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'.
What a refreshing thread! As it happens I am a sahm but i agree with what you are all saying re assumptions. I think had I had a different profession pre babies i may well have gone back to work, mine just did not work with childcare combined with my dh's job as he travels a lot. But I agree wholeheartedly we should all support and help each other, we are all doing our best. My incredible rude mil really annoyed me at my dd2's christening when she was speaking to my mummy friends (some of whom work part time and some of whom work full time), saying "I assume you are working for financial reasons?". Fortunately they all know how batty I think she is and one of my friends turned round to her and said "erm, no, I work because I want to". I think (hope) that this kind of attitude is dying out. I am quite open to my working mum friends about worries I have about my dds missing out on things because they are stuck with me all day, and they discuss their concerns about childcare with me, and we all comfort and encourage one another, and that is the way it should be!
I think its seen as the normal choice to work after children. If you didnt everyone says you dont do much, or wonder why. I always here 'she hasnt even got a job, she doesnt even work' etc from both genders.
I definitely think its seen as more normal and socially acceptable to work then to be a SAHM.
really? It's all about perceptions, and obviously I'm very sensitive to the ones that suggest I'm doing the wrong thing. But to me the comments are all "Of course she won't be going back after her maternity leave" etc etc.
Here if you dont work people think your lazy or probably a benefit scrounger etc. Eg ' She got pregnant to push her pram round town and shes too lazy to do any work'. If you work everyone says well done you at least you bother doing something etc.
I think its staying at home that is really looked down open by most people, as its seen as not doing anything, and the easy option.
MORE people of both sexes should work p/t for more reasons IMO. I know people who have been p/t due to a serious sporting career or care of elderly relatives or to do further study or art.... If p/t was seen as valid rather than the "mummy track" then who does more childcare wouldn't be an issue in the workplace.
My cousin and his wife, who have no children, both left their fairly high-powered careers a fee years ago They now work for themselves, and take as much work as they need to fund the travel and other stuff that they do the rest of the time. It seems to net out at about 50% working - but more like month on, month off than 2.5 days a week. I think it's a great arrangement and one that will become more and more common as we all live longer and work longer.
More relevantly to the OP, I would love DH to be asked why he works FT as often as I am. As for daring to travel occasionally for work - I have had it made very clear to me how bad a parent that makes me, by SAHMs whose DHs are away all week, every week, and they see no irony at all
Yes bad I actually think my ILs are baffled - they genuinely understand why I work FT/at all when I don't "have" to. And you see so many threads on here where people say they need to work to pay the mortgage - fair enough but you rarely see men justifying why they work.
Excuse Typos, I have apologised for the thread title. I was irritated when I started it. It was illustrating the impression I get of the thoughts of the people around me - so the "little careers" comment is not my opinion but one that annoys me.