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Women have their little careers till they have babies. Then they do as little as possible, preferably not working at all after that

(532 Posts)
StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 13:27:24

I am infuriated by this attitude which seems to be prevalent. After women have had babies they only work if they have to, and go part time if they can. But I can't put into words why I work - why wouldn't I? I work for the same reasons as I did before I had children. I work for the same reasons as DH works.
Either of us could give up work and we'd cope. But that was true pre-children. Women continuing to work FT seems to be a slur on their man's ability to 'provide'.

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:18:15

what have you cone across that makes you think society expecta women back at work? (genuine question)

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:25:37

Do you know, maybe its perception then! Maybe we all think we're being judged more than we are.

Emphaticmaybe Wed 03-Apr-13 14:28:59

I actually think women can't win either way - it's mothers in general who are discriminated against whether SAH or WOH.

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:21

True. I just find it odd that a woman maintaining the status quo and doing the same as the man in the family is expected to have a good reason to justify it.

Timetoask Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:43

Shouldn't you be at work? ;)

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:32:10


StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:09

Surely they're not allowed to give loans just to women though? Or is this just how it's marketed

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:25

Damn, sorry

Briseis Wed 03-Apr-13 14:49:31

What a refreshing thread! As it happens I am a sahm but i agree with what you are all saying re assumptions. I think had I had a different profession pre babies i may well have gone back to work, mine just did not work with childcare combined with my dh's job as he travels a lot. But I agree wholeheartedly we should all support and help each other, we are all doing our best.
My incredible rude mil really annoyed me at my dd2's christening when she was speaking to my mummy friends (some of whom work part time and some of whom work full time), saying "I assume you are working for financial reasons?". Fortunately they all know how batty I think she is and one of my friends turned round to her and said "erm, no, I work because I want to". I think (hope) that this kind of attitude is dying out. I am quite open to my working mum friends about worries I have about my dds missing out on things because they are stuck with me all day, and they discuss their concerns about childcare with me, and we all comfort and encourage one another, and that is the way it should be!

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 14:52:12

Yes to that!
I think most of us work (for an employer) for financial reasons, primarily, don't we? Men or women.

SofaKing Wed 03-Apr-13 15:02:02

Thanks for clarifying the title - I was feeling a little defensive!

I totally agree with emphatic that it doesn't matter what you do, as a mum you will get judged for working ft, pt and for not working at all.

So, uncaring of your children or a drain on society. Take your pick smile

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 15:04:52

Yes a mother's place is in the wrong. Guess I'm just seeing my own particular brand of injustice.

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 15:49:50

bumping this, finding the replies interesting

SofaKing Wed 03-Apr-13 16:02:50

I'll have to remember a mother's place is in the wrong.

It sums up the situation perfectly. You can have equality until you dare to produce another human being, at which point anything you do is wrong!

rustybusty Wed 03-Apr-13 16:07:44

I think its seen as the normal choice to work after children. If you didnt everyone says you dont do much, or wonder why. I always here 'she hasnt even got a job, she doesnt even work' etc from both genders.

I definitely think its seen as more normal and socially acceptable to work then to be a SAHM.

rustybusty Wed 03-Apr-13 16:08:26


StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 16:09:13

It's all about perceptions, and obviously I'm very sensitive to the ones that suggest I'm doing the wrong thing. But to me the comments are all "Of course she won't be going back after her maternity leave" etc etc.

GetOeuf Wed 03-Apr-13 16:11:50

Everyone is judged.

If you are a FT wOHM oh are venal and judged 'why did ou have children if you are not going to bother to raise them?'

PT working mother, worst of both worlds and you are on the mummy track at work, why bother working at all as you don't take it seriously.

FT SAHM - lazy and don't use your brain. Live off your husband

All of us are judged when none of us should be for simply making the best decisions for our own circumstances

rustybusty Wed 03-Apr-13 16:14:48

Here if you dont work people think your lazy or probably a benefit scrounger etc. Eg ' She got pregnant to push her pram round town and shes too lazy to do any work'. If you work everyone says well done you at least you bother doing something etc.

I think its staying at home that is really looked down open by most people, as its seen as not doing anything, and the easy option.

MrsMaryCooper Wed 03-Apr-13 16:17:30

I was the only one in my ante natal class who went back full time. All my family assumed I would be part time at most.

badguider Wed 03-Apr-13 16:24:06

MORE people of both sexes should work p/t for more reasons IMO. I know people who have been p/t due to a serious sporting career or care of elderly relatives or to do further study or art.... If p/t was seen as valid rather than the "mummy track" then who does more childcare wouldn't be an issue in the workplace.

stealthsquiggle Wed 03-Apr-13 16:25:03

My cousin and his wife, who have no children, both left their fairly high-powered careers a fee years ago
They now work for themselves, and take as much work as they need to fund the travel and other stuff that they do the rest of the time. It seems to net out at about 50% working - but more like month on, month off than 2.5 days a week. I think it's a great arrangement and one that will become more and more common as we all live longer and work longer.

More relevantly to the OP, I would love DH to be asked why he works FT as often as I am. As for daring to travel occasionally for work - I have had it made very clear to me how bad a parent that makes me, by SAHMs whose DHs are away all week, every week, and they see no irony at all hmm

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 16:25:50

Yes bad
I actually think my ILs are baffled - they genuinely understand why I work FT/at all when I don't "have" to.
And you see so many threads on here where people say they need to work to pay the mortgage - fair enough but you rarely see men justifying why they work.

ExcuseTypos Wed 03-Apr-13 16:25:58

I'm with Seeker. I really don't like your thread title. "Little careers...and then they do as little as possible". hmm.

How the heck do you know what all these women do?

When I read the title in active convos, I thought "oh here we go, this will be a bun fight! Which troll has started this?"

Really not nice.

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-13 16:28:47

Excuse Typos, I have apologised for the thread title. I was irritated when I started it. It was illustrating the impression I get of the thoughts of the people around me - so the "little careers" comment is not my opinion but one that annoys me.

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