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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

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BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 12:01

Happydaddy, I agree but I can also really see Xenia's point. Many women enable their husbands/partner to behave this way..

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HappyDaddy · 02/03/2007 12:06

I didn't mean that to sound so harsh, apologies Xenia. How do women "enable" their men to be this way? If women know it's unfair, why do it? Or more to the point, why don't men feel ashamed that their women think they are so useless?

Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 12:08

Some men just do their fair share. A lot don't. Often women really think - this is my kitchen. He's hopeless. Or they let him do something and then criticise him because he's done it in a different way or they moan and then do the thing themselves so he knows if he doesn't do it she'll do it. So the women in effect set themselves up never to change things. YOu want effective communication, not pointless moaning.

Jalexdra · 02/03/2007 12:15

HappyDaddy, Some women (not me) like the idea of looking after their partners, and feel pride in being a good cook and having a clean house. They affectionately moan about their partners but really they like it. That is how the enable it.

Bugsy2 · 02/03/2007 12:21

LOL, Barbie! This is one of my bugbears too. I work in quite an interesting environment, very City orientated & yet am rarely asked about my work by anyone at all!
In fact I frequently get so cheesed off by the whole thing that I regularly tell people I'm a pole dancer to ellicit a response!!!! (Not that I'm egocentric or anything! )

BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 12:24

Absolutely - men should certainly feel ashamed!...

I think women enable their partners to behave this way by acting like their maid - ive seen it.. running around picking up after them, cooking dinners, washing clothes, soley taking care of their children... taking sole responsiblily of the care of the house, as Xenia said - allowing them to go off on their golf trips... and not saying anything about it!! accepting this... this is how the situation is being enabled

I think there are still so many "old- fashioned ideals" out there... I work, dh works, we share care of dd between us, we share housework... but (and even though I have my own job outside home) if our house is messy - I am the one who gets the "looks" ... (particulary from his mother, it must not be his fault, I must be neglecting "my duties")

I am coming to the obvious realisation that why is this so commonly thought? - because many are enabling "the old way" of thinking - my grandmother had 9 kids, she ran a sand pit, a farm, volunteered 3 days a week to take care of an eldery couple down the road - she worked constantly yet, when my grandfather came in from his days work, he would pat the kids on the head, sit down, smoke a pipe, while her day would continue... dinners.. cleaning... children... I thought the days of this were long gone.. obviously this mentally is somewhat still current.. and because, yes, its being enabled..

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BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 12:26

Bugsy, LOL - I must remember that for my next response...

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sykes · 02/03/2007 12:26

Sorry to barge in. Loud cough, Bugsy?? What happened to drinks? Shall annoy you by e-mail. On the work front I agree with Xenia. My husband is running around like a blue-arsed fly this weekend, escorting the children here there and everywhere so I can make my deadlines. If he was busy I'd do it. I loath it when men are described as being "so good" because they participate equally in what is shared work/chores at home. Oooh, he does the shopping and the washing. Sheesh.

HappyDaddy · 02/03/2007 12:32

I suppose so, it's fucking sad and wrong though!

When I started as a SAHD one of my mates said "I couldn't do that, I'd get bored". I laughed in his face and replied "Well if you paid any attention to your own kids, you'd never be bored, you prick". His dw laughed and he just sulked.

I also suppose it can be easier to do things yourself, as you know it will get done right rather than nag and nag at useless dp/dh who will only balls it up anyway. That's how I am with dw, anyway!

Bugsy2 · 02/03/2007 12:33

Hiya Sykes, since we were last in touch various large amounts of poo hit the fan (DS, ex-H, job etc) & I am struggling a bit.
Feel free to harrass me by email. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you.

BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 12:34

Happydaddy, fair play to you, unfortunately "your kind" are few and far between....

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Jalexdra · 02/03/2007 12:37

It is very sad and wrong. It is the same kind of social conditioning that makes some women think they WANT to look like a barbie.

Bugsy2 · 02/03/2007 12:38

Lordy Happy Daddy, I couldn't stay at home because I'd be bored too. I'm glad I haven't got a knob, otherwise I guess that would make me a prick too!
Actually I could stay at home now because my children are at school all day, but when they were little, I found all that playdoh, painting, endless trips to the park, soft play, musical madness etc etc mindblowingly dull. Much as I love my children, it did my head in.
Horses for courses & all that!

sykes · 02/03/2007 12:38

Sorry to hear that, Bugsy. Would be lovely to see you but understand you have rather a lot on. I'll suggest some dates and see how you go.

BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 12:39

Jalexdra.. id agree ... but my name? ... eh ...

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Jalexdra · 02/03/2007 12:44

Sorry Barbielovesken!! I forgot about your name. I should have said Sindy instead

BarbieLovesKen · 02/03/2007 12:46

Grin Grin

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Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 12:52

Yes, J. It's interesting as a parent to think of ways to avoid that, to protect the children from that. Methods include not sexualising very young girls with crop tops and make up. Trying to give them active healthy hobbies. In our case single sex schools where girls achieve. Even so TV etc presents that Barbie image, women as male play things, sole aim in life to get a rich man stuff and be a housewife. I think one's example and that of friends who live fair adjusted lives is one of the best ways of ensuring those cycles aren't perpetuated.

But yes some women get a lot of pleasure out of looking after their man and if there were equal amounts of men feeling the same I wouldn't have quite such a problem with that. There are also some men who work full time, whose housewives do very little and who get in and do most of the housework too but they don't often get talked about. They do exist.

emmatomATO · 02/03/2007 12:54

I hardly ever ask someone else what they do for a living.

I think it's quite sad that some people can only justify their self esteem by what job they may or may not do.

I've had two full on careers and now am at home and feel completely the same within myself ie havn't lost any type of identity and assume others feel the same. (I'm obviously wrong here!)

I think the ones who do ask within seconds of starting a conversation are lacking in conversational skills.

There are so many other topics you can get onto without this. So, Barbie... the other couple you were with are obviously lacking in social skills!

yellowrose · 02/03/2007 12:57

I met up with a friend a few months ago, who said it was great to meet up with me ALONE and that it was good I was back to my OLD SELF (she is not married, has no kids, is retired, usually visits us at home when ds is around) - WTF ?

But this is the woman who also said that I was giving my son a boob obsession by bf for SO LONG, so I usually just listen to what she says these days, it's in one ear and very very quickly out the other

Jalexdra · 02/03/2007 13:18

I agree Xenia, I have a daughter and want to protect her from this conditioning as far as possible Maybe a girls schools would be a good idea. I went to one and never really experienced any kind of sexism until I left.

HappyDaddy · 02/03/2007 13:21

Bugsy, he meant he'd be bored cos he assumed he'd do as he does now. Sit in his chair all day and ignore his kids.

Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 13:42

It helped but also depends on the child too. Some mature early and are into boys and sex early. My mother had periods at 10 and one my daughters at 14. That's a huge difference.

We bought them a pony and they spent most of those mid teenage years covered in mud in fields (with boys and girls of course - God knows what might have happened in hay stacks) and they've had no trouble getting boyfriends at university but the A level results weren't affected by love affairs etc.

If the school and home ban make up and jewellery etc etc then you have a consistent message it's harder for them to rebel against. If they're in an environment where their school friends are getting pregnant young, wearing make up before they've left primary school etc then they're bound to be affected by that.

yellowrose · 02/03/2007 15:13

I started wearing make up when I was around 13, but somehow managed NOT to get pregnant when a teenager and spent 7 years at university doing higher degrees.

Honestly, what is the connection ? Girls like to look pretty. Nothing wrong with a bit of make up, although I have to say it was banned to wear make up or jewellery at my (private) school here in the UK.

I then went to an international school abroad and they allowed you to dress as you wished. Again I resisted the temptation to become a slapper, despite the dark red lipstick Academic girls with a good set of rules from their parents always do well.

I don't think banning make up and jewellery from a teenager is natural or normal or desirable. Yes, if I had a daughter, I would not allow her to wear skirts the width of my belt. That's very different and one can reason with a teenage girl that she will get unwanted attention if dressed like that.

Judy1234 · 02/03/2007 15:15

Oops, well I never banned it at home and I may below have suggested I did. They weren't interested. They did get that awful naval piercing done in secret when they were about 14 or 15 and by then the school skirts were being rolled into the top bit so they were shorter. Not having to compete for male attention in class can help.

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