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to be annoyed with my friend for saying i set a bad example?

(140 Posts)
QueenofKelsingra Thu 23-Jan-14 11:53:41

Backstory: I went to uni, got a job, got married, got pregnant and left work to have DS1. I did not return to work after DS1, (now a pre-schooler), and now have DTs, (toddlers). I'm 29. DH earns good money at his job, with budgeting we can manage well on his salary alone - for example we 'own brand' shop but don't need to 'value' shop IYSWIM?

DH and I are both products of SAHM families, as adults we appreciate the importance of that and both of us decided that as long as we were financially able to do so, I would be a SAHM for our children. A present there are no plans for me to return to paid employment even when the kids are in school.

I do all the cleaning, shopping, washing, ironing, cooking, housework in general etc. I'm in charge of all our financial incomings and outgoings, savings etc. DH works 11 hour days but is very hands one when home, does bathtime/bedtime etc. at the weekends we both get some 'down time' to do our own hobbies.

DH and I are both 100% on the same page about all of this, we are very happy with this arrangement.

My 'friend' who I have been friends with since school, has now told me that I set a bad example to my children. apparently I am teaching my DSs that their future wives must be a 'domestic slave' (her words) and teaching my DD that she should aspire to be a 'lady that lunches' (again her words)

I actually had to leave and cried all the way home. I just feel so belittled by her comments, like me and DH choosing for me to be at home is some awful crime!

AIBU to be royally pissed off and considering dropping her as a friend? She is single with no children and a real career woman if that matters. I would never tell a working mother that she was 'wrong' for choosing that way, why is ok to do it to me?

MajesticWhine Thu 23-Jan-14 11:57:24

She might think this, but she should have more respect for your choice and keep her opinion to herself. I suspect she is just trying to make herself feel superior, or perhaps she is a bit jealous.

itsnotthateasy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:03

Pah ignore her . YANBU .. You both sound like you are getting along in life just fine. Enjoy your life with your DH and DCs . .
Her choice is obviously a career, well good for her , but its HER choice. Your choice is yours ..

My Mum was a SAHM for many years until I was about 11 or 12 . . Im glad she was , I appreciate it now Im older that she was there when I got home from school daily through the formative years .

Mim78 Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:06

She shouldn't poke her nose in, particularly as she has never faced the decision herself.

However, this thread could go wrong because in giving the reasons why you have chosen to SAHM, some people will take this as judging working mums.

Sounds like you and your husband are fine and happy with your decision though so I wouldn't worry what she thinks.

Topseyt Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:50

It is none of her business. She has no experience of having or bringing up children, nor of the expense of childcare (the reason some of us were even unable to return to work).

Tell her to piss off, or better still just cold-shoulder her from now on and don't engage with her again. If she asks why then tell her straight.

You and your family are happy with the arrangement, and it works for you. That is all there is to it. Your business, and no-one else's.

Whatisaweekend Thu 23-Jan-14 12:00:37

"I would never tell a working mother that she was 'wrong' for choosing that way, why is it ok to do it to me?"

^ this.

You are happy with your arrangement and it works well for you and your family. It's none of her business. She doesn't sound very pleasant tbh. Is she nice in other ways? If not, I would tell her how she has hurt you and drop her. Life is too short.

NatashaBee Thu 23-Jan-14 12:00:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flexiblefriend Thu 23-Jan-14 12:00:58

YANBU. Your "friend" sounds like a complete cow. You are showing your DC's an example of a family set up that works for you all. How can that be wrong. I say that as a working Mum.

queenmools Thu 23-Jan-14 12:01:07

Your friend is rude. You are not setting a bad example at all, you worked out of the home and now you work very hard in the home. You are not a slave, your husband does his share in the time that he has at home. This has made me cross on your behalf. Ignore your friend.

Quinteszilla Thu 23-Jan-14 12:03:32

Your choice. Your life. A good and caring mum can never set a bad example to her children!

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 23-Jan-14 12:03:39

She's not your friend, because if she were she would disagree with your choices without resorting to such unpleasant language. And she needs a crash course in feminism to boot.

Looking after a home and family is work, in my book, and very valuable work. I get very annoyed with people who belittle that as an activity and as a choice (is it because it is traditionally women's work that people dismiss it so readily?) I also think it is very wrong only to ascribe worth or value to people/life choices if they involve paid work, which seems to be what your friend is doing.

And I say all that as a working mother.

If your children are brought up to respect and value you and not treat you as some kind of drudge, if they see you and your DH as equal partners who have personal autonomy and an equal share of authority within the family, then they are not likely to see you as either slave or frivolous lady who lunches.

Do remember though, that when people are unkind like this it is more often about defending or acting out about their own choices and situation than it is about anything you are doing.

SomethingkindaOod Thu 23-Jan-14 12:04:57

SAHM's are an easy target for a lot of people unfortunately because from the outside looking in it probably does look like we're 'domestic slaves', not contributing etc (I work from home providing before and after school care).
I do the majority of the housework and childcare because DH works long hours and works away frequently, the older DC's have their own jobs to do and will be fully capable of running their own house when they move out, that's both DD and DS btw. Their toddler sister will be the same.
As for lady who lunches, utter bollocks, most days I'm lucky to get a bloody lunch... after MNetting
YANBU, your 'friend' has no idea about your life.

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:06:03

Yanbu op feminism is about equality and having choices. Dp's mum was a sahp she taught all the kids equally how to be do all the domestic and DIY chores. Your kids will.chose how they.want based on themselves and their dp's.

My dp and I.both work full.time and he's the more domestic out of us both. Dm was also sahm as is one dsis but myself and the others and dbro were always career minded. We split chores with our dp's.

Floggingmolly Thu 23-Jan-14 12:07:13

She's single with no children. And she's probably as jealous as a rat...

SparklingMuppet Thu 23-Jan-14 12:07:36

She's not your friend, really, she isn't. Reign back on contact and find nicer people to hang out with. I wouldn't tolerate that level of dismissal and unkindness from a friend in a million years.

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:08:23

Forgot to ask op-ed how did this come up? Were you debating, di'd she just start ranting...?

LayMeDown Thu 23-Jan-14 12:09:56

My mother said something similiar to me. I was a SAHM with an almost identical set up as you for 6 years but after my third was born I decided to go back part time. I mentioned it to my parents when we were still in the considering it stage and my mum said 'yes it'll be a better example for DD and for the boys if you work'. I was really annoyed. I told her I thought I was a very good example anyway regardless of whether I worked outside the home or not.
I think some people regard working in the home as less valuable. These people ironically regard themselves as feminists, yet devalue work done by other women if it is not paid.
I went back to work because I needed to. I was struggling being at home with three kids. It was too hard and unrelenting. If it gives you satisfaction and you are financially secure (during my SAHM years all savings were in my name) than you don't need to explain yourself to anyone. If you want to give her another chance to apologise then tell her that her comments were hurtful to you. But she may not get it.

Davsmum Thu 23-Jan-14 12:11:36


I have many friends who would love to be doing it the way you are. I hate this idea that women are 'supposed' to work even when their children are little. Wanting to be a SAHM is perfectly ok!

Why would you go against what you want to do just to set an example that someone else has decided is the right one?
You are setting a good example by valuing your children!

ButEmilylovedhim Thu 23-Jan-14 12:11:53

And how can you be both 'a domestic slave' and a 'lady who lunches'? What is she on about?!? Maybe she would love to give up paid work but doesn't see that she will ever be able to. If you're resentful of something, it's easier to add some judgement in rather than just admit to yourself, ' I'd quite like what you've got'. Less painful to the self IYSWIM.

HowlingTrap Thu 23-Jan-14 12:12:29

I'd have struggled not to slap her tbh, i know thats not helpful.

very very rude, when did raising your children become a bad thing?

surely your dh being a hands on dad sets a good example aswell, if you were a pandering wife to a lazy chauvinist then you might have a point , but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 12:12:56

being a single woman with a career doesn;t = jealous as a rat.

I was and I was never one teensy tiny bit jealous of friends or family who had children until I wanted one - its a bizarre assumption to make!

But its irrelevant what she thinks - she gets to do what she wants, you get to do what you want, everyone happy. Raising your children to believe that they need to support their family is important but how they do that is really down to what works from them.

But the good old Mumsnet come back would seem appropriate here "Did you mean that to be as offensive as it sounded?".

MrsCosmopilite Thu 23-Jan-14 12:13:38

It sounds as though the agreement you have with your husband is acceptable by both of you, and neither of you have a problem with it.

Therefore your friend is BU, and it's really none of her business what you do with regard to chores etc.

LoonvanBoon Thu 23-Jan-14 12:13:44

Of course YANBU, & you don't need to justify your choice to be a SAHM to your friend or anybody else.

TBH I think you can probably do without friends like that. She's entitled to her opinions, I suppose, but it's just bloody rude & offensive to say the things she said to you.

Did you tell her to mind her own business? I hope I would have done in that situation, but perhaps I'd have been too shocked. Please don't let her make you feel bad about yourself or your choices - they work for your family & are sod all to do with her, or anyone else.

Trooperslane Thu 23-Jan-14 12:13:59

Cheeky cow. It works for your family and you are definitely not setting a bad example and neither is your DH.


Iwannalaylikethisforever Thu 23-Jan-14 12:14:26

Your friend has no children so has no experience of your situation. Ignore her. When people makes these remarks to me, it happens sometimes, I delight to saying I'm so lucky I don't need to work, my dh earns enough thanks.

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