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I wince when women refer to being a mum as "a job"

(502 Posts)
CQuin Tue 04-Dec-12 17:02:11

It's so mimsy ish, so martyr and yet at the same time.

Our parents would never have said this, is it just the heightened expectations everyone has for everything thee days ?
Would dads say this?

Eg I have two jobs, I'm a mother (or worse "mummy ") and a hat maker." (or whatever )

Fuck off.

Labootin Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:16

Dead horse flogging

You've just missed Tarquers doing a super swan dive.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:34

shall i have potatoes or crusty bread with my dinner later?

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Tue 04-Dec-12 18:15:54


Although I'm Irish and have to say that.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 18:17:03

Both! I have to say that because I am a greedy sod!

Goldenbear Tue 04-Dec-12 18:17:33

I agree with Bonsoir and think if you're doing it properly it is akin to a job. It depends how you approach it. Of course it has no monetary value but then again it depends what context you're operating as a SAHM in. Round my way a SAHP and not necessarily a Mother atall would be testament to a bit of wealth and not an embarrassing thing to admit to.
Also, I know some SAHP that sort out the investments from the bigger income that one has gained as a result of another being at home. It is all legally tied up and if a split was to occur NO one is going to be left penniless. The status of the SAHM in the context I know is therefore not marginalised at all - people are very happy to admit it!

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:18:16

i have particularly tasty-looking chilli bread though

it's to have with cauliflower cheese...

mummyonvalium Tue 04-Dec-12 18:19:10

There is definitely a perception that SAHP = a bit lazy, and this is probably why SAHP's feel they have to justify their position.

I think it is sad though that there is this perception. 40-50 yrs ago it was the norm to stay at home and now we are in a minority. I think it is harder to be a SAHP because of this - so few parents SAH and society is not set up for us any more. I believe this makes it much harder.

The honeymoon of being a SAH lasts about a year when everyone is on maternity leave and because this is all most people do, this is what the memory stays as - a romantic vision of playdates. For this year there is so much support and everyone is lovely and then there is an exodus as everyone else goes back to work.

In my experience I was left on own with two children and I didn't know what to do with them all day. So I had to make a new social network and new friends which was quite hard when my children were a little bit older, as people were already in groups. I had much more time on my own with them than I ever had for that period and it was really hard work by any definition - trying to make new friends and building up again.

It is maybe not right to call it a job however, it is all consuming for the parent who is a SAH, particularly when they are little.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 04-Dec-12 18:22:29

If someone calls their work as a nanny/childminder a 'job' does that make you giggle/want to tell them to fuck off?

Or is it just when someone refers to looking after their own children?

HalloweenNameChange Tue 04-Dec-12 18:23:00

I cringe when adults use the winky face. The winky face is the mark of a moron wink

rainrainandmorerain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:24:45

mothers just can't win, can they? whatever they call themselves, they'll be someone there to jeer and sneer. And often another mum. Marvellous.

I suppose logically that if you are looking after your children full time, such that you do not have to pay a professional to look after them, then you are doing voluntary work. Which I have never heard anyone say.

But then logical objections like 'it's not a job, it isn't paid' often mask some other more emotive prejudices. If someone caring for a partner with dementia described it as a 'full time job', would anyone be quick to correct them?

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 04-Dec-12 18:24:56


MustStopOutingSelf Tue 04-Dec-12 18:27:22

its calling it a JOB that makes me giggle in awe at its shitness

You still haven't answered why it's a job when you pay someone who do it but it's not when you do it yourself?

Nor have you told me what I'm actually supposed to call myself? like I give a fuck what you think

Jins Tue 04-Dec-12 18:30:38

It's not a job because the hours are too long and the perks are too few. There's no opportunity for an uninterrupted rest break and sick leave is impossible. grin

It is work. It is hard work.

Does it matter what someone calls it, really?

Why would anyone wince?

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 04-Dec-12 18:36:50

Would it be different if we thought about this in terms of Occupation instead of Job?

JenaiMathis Tue 04-Dec-12 18:41:41

It's a role, with various tasks associated with it. Those tasks very from family to family, but the main objective is to raise children who are as happy and healthy as they can be.

The KPIs are going to vary wildly however.

noddyholder Tue 04-Dec-12 18:42:21

My voluntary work is the hardest by a long way. Everything else I do feels like a hobby in comparison

Pitmountainpony Tue 04-Dec-12 18:42:58

Oh lord another defensive thread by a working mum.

I think uabu to be bothered by the trivial matter of how someone describes how they spend their days....

FellatioBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 18:43:04

What do you call someone who is at home with their children full time then?

Viviennemary Tue 04-Dec-12 18:43:33

I makes me laugh when people say it would cost a partner £100,000 a year to get the services they provide. Why don't they go and get themselves such a job then. It's all a bit silly. If people want to be an SAHM or call it what you will. Fair enough. But it isn't a job as I understand the word.

Lifeissweet Tue 04-Dec-12 18:43:38

When I got married I had just had DS and wasn't working (or on maternity leave - my contract ended just as I gave birth). The registrar insisted on writing my occupation as 'domestic duties', which made me laugh because it sounded so archaic - like I was a housekeeper or something.

I don't know what I would have preferred her to write, though. 'Mother' is not a job, I agree - it is a state of being!

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:44:13

shall i do a few mushrooms to go in the cauli cheese i wonder?

FellatioBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 18:45:06

No Dame. That sounds wrong.

ifso Tue 04-Dec-12 18:46:23

how does it feel then for the children to know that they are being cared for by someone who seems to have zero status in society

what of these children? while women argue and bitch about their choices?

isn't it all a bit of a meaningless whinge OP? Who really cares? You say you're at swimming, while bitching on MN about mothers who SAH/full time parent?
Aren't you supposed to be watching your kids - wonder how they feel knowing you'r'e not even bothered to watch them try hard at their swimming?

anyhow, have a lovely evening OP.

DameMargotFountain Tue 04-Dec-12 18:47:12


Jins Tue 04-Dec-12 18:47:47

I think it's more than a job because you can finish a job.

Occupation is a good word.

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