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To wonder how employers view SAHMs?

(23 Posts)
lemmathelemmin Thu 28-May-20 13:59:09

I've been at home for 4 years, with on-off /sporadic cleaning work.

I've attended a few job interviews for administrative roles (despite having only a bit of experience) and I distinctly remember three of those interviewers asking me what I'll do for childcare if I were to get the job. My partner has never been asked this in his life.

I'm thinking about putting "caring responsibilities for an elderly, now deceased relative" on my CV and not mention or indicate in any way that I am a mother. If this is a bad idea, then what should I do to make it look like I am a reliable candidate who won't turn out to be a liability?

OP’s posts: |
grumpyorange Thu 28-May-20 14:06:26

I had an internal interview a few months ago one of the first questions I was asked is what I would do for childcare, who would get him in emergencies and how do I feel about putting him in a nursery/childminders. (Just finished maternity leave so they knew)
They seemed to fixate over my answers it is very annoying!

grumpyorange Thu 28-May-20 14:07:15

I wouldn't put in on your CV though. Just leave it if they mention children feel free to bring it up but if you know you have childcare cover why mention it at all

SpongebobNoPants Thu 28-May-20 14:10:37

I’ve only been asked this once and I replied “Do you have children? What do you do when they get sick?”
He was so taken aback and realised how inappropriate his question was, he swiftly moved on

HeckyPeck Thu 28-May-20 14:17:42

I wouldn’t put an actual lie as you’re bound to be caught out and lying on cv/application would be a dismissable offence where I’ve worked.

You could put caring responsibilities and then just give a vague answer, i.e. it’s no longer needed full time and won’t affect my work.

ComtesseDeSpair Thu 28-May-20 14:19:09

You can explain it however you want, if you think being a SAHM is being held against you. But considering most people do have children and need some form of childcare, you’re unlikely to be the only candidate in your position.

I’ve interviewed candidates in the past who have automatically assumed they’ll use flexitime (which wasn’t available for the particular role) or put in a request for part-time hours soon after starting (again, not available) - or on one memorable occasion, candidate commented she was glad to see the staff room because her school-age DC would be able to play in there between finishing school and her finishing work! Maybe they just ask about your childcare to clarify that you aren’t banking on flexitime/ home working which they can’t accommodate?

lemmathelemmin Thu 28-May-20 14:20:30


You didnt get the job did you?

OP’s posts: |
SpongebobNoPants Thu 28-May-20 14:22:57

Yes a did grin

SpongebobNoPants Thu 28-May-20 14:23:54

I* did

I was more than qualified for the position and he clearly made the right decision because I’m fantastic at my job

myself2020 Thu 28-May-20 14:24:29

I‘m not sure they are allowed to ask the question to be fair.
However, a lot of people don’t think the consequence of returning to work through.... and once work distribution in a family is established (and SAHP means that parent does pretty much everything), its hard to break. Many (not all) former SAHPs struggle with sharing caring responsibilities once returned to work, which sucks for their employer snd colleagues

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Thu 28-May-20 14:28:05

I didn’t think they were allowed to ask this, I must say. But then I’m not an expert

usersouthcoast Thu 28-May-20 14:28:26

So inappropriate for them to ask you that! As an ex manager, I never asked that, I just assumed staff had thought that all through as they understood the shift patterns weren't set in stone etc.
I did have a senior member of staff who for the third time in a row asked if she could leave to pick up sick child from school, I said "yes of course if you need to, but can I ask if your husband can help at all".... she had genuinely never thought to 'bother' her husband despite both earning the same and our business relying on her to receive medication etc. (Care home).

I'm a SAHM, and despite me earning (when I return to work) half of what my husband does (finance in London), he knows it will be him leaving meetings etc to care for children at the last minute.

Milssofadoesntreallyfit Thu 28-May-20 14:35:25

I can understand concerns on both sides. Being a mum of two and an employer. I would always make sure my employment wouldn't suffer if kid issues cropped up, which it has sometimes, I made sure I had ways of dealing with it. As an employer It wouldn't bother me if you had kids and had been a sray at home mum.
I would want to be reassured you were prepared for such eventualities, as a pp mentioned it means no unreasonable presumption is made. For me its just ensuring that you are able to deal with things practically in in line with what we could offer.
Better to to it before people start than not mention it and the whes fall off.
Child care and work isn't fool proof so it is important that it's considered before hand.

Milssofadoesntreallyfit Thu 28-May-20 14:37:40

Stay not sray
Wheels not whes.

Worriedaboutthefuture1 Thu 28-May-20 14:41:24

I work in the Public Sector and we are definitely not allowed to ask about childcare or maternity leave in interviews. If you have been interviewed by a company that thinks it’s ok to ask these questions then you’ve had a lucky escape in not getting the job.

Olliephaunt4eyes Thu 28-May-20 14:45:29

I'd just not mention the kids on your CV. Don't actively lie, but don't bring it up.

I don't think employers should ask but I get why some do. I had someone work for me once who was lovely, but at one point she seemed to be taking one day every couple of weeks due to a childcare issue, and her job wasn't really one she could do from home. It was really nightmarish.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Thu 28-May-20 15:08:07

I can see it for both sides. They shouldn't be asking this, unless they ask everyone this including all the men.

To the people saying dont mention it, I'm sure most gaps on CVs will be questioned. I'd probably either put it in the CV (and add children now in school / nursery etc) or leave it blank and prepare to be questioned on it. I think it will come across better if you make it clear you have back up childcare or the children's father will share it equally if kids are ill or need a parent in school for something.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Thu 28-May-20 15:46:59

There are more companies now running projects and doing events to encourage women who have had time out of their career for children, back into the workplace, I'd see if I could focus on them

lemmathelemmin Thu 28-May-20 18:26:40

That's interesting, the "back to work" schemes. I'll look in to them, but I'm sure you have to had been a professional and established before having kids. Who will take on a newbie with little work experience?

OP’s posts: |
OoohTheStatsDontLie Thu 28-May-20 19:37:45

Yes I think they are more aimed at people who have say previously been on a grass scheme. But I'd say that it shows that those companies value all different kinds of employees and might also take a more positive view towards returning mothers in all of their roles, even those outside the scheme, if that makes sense

OoohTheStatsDontLie Thu 28-May-20 19:38:04

Grad scheme!

Nosuchluck Thu 28-May-20 19:56:53

I didn't think employers could ask these types of questions.

Ragwort Thu 28-May-20 20:01:36

Surely you shouldn’t be asked this question?

Just put ‘career break’ (although the interviewer may just assume).

My DH was amazed recently when he and his boss (female) were interviewing for a new recruit and the boss and the interviewee ended up discussing the difficulties of arranging childcare hmm. The interviewee ended up crying as she said it was all so difficult. Needless to say she didn’t get the job.

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