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To wonder whether anyone has ever actually been influenced by the MN bun fight on SAHMs Vs Childcare

(93 Posts)
Silver1 Sat 04-Jun-11 23:34:04

Am I?

Everyone seems to take their corner very seriously-and defends it aggresively-so has anyone ever decided for or against working outside of the home or being a SAHM based on the comments on here

DuelingFanjo Sat 04-Jun-11 23:37:13

it just makes me really upset. I hate reading loads of people posting that I will be damaging my child, that I am making an horrendous mistake. People post opinion as fact on here and don't care if they make other mums feel like shit for daring to use childcare. You rarely see WOHMs telling SAHMs that they are inflicting terrible things on their children.

I can't help but wonder if it's just people with massive chips on their shoulders about being SAHMs and if being so vile makes them feel slightly better about their own choices. sad

pommedechocolat Sat 04-Jun-11 23:44:38

Aww DuelingFanjo you mustn't let it make you feel like that. You are your child's mother and you will make the correct decisions.
We will all make fuck ups as mothers as we are all just muddling through. Our mothers (who are likely to have been SAHMs) will also have made massive fuck ups. Just the way it is but we can only do our best and play the cards the best we can.
I agree with you on the SAHMs vs childcare for what it's worth but it isn't important.
What's important is that you and your child are happy.
To give you a positive story dd has been at nursery a couple of days a week since she was 7 months and she adores it and all the staff adore her. She has made friends and bonds outside of dh and I and is a very enchanting little madam all in all. The staff are very sensitive to her and they knew when she was ready to go up a room way before I did.
Pick a childcare option you are happy with and feel comfortable with and all will be fine smile

Silver1 Sat 04-Jun-11 23:44:41

I am sorry you are made to feel that way.
That's why I ask really-I do think both sides can sometimes feel bitter about their choices but why be so hostile if all you end up doing is upsetting another mum.

DuelingFanjo Sat 04-Jun-11 23:48:45

thanks pommed, I am beng over sensitive about it I think - posting in anger which is not nice either so I will sgut up now!

ohmyfucksy Sat 04-Jun-11 23:53:43

Yes. Haven't got kids yet. It's not the SAHM/WOHM debates especially, but after reading about so many women who have given up promising careers and, on wanting to get back into work, are hoping to get jobs that pay a fraction of their former salary and with no seniority, I know that I will not be being a SAHM. Just have to decide which kind of childcare to go for when the time comes - nanny is the most likely.

DontCallMePeanut Sun 05-Jun-11 00:15:30

<<unMumsnetty Hugs for Duelling Fanjo>>

I sincerely hope not. If someone chooses to work as a parent, that's their choice. If they choose to return to education, that's their choice. Likewise with the SAHM's. OK, not always choice. Sometime's it's neccessity. But no one should be bullied or belittled for what they do with regards to work and their DC.

cherrysodalover Sun 05-Jun-11 06:41:30

I just want to quote something I read elsewhere below as I thought it really put it well.The research out there apparently suggests that kids are "better off" with a one to one carer (i.e Mum/relative/childminder) rather than being in a nursery setting but clearly many kids do fine in nursery and just get on with it but I do think there is a lot of denial on here about what is and is not best for baby.Same with B feeding- fine don't do it for whatever reason but don't pretend that FF is an equal substitute-just be honest and say " I know X is better for my baby but on this issue Y is more important to me, so I am going to give something that is less good but will still do a good enough job of providing nutrition to my baby.

I know my baby should see no TV till he is 2 years old. I do watch tv some days for a short period because I need a break but I know the research says that it is not the best for my child.So there are times I put my needs above what I am told on good authority is good for my baby. I take responsibility for that choice and I think we should not kid ourselves that certain choices we make are the best when blatantly they sometimes are not!

" I
think the most human and honest thing we can do as parents is accept that
sometimes we choose to do--or need to do--something that may be less than ideal
for our child. And then just own it. For instance, when I went back to work
and our son was 6 months old, I felt in my heart that it was not ideal for him.
He was too young. And I also felt the strong temptation to justify this choice
by drawing on books/articles/blogs/psychological theories that would support my
choice to work. I could have started telling everyone: "we love that he is
interacting with other babies!" or "it's GOOD for him to have other care
providers!", but this wouldn't have been the truth about how I really felt. How
I really felt was: "This is less than ideal, but it is what I am choosing
because, for my own sanity, I MUST get back to my career. And he will live.
And it will get better." And it did.
> >
> > I suppose I am saying all of this because I wish that we could have more
honest conversations about the things that we sometimes do not choose to do for
our kids, even though we wish we could. And I wish we had more of language for
acknowledging that parents' needs and babies' needs are not in perfect harmony.
To me it just seems obvious that, for a baby, the best situation is to have a
cuddly, nursing caregiver who doesn't have any sleep needs of her/his own. Some
people come sort of close to this, which is awesome. But that doesn't mean that
all of us can or should, nor that we need to have complex justifications for why
it is really "better" to withhold what babies are asking for. "

pallymama Sun 05-Jun-11 07:20:38

It didn't help me to make my decision, bt it did help. Financially I had to return to work, at least for a while. I'm only part time though. What I found difficult was being told "how lucky" I was and that I had "the best of both worlds" when I was struggling to fit everything in, and had no time for anything fun with DD. I was really starting to feel like a failure.

Someone on here posted that it's actually the worst of both worlds! All the responsibilties of both, but not enough time to really dedicate to either, and it really helped me get some perspective on things. We now make time for fun and hang the housework!

TattyDevine Sun 05-Jun-11 07:21:25

No way!

I'm a SAHM.

I don't feel terribly strongly about the "parent at home is best" "work damaging children" rubbish to be honest - sometimes when you hear a horror story you go phew - and its nice simply to be able to choose - but the only things I've really heard "against" being a SAHM are to do with fucking your career/earning prospects or relying on your man for money. Neither really apply to me, I feel - the career/earning prospects thing I just don't worry about, I finished with a career I was well and truly ready to finish with ANYWAY regardless of whether I got pregnant at the time - it just timed up perfectly and it not a career I want to go back to. If I do something else it would be a business anyway, I just don't ever want to be "employed" again, so it doesn't really matter how long I have off in between. And regarding income, I do have an income of my own, so rely on nobody (long story but bought some properties in the late nineties and early noughties which I rent out) so that just doesn't factor in for me. I will do something again one day in the form of a business, to keep me busy when I need to and if it happens to provide extra income, great, but in the meantime I am enjoying not having to be in a certain place at a certain time.

My husband LOVES his work and its going well for him, this arrangement allows him to continue his work without worrying about any effect on the children.

Nobody on Mumsnet could really come up with anything to make me rethink that. There is no better solution for us and our kids at this point. Hope that doesn't sound smug - hard to get that down without, its more relief that everything worked out timing wise for us and fell into place.

AlpinePony Sun 05-Jun-11 07:27:10

I am comfortable in my parenting decisions.

Wrt the BF/FF debate I don't expect to change anyone's mind (and am not interested to do so), but, if someone is sat there at 4am, crying, with a crying hungry baby scared to use formula because of all the bitching/pressure which goes on around here - I want her to know that at least one person is on her side.

InFlames Sun 05-Jun-11 07:27:54

Nope not in the slightest:-) DH and I are lucky to be able to split childcare between the two of is, which is fortunate, but so many feel the need to comment on how 'brave/selfless/kind/shouldn't your wife be looking after him' ehich does make him chuckle- he loves it and would retire tomo if we could afford it!
I on the other hand love working- I also love spendig time at home with DS and am always home for bath and bed the 4 days I'm in the office, and still BF twice a day which is lovely for us both. But I have a very intellectually stimulating career as a lecturer and academic which I love, which helps too.

What I very much object to is comments like 'Well at least by being a SAHM I'm not abandoning my child to be brought up by someone else' / 'I love him too much to leave him all day' / 'Oh so you're a part time mum then?/ 'what you choose to work? DS is only 6 months- are you depressed?'

I wouldn't dream if making the equally insulting comments to SAHM's. Maybe a little respect for other people's choice to work or not workwould be lovely #stupid idealism...#

Seriously though, I'm lucky as I feel secure in the choice we made as a family- if people HAVE to work and use nurseries ec and face this barrage of criticism Is it any wonder they lash back- ditto SAHM'S...

EggyAllenPoe Sun 05-Jun-11 07:36:34

df your baby is a lucky little buggr to have you as Mummy. becase that's the thing that makes the difference -

the huge majority of people think their own mum did a great job
a minority that don't - usually identify real abuses as their reason (not things like 'she worked' - or the opposite)

i think the discussion makes me challenge the status quo in my own house and look at what i can do to change things. It is often too easy to think the way things are can't be altered, and not look seriously at paths of action that in fact could be not only possible but better.

I think i posted on the web a year or so ago about keeping DD out of reception and having her at home instead. when i read the replies, i put her name down for EYFS just made me think it through more seriously.

TheBride Sun 05-Jun-11 07:48:47

There's something about the internet which seems to just make people disconnect from their real experiences and start bandying around judgments based on DM stereotypes. I mean, most of us probably have friends who are SAHM's and friends who are WOHM's.

Do we really think our WOHM friends are selfish, cold fish who can't wait to dump their kids at nursery and cant be arsed to go to Sports Day?

Do we really think the SAHM friends are stepford types whose husbands will almost certainly run off with AN Other because their wife is so dull?

Of course we don't, because in RL we see the people involved, we appreciate that every family's circumstances are different, and that what is best for one family/woman/child is not best for another.

I think people who can't get beyond their own "best way" lack imagination and empathy.

exoticfruits Sun 05-Jun-11 08:06:00

No way. It just shows people's insecurities-they have to justify their choice by making it 'the best' choice.

notnearlyasblondasiwas Sun 05-Jun-11 08:06:19

I come on mumsnet for company, when there are no real life people to chat to. I have had some great advice when I have asked for it, BUT when it comes to major life choices, like SAH or Working, it could matter less what everyone else thinks. DH and I make the choices that we think are best for DD and it couldn't matter less to me if I am judged by people I don't "know" - same with breast/formula debates -whatever! Do BF/don't BF - I really don't care, just be comfortable with your choices, get advice if you need it, but don't try to convert those who have made their informed/or ill-informed wink choices!

After all, as fab as MN is, it is just an Internet forum!

chutneypig Sun 05-Jun-11 08:07:28

I'd say the debates haven't changed my mind as such, but they have broadened my thinking in some areas.

I do think there's a lot of pressure for us to be the perfect mother, which leads to needing to feel they are doing the right thing and people justifying their position. And in doing that, the knock on effect can be putting down what others do that is different.

I thought cherrysodalover's post was very insightful - how often is anything in life clear cut?

chubbly Sun 05-Jun-11 08:09:19

I like MN because often replies challenge my little bubble of thinking, there are some really articulate and insighful people on here. Childcare and BF-ing; there's no one on MN that doesn't want the best for their DC and you can only do what you think is best.
But it doesn't mean I don't get upset when people slag of my choices. We seem to be increasingly targetted by the media, whipping up bad feeling and guilt based on some journalists interpretation of a pseudo science study. Just look at how often the guidelines for drinking in pregnancy have changed in the past few years.
I do enjoy reading a good bun fight though. smile

changeforthebetter Sun 05-Jun-11 08:13:44

Well said TheBride. Lack of empathy is at the core of this along with a big dollop of misogynistically-inspired pitting of women against women in DM style.

I am WOHM because we are much better off (LP) and I want to set the DDs a good example by being financially independent because if their future partnerships/marriages do go wrong then I would like them to be able to look after themselves and their kids not spend their savings to compensate for an abusive fuckwit of a partner who pocketed 95% of net pay which left me with £200 for groceries toys clothes kids' presents household goods transport.

I think if one parent can be at home with the kids when they are little then fantastic. Both parents working PT seems like one option but our society doesn't approve of men who don't work FT and god forbid they should actually take a leading role in childcare shock even though I know Dads who would like to do this, they know they won't be taken seriously.

I am pro BF but I am also pro women making their own well-informed choices about feeding - my body, my choice. There really isn't a level playing field on this one when you consider for every £1 the NHS spends on bf support, the baby food industry spends £10 on advertising their product. It's a lucrative market so of course they will invest heavily in promotion. I know tons of FF mums and I like them for the people they are not for their parenting choices FFS!

whiteglovetest Sun 05-Jun-11 08:15:04

I actually have a lower opinion of sahm from here tbh

balijay Sun 05-Jun-11 08:23:26

What makes you say that whiteglove?

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 05-Jun-11 08:24:14

I think it's sad that there are so many thoughtless comments about others' "choices". Not everyone has a choice. There are both SAHMs and WOHMs whose "choices" are economic necessity and I get really frustrated with all the "ooooh nursery is bad/SAHM is the only way" or vice versa arguments on here. For many of us there is no choice.

FWIW, my DD has been at a great nursery since she was four months old, full time. She is a happy, charming polite little girl who has fabulous social skills (much better than mine) and is very confident and outgoing. She is kind and considerate of others and I am very proud of her. I had no choice about going back to work - it was that or we had nothing (I'm lone parent) - but I would have done it anyway (albeit a little later on). I would be a crap SAHM but I am a good mother nevertheless.

To answer the question though, no my thoughts have not changed. I always assumed that if I had children I would work. I just thought I might have a little more choice about it. smile

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 05-Jun-11 08:25:21

Well said changeforthebetter.

TandB Sun 05-Jun-11 08:29:56

Not in the slightest. The most ridiculous thing about those debates is the spectacular generalisation that goes on, particularly on the part of those who have absolutely no direct experience of the opposite choice.

I made my decision after talking directly to people with experience of the childcare choices I was considering and I knew people who had used the nursery we eventually chose. I am the only one in a position to judge how successful this has been for my child and if people have the arrogance to tell me they know better with their sweeping generalisations then that is entirely up to them.

I will challenge nonsense when it is posted because I wouldn't want someone to actually be influenced by completely unfounded pseudo-science.

These debates would be far less laughable if people could actually bring themselves to accept that:

a) all children are different
b) all childcare providers are different
c) all mums are different

The people who refuse to accept these basic facts are quite clearly attacking others because they have a strong need to have their own choices validated and accepted as the best way to do things as that, by default, makes them the best type of parent.

I am completely confident in the choices we have made - you won't find me attacking SAHMs for theirs, but I will explain and defend my own.

whiteglovetest Sun 05-Jun-11 08:32:18

Im not sure. Its a general feeling thats hard to isolate. I work part time and have since my ds was 6 months, so feel I have had the experience of both. I feel that (imo) the judgements have been more ignorant and more sweeping from the more evangelical sahm posters. I also feel that some have lacked the capacity to understand the role of the working mum and the complexities of life that make it necessary to do so. There doesnt seem to be a grey area, particularly with part time workers. I have never seen any acknowledgement of part time workers who do the majority of their days at home having any sahm experience. We seem to be lumped in as "working mums". There seems to be no understanding of compromise.

I have felt more grounded and positive towards my working as a result of these "debates" and have seen the working mums as stronger and with clarity. I am prouder of what I have been able to achieve for my family by working.

I know this is awfully general but thats how Ive seen these discussions over tha last 6 or so years Ive been watching parenting websites.

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