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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.

Ahardyfool Sat 27-Jul-13 10:37:28

I detest being a working parent. I also detest being a SAHP.

Situation A is such hard work and feels like a constant guilt trip as I inevitably have to miss lots of school bits and bobs. Across 4 children, I just cannot get to everything. There are not enough hours in the day to do my job as well as I'd like or parent and organise the home as well as I'd like.

Situation B is sometimes a little lonely, often a little tedious, and I am awful at creating my own structure to the day so it all goes pear shaped. I also found the 2 hour slots of time (as it seems to go between school and nursery runs, etc.) impossible to achieve anything in.

I'm happier working, marginally better off financially, constantly guilt ridden, permanently exhausted.

NoComet Sat 27-Jul-13 10:38:38

If you don't want to say housewife/ or <vom> homemaker there isn't a easy answer to "What do you do", certainly not once your DCs are at school.

SAHM works fine here, but it's a mouthful in RL.

'I'm just a mum' is both personally demeaning (I'm not just a mum, I'm a person who has a degree, interests and dreams beyond just being mum) and demeaning to mums in general.

I honestly can't remember what I answered last time someone asked what I did, but I know I felt belittled and very uncomfortable even though the person asking was lovely and old enough I wouldn't be suprised if his wife had been a SAHM for fora good while too.

TheMagicKeyCanFuckOff Sat 27-Jul-13 10:39:43

A word of warning about Flobbadobs idea. I once did something like this. Only I forget myself and absentmindedly said what I had been thinking to the person who was talking. BAD moment.

NeedSomeSun142 Sat 27-Jul-13 10:40:57

thats my opinion, no goading it actually happens where I live

Flobbadobs Sat 27-Jul-13 10:42:16

Yep, thats laziness! However, do they get down time at all? You see a snapshot of their lives, not the overall picture. If you saw me at 9.10 on a schoolday you would think I was lazy too, however...
Like your OH mine works long hours. His job involves a hell of a lot of socialising/client schmoozing so late hours or overnight jobbies to go with it. I am 'on duty' 24/7 a hell of a lot with no downtime whatsoever unless I arrange a babysitter.
Are you getting it yet? So e parents can be lazy, some can be bloody dedicated, no matter where they spend the day!

Flobbadobs Sat 27-Jul-13 10:43:02

themagickey oops!! grin

PearlyWhites Sat 27-Jul-13 10:46:12

Dylan of course teachers are being paid to be the parent, they are in loco parentis ie taking on roles and responsibility of a parent as do nurseries.

VinegarDrinker Sat 27-Jul-13 10:49:06

I have some sympathy with parents of babies/preschoolers who do all the childcare 24/7 describing themselves as FTMs. Imho the monotony and slog of doing that constantly deserves its own title!

However getting into semantics as PPs have said, there are so many flaws in it as a term that it's ridiculous. Firstly any SAHPs that use any childcare/preschool - nope, not a FTM. Anyone with family help - nope, not a FTM. Anyone whose kids are at school - nope, not a FTM. Working fathers - part time parents, obviously. How about parents who work night shifts? Tricky!

It's all nonsense really.

NeedSomeSun142 Sat 27-Jul-13 10:49:06

but your not 'on duty' if your children are at school, fair enough if you have children under school age, childcare is bloody expensive granted. What do you do if your at home until pick up time? no goading actual question because I think for ME it would be quite tedious and boring unless I had other friends in similar situation

treaclesoda Sat 27-Jul-13 10:52:11

I am currently a sahm, we made that decision as a family and are fortunate to have had the choice. As an aside, I have elderly parents and spend a lot of my time helping them whilst the dc are at school. But then, I was once told on mumsnet when I mentioned this that I was part of the problem in this country, sense of entitlement etc, I should be out paying taxes and paying my way (I'm not entitled to any benefits beyond child benefit) which baffled me as the amount I would pay in income tax if I were working would be a drop in the ocean compared to what it would cost the state to provide care to my parents that I currently provide myself, for free.

The whole balance of working/not working is far more complicated than the Daily Mail etc like to imply.

PearlyWhites Sat 27-Jul-13 10:52:24

Clean, iron, cook from scratch eBay things to make extra money so evenings and weekends can be quality family time.

NeedSomeSun142 Sat 27-Jul-13 10:53:40

pearly - I do that and work

PearlyWhites Sat 27-Jul-13 10:53:48

Although currently my two youngest are under three.

PearlyWhites Sat 27-Jul-13 10:55:14

Need some but if you work you are doing those things at a time you could be spending quality time with your dc.

diddl Sat 27-Jul-13 10:55:53

Teachers are paid to teach, surely??

"In loco parentis" in this case surely means that there is also a duty of care-necessary supervision etc.

themaltesefalcon Sat 27-Jul-13 11:00:19

I can't get worked up about it. Nor about my friend who is always mummytorosie (name changed to protect the twee). For God's sake, woman, you won a Gold medal at law school, studied at Harvard and played cricket to a professional level! There is so much more to you than "mummy", yet that's how you see yourself exclusively now.

OK, I lie, I can get slightly worked up about it.

I think labour in the home SHOULD be renumerated fairly (by whom? Ha... there's a question) and recognised as work, then then pfft, all these boring threads would disappear.

NeedSomeSun142 Sat 27-Jul-13 11:00:52

we do have quality time maybe not as much as others but unless I left my house in a shit tip and gave them microwave meals this is how it has to be

VinegarDrinker Sat 27-Jul-13 11:00:53

Actually my DS loves to spend "quality time" cooking and cleaning with me. On the days he is less keen it gets done when he is in bed. Although actually the term quality time makes me want to vom, I am a huge believer in benign neglect.

Tryharder Sat 27-Jul-13 11:02:41


I see a lot of self congratulatory, smug Facebook updates from relatives about doing a 'real job' ie. being a SAHM.

I just think oh fuck off.

The main culprit has 3 children with 3 different men from short relationships and is under social services supervision.

Being a SAHM or WOHM has fuck all to do with how good a parent you are.

NameThatTuna Sat 27-Jul-13 11:05:13

I work and share custody with my ex - not quite 50/50 but she see's him a lot.

What does that make me? A part time mum? angry


Ahardyfool Sat 27-Jul-13 11:07:32

I disagree about not being 'on duty' whilst children are at school or being looked after.

Being a parent is an overarching responsibility that doesn't go away.

What working parent has not at some point done any of the following at work:

Worried about their DC
Paid for school dinners on the work computer
Telephoned or been called to discuss child related matters
Booked, cancelled, organised, etc. appointments for their children
Completed school paperwork
Planned out every minute from when you leave the building until kids are in bed...running through multiple school/childcare runs, squeezing in ballet, cubs, swimming and a play date
Stressed about having run out of fish fingers for said playdate.
Taken 'lunch' to go to a school event
Negotiated with manager or colleagues in order to get to parent evenings, sports day
Worried about how to make 20 odd days of 'holiday' cover Easter, Summer and Xmas breaks along with Half Term
Had to rescue via telephone the child that has missed the bus
And so on...

Some parents - often dads - do not do any of the above whilst at work. Men would often not get away with it. Women, are often grudgingly tolerated with their demand for greater flexibility and understanding.

And so, women continue (in general) to struggle to make all situations work.

I hate to say it, but I would say that in general a male working parent is likely to be a more of a part time parent than, for example, a singlefemale parent.

If I am correct in that assumption - barring obvious exceptions such as single fathers, or fathers that can and do combine work with the sorts of things on my list - then this would indicate to me that the crux of the issue here is still a feminist one. A man is more likely to be congratulated (often by women) for either 'tolerating' a SAH existence or for attempting to combine the roles of parent and employee.

It's bloody difficult for anyone, but for women it is even more thankless than for men whichever way you play it. Work or Home or Both.

It's about time parenting in general lost all the gender assumption and bias.

Jinsei Sat 27-Jul-13 11:08:59

Hmmm...I can see why it upsets you but as the other posters say, by paying someone else to care for your child you are therefore not a full time parent

Since when has parenting been purely about childcare? confused

I would not dream of suggesting that a SAHM was any less of a parent because they don't help to put food on the table or keep a roof over their children's heads etc. And yet these are surely very important parental responsibilities. hmm

Ahardyfool Sat 27-Jul-13 11:11:42

Oh, and when I say about parenting losing gender bias, etc. I mean for the improvement of all. Men, women and children.

NameThatTuna Sat 27-Jul-13 11:13:18

Hmmm...I can see why it upsets you but as the other posters say, by paying someone else to care for your child you are therefore not a full time parent

I missed that comment

Wouldn't it be just lovely to be able to afford to be a SAHM, (not slating SAHM's)

Insensitive comment! Makes me feel even more guilty than I do having to get my DD up at 6am so I can go to work. I have bills to pay!

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 27-Jul-13 11:17:02

Problem is, there's no great term to describe being a SAHM really. And no-one I know in RL would refer to themselves as such.

I just say 'I don't work'. But I don't tend to care much what people think of me and my lazy ways wink

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