Women have their little careers till they have babies. Then they do as little as possible, preferably not working at all after that

(532 Posts)

I am infuriated by this attitude which seems to be prevalent. After women have had babies they only work if they have to, and go part time if they can. But I can't put into words why I work - why wouldn't I? I work for the same reasons as I did before I had children. I work for the same reasons as DH works.
Either of us could give up work and we'd cope. But that was true pre-children. Women continuing to work FT seems to be a slur on their man's ability to 'provide'.

Pootles2010 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:30:14

I'm same as you - I never questioned going back to work, tbh, although don't always admit this, depending on who i'm talking to.

I think it's more about some people thinking a good mother puts her children first, and that means staying at home.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 03-Apr-13 13:33:38

Thing is, I do know women who match your title to a T. Some women don't want to work and choose to work as a mum. Personally though, I'd never put myself in such a financially vulnerable position.

And in ten years time when I'm as high up in my profession as I want to be, I will smile patronisingly at people who genuinely believe women piss about, until they have babies and can live a life of lunches and coffees...

Hmm. I feel quite irate atbout this thy. and it all ties into the fact that men earn more.
Was asked at the weekend how I cope working ft.fine, but Dh would never be asked - it's default for men to work after all.

Stuffez, I know there are women who work until they have babies then stop and that is fine by me - whatever works for each family. But its the underlying assumption that that is the norm that annoys me - I suppose the two go together. I'm as guilty as everyone else for the stereotyped gender roles - childcare is my issue with Dh "helping" if I ask him to.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 03-Apr-13 13:38:10

Ah, I see where you're coming from. Well, a bemused "erm, fine thanks, I've always been full time?!" Would be my response.

purplefairies Wed 03-Apr-13 13:40:35

I don't have DC (yet), but I can totally identify with this:

"But I can't put into words why I work - why wouldn't I?"

I work not just because I love what I do, or because we really need the money (we could survive on DH's salary alone, I suppose), but because I just generally think that "that's what you do", as long as you are a healthy, able-bodied member of society.

Some of my friends are becoming mothers for the first time and sentences like "well obviously I'll only be going back part time after maternity leave" make my blood boil. Not because I think that going back part-time is wrong, but because it is assumed that it's such an automatic thing that one person WILL go part-time and that, generally, that person will be the woman.

Do you? Not convinced I do Tbh grin
Actually I haven't! I went down to 33h when Ds was born, soon went ba k to ft as it was easier!
I don't know what I want to happen to be honest. I jut want it not to be assumed that women will remove themselves from the workplace by default and be provided for. I want there not to be a "why?" About women who work full time (or at least have the question asked about men too). I suppose this comes down to women need to be equl in the workplace. We're not.

Yes, its the assumption. That women with children working full time is theoddity.

Pootles2010 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:44:55

I saw a thing in the Guardian ( i think?) the other day, looking at how ceo's spent their days. Quite interesting generally, but especially as for the women it was all 'oh, this is how I manage to fit running a company around having kids' whereas it wasn't such an issue with the men at all.

I think like you say it's just assumed men work, and it's commented upon if they don't and look after the kids, wheras we get comments if we do work full time. My mil is forever commenting that i'm a bad mother for working, she's never once said anything to dp about him working hmm

I suppose women have q natural career break through maternity leave anyway, o there's a logical conclusion that their career will be more disrupted. Wonder if that'll change now leave can be shared.

FucktidiaBollockberry Wed 03-Apr-13 13:46:09

Ah if only that were true...

grin

Oh yes, busy working mum. Whereas busy working men have their fatherhood mentioned as an afterthought.

What made me think of this recently was having a conversation with mil about a couple we know. She has just got a job at his company. But the only option is full time, such a shame as she was part tie before. I siuggested that he, already established in the company could maybe reduce his hours in order to allow their joint children to be adequately cared for. But that just seemed odd.

Sorry wheb I say "his company" I mean the one he was working at. Not one he owned - that would change things somewhat!

StuffezLaBouche Wed 03-Apr-13 13:54:16

For me it seems clear that women seem set on berating other women for their choices and that's why so many people end p feeling uncomfortable with the choices they make. How often do we see a thread on here full of snidely comments such as
A) personally i prefer to raise my children instead of farming them out...
Or
B) some of us actually prefer to earn our own money...

I just end up thinking why dont you just STFU about what other people should be doing and just get on with what suits your family best!

And how rude of your MiL, poodles!

Yes very true. I hare the sahm / Wohm bashin on here. I wish everything was down to family choice, starting from a level playing field.

Ok just read my thread title on active conversations and it looks like it's sahm bashing, especially "little as possible" comment. For the record it is not. Sahm a valid choice. But it should be a choice rather than society assumption. And sahms do not do little!

CMOTDibbler Wed 03-Apr-13 14:04:14

Yup, totally agree with you. The number of people who ask me why I can't go pt or stop travelling is amazing. DH has never, ever been asked.

MewlingQuim Wed 03-Apr-13 14:06:57

I was a part-timer before I had a baby, many people seemed to think it was unacceptable and that I was just being lazy. Now I am a mother it is ok to work part-time hmm

It pissed me off that part-time work is seen as something only fit for women with young children. I think if part-time work was more acceptable then there wouldn't be so much sexism attached to it iyswim.

Yes nd whatever you answer you're justifying it

"we need the money"
Oh well that's ok then (poor things)

"i enjoy my work"
What, more than spending time with your own children?

"My job needs to be full time"
Oh well can't you get another, more child friendly one?

"why wouldn't I be full time?"
Ok defensive, much?

Mewling , I know a couple who worked* three days each with one day overlap on which childcare was required. I think they've got it right.
* I think she may have a new job which requires 4 days or ft now sad

TheCatInTheHairnet Wed 03-Apr-13 14:12:54

I don't think being a SAHM is an assumption anymore, is it? At least, it's not here.

And totally agree with Stuffez re women bashing women. And the STFU!!

It certainly seems to be to me. Sahm or cutting down as much as financially possie.

seeker Wed 03-Apr-13 14:15:53

I absolutely disagree. And, for the record, the thread title really pisses me off.

I think that society finds WOH mothers much more acceptable than SAHs. Once a baby is past 6 months it is expected that mothers should and will go back to work- anyone who doesn't is looked down on and silently classed a dull, boring, lazy second class citizen.

Maybe it depends where you are then.
Have you seen my apology re the title? Last thing I wanted was for this to be a sah bashing thread.

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