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to want to be a SAHM because my mother wasn't?

(105 Posts)
Animol Fri 23-Sep-11 21:44:40

just been reading all the here and there banter about SAHMs and WOHM and missed reading experiences of people's own childhoods.
Try to cut it short: My mother went back to work when I was 10 or 11 and I know I haven't got nearly the same sort of relationship with her as my elder siblings do. During my teenage years she was so caught up in her job and the stress of it that she wasn't really there for me at all. It's made me determined to do it differently for my kids even though I don't find it easy to be a SAHM - I love being a Mum but the housework bit drives me bonkers smile
What did your Mums do? Are you doing the same?

Animol Fri 23-Sep-11 21:45:43

Probably shouldn't have put this in AIBU should I? Sorry - I'm new!

YANBU.

worraliberty Fri 23-Sep-11 21:47:29

WOHM Mums do housework too smile

I'm doing more or less the same as my Mum (SAHM) except I do voluntary work as well.

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Fri 23-Sep-11 21:48:12

YABU to start another SAHM thread! But if that's what you want to do then of course YANBU. Though you could still work and be close to your kids, I don't think it's as clear cut as you make out. And a resentful SAHM is surely no better than an absent WOHM.

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Fri 23-Sep-11 21:48:12

YABU to start another SAHM thread! But if that's what you want to do then of course YANBU. Though you could still work and be close to your kids, I don't think it's as clear cut as you make out. And a resentful SAHM is surely no better than an absent WOHM.

handsomeharry Fri 23-Sep-11 21:48:45

YABU.

Beamur Fri 23-Sep-11 21:49:49

My Mum always worked, usually part time. At about 14/15 my Mum was a cleaner at the school I was at, so I usually hung about and had a quick chat with her as she arrived for work, then went home and got dinner ready or did some ironing until she got back again, then my Dad got home and we all had dinner.
I suppose I am doing many things different to her though (I work too), but I don't resent her working at all while I was growing up. She may have worked but she was a brilliant Mum and was the envy of all my chums.

StrandedBear Fri 23-Sep-11 21:50:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MULLYPEEP Fri 23-Sep-11 21:51:04

YANBU, largely why I wanted to be one.

donthateme Fri 23-Sep-11 21:52:16

BE a SAHM if you and your husband both agree that its in your family's best interests to do so. There is no other good reason. What your parents may have done is a different issue. Personally I quite liked having my mum around but I think she would have been better off working; it would have been better for her self esteem and I would have coped fine too

Brynn Fri 23-Sep-11 21:55:20

A happy mum is always better than a grumpy mum. If you're happy as a SAHM, then no, you're not BU.

It is probably a little bit unreasonable though to base any decision like that on what your own mum did or didn't do. You're not your mum - just because you feel she became absorbed in work and neglected you, it doesn't follow that you'll do the same.

webwiz Fri 23-Sep-11 21:55:48

My mum went back to work when I was 11 and I absolutely hated it - it meant we had to spent every holiday being dropped off at relatives who didn't really want us there and as soon as I was old enough I had to look after my sister who was 10 years younger than me. I remember the misery of being 15 and having to take my 5 year old sister with me wherever I went for no thanks whatsoever from my parents. I was expected to do a huge chunk of the housework and cooking as well. My brother was deemed too useless to helphmm

I vowed that I would never so the same to my children and stayed at home with them. Of course I now realise that there was a middle way and that my mum was a bit crap.

TheFeministsWife Fri 23-Sep-11 21:56:23

My mum was a SAHM right the way through till I grew up. I loved having her at home, although I was a bit envious of some of my friends who were able to go home to an empty house after school and be able to do as they liked.

I was a SAHM when DSD was going all the way through secondary school, (she's 19 now) but that's because it coincided with my dds being babies. Now my youngest has started school and I am enjoying the time to myself. grin I think I want to be there whilst my dds are still in primary school, although I'm not sure I'll still want that when they're both in secondary though. I think whilst they're in school I'd always look for part time over full time.

TBH as well, I don't really want to end up as my mum did when I was in secondary school. She was deeply unhappy, very bored and isolated. Her and my dad ended up divorcing when I was 17 and I think a large part is because she'd basically forgotten about herself and put her all into being a mother. That is not a road I want to go down.

DoubleDegreeStudent Fri 23-Sep-11 22:00:25

I completely see where you are coming from. My mum was a SAHM and whenever I was ill she would come in and pick me up. If a friend whose parents both worked was ill and had to just sit in the reading corner looking sorry for themselves I was secretly always a bit pleased knowing that MY mum would be there.

I'm not saying my mum was better than my friends', but to my child's mind it was just nice and reassuring.

IndieNile Fri 23-Sep-11 22:04:12

YANBU. My mother went back to work when I was 9. I`m an only child, and my main memory of my teenage years is of hanging around town after school as long as I could to put off going home to a dark, empty house. That was the time I began comfort eating - I used to raid the larder every day when I got home. Something I still have to battle against now when I`m feeling down.
I worked PT when my DCs were in their teens but arranged my hours so that they rarely had to go home to an empty house. I didn`t have a great career but we did have a close and happy family life.

ithaka Fri 23-Sep-11 22:07:07

My mum worked part time from when I was 3, full time when I started school. I work 0.7 and my mum has my kids after school. She is a great mum and fabulous granny. I really lucked out with my clever, tough, cool mum.

By contrast, my MIL never worked from the day she gave birth and is a useless waste of space, despised by her family, poor woman.

troisgarcons Fri 23-Sep-11 22:13:34

Cant say it made a difference really. Mum was a housewife (ikk @ SAHM moniker) and returned to work when I went to secondary school. Personally I admire her independent values at a time when she would have been expected to continue being a housewife; she was veryu isolated and I cant look back and see how depressed she was.. I'm not the sort to sit on my arse and expect to be kept, neither was she. For me, working is about self respect and the need for real adult interaction. I loathed the 5 years I took out from the work place. But thats me, I cant do school gate and there are only so many times you can polish the skirting boards.

I asked the kids when I pondered a 5 year gap, and they wanted me at home. IfI ask them now they whould shoe horn me out the door, for no reason than they are old enough to understand and evalute that I am a much more chilled person by achieving my goals. Apparently when I was at home I was a 'stress monster' with a dishcloth!

PenguinPatter Fri 23-Sep-11 22:15:49

My parents were both latch key kids - so it was very important to them to have someone in the house when we came home - usually Mum.

Less an issue for us I think - DH was a latch key kid and loved it.

MIL went back to work weekends when DH started school - never got that he was an only DC. My Mum force back to work due to lack of money when I was about 8 ish - first found local things that fitted round school then evening and weekend work when younger sibling was older. She resent it - lack of opportunity ect and was always tired and irritable.

So far I've done the same SAHP sometimes very happily other times feeling trapped, frustrated and bit lonely.

When youngest starts school I plan to get back to work - but will have to decide what route I take or is available - low paid work that kind of fits round school or back to a career possibly with alot of stress or part time or full time. What ever I do it will involve some compromise somewhere.

I can only home my DC and/or I do let harbour bitterness about the decisions years later.

MamaMary Fri 23-Sep-11 22:15:56

WOW, this subject is so emotive. Top 4 threads in AIBU all about SAHMs. Why are we so obsessed with the rights and wrongs of this?

RumourOfAHurricane Fri 23-Sep-11 22:18:10

Message withdrawn

Animol Fri 23-Sep-11 22:24:43

Thanks for not being too hard on mesmile
chees and marmite: I know it's not so clear cut - obviously I know load of WOHM doing a fantastic job with their DCs it's just that the way my mum did it had a big influence on me - whether she'd have been the same if she'd been at home I will of course never know
worraliberty: yes I know WOHM do housework too I just have this guilty feeling that our house should be perfect because I'm a SAHM and it usually looks like a bombs hit it but that's another issue
Brynn: I think a lot of us fear turning into our parents - I do - in some aspects (in others they are and were great and I love them very much) it's more that I don't want my kids to have to go through what I went through (nothing that major just teenage angst etc etc etc but somehow without my Mum)
Webwiz think I'd like to find a middle way too when the kids are bigger

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Fri 23-Sep-11 22:33:37

My mum was a SAHM and it was fantastic when i was small, but I hated the guilt I felt as a teenager when she was severely depressed and felt she had wasted her life. She desperately wanted to get back to work but didn't have the confidence after having been out of the workplace for so many years. I knew she'd given up a rewarding career because of my sister and me, and I felt at the time it was all my fault. I also felt under huge pressure to be what she wanted me to be, because she'd given up so much.

Both my sister and I have chosen to pursue our own careers, strongly encouraged by our mum. I think this probably is connected to our experience with mum as teenagers. At the end of the day, what's right for some women won't be right for others, and it's hardly surprising that many of us will be influenced by what went on in our childhoods!

Animol Fri 23-Sep-11 22:38:23

If you think it's dull you don't have to read it

I'm not obsessed about the rights and wrongs of it I just know that my decisions have been based at least partly on my own childhood experience and I wondered if others are in the same situation

frumpet Fri 23-Sep-11 22:40:26

My mother worked part-time ,then full-time when i was a child . I spent way too much time in the holidays with a guillotine ,double mounting other childrens work !

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