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To think that "working mums set a great example to their children" is largely nonsense

(496 Posts)
Blinkyblink Sat 27-May-17 18:04:35

I grew up with a SAHM. It was bloody fantastic! Picked up by my mum, home after school, she came to assemblies, sports days, plays etc, I was able to have friends over after school. Plus I just loved being with my mum after school. There was something homely, comforting and cosy about it.

I didn't give the fact my mum didn't work any thought whatsoever. I worked like a dog for my GCSEs, a-levels, degree, professional exams and got a good well paid interesting career. I gave it up when I had my first child 7 years ago.

I'm a SAHM now, however next year I'm jumping in at the deep end. Will be commuting and long hours in a professional role. A number of people have said to me along the line "oh you'll be setting so much of a better example now for your children".

Am I alone in thinking "wtf?". A 7 year doesn't give a flying fig about whether his mum works. He/she would MUCH prefer mum to be picking him up from school, making his dinner, helping him with his reading, not having to go to a child minder / holiday clubs in the holidays?

It certainly didn't stop me pursuing a very good career, and the school I went to (private academic girls school) the vast majority of mothers didn't work, and many of those girls have gone on to have great career success (medicine, finance etc)

Is this just an argument pulled out by working mums trying to make themselves feel better? I'm going to be a working mum on a few months, and I'm pretty damn sure I'm not going to think that my children are benefiting from the example I'm setting. I think some people forget how self absorbed most children are and seeing you dash off to work to do something important really isn't either here nor there for them!

Bluntness100 Sat 27-May-17 18:06:09

Here we go again,,,,

DangerMouse17 Sat 27-May-17 18:08:33


LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 27-May-17 18:08:54

Goady fucker

My mother had to go back to work full time when
I was young as she had left my violent biological cunt father. She was also successful and happy. My family was involved in looking after me, including my adopted dad who changed his job from shift work so he could be around more.

I was never self absorbed enough to be upset about it

ProudBadMum Sat 27-May-17 18:08:54

Ah I wish people would stop labelling every aspect of parenting.

You are just a mum. This stay at home vs working mum things is bullshit

Do what you want, no one cares and no one but your family matter

Squirmy65ghyg Sat 27-May-17 18:09:01

It's just chit chat. Honestly. People have to say something. No one actually gives a fuck.

I'm an LP who has to work so no angst from me. My son is happy.

TopBitchoftheWitches Sat 27-May-17 18:09:15

Cannot even be arsed.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 27-May-17 18:09:50

Oh and biscuit

IncidentalAnarchist Sat 27-May-17 18:09:51

Get tae fook biscuit

PerpetualStudent Sat 27-May-17 18:10:26


tinydancer88 Sat 27-May-17 18:11:19

I think it's a totally subjective opinion.

I think my mum set a brilliant example; she worked shifts as a nurse and then long days as a teacher. She still made my dinner 90% of the time and helped me with my homework. I had a childminder who I really liked. The value of education and the importance of hard work were always emphasised, but also the idea that these things give you choices, and at the end of the day you choose what makes you happy, whether that's a high flying, competitive career or working for minimum wage doing what you love.

Why does one thing have to be denigrated in order to make people doing the opposite feel good? Why can't it just be the right choice for you and your family, and if something else works for others then good for them?

FenellaMaxwellsPony Sat 27-May-17 18:11:31

Your mum was a SAHM. Mine wasn't. So what? Aren't you a bit old for "my mum's better than your mum"? hmm

Livedandlearned Sat 27-May-17 18:12:03

Setting a great example to your children is surely being tolerant of other mums, and not passing on views that are biased.

LaMontser Sat 27-May-17 18:12:19

Feel better about what exactly?

BillStickersIsInnocent Sat 27-May-17 18:12:28

I'll engage 😀

Well yes, at the time, I was a little miffed that my mother wasn't always at home. That sometimes I had to go to the neighbours after school. But oh my goodness I am SO proud of my mother for all she has achieved (prof, OBE) and for the wonderful example she set for me and my sister. My mum was the first person in her family ever, of either sex, to go to university. She showed me the sky's the limit, and is the greatest role model I could have.

I work because I want to, because I need to, because I love it.

Blinkyblink Sat 27-May-17 18:12:58


I'm not goading anything

I am a SAHM but going back to work very soon, so no agenda!

My point is, saying that you're setting a good example for children is a daft argument that ignores the reality of children!

QuiteLikely5 Sat 27-May-17 18:13:28

People are only making conversation I doubt they really care.

It seems that it was not that much of a priority to you as you clearly didn't plan your life carefully enough to ensure you could have been a SAHM

All that expensive education too.......

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sat 27-May-17 18:14:25

My mum was a SAHM and honestly it was rubbish. It fuelled her with a lifetime of mental health issues and she was absolutely miserable and totally controlling with it. Horses for courses.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 27-May-17 18:15:06

Working parents are a good example

No better or worse than SAHP

I am proud that my mother worked to support me back when women weren't expected to leave violent cunts.
Pretty good example right there


Blinkyblink Sat 27-May-17 18:16:46

Goodness, completely missed my point.

I don't give a toss about SAHM v working mum.

The argument about setting a good example is, generally speaking, a daft one in my opinion. That was my point.

Trulymadlymotherly Sat 27-May-17 18:20:01

Oh do fuck off dear.

PerpetualStudent Sat 27-May-17 18:20:15

So let me get this straight, you are soon to return to work even though you have a firm belief that working outside the home is detrimental to a child's experience of it's mother?

So you're making a choice you believe is a bad choice as a parent? Are you OK OP? Is someone making you do this? Is it something you need to talk about? Perhaps some counselling to work through these feelings of self loathing?

OhHolyFuck Sat 27-May-17 18:20:19

My mother was a sahm with no interests outside the house so was bloody stifling actually the second you walked in the door and would get terribly upset at me wanting to see friends or go upstairs to do my homework as 'she hadn't seen me/anyone else all day'
Agree with a pp, it was hugely detrimental to her mental health and in turn our relationship

EllaHen Sat 27-May-17 18:21:05

I don't want my children to be self absorbed.

My Mum became depressed as a SAHM. It was horrible watching her so bone crushingly unhappy. She got a job when I was in my early teens and I swear it saved her life.

Example? Don't know. It made me determined to always work. I'm glad I wasn't self absorbed though and was able to employ a bit of empathy.

MargaretCavendish Sat 27-May-17 18:21:26

I think you imagine that children are happier with SAHM because you had one and you loved her. My mother worked and I adored her and so couldn't have imagined a better mother than her. I don't remember caring as a small child, and as I got older I was actively proud of her and her achievements. I felt a bit sorry for friends who had what seemed to me like really boring, mumsy mums when I was a teenager, and I definitely associated mothers who didn't work with that (though to be fair I had very few friends with mothers who didn't work even part-time).

I think a lot of the time where 'examples' come in, it's not so much about mum working in and of itself, but about the gender dynamics of a house where mum doesn't work and dad does.

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