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How did you feel about your mum being a SAHM/WOHM?

(193 Posts)
BestBeforeYesterday Thu 09-Aug-18 07:49:06

I am very interested in the impact on children of both parents working. I have two small DC and work around 30 hours a week, for which I have got a lot of flak from my mum, who was a SAHM and does not agree with mothers working (men should not be SAHD in her opinion). I feel quite guilty going to work even though my kids never spend more than 7 hours a day at nursery, and I was very unhappy as a SAHM.
When I was little, I was very glad my mum was always at home because I was a very anxious child and lived quite a secluded life, especially as a teenager. Looking back, I think it would have been better if I had been forced to spend more time in a childcare setting, perhaps it would have helped develop more confidence.
I'm interested in other people's experiences - how did you feel as child and teenager about your mum (not) working?

AlexaShutUp Thu 09-Aug-18 07:58:07

I work full time and feel no guilt at all, probably because I spent my teenage years wishing that my mum would go out and get a job.

It was lovely having my mum at home when we were little. However, as I got older, I realised that being a SAHM made my mum utterly miserable, and that made me feel tremendously guilty. Sadly, she had lost the confidence that she needed to get back into the workplace, and she has spent the rest of her life regretting what she sees as the waste of her potential. Even now, I struggle to accept that DSis and I are not somehow "responsible" for her depression. As a teenager, that feeling was quite overwhelming.

My mum always encouraged us to maintain our own careers. Thankfully, I've been in senior roles and therefore able to work very flexibly around dd's needs. She is a teenager now, and absolutely thriving. I feel that it has been really positive for her to see me combining career and family successfully.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Thu 09-Aug-18 07:59:25

Well, DD was brought up by two working parents, and after emerging from the teenage years, regards us as pretty cool for old folks. Rather more importantly, we think she's ace. She has her degree, she has presented us with DGS while doing her final year, she's moved house and still talks to us etc.

Roll your eyes at your DM, and if she persists, growl.

MummyPig89 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:00:39

I loved my mum being at home all the time, picking us up from school every day and going home and playing out with my friends every night. Now I’m a stay at home mum and hope my children get as much out of it as I did.

Mrswalliams1 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:01:55

My mum was a SAHM and we really benefitted from it and liked it. I always said if I could I'd do the same for mine - at least till they go to primary. I have been a SAHM now for 4 yrs. I'm lucky to be able to do it but it's tough and selfishly I would have enjoyed going back to work part time but I've stayed at home for the sake of the children. There is no doubt they benefitted from it in the same way I did

QueenAravisOfArchenland Thu 09-Aug-18 08:02:56

I was proud of her, tbh. I didn't see any reason why I should regard her working any differently than my dad working, and I still don't. I was proud especially of her though because she became a high-achieving doctor at a time when that was no picnic for women and maintained it while raising a large family.

I would suffocate at home, and I would be wasting my brain and my potential. I very occasionally feel a small spasm of cultural guilt, but I tell it to GTF, and it does.

eeanne Thu 09-Aug-18 08:03:11

My mother worked full time. She had an important job in healthcare and I was proud of it. Love her dearly no issues at all.

Meandyoumake2 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:03:58

My mum was a SAHM until the youngest was around 7 ( she still was able to drop us to school and pick us up - she worked term time hours) it was lovely means we always got to go home and out to play with our friends - unfortunately I will not be able to afford that option when we have children - all the woman I work with have their children in childcare I think times were different and maybe one wage was enough but now it seems
Two are needed! Good luck

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Thu 09-Aug-18 08:04:23

My mum was a SAHM. To be honest I don’t think it matters.

I mean it was nice to always have her there and we had / have a wonderful relationship but that wouldn’t have changed if she’d gone out to work.

Sometimes I wish she had gone out to work because for a while she had a part-time job in a bookshop and she absolutely loved it.

My friend works full time and is divorced so shares custody. Her kids are really well-adjusted and independent. They’ll do well in life.

Basically what I’m saying is make yourself happy first and your kids will benefit from that.

Women have adopted many different working patterns throughout history. It’s often been about economy, government initiatives and where work is best carried out rather than any moral imperatives (which are usually fabricated as a rationale for the above) so your mum IBU and ignore her.

PolkerrisBeach Thu 09-Aug-18 08:05:00

When you're a kid it's just the way it is, whatever your home set-up. You don't think you're "proud" of your mum any more than you're "proud" of your dad when you're 7 or 8, they're just your parents and that's your life.

Looking back on it with adult eyes is totally different.

BlaaBlaaBlaa Thu 09-Aug-18 08:07:44

I work full time and love it. I hated being at home as I found it suffocating and I was miserable.
DS is thriving at nursery and we still get lots of family time. I like that DS sees mum and dad working as well as contributing to household responsibilities....my aim is for DS to grow up to understand that men and women work, cook, clean and do childcare.

Nutkins24 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:07:46

I think we were very lucky to have a Sahm. However I have seen the negatives too. As she’d left her profession for over 10 years when my dad died young she struggled, and had to do part time jobs way beneath her level of training. However she doesn’t regret giving up her career to stay at home with us when we were little and I’ve followed in her footsteps, for me the positives still outweigh the negatives. I’m mostly a sahm (do a little part time weekend work). But tbh even if I wanted to work ft, the childcare x2 would probably be more than I earn!

user1471459936 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:08:29

It was great! She was always around for us, took us to after school activities, home cooked dinners, homemade biscuits etc. She has since returned to work as a scientist. All good. I am now a SAHM.

PurpleMac Thu 09-Aug-18 08:08:32

It didn't really register to me as a child that my mum was a SAHM. My dad was self-employed in mostly seasonal work/weekend work so he was home a lot too. It was nice but normal and there's no way between the two of them they would have been able to afford childcare for the three of us - they both left school with minimal qualifications and had us soon after. I do remember having dinner at one grandmother's once a week, and regular sleepovers at the other grandmother's, and it's only recently it occurred to me that this would have been arranged to give my poor parents a bloody break!

I remember being gutted when my mum started studying when I was about 8, and all of a sudden wasn't around as much anymore. I really resented it at the time. 20 years later and she's nownone of the most senior people in her profession, and her hard work also enabled my dad to really build up his business too. The two school-leavers with hardly any qualifications between them who married in their teens and had kids straight away are now late 40s/early 50s and earning about £100k between them. I could not be prouder if I tried and I would absolutely not have a successful career myself if my own mother did not pave the way for me.

PrincessoftheSea Thu 09-Aug-18 08:08:34

My mum worked fulltime. I was proud of her and I remember from a really early age thinking I would never be a SAHM as my friends mums seemed so lonely and bored. I loved coming home to an empty house from an early age and even more when I was a teen.

I have a very close relationship with my mum. I have never felt guilty for working. Losing my job and becoming a SAHM is one of my greatest fears in life.

rockofages Thu 09-Aug-18 08:09:02

Growing up in the 60s and 70s I loved going home to a house with warmth, food, company. My mum only worked on a Saturday, the rest of the week we had home cooked tea on the table at 5.30 when dad got home from work. It was a different world then. How many people now do a 9 to 5 job? Working hours and expectations have expanded, houses are not affordable on 1 wage for most. I worked part time when my children were at primary school and felt I had the best of both worlds. My grandchildren will no doubt grow up in families where both parents work full time due to financial pressure and to keep hard won careers going. I hope I am able to help out with childcare if wanted or financially if not, to ease the burden. Feel so lucky to have grown up with home comforts. Nothing better on a dark wintry evening than arriving to lights, fire and tea with mum.

Dowser Thu 09-Aug-18 08:09:19

Hard to say as I know no different.
I was born in the early 50s and my mum stayed at home.
It was lovely always having my mum there when I came in from school.
She didn’t go back to work till I was 18 when I practically made her.
I’d been on a Training day at the local bookies.
Came in at 4 and mum was asleep in a chair.
I showed her how to do the bets and the next day she went and got s job.
She ended up as a manageress
As I was off to college in the September it couldn’t have come at a better time
She loved it. Dad wasn’t happy. He was a shift worker and liked coming home to mum
After a couple of years she went back to college and brushed up her secretarial skills and went to work in a government office
Mum was happy
She wasn’t ambitious
There was no stress in our home and it gave me a solid base
Now she would have had to work. Rent on our council house was 25s ( £1-50) a week
And dad wasn’t highly paid but we were comfortable. These days it would be so different.

gesu Thu 09-Aug-18 08:09:43

My DM was a sahm. We have a big family and my parents were around alot. However they were quite busy with home life. My df would work and so I would just see him in the evenings and weekends. My DM was just very tired and busy with housework / cooking/ cleaning etc. She really didn't have any time for me. It wouldn't have mattered if she was at work or not. I guess what I'm saying is, is that it's quality not quantity that mattered for me.

Later in life she has mentioned that she regrets not being able to be there for us more and being more involved. I don't resent her for it at all though and our relationship is fine but we're not particularly close or anything.

TillyTheTiger Thu 09-Aug-18 08:09:48

My Mum didn't work until my sister and I were both at school, and even then it was part time so she could still do all drop-offs and pick-ups. She loved being a SAHM, and she was utterly terrific at it. She also did loads of volunteering and worked really hard in the community, so we understood the importance of contributing to society. Once I was at high school she and my Dad ran their own business from home so they were still always around if we needed them. I have a really close relationship with both of them now and I don't feel that their working patterns were anything other than beneficial to us.
However, I will caveat that by saying that I believe a reluctant SAHM who feels claustrophobic and resentful about it is probably worse than a fulfilled and happy WOHM who gives her child plenty of love and attention at home. I'll be really interested to see the replies on here, as a current SAHM myself.

Isadora2007 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:10:06

My mum worked PT and to be honest I didn’t like it when she wasn’t around. I think I had some form of separation anxiety though and always was a homesick type. So maybe I needed to just toughen up a bit.
I do think that I have wasted a lot of potential in being a SAHM for so many years but I can’t say I regret it as I do think it was best for my children. Just not best for me. But I guess for me being a mum is often about sacrifices. I know it isn’t that way for every Mum and that’s admired by me. As I think there are many benefits of having a working female role model for children.
If I’d had a different family set up I think a balance would have been achievable.

TheHulksPurplePanties Thu 09-Aug-18 08:10:15

My DM was a SAHM until I was 12. The day she went back to work was THE BEST DAY EVER!!!! She stopped being a miserable, borderline verbally/emotionally abusive dictator and actually had something more to occupy her mind than cleaning and keeping track of us. She became so much happier and my parents went from being one more fight away from divorce to happily married (and recently celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary). It was such an amazing turning point for our family.

I would NEVER be a SAHM, no matter how much you paid me. I can think of nothing I would like to do less.

CoodleMoodle Thu 09-Aug-18 08:11:13

My DM was a SAHM until I was about 6 or 7. She used to volunteer at my primary school, then eventually started working there as a TA. I don't think I minded either way, because she only worked when I was at school anyway. Every so often it meant I had to hang around in the staff room if she had a meeting after school, but it didn't bother me.

I WFH at the moment, and go into work on a Saturday morning for a couple of hours. Currently closed for the summer holidays but heading back in September. DD(4) (and now DS) stay at home with DH, which she loves. Sometimes she cries when I leave but generally she's just happy to spend time with Daddy when I'm not there... it'll be different when I go back because of her baby brother, but it's good for her/them to be apart from me for a bit, and very good for me!

NemoRocksMyWorld Thu 09-Aug-18 08:12:56

My mum worked full time as a teacher. I absolutely adore her now! As a child I remember feeling a bit sad that she couldn't ever pick us up. From really quite young (10) I was walking to and from school myself and taking my siblings (they would have been 9 and 6). I hated coming in to an empty house and we fought alot. Also the weekends were dominated by housework. But she was always very loving and she was the main wage earner for the majority of our childhood. Our family holidays were lovely. It was what it was and certainly hasn't scarred me for life.

I work part time now. The children do a mix of family and childcare (mostly family) when I work. I get to pick them up approximately half the week and try and make sure we so fun things on the weekend. However, I'm sure they will think some things could have been better when they grow up. You can only do your best and I know for certain my mum did that.

nicebitofquiche Thu 09-Aug-18 08:14:46

When I was young my mum didn't work. We were constantly being told we had no money and couldn't afford things. When I was a teenager she got a very part time low paid job and I remember thinking she should work full time. When I started my full time work in my teens I had to pay half of my wage in board (iI think paying board is a good thing btw but not that much) and I was resentful because she chose not to work full time.

namechange02837492 Thu 09-Aug-18 08:15:59

My mum was a SAHM, but resented it and is always very keen to let us know of the sacrifice she made for us. I agree with you that I actually think a happier mum who was working plus some time spent with other children at childcare would have been much better for me.

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