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AIBU to think this is jealousy?

45 replies

peonie83 · 19/07/2017 15:00

So after a significant period of time of being a SAHM. Kids are finally old enough that I'm going back to work.

I've actually somehow managed to get back into the same job I used to do albeit at a lower level. I've also negotiated a significant amount of flexibility so I can do some of the school runs.

DC2 will go to a childminder on the days I work. It's slowly but surely falling into place.

However what I've been shocked by is the backlash almost from my 'friends' other SAHMs - often we've talked about leaving our careers behind - regrets- the fact our husbands have progressed and how we would love to get back to work - but now that I am - I'm getting a lot of 'how will kids cope at childminder?' 'Oh you're not doing that group anymore - is that because you have to go back to work?' 'I couldn't go back to what I did - I wouldn't want to it wouldn't work around the kids' 'wow have you really got a job?'

Perhaps AIbU it's not jealousy maybe just general conversation.

But I feel slightly ousted if that's the right word. Will I find a whole new group of friends working mothers now?

I'm struggling really. Because it's exacerbating my guilt. Financially as we have for the last few years we would cope but I'm doing this for me. For my self confidence and self esteem and because I can get back to the career I worked so hard for!!

AIBu to think this is jealousy or just talk really... I just feel very uncomfortable and I guess unsupported.

OP posts:

mummmy2017 · 19/07/2017 15:04

Someone can only make you feel bad if you let them.
Take it as they are just talking plans out loud, and that is what it will be.
Read more into it and your going to feel guilt, which you don;t deserve, the kids will be fine, and they will enjoy the new friends they make.
We missed some of the preschool groups, and friendships were formed that lasted the whole of Primary school.


MrsOverTheRoad · 19/07/2017 15:05

To be honest they don't sound like friends at all OP.

Perhaps you've mistaken "Fellow Mums" for actual friends?

Friends don't make one another feel bad.


toooldforthisshirt37 · 19/07/2017 15:08

I am sorry that your friends have made you feel like this.

Don't let their opinions dent your confidence. This is just like the feeding question all over again, to work or not to work, to bf or formula. Some people think that if you are doing something differently in your parenting to how they do it then that is an automatic judgement on them. It isn't!

There are many reasons to go back to work and doing it for yourself is not least amongst those. Personally, I went back to work full time when my DD was 7 months old due to financial need. I beat myself up with guilt that I had failed and even that I could function for hours at a time without her little wonderfulness with me all day.

In the end I don't regret my decision. In my case it made me a better mother, it might not work for someone else. My DD is amazing and has not suffered.

Good luck!


peonie83 · 19/07/2017 15:08

There seems to be a lot of 'shock and surprise'. But I have to do this - I really do and I can't wait!

I'm certain the kids will be fine.

I struggle to say it but we need time apart. I can no longer have them all day everyday. It's actually getting me down.

I feel guilty as they're still young and I feel I should still be able to do 'this' but I will still be a mother of course I will - just a mum who works a job and has the kids. I feel my tenure as a SAHM has reached a natural end.

OP posts:

nina2b · 19/07/2017 15:09

Yep. Think they are being passive aggressive.


ZoeWashburne · 19/07/2017 15:10

I fully agree the feminist movement is about choice: choosing to stay home, choosing to work, or choosing a combination of these that works for you.

I do think there is some jealousy, but also recognise that you are very lucky to have this come together. Many women do not have flexibility in their jobs to allow for them to work part time, or they cannot afford childcare. So them saying this may also be a way for them to excuse or justify to themselves why they aren't back at work. You being able to achieve this really is a golden opportunity. It is easier to say 'there are no jobs that allow me to be flexible that is why I am a SAHP' in order to justify your choice. When you come along and show that it actually is possible (in some limited cases), it shakes their world a bit. They are just sour grapes-ing: 'I COULD do it if I wanted to, I just don't want to'...

All that matters is that it works for you, your kids are happy and you are happy. If working makes you happy and gives you self-esteem: fabulous!

Ignore the haters.


peonie83 · 19/07/2017 15:13

Thank you @ZoeWashburne I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I am very very lucky. Incredibly lucky

OP posts:

BeyondThePage · 19/07/2017 15:15

They see you as moving on, moving away from them, so they put some distance in there - it is a "natural" ousting from the group.

You have moved on, the common ground (SAHM) you shared will no longer be there - it is not jealousy, just the fact that you have changed - you WON'T be at the same groups any more, you've chosen not to be - just as they have chosen to still be there.

As someone said - they are "other mums" not "friends" as such. Move on, you'll be fine. (as will they)


Banderwassnatched · 19/07/2017 15:16

I don't think they're jealous, but I feel ousted by the SAHMs too. And these are schoolgate mums, hubby can afford for them to flap about all day, sadly we're reaching a point of mutual (but concealed) resentment now.


Ktown · 19/07/2017 15:20

I don't think it is jealousy as such. But you sound like you are in a fantastic position. I work full time (but fantastic hours due to travelling a fair whack) and it sounds like you have nailed things! They are probably just sorry they have lost a mate to have a drink with.
Good luck.


nina2b · 19/07/2017 15:22

And these are schoolgate mums, hubby can afford for them to flap about all day,

I bet all the mummies are delighted to read what you really think of them. As for the awful word "hubby" comment required.Hmm


Banderwassnatched · 19/07/2017 15:28

Nina- don't worry, they don't care what I think at all. I'm just bitter!


ThaliaLuxurySpa · 19/07/2017 15:38


"...I feel ousted by the SAHMs too. And these are schoolgate mums, hubby can afford for them to flap about all day..."

Could you define what you mean by "flap about all day", please?


CloserIAmToFine · 19/07/2017 15:42

I wouldn't automatically assume it is jealousy. Being surprised or justifying their own situations does not equal being envious. Why do you assume they want what you have? Just because it works for you doesn't mean they aren't perfectly happy being SAHMs. Your assumption that they are jealous says a lot about how you view them, and I'm sure that has come across in many ways while you have known them. Your feeling of being "ousted" may be more related to that than any perceived envy.


toosexyforyahshirt · 19/07/2017 15:45

That all sounds like perfectly normal conversation, nothing at all wrong with it.

You sound paranoid and judgemental though. And pretty arrogant to assume everyone is jealous of you!


BunnyBardot · 19/07/2017 15:48

They don't sound jealous to me. They obviously feel that for them being a SAHM gives the best care to their children. I think it says more about you that you want them to be jealous of you. Can't you be happy with your decision without thinking everyone is out to get you?


Banderwassnatched · 19/07/2017 15:48

Thalia- from what I can tell it starts with popping to the cafe after drop off and after that...I don't know. Spending a whole day in running pants? That seems to be a thing. Look, I'm sorry if I angered Mumsnet people. I do envy the people who can afford a choice, and that their social lives are better than mine, and so on. I'll admit I'm not that interested in what they do all day. The feeling is mutual.


toosexyforyahshirt · 19/07/2017 15:50

sadly we're reaching a point of mutual (but concealed) resentment now

They don't resent you. They just think you're a bit of a tit because you judge them as you do.


Banderwassnatched · 19/07/2017 15:53

Ah. Now to be fair, you know neither me, nor them. If I'm ever ungenerous you can assume I know the people I'm referring to better than you do.


toosexyforyahshirt · 19/07/2017 15:56

I can only judge you on what you yourself have provided, and that small amount is not good.
But what reason would they have to resent you?


coddiwomple · 19/07/2017 15:58

It just sounds like a normal chit chat, not jealousy. Replace "'how will kids cope at childminder?" by "how will kids cope at primary school" and realise you don't read it the same way.

You have the same job, lower level, and flexibility. Friends are allowed to comment on that, and possibly wish they had the same.
Being a "working mum" means absolutely nothing, some work full time but a 9 to 5, others part time, others 8 to 7pm!, some have families to help, others pay for full childcare. Some working mums enjoy it, others are depressed and in tears every Sunday night after spending the weekend running around doing chores and live for Fridays.

Some SAHM are amazing and have a great life for them and their children, and do a lot. Others sat in front of the tv all day eating junk food.

It's ridiculous to compare anyone.

OP, you feel unsupported, what do you expect from them? Maybe they feel judged when you tell them .For my self confidence and self esteem and because I can get back to the career I worked so hard for!!. You can read it both ways as well. You are talking about yourself, but someone might take it as a personal attack. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Things will work out.


Banderwassnatched · 19/07/2017 15:59

Yes, maybe dislike would have been a better word. I wrote something spiteful because I feel spiteful. It was taken far more seriously than I meant it but that's the internets for you ;)


Banderwassnatched · 19/07/2017 16:01

(Btw, no one invited you to judge me, you didn't have to).


flipflap75 · 19/07/2017 16:03

OP, I think it's easy to be inadvertently defensive about the working/SAH decision. I don't think it's jealousy on your friends' part, but as a working mum, I often feel defensive about my decision, and equally often hear SAH friends speaking defensively about their life choices (because they're different choices).

If working is right for you and your family, do it and enjoy it. Likewise your friends.


thefutureisfemale · 19/07/2017 16:03

You have, through no fault of your own, highlighted their feelings on inadequacy. Their comments are a direct projection of their hang ups.

I truly hope you blossom at work.Flowers

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