not a job? what??

(57 Posts)
smedrock Fri 06-Sep-13 22:49:09

how to you reply when someone tells you being a mum isnt a real job or asks you when you're going back to work?

snappy replies needed!

miffybun73 Fri 06-Sep-13 22:51:41

I just think that a young child has to be looked after by someone. Two options, look after your own child or get someone else to do it.

It seems that if you do it then it is not a job, if someone else does it then it is a job - nursery nurse, nanny etc.

blueshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 22:56:08

Of course it is not a job.

elQuintoConyo Fri 06-Sep-13 23:01:10

It's not a job, it's a responsability through choice.
If it is a job, where's the ten minutes chat about Dr Who/M&S sambos/traffic jams around the watercooler? Where do I go for my work's Christmas party and who with - and who pays? Where's my lunch hour? My sick pay? How do I log off at 5pm? When do I get paid, 1st of the month or 30th?

Being a parent is work, but not a job. And yes, I am a parent.

ithaka Fri 06-Sep-13 23:02:54

Looking after your own children isn't really a 'job'. I presume you do plan to return to the workplace at some point - or have you been fortunate enough to inherit wealth?

Jessicarthorse Fri 06-Sep-13 23:03:27

It's really not a job.

I agree that it is work and not a job, you get paid for doing a job. Same for running a household. So I'd agree with them on the first point and answer the second point by saying I was giving up my job.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Fri 06-Sep-13 23:09:45

It's not employment but raising a decent member of society and potential tax payer is a worthwhile undertaking, if not a "job".

Say "someone has to raise the generation who are going to be running the country/prescribing medicines/wiping arses when we are old...don't you think I'm up to it?".

NiceTabard Fri 06-Sep-13 23:10:52

1. It's not paid work but it is hard work
2. The truth?

PS Odd answers on this thread so far hmm My dad talks about doing "jobs" around the house, lots of people talk about jobs they have to do. There is not one single meaning and certainly looking after children is work, no question about that.

blueshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 23:11:46

YouMake, but working parents in real jobs also raise worthwhile members of the next generation ...

smedrock Fri 06-Sep-13 23:13:11

wow. i thought i was posting to a feminist crowd...

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Fri 06-Sep-13 23:13:32

As for the second point...say you have 'some things in the pipeline' then wink. Makes you sound mysterious and stops them asking questions.

Say it with confidence, though, or you end up making it sound like a pleasant way of saying constipation!

tethersend Fri 06-Sep-13 23:14:27

It's not a job.

It's slavery.

NiceTabard Fri 06-Sep-13 23:15:13

I know.

How old is your child/ren

Bear in mind that as a mother whatever you do is WRONG and if you were working full time you would get occasional arsey questions too.

My suggestion is stick your chin up and say I'm so HAPPY and change the subject grin

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Fri 06-Sep-13 23:15:20

blueshoes yes...I'm one of them. I'm in employment and have the job of raising a child.

It's not either/or.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Fri 06-Sep-13 23:17:23

tethers too true grin

smedrock Fri 06-Sep-13 23:19:20

i used to work full time and now i raise 2 kids under 5 fulltime. i work long hours and am paid very little. i just think people still have a lot of preconceptions about fulltime mums lying about watching the soaps. so, i like to think of it as a job rather than romanticise it as a vocation or say it's just work. i think it's very unrecognised still

TheCrackFox Fri 06-Sep-13 23:34:01

It's not a job but hard work none the less.

nurseneedshelp Fri 06-Sep-13 23:36:05

Deffo not a job!

CaptChaos Fri 06-Sep-13 23:37:00

Not a job per se, as you are not technically employed, but still work, and still valuable.

I think it is, absolutely right to take it as seriously (if not more) than you would a paid job, but by the general definition that a job means paid employment, then it isn't one (leaving aside the other meaning of jobs around the house etc). It is harder than a lot of paid jobs too

So, I'd just hit back with, as others have said, no if it was a real job I'd be getting paid. When are you going back to work would generally mean when are you going back to your paid job? It might be more tactful if people asked "are you going back" instead of "when are you going back" but then that could be said to be sexist, no one asks a man on paternity leave if he is going back, only when. It's a social minefield.

EmmelineGoulden Sat 07-Sep-13 00:16:14

All sorts of things that are jobs aren't paid. I would consider painting my house a job, though no one would pay me. I've also worked for a year as a fulltime office manager in an unpaid volunteer position, I considered that a job.

Looking after my children is also a job. But not simply being a mother, which I will be for many decades, it's the actual work involved in childcare that's a job (and that will hopefully be shorter).

ithaka Sat 07-Sep-13 06:12:02

But in relation to the second part, when people ask when you plan to return to work - presumably you will be going back to work at some point? Unless you were born rich? So the simple & accurate answer is 'not for a few years?' I am not sure I understand your problem with that question.

SubliminalMassaging Sat 07-Sep-13 06:15:55

but being a mum isn't a real job.confused

Being a professional child carer of other people's children for a salary is a job. Being a mother plainly is not a job.

nooka Sat 07-Sep-13 06:55:44

It's obviously a bit snippy to tell someone that 'being a mum isn't a real job' although I don't believe that simply being a mum is a job at all. Most adult women I know are mothers after all, but only those with very small children are fully occupied just parenting. So I'd wonder how the comment came up, was it unsolicited or in response to something that the other person thought was also snippy. In that generally parents that choose to (or have to) work get a bit narked at the suggestion that they aren't real parents somehow because they spend time away from their children. Not that anyone would ever suggest a father should either be at home 24/7 or that they were somehow inadequate for working.

So I'd probably respond in kind to that one, not that anyone has ever said it to me. I've worked full time most of the time since I've been a parent, whilst dh spent a few years as a SAHD. I don't imagine that he watched a lot of TV, but certainly once the children were at school he had a lot more spare time than I did. Worked for us though as I would have hated to be at home all day and our children really benefited from havign him there.

If someone asks when you are going back to work don't you just tell them what your current plans are? That just seems like ordinary small talk to me.

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