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To think this is a hurtful thing to say?

(27 Posts)
Redcliff Sun 05-May-13 20:52:39

My 6 year old son (who is a only child) has always been very stubborn and over the last 2 weeks has had some major meltdowns. They often appear from nowhere and need careful handling - not giving in but some discussion, some space for him to have a cry and then moving on. It can be tiring and when my mum phoned to other night she asked me why I was so quiet and I just explained I had a hard time (when I took my son to the park with his friend and he went crazy over some slight altercation with some plastic drums in the playground). Today my mum phones and said he is like that because I work full time!

This has really got to me - I do work full time but my partner works part time so he picks him up at least two or three times a week, one of my parents (very kindly) pick him up one day a week (they take it in turns) and he goes to his friends house one day a week. I get home by 6.15 - 7.00 most days and spend all of my weekends with him but I am now feeling really guilty. My mum worked when me and my brother were young but only part time. I have done pretty well to avoid the working mother guilt until now but now it’s come in spades.

Any advice? It's worth saying that even when I worked part time DS was also prone to these melt downs.

CognitiveOverload Sun 05-May-13 20:55:34

She might be right...she might be wrong. Ask her why she thinks this... do you know what the triggers are for these meltdowns? Is it attention, avoidence, because he wants something? Or something else? Maybe keep a record.

MoonlightandRoses Sun 05-May-13 20:58:20

YANBU - although I would imagine that if he acted that way if you/your partner had stayed home full-time (and it does sound as though it's personality, not anything else) then the comment would have been "you spoil him with all the attention, I used to go out to work".

You just can't win with some people. Hope you feel less down soon. wine

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 05-May-13 20:59:19

It's not your fault. It's just a phase - at least I hope it is because my 6yo DS is similar! I work and I'm a single parent, so god knows what your mother would say to me.

I'm a bit sarcastic I'm afraid, and would probably say something like 'Ok, I'll leave work if you give me £x per month to replace my salary. No? Thought not.'

Don't feel guilty. You're doing what's best for you and your family, not what's best for your mother.

Hassled Sun 05-May-13 21:01:29

I don't think your DS's meltdowns have anything at all to do with you working FT.

However, I do think there probably is a trigger - what happened 2 weeks ago?

dyslexicdespot Sun 05-May-13 21:04:56

Our mothers are able to make us feel like absolute rubbish, if and when they want to. Her comment is completely unhelpful, especially considering that she could not possibly know what your DS would be like if you had different working hours.

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Sun 05-May-13 21:05:53

Eh, I have a 17 year old who has energy sucking meltdowns at time. Actually I have a 40 something husband who sounds like he has had enough too today.

Oh and I don't work. Think it is my fault or just that sometimes living with others (especially children) can be tiring and frustrating?

SayMama Sun 05-May-13 21:07:13

Don't worry Redcliff my Mum scoffed the other day because I said I was tired. According to her, as a SAHM I couldn't possibly know what tired means. Who knew, I must just sit at home and eat chocolate all day hmm

What I'm getting at is you'll never win, and you'll always worry about your choices. I'm sure you and your partner are doing a great job.

WafflyVersatile Sun 05-May-13 21:07:48

So when you were a kid you had one parent working full-time and one parent working part-time? And your child has one parent working full-time and one parent working part-time?

Redcliff Sun 05-May-13 21:10:38

Thanks for all your messages - feel better already. I did say "oh I will just quit work then" and she was all "I wasn't saying you should do that".

I hope it's a phase too - it really wears me out. I guess when I said "for the last two week" I meant that we have had more over the last two weeks - as the weather has got better we have been going out more and things have kicked of for one reason or another. There have always been meltdowns but not this bad.

Redcliff Sun 05-May-13 21:13:58

And good point Waffly - we do just what my parents did apart from the fact that dad was full time and mum part time and we are the other way round.

EverybodysStressyEyed Sun 05-May-13 21:20:49

my ds is 6 and he tantrums considerably less when i am on holiday from work. he seems desperate for me to be at his beck and call atm! i'm sure it's just a phase

perhaps your mum was just pointing out that could be part of the reason - she may not have been saying 'aren't you terrible for working full time'

obviously i don't know what she said but could you be projecting your feelings onto her comment?

LEMisdisappointed Sun 05-May-13 21:24:50

Well, my 7yo DD is much the same as your DS and I'm a SAHM so i don't think you working has eff all to do with it, i think its their age and the whole boundary pushing thing

WafflyVersatile Sun 05-May-13 21:25:24

That's a point.

What you do as parents does influence your child along with many other things.

Fuck knows what's going on in their tiny little heads trying to make sense of the world, bless 'em.

It's not easy being a child.

EverybodysStressyEyed Sun 05-May-13 21:26:59

Very true waffly!

kids react to their circumstance - ds sees his friends sahm's at pick up every day and wants that for himself. if i was a sahm he would probably be embarrassed by me being there every day!

catgirl1976 Sun 05-May-13 21:28:11


That is a hurtful thing to say.

I bet no one has ever said it to a father


LindyHemming Sun 05-May-13 21:29:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nagoo Sun 05-May-13 21:37:52

YANBU it is sexist and it is very hurtful.

DS has been having problems with anxiety, there have been some 'meltdowns' like you describe. School have been helpful in building him up -intensive sticker regime. We are trying really hard with the praise. I can talk him down from the meltdown but it is so draining, not least because it's so hard seeing how upset he is.

I agree about the continuity thing. You could be at home all day and he'd be the same when you go out and he's anxious or upset.

ballroomblitz Sun 05-May-13 21:39:51

My ds is approaching six and his behaviour sounds very similar and I'm a SAHM. I'm hoping it's just a phase as today has been most horrendous, even getting one of 'those looks' from a shopper in the supermarket. My mum's answer is nothing to do with me not working/ working, but that he needs a good smack hmm grin

I believe it's all to do with pushing their boundaries to see what they can get away with.

Notcontent Sun 05-May-13 21:47:36

Yes, it's a hurtful and stupid thing to say but please try not to worry about it.

My mother, who I am actually very close to, has said lots of similar things to me.

And let's face it, children go through all different phases. My dd was very similar at 6 - having just turned 7, I am really hoping things will improve!

Mumsyblouse Sun 05-May-13 21:50:59

Both of mine tantrummed more aged 6/7 than when toddlers, I have no idea why. It seems to me they try to keep up with the bigger children and think they are older than they are, but are still very little and when thwarted or things don't go their way, meltdwns follow. I felt terrible when my 7 year old was still having full blown tantrums and really wondered when it would end, but she has grown out of it in the last year or two, not due to my parenting I don't think but just time passes and these phases pass. Don't worry, your ds gets lots of attention from your partner and you as well (effectively one of you is working parttime with regard to pick ups) so please don't worry, this will pass, honest!

Sharptic Sun 05-May-13 22:03:12


I have a 7 yr old ds, and he certainly tantrums more now than ever!

I only work 2 days a week too.

I'm not sure if he's stressed or whether it's just hormones. I heard that young boys get a testosterone surge at this age, hoping so. x

Redcliff Sun 05-May-13 22:58:20

Phew - gald to know it's not just me (not that I am happy that others are having hard time) and those that are SAHM and those that work part ime also have the same issues and maybe it is just his age. It can be hard being a kid and I do feel for him. He can be the sweetest boy sometimes just like I am sure yours are. And yes, it is a sexist thing to say - my mum often goes on about how my dad wasn't around to do family things and how great it is that my OH is so hands on so I guess she didn't think it through.

MySonIsDrivingMeCrazy Sun 05-May-13 23:04:25

my son is no better and I'm a sahm. you know your mum is wrong.

I had a very bad day with my son today. He's a nightmare.

MySonIsDrivingMeCrazy Sun 05-May-13 23:09:38

my son is 7 too. relieved to read this thread.

I feel like my son is trying to take control of me, and the household. He seems to feel so entitled. to be the boss. he sees no reason why he shouldn't be the boss of me and of his sister. I'm a single parent. If my dad or my brother give out to my sonhe rages around slamming doors.

I took him out for a walk today and he didn't want to come. He sulked 30 feet behind me the whole way. I couldn't believe how long he kept up the sulk. NOrmally he'd forget he was sulking and say something funny, different subject. Not today. He was determined to gain control of me today. He even berated me for buying the wrong pizza earlier. And it's not that he's heard his father speak to me like that. I don't know where he gets this from.

Everything was a battle today, so I told him to go to bed if he felt like it. He eventually got into his pyjamas about 15 minutes ago. he knew i was cross with him today but he is cross with ME, for a whole list of things, he could tell me exactly what they are. I only hope he wakes up in a better mood tomorrow.

I was seriously thinking earlier, can I cope with another ten-twelve years of this?

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