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to think some people resent me being a sahm?

(212 Posts)
PurpleMacaroon Sat 02-Mar-13 21:25:45

I was recently working part time but the company went into liquidation and sadly I was made redundant - and have been a sahm since October. We can still pay the bills and have some left over to do what we want with and thankfully I had managed to save too whilst I was working. We were surprised that this has worked well for us and we're planning on having another baby soon so I won't be going back to work any time soon.

I gave my friends a lift home last night (it was literally a 2 minute drive) so I said in a jokey way - "you both owe me petrol money" and they laughed and one said back - "don't you mean we owe your husband petrol money?"

I was invited by a friend to go on a weekend trip to Berlin (I went, cheap flight, standard hotel - nothing extravagant.) Didn't even bother to mention it until my friend asked me to go out for lunch on Saturday and I said I couldn't and she asked why. When I told her, she said "how the hell can you afford that when you're unemployed?? Oh is your husband paying then?"

It just hurts because I never judge or openly comment on them for their life decisions.

LauraPashley Wed 06-Mar-13 21:40:52


Can you see how it would potentially offend a whole load of WOHMs though? I agree with what you said and feel the same way, but I also have to work! Working doesn't cancel out my opportunity to be fulfilled by motherhood! Working pays the bills, doesn't do anything for my heart and soul!

weewifey40 Wed 06-Mar-13 21:48:55

but I didn't say what you think I said.
I said it was ok to be defined by motherhood.
I didn't say that this is exclusive to sahm's.
I felt the same way when I was a wohm.
Perhaps I'm not the touchy one?!

working9while5 Wed 06-Mar-13 21:59:18

I agree with weewifey40. Don't think I will ever be an SAHM but I think there is a peculiar antifeminism in the "oh I couldn't do it, I would be so bored; I couldn't cope with the drudgery" etc, etc...

I am actually at this strange crossroads in my life where I have been utterly defined by my work forever and now I know that I would rather be with my kids. It's not going to happen, it doesn't mean I won't get some fulfilment from work and that won't have its own benefits, but why on God's earth is it a "dig" to WOHM to say that it is okay to be defined by being a mother? The vast majority of people think it's okay to define themselves and others by their jobs, don't they? "What do you do?" is such a standard question and many people when unemployed sink into deep depression as they can feel as though they have dropped off the face of the earth!

There is so little support for women wanting to be with their kids, it's untrue.

LauraPashley Wed 06-Mar-13 22:13:38

See I have never felt defined by my job, have never really understood that, so maybe that is why I read it differently. Also within the context of this thread weewifey, although people are trying hard not to let it become SAHM v WOHM, any "pro-SAHM" comment comes over as "anti-WOHM"! Perhaps I am touchy, I'm certainly sick of people (yes, mainly SAHMs I'm afraid to say), presuming that my children are not as important to me as theirs are to them. That if I really valued them I'd stay at home with them.

LauraPashley Wed 06-Mar-13 22:15:46

Btw I understand now that you have clarified it, that you didn't mean that feeling the way you do is only possible if you don't work. But there are plenty of people out there who won't agree with you unfortunately!

working9while5 Wed 06-Mar-13 22:29:17

Laura, does me saying that I have been defined by my job make you feel like less of a worker?

freedom2011 Wed 06-Mar-13 22:37:56

Choosing or taking a different path to others will sometimes incite comment from those who do not have your grace and good manners purple. The appropriate response to your trip to Berlin would have been 'How lovely. Have a great time' not a comment on your finances.
I was unemployed for over a year. I got some unbelievable comments and questions about this. How we organised ourselves was nobody's business except mine and my husband's. Smile and ignore OP. You don't have to justify your family's choices.

LauraPashley Wed 06-Mar-13 23:17:30

Hmmm I don't think so working, it just makes me feel like a different kind of worker!

Freedom2011 I think the fact is that not many people are 100% confident with their decisions of situations. I work, feel guilty, envy SAHMs. My SAHM friends often express a regret that they feel boring or are wasting qualifications etc. a friend who is very successful and works longer hours envies me my shorter hours. Grass is always greener and all that...

working9while5 Thu 07-Mar-13 09:08:00

and you should feel the same about how your choices "reflect" you as a mother. Just different.

The bottom line for me is there are few, if any, men discussing this issue of childcare and who provides it as women do.

I will be honest. I really think that children should be taken care of by loving family members and not spend their early years in paid care. I just can't offer that, sadly. I was taken care of by my grandmother until I went to school and so my mother had the security of having me cared for by someone who loved me and could develop her career. I have to use paid childcare and as a result, I don't feel I can work full-time. Yet my husband, who similarly believes in family care having been brought up on a farm where everyone cared for him as they had that flexibility, doesn't prevaricate or pontificate on this issue. He just sees it as the way things are.

I think women generally make decisions based on their personal circumstance and beliefs; most men just follow what women choose (even in this day and age). As more women earn less, it is nearly always seen as a woman's "choice" when it rarely is so free. I would love to be in a position to split childcare equally with dh or have other family take care of the kids but so few people have this. So do I resent SAHMs? No, because that wouldn't be my choice.... but I can feel serious jealousy about people who are living my dream!

LauraPashley Thu 07-Mar-13 10:54:01

I think the distinction between jealousy and resentment is very important- I am guilty of leaning towards the latter which is not healthy!

Also, when you mention men... I also need to reconcile the fact that the parent doesn't have to be the mother- I am lucky to have a present, hands on, shift working DH who does the bulk of the childcare while I am at work. The children are looked after either by me, dh, 1 day at an amazing cm, or occasionally a granny. It is my guilt about not being with them that is at play.

working9while5 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:38:39

I found this book in our local library Laura towards the end of my last maternity and there's a lot of discussion about the complicated feelings women have about this.

I am jealous of your situation! grin

lrichmondgabber Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:29

SAHMs do a good job. Ignore crits

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