What do say to other Mums...(23 Posts)
Most Mums that I met during my Mat leave are now going back to work and other Mums that I met at baby groups all seem to as well and pretty regularly I hear the speech about how it's better for 1 year olds to be with other children. I don't think this is true, but wanted to know how you handle it? I feel being a mother full time is a completely valid identity. Do you tend to make friends with other stay at home Mums? I seriously haven't felt like people have so clearly ventures comment since being a teenager! Am learning to not care and remind myself why I'm doing this, would be nice to hear others experiences since this board is so nice.
I didn't make friends with other mums until my children started school in reception. I think it's because to a certain extent we are all in the same boat, if you see them at every drop off and pick up then you tend to have that as common ground and it goes from there. The baby years were different, as you say many going back to work and they tended to clique together because that was their common ground. Most of the women I met during that time were very middle class as well and had "careers" as opposed to jobs and a certain lifestyle. That wasn't me, I had a decent job but I wasn't going back to work, wasn't on maternity leave etc.
I just smiled and nodded and tried not to take anything personally, which I often failed at, I remember once a very condescending 'oh...that just wouldn't be enough for me' when the merits of being a SAHP were being discussed. I have also met some SAHMs who were as equally cutting about mothers who returned to work.
Over the years though it seems to come up for discussion less and less in RL, people seem to realise that there is not just ONE solution that is best for every family and they don't seem to feel like they need to justify thier decisions to everyone.
I know very few SAHP though, most of my friends work either full or part time, they all work different days so there is usually someone around to meet up with.
I don't know any other SAHMs. At toddler groups it's always childminders, grandparents, mums on mat leave with a second dc or WOHM who are part time. I normally just say "I'm not going back to work". I'm occasionally asked about it and I just say "because I don't want to-I want to be at home with the dc". I think in the early days with ds I did feel the need to explain myself a bit more but I think I was just projecting a little. I didn't want anyone to think I have a problem with nurseries/childminders/WOHM so I'd talk about the cost of childcare etc but tbh I don't think most people care! My friends mainly say that they like going to work though- I get "you must be mad!" a lot!
I know a few stay at home mums but am friends with some mums that work to. My job was not practical to continue doing with kids (lots of travel) so I just say that I've decided to take some time out to raise my family. Everyone does what is right for them.
I found this really hard. The overwhelming majority of people I knew were working, albeit part time in most cases. I couldn't go back to work as we'd left the area and I didn't have help. Actually, I didn't actually want to go back anyway (I'd been working full-on, long hours since 1982!!). I was in need of a rest. I always expected to go back and I've had casual work in teaching/shopwork/cleaning etc but always considered myself to be a sahm really.
I must admit I DID feel looked down upon but that was probably down to me being oversensitive.
I still tell people I'm a teacher, even though I'm not, really.
I don't think I've ever said "I'm a SAHM" to anyone though! I just say I'm not going back to work. I'm not sure I felt looked down on exactly but one friend said "oh I couldn't not work- I need to make a contribution" and I was a bit .
I've been a SAHM for 7 years now, with 2 children. I only know one other SAHM. I have always said I am very lucky as financially I didn't have to work so could be at home with the children. Just the way it worked out for our family and everyone is very happy. Wouldn't change it for the world!
All Mothers are full-time Mothers.
We don't say part-time Dad about the ones who work full-time.
Mothers are Mothers, whether working or not. No need to justify your choices to anyone.
I struggled going back to work with my first. Even though I enjoyed my job my heart was torn. I couldn't concentrate at work and as a result was doing a great job! That then knocked my confidence as I was aware of the mistakes etc.
I'm now pregnant with the 2nd and in already upset about my MAT leave ending (I've not even started it yet!)
We have looked into surviving on one salary and it's not possible. It's really bringing me down. I personally would prefer to go back to work (back to my career) when youngest is 3 and older one is settled in school. I don't think it's possible and just feel blah about the whole thing.
So any SAHM have a job on the side? Early morning, evening work? Work from home? I just need to supplement to cover bills and food. My H's wage can cover the mortgage etc.
I'd never judge anyone for the choice they make.
Obviously should read I was not doing a great job!
I've been on both sides when ds was 1 I returned to work part time and when he was 2 I quit as I was required to go full time. He was in nursery 1.5 days and with my mum 1.5 days.
I talk to other mums at playgroup and there is a mix between part time and sahm. No one really gets into the whys and wherefores of working or not working to be honest.
Remind yourself that women get attacked for their choices no matter what and they are probably saying that because they feel defensive about going back to work and worried you'll judge them. Then say something about how awful it is the way women get criticised whatever decision they make about work and childcare. Then change the subject.
I made friends with people I liked look of; whether they worked or not was way down the list! They obviously felt the same as those who have returned to work still keep in touch. We just meet up less regularly because work gets in the way now.
They haven't looked down on me for not working and I haven't looked down on them for not being SAHM. I've only known such angst here on MN.
People make comments (both SAHMs and WOHMs) in order to validate their own choices.
I got lots and lots of rude comments when I decided take a career break after my twins were born.
I got lots and lots of rude comments when I decided to return to work full time when they started school.
The most cutting comments were from a 'friend' who chose to return to work part time at the end of her may leave. Originally I got "I would be so bored, I need something more" and "nursery is so good for children it really makes them far more advanced educationally" when I announced I was returning to work the same woman said "I don't know how you can bear to do that, I have prioritised being a mother iver my career".
I did a lot of smiling and nodding
through gritted teeth
Just let it wash over you. Any comments aren't really about your choices they reflect their unresolved feelings about their own.
I find it impossible to get into conversations with mothers who work without it sounding like I'm criticising their choices. I just say "it works best for us as a family" usually.
I have one other friend who's a sahm and she really struggles with it. She will tell anyone who asks that she is a teacher (even though she hasn't taught in 10 years). It back fires a bit when the inevitable next question is "where do you work" at which point she has to be truthful and then get lots of faces! I think it's a shame that she feels the need to give the impression that she works.
I remember that feeling. You do meet others in the same boat, even if it's just from constantly being in the playground. Have noticed it recently again now my youngest is at school. Am a bit jealous of them this time round tbh and will probably follow suit. But would just say to smile and nod. Not your problem.
I was the opposite. I made friends with a group of mothers at toddler group and I was the only one going back to work. I felt quite left out after that as they all did stuff together in daytime, don't socialise at all with them now. Just a quick hi in the street.
I always felt like I had to justify myself during my SAHM years - which is ridiculous, because its a completely valid choice, just as WOHM is (and when I was FT WOHM I also felt like I had to justify myself). Just smile and nod - you're enjoying some time home with the DC at the moment, and that's that.
I'm fortunate that my NCT friends have been nothing but accepting of the different decisions we have made. I'm the only one not going back to work but don't feel like it's an issue. We don't talk about our jobs as its not the common ground, although I show an interest in how they are getting on. It goes without saying that I would never critise their choices either.
My advice would be to get comfortable with your choices. Don't doubt yourself and others won't either. If they do, laugh uproariously! It unnerved people
I think some people are very insecure about the path they have chosen. I have friends who freely admit they just did not enjoy 12 hour days with their own kid. Work was and is an escape for many. As I prepare to return to work after 7 years home I am not pretending it will not be a break. It will but I know deep down in an ideal world my kids would have a parent home when they finish school. Who wouldn't choose relaxing in your own space over after school club? Staying home with kids is a gift However much time you can give to it. It's a really valid choice that some can't choose. When people comment on it, they are trying to justify their own choices. When did it become the case that staying home with kids is questioned. It is bonkers. Of course it is great for a parent to be home with a kid, if that parent can stay sane and put their own desires on hold for a while.
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