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The working mums on school night out

(260 Posts)
TimothyTaylor Fri 01-Dec-17 10:16:11

I went to our school festive drinks thing last night. A large portion of the evening was spent with a group of mums (who all work outside of the home) trying to "boost my confidence" and "help with my cv" and "help me to explore my power" (wtf). They seemed on a mission to get me back into work. I am a sahm through choice. I sometimes joke about getting a job for a break etc (just a joke) but am very happy in my role at home for now. They made me feel a bit sad and pathetic, as if I was only at home because I had no self-belief or confidence to go back to work. I said firmly but nicely on a couple of occasions that I wasn't working through choice and was happy to do that - but even that elicited "of course but in a couple of years when you're ready you must blah blah blah". Then I got the old "I admire you for sacrificing so much for your kids - being at home all day would do me in". Somehow that always feels like a jibe.

Anyway, it just left me feeling a bit irritated that there's a sense of sahms all being mad jealous of working mums and that we're only at home because we can't get a job!

Maybe they were just pissed. I know no harm was meant...

ButterfliesAreWeird Fri 01-Dec-17 10:22:51

Well they probably thought you were being serious and were trying to help

LipstickHandbagCoffee Fri 01-Dec-17 10:23:19

Can’t quite see what the problem was other than the cringey find your power
I expect they were wondering what you do all day & thought you’d like help seeking a job?
And if no harm was meant just don’t dwell on it

Iprefercoffeetotea Fri 01-Dec-17 10:24:37

I had the opposite experience when my son was younger. Everyone was either a SAHM or worked part-time. The only women I knew working FT were single mums because their husbands were dead or they'd split up.

I didn't fit in at all.

It looks like you've got the opposite demographic to where I lived.

It doesn't matter. We all do what suits us, our families and our budgets. As you say yourself, they didn't mean any harm.

Pommes Fri 01-Dec-17 10:25:45

The working Mums that I know, me included, often vocalise guilt about working full-time... Guilt if you work, guilt if you don't... Pah. I think we need to give ourselves a break.

IceFall Fri 01-Dec-17 10:27:58

So you say you want a job, they say you didn't mean that and you don't want a job? #confusing

LipstickHandbagCoffee Fri 01-Dec-17 10:28:18

See I’m on the receiving end of dont know how you do it head tilt from the sahm
As they tell me about their frenetic week and kids activity schedule that requires mum ft
In fairness you told them you’d like a job,and they were simply helping

Tinycitrus Fri 01-Dec-17 10:29:04

A mother’s place is in the wrong. You soon learn that.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Fri 01-Dec-17 10:31:16

I can definitely say I have never had an iota guilt about ft working.why would I?
Men don’t get saddled with guilt about working.theyre praised for being conscientious
I have no guilt about a career, full fridge and being a good role model to my kids

CheapSausagesAndSpam Fri 01-Dec-17 10:31:17

I sometimes joke about getting a job for a break

Perhaps this comes across as a bit arsey. As though they don't need a break ffs...as though working is easy!

I SAH too OP but I'd never "joke" about going back "for a break"

Amanduh Fri 01-Dec-17 10:32:13

I expect they were wondering what you do all day hmm

Killerfiller Fri 01-Dec-17 10:33:46

I sometimes joke about getting a job for a break

After saying this I'm not really arsed that they made you feel bad.

Do they not have to do everything you do but work full time aswell?

1DAD2KIDS Fri 01-Dec-17 10:37:31

I do wonder if maybe there was some kind of passive aggressive jealousy behind the other mothers comments? A deliberate or subconsious attempt to make you feel bad because it may be them who feel bad/jealous of your situation?

minipie Fri 01-Dec-17 10:40:55

I sometimes joke about getting a job for a break etc (just a joke)

There are only two ways for a WOHM to interpret this comment

1) you genuinely want a job - if so, they were helping

2) you think being a WOHM is easier than being a SAHM, ie a jibe at WOHMs - if so, they were responding in kind

Bluntly it sounds like you're the one that started the conversation down this path with your comments. Maybe if you avoid any discussion of jobs vs being at home you might avoid this kind of conversation.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Fri 01-Dec-17 10:41:05

Or perhaps putting the psychoanalysis for dummies book down, they were responding to op saying i need a job. That in itself would initiate the conversation to employment. The fact that op has said more than once that she’d like a job

Oly5 Fri 01-Dec-17 10:44:08

Hm, you did say you’d like a job for the break.. sounds like they thought you wanted help.

HeartburnCentral Fri 01-Dec-17 10:45:04

I honestly don't know what any of the other parents at DC's school do outside of dropping or collecting their DCs at School bar one or two who used to work with my DH years ago. Are people really that interested? I think parents find many reasons to feel guilty and this is just another stick to beat themselves with. Live and let live. If you don't like the conversation, change the subject or find someone else to talk to.

mousemoose Fri 01-Dec-17 10:45:20

I don't think they do fifty hours of childcare Mon-Fri 8-6 to be fair killerfiller. Other than that of course they do.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Fri 01-Dec-17 10:48:23

This wasn’t a random comment,it was context of a social night out.folk weren’t giving unsolicited advice
Op has said she needs a job,the others responded with advice. As one would
This wasn’t nebby mums having a go.it was in direct response to what op said

DollyPartonsBeard Fri 01-Dec-17 10:48:48

Are you sure they weren't trying to recruit you to their latest MLM scam? All that talk of empowerment and confidence building sounds like the sort of jargon they use.

minipie Fri 01-Dec-17 10:50:17

mouse nor do SAHMs if their kids are school age. Which it sounds like the OP's are.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Fri 01-Dec-17 10:50:53

Yes we don’t want women havin notions of confidence or empowerment
They’ll be wanting all sorts of stuff if we give em that

Magicnumbers Fri 01-Dec-17 10:50:54

That sounds like they were really patronising, OP. FWIW I was briefly a SAHM and genuinely struggled with it. I don’t think I am very disciplined and routines went out the window very quickly, and I was not nice to be around. Being a SAHM was honestly the most challenging thing I have ever done.

I work now and use the money for help at home (cleanling and childcare). I would never EVER think that someone who is SAH parent is somehow just waiting to get out to work, or needs me to ‘help’ them get out there. Instead, when I meet a SAHM, I know that I am meeting someone who does something I really found very difficult to do. I don’t think they need my advice, on the contrary- perhaps I could do with theirs.

Ignore them and smile, OP- they have clearly misread the situation completely and have made some crass assumptions.

NataliaOsipova Fri 01-Dec-17 10:51:47

So you say you want a job, they say you didn't mean that and you don't want a job? #confusing

That's a fair point....but think of this if it'd been the other way round. A working mum sometimes complains about being busy/that she wishes she could have more time at home. If I joined up with my SAHM friends and decided to bang on about how great it is to have all that time with our children and suggesting ways she could cut her expenditure to be able to afford not to work, don't you think that would be interpreted as, well, a little insensitive at least?

If she's said she's not interested in working, then she's not in need of careers advice. In the same way, if someone's said shes happy with her choice to work, then she doesn't need people quizzing her on how much time she spends with her kids/whether she's happy with her childcare arrangements etc.

OP - next time, I think I'd kick back a little harder. Along the lines of "Great, I'm glad you're all so happy with your life choices. I respect that. I'm equally happy with mine, so I ask you to do the same." And change the subject....

greenlynx Fri 01-Dec-17 10:51:51

You were absolutely right to be irritated. The appropriate topics for school Xmas drinks are: school, clubs, weather, TV, local events, etc -- not someone's personal life. You didn't ask them to teach you how to live. They probably felt superior because you were the only one "without job" and it made them feel nice and generous offering to help "poor you". Maybe avoid them next time or start neutral topic staright away?
Don't think about this much, enjoy the weekend!

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