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to think SAHMs deserve respect and consideration from their families?

(313 Posts)
Cushionface Tue 13-Sep-11 20:46:18

Do other SAHMs feel taken for granted? I have a very comfortable life and know I am very lucky, but feel that even though I'm on the go nearly all the time, husband and children show very little appreciation for what I do; I don't believe they have any idea how much I do for them, and whilst that's my job, it would be nice to feel valued, which I really don't. DH has a very demanding job and is abroad a lot (always exhausted when home), but makes comments about all the free time I have, and, though an excellent (if over-indulgent father), sometimes criticises my parenting skills, even though he is hardly ever here! I have a demanding elderly mother, two children, 15 and 13, fundamentally good but prone to teenage tantrums and quite spoilt (our fault I accept), two lovely but demanding dogs, and all the usual demands of modern life. I don't need/want/expect sympathy but would love to know how others cope with this feeling. How do you know if you're doing too much/too little? How do you know when it's reasonable to expect more from other family members? How do you get satisfaction from doing a never-ending job, that's neither valued nor respected?

cat64 Tue 13-Sep-11 20:58:29

Message withdrawn

BaronessBomburst Tue 13-Sep-11 21:01:05

I don't know. My DH loses his temper after 20 minutes at home with DS, and yet I am with him all day - every day. He also speaks to me like I'm a piece of shit which is why I'm sat here with a glass of wine MNing. sad

ruletheworld Tue 13-Sep-11 21:02:25

I'm a SAHM of a 3 year old, a 1 year old and one dog.

Yours sounds like a pretty easy life, I'm afraid.

ruletheworld Tue 13-Sep-11 21:02:55

and have one dog, that should say. I'm not a SAHM to a dog grin

Crosshair Tue 13-Sep-11 21:03:18

Talk it out with him and work out ways together to improve the situation and how you feel?

sharondaw Tue 13-Sep-11 21:06:55

I know the feeling Baroness

lazylula Tue 13-Sep-11 21:07:24

When he is at work DH reckons I have a cushy, easy life at home with a 5, 3 and 4 month old. When he is at home at the weekend, after 2 hours he is saying he can't wait to get back to work and when we returned from a week's holiday he reckoned he was going back to work for a rest! That said, I totally respect he works very hard and I know I couldn't do his job (painter and decorator) but also know he couldn't do mine, which is why we make a great team!

Serenitysutton Tue 13-Sep-11 21:08:15

It sounds like you Do have some issues but I'm not sure it's about you not working from what you've said. It's more to do with your relationship maybe?

higgle Tue 13-Sep-11 21:10:18

You have a very easy life! I have to cope with a similar domestic situation and work full time in a demanding environment. If I said I wanted to be a SAHM my DH would laugh himself stupid.

LynetteScavo Tue 13-Sep-11 21:10:43

Do you know the story about the wise old man who advised the woman who was complaining about her house being too small to take in a cow, then a chicken, then a sheep, then a pig...and then to turn them all out again...and of course her house seemed quite spacious when they'd all moved out.

You remind me of that woman.

PercyPigPie Tue 13-Sep-11 21:12:05

I think you are all being a bit unfair to the OP. I can't imagine teenagers are much easier than toddlers and I suspecct that if her DH is away a lot, she manages most of the houseohold (parties, birthdays, holidays, finances, Christmas etc). This all takes time and is probably for little or no thanks.

HereBeBolloX Tue 13-Sep-11 21:14:03

I agree that it isn't about you being a SAHM, it's about your DH's lack of respect for you and what you do.

I don't think other posters help you by telling you you have an easy life and your feelings aren't valid, so ignore those posts, you're already telling yourself that and doubtless everyone in RL is telling you that too, so they're not going to add anything to sorting out your thought processes.

Everyone has the right to feel uneasy about not feeling respected and valued by their partner.

Cocoflower Tue 13-Sep-11 21:15:38

OP, I feel for you as Im very lucky my family respect me whatever role I am in.

However if they didnt, personally I would go on strike for a bit; then your DH might see exactly what it is you do!

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 13-Sep-11 21:17:08

Mud - some people do all that and keep down a demanding full time job outside the house too.

OP - given that your DC are at school - and have been for quite some time - it would appear to the casual onlooker that you do have quite a lot of free time. Perhaps you should stop doing most of what you do - he will soon realise when he comes home to no clean shirts or shreddies and a tip of a house that you are not sitting on your arse all day!

slavetofilofax Tue 13-Sep-11 21:17:27

Yabu. How do you go out of your way to show appreciation for what your dh does, or what your parents do.

What exactly are you expecting.

People should give you the same amount of respect whether you SAH or WOH. What you do during the day is irrelevant to the level of respect you deserve.

Yes you do lots for your family, but so does your dh. You are part of an equal team, so unless you fall over yourself to show respect for the fact that he enables you to stay at home, you shouldn't expect him to do it for you.

If your children are spoilt (your words) and don't show appreciation at the age they are at, then that's down to you.

I would feel quite lucky in your position tbh. Your life really doesn't sound bad at all, and being someone who works part time in the term only, I'd guess your dh is right that you do have lots of spare time.

Cushionface Tue 13-Sep-11 21:19:21

I think it's more to do with feeling valued. I do think that supporting a husband so that he can have a career, or being there full-time for your children is considered the lucky/easy option, but, like everything, it has its ups and downs. And it's true to say that mothers with young children cannot believe that having teenagers can be that difficult, but it certainly brings a whole lot of new challenges, which you should not underestimate. I know this because my children were babies/toddlers/etc once too!

HereBeBolloX Tue 13-Sep-11 21:19:35

I don't care how easy someone's life is really; if they feel unappreciated and unvalued, they will be unhappy.

Have you spoken to your DH about how you're feeling Cushiornface? Do you feel like you wnat to do something else?

KittyFane Tue 13-Sep-11 21:20:12

As others have said.
I work full time and do everything you describe and have a demanding elderly mum.
You say you don't feel valued, it sounds like your family don't appreciate you which is unfair but could they be a little spoilt, have they just come to expect you to be at their beck and call because you have (always?) been at home and available?
I am not always available and my poor DD is so bloody grateful when I manage to do anything simple like sew a badge on her brownie uniform 3 weeks late it makes me want to cry I feel so guilty.
You do sound like you have become the doormat- but then sgain

northernruth Tue 13-Sep-11 21:20:24

Everybody deserves respect regardless of their circumstances. And I imagine that (unless you have a live in housekeeper and a cook) that you do the bulk of the domestic chores. Regardless of the ages of your children there is "parenting" to be done, and no doubt taxi rides to be given etc etc. For your DH to be the absent parent and then criticise your parenting is not acceptable.

My dh is fond of telling me how lucky I am to be home with DD all the time and yet two hours with her on a Saturday morning and he has to spend the rest of the day comatose on the sofa because she's worn him out. She's 4 so it's a bit different but the principle is the same - no one should tell you how easy it is when they are frequently absent.

TrillianAstra Tue 13-Sep-11 21:20:49

SAHMs deserve respect and consideration no more and no less than mums who don't SAH, or people who are not mums.

KittyFane Tue 13-Sep-11 21:23:37

Sorry, but then again... Maybe your own making? sad

ReadRideABikeSwim Tue 13-Sep-11 21:26:32

parenting teens is the hard bit ime BUT at least you have all day to gird your loins op

Bootcamp Tue 13-Sep-11 21:26:33

If you are happy and family are happy fine, if not change things. I wouldn't be happy if my family didn't appreciate me, tbd sometimes dc don't but they are still youngish. I'm at home, for the last few months my youngest has been in school time childcare because of my health. I've still been really busy!

SybilBeddows Tue 13-Sep-11 21:26:37

your dh sounds very rude. I would be pretty cheesed off if it was me, personally.
It's not about how easy or hard your life is compared with other mothers, it's about the fact that he clearly has no appreciation of what you do. And criticizing your parenting when he isn't around much is not on.
You need a serious talk, I think. Is he not happy with his own situation? Does he have a rose-tinted view of your life which needs to be corrected?

And FWIW, my dh appreciates what I do and often tells me so, so I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation.

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