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"But why would you want a better job?" warning long and pointless.

(10 Posts)
Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Tue 28-Jun-11 16:56:42

Posting here as it feels the most relevant location.

First of all, some background: I'm a mother of one child, and have another due later on this year. Married, DH earns ok salary. I work as a Healthcare support worker, earning £5/6k (12k pro rata).

Have been offered an unconditional place at uni to study for a vocational degree in my chosen field (please forgive vagueness for anonymity reasons).

After graduation, employment prospects in this particular medical area are excellent.

My DM has barely worked in her life and currently has a job of 6 hours per week at just above minimum wage. She has never had any ambition above marrying a man to look after her and is content to do as little as possible.

Visited her today, and she asked me, in all seriousness, "Has it ever occurred to you, instead of going to university next year, to just return to your job?"

No. No it really hasn't. I met this question with a blank stare and a very slow "No....why would it?"

"Well, why can't you just keep doing what you're doing?"

"Because I have ambition - ability- don't want to struggle for money forever- don't want to rely on someone else's earnings"

Blank stare from DM. I decide to drill down to basics, perhaps she'll understand mercenary concerns: "I currently earn £5000 a year. When I graduate I will have the starting salary of £21000 a year. That is a fourfold increase in salary."

Blank stare.
"After 3 years experience, I could potentially be earning over £32000. If I do not go to university, I will forever be stuck on the lowest level. There is no promotion without a qualification. I cannot just 'ask around' for a better job."

Total incomprehension.

"What's wrong with being on the lowest level? Your little job is just to earn money to help out."

Now I know for a fact there is not a lot of ground to be gained explaining feminist theory to a woman who thinks she's lucky to have permission from Men in order to vote.
And to DM concepts such as personal fulfillment in academia and the workplace are abstracts that happen to other male people.

< Head >

< Wall >

pommedechocolat Tue 28-Jun-11 18:17:52

My DM is not this bad (or at least not to my face) but she is basically a chauvinist and we have argued about it all my life.
She thinks I am mean for making dh do the cooking at the weekend (Sat's always a takeaway so just one day in effect). I vary in my response to these comments. I smile and nod if I am feeling zen or I get a bit heated when I am not!
Their generation was just brought up differently. What I struggle with though is why the hell she paid for me to go to private school if she was going to just yearn for me to be a mother and housewife in later life?!

garlicnutter Tue 28-Jun-11 18:37:18


And congratulations on your offer smile

garlicnutter Tue 28-Jun-11 18:40:35

pomme, when I went to a 15-year reunion at my highly selective, extremely pushy, single-sex school it became apparent what all that education had been for. There was, as expected, much competition amongst the old girls.

What I hadn't expected was that the competition would be over the status ...

... of one's husband.


HerBeX Tue 28-Jun-11 18:41:12

Oh god my mother and all my aunts are like this.

My aunt's refrain is "main thing is, it's a job"

The idea that it might be a job you like, enjoy, look forward to going to everyday, is simply beyond them.

<Joins Sausages at the headbanging wall>

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 28-Jun-11 18:43:10

My mil is exactly the same, even when I earned three times what my husband did she thought I was unreasonable in expecting him to iron his own shirts etc. My particular bug bear was that I had a nice car and she kept referring to it as my husbands car- even though I paid for it and it was in my name, which she was aware of, and told me "but it is the man who has the big car". Needless to say we still don't get on!

Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Tue 28-Jun-11 18:52:05

Oh and apparently I am lucky that DH 'helps out' with DC and 'my' housework.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Tue 28-Jun-11 22:09:17


You need to keep coming on here to rant and to tell us what you're doing because we will not give you blank stares!

Congratulations, btw. smile

BootyMum Tue 28-Jun-11 22:16:26

I feel your pain.

My mother is unhappily married to my father [long story] but stays married as she "enjoys the status of being a married woman".

This means she has never really had to work to support herself financially. It also means that she tells salemen, builders, bank managers, etc that they cannot speak to her about their business, it is her husband who deals with these issues.

DM also feels I am too hard on DH and that I am lucky that he "helps" with childcare and minimally with "my housework".

BranchingOut Tue 28-Jun-11 22:21:34

I think that unfortunatley you have to look at her as being closer in outlook and attitude to women of the late 19th/early 20th century than women of the present generation.

You married.
If you were lucky you picked a good 'un.
Everything was dependent on his salary.
He worked.
You did everything else.
Life was not very comfortable, so he appreciated the home comforts attainable via your female skills of cooking, sex and housekeeping.
Life was not very comfortable, so you appreciated the home comforts attainable via his male skills of earning, physical protection and practical skills like carpentry.

It is a total mindset, it only works if all elements are present.

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