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Guilt

(56 Posts)
Jbr Sat 31-Mar-01 17:26:48

There is nothing wrong with mothers working, if it is bad for mothers to work, it is bad for dads to work!

Being a mother and a father are no different. I have just left another site called "Babyworld" because some members on that site think mothering and fathering are different. It is sexist drivel.

As for child care being "bad" in some way, some parents who don't work still use some forms of childcare. I was at playgroup when I was 2 until I started school and my mother didn't work! She thought it would help me to learn to play with other children.

Midge Sat 31-Mar-01 20:33:59

I seem to be unintentionally following you about tonight jbr!
You are so right about the "babyworld" site, glad I am not alone.
I would like to say that my best mate is a childminder and she is wonderful with the kids, I can't see how spending time with a good minder could be "bad".
My mother wouldnt send me to nursey/playgroup etc - she wanted me at home. In hindsight I was such a shy and introverted kid I think it would have been better for me to go out and spend time with other kids as my first day at primary school came as a huge shock - I remember it vividly.

Jbr Sun 01-Apr-01 11:59:18

Thanks Midge!! I am glad I have made some friends on here. Everyone hates me at Babyworld!! I lost my job and someone basically implied I shouldn't have had a job in the first place. It is mainly the women, I have to say, who go on about working mothers being selfish and so on. But even the SAHPs in the main work at night or something, so I don't see the argument a lot of the time.

I also, don't want to spend every waking minute with Jack my little boy and they make me seem terrible for saying it. Children I shoud imagine don't want to spend all day with their parents either, if we could ask them when they are tiny!!

Jack can't go to nursery now and I can't give him what he needs. It's nice being with children etc but I am not a teacher. I would no more consider having Jack at home when he was little than I would when he gets to school age. We play etc and I love him obviously but I cannot teach!

Marina Sun 01-Apr-01 19:15:24

More Babyworld refugees, eh? The last time I looked I thought it had gone quiet. I found the fact that you could change your name every time you made a post, or go "anon" if you wanted to be really confrontational, made the quality of the chat variable and sometimes downright offensive. I don't think setting up separate forums for SAHPs and parents working outside the home helped some of the contributors to see that whatever our circumstances we want to do the best for our kids.

Midge Sun 01-Apr-01 21:29:38

Moms are so often made to feel like an alien if they dare to admit that time out from your child can be beneficial to both. I have certainly noticed a difference in my one year old just from attending a twice weekly playgroup, he is much more adventurous now and is perfectly happy to wander away and be around other people while we are there.
Kids are so receptive I'm sure they get get bored with seeing the same old face all of the time, input from others is invaluable.

Jbr Sun 01-Apr-01 21:47:33

Members of babyworld (though not the moderators, they are very nice and helpful) think I am just a trouble maker! But some of the SAHPs (usually mothers) are really hateful towards the mothers who work, and my point was why do the mothers just get seen as bad why not the fathers? Not that it is bad to work. I have probably said some nasty things myself (I was probably one of the many Anons!) but as someone who lost their job, I don't like someone telling me that as a mother I should not have had a job in the first place.

I don't see why it has to be so "be all and end all". Change your job if it suits you but I don't think it is wrong for a mother to work, what is wrong with doing something at weekends or nights? If you can get something suitable that is. I don't even think it comes down to parenting sometimes. I think it is gender in general. People really think men are somehow "natural" providers and women "natural" carers. I have even asked on occasion that if people insist one parent should work and one shouldn't, why can't the man give up his job? And very often they have no logical answer. I am actually trying to do women a favour by getting us to be seen the same as men. If it hurts children for their mothers to work, it hurts for their dads to work. What's the difference? Why should women who work feel guilty? Women in the UK at least are very badly off financially and I don't think that is right. I am suspicious of anyone who wants to keep women out of the work force. I sometimes think the whole working mother = bad mother thing was invented by a man frightened of the competition!

I think if working mothers are "bad" in some way that goes for the fathers as well. But no a good father brings home the bacon and a good mother never breathes for a second without her kids next to her LOL!

Some of the working mothers have had some downright nasty comments. You could say the SAHP forum is theirs and they can say what they like but I don't think that is right. It should have been there to help each other, not sit and have a good old "I stay home because I don't want to hand my kids over to strangers" or "I didn't have my children to abandon them" slagging off!

Tom Sun 01-Apr-01 22:09:24

Couldn't agree with you more Jbr... annoys the hell out of some dads as well, the way we are seen only as providers. And yes, I think the impact of a dad working is just the same as a mum working (compared to him being full time at home with the kids).

Debsb Mon 02-Apr-01 09:52:30

I'm currently cutting my hours at work to fit in with my children now they are at school. In our family, the children are finding it too hard going to after-school club til 6, and then coming home & doing homework, tea, baths etc, & into bed by 7:30 (my eldest has just started & my youngest will go in September) BUT I also know lots of other kids whose mums work, both full and part time who manage perfectly well - I just happen to have kids (well 1 at least) who needs a lot of sleep. I feel very lucky that I am in a position to do that (although it will obviously hit our finances), but there are a lot of other mums out there who can't. I don't think you should ever judge any other family, as you never know all the circumstances.
I have had 2 other sahms say they were thinking of going back to work, but getting the children into appropriate childcare was what was stopping them, there is a huge demand for places in our area, but those mums who have always worked are more clued up on where to go (and how far in advance) in order to get a place of choice.
Anyway, I'm rambling, just to say I agree with what you say, and am very glad that at least on mumsnet we can all have our say without someone trying to make us feel more guilty about it!

Jbr Mon 02-Apr-01 10:16:40

I am at home now, thanks to losing my job, and I have to say, that I am not doing all this "hard work" people say I should be doing. I find myself inventing things to do, I miss HAVING to do things by a certain time. The world is not going to end because I haven't hoovered the floor, which should be a shared task anyway.

I did have a partner, but don't now. But we shared everything. I don't see tidying, cooking cleaning etc as part of the role of "mum". That is part and parcel of being a PERSON, not even a parent particularly.

I don't know where the idea that being a mum means this and being a father means that comes from. Everyone should be a balanced individual, with bits of everything. I heard an complete idiot on the radio the other day say that children under 5 need "mothering" not "fathering"! Like there's any difference. Except for breastfeeding there isn't really. That's if you can breastfeed. I couldn't do it physically so I expressed, which a lot of women find hard. It made it easier to work as well. It meant I didn't have to be "tied" to the baby.

My own mother couldn't find child care until I was about 3 and even then it was just a couple of days a week. But there were no jobs that fitted into those days! It doesn't explain why my mum gave up work and not my dad though or why they couldn't have worked part time each. I have known my father to be doing 3 jobs at a time!!

Tom Mon 02-Apr-01 12:01:49

The idea comes largely from changes after the industrial Revolution, when work moved to factories and offices outside of the home. This process led to the exiling of the father from the home for large parts of the day, meaning that he became increasingly out of touch with his children, and raising the kids became something more dominated by mothers and teachers. Before about 1840, almost all cases of divorce resulted in the kids going with their father, as the assumption was that they were in charge of their children's education. Of course, now, it's slightly different.
Before the Industrial Revolution, when both mums and dad were likely to be working around the household, it is quite likely that both were far more equally involved with the kids.
The ideology that mums should be at home was a very short lived idea in the 50's. As many have said, mothers have pretty much always worked. The trend for mums to be more responsible for kids and dads more responsible for providing is an idea that has been around for quite a long time, but really took off after the Industrial Revolution, and is, thankfully, being deconstructed now, as women's role in breadwinning is increasing and men's role is childcare is (starting to be) recognised.

Jbr Mon 02-Apr-01 17:51:19

I got told at University that Queen Victoria decided manual labour for a woman wasn't "ladylike" so the "housewife" was invented. ie making your normal hometasks sound like a job.

I just wish everyone had the same access to childcare and jobs. It shouldn't be such a lottery depending on where you live.

I don't mind people not working but it depends on their reasons. If it's because they think that women shouldn't have jobs and children but it is OK for men, then of course I am going to gun for them!

Jac Wed 04-Apr-01 20:34:33

Talking about sick and PMT on other boards today I found myself back in territory where I haven't been for a while. The problem is, I am a former sufferer of an eating disorder and occasionally it rears its ugly head in the form of guilt over something I have eaten. And it is usually around period time when the stomach starts bloating and I'm thinking I've eaten too much. The problem today was I ate a huge block of cheese and immediately felt guilty about it, but as I said I was a former sufferer, I refuse to make myself sick. I'm toying with the idea in my head where I'm wanting to do it but my conscience is telling me you ate it deal with the consequenses. Surely that's not right, It shouldn't matter. Yet I can eat 3 bags of crisps and a packet of sweets and have no feelings of guilt at all. There are definately some foods that I call bulk foods like cheese that will have this effect on me. As I said I mainly get these feelings around period time when bloating occurs and I do put on a few pounds around this time and end up trying to lose them for the rest of the month.

I don't actually make myself sick regularly any more, but probably do it between 1 and 5 times a year. Usually when I've been out drank too much and feeling sick so I feel justified in being sick?!

I still say former sufferer because of what I said above but I still look in the mirror at my body every day, weigh myself most days and start a lot of days counting caleries.

My whole worry about all of this is what unknown damage I have done to my body. I think looking back on it I did it 'part time' as I was at school at the time and wouldn't do it there and I would start the day on a diet only eating silly crackers at lunch time, throwing away other food in my sandwich box. But when I got home, obviously I was very hungry and that's when binges would start.

I always say that my husband rescued me as I stopped very soon after meeting him and I had just started taking laxatives (would you believe, I had no idea they were used by anorexic/bulimics before I saw The Karen Carpenter story and got the idea from that!) Also later when I told my husband about it he didn't seem to think I had it, despite the fact I was making myself sick every day, because I gave it up so easily and the fact that people with anorexia almost always need professional help and that I didn't (obviously I had bulimia, but this word either didn't exist then or wasn't talked about, I wanted to have anorexia because it mean't you lose weight, but with bulimia many stay the same weight). Only recently I looked on a web site that explained eating disorders and they come in different degrees.

Anyway I'm rambling on but this is great therapy, getting it all out. Only my husband and one of my sisters knows about it. My mum may do but has chosen never to speak to me about it if she does.

Jbr Wed 04-Apr-01 22:30:28

Any more Babyworld refugees? I am definitely not going back! Today on the SAHP forum someone implied that kids who have both parents working don't have stability. And half of them are moaning about not being able to get jobs. Well of course they are going to have trouble, they are going to have blank CVs and they don't even know what jobs they want.

If you want a certain job why not just go for it! It's called being organized. And they felt guilty for not providing well, get a job.

Star Thu 05-Apr-01 15:39:12

Message withdrawn

Jac Thu 05-Apr-01 16:32:19

Hi Star, LOL means laughing out loud, it doesn't matter putting it a few times, but I saw on another website where someone was putting it every other sentence, very annoying, mostly used in chatrooms, I entered one by accident!

Thanks for your reply, I think magazines are terrible too but do admit to buying them occasionally, but I don't beat myself up over them, usually just like the gossip! It's definately good not to let your daughter know about diets as they seem to start dieting younger these days, so I've heard.

Debster Fri 06-Apr-01 08:04:32

I think it can also mean lots of love especially if it comes at the end of a message.

Tom Fri 06-Apr-01 18:50:01

re: other websites - I wonder if anyone else has noticed - but mother and baby magazine's website has closed down - www.motherandbaby.co.uk (no great loss!)

Croppy Tue 10-Apr-01 14:06:57

Jbr, I just had a look at the babyworld site. I wonder if you are "J"?. I can't believe how upset they got at your postings- absolutely ridiculous!!

Jbr Tue 10-Apr-01 21:36:27

Yes, I am I'm afraid. Are you seriously supporting me? Sorry to have to ask but most people that do, are being sarcastic! One woman on there said that women should be independent these days and then put TO BE READ IN A SARCASTIC TONE in big writing underneath it!

Jbr Tue 10-Apr-01 22:07:54

Yes, I am I'm afraid. Are you seriously supporting me? Sorry to have to ask but most people that do, are being sarcastic! One woman on there said that women should be independent these days and then put TO BE READ IN A SARCASTIC TONE in big writing underneath it! It was an obvious reference to me and the fact that I think the days when a woman's place was in the home have long gone and should have never existed in the first place!

I really enjoy this site. I don't have to tell all and sundry my life story just to join and make contributions.

Croppy Wed 11-Apr-01 06:23:36

Jbr, I thought those women came across as being seriously wet!. They don't seem to be able to cope with anyone who has a different view let alone someone who expresses it strongly.

I thought the whole site was awful, as you say you have to write your biography before they let you in. Also, the exchanges lacked the sparkle of mumsnet to put it mildly... I looked under the "worling Mums" forum and first message I saw was a request for a recipe for Coconut Ice....

Lil Wed 11-Apr-01 10:03:41

Ha Ha Croppy i couldn't resist having a look as well yesterday. It certainly looks a smart site, until you actually try and look at the boards, then it becomes hard work doesn't it? I resisted posting myself, as I was dying to ask which forum I belonged to as a part-time mum! I think that this site has less 'flash' but much more substance. The babyworld site is quite large and snazzy, I wonder who sponsors them then?

Croppy Wed 11-Apr-01 10:16:34

I also had a giggle at the "Daytime TV" discussion under the SAHP forum. Lots of complaints at the quality and the fact that schedules are apparently changed without notice!!

Star Wed 11-Apr-01 10:30:57

Message withdrawn

Copper Wed 11-Apr-01 10:43:44

Going back to guilt ... I don't feel guilty about working. I might feel annoyed, or put upon, or overworked, or sorry when I can't do something I want to with the kids. But not guilty.

Ny eldest child is nearly 13, so perhaps I have a longer perspective on this than when she was 13 months. I have the clearest memories of things when she was tiny, and she remembers only about 3 specific things from when she was 2, 6 from when she was 3, etc. She has very happy general memories of her first childminder and the nanny we then had.

What I find really encouraging though is that she is proud of what I do, and takes it absolutely for granted that I work, and that I might be an interesting person in my own right (even to a 13 year old). We talk a lot more about things in general than ever I did with my mother, who stayed at home and was the 'perfect' nmother of her generation. Now I find it difficult to talk to my mother about anything outside the family: I think I'll probably have a very different relationship with my own daughter.

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