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SAHM/Homemakers - What do you do all day?

(997 Posts)
Fruem Tue 16-Jan-18 20:31:06

Those who choose to be a SAHM/homemaker, who don’t ‘have’ to work, what do you do all day?!

I’m talking the SAHM’s who don’t work from home. Who don’t have to look after the kids all day etc.

If you’ve done cleaning/washing/shopping etc. How do you fill your day?

Tullula Tue 23-Jan-18 19:21:55

I agree too. And it’s only because in the years since I’ve given up my career that I’m regularly asked when I’m going back. Which leaves me feeling that the choice we’ve made together for our family isn’t worthwhile.
Most of my friends that are working mums would rather not be working, and most work really hard to fit their career round their children.

StealthPolarBear Tue 23-Jan-18 21:07:38

Chocolate im probably guilty of that sorry. I have a chip on my shoulder about the attitude (more irl than on mn) that women only work if they absolutely have to financially whereas men work by default. I'm equally as ambitious as dh and work for the same reasons he does.

BattleCuntGalactica Tue 23-Jan-18 21:40:17

Tadaaaaa it's in the daily fail...

bo66ie Wed 24-Jan-18 10:28:08

I mainly nap and play with my kittens while the children are at school. It's lovely and relaxing.

littlepinkgiraffe Wed 24-Jan-18 20:29:40

You've made it onto This Morning's fb too. Though they haven't posted the full question... hmm

rachelreallife Thu 25-Jan-18 19:05:33

My husband works long hours, I have chronic health conditions which mean I'm unable to work FT but I do have a PT job of hours a week. I spend my day cooking, tidying, cleaning, washing (there's only three of us but the washing is endless still as husband is a chef), meal planning, shopping (which I do little and often as I can't physically manage a full shop), household admin. I also meet friends for coffee once or twice a week and am trying (slowly) to build up some work from home. I'm currently taking a year out of OU study but will be back to that later this year. I volunteer at Beavers, 1.5 hours a week as a helper there and a couple of hours each month as the section secretary. Even if I was well enough to work full time, I'm not sure it would be financially worth it with the cost of after-school and holiday child care as I just don't have a high earning capacity.

rachelreallife Thu 25-Jan-18 19:05:54

8 hours a week!

rachelreallife Thu 25-Jan-18 19:06:43

Some weeks I will nap lots too as I suffer with fatigue.

Ninoo25 Thu 25-Jan-18 22:49:53

I really don’t understand why people get so uppity about this. I’ve both worked and been a SAHM and both times I was judged by people for either ‘paying other people to bring up my children’ (their words not mine) or being ‘lazy’. I really don’t understand why anyone thinks it’s their business how you decide to run your household, they just need to butt out. It does especially annoy me when people appear to get offended when they find out someone is a SAHP and doesn’t earn their own living. The way some of them react it’s almost as if you were taking money out of their pocket! If you don’t work and don’t claim anything because your partner supports the household why the hell would anyone think it’s their business?!

StealthPolarBear Fri 26-Jan-18 09:53:57

Women are always wrong. Whatever they do. As you say they're either hardened career women who palm off the raising of their offspring to others or lazy slatterns who take the dc to school in their onesie so they're ready to get back in the sofa and watch Jeremy Kyle when they return. there is no middle ground.
Men only have to change one nappy during their child's infancy to be hailed a hero. Must be nice.
Oh and if you're a single mum it's even worse.

Hbomb41 Fri 26-Jan-18 12:31:34

I'm a SAHM and I don't go out for lunch or shopping or to the gym .I am busy all day .Being a SAHM can actually be very lonely.Idont have parents who will help out with the children during school holidays ,and if I went out to work we would have to pay for morning and after school clubs,also holiday clubs during the 12 weeks off throughout the year .I like to be there to take my kids to school and to pick them up .I like them to eat homemade meals every evening and to help them with their homework.I am busy nearly all day every day doing the things that need to be done at home .I never sit down to watch the TV .I would like to get a part time job for the company ,but it would need to fit around school hours .People really shouldn't judge SAHM's ,it can be extremely lonely.I look forward to school holidays and get very depressed when they are over .

ChocolateWombat Fri 26-Jan-18 13:10:24

'I like to be there to take them to schools and to pick them up. I like them to eat a home made meal'

I suspect that most parents would say they would like to do these things.
Often SAHM make comments like this which suggest if people aren't at home, they somehow don't value these things - that they have actively chosen to not do these things because they go to work instead and have made that choice. In my mind, it's one of the reasons why working mums find SAHM difficult sometimes - these kind of statements don't recognise that everyone would probably like to do these things and that not everyone has the choice to decide if they will or won't - and they then feel a bit crap because sometimes or always their kids go to a CM or after school club and often eat at school or don't always have homemade food.

Do you see what I mean?

Of course, people stay at home for these reasons....and importantly, because they are able to afford to indulge their preferences. Choice is a real luxury and not everyone has it.
Some people could afford to not work and still do. Does that mean that they don't love their children? No of course not - however, comments like above often suggest that love is measured in the number of times you are at the school gate or how many meals you cook from scratch. That's where the problem lies.

StealthPolarBear Fri 26-Jan-18 13:15:21

Isn't that just the opposite of
I need to use my brain
I'd be bored at home all day

ChocolateWombat Fri 26-Jan-18 13:28:49

Yes, I think you're right. Elements of truth in both, but also both often said in a defensive way to justify a choice, or in a passive aggressive way to voice criticism of other choices.

Actually having a choice is a real luxury and I think people with the choice sometimes forget that not everyone does. Those without a choice though are often very aware of it, especially when they end up doing what they would prefer not to.

Perhaps those with no choice get a sense that those with choice are either totally unaware that not everyone has choices, or are just rather obtuse in the way they handle the issue ...not empathetic. Those without choice may well be over sensitive. I guess it can work the other way too and those who can afford to stay at home feel sensitive to other people considering them rich or privileged or whatever.

Personally, I think people with choice are extremely fortunate. What they choose to then do, I do t really care about or consider one option better than the other, whether it's the same as what I do or different.

Hbomb41 Fri 26-Jan-18 13:31:39

I wasn't saying any of those things you just mentioned .I can now see how this subject can cause so many problems .I was just answereing the question " what do SAHM do ? " I was saying what I like to do .I have worked in the past and home cooking was as important as it is now .It is hard for me to work because my Husband goes away a lot with work .In the past I have been working but when he says he has to be away for a few days or a week it makes it hard for me to stay in a job .He makes the most money ,so obviously that comes first.As I said it is very lonely and sometimes I feel that I don't have the choice .I would love to have a group of work friends and Xmas do's ,that sort of thing . Whenever I tell people I'm a SAHM ,they say oh your a lady of leisure or a lady who lunches .Not at all .

1ndig0 Fri 26-Jan-18 13:36:30

It's only through reading these kind of threads that I realise how privileged I've been to be a SAHM. Also I think I must live in a bubble because probably 80% of mum's at the DC's primary school are also SAHMs or they work very part-time. This is obviously not the norm across the UK as a whole and it's an eye-opener to realise that so many women would see the way our family live as so highly unusual.

Strokethefurrywall Fri 26-Jan-18 14:11:44

ChocolateWombat - very well said.

Hbomb41 Fri 26-Jan-18 14:19:00

I do think people look down on SAHM a lot . Whenever I meet someone for the first time and they ask what I do ,my heart sinks a little bit .As soon as I say SAHM I can see they have already judged me .They don't know anything about me ,my personality ,my past ,but they assume I'm probably lazy .Also ,when out socializing ,you feel like your the most uninteresting person there .

1ndig0 Fri 26-Jan-18 14:48:33

Hbomb - but unless you had a really uniquely interesting job, who would want to hear about it anyway? Even when you were working, did you feel the need to tell the details of your working day to anyone who cared to listen? Would a nurse for instance, be interested in what goes on in an insurance office, or vice versa? I doubt it. The only jobs that concern people are their own and many people even find those barely interesting. People who go on and on about their work when out tend to be fairly boring tbh.

Hbomb41 Fri 26-Jan-18 15:08:17

Yeah ,I know what you mean .

ChocolateWombat Fri 26-Jan-18 15:37:49

indigo, I don't think people find SAHMs or the way they live unusual at all. Whilst lots of people work, there are loads, all over the place that don't as well, in all spheres of life. Some SAHMs are affluent, often in affluent areas. However, in other affluent areas, most mums are working in highly paid careers. In many less affluent areas, many women are at home - often because childcare costs make working seem worth it. So I don't think people find SAHMs unusual or something outside of their experience at all.

I do agree that many SAHMs who are there by choice forget that they are fortunate to have the choice, becaue not everyone does. Once one realises that, it's easy to become a bit condescending about having something other folk don't have. No one likes to feel that the fortunate ones are rubbing their noses in their lack of choice, even if it's by saying 'I know how lucky I am' which implies - how unlucky you who works but wish you didn't are.
In my view, people with choices need to recognise that good fortune themselves, but don't need to say much about it in public, in the same way we hopefully wouldn't brag about other good fortunes. Less defensiveness all round would be good, as would a clearer open acknowledgement that ones personal choices are not necessarily best, simply a choice and openly everyone is doing the best for their children in the lives they find themselves leading.

monopoly5 Fri 26-Jan-18 15:40:58

Less defensiveness all round would be good, as would a clearer open acknowledgement that ones personal choices are not necessarily best, simply a choice and openly everyone is doing the best for their children in the lives they find themselves leading


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