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to be puzzled when mums suggest they know what it's like to be a SAHM because they were once on mat leave?

(1000 Posts)
BarkWorseThanBite Fri 14-Feb-14 18:45:50

Two really nice mums - I like them both and we usually sit together at toddler group. However, more than a few times both have seemed to imply they know what's it like to be a SAHM because they took mat leave a couplel of years ago (till their babies were 9 months old).

Isn't that a bit like saying you know what's it like to be a single mum (I'm not) because your husband was away playing golf for a week?

Nothing against working mums at all - but the implication that they know what my life is like is a bit irritating.


ITCouldBeWorse Fri 14-Feb-14 18:47:43

Well,they were sahms for 9 months.

They don't have extended experience perhaps, but I guess they mean they understand some of the pressure and some of the liberties!

I had a job for 9 months, I know what that was like too!

PooroldJumbo Fri 14-Feb-14 18:48:42

I think nine months at home caring for their DC probably does give them an insight into being a SAHM. Why are you irritated? Do you think it's harder than they think?

formerbabe Fri 14-Feb-14 18:49:02


You are a sahm whilst on mat leave.

Why anyone cares is beyond me.

usuallyright Fri 14-Feb-14 18:49:35

it's not half as annoying as wohms who say they do everything a sahm does plus a full days work.
Oh no you fucking don't.

LingDiLong Fri 14-Feb-14 18:50:30

YABU. How long do you have to have done something to say you have experience of it?? 9 months is a pretty long stint. What is it about being a SAHM rather than on maternity leave that is so different and special that they can't possibly grasp it? I say this as someone who's been home with the kids for almost 8 years.

Surely they are just being empathetic - that's a good thing.

I took a year off with DS2 so why don't I know what its like to be a SAHM? How was my experience different? If I wasn't being a SAHM at that point what was I?

I am genuinely confused by your post.

Greenmug Fri 14-Feb-14 18:50:57

Why are you irritated? They did it for 9 months, now they don't, but they DO have their own experiences. I don't understand why it would annoy you, sorry.

fedupandexhausted Fri 14-Feb-14 18:51:13

I think u need a job! Give you something important to worry about

AllBoxedUp Fri 14-Feb-14 18:51:25

I think if you're husband was away for 9 months you might have some insight into what it was like to be a single mum so YABU.

BeaWheesht Fri 14-Feb-14 18:51:38

I really am struggling to have an opinion on this tbh. They were SAHM for 9 months though?

I'm a SAHM btw

usuallyright Fri 14-Feb-14 18:51:43

here they come...

louloutheshamed Fri 14-Feb-14 18:51:58

Well I'm on my second mat leave ATM and i think it's giving me a good idea of what it's like to be a sahm, or am I missing something?? What part of it am I not experiencing? Probably just the long term financial dependence?

ikeaismylocal Fri 14-Feb-14 18:52:09

No. Yabu. It's like saying they know what it's like being a single mum as they were single for 9 months whilst their children lived at home.

I was a sahm for a year after ds was born, there is no minimum time to "qualify" as a sahm.

Can you tell me why you are a sahm and someone with a 8 month old and possibly and older toddler at home isn't a sahm?

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Fri 14-Feb-14 18:53:31

Bearing in mind that a lot of WOHM mothers of more than one child will have taken maternity leave with their younger DCs whilst doing the nursery / school run with the older children. Why is that different from being an SAHM of two/three? genuinely not getting it.

LittleBearPad Fri 14-Feb-14 18:54:21

YABU. I took 16 months off with DD (mat leave and unpaid leave). Was this long enough to consider myself a SAHM. Or can you never go back to work. What's the tipping point.

And usuallyright do jog on dear.

frogslegs35 Fri 14-Feb-14 18:54:43

Yabu - they are a sahm while they're on mat leave - they have a child to look after and stay at home, yes?

I don't and never will understand why all the competition surrounding the sahm/wm and sp/parent who's partner works away.

CrispyFB Fri 14-Feb-14 18:57:31

Having truly been both (I returned to work after DC1, became SAHM 2.5 years later after having DC2 five years ago) there is a huge difference in my mind. Just knowing you're going back changes so much psychologically for starters. And looking after a baby as opposed to a toddler is a very, very different kettle of fish with different demands.

It's a little different if you're on DC2 and on maternity leave and have an older DC around not in daycare perhaps, but even then you know you're going back. I went into depression pretty quickly when I accepted voluntary redundancy whilst on maternity leave with DC2 even though I knew it was the right thing to do. Nothing changed with my day to day life except internally and it is a huge gulf.

If you know you're not going back you make different commitments to things - groups, after school clubs, non-child stuff (PTA, voluntary work, starting a small business, hobbies) - friendships even. Everything has a different perspective.

The day to day stuff might be the same especially if you have an older child but the overall experience is very different and you can't know what it feels like unless you really have quit work.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 14-Feb-14 18:58:05

Um, I spent 18 months at home with children who grew from 0-18 mo and and 2.5-4 yo in that time. Of course I was a SAHM so of course I know what it's like. Of course any person who has spent the better part of a year at home can absolutely claim knowledge of being a SAHP.

If I spent less than a year working in any particular job does that mean it doesn't count and can't go on my CV?

What an odd thread.

Wibblytummy Fri 14-Feb-14 18:58:50

I think it does give them a fairly good insight but that said I can safely say my SAHM life with my baby and my SAHM life now with a toddler are vastly different. There are no breaks of several baby sleeping naps to have a little relax, no easily getting things done or having a conversation with other mums that isn't peppered with my telling my DS to not climb this or eat that.
My days are now ruled by a very small, energetic and noisy dictator who takes a considerable amount if energy to entertain and keep happy.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 14-Feb-14 19:00:24

YABU and it's a slightly pointless thing to be bothered about tbh.

I had 6 months off after ds1 was born, I got a pretty good insight into being a sahm.

iwasyoungonce Fri 14-Feb-14 19:00:40

YABU. It's the same thing. They stayed at home for 9 months to look after the DC, so they know what it is like.

LingDiLong Fri 14-Feb-14 19:00:44

But surely those latter examples are more a case of not knowing what it's like to have a toddler if you only have a baby? Not really to do with SAHP-hood.

Vickiyumyum Fri 14-Feb-14 19:01:19

*it's not half as annoying as wohms who say they do everything a sahm does plus a full days work.
Oh no you fucking don't.*

Oh yes I fucking do! My work fits around school so I work out of home then, then come home do the housework run dc around to clubs etc put them to bed after homework reading etc. then more housework and then work. Emails reports etc. so yes I do do it all and work full time.

Really hate all this wohm v sahm we should just all be supportive of each other instead of this competitive bollocks.

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Fri 14-Feb-14 19:01:41

I agree with Wibbly that being at home with a single small baby is a piece of piss (unless you have an unusually tricky baby) when compared to a baby and toddler/toddler and 4 year old/several children. For some reason it does feel quite difficult at the time though.

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