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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:
Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:17

Did you say something?
Sure it wasn't anything interesting

Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:21

I think I would find it easier to create the follow up question to "I'm a SAHM" at a dinner party (not that I ever go to such a thing).
When people tell me "I'm a finance investor" I tend to say "Oh...." and then quickly follow up with an insincere sounding "what does that involve"

Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:22

Not picking on any finance investors - just any job title where I don't really know what it is

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 21:25

Katy, Id say it is possibley because you "trained" him (for want of a better word) dps mother completely spoiled her boys.. cooked, cleaned, washed etc everything for them (I could have kicked her) but after a few years together (possibley nagging ) he tries to do just as much in the house as I do (he works shorter hours)and certainly is as involved with dd as I am. Although, I know what you mean... his mother practically bursts with pride with "how lucky I am" when she sees him put on a wash or dress dd for bed.

Whiffy.. you've hit the nail on the head!!

OP posts:
whiffywarthog · 01/03/2007 21:26

that pisses me off too - we put the washing on 17 times a day and get no thanks. a bloke does it once and suddenly we're really lucky...

Twinklemegan · 01/03/2007 21:31

You want to try being married to a SAHD. Whenever I tell people they say "oh, does he work from home then?" or if they're my parents "when is he going to find that weekend job?" I've been there and I know it's bl**dy hard work. I can't in all consciousness ask him to go out and work at the weekends/evenings as well. And AS IF he could work from home all week whilst looking after a 7 month old. Funny how I never had the same questions when I was a SAHM.

Tortington · 01/03/2007 21:33

my nan reckons i'm lucky - til i point out that actually its only fair as i do work full time too.

with regards the washing machine - i find myself wanting xenia here for the first time ever.

they only think they 'done good' if you let them. why its not a norm in most houses i dunno

i have a stock phrase - what dya want a fkin medal? when dh says " i did xyz" expecting pat on head and dogie treat.

regarding OP, iwould have made sure i got my bit out.

and another poster said something like " tell dh to say .....i do this my wife also does..."

erm no. if your missed out and you dont correct wrong assertions your perpetuating by omission so speak up for woman kind

Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:38

custardo, my DH is a computer programmer, but the two buttons (marked on/off and start/stop) and the dial on the washing machine are far too complex!

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 21:38

How awful.. its double standards is'nt it? so I suppose thats exactly the reverse side to my problem. Your poor dh.

Whiffy, oh I know... my grandmother (73) constantly reminds me how lucky I am because dp washes his own cup and changes dd... eh? shouldnt he be anyway? how am I lucky?

OP posts:
Katy44 · 01/03/2007 21:41

Yep, Twinklemegan that is awful - the assumption that he MUST or SHOULD be doing something 'more'.

BarbieLovesKen · 01/03/2007 21:48

Custardo, your probably right - I really should have spoke up (on the many occasions this has happened) but I am not very assertive atall.. really need to work on that, I also didnt want to have to turn the whole conversation on me - hate those people who only want to talk about themselves.. I expected to be asked, not for myself or dp to bring it up. but just sat waiting..waiting to be asked!!

OP posts:
Tortington · 01/03/2007 23:01

thats balls katy44 and you know it. my kids could work the washer at 8 years old

lisad123 · 01/03/2007 23:15

I have the other problem, people hear what job I do and assume that I just dont have kids. "Oh I couldnt possibily do that job if I had children", "It must be so hard". Its a hard job whether you have kids or not. agghhhh

Next time just say, "well yes, my husband does a wonderful job and he is so helpful with DD/DS when im work. Oh both working is so tough sometime especially with me doing....."

LOL, I assume all people at dinner parties talk like that, LOL, kidding, but never get invited because we have kids


Eddas · 01/03/2007 23:19

Have only read the op and yes you are right to be annoyed. I would've said, in a very loud voice, well since we're talking about work mine is great thanks, or words to that effect

You should be me though as it's always assumed i'm a teenage mum I get the looks and snide comments. No offense to any teenage mums but at 28 it's a little irritating

edam · 01/03/2007 23:44

Very annoying. You will have to perfect the art of muscling in - seizing the moment when they draw breath to say 'that reminds me of the time I was surveying a house/diagnosing a gerbil with asthma/bidding for a million-pound project/interviewing Alan Rickman' or whatever.

mand21 · 01/03/2007 23:56

So help me here, I need some help coming up with a decision, been offered a temp job doing what I want to do, but means leaving kids in before/after school club(which they are happy about) but not being able to go ballet+swmming which I've already paid for and bought uniform, money is not life changing, but I'm torn because the experience will be fantastic and let me practice at being working mum. When I read the headline I thought that I had actually been quite lucky beacuse they're letting me do hours to fit around b4/after school club. At the end of the day, I need to work at some point full time to pay the mortgage but don't know if i'm ready......

BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 10:00

Its very difficult for anyone else to tell you what to do - It really depends on you, your family and your circumstances. I have many reasons for my decision to work, but then no two families are alike and what works for us may well not work for you!! (im not being much help here, am I? ) what I will say is, if it is inevitable that you will have to work full time some day, maybe you would be better off, starting with those hours now before progressing to longer hours - to "wean" yourself and the kids slowly onto the change. Do whatever you feel is best for your family. The very best of luck, whatever you decide

OP posts:
Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 10:07

It's hard though. You ask someone what she does and she's a housewife and she's cross and thinks you think she ought to be at work. I've been in those situations, I assume women work outside the home when they have babies as that's the normality amongst people I know but you do pause and wonder whether it's best to ask or not.

I would have slipped in something about my work in that situation. I have in the past.

Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 10:10

cust, you can't change some men so it's not worth trying. It should never be helping. But I think sharing jobs doesn't work. My husband always put on the dishwasher and washer before we went to work so I'd never thought about that. When we divorced I then took on the jobs he did. I would not think or do anything to do with washing. But I got the school bags ready for the next day. What you need is fair and equal division and not just rare bit of gardening and tiny car stuff that takes 30 mins a week v 15 hours heavy cleaning. You need same number of hours but not the same jobs shared which is very hard to do and means one is "helping" the other.

BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 10:42

Xenia, Fair and equal division - completely agree, I know a couple with a little boy, I am not criticising their parenting - the father is a good parent, when it comes to playing and "messing" with his son but I was absolutely shocked one day when child spilt something on himself and in the mothers absence, the father did not have a clue where the vests, nappies, etc were kept - this child is two!! the same applies with washing powder, tea towels etc in that house... I don?t think that this is the preferable example that should be set for any little boy.. that women should be slaves for their men!!. How is this little boy expected to treat women when he is older? And the circle continues? We both made dd, we both need to take responsibility for her and take care of her. Dp has been extremely ?hands on? since day one and I would not have it any other way. We both work, I completely expect my dp to do as much in the house, if not more than I do (I work longer hours). As you said, you would slip something in about your work situation and your probably right, its just that I don?t think, in this day and age I should have to ?slip something in? ? I should be asked. We are trying to raise our little girl (she is very small now ? 16 months) with the idea that she can be whatever she wants to be, do whatever she wants to do, be successful and independent?(of course!) but I feel somewhat disheartened if this is the backward attitude she is expected to deal with.. just hope things change by the time she is grown.

OP posts:
motherinferior · 02/03/2007 11:16

The thing that has driven me MAD over the years is the question 'are you managing to get a bit of work done now?' on account of me being freelance.

I have worked four days a week since both my children were four effing months old. And earned more than their father for the first few years of that too.

Oh, and 'now DD1's at school that must make your working hours so much easier': ahem, see above, growl, teeth in legs, gnash

kittywaitsfornumber6 · 02/03/2007 11:17

But I think if you both work equal hours outside the home you should do equal hours inside. If one goes out and earns the money then the one at home should do the work at home and that includes the majority of child care. I think that that is very sensible division of labour.

HappyDaddy · 02/03/2007 11:28

Katy44, if your dh is a computer developer he's used to writing software. Washing machine buttons are hardware, totally different and unreasonable to expect him to know about it.

Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 11:42

Well all know what is fair but woman after woman tolerates and therefore condones, legitimises and accepts that they do more. Are they weak? Do they inherently believe women can clean and men can't? Don't they really care? Do they like the feeling of martyr so they can moan and feel good about having something to moan about?

If you both work full time as we did it is easier to get a fairer set up - usually one takes child to childminder and other gets home first.

What always amazes me is mothers at weekends who look after the small children all weekend and the father does very little. Oh he has to do his golf, they say with a wry smile as if that's fair and right. They're only a woman of course so they can't have hobbies that take up as much time.

HappyDaddy · 02/03/2007 11:45

Xenia, why are you so quick to blame women? Surely if us men were less lazy and selfish, our women would be much happier and less stressed?

Men are often the ones who act like spoilt children. Are you saying that on top of everything else your average woman has to do, she has to mother her partner into getting off his arse, as well?

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