That this debate STILL rages on!(48 Posts)
Uhhhhhhhhhh! Watching this morning and they're discussing sahm vs working mums. Hasn't this been done to bloody death!?? And yes I realise I'm falling into the trap by writing it on here and fuelling it further. Can't we all just accept another woman's choices and say "well done...I'm glad you're happy" constant snarking and shite that ones better than the other.
I work full time with an 18 month old and DH works away frequently. It's a slog and my god I really envy sahm mums but then other times I like the break work gives me.
That's me though. I can only speak for myself. If I meet a sahm mum then I support her choices too.
I'm so tired of this shite that we're all meant to fall for that one is better than the other.
Btw, said 18 month old is unwell so I'm watching This drivel.
I believe that the vast majority of parents make the best decision for themselves and their family - but because all families are different, it's daft to think that they should all make the same decision!
I know SAHMs and WOHMs, and have the greatest of respect for them all.
I suspect that there is so much criticism of mothers and the ways they choose to parent their children, that it is easy for them to feel criticised by the choices of other mothers, even when no such criticism is intended.
And, of course, polarised debates make far better TV than everyone being respectful of the choices of others, even when they differ to one's own choices - so it is not in the programmes' best interests to foster tolerance!
Mothers can never do right ever but i have seen cutsey segments on TM about SAHDs and even folk saying how sexy a sahd is SEXY ffs
And nobody says a dad is negecting his kids needs by providing why do we have to put up this shit
I agree that women should do what works best for them
In a chat with friends over coffee a passing comment such as
"I couldnt stay at home all day...id get too bored"
Can be jokingly dismissed as the passing comment it is
All hell breaks loose
Having said that a "friend" said to me that "no wonder rufus's house is clean...thats what she does all day" i was not happy...my house would be clean and tidy if i worked full time or not you slovenly creature!!!!!
I didnt say "slovenly creature" but i was thinking it really loudly
A lot of mums have no choice, some do, some would rather be at home than working and vice versa. I genuinely think most (if not all) mums do the very best for their families regardless of if they work or they run the home/primary caregiver etc. I think it can be quite isolating at home though, it can be very lonely. Whereas mums who work full time must be exhausted too (not saying it's not tiring for a sahm either by the way). I think the early years must be very hard.
It always irritates me when lazy journalists try to draw battle lines where they needn't exist. I am a SAHM, but it doesn't mean that I disapprove of women who go out to work. I hope it doesn't mean that WOHMs consider that I've somehow let the side down as a result of my choice.
I only know 1 sahm. She lives separately from her partner and is very open on Facebook about claiming benefits. She is also very very holier than thou about how she actually watched her children grow up and didn't pay someone to raise them... as you can imagine her posts often turn into huge bun fights.
I won't lie I'm quite jealous that she is able to stay at home. I'd love to stay home for a few years when my baby is born but we just can't afford it. DP will instead drop down to part time and take on most of the childcare responsibilities... This is what (I hope) works for our family. Other family find having a sahp works. Live and let live.
I mentioned my "friend" ay the beginning because I believe it's people like this, and those at the opposite end of the spectrum that keep the debate going, especially in popular media. I challenge anyone to flick through her news feed and not get a teensy bit pissed off at what appears to be (nb only appears, I realise facebook isn't always reality) a cushy life at home.
Oh is that because of that awful smug off story in the DM yesterday? The one where an anonymous working Mum claimed on Facebook she'd seen this amazing SAHM walking to school every day and it had inspired her to give up work. And said amazing SAHM saw it and replied? The SAHM blatantly posted that herself, the whole thing was sick making. It was all 'Well you could be as marvellous as me if you weren't so greedy and gave up work' while hanging off the arm of a rich husband.
In reality though, nobody really gives a fuck. Except a tiny minority of arsewits who always have an opinion on what other people do, and who gives a shiny shit what they think, anyway?
On the whole, its a media invention designed to divide and conquer women by trying to pit us against each other.
frikadela People who seek validation for their life choices via FB should be pitied rather than envied.
It will be a perpetual issue because there isn't a one size fits all solution and it effects a new swath of people all the time. Even in some family friendly utopia where every child had 2 parents who could earn decent money and not negatively impact their careers by going part time and providing round the clock childcare on flexible working you'd still have arguments around the benefits of nursery for children and the benefits of careers/job satisfaction for adults. It's a piss easy subject to fill a slot with.
It remains controversial because it's simply not a free choice for many women in this country.
Quite apart from the social conditioning that in 2016 still seems to suggest that it's 'natural' for mothers - not fathers - to stay at home, and that underpins the assumptions that mothers consider only their salary vs childcare costs, leading to 'I can't afford to work', there are large numbers of concrete problems our society still hasn't solved as regards juggling children and work.
Eg affordable, high-quality childcare for everyone, flexible working where necessary, the culture of 'presenteeism', a business culture that simply regards mothers (though not fathers) as a liability, uncommitted, unreliable etc etc. There is a direct correlation between the availability of good, affordable childcare and the percentage of working mothers in other countries.
Obviously these are problems for working parents, not just for mothers, but until we rectify the social conditioning that somehow still sees children as a 'women's issue' then childcare and juggling children and work will continue to be seen as a 'women's issue'.
Switch it off. Life is too short while it is still about SAHM rather than SAHP.
Very true caitlin still can't stop that twinge of envy though. Although my grandma always reminds me that even though my options arent great I still have them. She was forced into becoming a sahp and leaving a job she loved because she was diagnosed with a chronic illNess. I bet there are just as many sahp who were forced into it through various reasons as there are those who chose to sah.
There are loads of TV channels, radio stations, news websites, bloggers etc etc all looking for something to keep audiences interested and encourage everyone to have opinions about this sort of stuff.
If everyone acknowledged that actually they don't give a shiny shit what other people do, social media would implode and take day time chat shows TV with it.
I agree entirely with CottonFrock. This 'debate' - in the media, and on MN - is always about mothers, never fathers, or parents.
Nobody has ever said anything related to this debate to me in real life, and I'm a work from home, no childcare, mother so not on any 'side'. I don't think anyone really gives a shit.
I've got a friend who has no kids but who insists on posting paeans to SAHMs all over Facebook, even going as far to slate WOHMs because her mother stayed at home and was given a hard time by her 'circle' for having no career. She's clearly never been on mumsnet, she had no idea of the huge can of worms...
I gently pointed out to her that maybe these posts might make WOHMs or others feel equally inadequate, that her mother's choices were rightly worthy of pride and respect, but so were those of other women. (I work part time and wasn't offended, but could see easily how someone would be upset).
It genuinely had not occurred to her that there was another side, and I think that happens all too often on here (on both sides). People get defensive and don't see that we are all just trying to do our best, and we're all getting criticised for it, because women.
I think MN should declare an 'amnesty' campaign where we all as women declare we will stop judging working, feeding, sleeping choices and all the rest.
i watched some and thought the working mum was very sneery about mums who don't work outside the home.
I've been at home since pregnant with my eldest who is soon 15 and I'm wary of working again even though I would like too. I volunteer at school and have done a few days at dhs work and enjoyed it.
Ive been both a working mum and stay at home one. One thing that pissed me off was I had to stay at home because of sick child (plus I had to sort out the childcare). I despaired when told it wouldn't get better when they went to school.
Also I knew au pairs who totally thought that they where in a working role within the house.
Some people don't have a choice about going back to work. They have to for financial reasons. Others might stay at home because the job they get might not even cover the cost of childcare and transport.
But statements can be irritating from both sides. The SAHM that thinks she's running a corporate company by staying at home and running the house. Or the career woman who has far too much ability and brains to possibly allow the global economy to run without her input.
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