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AIBU? be fed up for being judged as a SAHM

98 replies

monkeypuzzeltree · 07/05/2011 20:03

I chose to not go back to work after DD was born. I decided that since we could afford it, I wanted to stay at home and enjoy these early years. I feel lucky that I could and frankly although I had a seriously successful career up until then, I had a MASSIVE problem leaving my daughter. Not that I don't like nurseries, I just would have had to go too!!

However AIBU to get fed up of other people who seems to want to knock me for my decision. It is mainly people who I know who have gone back to work saying things like..."Oh I couldn't do 5 days with a child, I need the mental stimulation." They end up making me feel like I must be some sort of an idiot to not NEED to go to work. I'm not being oversensitive, some of these are quite pointed comments.

To add to it, some are totally bemused that I don't send DD to nursery at all, as though going to nursery is an essential part of childhood. Don't get me wrong, she goes to playgroups and we do the rounds of various mother and toddler things, but apparently she really should be going to nursery or she'll miss out ............HUH?!

I wouldn't dream of making comments about their choice to send their child to nursery after all, that is their choice, but as a SAHM, I seem fair game to comment on my odd choice. I am clearly doing something which is currently very unfashionable!

Why do some women feel the need to judge other women so harshly!

OP posts:

monkeypuzzeltree · 07/05/2011 20:04

OH and yes I've name changed, just in case...!

OP posts:

hairylights · 07/05/2011 20:06

Yanbu. Women take a kicking whatever their choice -
Sahm/working mum, young mum/ old mum etc etc.


kisschase · 07/05/2011 20:07

Just ignore them -as long as you are happy with your choice, what does it matter what anyone else thinks?
Personally, I am very jealous Envy and would love to be a SAHM, but that's a whole other thread Grin


WearegoingonaKwazihunt · 07/05/2011 20:07

Every single parent is trying desperately to feel like the decisions they make are the right ones.

You saying "I feel lucky that I could and frankly although I had a seriously successful career up until then, I had a MASSIVE problem leaving my daughter." could be taken by a WOHM as saying her choices are wrong.

Chill out - we all do it differently.



NormanTebbit · 07/05/2011 20:08

Just forget about it.

For every SAHM feeling devalued, patronised and underappreciated, there is a working mother feeling exhausted, conflicted and judged.

Both women at times will also feel happy with their choices. This is just life. Don't expect a ticker tape parade for the choices you have made.


compo · 07/05/2011 20:11

When they say things like..."Oh I couldn't do 5 days with a child, I need the mental stimulation."
just say " oh I couldn't be without my bairns, what's the point in having them if you don't want to be with them'
that'll shut em up


ScarletOHaHa · 07/05/2011 20:11

Take it with a pinch of salt. I am a working mum and apparently 'can't be bothered' looking after my child.

I do think children of 3 years and over DO benefit from attending nursery for the agreed 15 hours. The social interaction is good for kiddos IMO. If you would rather your DD went straight to school, don't send her :)


Honeybee79 · 07/05/2011 20:12

Well, everyone makes the decision that's right for them.

I think I agree with Kwazihunt and yabu.


TickettyBoo · 07/05/2011 20:13

I think YANBU but are being over-senstive.

I'm sure you'll have made the innocent comment at times "I just couldn't leave my DD in a nursery and go to work" and that could be construed as "how could you do that to your child, you clearly don't care as much as I do about your child".

Someone saying that they need the mental stimulation of work is really only saying that they need "more" than being at home with the kid(s) each day - not saying that you are an idiot.

I don't get the nursery bit either tbh, I'm with you there that your child will be mixing with children so what's the difference lol.


Suzihaha · 07/05/2011 20:14

They're probably just jealous and wish they could stay home too!


Clockchange · 07/05/2011 20:15

YANBU, I got fed up with being judged too when my children were small. I spent my dd's first three years as a SAHM as we could afford it, and absolutely loved it. I bumped into someone I knew in town during this time and she laughed when I said I was SAHM and commented I was "getting lazy"Hmm

Funny enough I saw her once I started work part-time and she asked what I was doing now. My answer was again met with laughter and she replied "Oh that's right, take the easy option and go to work, leave nursery to sort her out. YOU CAN'T WIN EITHER WAY!


monkeypuzzeltree · 07/05/2011 20:15

could be taken by a WOHM as saying her choices are wrong.

I haven't said this as such to them - far from it, I was the first one to have the nursery place booked! I just changed my mind and didn't say much more about it, just that I couldn't see how my particular job was going to work part-time - and the job that I did was very much a full time all or nowt role.

OP posts:

InFlames · 07/05/2011 20:16

YABU-working mums get just as many comments... No one deserves a medal for choosing/having to stay at home or choosing/having to work-it's an individual thing. I think your phrasing of 'MASSIVE problem' is kind of potentially as 'pointed' as those who say to you that they need the mental stimulation...


zest01 · 07/05/2011 20:16

yab a bit u as people will judge you no matter what. I have worn all the "hats" - sahm, part time work, full time work.......and you will get comments regardless. I was once told by a sahm when I was working full time "I really admire you but couldn't do it myself, I just love my kids too much for that."

Maybe yanbu as such but you need to develop a thicker skin. People who put you down for your choices, do so usually becasue they are struggling with their own choices (or lack thereof in some cases) and are trying to make themselves feel better about their own situations. I've been around at different stages for each of my kids and they're all doing just fine, so just go with whatever works and ignore the comments.


nethunsreject · 07/05/2011 20:19


A mother's place is in the wrong.

If you sah, you are dull, boring, lazy and thick.

If you work, you are an evil harridan who puts herself before her kids and cares not a jot about them.

A shame, because all any of us are doing is living our lives according to circumstances.


ziptoes · 07/05/2011 20:20

It's not just SAHMs that "take a kicking", my DH gets it all the time as a SAHD. It seems that when it comes to parenting people are judgy - maybe as a hard animal we feel like we have a right to comment on the smaller members of the herd?

However I think as parents we can often be a bit oversensitive and take comments as judgy when they are not meant to be - overtiredness helps, along with the parental guilt that you could always be doing something better in the way that you raise your child. So I'm with kwazihunt on this one - YABa bitU


Ormirian · 07/05/2011 20:20

LOL! Try: "Having another baby for someone else to bring up?" on for size when it comes to being judged. When I told my neighbour I was pregnant with no 2 and she knew I was going back to work.


Bonsoir · 07/05/2011 20:20

If you are being put down (however subtly) by other women, just give one back!


SusiaX · 07/05/2011 20:22

Yanbu. I'm lucky enough to be a sahm through choice as I feel the early years are really important and wouldn't want to miss them. I can't understand why anyone would choose to go back to work if they didn't have to but that's there choice and I would never judge them for it.

I think when they're knocking you it's more to do with justifying their own decision ? they make themselves feel better about leaving their dcs by making out that their way is the right way (when in actual fact there is no right way, just what's right for you and your family).

My DD is over two and has never been to nursery and I don't think she's missed out in any way ? we go to classes etc so she mixes with other children and I actually think she's more confident than some of the ones that go to nursery.


monkeypuzzeltree · 07/05/2011 20:24

Ormirian And how were her black eyes after that! That is horrendous.

Bonsoir I would but I need to wait for my opportunity when she is on her own, otherwise other friends will think I am judging their decision to work.

Oh hell, I'm going to just ignore it, and have a Wine !!

OP posts:

anonymosity · 07/05/2011 20:26

Ignore it. Interrupt by changing the subject equally pointedly. Ask about politics or something, anything else.
Or grin and walk off


peppapighastakenovermylife · 07/05/2011 20:29

susiax 'I actually think she's more confident than some of the ones that go to nursery'

Of course she will be. Just as some at nursery will be more confident than her or other children with SAHM's.

I think the whole subject is so sensitive because we are told time and time again that as mothers we are responsible for our childrens happiness and outcomes and that our choices will affect these. So whenever anyone comments on why they do something it becomes misconstrued.

'I went back for the mental stimulation'
'I couldnt bring myself to leave them'

Both true and valid statements but people can take offence at either


cheekydino · 07/05/2011 20:30

Maybe you are being a bit sensitive? I have frequently said to my friends (some SAHMs, some working, some with no kids) that I need to work for my own sanity and I suppose 'mental stimulation' - and I am not in any way judging the SAHM - more in some ways trying to show respect for what they do. Just as I would say to an A and E doctor that I don't know how they could spend so much time with blood and gore - I'm not belittling them or their job in any way, just acknowledging that I couldn't do what they do.

I (god forbid) put my son in nursery sometimes even when I'm not at work to give myself a break (I'm a full-time teacher), and I have had the odd look from others about doing that, but because I am secure in my decisions and know that what I'm doing is best for me and my son, I don't get cross about it, just ignore and let others judge. You are right - women are always judging each other and themselves for their parenting choices, and I do wish sometimes that we could all just chill out a bit and accept that there are different horses for different courses, that love and respect are the most important things to show our children, and leave it at that.


lynehamrose · 07/05/2011 20:56

Just ignore it- people probably don't mean anything by it anyway. We're all different - I wouldn't want to be at home all the time, but its horses for courses isn't it


scottishmummy · 07/05/2011 21:00

it cuts both ways.working mums get the precious moments/id never leave my children with strangers/why have em if you dont want to watch them yourself.parenting is heaving with cliches and self appointed experts who cant wait ti tell

point being,yes folk do it doesnt have to get to you.only if you let it get to you.dont be so sensitive to other folk bibble and ignore.

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