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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.

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

SAHMs do a good job. Ignore crits

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

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 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 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...

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.

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?

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!

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.

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.

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?!

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 19:36:09

but thanks for telling me what I actually meant.

weewifey40 Wed 06-Mar-13 19:32:27

and I was saying how I feel.
Just as many wohm's like to continually tell us how they feel and how they couldn't be defined by motherdom, that housewifery is boring drudgery with no economic productivity etc..repeat to fade etc.. surely you understand that if its ok for a wohm to express why she couldn't be a sahm and what fulfills her, it's ok for a sahm to do the same???

weewifey40 Wed 06-Mar-13 19:28:07

Laura, I made that statement.
If you were offended by it, that's your misinterpretation of my words.
I didn't mean any offence at all. I was reacting to the many comments suggesting or implying that a woman should not be defined by being a mother, and simply saying that it is actually ok to be defined by it. Why the hell not?

LauraPashley Tue 05-Mar-13 22:22:00

Yeah sadly I think that is what she meant too sad

janey68 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:37:35

I think that's precisely what that poster meant- because a minority (and I stress it is a minority) of people who do seem to believe that if you work, you cant totally adore parenthood as well. It's such a narrow view. I couldn't love my children any more than I do. If I stopped working I wouldn't suddenly love them more!

LauraPashley Tue 05-Mar-13 20:31:00

WOHM here, I am massively jealous of SAHMs! I have no issue with saying it, I would say it was my life's ambition at the moment! No interest in working, cry on my way to work most mornings at leaving my kids behind. Hate every moment I am away from them.

I find this quote from above ridiculous:
I'm just putting forward the idea that it's actually ok to be defined as a mother.
I am.
It's the single most important achievement in my life, and I've had some high moments in my career. I'm not being smug or mummy martyr. Just saying its ok to be totally fulfilled and defined by motherhood

Do you mean you are only allowed to feel that way if you stay at home with them? That's quite a dig.

JenaiMorris Tue 05-Mar-13 20:11:56


scottishmummy Tue 05-Mar-13 19:35:29

I'd say you're over thinking the lucky you,it's a standard social phrase

JenaiMorris Tue 05-Mar-13 13:21:36

I doubt she was being snide or resentful, it's just smalltalk. If anything it's an attempt at solidarity -

I'm quite sure someone at some point said something to me like "I'm going to go and mop my floor <sigh>." and I knew they were overplaying their workaday misery as I did when I said "gotta run, late for work <sigh>"

People are far too quick to find offence, really they are.

sweetkitty Tue 05-Mar-13 12:51:46

I had this this morning again, I was dropping DD3 off at nursery and thing DS to toddlers and had made cakes for them "lucky for you I'm off to work" was the comment.

Yes I am lucky to have the morning with DS but there's a trade off.

The person who said this has full time childcare from her in laws and parents, she has 2 holidays abroad every year, lovely house, 2 new cars, designers clothes etc. that's why you work and that's fair enough we all make out choices.

I don't shout after her "well I don't have free childcare and I sacrifice a lot of material things so I can stay at home" because its my choice.

I often wonder how its acceptable for her to say it but not me confused

JenaiMorris Tue 05-Mar-13 07:57:15

^ IME it's always those who are first to come out with snide remarks who are also first to ask for my help if some childcare emergency comes up^

I have two explanations for this. These are the ones who find organising childcare the hardest - no family nearby, variable hours, prohibitive cost etc. It's not surprising they feel at least a bit of envy towards SAHPs, although that doesn't excuse snide remarks.

Or, they're not very nice, in which case if it wasn't employment status it'd be the state of your house or something else that had nothing to do with them that they'd be making comments about.

Or actually I have a third, which is that people find offence far too easily and see slights in the most benign of conversations.

janey68 Tue 05-Mar-13 07:40:26

Going back to the OP, I also wish people
Would realise that it's perfectly normal for everyone to sometimes have 'grass is greener' moments, without it meaning they envy someone elses life. Sure, when it's cold grey pissing down with rain morning, there are times when i wish I could drop the kids at school and return to bed, rather than do a days work. Do I want that enough to give up my job? Of course not.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 05-Mar-13 07:33:18

i worked full time with my first two babies butnwhen 3 and 4 came along we decided it would be easier and less stressfull all round for me to stay ay home andncare for them all. The majority of my pals work and infact thats how i knew them theybare fine and openlynadmit they would love to be off but circumstances prevent that from happening. like the previous poster I find men the worst. The automaticallynassume because u stay at home u have no brain and nothing to contribute to any conversation!!!

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