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To be sick of people saying they 'have' to go back to work and that I am 'lucky'

(222 Posts)
Neverenoughcake Fri 28-Jun-13 15:20:32

Sorry this is a bit if a rant but I have to get it off my chest. I've lost count of the number of other Mums I've now met who are complaining about 'having' to go back to work because they can't afford not to, and for them to tell me in the next breath how 'lucky' I am that I haven't had to go back to work.

I am at a loss what to say as I know that for at least 3 of the people who have said this to me lately they have more than 3 nice holidays a year, one has just bought a very expensive new car (there was nothing wrong with her other one) and one always has a new outfit on whenever I see her. I drive a really old car and can't remember the last time I went clothes shopping and have one holiday a year with my family, but thats my choice and i'm happy with it. Don't they get that almost no one has the spare cash just to not go back to work without making some significant changes/sacrifices and it isn't down to luck?? I honestly don't care if people choose to return to work or not, totally up to them and so please don't turn this into a stay at home vs working parent debate! I just really wish people would be honest and say I want to go back to work so I can maintain my current lifestyle, that is just fine. Please help, I want to know what to say to these people when they complain they hate their jobs but have to go and that it's alright for me I'm so lucky. Don't want to be rude to them but I'm getting fed up with hearing the moaning!

Shitsinger Mon 01-Jul-13 22:17:35

Quite honestly ?
I don't think anyone is that interested inyour life that they "will think of the sacrifice" someone else has made.
If it is a choice why is it a sacrifice ?
I make a decision and I get on with it .

HomageToCannelloni Mon 01-Jul-13 20:07:05

Thanks chips. Was worried I'd tone off on one too much. smile

ilovechips Mon 01-Jul-13 16:32:32

Homage - well said.

HomageToCannelloni Mon 01-Jul-13 14:48:55

Oh and we may not be so happy with our choices when we hit 60, but heck, we might never get to 60.

HomageToCannelloni Mon 01-Jul-13 14:46:33

Op, am in your position' and whilst I understand what you are saying, I think sometimes perhaps it is the lack of recognition that you ARE making a sacrifice that grates more than people feeling you are lucky. Ask a working Mum what her job is and your reply comes back with some type of worthwhile status well as the trappings of having a good haircut, dressing well and talking about holidays. Ask a sahm what she does....well, most of us know the response to the reply Housewife.
I have absolutely no regrets about the choice we made. I hate not having new clothes and no holidays perhaps 10 days out of 365, the rest of the time I FEEL lucky. Lucky that DH could earn more than I so I could make this choice, lucky that he is totally bought into this choice and I don't get badgered to go back to work, lucky that we had cleared our debts before having kids, and lucky that his wage alone is enough, just, for us to get by.
Now we did plan carefully to get to that stage, but 'life' could just have easily made things very different. Our contraception could have failed and i fallen pregnant before the debts were cleared, or DH could have been made redundant and had to take a lower paid job, or I could have married someone who seemed lovely and then turned into a pillock once the kids arrived and changed his stance.
I think luck plays a part, and I for one am very grateful that thus far it's clouded with me enough for me to do what I wanted.
Do wish I could get some Kudos for being a housefrau still though! grin

stepawayfromthescreen Mon 01-Jul-13 13:54:48

gosh, Louisiana is pretty angry about something!

wordfactory Mon 01-Jul-13 13:49:56

Sometimes it looks as if people are working for luxuries, when actually they are working for the basics ie one salary won't cover them...but the two wages provide luxuries.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 13:39:45

£12k I meant. Doh.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 13:39:06


I don't think the OP was aimed at single people so obviously the situation changes if you are a single parent.

Sorry but everyone has a choice. They may be limited but the choice is there none-the-less. If someone wants to stay at home during the day then it's possible to get an evening job and end up roughly the same financially. If any of that £12 goes toward childcare then working in the evening may be more lucrative.

There are always options. It just depends on how open you are to them.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 01-Jul-13 10:54:49

Techno tropic is NOT always possible for mum to stay at home. How single minded.

Single mums can't. A friend of mine and her oh both work full time and earn £12k each. £12k wouldn't be enough to keep her family of four.

Some people don't have the option at all. It's one thing cutting back on luxuries, completely another if it meant doing away with necessities.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 10:39:44

I get you OP. We used to hear that a lot and it would irritate us. I feel sorry for those that think they don't have a choice because everyone has a choice. Denying that you have a choice is a cop out as it removes all power you have to decide for yourself.

Although I would say that 10+ years ago it was easier to make the choice. We chose to be poor so that one of us was at home wiht the kids. Others chose not to give up the 'lifestyle'. Nowadays though house prices are so high it is difficult to buy a house and maintain it on a single salary. It's possible but not everyone wants to make those kids of sacrifices.

maternitart Mon 01-Jul-13 09:29:04

So some people on this thread would rather leech off family than go to work? You might be lucky but I feel sorry for your relatives!

Is it really so hard to conceive that sometimes, when not working at all is not financially viable, that working may bring in more £ than is needed to cover the bare minimum?

I'm lucky that my employer will consider part time work for me, but for many that's not the case. If I had to go back full time we would have an extra £500 or so a month, which would buy us iPads, new clothes etc if that's what we wanted to spend it on.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:22:23

Agree with Cory too.

Undoubtedly a lot of what everyone says to everyone daily is just 'noise'.

Ever said to someone 'Hi! Everything OK?' as you pass them on the stairs at work? I did this last week to someone I see infrequently and she actually turned around and said 'No, not really'.
Awkward. I don't really give a shit almost-stranger, just smile, say yes, and we'll be on our way.

Nishky Mon 01-Jul-13 09:22:03

Faster I agree, I am always a little bemused by the claim that only SAHM's are raising their children.

That's what we are all doing

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:17:58

You ARE lucky op. You are lucky that you happened to meet a dp that earns enough to support you in your choice to not work.

For others who maybe don't have that choice but wish they did, you are 'lucky'.

cory Mon 01-Jul-13 09:11:46

While I don't think Louisiana is right in her general valuation of SAHP's contribution, I do think she has a point when she says people are just making a noise.

Most of what people say is just that: a noise made to cover gaps in the conversation. And for some reason, saying "you are lucky" is perceived as a kind of compliment.

ffs, when dd was in a wheelchair, people would pass her on the school run and tell her how lucky she was not to have to walk. If we had assumed any kind of thought behind that particular noise, it would have been bloody offensive. Dd assumed it was a noise and smiled pleasantly.

HiggsBoson Mon 01-Jul-13 08:56:15

OP you are very fortunate. I would love to wake up every day and not spend it worrying about bringing in enough money to survive.

You really have no idea.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Jul-13 08:24:32

the role of raising your dc but Louisiana is raising her children whether she is at work or not.

most men are not SAHP but they are still raising their own children and working.

why only this talk for women?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jul-13 00:19:04


I'm not surprised it feels like a nightmare if you devalue the role of raising your dc that much.
Some of us are happy doing this and find it a very valuable thing to do. it's far more valuable to do this than work for somebody else, I just couldn't do that for all the money.
So you see, its each to their own.
To belittle others choices is nasty though and imo and others here sounds bitter and jealous

JackNoneReacher Sun 30-Jun-13 20:31:34

Louisiana you sound like the kind of vile woman who likes to put other women down and attempt to devalue their choices.

Being a SAHM may not be for your family but to say that such a role is not a significant contribution is incorrect and makes me wonder if you are bitter or just unpleasant.

Many families pay much more than a 'significant contribution' of their household income to nurseries/nannies during the early years so presumably value, enormously the person/people caring for their young children. Who wouldn't..?

The OP hasn't judged or criticised anyone, just got a bit annoyed with people judging and commenting on her situation.

If its such a nightmare for you why don't you get back to work now? I'm sure your children would be relieved.

louisianablue2000 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:40:14

He he. Nooka is right of course. Quite pleased with the contrast to the post above mine. I do find it amusing that these kind of threads are always started by a SAHP who is sooooooooo fufilled by their homelife they have to start threads on MN criticizing those of us who have taken a different decision.

Interestingly I'm currently on maternity leave with DC3 and taking longer off than I did with the first two so I can cover the school holidays but boy am I desperate to return to work so no morethan I'm definitely not jealous, I'm currently 'living the dream' and where I'm sitting it feels like a nightmare of Sisyphus proportions.

Mapal Sat 29-Jun-13 19:09:11

No SAHM has ever told me that I am lucky to be going back to work.

chocoluvva Sat 29-Jun-13 19:02:48

"Make the decision that suits your family best and then stop whining about the consequences"

Well said. That's it in a nutshell.

Bakingtins Sat 29-Jun-13 18:49:29

I get it the other way around. I work part-time. We could cope without my salary but it would mean less going into savings, fewer holidays, no cushion if DH made redundant. Besides I mostly enjoy my job and trained a long time to get where I am now.
I have a friend who has been a SAHM for the last 7 yrs and is constantly comparing their standard of living with the rest of our group of 6 other couples. Her DH only works 4 days, she does one morning. In every other family the couple are working somewhere between 1.5 and 2 full time jobs. She seems incapable of making the connection. Either decision WOHP/SAHP is fine, but unless one partner is spectacularly well paid you can't have it both ways. Make the decision that suits your family best and then stop whining about the consequences!

Shitsinger Sat 29-Jun-13 18:18:57

Nooka I agree and am very happy that I don't have to negotiate all this angst at "what other people say"
I don't remember any of this when mine were small or maybe I was oblivious grin

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