to be annoyed with my friend for saying i set a bad example?

(140 Posts)
QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 11:53:41

Backstory: I went to uni, got a job, got married, got pregnant and left work to have DS1. I did not return to work after DS1, (now a pre-schooler), and now have DTs, (toddlers). I'm 29. DH earns good money at his job, with budgeting we can manage well on his salary alone - for example we 'own brand' shop but don't need to 'value' shop IYSWIM?

DH and I are both products of SAHM families, as adults we appreciate the importance of that and both of us decided that as long as we were financially able to do so, I would be a SAHM for our children. A present there are no plans for me to return to paid employment even when the kids are in school.

I do all the cleaning, shopping, washing, ironing, cooking, housework in general etc. I'm in charge of all our financial incomings and outgoings, savings etc. DH works 11 hour days but is very hands one when home, does bathtime/bedtime etc. at the weekends we both get some 'down time' to do our own hobbies.

DH and I are both 100% on the same page about all of this, we are very happy with this arrangement.

My 'friend' who I have been friends with since school, has now told me that I set a bad example to my children. apparently I am teaching my DSs that their future wives must be a 'domestic slave' (her words) and teaching my DD that she should aspire to be a 'lady that lunches' (again her words)

I actually had to leave and cried all the way home. I just feel so belittled by her comments, like me and DH choosing for me to be at home is some awful crime!

AIBU to be royally pissed off and considering dropping her as a friend? She is single with no children and a real career woman if that matters. I would never tell a working mother that she was 'wrong' for choosing that way, why is ok to do it to me?

MajesticWhine Thu 23-Jan-14 11:57:24

She might think this, but she should have more respect for your choice and keep her opinion to herself. I suspect she is just trying to make herself feel superior, or perhaps she is a bit jealous.

itsnotthateasy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:03

Pah ignore her . YANBU .. You both sound like you are getting along in life just fine. Enjoy your life with your DH and DCs . .
Her choice is obviously a career, well good for her , but its HER choice. Your choice is yours ..

My Mum was a SAHM for many years until I was about 11 or 12 . . Im glad she was , I appreciate it now Im older that she was there when I got home from school daily through the formative years .

Mim78 Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:06

She shouldn't poke her nose in, particularly as she has never faced the decision herself.

However, this thread could go wrong because in giving the reasons why you have chosen to SAHM, some people will take this as judging working mums.

Sounds like you and your husband are fine and happy with your decision though so I wouldn't worry what she thinks.

Topseyt Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:50

It is none of her business. She has no experience of having or bringing up children, nor of the expense of childcare (the reason some of us were even unable to return to work).

Tell her to piss off, or better still just cold-shoulder her from now on and don't engage with her again. If she asks why then tell her straight.

You and your family are happy with the arrangement, and it works for you. That is all there is to it. Your business, and no-one else's.

Whatisaweekend Thu 23-Jan-14 12:00:37

"I would never tell a working mother that she was 'wrong' for choosing that way, why is it ok to do it to me?"

^ this.

You are happy with your arrangement and it works well for you and your family. It's none of her business. She doesn't sound very pleasant tbh. Is she nice in other ways? If not, I would tell her how she has hurt you and drop her. Life is too short.

NatashaBee Thu 23-Jan-14 12:00:56

Sounds like she's trying to justify her own choices (or maybe she won't have a choice financially) to go back to work if she has kids. Your DD will see you and your DH working as a team, with your DH stepping up and helping out in the house too.

Flexiblefriend Thu 23-Jan-14 12:00:58

YANBU. Your "friend" sounds like a complete cow. You are showing your DC's an example of a family set up that works for you all. How can that be wrong. I say that as a working Mum.

queenmools Thu 23-Jan-14 12:01:07

Your friend is rude. You are not setting a bad example at all, you worked out of the home and now you work very hard in the home. You are not a slave, your husband does his share in the time that he has at home. This has made me cross on your behalf. Ignore your friend.

Quinteszilla Thu 23-Jan-14 12:03:32

Your choice. Your life. A good and caring mum can never set a bad example to her children!

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 23-Jan-14 12:03:39

She's not your friend, because if she were she would disagree with your choices without resorting to such unpleasant language. And she needs a crash course in feminism to boot.

Looking after a home and family is work, in my book, and very valuable work. I get very annoyed with people who belittle that as an activity and as a choice (is it because it is traditionally women's work that people dismiss it so readily?) I also think it is very wrong only to ascribe worth or value to people/life choices if they involve paid work, which seems to be what your friend is doing.

And I say all that as a working mother.

If your children are brought up to respect and value you and not treat you as some kind of drudge, if they see you and your DH as equal partners who have personal autonomy and an equal share of authority within the family, then they are not likely to see you as either slave or frivolous lady who lunches.

Do remember though, that when people are unkind like this it is more often about defending or acting out about their own choices and situation than it is about anything you are doing.

SomethingkindaOod Thu 23-Jan-14 12:04:57

SAHM's are an easy target for a lot of people unfortunately because from the outside looking in it probably does look like we're 'domestic slaves', not contributing etc (I work from home providing before and after school care).
I do the majority of the housework and childcare because DH works long hours and works away frequently, the older DC's have their own jobs to do and will be fully capable of running their own house when they move out, that's both DD and DS btw. Their toddler sister will be the same.
As for lady who lunches, utter bollocks, most days I'm lucky to get a bloody lunch... after MNetting
YANBU, your 'friend' has no idea about your life.

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:06:03

Yanbu op feminism is about equality and having choices. Dp's mum was a sahp she taught all the kids equally how to be do all the domestic and DIY chores. Your kids will.chose how they.want based on themselves and their dp's.

My dp and I.both work full.time and he's the more domestic out of us both. Dm was also sahm as is one dsis but myself and the others and dbro were always career minded. We split chores with our dp's.

Floggingmolly Thu 23-Jan-14 12:07:13

She's single with no children. And she's probably as jealous as a rat...

SparklingMuppet Thu 23-Jan-14 12:07:36

She's not your friend, really, she isn't. Reign back on contact and find nicer people to hang out with. I wouldn't tolerate that level of dismissal and unkindness from a friend in a million years.

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:08:23

Forgot to ask op-ed how did this come up? Were you debating, di'd she just start ranting...?

LayMeDown Thu 23-Jan-14 12:09:56

My mother said something similiar to me. I was a SAHM with an almost identical set up as you for 6 years but after my third was born I decided to go back part time. I mentioned it to my parents when we were still in the considering it stage and my mum said 'yes it'll be a better example for DD and for the boys if you work'. I was really annoyed. I told her I thought I was a very good example anyway regardless of whether I worked outside the home or not.
I think some people regard working in the home as less valuable. These people ironically regard themselves as feminists, yet devalue work done by other women if it is not paid.
I went back to work because I needed to. I was struggling being at home with three kids. It was too hard and unrelenting. If it gives you satisfaction and you are financially secure (during my SAHM years all savings were in my name) than you don't need to explain yourself to anyone. If you want to give her another chance to apologise then tell her that her comments were hurtful to you. But she may not get it.

Davsmum Thu 23-Jan-14 12:11:36


I have many friends who would love to be doing it the way you are. I hate this idea that women are 'supposed' to work even when their children are little. Wanting to be a SAHM is perfectly ok!

Why would you go against what you want to do just to set an example that someone else has decided is the right one?
You are setting a good example by valuing your children!

ButEmilylovedhim Thu 23-Jan-14 12:11:53

And how can you be both 'a domestic slave' and a 'lady who lunches'? What is she on about?!? Maybe she would love to give up paid work but doesn't see that she will ever be able to. If you're resentful of something, it's easier to add some judgement in rather than just admit to yourself, ' I'd quite like what you've got'. Less painful to the self IYSWIM.

HowlingTrap Thu 23-Jan-14 12:12:29

I'd have struggled not to slap her tbh, i know thats not helpful.

very very rude, when did raising your children become a bad thing?

surely your dh being a hands on dad sets a good example aswell, if you were a pandering wife to a lazy chauvinist then you might have a point , but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 12:12:56

being a single woman with a career doesn;t = jealous as a rat.

I was and I was never one teensy tiny bit jealous of friends or family who had children until I wanted one - its a bizarre assumption to make!

But its irrelevant what she thinks - she gets to do what she wants, you get to do what you want, everyone happy. Raising your children to believe that they need to support their family is important but how they do that is really down to what works from them.

But the good old Mumsnet come back would seem appropriate here "Did you mean that to be as offensive as it sounded?".

It sounds as though the agreement you have with your husband is acceptable by both of you, and neither of you have a problem with it.

Therefore your friend is BU, and it's really none of her business what you do with regard to chores etc.

LoonvanBoon Thu 23-Jan-14 12:13:44

Of course YANBU, & you don't need to justify your choice to be a SAHM to your friend or anybody else.

TBH I think you can probably do without friends like that. She's entitled to her opinions, I suppose, but it's just bloody rude & offensive to say the things she said to you.

Did you tell her to mind her own business? I hope I would have done in that situation, but perhaps I'd have been too shocked. Please don't let her make you feel bad about yourself or your choices - they work for your family & are sod all to do with her, or anyone else.

Trooperslane Thu 23-Jan-14 12:13:59

Cheeky cow. It works for your family and you are definitely not setting a bad example and neither is your DH.


Iwannalaylikethisforever Thu 23-Jan-14 12:14:26

Your friend has no children so has no experience of your situation. Ignore her. When people makes these remarks to me, it happens sometimes, I delight to saying I'm so lucky I don't need to work, my dh earns enough thanks.

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 12:14:33

Thank you everyone. I feel better already just from the reassurance.

mim - I am certainly not judging other parents' choice to work or not. it comes down each family's own dynamic of what works for them.

somethingkindaood yes, likewise I plan that all my kids will be able to cook and wield a hammer as appropriate!

Natasha and floggingmolly - that's what my DH thinks about her, she has always liked to be the 'first' and 'best' at everything.

to be honest as our lives have gone off different routes I am finding her harder and harder to deal with, this isn't the first comment like this but it is the most direct and pointed one. but she's my oldest friend and its hard to let that go.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 12:15:14

Apart from anything else, she really needs to decide whether you are a "domestic slave" or a "lady who lunches"; you can't really be both at once. Ask her to pick one set of lazy stereotypes of stay-at-home parents and stick to it when she's being deliberately offensive.

CreamSodaFloat Thu 23-Jan-14 12:18:11

OP, I've been a single career woman with no children and jet set around the world with my job in Armani suits. Now I am a SAHM. Right now I am sitting here with unwashed hair and mascara smudged down my cheek. The kids are in bed and my dinner is a glass of wine and some Babybell cheeses (I am GMT+8). I wear flat shoes and just grab the first thing I can see in my wardrobe.

I would never give up my life now, for my life back then.

Ignore, ignore, ignore. Feminism is about choices. I looked at the choices in front of me and I chose what I have now and am happy.

Ridiculous. My mum was a SAHM and then when I was 10 my mum went back to work and my dad became a SAHD (which he still is- just hanging out with the cats now! grin) and neither has given me any preconceived notions about either gender or their "jobs" in the home.

Your friend is talking out of her arse.

Calloh Thu 23-Jan-14 12:18:47

How can you be a domestic slave AND a lady that lunches anyway?

She speaks utter dross!

YANBU. It's what works for your family and it's weird if other people have very strong opinions about other people's family set-up if they're all happy!

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 12:19:29

Mia it was just a general chat, I was just saying that it was a busy week for me as I had to get the house straightened out after DS1's birthday and I had let the ironing pile up so it would take me a couple of hours to do it and if I didn't get on with it DH wouldn't have a shirt for the morning - she cut me off and went on her little tirade.

I was too shocked and upset to say much back, I just said that I had to go now and left.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 12:20:18

I have a friend who is a single career woman with no children (and no plans to have any children) and she isn't one bit jealous, she has been nothing but supportive of me as a single parent.

She doesn't sound like a very nice friend.

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 12:21:22

actually a good point about the slave v lady thing - I'd missed that! Will remember to point this out to her if she starts up again.

I guess I'm torn as to whether I should actually tell her to sod off or just let it slide and cease contact from my side and let her take the hint?

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 23-Jan-14 12:23:57

Hmn. If you DH were the one at home, would she call him a domestic slave? Or is it only drudgery when the mother does it?

When I was single with no kids I never said things like this. Or thought them.

bellablot Thu 23-Jan-14 12:25:07

Look, she has no kids, forgive her ignorance. She's probably jealous of your life really and may be having troubles you don't know about.

Nothing has a meaning but the meaning you give it. She doesn't understand the position your in, hasn't a clue in fact so shouldn't really comment however you should understand and maybe ask if everything is okay in her life, does she have troubles you don't know about?

Man up, stop crying over something that doesn't actually mean anything and enjoy your lovely life.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 12:26:24

The thing is - people will always disagree with your choices.

I chose to be a single mother, I chose to adopt a child from another country - you can't imagine the comments I've had form people who feel entitled to an opinion about it. But I did what I felt was right for me at the time and now for my son - but I've hardened up my attitude somewhat over the year.

"Its a free country, I can say what I think"
"Yes and thankfully I have the same right to totally disregard it. Bye"

Onesie Thu 23-Jan-14 12:29:10

The easy way of ensuring your kids don't think of you as a salve is to give them daily chores when they are old enough and for them to take some responsibility for domestic chores like cooking, laundry etc. You are all a team.

I'm really shocked she sees no benefit in you being a stay at home mum. Madness !

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 12:29:37

And she really might not be jealous <<sigh>>

And even if she is jealous (though why anyone feels jealous of having to tidy up the house and iron the shirts hasn't yet been explained!), friends aren't rude to you

She might well beleive totally that women should work outside the home in paid jobs to give their children a good role model of working women. She perfectly entitled to think that and I can;t say that her views are bizarre or wrong. But even if she thinks it, a friend wouldn;t discuss it with you in such a rude way.

She really isn;t a good friend, just an old one.

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:34:25

Queen it sounds like she doesn't consider that all that busy tbh which is judgy. Is she stressed and resentful you think?

Im a ft worker but when I say im stressed and tired I get 'you don't know what tired is. Try being responsible for all these kid's and 'm job is so so stressful I.know others have hard work.but it just doesn't compare.' she's a teacher and does work hard but she was judgy because she was stressed and overworked and looked at my 8:30-6 job as more cushy. She was resentful over her.own work.and stress so for a while she was very annoying and judgy. She's a.lot happier at place now and laughs at herself for those things.

Is your friend often this way to you- maybe toxic and putting down? Or is she usually lovely and could be being shitty because of something else?

bellablot Thu 23-Jan-14 12:38:41

I don't think it's a case of being jealous of the house work, why the hell would anyone be jealous of that. I was referring to the life her friend has chosen, a sahm, the said friend could be jealous of what sounds like a nice happy marriage and family or maybe she's secretly sad she feels a friend has been lost to something she can't relate to.

You do naturally lose some friends in life, maybe it's time to say goodbye to this one.

caketinrosie Thu 23-Jan-14 12:38:46

I work full time and went back to work after 4 months maternity leave and I was miserable for a long time. I've continued working and my dc's are now teens and frankly neither of them has berated me for my choices. You op are providing a fantastic example of how to multi task, maintain a family, maintain a budget and keep things moving. You are the family PA! And frankly a good PA is worth a fortune. It's very sad your "friend" can't see that. Hold your head up high, SAHMs are essential for the nations economy. Ultimately it's your family and your choice so tell her to keep her thoughts to herself fuck off frankly, I've been at home with my dc's and I've been at work, I know which ones easier! grin

Somersetlady Thu 23-Jan-14 12:43:13

Queen if you would consider 'ceasing contact from your side so she gets the hint' is the relationship worth pursuing anyway?

Surely if she is a longstanding friend who you are close to it would be easy to ask face to face or even via email does she realise how much she hurt you with those comments? Add that you are very happy with your life and as your friend she should be if you are - a friendship is as simple as that! You do not need to justify your choices to anyone. confused

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-Jan-14 12:47:58

A pp said, 'she's not a good friend, she's an old friend' and how true that is, I must remember that for future use.

I would be tempted to email her and say 'did you mean to be so rude' and then take your cue from there. There is nothing wrong with the choices you've made for your family, that's what feminism is - the right to chose the set-up that works best for you. She's a daft mare.

(As an aside, I love that CreamSoda felt she had to tell us the time where she was - it's MN, we won't judge you for eating babybell and wine at any time grin)

benid Thu 23-Jan-14 12:48:54

What Kewcumber said. She is just rude and not a friend at all. I would not live my life the way my friends live theirs and am certain they think the same about me. Because we are friends we would be likely to discuss the differences in our outlooks (? is that even a word?) but we would never never speak to each other in such a horrible way. YANBU at all. Just don't contact her again and if she contacts you, by all means tell her why.

kerala Thu 23-Jan-14 12:50:31

She is no friend of yours sorry. What you do is a red herring. We could all be criticised for our choices by somebody. She said some really hurtful things, so bad I cannot believe they were inadvertent.

i would drop her. You should come away from meeting up with a friend uplifted not in tears and questioning the whole basis of your home life.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:53:17

Do remember though, that when people are unkind like this it is more often about defending or acting out about their own choices and situation than it is about anything you are doing <<<<<<<THIS

minouminou Thu 23-Jan-14 12:53:48

Eesh - I work loads (freelancer) and really enjoy it. Two kids, both in school now (just). I went back to work at six months and nine months and while it was a slog for a while, it eased up. It was necessary for our household that I worked. have three children (incl twins!), you're could go back if you want at some point in the future....

So what are you, a skivvy or a pampered princess? Sounds like your friend is reading shite lifestyle magazines and is spouting cliches at you. Cliches she hasn't thought about.

Time for a bit o' distance.

Marylou2 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:54:57

Jealous, jealous, jealous! Ignore her completely. Staying at hope is much harder than working but she wouldn't know that.

nellieellie Thu 23-Jan-14 12:55:17

I can imagine how upsetting this would have been. I think the key thing here is - she has no children. Before I had kids, I worked and my intention was always to go back to work. My mum was a SAHM and it was a really unequal relationship - my dad handled the money - he had the bank account and my mum would need to ask if she needed anything above the usual "housekeeping" money. I swore I would never be in the same position.
I was lucky enough to have a choice when we had my 1st DC - I am now, still a SAHM with 2 children 8yrs later. I have, like you, a totally equal relationship; housework/childcare is shared when my husband gets bck from work and at weekends. it is hard not "earning" any money sometimes, but the advantages outweigh this for me.
My view is that as a parent you make the choices that work for you. A working mum with a good career is a great role model for her children. A SAHM gets to see more of her children generally and is always there for them at the time. An unhappy mum, in either category is problematic. PS - for SAHM, also include SAHD! and for working mum, working dad.
If you still value your friends friendship, I would contact her and tell her how upset she has made you feel, that you value her friendship, and would welcome the chance to discuss the choice you have made with her but be clear that it is not acceptable for her to imply that you are a bad mother. If this is a friend with whom you now consider you have little in common then maybe a parting of the ways is the best way forward.

Marylou2 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:56:13

Sorry meant to say working outside the home!

Owllady Thu 23-Jan-14 12:56:43

Life is too short to have friends like this. Tell her wind her neck in and fuck off

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 13:01:02

Thanks everyone. I shouldn't have needed the reassurance but I did and I feel much better.

deep down DH and I know we are doing what we feel is right for our family in our current situation and I shouldn't let anyone else make me feel inferior because of it.

She has form for being slightly judgemental but this was a step up even for her. The reason I am hesitant to just drop her is maybe if/when she marries/has a family of her own maybe it will be easier (I have got closer to some friends that drifted now they are settling down) and I perhaps feel I shouldn't burn the bridge?

I do however feel like more often than not at the moment it is more effort than the friendship is worth. i think i need to take some time to get over being hurt and angry about it so i don't make a knee jerk decision. but realistically i think it is time to give the friendship the opportunity to die off of its own accord. sad

bishbashboosh Thu 23-Jan-14 13:07:53

Oh ignore her!!! She is not a friend!

Focus on the great job you are doing, or let her have your children and chores for the day

Topaz25 Thu 23-Jan-14 13:12:55

I don't have DC at the moment and probably won't choose to be a SAHM when I do but I would never refer to a friend who made that choice as a 'domestic slave'! How rude! If you can afford it and it works for you and your family, good for you. Your friend should respect you and your choices. If you want to salvage the friendship, try telling her you were hurt by what she said and explaining you are an equal partner not a slave, not that you should have to justify yourself to her! Otherwise take a step back from the friendship. She has no right to talk to you like that.

Whyamihere Thu 23-Jan-14 13:13:15

I think as long as your children are happy it won't make a difference whether you work or stay at home.

However I disagree with Marylou in that staying home is harder than working outside the home, it's too sweeping a statement. I think it depends on the person/job and how you manage, I find working (in a pretty intense and stressful job) and having to cope with worrying when dd is sick and having to take time off and fitting in things such as swimming lessons, homework etc much more stressfull than when I was at home. However I know people who find being at home very stressful because it is not something they enjoy.

You should do what suits you and your family and quite frankly it is no one else's business.

woodlandwanderwoman Thu 23-Jan-14 13:16:39

OP please read this, on days when people have made me feel like you do it reminds me of the most important things about our roles as SAHMs.

woodlandwanderwoman Thu 23-Jan-14 13:20:28

It won't get easier when she has a family. She will just find new ways to compete and make you small.

Drop her like a hot brick.

RhondaJean Thu 23-Jan-14 13:22:39

Personally I agree with your friends viewpoint but I wouldnt be so crass as to put it across in the way she did.

However the fact that it has upset you so much makes me wonder if perhaps you arent as completely happy with the situation as you make out. If you genuinely are let it roll over you, we have our reasons for feeling the way we do, and yanbu in that there is no need to lecture others who feel differently.

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 13:25:04

oh that is a lovely article woodland i shall print that out and pin it to my noticeboard (the fridge!).

this is in no way about whether being a SAHM or a working mum is better/harder/right/wrong. it is purely about her devaluing my choice.

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-Jan-14 13:30:33

That article has actually gripped my shit. The more time a mother can spend raising her kids, the better. WTAF? No mention of fathers?

OP I have already posted in support of you and I think your friend was wrong but lets not slip too far down the SAHM-deifying road, eh? All choices are good choices. And SAH's can be SAHD too...

tomverlaine Thu 23-Jan-14 13:30:44

It is an interesting question though how do you motivate children (especially girls) to get a career etc when you believe that once you have children that being a SAHM throughout their childhood is the more valuable option?

(this doesn't mean I agree with the way she has raised it)

permaquandry Thu 23-Jan-14 13:31:29

It's not setting a bad example. My parents both worked but my mum had a job where she was at home for when we got back from school. My parents both shared the domestics.

I have been a SAHM for 9 yrs, after working very hard for 13 years before my 1st. My husband goes out to work and I do all the domestics. This is just how it is and nothing like my own upbringing.

I talk to my children constantly about how hard I worked, where I worked, the great and interesting opportunities I had and I also talk about how I chose to be a SAHM.

They talk about what jobs they would like to do when they grow up and know it's important to work hard in school, to broaden their job opportunities.

It's not just the examples you set, it's the teachings you give.

Don't worry about your friends comments, she has no idea how she will feel after having children or what her position will be.

FWIW I believe that each option is as worthy as the other but this is the hardest job I've had, the most rewarding and the happiest I have been, but none the less, the hardest.

Joysmum Thu 23-Jan-14 13:34:36

Funny how the people most rude and judge mental of SAHM's are other women!

The most ardent so called feminists are only interested in women's right to chose if that choice is what they themselves would chose.

In my experience, feminists have had a far more oppressive influence on my life than misogyny has ever been.

IceBeing Thu 23-Jan-14 13:39:07

"In my experience, feminists have had a far more oppressive influence on my life than misogyny has ever been."


In what way do you feel oppressed by feminists? Did someone sneak into your house and burn your bra?

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 13:40:13

Wilson the article is from the father's point of view, and it is more common to have SAHMs than SAHDs i guess. I like the sentiment of the article in context of SAHParenting in general. Like i said before, i don't feel parents are 'wrong' for working, i respect their choice, in return I'd like my choice to be respected.

I talk to my children constantly about how hard I worked, where I worked, the great and interesting opportunities I had and I also talk about how I chose to be a SAHM.

^^ this is my intention as they get older.

SlimJiminy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:43:54

Sounds like jealousy to me. Your DH goes out to work and you stay at home - you still share the workload - and (most importantly) you're happy with the arrangement you have. I agree with those who've said you can't be a skivvy/slave AND a lady wot lunches - she's being a dick.

Definitely don't get upset about it. And don't let the duration of your friendship create some weird obligation to stay friends with her. I've done this before and ended up getting far less out of the friendship than I ever put in. Far better to invest your time and effort into friendships with people you have things in common with than to try to salvage the scraps that are left when you've grown apart.

P.S. nellieellie I don't have children either but would never, ever comment on my friends' decisions relating to their family's working/SAHM set-up. None of my business and you don't need to have children yourself to be able to see that.

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-Jan-14 13:45:16

I understand that Queen, I actually just don't want your thread to be derailed into a WOHP/SAHP bunfight as usual and articles like that make that more likely. Unless it's just me grin

dawdling Thu 23-Jan-14 14:02:08

Laugh and remark that you always enjoy hearing non-parents pontificate on parenthood. (Lightest, most tinkling laughter you can muster)

Owllady Thu 23-Jan-14 14:03:08

Surely the vast majority of women have worked and will resume work at some point anyway, so I really don't get the 'it sets a bad example' thing. Unless all sahm have vodka on their cornflakes and torture kittens in the afternoon hmm

Owllady Thu 23-Jan-14 14:05:12

It is true 're non parents though. I laughed when someone I know said she couldn't wait for the baby to be born so she could back to normal smile but you know, I most probably said daft stuff too.

Allthequeenshorses Thu 23-Jan-14 14:39:34

I agree with whyiamhere, entirely. Marylou thats an awful sweeping comment to make.

zeezeek Thu 23-Jan-14 14:50:01

Actually, I agree with her.

I find women who are SAHM very naive and, frankly, boring. All my friends are either working mums (like me) or childless.


Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 15:02:21

I don't understand why whether she's jealous or not makes a difference. You don't have to be jealous to think that going out to work is a more sensible choice for a woman with children, its a perfectly reasonable point of view. She was rude to decide her opinion is more important than your opinion when it comes to your family.

My mother was unceremoniously dumped by my father after 35 years of marriage where he earned the larger share of the income for longer than her (she went back to work when we were older but in a lower paid less fulfilling job) leaving her with shit for pension but (in exchange a larger share of the house). It hasn't been easy financially for her and she is slightly bitter that her very promising career (she's brighter than my Dad) was to all intents and purposes consigned to the dustbin.

So it has made me wary of being financially dependent on anyone. And I have mentioned the pension issue to friends who are SAHM to make sure they make a sensible pension provision because whilst its possible in theory to split pensions on divorce, in practice it never seems to work out like that. But I don;t harp on about it because I make my own choices and they make theirs - as I am a good friend I do point out if I think they are making crazy financial decisions based on the mistaken belief that their DH would never leave them. But I'd never be rude to them or judge them for their choices - I get to choose what I do... I don't get to choose what they do as well.

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 15:31:36

kewcumber i don't think it does make a difference. whatever her reasons for saying it i think we have established she was rude and shouldn't have said what she said the way she said it.

all our savings are in my name so he couldn't up and leave me with nothing, and yes i do have my own pension set up.

zeezeek you have missed the point. and i am neither naïve or boring thanks, talk about sweeping generalisations hmm

dozeydoris Thu 23-Jan-14 15:46:03

Well, if you looked well, happy and relaxed then perhaps there was a bit of the green-eyed monster there. Careers can be great, but they can also be exhausting, bitchy, boring etc. Likewise SAHM work can be repetitive, boring etc. but she won't know that.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 15:46:23

Ha ha - glad to hear it Queen - though to be fair I wasn't trying to imply that you were anything other than totally sensible!

I was ignoring zeezeek - I know loads of people with paid careers who are intensely boring... but then I'm an accountant.

Owllady Thu 23-Jan-14 16:40:00

It doesn't matter whether people agree or disagree. The op has CHOSEN to do this and is happy with her life, something many people don't ever experience. Her friend didn't NEED to express her opinion at all.

Not sure where the not boring = having a job either. How bizarre grin

violator Thu 23-Jan-14 16:50:44


I don't think she's jealous, I think she needs to wind her neck in and keep her thoughts to herself.

FWIW my mum was a SAHM and was very keen that I return to work after DC was born. As was my sister, who was a SAHM for 4 years.
They may have thought what your friend did but never said it explicitly.

On another note, does having a cleaner set a bad example? That you pay someone to clean up your mess instead of doing it yourself?

Owllady Thu 23-Jan-14 16:54:16

No of course it doesn't smile (dreams of having a cleaner)

IceBeing Thu 23-Jan-14 16:58:22

its the mention of doing your DH's ironing that does makes one itch to release you from domestic servitude.

I personally can't imagine a set up in which I would do any of my DH's ironing or expect him to do just seems wrong...

but the key point is that you are happy with the work load split so it is not really any business of anyone else's to 'rescue' you.

Owllady Thu 23-Jan-14 17:03:01

I have never ironed anything blush

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 17:12:28

violateor oooh a cleaner.....that sounds lovely!!

Icebeing I watched DH iron a shirt once....actually he attempted one sleeve and then I took the iron away from him as all he had achieved was adding more creases!

owl I only iron work shirts and a couple of DDs very silly frilly dresses which scrunch up otherwise!

IceBeing Thu 23-Jan-14 17:14:39

queen you know they do that on purpose right? The innocent 'ohh which way up does the iron go?' routine??

Seriously - anyone adult can master an iron...and should do their own bloody ironing!

Unless you get them to do something you hate in exchange....

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 17:17:15

haha, I don't mind it, quite relaxing and I can watch tv while I do it

DH puts the bins out, I cant stand doing that!

rabbitlady Thu 23-Jan-14 17:17:58

op, if she upsets you, you are within your rights to drop her.
she might just be ignorant or jealous.
but what you are doing is absolutely right (one of many ways of being absolutely right, in fact) and it suits you, your o h and your children.
i think you are lucky and happy. no-one should try to undermine that.

violator Thu 23-Jan-14 17:38:47

I have quite a few acquaintances with cleaners who wouldn't dream of being a SAHM because they "want their kids to see mummy can have a career too" yet think nothing of paying minimum wage to an immigrant to clean their toilets.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Thu 23-Jan-14 17:56:44

Violator, what is wrong with setting your children the example of job creation? And is it equally strange when men pay people to clean their toilets, or if those toilet cleaners aren't immigrants? Why is cleaning a toilet for no money more worthy than going out to work - including the work of earning money by cleaning a toilet?

StillSeekingSpike Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:29

because if the toilet isn't cleaned by the Mummy of the House, it feels unloved wink

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Thu 23-Jan-14 18:01:42

Ah, silly me Spike. I had forgotten the right of the toilet to feel loved by a Mummy.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 23-Jan-14 18:19:45

I'd have thought similar but maybe not have said it outloud unless you asked for my viewpoint on SAHMs.

The slave bit is daft as the person home all day not working should pick uo the bulk of the housework but i may have said i would want my daughter to see she could both parent and work (if i had one) rather than waste her education. Its also nicer to share the financial responsibility and have the means to support yourself should the relationship go sour or anything happen

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-Jan-14 18:51:21

Don't worry violator, my toilet is cleaned by a native Scot!

bishbashboosh Thu 23-Jan-14 19:30:12

I agree with owl lady

If it works for you and your family Nd you are happy, nobody's business

It's also a silly thing to say as clearly your children are atill young and you have a lot if life left to go back to work and be a errr good example

Plus she was being insensitive, some people with twins struggle to make working financially viable due to child are costs

pigletmania Thu 23-Jan-14 19:38:11

Yanbu a talk, we gave the same set up at home, none of anyone's business, it works for us.

Tell herbto mind her own!

I'm a single working mum and I don't feel judged. It works for your family and that's all that matters. smile

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 19:46:41

bish - yes the fact that I wouldn't earn enough to cover 3 lots of childcare didn't register in her thought process anywhere!!

happy I do not view what I do as wasting my education. would you tell a childminder they had 'wasted their education'? because that is effectively what I do?

bodygoingsouth Thu 23-Jan-14 19:48:12

tell her to fuck off and keep her opinions to herself.

why on earth would you care a flying fuck what anyone says about your private family matters.

FantasticMax Thu 23-Jan-14 20:48:01

I don't think she's jealous but I do think she's bloody rude. Either quietly drop her as a friend or challenge her next time it comes up.

Friends should be supportive of your choices, even if they may not choose the same things themselves.

violator Thu 23-Jan-14 20:51:18

dancingwithmyselfandthecat there is nothing wrong with either - it's the people on their high horses about how their children must see mummy going to work to "instill a work ethic" in them because staying at home sets a bad example... yet never consider what example it sets to expect someone else to clean up after you.

I work fulltime. I don't have a cleaner though, I am the cleaner!

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 20:55:30

violator it is a good point. the flip side is, if I wasn't looking after the kids they would be in childcare of some nature - does that mean childminders, pre-school teachers etc are 'wrong' and 'wasting their education'? they are doing what a SAHP does surely? or because they get a paycheck for it which I don't that makes a difference to its worth as an occupation?

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 23-Jan-14 21:05:48

Pre school teachers have to be qualified, follow early years cirriculum, usually first aid trained, deal with all the parents, nothing like being a mother hmm

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 23-Jan-14 21:09:50

My education tends to come in very useful when I am looking after my children. Learning doesn't end when school does. And all the many studies looking at developing countries etc show a massive correlation between maternal education and good outcomes for children.

She's so jealous it's seeping out of her.

Find new friends. I was a sahm. Didn't work for 15 years after having dcs. Now work ft and am going pt as I don't see enough of my dp and teen sons. They're over the moon with this. Boss says I'm brilliant at my job even though it's a totally new field for me. So all I'm saying is if you do decide to work when your dcs aren't so dependent on you then it is possible.

You should definitely ditch her she's toxic.

Happy the OP went to Uni.

Goldenbear Thu 23-Jan-14 21:20:37

YANBU to find her comments rude.

How is being a SAHM a waste of an 'Education' unless of course your only motivation for educating yourself is for job purposes?

A lot of people are not made interesting because they have a job as most people have quite dull jobs. If anything I want my DC to not let a job define them as that is not what makes life fulfilling.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 21:21:46

I'm a professional and technically probably 90% of my school and university education is "wasted" in that I've never applied it to a job.

MakingEveryDayCount Thu 23-Jan-14 21:22:56

Seriously, your friend should get lost and mind her own business. I think the thing you have to remember here is that she HAS NO CHILDREN.
She's probably jealous as hell of your lifestyle.
If it works perfectly for you and your husband, and your family set up, then THAT'S what important, and stuff what anyone else thinks.
You know what? You can't win whatever you do, anyway as a mum. I've always worked full time up until having my eldest, then when he was born I went back on a part time basis working half of the week when he was one
I actually got people saying how I shouldn't be leaving him as he'd forget who you are, he never sees you, blah... angry
Now, after the birth of my second and they're now both at full time school I get people saying "So, when are you going to be going to work then?" "Surely you want a job?"
As, I said cannot win whatever you do! As long as you can manage financially and it works for your family, stuff the rest and smile serenely while mentally telling them to piss off grin

kerala Thu 23-Jan-14 21:29:23

No happy person would make comments like that. I'd feel quite sorry for and quietly edit her out.

violator Thu 23-Jan-14 21:44:12

QueenofKelsingra I don't believe any SAHP is wasting their education and I think you're confusing me with someone else?
I was a SAHM!

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 21:48:06

as someone pointed out earlier I am effectively the house PA, which is actually what I did before having the DCs! So in my case I utilising my organisational and budgeting skills quite well!

kewcumber likewise none of the jobs I did pre-DC actually directly link to my degree.

freakin I hope you enjoy the extra time with your family

goldenbear well put

QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 21:51:08

sorry violator, I was expanding on your point, it was aimed at happymummy, apologies!

Whistleblower0 Thu 23-Jan-14 23:03:56

She sounds jealous. Ignore her and enjoy your life.

Preciousbane Thu 23-Jan-14 23:24:14

She is horrid, YANBU.

I was never a SAHM when dc were tiddlers but have no choice but to be a SAHM now due to ill health. Though youngest is an almost teen so out a lot.

My SIL is like your friend and has recently been incredibly rude about DH being only wage earner now and how all money spent should be decided by him. DH did tell her it doesn't work like that. This is when she is sat at my dinner table having eaten food I made her as a guest!

My SIL has never married or had dc and I know it is a huge problem for her and she is almost 48. Mil says she rails against anyone that has what she wants and as I have this with her beloved brother she seems to have a real problem with me. I actually think she is on the verge of some kind of crisis which is why I didn't make too much of a fuss, though I had very uncharitable thoughts.

tyrannosaurusmomma Fri 24-Jan-14 01:27:34

Precious. I have EXACTLY the same problem as you. My SIL was married to someone who she thought was rich (until the debt collectors made her run a mile) and she regularly talked about having loads of children and being a SAHM.

SIL hardly looks me in the eye and without sneering. She also regularly drops PA remarks about "everything she has got, she has done so for herself" despite letting her ex spend loads of money on her and asking my DH for money all the time whilst having 000's in the bank. Whenever she sees me in something new or some addition to our house, she makes PA remarks about it and if MIL is there will throw her a sideways glance and a raised eyebrow. I wouldn't mind but when I was working pre kids (I didn't have my first until very late 30's) I had a much better job than her, worked for much better companies and have a better degree. A lot of what we have is down to me and the investments we made when I was working. Now I am a SAHM and debt free and my DH has a very well paid job. Despite our debt free life and family income I reckon I spent very little on myself and anything half decent I get for Christmas or Birthdays. I dress from Mango, Zara and a lot of things from the sale. By the comments I get from her about "the things I have" anyone would think I had Chanel outfits. I don't really give a shit what she thinks but I'm sure she bad mouths me to PIL and sometimes they can be off with me if she is around.

tyrannosaurusmomma Fri 24-Jan-14 01:30:02

Basically she wants me to wear a hair shirt and go round in a potato sack, because I don't deserve to have nice things because I contribute to the household despite working my arse off to look after 3 kids under 8.

MOTU Fri 24-Jan-14 03:58:33

Remind her that the feminist movement was about choice not emulating the traditional male role. You are showing your children what a good marriage is, ie you and DH have divided the labour of having a family equally in a way which suits you and benefits your family. This would also be true if you both worked and equally shared the other jobs or if you worked and DH did the "domestic section". We have the same arrangement as you and I occasionally get comments but Its really none of anyone else business how dh and i choose to provide all the things my children need (food,shelter, supervision, love, education, etc) we share it between us, end of. Oh and DH and I also come from childhoods with a stay at home parent but one of each, he had a sahm and I had a sahd! Either way round, for us it was the right choice!

helzapoppin2 Fri 24-Jan-14 04:26:59

When my family was growing up we did every permutation of working/SAHM/D according to the circumstances.
I never understood why it was regarded as "better" for someone else to bring up my children (childminder, nursery), but if I looked after them I got anxious remarks about how soon I was returning to work. I got a bit of a complex about it, and ended up deciding that they were just making conversation.
These days the kids are grown up. DH still has a demanding career which means I do the domestic stuff, mostly, while still pursuing my own interests. It just seems a viable way of working with which we are both happy.
It really is nobody's business but ours.
OP, stick to your guns!

EmmaBemma Fri 24-Jan-14 05:29:02

"She's single with no children. And she's probably as jealous as a rat...

Good grief! Why is this the knee-jerk response when any woman criticises another? JEALOUS! It is possible to disagree with someone else's choices without secretly wanting to be that person, you know. I think the OP's friend was extremely crass and insensitive in the way she gave her opinion but she's entitled to it. I'm a SAHM by choice but when I was single and didn't have children it was certainly not something I aspired to. In fact I think the younger, less experienced me would have been rather disappointed that I hadn't gone straight back to work after babies.

picklesrule Fri 24-Jan-14 05:38:49

You sound really sorted and having a lovely family life. Your friend sounds jealous and toxic. You should either pity her or ditch her, seriously your life sounds great don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!

bragmatic Fri 24-Jan-14 05:50:45

I agree with the poster upthread who said no happy person makes comments like that to a friend.

That said, comments about "childminders bringing up my children" makes me want to grind my teeth to a pulp. Do fathers not bring up their children then, Helza?

I don't work at the moment though I have done since the kids were born and no doubt will again. If my husband left me tomorrow, or died, or became incapacitated, we would be OK. I could go back to work and take care of my children and put a roof over their heads and pay for their education without living hand to mouth. There is a risk to being a SAHM for years in that eventually you become less employable and your earning capacity plummets. Which is fine if life hums along smoothly for you, but often it doesn't.

For that reason alone I think it's worth considering your employment status from time to time and I agree that it's a good for children to see both parents working, either both at the same time, or separately. Saying that doesn't mean that I think not working = bad example.

TamerB Fri 24-Jan-14 06:36:58

You really do have to ignore people like that. You are a good role model depending on how you behave in everyday life, paid employment is irrelevant.
She is insecure about her own choices and you are undermining her by being successful and confident without paid employment.
Don't let her get to you.

I think the only important thing to model to your children is that they should make the choices that work for them. I want my children to see DH and I organising our lives as a family around what works for us and them. If that means one of us stays at home then great. If that means we both work and find childcare then fantastic as long as they are happy. It's not about modelling one particular set of choices but modelling a mutually respectful relationship that works out how best to function as a family.

Your friend thinks only her choices are valid ones, not a good person to have as a friend!

tyrannosaurusmomma Fri 24-Jan-14 07:26:00

Message deleted by MNHQ at poster's request.

differentnameforthis Fri 24-Jan-14 08:56:05

apparently I am teaching my DSs that their future wives must be a 'domestic slave'

My dh was raised by a SAHM & he does more housework than I do smile
It isn't all about what they physically see, you can teach them that chores are the responsibility of both sexes.

'yes it'll be a better example for DD and for the boys if you work'.

I think that is is terrible how the responsibility is put on mums to 'show a good example' by working. I don't know of ONE man who has been told by his parents, friends etc that he is 'setting a good example' to his children for working.

differentnameforthis, my dp was raised by a sahm and he's ultra tidy more than me blush

tyrannosaurusmomma do you have to see much of SIL? And how does your MIL react with the eyebrow raise? SIL sounds awul. She wouldn't get house room if she were mine.

takingthathometomomma Fri 24-Jan-14 09:05:36

YANBU! Your friend is an idiot. I'm a working mum and would be very offended if one of my friend's told me I was "doing it wrong". Who does she think she is?!

Fakebook Fri 24-Jan-14 09:05:59

I had a friend like this. Note, "had".

When I left my job, she'd always make comments like "lady of leisure" and "being lazy at home again"...Then we bought a new car just before DS was born and I was told "So you're spending all of your DH's hard earned cash now". Bitch. I dropped her quickly after that but not before telling her I didn't appreciate her stupid comments.

You know what's best for your family, ignore this woman.

indyandlara Fri 24-Jan-14 09:06:12

I had lots of those comments from people when I wasn't working. People told me I must be bored and it was a waste. When my DD turned 3 I went back to work 2 days a week. However, that is still not enough to satisfy people and for the last 18 months I have been quizzed about when I will be FT again. You can't win with some people so there is just no point trying. If you are happy with your setup then there is no need to justify yourself.

Oh, and as a teacher who spent 2 years in the school Nursery, can I just confirm that it is nothing like being a mum!

expatinscotland Fri 24-Jan-14 09:21:50

Dump this person. This is not a friend.

pointythings Fri 24-Jan-14 09:27:06

As a full time working parent I can only say that your 'friend' is a twat. This is what you both want for your DCs, you can afford it, you are both on board with it. Ignore her.

(I've had the other side of this so I know of what I speak - it seems a woman's place is still in the wrong sad)

NurseRoscoe Fri 24-Jan-14 09:28:54

Urgh I HATE the term 'lady that lunches' it makes me teeth itch! most people have bloody lunch every day what a stupid phrase!!

Ok rant over & you aren't being unreasonable. She sounds jealous. I have been in the housewife role and it's hard work! A lot harder than any job I've had! It's not the same as sitting on your arse all day at all

ksrwr Fri 24-Jan-14 09:50:12

she might not be jealous.. she may genuinely hate the idea of being a SAHM herself... but that's just her, she shouldn't expect you to have the same opinion as her... and she certainly shouldn't belittle you for it
i work FT and i think its easier than being a SAHM, i admire people who do it, as i recognise they work harder than me

differentnameforthis Fri 24-Jan-14 09:54:21

FreakinScaryCaaw Snap! smile

Charley50 Fri 24-Jan-14 10:23:18

Hi Queen,
I think you should confront her about what she said, and other things she has said to you about this and tell her how out of order and hurtful you find it. It might bring a lot of stuff out in the open and either put an end to your friendship or 'make it stronger' in terms of being honest with each other. I am 45 and still have 5 friends from school, some closer than others. I really value the fact that we have so much history together. We have pissed each other off over the years but we have the bond of teenage madness years and intensity of youth to keep us friends.
So I would suggest talking with her before taking the route of ditching the friendship. YANBU btw (and as a working mum I am a bit jealous of you and would love to be a SAHM ESP if I had 3 kids... I just have 1)..

Kewcumber Fri 24-Jan-14 10:34:48

i work FT and i think its easier than being a SAHM, i admire people who do it, as i recognise they work harder than me

That isn't always true ksrwr - I have worked 4 days a week (so almost full time) and as a single parent still had to do all the evenings/nights/packed lunches/homework/housework the SAHP's can get done during the day.

It's all a matter of personal circumstance and also to be honest what you find easy. For example - paced lunches do my head in but I don;t get out of them is I'm working, housework does my head in but again I don;t get out of that, I have to do it on top of work, entertaining an 18 month old = hard work for me but 3/4/5 year olds not so much.

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 24-Jan-14 10:47:00

People keep saying feminism is about choice or the freedom to make choices. It isn't just about that. It is about a lot of more fundamental issues.

It is also about not denigrating or failing to value things that are predominantly done by women, or that are very much associated with women. Like child rearing, housework, caring etc.

It is no accident that these things are seen as women's work and that they are generally low-paid and undervalued, despite the fact that they are actually crucial to society.

yellowbuttercup Fri 24-Jan-14 10:51:11

Just don't worry about her. You don't have to justify yourself to her. Many women would love to be in your position and she is probably being poisonous because she is jealous. It sounds like you have a lovely family and a great set up that works for you and that is all that matters.

ksrwr Fri 24-Jan-14 11:07:37

kewcumber, i agree, sorry, i meant from my point of view. my FT job is 08.30-5pm at a desk being a PA. i dont work long hours, and i dont do a demanding physical or emotional job like FT SAHMs or medical people or teachers, i am just saying for me i recognise my job as being easier than being at home 24/7 with a house and children. my DD is still at nursery so i dont even have to make her a meal during the week, she has 3 meals a day at nursery. and as we're all out of the house all day every day there isn't much house admin to do during the week either.

Owllady Fri 24-Jan-14 12:09:50

I'm a carer for my severely disabled daughter but it's untrue that it's just women that do it, 46% of carers for friends/relatives are men. So more women do it but not as many as people imagine.

I really don't give a shit if other women think I am letting the side down for caring for another woman I absolutely adore. They need to get other things to be concerned about.

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