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to think working parents don't 'do all the things SAHPs do plus work'?

(604 Posts)
Sampanther Sat 19-Apr-14 15:12:15

I've heard this response an awful lot, particularly to that awful 'being a SAHM is the hardest job in the world' advert. I have worked outside the home and been a SAHM and I do not feel that working meant I did all the parenting plus work on top. For example, as a SAHM parent I'd deal with squabbling, tantrums, discipline, naps, take them to parks/soft play etc and help them to play nicely with other children, cook with them, do painting and play doh and so on.

As a working parent I had an hour of getting them ready in the morning, dropped them off at childcare, then an hour of winding them down and putting them to bed at night. I could eat and go to the toilet in peace during the day, the house was tidy and needed little cleaning as we were rarely in it and I had very little to do with discipline etc.

I'm not trying to say working parents don't parent, because obviously they do but AIBU to think parents who work fulltime don't 'work and do all the parenting as well'? I don't get why working mums respond that way and think they're right but if a working husband came home and said to his stay at home wife that he does just as much parenting as her then I'm sure mumsnet would not agree.

womblesofwestminster Sat 19-Apr-14 15:13:52

YANBU. It's a self-pacifying technique utilised by working parents. I might use it myself when I go back to uni in October.

gordyslovesheep Sat 19-Apr-14 15:15:43

well I work and you just described my day today!

TheNewSofa Sat 19-Apr-14 15:16:32


hercules1 Sat 19-Apr-14 15:16:35

I think the argument is about the amount of work rather than parenting. Never seen anyone claim to "parent" as much as a sahp but I've never seem anyone actually say what work a sahp does that a wohp doesn't do bar a bit more of a tidy up in the day.

womblesofwestminster Sat 19-Apr-14 15:17:17

gordyslovesheep were you at work today?

shrunkenhead Sat 19-Apr-14 15:17:49

YANBU, it's true.

womblesofwestminster Sat 19-Apr-14 15:18:20

I think the argument is about the amount of work rather than parenting

I think you're right. SAHMs do more parenting than WOHMs.

3DcAndMe Sat 19-Apr-14 15:18:46

I work 3 days and am at home 4

What does this make me?

rollonthesummer Sat 19-Apr-14 15:19:02

I think that when parents (that don't have paid employment) with children at school are asked what they do all day and reply: washing up, cleaning, laundry, dealing with paperwork, ironing, lunchboxes, changing beds, emptying beds etc, that's when parents that do work outside the home state that they still have to do all those things when they get home from work.

Having small children at home is a very different matter.

Doesn't it depend on the age of the child? If you have a toddler then the roles (SAHP / WOHP) are different. If you have school age children then arguably a WOHP does do everything that the SAHP does plus work.

But then again a SAHP of a school age severely disabled child probably does a hell of a lot more than either of the parents above.

It's not a competition.

Flossiechops Sat 19-Apr-14 15:19:29


womblesofwestminster Sat 19-Apr-14 15:19:40

3DcAndMe A part-timer?

Mrswellyboot Sat 19-Apr-14 15:19:52

I think it's reasonable to say Sahp do more parenting hours. That's fairly obvious but does it matter.

If you choose to be working or stay at home parent, so be it. Is a personal choice.

TantrumsAndBalloons Sat 19-Apr-14 15:21:19

Exactly what roll on said

When I had toddlers, I didn't do what a SAHM of toddlers does all day plus work.

But I do however do what a SAHM with school age DCs does, plus work I think.

gordyslovesheep Sat 19-Apr-14 15:21:43

no - I have baked, painted, played with Playdoh, resolved 6868899 fights, told them to be nice to each other, dressed and fed them ...

I do it every morning and for 5 hours every evening plus all weekend

so YANBU in that you do it for a bit longer but we all do it grin

cunexttuesonline Sat 19-Apr-14 15:23:28

Nobody apart from the parent can be 'parenting' though can they? Other than that, you are right, if you are at work full time in an 8-5 type role you are not doing the play dough etc, someone else is doing that with your child. Lots of people out there will be working flexibly, sharing childcare with their partners, working shift work etc and those people could probably argue that they do all the same things as a SAHM and work as well.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 19-Apr-14 15:23:31

It depends what roles and responsibilities you are given or take for either job.
I know some sahp's who are active and some who watch Jeremy Kyle etc.
I know some wohp who work a few hours, others that work 40 hours.
Does it matter?

Bonkerz Sat 19-Apr-14 15:25:12

I do both because I work from home looking after other peoples children as well as my own so I am a working parent and a sahm!

hercules1 Sat 19-Apr-14 15:26:15

To be honest though op, wohms do nearly all what sahps do and work. That's my experience anyway.

Goblinchild Sat 19-Apr-14 15:26:32

It's the ridiculous, competitive and guilt-redden judgements of each other that need to stop. What's the point in constantly measuring your parenting choices against someone else's?
It's stupid, unkind, bitchy and irrelevant.
As long as the children are loved, cared for and have all the necessities, it's working for you as a family. That should be enough.

Sampanther Sat 19-Apr-14 15:27:35

I agree with roll. Hadn't considered it about SAHM of school age children as I don't personally know any of those, though.

I think it does matter if it's said in the condescending tone of the working parent being superior because they work as well as doing the other things.

Jinsei Sat 19-Apr-14 15:28:37

YABU because you are assuming that all working parents have the same kind of day as you. Before dd started school, I did a lot of my work while she was asleep - there were only 2-3 hours of her waking day when I wasn't around, so apart from that time, yes I did do everything that a sahp would have done. Now dd is at school, it's the same - I drop her off at school every day and pick her up once. On some of the other days, she has clubs after school, so I am not around for up to an an hour on some days, perhaps two at most. And for a lot of that time, she is spent vegging in front of the tv in any case, if my DH and parents are to be believed!

I can't see what else a sahm would really do in addition to what I do at present - just a 5 minute pick up from school 4 days a week and giving her a quick snack when she gets home. She isn't even ready to talk about her day till she's had a bit of chilling time!

fidelineish Sat 19-Apr-14 15:28:55


Tha nappy change count of a WOHM is lower.
The nose wipe count of a WOHM is lower.
The meals fed count of a WOHM is lower.
The number of words spoken to a child per day by a WOHM is lower.
The cuddle count per day for a WOHM is lower.
The number of minutes of parent-child interaction for a WOHM is lower.

It's hardly rocket science. Whenever trots out that ridiculous claim, I always imagine besuited parents gabbling and scurrying in the evening on fast forward, like demented Keystone Cops.

Sampanther Sat 19-Apr-14 15:29:16

How so hercules?

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