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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.

hairyxhristmasandahappynewyear Sun 09-Dec-12 09:07:25

and I can spell - honest ;)

hairyxhristmasandahappynewyear Sun 09-Dec-12 09:06:40

I'm a full time mother. I also have a job for 30 hours a week while DH looks after our DD. He works about 15 hours a week in a job.
He's also a full time father.

I dint stop being a mother when I go to my job. I'm still a mother.

Which is why "full time mother" grindsg gears when it's used to describe a stay at home parent.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 08-Dec-12 09:48:18

I tend to think of the whole issue of sahps v working parents as mainly to do with pre-schoolers, tbh. That is probably because thinking about it, I don't personally know anyone at all who has school age dcs who isn't working or working at getting back into work, iyswim.

So I guess, if you are talking about reading to children, encouraging basic pre-literacy skills, a familiarity with letters and numbers etc, then yes, a sahp parent is doing a lot more of that themselves than a parent who is inevitably not physically present during the day for their child.

I am divided on the language issue, personally! I find it easy to accept that when someone uses a phrase like 'full time mummy' they are primarily concerned with describing what THEY do, and I really genuinely have never taken it amiss, or felt insulted.

But then that's different to someone saying what you are is mimsyish, martyred and telling you to fuck off, as the op did.

Thisisaeuphemism Sat 08-Dec-12 07:45:25

Are these 'full time mothers' home- educators too? If their children go to playschool or school then surely they are not doing it all themselves?

Some people think the language we use is unimportant. But I'm with you, rain. I think it says a lot. I similarly dislike the term 'real women' which implies that everyone who isn't big is 'not real'.

rainrainandmorerain Fri 07-Dec-12 21:18:22

i kind of agree.... except that can be a bit glib sometimes. if I manage not to give a shit what other people say about me, does that mean I can be as fucking horrible and bitchy as I like about others, and expect them not to care?

Just sometimes I see the 'no one can hurt you unless YOU LET YOURSELF BE HURT' response (it has cropped up on this thread) - and thought, really? Isn't that just blaming the victim? It makes a nonsense of school and workplace anti-bullying policies, for a start...

As a general rule, yes, if you are confident in your decisions and confident you know whose opinions matter to you, you will be less swayed by casual abuse or judgement from strangers.

That said, if someone called me as working mum 'mimsyish' and a 'martyr’ and then told me to 'fuck off' - I think I'd have something to say about it.

autumnlights12 Fri 07-Dec-12 14:28:01

the trick is not to care what others think of you.

rainrainandmorerain Fri 07-Dec-12 14:24:48

autumnlights - yes, but some women on this thread, I think all women in (fulltime?) paid work have objected to 'full time mother' as they believe it implies that they are a 'part time mother'.

It's not something that would bother me at all, I would understand the shorthand without feeling judged.

but it seems very similar to me that working parents object to sahps saying being a mother is a 'job'. Like one side, and sadly it does feel like 'sides', says to the other 'don't kid yourself luv, you haven't got a JOB, you aren't WORKING' - and the other side says 'I'm more of a mother than you are because I am raising my kids myself'.

It is bloody depressing to see so much hostility on both sides. I do wonder how much women walk about being oversensitive to the idea that other women might be judging them all the time. Or maybe we do judge each other all the time....I'd prefer to think not.

autumnlights12 Fri 07-Dec-12 13:05:37

Full time mother is just a short hand for saying that the mother is doing all the care herself

Absolutely. And on this thread with 495 messages, this is the only message needed!

NotAnotherPackedLunch Fri 07-Dec-12 10:29:52

I don't think any mother stops being a mother just because she is at work whilst the children are in child care.

However where the mother/parent works outside the home the mothering/parenting is sub-contracted to the nursery/CM/nanny for those hours whilst the mother retains overall responsibility.

Full time mother is just a short hand for saying that the mother is doing all the care herself.

mam29 Thu 06-Dec-12 22:18:51

I hate the term caregiver or homemaker.

a mum is obviously fulltime mum if chiild lives with her if she works fulltime or part time.

I hate freinds statuse on their profileI

I work as mum , cook, cleaner and list every god dam thing they do.

its crass.

I think some people need a title.

im a mum whos at home, miss working and having a title.

would never say a mum is a job title

its hard work but its not a job.

manicinsomniac Thu 06-Dec-12 22:13:15

I have no problem with the term full time mother but I don't think of it as a job. As others have said it's a role. A tough role at times and a lovely role at others. An important role all the time. But not a job.

But then I am most definitely a part time mother and a full time worker, there's no getting around it. Yes, I feel very guilty about it but I am a single parent with no family close by to help me and only very expensive childcare so I picked the job I thought would work the best for us (boarding school teacher) Some days I barely see my children. I will finish work at 11pm tonight and I'm not entirely sure whose dormitory they have fallen asleep in this time!

catgirl1976geesealaying Thu 06-Dec-12 22:11:00

No.........I think that works fine smile

More wine everyone

rainrainandmorerain Thu 06-Dec-12 20:59:01

Sorry, euphemism - have read the thread, clearly forgot!

So, anyone - SAHP says 'I look after the children' when asked what they do. Is that fair? Adequate? accurate? Is the implication that working parents don't look after their children?

(as a mostly working mum, I wouldn't think that but i wait for the objections....)

hairytale Thu 06-Dec-12 20:53:33

"YABU. Every element of being a mother combined would command a £60,000 a year salary. "


What? How do you work that out?

What a crazy statement.

oohlaalaa Thu 06-Dec-12 20:49:04

I agree. Yanbu.

I'm a mum, and its the biggest part of my life, but I'd never describe it as a job.

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 06-Dec-12 20:42:04

I suggested that about three pages in wink

rainrainandmorerain Thu 06-Dec-12 20:04:20

ok - let's try Fenix's suggestion of 'I look after the children.'

As a sahp, would anyone object to that as a description of what they do? would any working parents object to that?

kerala Thu 06-Dec-12 19:32:53

I just say "looking after the girls myself at the moment" if that offends anyone then...well thats their problem!

OwlLady Thu 06-Dec-12 19:07:32

well i had always got a job until recently, it was still easier than being at home, in some ways it was respite

Viviennemary Thu 06-Dec-12 19:06:00

I think saying I've got a job when you haven't is a bit silly. I haven't got a job. I don't pretend I've got one. What on earth is the point. It doesn't make you a better person.

OwlLady Thu 06-Dec-12 19:01:56

I do stillt hink it is a job though
not sure why that is so objectionable

My paid job was much easier and much more structured and staff would at least comply hmm

OwlLady Thu 06-Dec-12 19:00:29

I just say i am a Mum and a Carer
I couldn't give a shit tbh what anyone else thinks of me. I am not trying to impress anyone smile

TandB Thu 06-Dec-12 18:57:08

I find it really hard to give a shiny shit how other people chose to describe what they do with their lives.

As long as they aren't telling me that what I'm doing is wrong, they can call looking ater their children a job, a hobby, a chore, a vocation, whatever they like.

I just don't have the time or energy to get invested in how other people talk about their lives.

fenix Thu 06-Dec-12 17:25:32

"I'm at home with the children", "I look after the children" works well. Caring implies high-needs or disability, or alternative it implies the bare bones of the more menial, easily outsourced childcare tasks.

When further explanation is warranted, you can add "I'm out of the workforce at the moment", "I'm on a career break" or "I chose to take some time out from work", or something similar.

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 06-Dec-12 16:39:51

I don't think full time child carer works - dd now has 15 hours at play school so for me, and many, not true.

I really am happy to say 'no, I don't have a job, I'm looking after the kids...'

I feel The labelling and defining ourselves through our work is what needs to be questioned rather than pretending sahm is a gruelling job.

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