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To think this colleague could be a SAHM if she wanted to be

(148 Posts)
doingthesplitz Tue 25-Jun-13 11:26:25

I work part time and a woman I work with is always sighing and saying 'Oh you're sooo lucky you get to stay at home with your children.' Oh, I'd love to be a stay at home mum', 'oh sigh' 'oh woe' etc.

I have every sympathy with mothers who would love to stay at home but can't afford to, and equally no problem with mothers who would go demented at home and prefer to go out to work.

But this woman, constantly moaning about 'having to go to work' is taking the whole family to Florida this Summer, drives an expensive car, arrives in every monring with a takeaway latte in hand, buys her lunch every day at a costly deli down the road, and thinks nothing of spending a hundred quid on a hand bag or a pair of shoes. It's her money, she can do what she likes with it, but I'm fed up of her doing a martyr act and making out I'm much luckier than her. No, I'm not. We will be sharing a house in the country with my sister and her family for our Summer holidays; we drive an old car; I make my own sandwiches for work and have never owned a really expensive bag or pair of shoes. That's why I can afford to work part time.

AIBU to think this woman enjoys coming to work but just wants to make out it's a huge sacrifice to get sympathy and attention?

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 11:30:46

maybe she just misses her kids but likes her lifestyle it doesnt sound that extravagant really saying all that I am not that materalistic and I can see where you are coming from, I wouldnt give her any attention or sympathy

frissonpink Tue 25-Jun-13 11:32:44

Point it out to her that she could then!

Basically, she still wants her lifestyle and to stay at home.

PosyNarker Tue 25-Jun-13 11:33:49

YANBU but she may be clueless rather than malicious IYSWIM.

I think a lot of people tend to assume that people in the same job have similar finances, lifestyles etc. or if not assume, they just don't think.

Coffee shops & posh lunches are such am easy way to fritter money without noticing as well because the individual expense is small (like my colleague who can't understand how I can afford a gym membership but has at least 2 lattes a day...)

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 11:35:13

I am a forced sahm I have a medical condition so I cant afford fancy handbags or shoes ( have been to florida though ) I can imagine if somebody is used to full time wages then it can be a shock going dow to part time or no wage at all,

Arabesque Tue 25-Jun-13 11:38:46

YANBU. I know someone who's always talking about 'having to go out to work' buta lot of her salary goes on childminding and the rest on a cleaner twice a week, expensive convenience foods and smart clothes for work. She doesn't seem to see these things as luxuries but as essentials that she needs.

Your colleague does seem to have an extremely comfortable lifestyle and I agree with Posy re frittering money away on coffees on lunches. It is very easy to throw away a couple of hundred of quid a month on these things without noticing.

pinkandred Tue 25-Jun-13 11:40:52

YANBU, this used to really annoy me when I was a SAHM. The ones who used to regularly comment on how it was ok for me not having to go to work and how they would love to be a SAHM was always the ones with the brand new 4x4, designer clothes, 3 holidays abroad each year.

They are not people who have to work, they are people who choose to work because they like buying the things they buy.

Its different if you really have to work to put food on the table and pay the bills but quite obviously some people just enjoy working, enjoy money and enjoy moaning about the odd thing they don't have.

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 11:43:00

I used to get annoyed if people said to me Oh it must great eh not having to work I kind of just let it go now but I would get quite upset about it

halcyondays Tue 25-Jun-13 11:51:32


BridgetBidet Tue 25-Jun-13 11:52:28

You don't really know her circumstances and why she has to work though do you? It might be more a matter of her not being able to go part time in her current job and there not really being part time jobs available? Maybe her partner only has contract work and she brings in the steady wage so although they have extra money it's not from a reliable source?

There could be lots of reasons, I wouldn't judge her too much, you don't really know all her circumstances.

fishandmonkey Tue 25-Jun-13 11:58:38

it's boring listening to people complain

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 25-Jun-13 12:00:32

Don't know this woman's circumstances. I work part-time and get this "aren't you lucky you don't have to do this or that" - I just tell them that I get paid less too. That shuts them up.

BridgetBidet Tue 25-Jun-13 12:04:33

Actually having thought about it, is it possible that she can't go part time because they don't want any more part timers in your department? There are loads of reasons why she might not be able to do it.

AMumInScotland Tue 25-Jun-13 12:05:05

It is annoying, but all you can do is say things like "Yes, but we've cut down on practically everything to afford it. It's just about priorities isn't it?" And then point out something like the old car or the cheap holidays and compare with her lifestyle. Lots of people can't see the connection.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 25-Jun-13 12:06:35


mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 12:06:52

Lots of people can't see the connection.

no they cant I think folk think well the husband must earn loads blah blah, people have different priorities and are baffled when others are different and are sometimes rude about it

LessMissAbs Tue 25-Jun-13 12:21:07

Perhaps she is being sarcastic?

Arabesque Tue 25-Jun-13 12:22:00

I do think a lot of people have begun to shift the line between essentials and luxuries - food, clothes, mortgage repayments or rent, heating are all essential. Some money for socialising and in a lot of cases a car are also important.

But foreign holidays, expensive clothes, fancy cars, designer make up, regular takeaways or restaurant meals, state of the art phones and lap tops and i-pad are all luxuries and if you're working to pay for these then you are making a lifestyle choice to work.

You are not in the same position as someone who's working to feed and clothe their family and keep a roof over their heads.

MrsLyman Tue 25-Jun-13 12:27:34

Perhaps she just feels like she needs to pretend that she wants to be at home with her children so that she can fit in with society's norms and expectations.

Perhaps her wages are needed to cover more than just the holiday's, cars etc. How do you know she isn't the largest wage earner in her household?

You sound incredibly judgemental to honest.

Potteresque97 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:28:38

Personally, I think telling someone else how lucky they are is what's really obnoxious, that's why I'd be a bit less likely to talk to her...people have to own their choices, there isn't a perfect option for most people. Maybe she really feels she 'has' to work, it's not fair to tell you how lucky you are.

Pootles2010 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:29:32

Hmm, dunno, depends how much she gets paid? For example, if she brings in 5k every month, she might really need 4k of that, and have 1k 'spare'.

Even if she cut down her luxuries, she wouldn't be able to save 5k every month, if that makes any sense?

chibi Tue 25-Jun-13 12:33:41

to be fair, if you worked full time,maybe you wouldn't have to have less than fab holidays, drive an old car etc

maybe you should consider it? your pension wouldbe better too.

she probably only says these things because there is a stigma against mothers who work full time evenif they don't have too and worse still, dare to enjoy it shock

this thread has plenty of evidence of the above

Arabesque Tue 25-Jun-13 12:33:51

I don't agree MrsLynam. It is the colleague who sounds judgmental, making comments to the OPs face about how lucky she is, when the OP is actually cutting back on all sorts of things to work part time.
No one on here has said this woman shouldn't be working. The OP is just complaining about her making a song and dance about it when she actually has a much more luxurious lifestyle than some of her colleagues.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Tue 25-Jun-13 12:34:47

I know what you mean. People only see a snapshot of anyone else's life and really have no idea of how their finances work. It's a futile discussion to get into. So yanbu to get a bit fed up with it but you would be u to expect her to get it.

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 12:35:31

many working women like to say how lucky women who dont work are I dont think this woman is unusual in her tactlessness

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