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Working mums - whats the "best" comment another mum has made about you being a working mum?

(51 Posts)
mandymoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:28:41

A woman who i've never met asked me if i worked(whilst i was in the park with me child). Being the polite girl that i am I said "yes, i like to keep my brain active"

This woman then said "I prefer to keep my brain with my children"

Er- whatever love!!

Why do people feel it necessary to comment on whether mums work or not. She didnt know my personal circumstances - I may HAVE to work!

God it really winds me up

Has anyone else had stupid comments like this just cos they dare to work???

milward Wed 13-Jul-05 21:35:41

Opposite type of comment here - my mother told me that I was just a housewife and therefore she couldn't beleive that a doctor might actually listen to what I have to say. The doc never asked me what my job was & did pay attention to my comments. She thinks that my being a sahm means that I'm the lowest there is and have nothing useful to contribute. Thank goodness she now refuses to talk to me now.

SoftFroggie Wed 13-Jul-05 21:37:01

Maybe she felt offended by your comment? Perhaps she thought you were saying that mums who don't work don't have active brains?

Can't think of any really off comments I've heard. Probably just forgotten them all, letting it all wash over me.

hunkermunker Wed 13-Jul-05 21:37:02

But she may well have thought you were snubbing her by saying your brain was active because you worked... Sensitive subject, this one!

bran Wed 13-Jul-05 21:37:13

Perhaps she's sensitive about not going back to work. She'll probably be starting a thread soon saying "some woman in the park as good as said I'm brain dead because I don't work".

hunkermunker Wed 13-Jul-05 21:37:19


marthamoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:37:45

This is so going to start a fight but...

you started it! She asked if you worked, you said yes "I like to keep my brain active."

The implication being that if you don't work (outside the home) your brain is not active. If I had been her I would have responded in the same way. She commented because you commented first. She was making polite conversation, that's all - not 'commenting' on the rights or wrongs of working/not working: you did that!

bran Wed 13-Jul-05 21:37:56

Oooh, great minds think alike, and post at the same time.

Twiglett Wed 13-Jul-05 21:39:42

I would have been totally offended by your comment mandymoo .. I would then have come home and started a thread about some bitchy woman I'd just met at the park

mandymoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:39:58

Sorry - only gave you a snapshot of the conversation - i certainly didnt mean to offend anyone by my comment - note to self : dont start another thread!!!

LeahE Wed 13-Jul-05 21:40:21

To be fair, your saying "I like to keep my brain active" as a reason for going back to work did rather imply that someone (like her) who didn't go back to work was not keeping her brain active. It cuts both ways. If you'd just said "Yes" and then she'd weighed in with a comment that would have been rude, but it sounds to me like she was just defending her corner.

Donbean Wed 13-Jul-05 21:40:54

hm, the thing that stands out mostly for me is the assumption that i dont work and that i stay home all day every day with ds.
People seem surprised when i say that ive got to go to work at xx time. and say "oh, do you work then?".
I get this allot.
It comes up mainly when discussing ds's poor sleeping pattern, when i go on to say that ive been up x amount of times in the night then i have to go and work a double shift i always get a surprised look.

soapbox Wed 13-Jul-05 21:42:04

Yes even as a WOTH mum I would agree that the 'I like to keep my brain active' is a bit of a mammoth put down!

Poor woman was probably struggling to get some suitable reposte out and that's the best she could manage. After all, she is almost brain dead

wysiwyg Wed 13-Jul-05 21:43:09

this is just a lose lose situation. I once made a comment about training all week and a SAHM friend said she was training her child all week at home.....
Doh.. just wish we could all stop feeling guiltly for working/not working/ pert-time working and stop feeling the need to justify our choices.

milward Wed 13-Jul-05 21:45:14

Have to say mandymoo - I'm the only sahm in our extended family - & I sometimes get the feeling that others think it's just playparks & painting all day. Others who work outside of the home get loads of sympathy about their tiring days - whereas sahm get nothing like that. My brain is more active looking after my kids than going out to work.

mandymoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:45:59

Ok guys - shouldve given you the whole conversation - i DO NOT think that SAHMs are brain dead - i just felt like i had to justify my reason for working. If you'd heard the whole conversation you would see it differently. Sorry i bothered to start this now

hunkermunker Wed 13-Jul-05 21:46:44

My brain stopped working when I was 12. I have got everyhwere since on blag and winning smiles, which fortunately don't need a brain.

I was a SAHM, now i work. My brain has not changed whatever I do. I keep it well-fed and watered, but it won't do as I ask. It's sad, but there you are.

marthamoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:46:59

Good post wysiwyg - especially the bit about pert-time working (that's closed to me since having two kids, I'm afraid).

Soapbox, come here while I hit you

mandymoo - amend your note to self: start threads, yes, but if it's on the subject of working/'non' working Mums batten down the hatches and get your tin hat on after pressing Return

Twiglett Wed 13-Jul-05 21:47:04

don't you hate when that happens

moondog Wed 13-Jul-05 21:47:46

Gosh,been both (presently an sahm) and noone says anything,apart from envying me my (relative) freedom from the grindstone whilst acknowledging that being an sahm is a lot harder than doing a paid job.

Maybe I just mix with supremely rational and civilised folk??

But..have to admit that the 'active brain' comment would have really pissed me off!

Caligula Wed 13-Jul-05 21:48:22

has this kicked off yet?

soapbox Wed 13-Jul-05 21:50:07

Mandymoo - I have adopted the don't complain, don't explain rule when it comes to the reasons why I work for this very reason.

Whatever you say to 'justify' it just doesn't seem to work. In any case why the hell do you feel the need to justify your personal decisions to someone you've just bumped into in the park

soapbox Wed 13-Jul-05 21:51:28

Moo! You'll have to catch me first

marthamoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:52:34

Get running!

mandymoo Wed 13-Jul-05 21:52:39

Ok ok ok ok - i get the message!!

Yes i feel guilty for working part time but needs must - was just trying to get an insight into other people's situations - didnt wanna get bombarded with insults!

Have pni too so guilt thing a big issue - maybe i am a bit sensitive about the work thing XX

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