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AIBU to be upset by an old family friend saying about me: "she does NOTHING and it's a complete waste of her education" (FI I am a SAHM)

(78 Posts)
Greythorne Mon 29-Nov-10 13:22:49

I was at my best friend's wedding on Saturday. we have known each other since we were 9. Her family is close to my family, we go way back, she asked me to be her matron of honour, all good.

For background, I am a SAHM to two little girls aged 4 and 2, and I used to have a "high-flying" job for a very well-known, trendy company and when most people hear what I used to do, they think, wow, how fab. As did I until I had children and realised that my fab, high-flying job was going to be very difficult (read nigh on impossible) for me to do with kids. NB I say "for me to do" because i know there are colleagues of mine who do the same job as me and have kids very successfully, but we all have our limitations, and I realised I was not going to be able to do both. I am now very happy, staying at home with my girls, doing craft and teaching them to cook and to swim etc. I am also just starting a new business, which is in its very early infancy, but which, fingers crossed, might take off.

So, cut to the wedding receoption. I was in a group of people chatting, when I heard the bride's uncle (who has known me since i was 9, too) asked the bride's mother, "so what does Greythorne do now?"

Her reply: "NOTHING" (almost shouted) followed by, looking at me: "and it's such a complete waste of her education! And when I think of how my generation fought for the liberation of women! It kills me."

I smiled and said nothing. But a little piece of me died inside when I hear women who cannot see a way to support other women's choices.

It has been preying on my mind ever since and my DH is bored with me rabbiting on about SAHMs and feminism being about choices etc.

So, tell me, AIBU to be hurt?

rubyrubyruby Mon 29-Nov-10 13:25:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ClearAndPresent Mon 29-Nov-10 13:25:46


Feminism is about choices. Why do people critcise other people's choices? I don;t know.

Numberfour Mon 29-Nov-10 13:25:59

YANBU. Best advice I can come up with is to ignore that ridiculous comment.

The fact that a generation of women fought for certain liberties, does not mean that you have to work and leave your kids with someone else.

It's a pity that with the vote, that woman was not also granted some common sense.

TattyDevine Mon 29-Nov-10 13:27:15

YANBU - but if you were at a friend's wedding, there was almost definitely some alcohol involved, and it probably came out "wrong".

She's probably cringing. She probably felt in a way she was complimenting you (albeit in a very backhanded way)

I am in a similar situation to you and I know there are people who can't believe I wont go back to it.

I'm sick of being asked, telling them that I see my career break as "indefinite" or "for the foreseeable future", feeling like I have to justify it in some way, and reiterating over and over that liberation is in many ways about having the choice - not just about having the choice not to stay at home, but about having the choice to do so.

YANBU but if you are really happy with your choice, it shouldn't cut too deep unless you are copping it all the time, then it does start to grate.

MegBusset Mon 29-Nov-10 13:27:15

Yanbu, how rude. Bringing up your kids is not 'nothing' it's flipping hard work requiring more care and dedication than any paid job I can think of.

notnowbernard Mon 29-Nov-10 13:27:23

What Ruby said

You sound very happy with your life

Enjoy it smile

FWIW, I tend to think that people who slag off other people's work/lifestyle choices often indicates jealousy

DeathandTaxes Mon 29-Nov-10 13:27:28

YANBU to be upset. It is insulting for anyone to say that you do nothing, and an education is never wasted, it has informed the person that you are now, and will always be an enhancement to you.

That lady sounds very ignorant, and tbh, people who criticise other peoples life choices are ususally very disatisfied in their own lives, so her comments say more about her than they do about you.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 29-Nov-10 13:28:18

If you're happy with your choice then why let it get to you? She is technically correct although could have worded it better.

KaraStarbuckThrace Mon 29-Nov-10 13:29:13

Ignore he she is probably just a dried up old prune.

You are clearly happy in your choices - good luck with your new business!

5DollarShake Mon 29-Nov-10 13:29:14

YANBU. And these sorts of women make me angry

Is it any wonder that so many women wish to disassociate themselves from feminism when this sort of shite is spouted in its name. As a fully signed up feminist, it makes me furious that women like her go around giving feminism a bad name.

AngryBeaver Mon 29-Nov-10 13:29:55

had she had a few drinks?does she realise you heard her?i'd have to say something to her.
i'm a sahm too,privately educated to degree level,left a job at the bbc,and my mum says similar things about me.very,very annoying..and hurtful.
so no,yanbu

DrunkenDaisy Mon 29-Nov-10 13:30:15

You should have said:

'Actually that's not true. I'm taking sometime out to bring up my children and in the meantime I'm starting my own business.

What have you achieved that's so amazing you miserable old hag?'

classydiva Mon 29-Nov-10 13:30:34

What a cheeky bastard! YOu are entitled to live as you see fit. Not everyone can manage a high pressured job and look after small children, you chose to take time out and good for you.

Take no notice. Probably jealous.

5DollarShake Mon 29-Nov-10 13:31:19

She is not technically correct.

Education is not only a means to an end (i.e. a job), it is useful and valuable in its own right.

hairyfairylights Mon 29-Nov-10 13:32:41

Sod her - she was incredibly insensitive and she is talking through her arse.

alfabetty Mon 29-Nov-10 13:32:42

I think there's a point of view that women who get educated and push on to have a career 'like a man' then throw it all up to be a SAHM somehow confirm the prejudices of those who are against equality - sort of - 'well, she had her opportunity, just like they all want, but she just proves the point that women are happier at home'.

Which is completely wrong on so many levels, but comments like that sometimes come from a sense you've 'let the side down'. Especially from the older generation who did it the hard way - either worked OR stayed at home. We are the first generation to have the flexibility of part-time working, career breaks etc, so perhaps you have to view her comments in the light?

But YADNBU to be put out.

hairyfairylights Mon 29-Nov-10 13:33:45

The fact is, our 'mothers' fought for our rights to choose what we do with life - for us to have equality of opportunity. Bringing up children is an incredibly important job, and a good education is not wasted on it!!!

Mumwithadragontattoo Mon 29-Nov-10 13:33:56

YANBU - what a mean thing to say. She misunderstands women's liberation if she thinks you can't choose to stay at home with your kids full time. They are very small too so hardly as if you can't still have a rewarding career either by your new business taking off or if you decide to go back to work.

I am currently on mat leave after having DC2 and wondering whether going back to work even part time is going to be too difficult to do. My employer are fairly flexible but my job is demanding and I don't want want to do it half-heartedly.

But I am really worried about a perceived loss of status and other people thinking I too am wasting my education.
I couldn't possibly have had my current standard of living without my education and I hope to still have a career in the medium to long term but it still tears at my heart.

Ealingkate Mon 29-Nov-10 13:35:34

I wonder how much fighting for the liberation of women she did??

MiraArte Mon 29-Nov-10 13:36:41

Message withdrawn

nancydrewrockinaroundxmastree Mon 29-Nov-10 13:37:31

Happymum there is nothing correct about her statement, technicaly or otherwise.

I find this idea that education as means to an end and that learning is wasted if not used for a specific narrow purpose deeply depressing.

TitianTinselTemptress Mon 29-Nov-10 13:38:43

What drunkendaisy said grin

KERALA1 Mon 29-Nov-10 13:39:24

I had a similar thing at a wedding and it really shook me. I was pregnant and had a toddler and had also left a well paid, flashy, utterly unchildfriendly crazy hours, long distance travel career to be a SAHM. The other guest was so rude, going on and on about what a waste, surely I was bored etc. I would never make such comments about anyone elses choices so really resented the criticism.

If you had gone back to your job I am sure at some point you would have got snidey comments about leaving your children as many WOHM can attest I am sure. So you really cannot win the only answer to it is to be utterly confident in your choices. If other people do feel strongly that you have done the "wrong" thing they are actually projecting their insecurities about their own lives onto you. Ignore ignore ignore.

nameymcnamechange Mon 29-Nov-10 13:39:36

I really really really hope your business takes off and you become incredibly succesful. Then she can stick that in her pipe and smoke it.

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