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To not feel guilty about working out of the home

(26 Posts)
longestlurkerever Wed 06-Jul-16 19:06:00

My neighbour mentioned earlier that she feels guilty about using after school club and holiday club for her dc. It made me realise that this is something I hear quite a lot from working mums I know but just don't feel myself, or really understand why I might.

My job is quite fulfilling but I certainly don't feel I go to work just for me, or that it's akin to a hobby. It's what I do to provide for my family.

Nor do I feel I absolutely have to work to put bread on the table. I haven't done the maths but I guess at a push if I was made redundant we'd survive - we'd have a lower standard of living though. I happen to earn slightly more than dh but there's not much in it.

I haven't consciously weighed up whether I work just so we can afford holidays and after school activities and, if so, whether that's the right decision - it just doesn't occur to me to feel guilty. I happen to think my dc are lucky to live in a financially secure household, and I'm lucky to be able to earn a living doing something I find vaguely enjoyable, and actually dh and I work slightly less than full time each so the dc have a mixture of paid childcare (the same after school club as neighbour, as it happens), grandparental help and time at home with dh and me. It'll be the same in school holidays.

They seem happy and content. They might occasionally whinge about the idea of after school club, or me being the last one to pick up, but I don't take it to heart - they have a similar whinge if I ask them to tidy their toys or similar. Actually it's hard to drag them home.

Am I missing something? Am I selfish not to feel guilty?

MsVestibule Wed 06-Jul-16 19:08:27

Guilt is a wasted emotion. Why would anybody actually want to feel guilty about something when they don't?

NotSpartacus Wed 06-Jul-16 19:09:03

Nope. I've never felt guilty either.

MollyTwo Wed 06-Jul-16 19:09:18

Yanbu, most people I know work and have kids in aftercare of some sort. If your kids are happy who cares what others think.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 06-Jul-16 19:10:06

Yanbu - it sounds like you have a great set up. You're happy, kids are happy.

I have friends who work full time long hours and often go away with friends for the weekend. They don't feel guilty. Then again I have a friend who's a sahm and she barely lets the dc out of her sight because she feels she should be with them. You just have to be comfortable with how it works for you.

EveOnline2016 Wed 06-Jul-16 19:12:39

Only time I feel guilty is when I can't get time off for plays and sports day.

DotForShort Wed 06-Jul-16 19:15:28

YANBU. There is no reason at all for you to feel guilty. Ignore your neighbour and other nay-sayers.

Sadly, it seems the cultural norm to try to make women feel guilt or shame for all manner of things.

Babysafari Wed 06-Jul-16 19:20:19

Well of course yanbu but others anbu for feeling guilty either.

I feel guilty for using breakfast and after school club because most of the kids at school seem to get picked up by their own parents or grandparents. I feel like school is a long enough day as it is and I'd rather be at home making a nice meal and doing homework and reading books.

I don't know if only women feel guilty I suppose it's expected that women are the default main carer.

SeptemberFlowers Wed 06-Jul-16 19:24:43

I have been asked this over the years by male colleagues angry

I have managed to deflect it back by asking if they do. Usually gets a confused response.

Whathaveilost Wed 06-Jul-16 19:28:53

I don't get a lot of the guilt on MN and other places about choices mums (parents) make.
Work what's best for you should be my motto. Work? Don't work? What does your family need? Breast fed v formula fed. In the scheme of things who gives a shit as long a s a child thrives.

I can't be arsed with guilt. I seriously can't, we'll be dead long enough for things not to matter!

longestlurkerever Wed 06-Jul-16 19:30:18

I can totally understand feeling sad about that, baby safari, if you'd prefer to be working less, but I still don't understand what there is to feel guilty about. You make the best of the options available to you.

yorkshapudding Wed 06-Jul-16 19:33:51

September is spot on. How often do you hear a man say they feel "guilty" for working outside the home?

If you choose to be a SAHM then there will be people who think you should feel guilty for not being in paid employment so you can't win.

It sounds as though it's only other people stressing about this stuff that has made you second guess yourself. If it works for you and your family,dont over-think it. It's perfectly fine to be happy and secure with the decisions you've made, in fact it's a very healthy attitude to have.

throwingpebbles Wed 06-Jul-16 19:38:35


My mum was a sahm but she still sent us to holiday clubs for about half the holidays anyway - if it's a good sports club or something uou gain lots from it as a child (and have lots of fun!)

Whatthefoxgoingon Wed 06-Jul-16 19:48:09

No guilt whatsoever. My husband earns more than enough to support us all in a great lifestyle (school fees, holidays etc) but I still work. I work a lot actually. I love it, I'd hate to be idle at home. My kids are not so young anymore and barely home themselves these days!

Trooperslane Wed 06-Jul-16 19:52:23


I've had a couple of paid months in between jobs and I've spent more time with DD since I went back after mat leave, but she's so happy in nursery I feel guilty if I keep her off when I don't have a packed agenda for her.

I'm going back full time and it's

- a better job
- with nicer people (I know them for years)
- I will be more appreciated
- there are more prospects
- (not that money motivated but it's a big) pay rise

all in all, I think it's a really big positive role model to show to my DD.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 06-Jul-16 19:56:51

Children being looked after by a parent is beneficial , after school activities and holidays are also beneficial.
You have prioritised the later if you feel confident in that decision there is no need to feel guilty.

MsMermaid Wed 06-Jul-16 20:03:01

I've never felt guilty either. I went to uni when dd1 was 10 months old and have been full time studying or working since then. I took 6 months may leave for dd2, but was quite happy leaving her with our fab cm when I went back.

Tbh, I don't know any ft working parents who do feel guilty, or none who openly say they feel guilty about it. Maybe it's the circles i move in but we all assume everyone works, there are very few sahms at either of DDS schools.

SueTrinder Wed 06-Jul-16 20:08:17

Nope, don't feel guilty. As PPs have said, no-one assumes a man will feel guilty about sometimes hardly seeing their kids because they work such long hours with a long commute. DH and I both worked PT while the kids were young and now DH works close to home/school so does all the drop offs and attends sports days/ plays etc. We're both lucky to have generous holiday allowances but it doesn't cover all the school holidays so they do go to holiday clubs for at least a few days every school holiday, and they'll be doing 2 weeks in the summer. It's different to my childhood with a SAHM but I'm not convinced it's any worse, they get to do things that weren't available when I was young and I'm much happier than my Mum was.

EllaHen Wed 06-Jul-16 20:11:38

I remember my Mum being miserable at home with four kids. Then she started working when I was in my early teens and the change in her happiness level was tangible. Lesson learned for me.

I also remember repossession notices twice being put through our door. I remember the worry that my parents tried to protect us from. I remember going without - a lot.

So yes, I feel no guilt for working. At times, I have hated my job but not once did I consider the alternative.

Lucyccfc Wed 06-Jul-16 20:19:20

I don't feel guilty. I feel proud that I ensure my son lives in a comfortable, clean house, nice food on the table and clean clothes on his back. As a single parent, I need to work to provide for my son.

I am also lucky that I love my job and my Boss is very flexible in terms of assembly's, sports day etc.

Terrifiedandregretful Wed 06-Jul-16 20:38:37

It's never occurred to me to feel guilty for working.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 06-Jul-16 21:07:08

I have never once felt guilty for working. I also don't feel guilty for taking time to myself and for saying 'no' sometimes - even if the reason is just because I don't want to.

I am lucky in that I have no commute and a very flexible boss, and I would seriously hesitate to give that up even for a lot more money.

But even if I did I wouldn't feel guilty. As previous posters have said, no one expects dads to attend school stuff or to feel guilty if they work. It's expected and if they do do that, well, then they are angels.

Honestly I'm not bitter about it grin

ThomasRichard Wed 06-Jul-16 21:47:05

YANBU, I don't feel guilty either, although I do get irritated when people are shocked over the DCs' long days (8-5) at nursery/school. I'm a single mum, what do they expect me to do? hmm

Whathaveilost Wed 06-Jul-16 21:58:49

My son 's are now 20 and 16.
Whe I was pregnant with DS 1 we never had a conversation about stopping at home. It never occurred to us. Good job really because we had so many ups and downs over the years and at times I've been the main bread winner and saved the family home. No guilt whatsoever.

Same with everything else as I said before.

My lads are marvellous. First one has a good job, steady girlfriend and they travel when they can.
Ds2 is doing well and is so chatty and funny.

I have no doubt doing what suited me and the family made everyone happy.

No guilt that I went out drinking when Ds1 was 3 weeks old, no guilt about having holidays with my mates when they were toddlers etc etc.

I loved every stage of parenting and had a lot of fun.why would you want to carry the burden of guilt with you.
Look at the cards you've been dealt and play wisely and you won't go to far wrong I reckon.

longestlurkerever Thu 07-Jul-16 19:52:24

Thanks all. Picked dd1 up from after school club today and was greeted with "just ten more minutes please Mummy!" again so feeling happy. Sports day tomorrow and its my day off, hurrah.

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