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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.

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

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.

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.

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?"

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

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 !

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.

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.

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.

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.

martini84 Mon 29-Jul-13 07:40:43

Actuaalt the only person i know who used the term full time mum was a wohm mum .

martini84 Mon 29-Jul-13 07:37:32

Actuaalt the only person i know who used the term full time mum was a wohm mum .

Poppy4453 Mon 29-Jul-13 07:26:39

I'm a SAHM, it difficult to know what to call myself really.

Housewife sounds so 50's.
SAHM a bit odd.
Full time mum not so sure about that.
I don't work sounds unemployed and lazy.

someone said "oh your just a mum" to me the other day. I gasped!

Is there a title which says I had a really good job now I have the luxuary of not working and enjoying my children?

mrsfrumble Mon 29-Jul-13 07:11:31

I say I'm on a career break. And as I always have my two very small children with me it's obvious why.

I think it's hard for many SAHPs to find a descriptive term they feel comfortable with. Most will have worked before having children and will be used to having a job title they could define themselves by, and as this thread proves people have wildly differing opinions on what SAHP / housewife / homemaker / whatever actually involves. So while I can understand the problem with 'full time parent', I wouldn't automatically assume that it was being used to imply superiority, more likely someone just struggling to give a name to what they do all day.

I had to tick 'homemaker' (I'm in the US) on an insurance application for the first time last week. It made laugh and cringe at the same time, with its suggestion of pinny-wearing 1950s domestic perfection; so far from the state of chaos that reigns in our home.

Pitmountainpony Mon 29-Jul-13 05:10:25

Stay away. Of course not. I will become a working mother then if I am lucky enough to find work.

I think it is up to people how they define themselves and if you are so easily offended by someone,s self description , well that is a problem for you.

I used to work full time and now I work full time caring for my children.what are the choices.
Stay at home mum
Full time mum
All short hand for saying you are caring for you child in lieu of a full time job. Since everyone is so obsessed by what people,do it is just a quick way of saying you are currently not working outside the home , just at home and with your kids.

It is very complicating to draw out from this that this means a working parent is a part time parent. I have never heard anyone say this unless itbis an insult. If you take an insult from someone stating they care for their child every day, rather than pay others to do so , through choice or necessity, then frankly you are choosing to be offended and also being a little dogmatic and domineering in how you think others should describe their current role in life.

TheYamiOfYawn Sun 28-Jul-13 22:34:17

If anyone asks, I say I am a SAHP because it seems to be the generally accepted term, but before I knew that some people found it offensive, I used to call myself a full time mum. It was in no way intended as a criticism of other mothers who worked outside the home, but as a description of what I did during the 40 hours a week when I would have been working in my old job.

I really wish that there was a word that meant the childcare aspect of parenthood, rather than the relationship and care side of things, which are full-time for all involved parents.

In my case, I was made redundant when I was pregnant, and I couldn't afford to go work.

martini84 Sun 28-Jul-13 22:22:17

Wonder why women get worked up about these things. A man defines themself by their job or career generally. I don't think a man would be offended by the phrase full time dad.
I have never used the phrase full time mum but I do not think those that do mean it as a slur on working mums. Both sahm and working mothers can be good or bad parents. It down to the individuals.
Icsahm at the moment and that doesn't make me a better parent than a wohm.
It also does not make me lazy or workshy thamk you.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Jul-13 22:19:52

In my experience,yes the mother superiors do use fulltiime mum as a dig
i see on thread some concur.not unlike outsource etc all those terms are same ilk
It's not a biggie,nor is it particularly original.

"to obviously try put boot in"

I really don't think it is used like that sm - not by most people anyway

scottishmummy Sun 28-Jul-13 22:04:31

I've never introduced myself or anyone else as comes up but not as opener
if it social do will mention job,a skill (great baker),or some such to keep conversation going
Full time mum is a term of choice for mother superiors,to obviously try put boot in

TantrumsAndBalloons Sun 28-Jul-13 21:56:51

I have been a parent for 15 years.
I have never once, in all that time felt the need to specify that I am a parent, full time or otherwise.

I have a job. I have 3 children.
That is it.

I very much doubt my DH has ever had to explain that he is a full time worker and a full time father either.

I just don't get it.

If you choose to stay at home with your children and you enjoy it then good for you. Describe yourself however you wish, whatever you feel comfortable with.

Someone describing themselves as a full time mum doesn't mean they think they are a better parent, or somehow they are trying to put me down.
It means they have made different choices to me.

That's ok, you know. Even on Mumsnet that's ok.

It doesn't mean I am a part time parent. It means I have 3 children who I look after, feed, clothe, love, just like every other parent. The amount of time I spend doing that is irelevant. There are no prizes for spending the most amount of time with your child. It is just what we, as individuals choose to do.

Being a parent is not something you can do on a part time basis. You can't say ok ill love them for 25 hours a week, and then ill have some time off.
It's not a job. It's being a parent. You don't forget you have children if you go to work, or go to the gym, or send them to grandma for the weekend.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 28-Jul-13 21:29:39


I agree totally.
On here I would say I'm a sahm because its the shortest nearest answer that people can relate to, but there are many different roles I choose within this including but not only Wife, cook, cleaner, H.educator, unpaid assistant, etc. I hardly ever stay at home, too grin
Maybe parents who woh find it easier to define themselves i.e job title and mum to dc.

peteypiranha Sun 28-Jul-13 21:21:10

I say I work full time and I have got 2 kids and if I didnt work I would say I look after the kids.

peteypiranha Sun 28-Jul-13 21:19:27

I work full time and Im a full time mum. I would never call myself that though as think its a ridiculous term.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 28-Jul-13 21:16:00

It must upset mothers who work full time when they hear im a full time mum musnt it?id be hurt and i think we get enough guilt trips as mums.aww but being a mum is the best x

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