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to be hurt at comment re not being with ds very much as i work??!!!

(105 Posts)
cheekymonk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:23:43

Morning all!
DS starts school today and was talking to neighbour about it, who is a sahm with 3 kids. She said that 'well you work so you are used to not seeing ds much but it will still be a shock when he starts school'.

I think this is really out of order and very smug and self righteous! yes I have worked since ds was 1 and started with 2 days and now work 4 days/26 hours per week. It is not all day every day. A child starting school is a wrench for ANY parent imo and even if I did work full-time I think this is an unnecessary comment.

I have had this week off with ds and really enjoyed being with him. Perhaps I am questioning my decisions and do feel guilty so am sensitive to comments like these!

I do feel that there is an under current of because I have been working, ds starting school is less of a big deal and almost like I have not earnt the right to enjoy 'the break' once he goes because I have been working!! I am changing hours to fit exactly with school hours and am lucky my job is flexible enough to do that but will have no 'break' like many parents.

I just hate that being a working mum makes me somehow less of a mum in some people's eyes. it is unfair, insulting and untrue!

cheekymonk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:25:15

I mean most parents will have no break as they will continue working or looking after other dcs at home!

LadyPinkofPinkerton Thu 10-Sep-09 10:26:07

Some people are just rude and self righteous. 26 hours a week is not exactly a lot of hours. I thought you were going to say you worked 60 hours a week or something. Not that it would have given her a right to make the comment even then.

Rubyrubyruby Thu 10-Sep-09 10:26:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shonaspurtle Thu 10-Sep-09 10:27:24

I'm a working mum and tbh I think you're being a bit sensitive.

I'm sure I will find it less of a wrench when ds starts school than someone who's been a sahm. Not to say that it won't be just as big a deal, but I had that wrench already - at 11 months when he started nursery 3 days a week.

Of course anyone who thinks you're less of a mother is being unfair and insulting but I think we tend to read insults where there are none. smile

mazzystartled Thu 10-Sep-09 10:29:32

How much of all that do you think she actually meant? She was probably just being a bit thoughtless, and in an attempt to empathise managed to say the wrong thing.

I hope your little boy has a great first day.

Lizzzombie Thu 10-Sep-09 10:29:35

Definately rude of her. She is obviously just intimidated by the fact you manage to hold a job and bring up your child. wink

I work 16-20 hours pw and got told in passing recently by a friend of mine that "...it was different for me as I was basically a SAHM" !!!?!

You can't win either way. Best of luck to your DS.

cheekymonk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:30:26

Yes I agree it was a massive wrench when ds started nursery, I cried nearly all day. I still feel pretty worked up, anxious and nervous about him starting school though. It is a massive thing and it is when i think about the structure and rigidity of it I feel a bit sad. With nursery we could whip him out for random day trips etc but no such luxury with school!
Yes I fully admit I am being sensitive but still feel it was an unreasonable comment.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Thu 10-Sep-09 10:30:34

Hi cheekymonk.

Unless she is usually an insensitive or unkind person I really wouldn't take her comments that way. I don't think it sounded particularly smug or self righteous. Or that she thinks you are 'less of a mum' because you work.

Try not to take it personally, you know exactly how you feel about your son starting school and of course it will be a wrench for you too smile

cheekymonk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:31:46

So true lizzzombie. Thanks mazzystartled too. I hope he has a great day too!grin

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 10-Sep-09 10:32:27

Smug bitch grin

Seriously, I don't know why people feel the need to belittle other mothers' choices. We are all different. I'm working now and I know it makes me a happier, more fulfilled and therefore better mum. If anyone disagrees with that they can do one. Ignore her, she's probably jealous

policywonk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:33:24

I think your neighbour phrased it tactlessly, and lord knows those of us whose DCs are starting school this week are easily upset (DS2 is starting on Friday and I've had a wobbly lower lip for about three days).

But, with the best will in the world, parents who stay at home with their kids spend more actual time with their kids than parents who work out of the home, especially during the preschool years. It doesn't mean that SAHPs are 'better' parents, whatever that means - it's just a bald fact.

My friend (works three days a week) and I (SAHM) were talking about this yesterday - we both have children starting Reception this week. She freely said that she thought it would be more dificult for me than it will be for her, because her DC has been going to nursery for years now. That's not to say that starting school won't be tremendously significant for her and her son, but the separation will be a lot easier for them than it will be for me and my DS

<runs off to cry>

EyeballsintheSky Thu 10-Sep-09 10:33:32

I don't think that was rude; tactless perhaps but she's right. I work three days and said to DH last night that between Sunday bedtime and Thursday wake up I hardly see DD. It's life, no better or worse than her but you would see less of your dc than she does.

shootfromthehip Thu 10-Sep-09 10:35:36

Won't be popular here but I had a very similar conversation with a mate of mine who has worked since her DC were 7mths old. She was telling me how upset she was that her DD was about to start school and I did think 'Why?'. I have been a SAHM since having my DC 5 1/2 yrs ago and was really upset that my oldest was to go to school as I'd miss her so much. My life was to change cconsiderably. My mate's life was not going to change one bit.

I do not think that being a SAHM entitles me to have more of an emotional response to my child starting school than you or my friend, but I think you have to acknowledge that for a SAHM having their first child go to school is a culture shock in a way that it can't be when you are a working parent.

Agree about the separation issues happening earlier when you go back to work. Lots of people have then but surely the timing of that is different for SAHM and WMs?

pasturesnew Thu 10-Sep-09 10:35:47

I really don't think she said that to be rude or to hurt your feelings, but agree it was tactless.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Thu 10-Sep-09 10:35:50

I can't understand why so many people see the comment as smug.

All she said was 'well you work so you are used to not seeing ds much but it will still be a shock when he starts school'.

Which is true.

All the other stuff about being less of a mum, questioning her decisions and not having the right to enjoy her break was implied by the OP, not said by the neighbour!

Bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 10-Sep-09 10:36:44

Well it was possibly factually correct as a sahm I spend more time with the children during the day than dh who is a work.

It does depend on the tone the comment was made in, if offence was meant or if she was just voicing the opinion that even though you are working part of the week your dc starting school is a big change for all of us?

I don't view dh as less of a father for being a work so I don't view a workingmother as less of a parent either! If/ when I go back to work I will have to accept that a proportion of my current duties will be delegated. Whatever you do as a parent has guilt attached that is unavoidable it seems - and most of it comes from the perception that everyone else is judging what we do!

Let it go. smile

Bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 10-Sep-09 10:36:45

Well it was possibly factually correct as a sahm I spend more time with the children during the day than dh who is a work.

It does depend on the tone the comment was made in, if offence was meant or if she was just voicing the opinion that even though you are working part of the week your dc starting school is a big change for all of us?

I don't view dh as less of a father for being a work so I don't view a workingmother as less of a parent either! If/ when I go back to work I will have to accept that a proportion of my current duties will be delegated. Whatever you do as a parent has guilt attached that is unavoidable it seems - and most of it comes from the perception that everyone else is judging what we do!

Let it go. smile

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 10-Sep-09 10:37:15

I can understand why the comment hurt, but you're probably a bit sensitive about this, as am I. Especially when my SIL says things like "I don't know how you can work, I'd feel far too guilty".

So YANBU.

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 10-Sep-09 10:40:36

I also think the emotions you feel when a DC starts school is not just because you will be separated from them, but because it is a milestone, and they are growing up kind of outwith your control. Which all parents will feel equally I should expect, and not just those who SAH.

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 10-Sep-09 10:41:39

Message withdrawn

SoupDragon Thu 10-Sep-09 10:41:47

She wasn't being smug and self righteous, she was being truthful. You are used to being apart from your DS and he from you.

The fact that you don't like being reminded of it is your problem, not hers. She didn't say "you are less of a mother and won't suffer when he goes to school" she said you are used to not seeing him all the time but that it will still be a shock. where does she say you are less of a mother??

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 10-Sep-09 10:43:20

I think yabu and taking this comment far to personally. She's commenting using her experiences of being at home with the kids all day and tbh you are away from our child longer than she is so she is thinking you are uswed to it.

If you feel guilty you need to deal with that rather than making her out to be a bitch, I'm sure she doesn't spend this much time worrying about what you think of her.

policywonk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:43:51

Clare, obv. I can only speak for myself here, but DS2 and I are going to be extremely upset by the separation - hopefully only in the short term, but it's a very big part of what's making both of us rather tense and upset this week.

shootfromthehip Thu 10-Sep-09 10:45:49

Totally agree Clara (great name by the way, nudge nudge wink wink) but the issue is complicated as a SAHM as it alters your whole routine and has a massive impact on how you fill your time. I have had to restructure my whole day as I now only have DS at home who missed his companion and playmate and needs more interaction and structured time with me. I too really miss DD as she has become great company in the run up to school. It's not just the emotion of the milestone, it's the practical implications too.

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