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To hate the term full time mum

(260 Posts)
Dylanlovesbaez Sat 27-Jul-13 09:32:14

I hate it! Just because I have to go to work does not mean I stop being mum on those days! I am a full time mum and a part time worker.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Mon 29-Jul-13 07:48:53

I think if something makes you feel guilty you really have to examine what that says about you. I used to HATE the term full-time Mum when I left my dd in nursery when she was a baby. I knew it would have been better for her to be with me all of the time. I was then a SAHM for six years, and didn't really notice or care how others described themselves, as I felt happy with my choice. Same now I am back at work - I feel it's the best fit for my family so plain don't care how others run their families, and how they describe themselves.

LadyLech Mon 29-Jul-13 08:37:17

I think the problem defining the term comes from the fact that being a parent at home comes in so many different forms, that most terms usually attempt to describe an aspect of it, so that it may not apply to everyone.

A) Some women stay at home and spend 100% of the time looking after their house and children.

B) Some women spend their time looking after their children, but have cleaners so do no housework.

C) Some women are at home, but their children are at school, so do not really do much childcare (Esp if their children are of secondary age).

D) Some women are at home, but do very little childcare or housework because they have au pairs, cleaners and nannies to help them.

E) Women who are at home, and do some childcare, but not all the time because their children go to preschool, nursery or the crèche on a regular basis. These women may or may not also have cleaners.

F) Women who stay at home during the week, do all the childcare and housework and then work one or two evenings a week in a little part time job when they're children are asleep (friends who do this do consider themselves SAHM) even though they do work. There are also those who have a little job working at home, but keep their children with them.

I am sure there are women who do not fit into any of these categories, but these categories describe some of the very different experiences of women I know who stay at home.

How do you find a word that describes it all? Homemaker doesn't really apply to B, D and sometimes E. Full time parent doesn't apply to C,D, E and sometimes F. SAHM doesn't apply to any of them if the women are out a lot.

The term that seems to cover it all, seems to be 'based at home', given that the main objection to SAHM is the fact that many women are out and about a lot. All women who do not work are based at home - that is their default place, when they're not out at their various activities and it is where they return to during the day. But, this doesn't really work because a) it sounds contrived and b) it doesn't actually say anything about what the woman actually does (which I think is some of the objection to the term SAHM).

However, given all the very different experiences of women who do not work, I do wonder whether it is possible to get a term that covers all those variations and is actually meaningful. Somehow, I doubt it.

In the working world society seems to find no difficulty finding a label for every job no matter how specialised, unique, or esoteric. For example my DH was once a bryozoologist - meaning he studied bryozoans (a creature similar to corals)
So, it's interesting that as a society we seem to have so much difficulty finding a term for mothers raising their own children - something which is arguably truly the worlds oldest profession.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 10:38:49

I don't think it's surprising at all, Juggling.
After all, both parents raise their children whether both, one or neither of them work. As has been discussed at length, parenting and the art of raising children embraces far more than childcare.

Well, I suppose the problem is that parenting or mothering is both a role and an activity or occupation.
Though variable it always involves a considerable input of time, energy, and resources !

scottishmummy Mon 29-Jul-13 19:13:40

I've never felt guilty work ft,though there's occasionally an external expectation of it
You work oh do you have to!..head tilt. Actually,i dont have to,I want to
IMO,mummy guilt is a societal expectation foisted upon mothers.not fathers mind

Wbdn28 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:19:56

When people ask the boring but ubiquitous question "what do you do?" then "full time mum/dad" is a brief answer that gets the message across. If people say "I'm a parent" (without saying "full time") then the judgy ones will say "So what do you actually DO?"

jellybeans Mon 29-Jul-13 23:58:27

It's just a term, nothing offensive. Certainly didn't bother me when I worked full time and used nursery. It is actually used on official forms including my DC birth certificate. I use it sometimes but am a student also so sometimes use that. Even housewife doesn't bother me. I am happy in my role and what people call it doesn't change that or what I actually do.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 30-Jul-13 00:27:14

OP, YANBU, I completely agree - and do find the term pretty offensive. Mostly because it is usually used in relation to women, without working dads being labelled as "part time".

I am a full time mum - I never stop being a mum, the same as I don't stop being a woman. I'm not a full time child carer, though - my children go to school and nursery and their grandparents.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 08:41:41

I try not to over think these terms.
I believe the term "full time mum" has come about because the term "housewife" fell into such poor favour.
Shame really.
Nothing's perfect.
SAHP (IMHO) sounds a little too laboured. But I guess it's a bit more accurate. But it does sound a bit like you'd never go out grin

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