prepared to make my family live in poverty to facilitate it.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 13:11:42

You could try living in a van instead 50.....

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:11:57

You're just being rude and bitchy now, Janey, so I'll ignore you until you are able to communicate like an adult.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:12:42

Could you work part time, 50sadesofmeh?

so who is going to pay for your friend's child's food, clothes, fuel, etc? because it won't be free even in a van.

so either she has money, is going to depend on someone who does or she will be living off of benefits.

a van doesn't make life 'free' suddenly.

Nope Helly

and when she wants the child to be schooled will she just park her 'van' in a good catchment area and apply from there?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:15:20

Try reading the OP. Her child is 7 months not a few weeks. I assume that she cannot afford to live on the vastly reduced income at this stage. You see, I believe it if someone says they can't afford not to work. Just as I'd believe someone who says they can afford not to work by making sacrifices

And as for ft- maybe the OP has no choice. Maybe she has tried to reduce her hours but can't because a flexible working application was turned down. Or maybe she wants to work full time.

You see- when you are truly able to think outside the box, you can get your head round more than one idea

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:15:37

She doesn't want to live on benefits, hence her decision.

That's an extreme example and is being used to ridicule my point of view when it's not something I'd ever consider myself, so I'm not going to say any more about it.

There is obviously extremes and most of us sit in the middle somewhere.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:15:57

Maternity leave is better than it used to be that's for sure but there are many mothers on here who only got 12 weeks off.

In the present day it could be that your partner has lost his job so you have to scrap the maternity leave or you can't pay the rent or the mortgage. It could be that your partner dies, or gets seriously ill and can't work. Perhaps your landlord has decided to sell your house and the only places available are more expensive or require deposits you don't have. It could be that the SMP isn't enough for your family as your partners car which is essential for their work is written off by an uninsured driver. There are loads of reasons you might have to go back to work.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:16:38

If she wants to work full time, then why is she bothered about the comment?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:17:41

We have benefits to cover temporary and unforeseen circumstances though.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:18:33

And whilst we are talking of the van - if it is a transit type van rather than a caravan one assumes it has no running water or electricity or heating. Where does she park it? What about sanitation? How would a mother with a child with certain needs cope with this? What if you have other children? Living in a van rather than getting a job is quite frankly bizarre. Can you not offer her your sofa to sleep on? Or is it a caravan and I have got completely the wrong end of the stick?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:19:31

Why is she bothered? Because its an ignorant and rude thing to say, to imply that love for a child is measured by how many hours are worked.

If a 'friend' said that to me, it wouldn't make me question my decisions or life, it would make me question why I had a 'friend' who was either very thick or very Nasty

HTH

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:19:36

Her child is home educated and the lead up to her home educating is partly why she has made such an extreme choice, swallowedAfly.

Tough circumstances sometimes call for very tough choices and they've had a horrible time.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:20:00

If anyone tells a mother she doesn't love her kids as much as another mum it is quite simply one of the worst things you could say. I would be very upset if someone said this to me whether it was in relation to me working or any other aspect of my life. OP is bound to be upset and she might have to work.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:21:19

Benefits are often not enough. You will not get benefits to pay your mortgage. There are enough threads on mn at the moment about how hard it is - even impossible to live on benefits.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:21:47

Exactly soverylucky. Regardless of whether the OP is choosing to work ft or not, it's an offensive comment to make. And actually seriously weird for anyone to even think that how many hours you work is some sort of measure of love

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:22:17

It would make me want to point out to the friend that her comment hurt me and hopefully she'd explain where it came from.

I don't believe in dropping friends over one comment, especially before I've established why or how it was said.

Do you guys really drop people that easily?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:23:45

What if the friend hadn't got as far as judging the OP?

What is she was just imagining going out all day and how she'd feel if it were her?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:24:12

I'm guessing none of you have ever said something without thinking?

but he11y how is the van avoiding living on benefits? you still haven't said how she'll pay for food, fuel, water, clothing, etc for herself and her child. you seem to be avoiding that question. her choice may make her life cheaper but it doesn't make it free - if her child is to survive there will have to be money. where does it come from?

because that's reality really. you either earn your money or you put yourself in the vulnerable position of dependency - be that on a man or on the state. there's no way out from this equation. who will your friend be depending on to pay for her choice not to work? who will put food in her child's belly and provide fuel to stop it freezing to death in that van?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:28:00

I can quite categorically say I have never told a ft working friend that I love my children too much to do what she is doing.
Or been adamant that she must regret what she's doing, which is what the OPs friend insisted.

And if I ever did find myself saying it, believe me, the first person I'd start questioning about my motives would be ME, not the other person

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 13:29:00

op's friend was adamant that she must regret going back to work

and she must regret it because it is something she (a mother who really loved her child/children) would not consider doing

it is very clear what is being said

fancyanother Sun 01-Sep-13 13:29:39

I think it does depend on how strong and supportive the friendship is as a whole. If it is not really, then yes, I would drop them. I would be thinking every time we saw each other that she somehow pitied me because of my lack of love for my child, or I would be so angry I wouldnt be able to relax. Also, the OP has said she is the main earner, and in education. Surely, her DP should be the one going part time?
OP, I also work in education. I went part time, despite being the main earner, after being made redundant, didn't take an equivalent job. Our joint salary is the same now as my individual salary. I am doing a job I was doing 15 years ago, and it is unlikely I would be able to resurrect my career while working part time. My friend went back to work in the same job full time. Her kids are fine. They are happy, healthy and absolutely fine. 2

and i'm not benefit bashing here - i lived on benefits for years when ds was a baby and i had health problems.

the reality is that i didn't live for free in that time, i needed money and was dependent upon the state for it and vulnerable to changes in welfare etc. the state has now decided that every woman with children of school age must work or provide for herself otherwise because she will no longer get benefits for simply 'being a mother'. so women with children of school age have to work or depend on a man to provide for them for example.

your friend is not escaping that. she will presumably happily accept her benefits whilst living in her van until the child starts school and then she'll have to start signing on and proving she is looking for work or she'll be sent to do workfare or have her benefits stopped and starve ergo have to get a job.

i don't get why you're pretending there's some magical third way where you don't have to work or go on benefits or depend on a man's income to support your own children?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:31:42

They will make money by working at festivals and pay for water by working for the people who allow them to stay on their land.

There is actually a fairly sizable community of people who do or plan to do the same - I think it's on the rise to be honest.

It's not for me, as I said, but it is interesting seeing how people do choose a different way of life. Bartering is one way they get by.

Most use wood burners so don't have fuel costs in the way we do in houses.

right so she WILL be working. thanks for that. be interesting to see what kind of quality of life she provides for her baby whilst straggling around living hand to mouth trying to find places to stay who also have work for her. i'm willing to bet she'll be living on benefits in one form of another.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 13:34:29

so she is working then?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:35:48

My friend doesn't want benefits so she definitely won't be claiming.

I'm not against benefits either. I do think they should be a temporary measure though.

I have had this very debate with someone who wants to live in a van but claim benefits so I agree with what you are saying.

The friend, and indeed most of the people I know, won't claim benefits though as that's what they are trying to escape in part.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:36:06

Ah right- so she is working. Thanks for clearing that up, could have saved a lot of time by telling us that in the first place

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:36:37

The daughter will be alongside her while she works - they are doing it together.

Most people want to know for sure there is money coming in and couldn't live with the uncertainty of only occasionally having money.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:37:31

Next point will be about home education and how can she work and educate part time, won't it? Maybe that's for another thread...

guess what by the way - wood either costs money or you're nicking it off other people's land or being given it for free (dependent again). you get there is no way to subsist in england if you don't have your own land? you're always depending on others. your friend will be living off of the goodwill of the people who put up with her on their land, using their resources. her child will be dependent upon the kindness of strangers and entirely reliant for her education, caretaking and role modeling on a woman who thinks 'live in a van', get water in exchange for work from landowners and pick up a bit of money at festivals sometimes is a great life plan for someone with a dependent.

most of us would consider that a worse life for a baby than dealing with mummy having to go to work.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:38:14

Indeed, that's how I feel, 50sadesofmeh.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:39:56

I used to think that way, swallowedAfly - believe me, I've said all that to my friend! grin

Then I did my research and now I know it's a viable option for some.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:40:15

Gosh, lets hope her child actually wants to be alongside her mother while shes working. I have a friend who was raised in the 70s by parents with that kind of life style and she hated Being dragged round the festivals, leaving behind friends shed made and having to hang about while her parents worked.

Sounds to me that rather than thinking creatively outside the box, your friend has decided on a very prescriptive lifestyle which meets her needs rather than being open to what her child may feel

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:40:26

*educate full time rather

honestly the idea that freezing to death in february with your vagrant flaky mother who thought it'd be easy to 'pick up work' and find places to stay is better than mummy just getting a fucking job for a few hours a day is BIZARRE!

it's not the right choices for each family ergo any choice is great as long as you're happy - there are some things that are basics that any responsible adult will put in place when a child is reliant on them.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:41:43

Her daughter is fully engaged with the decision, janey.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:43:10

... But even so I would never be ignorant enough to suggest that someone with this lifestyle doesn't love their child as much as someone who lives in a house

That's what it all comes back to.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:44:05

I have friends from the 70s and 80s and 90s and 00s who got themselves up and off to school and then went home to empty houses every day because their parents chose to work janey.

They hated it and would have loved an alternative upbringing.

Grass is always greener...

agreed.

i'm just laughing at the idea that we all have other choices. i wonder how many single mum's in vans the festival circuit and generous landowners could sustain?

those bad parents 'choosing' to work, fucking selfish bastards wanting to actually be able to buy food and clothe their own offspring.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:46:29

I can assure you she is a good mother and her daughter is healthy and happy, swallowedAfly.

For her, it would be cruel to put her daughter back in school and go out to work.

As I've said many times on here - we all do what we need to do to protect our family.

You have your priorities, I have mine and others have their own.

Who are we to judge others?

FreudiansSlipper Sun 01-Sep-13 13:47:34

well single mothers got very very little help before 1976

it was not a choice you either earned money or you and your children went hungry and without heating

you get far more help now but people are still struggling with rising costs of food and fuel but wages and benefits have not gone up

wow that is amazling rude

i would simply aviod this idiot

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:48:14

So- let me get this straight: the child of this working mum in the van is fully engaged with the mothers decisions and everything is rosy

But somehow, if someone makes a terrible comment to another working mother which implies she loves her children less than she should, we must surmise from that, that the working mother in the second scenario is somehow insecure or unhappy about her situation.

What an odd assumption to make

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:48:45

Now you are judging a mother's worth swallowedAfly.

is a mother's worth hallowed ground?

i judge people who beat their children, i judge people who neglect or starve their children, i judge people who put their children at risk, i judge myself as a mother frequently - it's quite an important aspect of parenting.

i don't judge people for having to work though. that's just daft given it's a necessary reality for everyone including your friend who will be working.

how old is her daughter by the way? this is clearly quite different a situation than a woman with a 7month old isn't it?

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:54:10

My friend is used to being questioned about her choice, janey. Heck, I told her I thought she was mad!

But, she has taken the time to do her research and is happy to explain to anyone who questions it.

Would she choose that option if things were different - maybe not. She was placed in a difficult situation and she decided conventional choices were not going to help, so she looked at other ways and has found one.

She could have got all huffy and dropped me as a friend, but she was happy enough with her decision to speak reasonably about it.

If I continued to make derogatory comments then I guess she may have dumped me further down the line and I wouldn't have blamed her!

I'd love to galavant up and down festivals like I did when I was 18 living hand to mouth but let's face it ,its not really a viable option for most people.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:55:59

You are defending the OP, swallowedAfly, and yet you are doing what you and others have accused her friend of. That's what I meant.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:58:56

Do you think you love your children more than your friend loves hers then, he11y? Do you even think it?

Because that's what the OP is about. I think it speaks volumes about a person that they could even think that, never mind say it, simply because that person has a different lifestyle.

I tell friends of mine I couldn't be a teacher or a nurse, etc like they are. I might even go so far as to say to a friend who lived in a van, wow, that's a radical decision, what made you come to it?

But to say I love my children too much to do what they are doing? - never

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 13:58:59

It isn't, 50shadesofmeh - I completely agree with you.

Her daughter is older, swallowedAfly, but that isn't relevant because I never said that everyone should consider living in a van. Other people have jumped on this and made it about my friend and her extreme choice.

My point was we all have choices and sometimes they aren't the obvious ones.

I don't judge anyone for their choice to work but I do believe it is a choice.

I just don't get why people feel they need to say it isn't a choice.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 14:01:07

Because sometimes it isn't a fecking choice! That's what you don't seem to be getting.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:02:04

I don't think I love my children more, janey, but I did initially think I couldn't do that to my child.

I actually said I'd be too worried about my child to do that.

But it was me trying to imagine myself making that decision and what came out of my mouth was my initial thoughts about it.

I wasn't judging my friend at that point - I was simply thinking, 'WTF, I could never do that to my child!'

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:03:21

I asked what circumstances would mean it wasn't a choice and the reply was all unforeseen issues that are covered by our welfare state.

So it is a choice.

Because it really is t Helly , may that be because of bad decisions in the past or mental health problems or plain and simple the logistics of being a low earner.
I guess if I could go back in time to when we first got on the property ladder before kids I should have perhaps not taken on so much but hey.

ZingWantsCake Sun 01-Sep-13 14:04:16

blimey

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 14:04:29

When dd was born, I was the main wage earner and Dh was on a temporary contract. We could not have lived on his wages. End of. The mortgage still had to be paid. And it was a small mortgage on a small house. It would have been stupid for me to drop everything I had worked for up til that point. Every day on here there is someone bemoaning their struggle to get back into the work place and many more who struggle to make ends meet.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:05:51

I know the choice is limited for many of us 50shadesofmeh but it is a choice - sorry but it is.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 14:06:07

Um, so in my case I should have given up a well paid career and gone on benefits?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:08:13

Well your last few posts suggest that you're perhaps not as good as thinking creatively and outside the box as you'd like to believe you are He11y, seeing as you questioned your friend about her decisions and told her you would worry about your own child too much to have that lifestyle.

So for all your talk about being open to other ways of doing things, perhaps you should practise what you preach

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:11:08

I'm open to alternatives but not living in a van.

Although I am more understanding about it since I did my research and I now know there wouldn't be a health risk.

That was my initial response.

Do you never change your opinion once you've researched something? I do.

It's not something I'd ever considered but now I see how it can work for some.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:13:32

If you truly wanted to be with your child, then you could have given up your well paid career and worked part time in a less lucrative job, Portofino.

If it meant more than your job then you'd have done it - that's the point I'm making.

You say there is no choice but that is a choice.

You weren't handcuffed and marched to work by gunpoint every day.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:14:39

I am making no judgement when I say that Portofino!

I am just saying you did have choices.

They may have been difficult ones but you did have them.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:16:38

If we all just dump anyone who intentionally, or unintentionally, upsets us, then we aren't really ever going to appreciate difference, are we?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:18:37

Eh? Why do you keep bringing up totally irrelevant statements? Of course research and finding out about things brings greater understanding, which could then lead to one shifting ones perspective on an issue

But that's got fuck all to do with someone telling a friend that they love their children too much to do what that friend is doing.

If you are thick enough to really think working hours is any sort of measure of love, then you should at least learn to keep your trap shut so that other people don't have to hear your ignorant thoughts

If you don't really believe its a measure of love, but see it as an opportunity to make some passive aggressive snipe, then you should at least learn that it makes you look pretty insecure about your own life

You are the person on this thread who has gone further than anyone else in trying to defend or explain the OPs friends comment, He11y.

You now seem to be trying to distance yourself from that stance by trying to ignore the actual facts of the OP

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Sun 01-Sep-13 14:22:41

What an insensitive bitch!! I did exactly what you Susan's went back at 7 months as necessity, will do the same this time and the amount if frowny faces I get from virtual strangers when I am asked how long I'm taking is beyond belief. We don't live in an ivory tower, are realistic about affordability and are not holding out for a parental inheritance or help so we have to get of our arses and do it ourselves, take no notice, silly cow!!

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 14:23:05

You are just on the wind up surely he11y? hmm

Yep if you really cared about your kids you would give up a good career for a shit low paid job. hhmmm not very feminist at all. Where would the world be if all these high flying intelligent women decided they just love their kids so much.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:38:44

Janey - you said I wasn't open to alternatives because I questioned my friend about potential health issues.

I was responding to that post.

I'm not sure why you've related it to the woman in the op...

Blueberryveryberry Sun 01-Sep-13 14:41:09

Ignore her.

SPBisResisting Sun 01-Sep-13 14:41:46

I feel slightly envious of Helly's friend. Proper the good life existence that I would love to have. Until I remember that I cry when a bulb blows grin

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:42:07

Er... Because the entire thread is in response to the OP, which states that her friend said she 'loves her children too much' to do what the OP is doing, and also was 'adamant' that the OP would regret what she was doing

You have persisted in trying to defend what the OPs friend said, 'explaining' it away as some 'knee jerk ' response, or equivalent to a genuine desire to understand the OPs actions.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:42:47

That was in response to He11y

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:43:10

Feminism leads us to believe we can have it all and of course we do have many more options than our ancestors.

However, when we have children, it suddenly becomes apparent that there is a pay off.

But, we do have that choice and it is not letting the side down to decide we'd rather be with out children.

Feminism gave us the choice and it matters not how we exercise it.

SPBisResisting Sun 01-Sep-13 14:44:20

and I'm not all that keen on public toilets grin

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:44:59

My response was to a direct post you made about me janey.

You made a post aimed at me personally but now say my reply should address the entire thread.

It doesn't really work that way, sorry.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:46:41

No need to apologise he11y!

I am just staggered that anyone can try to defend such a nasty comment, explaining it away as a 'knee jerk reaction' or an attempt to understand the OP.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:46:50

SPBisResisting - another friend said it sounds fab... but how do you get WiFi? grin

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:47:40

Do we know for sure it was out and out nasty though?

Seriously, how do you know that?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:48:59

I responded to that question way upthread

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:49:07

I initially responded to the way people were being slated for their choices anyway.

I've not defended what was said as it was a bit off, but I have said it may not be worthy of the response we've seen on here.

Clary Sun 01-Sep-13 14:49:31

OP you have my sympathy.

Someone said to me yesterday "You work full time? (she works pt) How do you manage that then? [with three children]"

I was a bit shock tbh but failed to come up with any pithy reply. y DC are 14, 12 and 10 btw so I'm not really sure what is so hard to "manage" but anyway...

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:50:18

I've not judged any of you, no matter what you do.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:51:54

And I've explained why I feel it may not be that way janey.

I said we will have to agree to disagree but you've bright it back up again.

We clearly won't agree on that point but that's fine isn't it?

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:52:31

' a bit off' ?!! To suggest that another parent doesn't love their children as much??

God, I'd hate to see what verbal knee jerks you use He11y if you want to be really nasty, if you judge that comment as a 'bit off'

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 14:53:24

I can't believe we haven't made it clear that for some women working is NOT A CHOICE!

Benefits will not pay my mortgage. I would be waiting for a council house. My dh's salary does not cover our mortgage, gas, electricity, water, council tax and food bills. That is before we consider school dinners, bus fares, uniform, shoes...
Dh lost his job a while ago. Thank god he was very, very, very lucky and got another one straight away but he had to take a massive pay cut. Others aren't that fortunate.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 14:55:31

As parents, we love our children more than life itself and our entire existence is bound up with nurturing and protecting them once we become parents.

To suggest that another parent doesn't love their children as much as you love yours, strikes at the very core of parenting.

How sad that anyone could genuinely think that to make such a comment is merely 'a bit off'.

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 15:10:59

YANBU...what a horrible thing to say. I have done the "working full time" thi g with a new baby. It's awful but the reality is that my salary paid the mortgage while SH covered other bills....we simply could not have afforded for me to stay at home. It doesn't in the least affect how much I loved my son, I would have LOVED to stay home with him but just couldn't afford to.

Now he is 10 and I am a SAHM for the moment due to his needs.....not because "I love him too much", in fact if he could cope then I would be back in work like a shot.

SPBisResisting Sun 01-Sep-13 15:20:25

"He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 14:46:50

SPBisResisting - another friend said it sounds fab... but how do you get WiFi? grin"

PMSL! I bet the vegetables they eat come all covered in dirt too
<shudder>

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 01-Sep-13 15:28:58

How can living in a van or being on benefits ever be better for a child then their parent working for a few hours a day?

I cant imagine any child saying they were happy to have no space, no bedroom, no where to bring a friend around etc as mum didnt fancy going to work. Likewise choosing to live on benefits, outcomes for children raised on benefits are much poorer than those not so why would anybody choose that for their child?

Being a SAHP is not the best thing you can do for a child, most wont even remember the pre school years and when a child is in school theres at least 30 hours to work in. Being a good parent means meeting their emotional and financial needs, ensuring their happiness and protecting their health as much as is possible through a decent living environment and diet.

Some mums want to work, others have no choice. A SAHP will either be reliant on another adult or the state, neither are a long term solution as marriages can fail and the state can pull support anytime.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 15:39:17

If you are really interested in knowing HappyMummyofOne the just read back through my posts - it's all there.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 15:44:04

Marriages dont always fail.
And if a person or family goes from renting to living in a caravan or van for a few years, then yes they can get more time with their young children.

Doable.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 15:46:04

Happymummy- the whole thing about the woman in the van is a bit peripheral actually (and besides it turned out she is a working parent anyway)
The key point of the thread is that the OPs supposed 'friend' told her she would regret working full time, and also said she loved her own children too much to do that.

Most people have acknowledged that this is a vicious thing to say. That's a succinct summary!

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 15:47:16

Yes yellowballoons- doable, but it is not a measure of loving their children more. It's really that simple

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 15:53:45

Nobody said it was janey.

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 15:55:14

I think the problem here is not so much others judging working parents but them judging themselves and projecting it onto others.

KarmaBiatch Sun 01-Sep-13 15:56:23

some people are like clouds, and when they fuck off its a beautiful day.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 15:58:36

grin love it karmabiatch

He11y Sun 01-Sep-13 16:21:29

Whatever way you look at it and whatever choice you make, it is a choice.

We live in a free country and we decide how we will manage our lives.

I completely respect that people choose to work, stay at home or a bit of both and each and every one of them makes that choice in good faith.

What I don't agree with is the idea people only work because they have no choice. That is, frankly, rubbish. They do have choices - it's just none of them is perfect.

So here is an idea: respect each other for doing what we feel is best and if someone does say something we don't like, address it and move on. Nobody needs to justify their decision and nobody should feel bad about saying that is what they chose.

Whether we work or not has no bearing on how much we love our children - it is more about how we want parent and there is no right or wrong answer.

Some may think it better to come onto the internet and use foul language but hey, it takes all sorts!

Doobydoo Sun 01-Sep-13 16:24:21

Have never given a damn what anyone thinks about the way dp and I work etc....that is the best way.Do what works for you...dependant on your priorities

Venay Sun 01-Sep-13 16:28:48

The original remark was either very insensitive or incredibly bitchy - however, as the thread has progressed it has been littered with out-raged posters making equally rude comments about SAHPs.

I have to say, I mostly agree with Helly. Most parents in the UK have some element of choice about how much they work and how much time they spent with their family. They might need to take an evening shift to work against a partner. They might need to move to a smaller house, or accept a step down in their career path, but there is usually some element of flexibility.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 16:40:31

And some of us believe that living in a free country and respecting others doesn't make it acceptable to go around making vicious comments about other parents not loving their children enough.

Even if (in fact especially if) the OP is not happy about returning to work and is planning to downsize to a caravan and home educate her child, these things don't happen overnight- she may have to return to work in the interim to avoid her house being repossessed.
Whatever way you look at it, the comment was vicious and entirely unnecessary. Of course, I can see that it's far easier to ignore the actual facts of the OP ....

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 16:42:21

Venay- as we keep saying, there may be some flexibility for some (not all) people.
But where does the concept that the number of hours a parent works equates to their love for their child?

Everyone who has tried to defend the comment made by the OPs friend has failed to address that core issue.

ZingWantsCake Sun 01-Sep-13 16:44:48

tbh it is such a ridiculous comment I would have laughed in this person's face.
and I am a SAHM.

OP let me tell you a secret. Sometimes people are insecure about stuff so to make themselves feel better they brag about it.
I fully believe that a lot of these type of things are NOT aimed at the listener but are an attempt to validate the choices or feelings of the speaker.
you know, self-protection of the ego through compensation and all that jazz.

I'd say this person has insecurities about themselves, about being a (good) parent - rather than having a go at you.

so as upsetting it is to hear something like that, try to ignore it.
thanks

PaperSeagull Sun 01-Sep-13 16:46:48

The statements by the OP's friends are utterly absurd. I agree with the poster above who suggested that the best response was just to laugh at such silliness.

I love my career and would never in a million years want to stop working. My independence (financial and otherwise) is extremely important to me. I can't imagine giving up my career to go live in a van down by the river.

ZingWantsCake Sun 01-Sep-13 16:49:11

janey precisely.

anyway, if that comment is true I definitely need a medal and DH probably needs some body part chopped of as punishment for not loving his kids enough.
you know, what with having a FT job and working long hours to pay for everything grin

ZingWantsCake Sun 01-Sep-13 16:51:21

*paper seagull*wink

another good one is holding up your three fingers (index, middle and ring) and say: "Read between the lines!" grin

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 17:03:10

Helly

Your last post sums it up quite nicely imo, its a question of choice.
There is no right or wrong answer and people should be free to do what suits their family best, it may be who, it may be wah or sah, or it could be a mix of each. Wtf does it matter if it suits your family.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 17:06:45

We all agreed on that pages ago morethan. The issue is actually about showing respect for that choice by not suggesting that a parent who does something differently doesn't love their children as much.

I don't think insults get much lower than that, do you?

PaperSeagull Sun 01-Sep-13 17:12:48

BTW, I'm not for a minute suggesting that everyone should do exactly what I do (probably obvious, but I'll mention it anyway!). I'm not entirely convinced that our choices are as free as we would like to believe, given the current structures of societies/economies/cultures. But at the same time, it would be utterly ridiculous to suggest that a person's love for his/her children can be determined by that person's work status.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 17:13:51

janey

I was responding to Hellys last post, it was on the same page.

I agree that people should show respect for other peoples choices, and life would be boring if we were all the same.
The OPs friend is clearly not happy with her choices or else she wouldn't have been so nasty and insensitive.
I could never leave my dc to work but my friends who work love their dc the same as I do, no difference at all.
OP, she is not a friend.

CoolStoryBro Sun 01-Sep-13 17:14:43

Blimey Op! What a dumb thing for your friend to say.

That said, next time someone asks me why I'm still a SAHM even though my children are all in ft school, I'm going to say, "Oh, I just love my children too much to work". Am going to practice the misty eyed look in the mirror right now. Genius! wink

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 17:23:38

Yes I agree life would be boring if we were all the same... However, diversity is no excuse for downright vicious comments. Which is what this was, however much anyone tries to excuse it ...

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 17:43:46

No - some people do not have a choice.
If your partner does not work how can you not work? I know people do survive on benefits but given that we have a mortgage these would not be enough for us. There is a limit to how much you can claim and the fact that there are food banks up and down the country shows that many can't actually survive on benefits.
If I decided to give up work and live in a van so that I could be at 'home' with my kids I would first of all have to find someone to buy my house - but like many in the country we are pretty close to negative equity. Then I would have to purchase the van, find a plot of land to put the van, pay for petrol or fuel etc. These things would take time to achieve and I would have to work whilst I set this all up. I would also need to make sure we had money for food and again if neither of us worked this would be pretty near impossible if not completely impossible. Then there would be the question of getting a van big enough for all of us. What about a mother with 4 children? 5 children etc.

Yes - many women want to work. Yes many women who don't want to work could make sacrifices to achieve the aim of staying at home but there are so many different variables/circumstances of all women that for some they have no choice but to work. They really don't have a choice.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 17:56:03

Sovery

But many parents choose not to work and live on benefits. It wasn't for me and dh neither, but it was a choice.
You do have the choice to sell up and move into a van, also not one I would make.
If you really don't think its a matter of choice, we will have to beg to differ on that one.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 18:11:54

Yes - I could sell up to live in a van or I could chose to be homeless but because of my current situation I would still need to work whilst the house sale was going through. So I would be working even though the aim was not to work.

If I decided to give up work and go on benefits I would still need to work until the house was sold.

So it isn't as simple as people think. You can be a working parent and not have a choice in the matter. It might be that you are aiming to not work but in the meantime you are working.

There is also the issue of whether living in a van or being homeless is an acceptable choice. In a civilised society no-one should be expected to chose between van/homeless and bricks and mortar.
Do people think that it is honestly a choice - to chose to be homeless? I don't get that at all.

so he11y you'd be cool with every single mother in the country quitting her job and living off benefits for the whole of her children's childhood?

you still haven't acknowledged that this isn't a choice btw - you cannot claim benefits past your child being at school and can be forced onto workfare if you don't find a job. it is not a choice (and you seriously overuse that word and without any analysis as to what it actually means).

this is not a 'free' country in the economic sense. things cost money. either you pay or someone else pays for you. if you don't have a husband you have to pay unless you fancy workfare at tesco at unsociable hours with no childcare.

why are you pretending someone in that position has a choice as to whether to work or not?

and do you think it would be morally right for people to just have children and then expect the state to support them and their children for 18 years because they 'loved their children too much' to pay their way?

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 18:49:44

sovery

My friend chose to live in a van, didn't go to work the next day, after all she had no mortgage to pay as she was selling the house and didn't care about it tbh. That was her choice

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 18:57:02

Quite SAF. Plus the tricky matter of having to maybe pay back maternity pay if you don't go back to work. And the fact that if you resign from a job you are not (immediately) entitled to any benefits either.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 18:59:35

And I expect Tesco's would have not looked favourably at my CV. Being over qualified for work can be as bad as being under qualified in many cases. They tend to think you will be bored and move on as soon as something better comes along.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 19:02:16

And the fact that part time work might not necessarily cover the cost of childcare....

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 19:15:11

Yes - I don't dispute that your friend had the choice to go and live in a van. But I am trying to point out that not everyone has that choice. If I decided to do that I would have to sell my house first and whilst that took place - could take anything from 6 weeks to 2 years I would have to work. So I would be a working mum who had no choice.

Trills Sun 01-Sep-13 19:17:34

How much you love your child and whether you want to be with them 24/7 are two very different things.

Trills Sun 01-Sep-13 19:19:11

Those defending their working by saying "I would like to be with my child all the time but I can't afford not to work" are accepting the assertion that anyone who chooses to work (where they could stay at home) loves their child less.

Trills Sun 01-Sep-13 19:21:54

Some parents work more hours than they would like, because of reasons outside their control.

Other parents work fewer hours than they would like, because of reasons outside their control.

Some parents are willing to make bigger sacrifices (financial or otherwise) in order to get closer to their "ideal number of hours working".

The number of hours they would like to work vs the number of hours they would like to spend with their child(ren) does not necessarily correlate with how much they love their child(ren).

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 19:25:20

I think I may have misunderstood you Trills.

Those defending their working by saying "I would like to be with my child all the time but I can't afford not to work" are accepting the assertion that anyone who chooses to work (where they could stay at home) loves their child less

But then you say

The number of hours they would like to work vs the number of hours they would like to spend with their child(ren) does not necessarily correlate with how much they love their child(ren).

I would agree with the latter statement but it seems a contradiction to the first one. Were you posting the first statement as an example of something someone else said?

Trills Sun 01-Sep-13 19:30:51

The second thing you have highlighted is what I believe.

The first thing you have highlighted is what other people are saying (although they might not deliberately be saying it).

If you believe that you can love your child and choose to work, there is no need to explain that you have to work rather than choose to work.

Trills Sun 01-Sep-13 19:38:53

I'll try to think of a non-contentious example.

Let's talk about ironing.

Someone says "I couldn't go out without ironed clothes, I'd feel so scruffy". (I couldn't work, I love my kids)

You are currently wearing non-ironed clothes. (Working full time)

If you reply with "I would iron my top but I was in a rush this morning and the baby was sick on my ironed top" you are implying that you agree that it is scruffy to wear non-ironed clothes. (I would be a SAHM but can't afford it - I agree that I should want to stay at home)

TiredDog Sun 01-Sep-13 19:51:40

Ah silly me. Choices. I will research my transit van lifestyle, take DC out of school and follow festivals looking for jobs and items to barter. Yes I can see I have a choice...that or work to pay a mortgage, buy food, clothes etc.

What a ridiculous response

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 20:05:36

tired

I think the argument is people assuming they have no choice, when in fact we all have the same choices where work and living are concerned, otherwise we would all be doing the same.
Nobody is saying the only choice is to work, pay a mortgage or not work and live in a van. These were an example a poster gave of two choices you could make.
Just because a person refuses to acknowledge their choices in life doesn't mean the choices don't exist.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 20:05:42

It doesn't really matter at all if you work or not, whether you want to work or not, if you work because you have to, or because you want to, you still love your kids! That is the point. And that is why Op's friend was so offensive.

There was a bit of sideline on this thread that if you REALLY want to stay home you can make that happen, even if means throwing all financial security out the window (and maybe living in a van).

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 20:08:16

More potato, but sometimes these choices are really poor. Benefits vs a job, a van vs a roof over your head, poverty vs well fed and dressed kids. Surely as parents we weigh up all the options and take the best one.? It's stupid to say everyone has a real choice.

dufflefluffle Sun 01-Sep-13 20:11:48

Yes, awful stupid thing to say. I'm a sahm and find: oh I couldn't stay at home with my kids - it's drive me mad/bored/demented comments offensive. I have never been able to figure out what the reverse insult is but there you have found it!!
Shut up mothers - each to their own, stop striving for mumupmanship!!

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:16:30

And I'm still waiting for the response to how society would function if we all decided we quite fancied abandoning our well paying jobs and downsizing to something really easy where we wouldn't pay tax, or even choosing to be unemployed.
(I've asked this before on a thread and the best someone would come up with is 'don't be daft, of course there are people who are prepared to do the tough jobs'. By that I assume they mean some men who don't give a shit about whether they see their kids or not. Or maybe the childless because of course they don't count really.... )

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 20:20:46

Portofino

I believe that everybody does have a choice, moreover that the choices exist. So to hear people say I have no choice strikes me as feeble whether a work issue or something far less important.
I'm not suggesting everybody lives off benefit and doesn't work, or swops a home for a van. But these choices along with many other combinations of possible lifestyles are there whether some people can see this or not.

LittleRayOf Sun 01-Sep-13 20:21:05

I dont feel angry when I read/hear something like this.
I go barf [gestures fingers down throat]

Your friend sounds like an immature teen trying to make her relationship sound more grown up "I love Dave so much I cant stand to be away from him"

Only your friend will know if she meant to hurt you by saying what she did.

Is it possible that she is hugely embarrassed by what she said, and is at home right now making you an apology cake?

baddriver Sun 01-Sep-13 20:37:34

He11y i think you have made some very good points. You sound like a confident, assertive person who wouldn't feel hurt by a remark that many of us would be. I have to admit that I would feel hurt by the remark made to the OP but I would like to be more robust, like you, and have a sensible conversation.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 20:41:51

Yes there are choices.
May be bad choices, but there are choices. Hardly anybody may take the choice, but it does exist.

I seem to end up saying that to people in rl quite a lot.
They say "well I dont have a choice". But yes they do. They may not like the alternatives, but they still have a choice.

People do live in vans, caravans etc, but dont claim benefits.

Now realised I have said vitually the same as morerthan. Who did make choices that others baulk at.

Agree that this is a side issue.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 20:44:00

There is a bit of a middle road.
Some people, and only some people, could downsize if they wanted to and say work part time instead of full time.

parasaurolophus Sun 01-Sep-13 20:45:33

I remember people like this when our kids were babies. Ten years later those people are still around and are total bores, and their kids are not way better off then my kids. All the kids are great.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 20:45:53

Not saying they should, or even that it is the best thing to do.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 20:47:26

Yellow

I'm glad that some people can see it, although I'm not sure which of my unconventional choices you are referring to. grin

I did say up thread though that that person was no friend of the OP, and what a horrible and nasty thing to say.
What you decide to do in life really doesn't have any bearing on how much you love your dc, that's ridiculous.

Mumsyblouse Sun 01-Sep-13 20:48:20

If someone said that to me, I wouldn't be upset, I would find it very funny. I love my job so no-one could guilt me into feeling bad about not loving my children, anymore than they could guilt my husband into feeling bad for working full-time and so not loving his children either.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:50:51

Yes but all this discussion is a bit of a side issue, because the central point is that if you genuinely have respect for the fact that people don't all have to behave in the same way, you don't make comments like the nasty one made to the OP. Or condone such comments, or brush them off as being a 'bit off' as someone on here tried to. Whether the OP was personally hurt or not, it is an incredibly nasty and ignorant comment to make. Are people really suggesting that its acceptable to make such comments providing the recipent can 'man up' , 'take it on the chin ' etc? How about people just learn some basic manners? Is it really that hard to keep your trap shut? I mean, this was a woman talking to another mother who had been back at work just two weeks. What sort of person feels is necessary to try to tell them they will regret what they're doing and imply they wouldn't do it if they loved their children enough? hmm

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 20:51:33

Your furniture and saving for your house I have forgotten your others! grin

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 20:53:50

I agree janey68

PaperSeagull Sun 01-Sep-13 20:54:46

It's foolish to suggest that everyone has the same choices. Of course they don't. A single parent with no qualifications does not have the same options as a married parent whose partner earns a high salary. And does anyone really believe that choosing homelessness is a valid option? I suppose you could spend time with your child that way, but I can't quite see it as a great choice for anyone involved (least of all the child). As I wrote above, I'm also dubious about how free our so-called "choices" actually are.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 20:54:53

yellow

The beginning of our married life, yes it was tough, but no regrets.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 21:05:52

From what I can see, your choice as a SAHP, unless independently wealthy, is to depend on either your partner, or the State. Some people are more comfortable with those "choices" than others. Some people don't get to choose at all.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 21:07:03

Choosing to live in a van isnt classed as homelessness is it?
And I would be very surprised if choosing to live in a caravan is.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 01-Sep-13 21:07:09

If every mum gave up work and relied on benefits we would have no benefit system. Too many already choose not to work and claim full benefits or tax credits so that one of the two can stay home.

Choosing to quit work and live in a van with hardly any income is not a choice, its mad for many reasons.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 21:08:45

Agreed Portofino.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 01-Sep-13 21:20:50

Happy

There are just as many families with both parents working receiving tax credits as there are one parent working, it is means tested. If 2 are only earning the equivalent of one wage because they are pt, there is no difference between 1 working ft and a sahp, surely.

Choosing to quit work and live in a van was the best decision my friend ever made according to her. Again, not a choice I would take, but it suits her family.

No living in a van, caravan etc doesn't make you homeless.

Yes janey I agree, it was a needless horrible thing to say.

janey68 Sun 01-Sep-13 21:55:14

I think the root of the issue is also that some people can't get their heads around the fact that people who do things differently, are doing so with just as much care, thought and insight.

If a woman tells me that she is giving up work to be a SAHM, my assumption would be that she and her partner have considered all angles, whether they can live on one wage, both partners being equally happy with the division of labour, pension and future employment having been considered etc
It strikes me as extreme arrogance to assume that while I have made decisions about what's right for my family, other people don't do so for theirs

By the same token, we considered the various angles when making our decisions. if my babies had been extremely clingy, anxious or unsettled in childcare, We would of course have had to have a Plan B (or C or D etc...)
IME parents know their own circumstances and children better than anyone else and it's the height of arrogance to assume that they haven't taken reasoned and insightful decisions, within the range of options open to them.

It's a massive insult and can't possibly be taken in any other way.

She would be no friend of mine after that.

fancyanother Sun 01-Sep-13 22:30:48

I was watching one of those horrible recent spate of programmes about people on benefits where a young unemployed man said to a woking mother 'I wouldn't go out to work if my child wanted me to stay at home!!' In my mind, he was saying the same thing as OP's 'friend.' His choice to stay at home and anyone else who 'chooses' to live on benefits (as opposed to having to be on benefits due to circumstances) are relying on others making different choices. If they didn't make their choice to work, they couldn't make their choice not to work. As we are now seeing, the sums just don't add up.
And I agree with Trills What if you really like your job, and also want children, who you love? Maybe more people should say that they like working outside the home, and would still do it, even if they had the choice to stay at home. It is a valid choice and people shouldn't be made to feel like terrible parents for making it!

jessieagain Sun 01-Sep-13 22:45:11

This is interesting.

I know people like the friend in the op.

They genuninely believe what they say and I don't believe the say it to hurt others who are working mothers.

Insensitive yes, but I don't think they are necessarily being mean. They just lack empathy and experience.

Same with the comment 'then they shouldn't have have had children then'.

EldritchCleavage Sun 01-Sep-13 22:48:24

OP-one of the most valuable pieces of advice I ever got, from a colleague with children, said to me just before I went on my first maternity leave:
"Just remember, some of the worst things people will say to you as a parent will be said because they are desperately justifying their own choices."

Trills Sun 01-Sep-13 22:59:32

I think the root of the issue is also that some people can't get their heads around the fact that people who do things differently, are doing so with just as much care, thought and insight.

This is a very good point.

So many people seem to think that there is their way and the wrong way.

One of the things that I love about MN is the opportunity it gives to see different people making different choices. It even shows you people doing things differently where you weren't aware that you were making a choice at all, because you were't aware that there was more than one way to do it!

mirry2 Sun 01-Sep-13 23:54:48

"Just remember, some of the worst things people will say to you as a parent will be said because they are desperately justifying their own choices"

Eldridge - too true

one of the best bits of advice i got was, 'when you give birth you also give birth to a stream of irrational guilt'. i was like nah it's ok i was raised a catholic so i'm well practised at that and she was like, 'nope this will take you to whole new levels'.

given we all know that at heart the idea that we'd deliberately say cruel things like the OP did is horrible. there is no way she couldn't know how barbed and hurtful that comment was.

someone said, 'people aren't being mean they're just lacking empathy' - that's kind of the definition of mean. unless you're a sociopath you've just never bothered to develop your empathy and put it into practice which is... mean. usually those are the kind of people who've never really had anything hard happen to them or shit land on them through no fault of their own that they didn't see coming. when the shit finally does hit the fan for them they throw the most almightly tantrums ever because they really believed that good things happen to good people and you make your own choices and well she must have asked for that and blah blah blah. when life slaps their perfect unexamined arse they are apoplectic!

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