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To think women don't love their children more than men?

(247 Posts)
whalewhatsallthisthen Thu 19-Apr-18 22:04:24

So I started back at work last month. My baby is 6 months old. My partner is at home - he has actually given up work. I really enjoy my job and I am quite enjoying being back in the adult world and having more control over my day again, although I really miss my baby of course.

But I am being bombarded with questions from almost everyone, including colleagues and family, about whether I will be working part time and why I am not working part time. Frankly, I am working full time to keep a roof over my family's head and also because I have ambitions for promotion and part time isn't compatible with that.

Why don't men get this kind of pressure when they return to work? They are just expected to get on with it as far as I can see.

Aibu to think that men don't love their children any less than women, so there is no reason to assume women are the primary caregivers and are all heartbroken to be back at work?

PinkbicyclesinBerlin Thu 19-Apr-18 22:06:44

I agree. We have more or less the same set up. Works great. DH adores our kids and does the majority of the wifework these days. It is a recent thing for us just over 2 years and quite a treat for me grin

leghairdontcare Thu 19-Apr-18 22:07:23

Patriarchy. YANBU.

MorelloKisses Thu 19-Apr-18 22:08:35

Oooh, I got this so much. So annoying. I looked confused and tile them DF was with ‘her other parent’

MorelloKisses Thu 19-Apr-18 22:08:52


Bloody hell

BarbarianMum Thu 19-Apr-18 22:10:55

I think on average they probably do - for biological reasons there is less selective pressure on men to love/nurture their children than women, and men have more reproductive strategies open to them than women. But in many individual cases it is simply not true at all, as your dh shows.

whalewhatsallthisthen Thu 19-Apr-18 22:12:51

Morello that's a great one. Stealing that.

I actually started to wonder the other day if there is something wrong with me because I'm not misty eyed dabbing my eyes with a handkerchief at my desk all day. It's normal to be ok about going back to work isn't it? Not excited to go to work but basically fine when you're there?

NickyNora Thu 19-Apr-18 22:15:44

Personally i wanted to stay at home witj my dc

I earned significantly more than dp.
He wanted to be the sahp.

I felt very annoyed that I had to go through the pregnancy, give birth, Bf & then go to back to work whilst dp got to stay at home.

topcat2014 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:20:49

I would have liked to have spent more time at home with DD, instead I went to China with work when she was a month old.

Doesn't mean I love her any less than DW, more a factor of my earning about 3 times as much.. hence it was a bit of a no brainer who was giving up work.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 19-Apr-18 22:22:58

I earned significantly more than my DP. We still agreed I should be the SAHP though. He preferred to go to work.

Decent men love their children as much as decent women do. But there seem to be many men willing to walk away from their kids without a backwards glance.

FloydOnThePull Thu 19-Apr-18 22:23:34

I keep getting this and it's fecking annoying! I plan to go back to work full time after 9 months mat leave and in conversation with colleagues and friends (not family) the question is always 'so are you planning to go back part time?' Like that is that is the only acceptable alternative to not going back at all and when I say, no I'm going back full time the best you get is a cats bum face or a story about how someone in their team or their wife went back part time. I honestly thought this was just a thing that happened in mumsnet land and never in real life until I got pregnant and now it happens all the bloody time. I also don't feel any guilt about it, despite everyone telling me how guilty I must feel about having to leave our baby with DH and sending her to day care. Nope, no guilt here, also this is a choice we have made not something I have to do

corythatwas Thu 19-Apr-18 22:24:18

I think we would have been happier if finances had allowed dh to take more time off work and me to work more when they were little. He did a day a week as that was all we could afford.

QueenofmyPrinces Thu 19-Apr-18 22:24:19

With my first son I went back to work when he was 10 months old and I will admit I shed a lot of tears and missed him dreadfully.

I’m currently on maternity leave with my 8 month old and not one part of me wants to go back to work because I just want to be home with him.

On the surface there’s no reason why men would love their children any less than we do but admittedly I do think mothers have a different love purely because we have the bonds of pregnancy/breast feeding. I know my DH loves our children but he doesn’t love them in the same way that I do and he himself will admit that too.

That’s not to say there’s any gong wrong with your set up and the fact you’ve gone back to work definitely doesn’t mean you don’t love your child etc. After going back to work after my first son people were incredulous that I had gone back full and frequently passed comments about it, trying to insinuate I wasn’t a good mother etc. It made me feel really crap about myself.

YANBU. Your family set-up clearly works so try not to let others make you doubt yourself flowers

corythatwas Thu 19-Apr-18 22:25:59

I'm not entirely sure how the pregnancy/bf thing works, seeing that one of my siblings was adopted and no one has ever been able to detect any less of a bond in our mother's love for him. Not everybody breastfeeds. And dh certainly did enough skin contact when ours were little.

PinkbicyclesinBerlin Thu 19-Apr-18 22:29:29

I do think mothers have a different love purely because we have the bonds of pregnancy/breast feeding. I know my DH loves our children but he doesn’t love them in the same way that I do and he himself will admit that too.

I definitely think we have a head start based on pregnancy and breastfeeding but have in heart DH loves our children every bit as much as I do. He had to work harder in the early days to win them over as he was lacking assets with the bf one and my time off, but he did invest the time in that bond and it has definitely paid off for both him and them.

BakedBeans47 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:35:09


I don’t work full time I’ve always done 4 days though. Neither of us are SAHP. I’ve never felt in the slightest bit tearful or sad at leaving them to go back to work.

I would be pretty certain my husband loves the kids as much as I do. Maybe even more, he certainly loses his rag with them much less than I do!

ArialAnna Thu 19-Apr-18 22:37:30

I remember hearing about a study a few years ago where they asked parents (confidentially) who the most important person in their life was. While the children were young, mothers tended to say they were the most important people in their lives. As the children got older and more independent, the majority of mothers said their husbands were the most important person in their lives. Whereas the majority of fathers said their wife was the most important person, regardless of the kids ages. This may just reflect the reality that women still do take on the majority of the childcare, but food for thought.

espoleta Thu 19-Apr-18 22:40:27

About to head back to work gleefully when DD is 6 months. Friends look very pained when I talk about it, clearly feeling pity that I'm forced back to work. I want to go back. Both DP and I are high income earners (with high outgoing for not a lot so no boast here) and I've chosen to go back. Lots of others seem teary when i speak about it while I'm ok. I love my job and why would I want to return to something I'm passionate about?

QueenofmyPrinces Thu 19-Apr-18 22:41:19

That’s interesting because my husband recently went away for 10 days and towards the end of the trip he phoned me and told me that as much as he missed our children he missed me more.

I remember feeling quite confused or guilty or something because there’s no way I would miss him more than I’d miss our children if I was separated from them all.

blackteasplease Thu 19-Apr-18 22:42:58

I'm not sure staying at home is synonymous with loving them more anyway!

It obviously all varies from person to person, and it would be incredibly hard measure loving someone more anyway. I think mothers do have some advantages in getting to know their babies very quickly and may have different hard wiring in some respects but loving them more would be a different thing.

Scarlet1234 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:49:13

They sound like insensitive idiots.

Unfortunately it's still the norm for men in relationships to be the higher earners so as a result it's normally the case that the woman will either sah or go part time.

I don't think men love their kids less. However I think men are conditioned by society to think of themselves as providers and anything else they do on top of that just makes them believe they are a really good modern man.

I think the best thing is to do what you feel is right and ignore your rude colleagues and family. At the end of the day the most important thing for your child is a roof over their head and food on the table and you are providing that, on top of loving them unconditionally and being there for them when it matters most. I think you should be proud.

BakedBeans47 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:49:41

That’s interesting ArielAnna I think my H and I would definitely respond in the same ways as the majority. I don’t think that’s the same as loving the partner/kids more or less though, I think as you say it may be more childcare related.

LynetteScavo Thu 19-Apr-18 22:59:20

I know several mothers who suffered terribly when, for financial reasons had to return to work after having their baby. I dint know any men who struggled to return to work.

I think mothers are usually more closely bonded with their baby than the father, but over time fathers become equally bonded.

I dint think you measure how much you love your baby by how much you trust somebody else to care for them, though.

SaucyJane Thu 19-Apr-18 23:00:09

It's like when people say the father is "babysitting" if the mother has a night out. Er. No. He's doing child care, as he should!

Of course men love their children just as much as women. Anyone doubting that should have seen my DP giving our newborn daughter the tour of the house and then explaining cricket to her in great detail, to shush her gently while I shovelled down some dinner (we've been having one of those cluster feeding days, argh!). My DF might not know how to express himself, but I am absolutely secure in the knowledge that he loves me just as much as my lovely DM did.

However I do agree with the post above that says SOME men seem to find it easier to walk out on children than women - certainly my DP's dad did exactly that sad

DidNotThinkItWouldHappenHere Thu 19-Apr-18 23:00:38

Pretty sure I love my kids more than my ex does.

If I was only an hour away from them for two months there's no way I wouldn't be in touch and arranging to meet them.

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