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SAHM, school age dc's, does that mean I cant be a feminist in any way shape or form?

(23 Posts)
ditavonteesed Sun 18-Sep-11 10:14:48

I had a good career before having children, was made redundent when pregnant with dd1 so decided to take a few years off, went back to work for a year when dd2 started nursery but was made redundant again. after this we as a family decided that for the forseeable future I would stay at home, now both dc's are in school a lot of people seem qute horrified that I am not looking for paid work, I do all the housework, look after the dc's and the dogs, I clean my elderly grans flat and help out at school. As a family we are all very happy with the arrangement, less work for dh, plenty of chill out time for me and lots of time with dc.
I dont know if/when I will look at going back to work but basically I would not get back to the level I was at before dc and would probably look to retrain in something that actually interests me (was in banking before). So have I sold out? Have I wasted my education? I dont feel as though I have, I feel as though happiness is the ultimate goal and we as a family are very happy with the situation we are in.
Thee other point would be that i am no longer independent and if anything was to happen with dh I would find myself having to work in a much lower paid job than I was previously in.

mumwithdice Sun 18-Sep-11 10:35:26

That doesn't exclude you from feminism. The fact that you say you are all happy with the arrangement is especially important. The key is to make sure all the roles in the family are valued whoever does them.

And you haven't wasted your education. Your DCs are benefitting from it.

UsingMainlySpoons Sun 18-Sep-11 11:58:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Sun 18-Sep-11 12:03:45

Is there someone somewhere deciding who is allowed to be a feminist then? I don't recall voting.
I am a feminist and haven't had paid employment for 14 years.

UsingMainlySpoons Sun 18-Sep-11 12:08:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swallowedAfly Sun 18-Sep-11 12:09:28

if that were true then i wouldn't be allowed in the fem club either. ds started school last week and i'm still here.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 18-Sep-11 12:26:23

I would have thought that if feminism was about anything, it was about making sure women have a choice.

sunshineandbooks Sun 18-Sep-11 12:47:17

I don't think many people - male or female - would work if they didn't have to. I don't see why that would be unfeminist.

As a feminist I might be a bit worried about how vulnerable you may if something negatively affected your current set-up, but that doesn't make you a sell-out; it means that society needs to change to recognise that there are equally valid occupations other than paid employment. Voluntary work, helping out in your DCs school, caring for elderly relations/community members, these are all vital ingredients to a healthy community despite the fact that these activities are unpaid and largely unrecognised.

If you work and pay into a pension, you continue to get financial reward even when you retire. The same is true of a SAHM. Just because you no longer have pre-school-aged children dependent on you on a full-time basis doesn't mean that the recognition for the years you have put in should end. And you're still putting that effort in anyway, even if your DC are at school (there's still after-school care and 16 weeks of holidays).

You are entitled to do whatever is best for you and your family. smile

swallowedAfly Sun 18-Sep-11 13:39:32

agreed. those people who say, 'oh if i won the lottery tomorrow it wouldn't change my life, i'd still go into work' need their heads examining imho.

JillySnooper Sun 18-Sep-11 14:28:39

Exactly what pagwatch said, but 12 years smile

swallowedAfly Sun 18-Sep-11 14:30:17

this idea that it has to be grim and boring and ra ra ra is codswallop too. anyone with a bit of imagination and ideally some funds can find wonderful things to do and myriad ways of experiencing fulfillment and satisfaction in their life.

jellybeans Sun 18-Sep-11 14:42:50

Yes you can. I was in a simelar position to you before I had my youngest. I was studying too but mostly a SAHM. I LOVED it. I was so busy too. Helping in school, doing housework, seeing friends and family. DH has his days off in the week so we did 'weekend stuff' in the week too. Life is short. The way things are now we see as 'the norm' but it isn't normal really. What are wages etc., what is 'work' etc etc. IF YOU are happy and your family is happy then you are truly lucky in life!

JillySnooper Sun 18-Sep-11 14:44:52


I always think those who say, " Oooh, I could never be a SAHM, I need to work fro my sanity" actually don't need a job, they need some imagination.

MarshaBrady Sun 18-Sep-11 14:51:52

Your feminist values should be evident in the way you raise your children. I wouldn't worry about not working.

On the subject of work some careers / jobs are mind numbingly dull some are great.

swallowedAfly Sun 18-Sep-11 15:32:19

i think some people really do need to work. a friend i was describing on another thread on this board that suddenly turned a bit wohm v sahm is one example but also my sister. in my sister's case her psychology is that she really needs approval. to feel like she's doing well she needs positive feedback even if it's just a well done safs sis that was a great job rather than a raise. that's how she is. she also is very, very disorganised at home. work makes her pull it together but try and get her to get somewhere on time, know where the kids' stuff is or cope with a routine in her home life and trust me it gets very messy.

and some people love working just because they enjoy their career and the vast majority just need to put food on the table and enjoy the good bits of their job and get through the crap.

i'm beginning to think a lot of these so called choices are actually about temperaments. i really like being home based. i hate having to be at a certain place at a certain time every week. i love time to myself, very, very rarely get lonely and can always find ways to pass the time. i enjoy pottering. i like being really busy one week and then being able to decide the next week that it's nice to hibernate and keep things simple for a while. i get my 'approval' from myself - it's whether i think i'm doing ok and whether i'm happy etc that counts to me - not other people.

our temperaments make us thrive or struggle in situations and environments.

i just wish we wouldn't turn it into a moral issue or feel the need to judge each other.

swallowedAfly Sun 18-Sep-11 15:34:37

oh and my temperament is very demanding in that i have health problems that flare horribly whenever i stray too far for too long from it's preferences.

i don't think we talk much about temperament and constitution nowadays - we act like everyone is the same robot and the next person when in fact we bring very different things to the table.

AnyFucker Sun 18-Sep-11 15:41:13

Being a SAHM does not preclude you from being a SAHM

it's a choice like any other

isn't that what we are fighting for ?

In your situation I would make damn sure all the t's and i's were crossed financially though, in the event of a split (that is another discussion though smile )

AnyFucker Sun 18-Sep-11 15:41:44

shit, I mean preclude you from being a Feminist

AnyFucker Sun 18-Sep-11 15:42:20

what would Dittany say ? < muses > smile

JillySnooper Sun 18-Sep-11 15:45:29

SAF, I am just like you in that respect. smile

MarshaBrady Sun 18-Sep-11 15:54:43

I love being being alone too SAF. And milling about doing as I wish. But I have managed to find a career to suit me, so I am uninterrupted. Absolute bliss.

But as you say others are different. Dh loves being with/directing a team etc and would far prefer to do that.

LeninGrad Sun 18-Sep-11 16:10:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SybilBeddows Sun 18-Sep-11 17:37:36

The people who tell you it means you can't be a feminist will most likely turn out to not be feminists themselves.

Usually that is the case with people who think there are exclusion clauses for feminism, I find.

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