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why is it assumed, because im a mother, I dont work?? (outside home)

128 replies

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 17:01

am so so so sick of this, what year is it??

for instance, last Sunday dp and I were out at a dinner party, type thing.. we met a couple there for the first time, lovely, lovely people.. they had their dds there and we had dd with us. Anyway, we all got chatting and dp asked what they (BOTH) did for a living, then in return, they both asked dp what he did for a living and listened with interest when he explained, I sat there, all smiles, and they moved on.... NOONE asked what I did... I took from this that it was assumed that because I had a little girl I didn?t work.

I was really insulted! Im not being overly sensitive, it wasn?t a once off, this is such a regular occurrence......

My job is just as interesting, paid, conversation-worthy as dps... so why is he ALWAYS asked what he does while I just sit there, smiling, proud, like a dutiful little wife?? Is this just the way things are????????? AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHH

OP posts:
littlelapin · 01/03/2007 17:04

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 17:11

Well do you something little lapin, that must have been it

Oh no (sorry) she does'nt work (outside home) anymore, she is intending to go back in the next few years (when dds are a little older) but her previous job was really interesting (a doctor in genetic research) so we chatted about that for ages...

OP posts:
Themis · 01/03/2007 17:23

It is annoying.

It is also annoying when you tell people that you a SAHM that sometimes the conversation stops there and not even interested that you may have had an interesting paid job before children.

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 18:10

its so annoying, dp is a parent, im a parent but yet.. his job has more worth than mine? why?

OP posts:
littlelapin · 01/03/2007 18:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kittywaitsfornumber6 · 01/03/2007 18:52

I am a SAHM when poeple ask me if I work I say "Yes, but it's not salaried" All mothers work, whether they are at home or not.

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 20:17

Of course but thats not the point.. (hope I dont sound rude there, I dont mean to just dont want that old debate to start up..) its just I have worked so hard to make myself a career and its disheartining when its an automatic assumption to people that dont have one. Bit of a kick in the teeth. I thought in this day and age it was widely known of and fully acceptable for a mother to run a house, raise children and have a career...
As I stated in my original post.. what year is it? I would understand if it was 1950 and practically unheard of for mothers to work but now? Im really suprised that this keeps happening to me to be honest. I would just like to be asked what I do.

OP posts:
Themis · 01/03/2007 20:22

Talk to your DH, tell him that you are a bit miffed and if it happens again ask him to say something like ' well I do this and my wife (name) does so and so etc etc..'

Its frustrating for all of us whether we are SAHM, work part time or full time that people forget that we have or had a life/job/career outside motherhood.

Elasticwoman · 01/03/2007 20:25

When I was working, before having dc, I once asked a new (male) colleague who I knew had an 18 month dd, whether his wife worked outside the home. Tried to make the question sound even handed, without assumptions, but he got all cross and went on about what an important job it was looking after dd, as if I were implying his wife should jolly well get out there in the workplace and pull her weight.

You can't win, with some people.

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 01/03/2007 20:25

at dinner party!!! I'd be happy just to go to one.. sod what they might assume I did or didn't do! If I was you I would have just lead the conversation onto MY job, if I had such an urge to talk about it.

(It wasn't like Ian Beale's Birthday Dinner Party was it? )

princesscc · 01/03/2007 20:27

I am afraid that it will never change - society will alway asume that SAHMs do just that - stay at home. My stock answer to people that asume that I do nothing is to say that they are just jealous coz they wish they could stay at home too!

Themis · 01/03/2007 20:27

It was n't a 'real' dinner party - children were there !

so we dont have to get that

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 01/03/2007 20:36

Ah! Indeed! Kids at dinners parties [shakes head]. Surprised you even got to make any conversation...

Elasticwoman · 01/03/2007 20:38

I was once asked, when clearly hugely pregnant, what I did. When I explained I was at home with dd1 and not likely to go straight to work after the next birth, the young New Yorker who asked was clearly flabbergasted. Different people have different expectations.

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 20:41

Themis, your dead right - it was'nt a 'real' one... I just liked the way it sounded , yes, dp has noticed what has happened a good few times now and has usually made sure that he does just that but to be honest, its not the same, the fact that he has to force this on people, they should ask regardless. I must sound really petty?

Elasticwoman - I completely agree, you really cant win with some people - (I should really take into consideration that maybe people dont ask me is because they could have had an experience like yours.. although thats not acceptable either, is it?) I suppose I have been in situations in which a SAHM was asked what she did for a living followed by that awkard, almost look, then in situations where a WOHM asked the same, jumps on the defense to justify her reasons for working when really and truely its ridiculous - everyone should be proud of what they do and if some don't approve - feck them, its none of their business..

But this is the thing.. im not seeking approval, this suits our family but I do expect people in 2007 to ask a mother about her career...

OP posts:
princesscc · 01/03/2007 20:43

btw - you're not supposed to have an opinion about anything once you are a SAHM and should only talk about fluffy bunnies!

Themis · 01/03/2007 20:46

Just tell people you work in 'Behavioural Management'

Katy44 · 01/03/2007 20:48

Yes, I agree! When I first mentioned to DH's grandma that I was pregnant (about 8 weeks) she asked how I was enjoying being at home all day! I was absolutely amazed at the assumption that as soon as I became pregnant that would be the end of my career! But this was an 80 year old woman and I think her views are perfectly reasonable, as (I assume) that's how it used to be. I'd never expect that sort of implied assumption from someone my own age!

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 20:49

Shiny - its not "that I had such an urge to talk about it" its the fact that dp gets asked all the time and I dont basically imo, because he is a man and I am a woman!

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ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 01/03/2007 20:50

Ok Ok stop stewing and dissecting..

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 20:56

dont mind me.. im being picky today

Kathy, Thank God, I thought it was just me for a second there - being totally paranoid. Absolutely, you can completely understand a woman of that age making that assumption, but have you had it happen with anyone else?

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Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:00

Not yet. But I am supersensitive (normally, and at the moment I'm also 8 months pregnant!)
I did also have this the other way round though when talking to my granddad
"How will your work cope without you? You will be off for at least three months"

Actually, a similar thing is my boss has made comments in the past along the lines of "your priorities will change"...could be me being hypersenstive, but I do take that to mean "we don't expect much of you when you come back"

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 21:08

I dont think you are being oversensitive (although I could be accused of being the same) God, things really are so hard for women.. we cant win either way. Hate to say it but it truely is a mans world. dp has never had any stick about going to work/ or not going to work after dd was born, no judgements, never been excluded from any intelligant conversations because hes a father.. times are supposed to be changing.. but there not are they?

OP posts:
Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:14

They are, but slowly! I just know that when this baby's born DH will get rounds of applause from PILs and my parents every time he so much as changes a nappy! My mum is still amazed when he offers to hoover when we're at theirs (we used to live there - he doesn't just leap up in the middle of dinner)
Strange really - his parents are fairly old fashioned as far as that sort of thing goes, so how come he's not?

whiffywarthog · 01/03/2007 21:15

i have the same thing. it is soooo annoying, like you're not worth spending time talking to - you can't possibly do anything interesting. ggrrrrr

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