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Negative attitudes from 'friends' after returning to work

(24 Posts)
Kass44 Sat 22-Sep-12 22:32:43

Just returned to work following a year off after I had my son I also have twins as well who have just started school. I have a number of friends who are SAHM and I have no problem with that however last week one of them was suddenly very unfriendly and when I was saying how hard it was to leave my little boy she said 'well you shouldn't have all those children and expect someone else to bring them up' and then followed in the afternoon of the same day someone saying that remember you can never get those early years back. I feel like the worst mother in the world. I work 3 days a week in central London and 1 at home. Family help out 1 day a week the rest of the time the little one is in nursery and the boys go to school combined with am/pm clubs. I don't 'need' to work however the money is v.useful and I have a very good and well paid career which if I don't go back to now would be hard to get back into at a later date. I also like working but now I feel like a bad mother for saying this.

DarrellRivers Sat 22-Sep-12 22:35:20

Ignore them
Drop them as friends
They are jealous most probably
And you are not a bad mother

AuraofDora Sat 22-Sep-12 22:39:05

it's very black and white for some people I'm afraid
If you have told them you dont need the money then maybe they dont understand why you have returned to work, for most people it is about the money and many struggle in order to be a sahp

besmirchedandbewildered Sat 22-Sep-12 22:42:15

IME this is an extension of the very weird thing some women do, where they justify their own life choices by slating women who've made different ones. We see it all the time on MN with BF/FF, SAHM/WOHM etc. Drives me potty.
I would just not engage. If it's not this issue, it'll be something else. You're not a bad mother and they are not good friends. Move on.

Aboutlastnight Sat 22-Sep-12 22:42:34


I had one woman say, "well when they need you, they need you," etc when I started working.


MerylStrop Sat 22-Sep-12 22:44:42

They are talking nonsense.
Next time, I would tell them so.
I agree with the poster who said it was about validating their own life choices. This is about their own insecurities, nothing more.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 22-Sep-12 22:48:27

Just ignore- and to the point they are only little for a while, that's exactly why you would be mad to turn your back on your career! It doesn't mean you love them any less.

blueshoes Sat 22-Sep-12 23:09:18

Sounds like they have issues ... wonder if these same women say that to their partners.

You need to let it wash over you like water off a duck's back. You are very fortunate to have a well paid job that allows you to work flexibly and a work life in addition to a family one.

orangeberries Sun 23-Sep-12 14:36:08

Been there, had all that....

Like others' said, these comments are made by insecure people who have chips on their shoulders. I would also add that I have seen SAHMs with that attitude having to return to work full time because of many reasons (divorce, DH redundant, DH sick) and then being embarassed to show their face after the continous running commentary they made previously.

It's always a better life philosophy to live and let live! I would ignore completely, in fact erase them and do not engage in conversation with them.

LouMacca Sun 23-Sep-12 14:45:21

You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't!

I am a SAHM, my twins are at school and I am in the lucky position of not needing to work (for now!) However I do help out at school, help working friends out lots by having their kids before and after school and also visit my elderly parents most days.

I have the opposite response to you - catty comments about coffee mornings and shopping trips and outright asking me when am I going to get a job!! I put that down to pure jealously.

You do what is right for you and your family. These people are not friends.....

Aloha31 Sun 23-Sep-12 14:57:15

Many people think physical presence = being a parent. There is so much more to it than that! Just ask around any group of adults and see if there is any difference between how close they are to their mums and whether they were sahm or wohm. There isn't! I actually find it a bit biased towards wohms, especially among my female friends.

I have done both.

Think of the wonderful example you are showing your dcs!

Xenia Sun 23-Sep-12 15:50:55

They are obviously of very small brain. There are hundreds of reasons why children do better if their mothers work. Just think of a good retort back to them about the poor example they are setting, how they are kicking our forebears who fought for the right to work in the teeth, how they are idle and leeching off men in a way which is tantamount to prostitution.

Kass44 Sun 23-Sep-12 22:44:12

Thank you for all the positive responses. I firmly believe different things are right for different people I have no problem if people are SAHM's I think it is very selfless and very hard work and I would never feel it necessary to comment on someone else's choices. I think a balance of work and family works very well for me on many levels and this posting has made me feel more confident that these remarks should be ignored and only if that balance of work and family has a negative effect on my children/DH should I worry :-)

eagerbeagle Tue 02-Oct-12 19:54:49

You are not a bad mum! I agree that comments of this sort are usually symptomatic of people's own issues. I have also never heard comments of this type to dads so it's pretty damn sexist too.

It's ok to work because you enjoy it. It's ok to want to keep a career you spent years busting your ass to build. It's ok to want to be financially secure and independent.

It's ok to stay at home with the children too if that's what you want.

It's not ok to criticise other Peo

eagerbeagle Tue 02-Oct-12 19:55:36

DAmn phone. Other People's choices (unless they have a go first in which case they are fair game).

ModreB Tue 02-Oct-12 20:56:05

A good mother is one who is happy, fulfilled, supportive and content when she is with her children. If this means that you work, and do not spend every minute of every day with your children, but are happy and supportive of them (your DC's I mean) when you do, then tell them all (your so called friends) to get lost and do what is right for you.

alvinchip Wed 03-Oct-12 00:06:21

I think there's a lot to be said for keeping your career going.

You have good support from your family.

Do what's right for you and your family.

I worked part-time (3 days) and have a good relationship with my dc. If she were having problems, I'd probably rethink but so far no problems. I think as long as the care is good and they seem happy, what's the problem.

Would agree with the other poster who said it's all about the quality of time you spend with them, which for me is much better when I'm happy.

Megan74 Wed 03-Oct-12 06:45:32

Ignore these people. It's different strokes for different folks. I work as I am happier that way. I have had these comments and I just say we do what works for us and you do what's right for you.

Talking of small brains Xenia, is there nothing in your brain saying comparing being a sahp to being a prostitute is an utterly ridiculous and misogynistic statement. There are many reasons people stay at home , some through choice but for many its not. It's amazing your take on feminism is that accusation. The irony.

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 03-Oct-12 07:13:38

I had negative comments when I said I was not going to back to work after DS1. It was as though it was the most alien thing in the world to stay home and look after your child, to one of my friends.

I did go back PT and would still be there after having DS2 had the company not fallen on hard times and making me redundant on mat leave.

The same friend has on several occasions called me a 'kept' woman. Once when I have been discussing retraining as something - 'oh it's ok for you,you are being kept by somebody. So you can retrain.' never mind the fact that I didn't have a decent secure job to go back to and that us the reason I have to retrain! And will do regardless of my relationship status.

And again when they were discussing two of my friend needing to find rich partners. I said there is more to life than money. And her retort was well you can say that as a 'kept' woman.

Despite my thoughts on money being firmly based on my own upbringing (Father out of work in 90's recession) a period of redundancy for DH in last recession.

And this is all in spite of the fact that for the last 18 months, I have been trying to set up my own business as a childminder.

After such a long post I guess what I'm trying to say is that the judgement goes both ways. And it is usually nasty insecure people trying to justify their own life choices/ situation. God knows why I am friends with her, she is just vile (long history of her being a nob) and I still have to pull her to one side and tell her to never say that to me again or else she will be ditched!

noviceoftheday Wed 03-Oct-12 07:20:23

I completely agree with everyone else. I don't need to work but I do because I bust a gut getting to where I am in my career. I love my kids and I like my job. I am great at my job and (I think!) I am a great mum but I would be a crap stay at home mum. Doesn't mean it isn't the right choice for other people. I have never had other people comment on my choices. If they did I would probably tell them to fuck right off and terminate the friendship pretty quickly. If you wanted judging you would go on x-factor!

HoleyGhost Wed 03-Oct-12 07:30:28

Being a SAHP you miss out on external validation. IME that makes insecure people worse.

It is not really about you. You are doing your best for your DC, playing a long game.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 03-Oct-12 07:38:46

You see, this is the thing.
There seems to be a big thing about taking offense and then making nasty comments about other peoples choices.
The op posts a comment about how she is upset by people saying she should be at home with her children and someone has to roll up with a comment about staying at home being somehow comparable to prostitution.

My opinion? If what you do works for your family, then your family is happy. It's irelavant what anyone else thinks.

There is never going to be a universal agreement on the best way to raise children. And not just the SAH/WOH thing.
We all do things differently. Some people for example let their DCs walk to school alone, some dont. Some people have a strict routine, some don't.

We as parents cannot in all honesty judge another parents choices because we are all different people in different circumstances.

It's ok to make different choices, we don't all have to parent the same way in order to be good parents.

Inge2012 Fri 05-Oct-12 14:16:58

Your choice is fabulous. So is hers. Is she jealous? Does she need to justify she is a SAHM? To some people being The One looking after their children ALL THE TIME, is the most important thing they could do. You are not slating that are you? So why would she slate you for your choice? You are going to be there for your children early mornings, late evenings, holidays, and 3 days a week. And I am sure you will make sure they have great experiences and are properly looked after the rest of the time. You are taking your responsibility as a parent, which is great. Some people believe women should work, just as men, because it's too risky leaving bringing in the family income to just 1 person. Some people are just happier working, than they are being at home. Not everyone likes being an investment banker, not everyone likes being a nursery teacher, not everyone likes being a SAHM. What's wrong with that. We all find our own balance.

Perhaps she is just scared you will no longer have time for her. She's trying to say she will miss you. If you want to still be friends with you, it might be wise to find out what's behind the comment. Does she secretly grieve for her lost career? Does she secretly not find fulfilment in her mother-role?

What a shame people do this sort of thing. I'd think you could use some support, it's not easy returning to work!

BlueberryHill Fri 05-Oct-12 21:13:32

Ignore the remarks, as a SAHM who would love to go back to work I'm a bit envious. The grass is always greener and all that.

I will go back to work, I'm just worried about how I am going to do it, need to change career and find something that will fit in with the children.

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