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to ask people whose mother worked when you were young, how you felt about it?

(94 Posts)
groogle Fri 05-Jun-09 19:23:33

I'm really interested in this, as my Mum was a SAHM all her life. I'm going to be working FT soon (DD will be 18 months), and I anticipate that this might be the case for a large part of my life, although I am lucky enough to have some flexibility. So, I wondered, if there are Mumsnetters out there whose Mum's worked FT from a young age, or close to, how did it feel, and what do you remember about it? I hope this hasn't been done before (or at least recently) - I did a search and couldn't find anything.

Tee2072 Fri 05-Jun-09 19:26:39

My mum worked for most of my life, full time, or more. I was, as they say, a latch key kid from the time I was about 12. Before that we had a series of 'housekeepers' to look after me and my brother.

I mostly remember how great it was! So much freedom at a young age. Very hard to set rules, such as no TV before homework done, when there was no one to check up on you.

Of course we had rules, no using the stove, don't answer the phone etc etc etc.

And it was always easier to 'get around' housekeepers than my mum, anyway. grin

I do, still, on occasion, when I'm feeling feisty, complain that she never went on any field trips or acted as a room mother, but for the most part, I don't think it did me any harm to have her working.

Thunderduck Fri 05-Jun-09 19:27:16

My mother worked three jobs at one timeto keep us at one time, as my father was so unreliable, and a bit of an asshole at times to be honest.

I feel sorry that she had to spend so much time working, it was hard on her, but I'm very proud of her and feel lucky to have such a good mother.

I never have felt any resentment towards her, and don't believe I would have even if she had worked because she wanted to,not because she had to.

Tinker Fri 05-Jun-09 19:28:37

My mum worked FT once I was at school. And she was quite ill for much of the time pre-school so don't really have many/any memories of that period. I thought it was entirely normal to have a working mum, that's all I knew. Certianly no resentment.

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Jun-09 19:29:13

I went to a childminders from a very young age, my mum worked shifts then but then worked normal hours from be being still quite young. i thought it was fine - my parents were my parents, very involved, most of my childhood memories are family things, don't see how a few hours spent with a childminder changed any f that

BeatRoute Fri 05-Jun-09 19:29:49

My Mum worked full time in adult education so did get school holidays off with us, but I remember it just being normal to me and my sister that we went to a childminder's house after school until Mum collected us at 5 o'clock.
When we got a bit older (sister about 11, me about 8) we were allowed to go straight home on our own after school. Proper latchkey kids but we loved it! Got up to all sorts in that magic hour between getting home and Mum arriving back...
The only times I felt miffed was sports days when my Mum wouldn't be able to come because she was working, but from what I know now as a Mum who also works out of the house full time, employers are now a lot more flexible about family matters.

Noonki Fri 05-Jun-09 19:30:00

no personal experience as my mum was a sahm.

but MIL's mum worked f/t and my MIL is very opiniated that one of the parents should be around when the dcs are little as she felt like an inconvinence sad.

Mind I think my mum was driven slightly insane having to be a SAHM!

willowthewispa Fri 05-Jun-09 19:30:54

My mother stayed at home til I was 8, and I wasn't bothered at all about her returning to work at that point. My youngest sister was 4 though and still feels she was a bit neglected as a child.

Aimsmum Fri 05-Jun-09 19:32:53

Message withdrawn

BCNS Fri 05-Jun-09 19:33:06

My mum worked full time, after school and holidays we spent with grandparent.. which I loved.. as a teen I had a lot of freedom.. long as I was in the house for the mum phone call to make sure things were okay.. or had called her to let her know I was going out. etc

I am so so proud of her, she started small and ended up with an amaizing career!

If I can end up just like my mum.. I won't have gone too far wrong in my life

by the way I hire her out she is fab!

Weegle Fri 05-Jun-09 19:34:09

Going to buck the trend here - but I wonder if it's because my mother wasn't a good mother when she was around - but my mother worked long hours from when I was 6 weeks. I didn't see her during the week and at weekends we used to hear nothing but stress about her work. At 7 I was sent to boarding school. She was never around during holidays, and never supported me in anything at school, came to plays, sports days, prize givings etc - we had it made clear to us that she was saving the world through her job (pharamceuticals, working on HIV). Do I resent it? Not really, I don't have much feeling towards her generally. Would I want the same for my children? No - I have taken the active decision to be a SAHM as long as finances put us in that position, no matter what the sacrifices (and there are a lot). But as I said at the beginning - I suspect so much of it comes down to HOW you are as a mother in the times that you are around.

ShellingPeas Fri 05-Jun-09 19:35:19

My mother worked fulltime from when I was preschool age (which was unusual in NZ back in the early 70s). I don't feel hard done by or that I missed out on anything - if anything my Mum was nicer when she was working as she was less stressy and uptight (and I do, now, appreciate how she felt at the time).

We had a series of really fun childminders/baby sitters over the school holidays so I don't think it affected me or my sister terribly much.

nickytwotimes Fri 05-Jun-09 19:35:28

My Mum worked all her life.
A lot of the time it fitted around me - night/evening shifts. If she wasn't around, my Dad was or my Aunt. Occassionally, a friend's Mum minded me.

I loved it. I loved the variety, not just stuck with boring old mum all the time!

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Jun-09 19:35:59

Weegle, I'm sorry you feel like that I agree though that to a certain extent it's quality not quantity (although I wouldn't want to see DS for only an hour a day, say!). My parents as I've said both worked full time from when I was a young age but I was the centre of their world. Any time they did have, they wanted to spend with me.

Metella Fri 05-Jun-09 19:36:02

God, I wish my mum had gone back to work instead of sitting around the house whinging about how much she'd given up for us!!!

BCNS Fri 05-Jun-09 19:38:35

ooh I have an add..

mum juggled full time career, my sister who was disabled.. an all those thing that go with it..etc studied for her first degree while she worked.. then got her second again still with a full time career.. coped with my sisters death.. etc.. and not once did I ever ever felt left out or pushed away or that she was too busy. I knew.. one phone call and she'd be right with me no matter what.

maybe that's the difference

chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 19:38:43

My mum always worked.

I have a memory of missing her dreadfully - sorry.

I remember her coming to pick me up from school one day as a suprise. I was so excited and happy I cried.

I hated coming home to an empty house when i was older.

My mum always seemed stressed and annoyed at us kids for not helping enough at home. She was out all day saturday shopping and spent sunday swearing her way through the housework.

I have had to work with all of mine though. DD was only 6mth when I went back full time.

I went part time as soon as I could and have always done the school run.

TrillianAstra Fri 05-Jun-09 19:39:45

I have friends (a couple) who each had different experiences and each are very strong advocates of the way things were for them. Not sure how that'll work out when they had kids. Her Mum SAHM and she says she appreciated her mum being there. His Mum was WOHM and he says he appreciated that she worked hard so they could have things (holidays, etc) that they couldn't have had otherwise. I think this shows that as long as you are a caring mother and they feel loved your children will be happy.

Thunderduck Fri 05-Jun-09 19:40:58

Boarding school at 7 Weegie? That's so young.sad

ChasingSquirrels Fri 05-Jun-09 19:41:21

my mum did "bits" while my brother and I were small, then when I went to school she went back to college and did an NNEB and then a BEd. She finished and got a full time teaching job when I was 9.
The nature of both the training and the job was that she was around in the holidays, and she was around when I was smaller.

I think she was fantastic to have done that with small children.

Weegle Fri 05-Jun-09 19:44:15

Yes quality of the time the parent is with you comes in to it so much: unlike BCNS I have one very clear memory of when I was knocked unconscious, needed to be taken to hospital for stitches and the school phoned my mother - she refused to come as she was too busy. I don't say that to be 'woe is me' but I can't as a parent relate to that at all. Another time we were in a car crash with the au pair - it was before the days of back seat seatbelts and I was (in hindsight) concussed and blackened face - my mother insisted the AP took us to school in a taxi - school sickbayed me. So it's clearly about how you handle those sorts of situations - I think it is still possible to have your number one priority as your children yet still work.

hatesponge Fri 05-Jun-09 19:44:23

My mum worked full time from when I started school - I was quite sickly to the age of 5 so she couldn't go back to work before then. For me the only downside was that I didn't like a lot of my childminders (I would have far rather have been looked after by my grandparents but they lived too far for it to be practicable) but from the age of 10/11 I stayed at home on my own which as a rather solitary child I really loved

I had the most amazing relationship with my mum, and never resented her going to work, in fact I think I grew up with the idea that both parents SHOULD work, for emotional as well as financial reasons.

I have always worked f/t as well even though financially I havent always needed to (but for me working is about independance, and being able to support myself, not relying on a man...another idea drummed into me by my parents!)

Thunderduck Fri 05-Jun-09 19:45:04

Weegle even. I can't type today. Lack of chocolate.

nevergonnapost Fri 05-Jun-09 19:46:04

my mum was a sahm to the 5 of us i think i can count on one hand the number of times i came home from school/work and she wasnt there dinner all ready etc if on rare occasions she wasnt there the house just felt horrible without her she was the pivot in our family and it all fell to bits when she died

Weegle Fri 05-Jun-09 19:49:10

that's alright Thunderduck - I loved boarding, really did, so I was fortunate. My sister on the other hand hated it. But there's no way I would send a child of mine to boarding until sixth form - and then they'd have to beg me! (but given we are not exactly well off as a result of my decision to be SAHM that won't be happening!)

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