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friend's view on a 'proper family'

(180 Posts)
LLM88 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:04:21

A friend said today that a home with a few siblings, and basically a sahm is what makes a proper family and it has hit a nerve. I can't afford to be a sahm, not sure I really want to anyway, and I don't actually want another child (have one toddler age dc). I feel guilty, am I depriving my dc of a normal home life by working and not giving him siblings? I feel conflicted all the time about my choices as it is (not enough time for him, guilt at nursery drop offs etc) and this hasn't helped, especially as her view of a proper family is exactly what I had growing up! Should I put my dcs needs first and have another child so he can experience a more traditional home life?

Am I being ridiculous?!

Curtainshopping Tue 12-Jun-18 13:05:52

No, she is

Storm4star Tue 12-Jun-18 13:07:20

What is a proper family nowadays? We have single parent families, blended families, same sex parents, children raised by grandparents. They're all "proper families". Your friend is talking rubbish!

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Tue 12-Jun-18 13:07:22

Imo a proper family is being around folks who love you unconditionally.
As an only I was miserable but only due to a shite dm.

LittleBirdBlues Tue 12-Jun-18 13:07:56

She doesn't sound like a good friend!

There are so many ways of being a good mum and creating a happy home. There definitely isn't one "right" way!

Nursery drop off guilt is normal. How old is your dc?

Either tell your friend how her comments made you feel so she can think about the impact her voicing her opinions has had on you, or distance yourself from her.

Rawesome6 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:09:51

Did she say that to you directly, knowing you can't / choose not to structure your family life in that way? If so she doesn't sound a very kind friend to you! (And she's talking shite!)

Maciesmammy Tue 12-Jun-18 13:10:10

I'm in the same position so would like to see other people's views on this. Almost everyone I know has more than 1 child or is planning to in the future, then there's me. I really don't think I want anymore children. I have 1 dd who I love to bits but she is really hard work atm and I can't seem to find enough hours in the day as it is xx

nokidshere Tue 12-Jun-18 13:11:10

You can't regulate what people say or think but you can change your response to it. Guilt is a completely wasted emotion. You know what she said is rubbish so stop giving it headspace.

Pastaagain78 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:12:05

Nonsense. I was a single child with a working mum and dad. I know am a sahm with 3 DS. Both of these are ‘proper’ families. Don’t have another child for your child, they may hate each other! My DS1 and DS2 have a tricky relationship. Have another if you and your partner want one but not just for DC1.

LLM88 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:12:11

Thanks for the responses. He is 2 and a half. I think it was the idea that no siblings is a terrible thing to do to my child that really got to me, I have to work and part time nursery is unavoidable for us, but I could choose to put my own preferences aside and have another baby??

SoddingUnicorns Tue 12-Jun-18 13:12:44

Your friend is a judgemental twat. “Proper”? Wtf is a proper family? Families come in all shapes and sizes, made up in different ways.
I’m sorry she made you feel crap.

LLM88 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:13:43

Agree I feel like I just about cope with one, plus work, house and life admin, basically just surviving as it is here!

eeanne Tue 12-Jun-18 13:14:15

Don’t have another baby for your friend. I’ve realized people talk a lot of shit about how they think your family should be - but will they be there when you’re struggling with your second pregnancy and baby?

Racecardriver Tue 12-Jun-18 13:14:19

Are you sure she didn'team to say nuclear. That is what I would call a nuclear family. A proper family I would define as a functional family where there are no major relationship problems or abuse that is completely self sufficient. Whether that is 2.5 kids and a dog with heterosexual married couple for parents with a SA HM with dad who commutes to the city to pay for the 2000 sqf rural house and school fees or a hippy dippy single mum living in a campervan traveling Europe with her only child dc. So lp g as everyone is happy and not a burden to anyone else that is enough.

DowntonCrabby Tue 12-Jun-18 13:14:36

You have a proper family but maybe need some better friends!

SoddingUnicorns Tue 12-Jun-18 13:15:16

I have a brother because my parents had been convinced that being an only child would be awful for me. Oh god I hate that bastard. He made my life a misery until last year when I finally had enough and cut the fucker out of my life, so siblings aren’t necessarily a good thing.

We have 3 kids, I’m a SAHM, that’s what works for us. Among their friendship groups there are one child families, multiple child families, step families (us included), parents where both are women, single parent families, WOHM, SAHM. No family is more valid than any other and the sort of people who think they are are twats.

Thumbcat Tue 12-Jun-18 13:15:31

I have one DC through choice and I work. My DS is happy and loved and we are most definitely a proper family. I'd go a bit crazy if I had to stay home with multiple children. Maybe that's how your friend feels and she's trying to make herself feel better. I wouldn't give it any further thought.

Cath2907 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:16:25

I have 1 DD she is 7. She is an only through mine and DHs choice. We love her and she is FAB. We have a great family life. On the weekend we either go away in the caravan or we take her swimming or to local parks or the beach. This Saturday she and I spent some mummy and daughter time shopping for shoes (she loves shopping for things for her) in town followed by a posh lunch out (her choice). I was sick on Sunday so DH took her swimming in the morning and then out to the nearest large park for a scoot and an icecream.

She has plenty of 1:1 time with both of us and time with us all together as a 3. We see family with other similar aged children pretty often. As far as she is concerned she gets the best deal going!

I work full time from home and am often away with clients for a few days at a time. It's all she has ever known and she is fine with it. My husband is a SAHD.

Ours is definitely not the typical set-up but it works for us and DD is a well balanced, sociable, popular, relaxed and loving young lady (although I may be a bit biased). Our dog however is a pain in the bum and if he keeps trying to get up on my knee at my desk he is going to be sent to the local canning factory!!!!!!!!!!!

Love51 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:18:16

Unless you and your partner both want another child, don't have one. They are hard work.
Loads of families mix and match ft/pt/sahp over the years. None that I've met feel they were only a 'proper family' for the sahp duration! Back when I was born, there were a limited number of ways to get a family. Now there's IVF, surragacy, legally married gay parents, parents who aren't married but are together, separated parents, (as well as adoption / fostering / special guardianship).
And I know people who feel a home isn't a home without a dog. I doesn't mean I'm about to go out and get one!
I think this is about you second guessing your choices. Reconsider them if you aren't happy but don't live your life by public vote!

Steeley113 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:18:21

Families come in all shapes and sizes and different things work for all of them. As long as you all love each other then what does it matter? I work and have 3 dc. However I work nights and stay at home with the kids in the day, are we still a proper family to her grin

LLM88 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:18:28

And yes she knows I can't structure my life like hers, which is very easy and allows her to be a sahm to a few dc with no real financial worries.

OohMavis Tue 12-Jun-18 13:18:34

Is she a good friend? If so, I doubt she meant to hurt your feelings. But it was a really thoughtless thing to say.

Do you think by 'proper' she may have meant 'ideal for her'? In which case it will be different for everyone. It may have been an expression of her own insecurities rather than judgment on your situation.

People don't think before they speak sometimes.

liquidrevolution Tue 12-Jun-18 13:19:10

Christ no. I couldnt stand my sister growing up. Still can't tbh but we manage to be civil in public.

My DD is an only child. Cant have another due to health reasons and I wouldnt be able to work and pay for childcare for two so I wouldn't have another anyhow. I like my career and work 4 days a week.

Your 'friend' is a nob.

LLM88 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:20:12

Sorry that was a very late reply to an earlier message!

LLM88 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:21:31

Ok feeling better now! I guess it did make me second guess as I always imagined I would have at least 2, and now I don't want to do that I can't quite see how my family will look in the future, iyswim?!

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