My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

AIBU for parents to know what roughly what job I do?

224 replies

myjob · 29/01/2024 12:25

I probably am being unreasonable, but hear me out. Just having a brat really.

I work in the city of London in a finance role, supporting fund managers. My mum has asked what I do and I have told her many times what my role is and how it supports the wider business. She just doesn't understand it and when I try to explain, she says "it's all so complicated!" And won't even try to listen. She is in her 60's and was a SAHM her whole life. My brother works in digital media sales and it's the same with him. She thinks he works with computers and I'm a secretary. She doesn't seem to understand that I'm not in a typing pool.

It's a stressful, serious job. I have tried to explain, she doesn't seem to understand that women can have important roles in an office environment.

Do your parents understand your job if it's not something like teacher or nurse? Maybe IABU! I give up with trying to explain it now!

OP posts:
VickyEadieofThigh · 29/01/2024 12:30

I'm very highly educated and before retirement, worked all my life in senior roles in education. I tell you this for context to my next statement.

My younger brother works in a senior role in telecoms. He's told me more than once what he does. I still don't understand it!

Needablueskyholiday · 29/01/2024 12:30

I could have written this post myself. I’ve given up trying to explain to my mum what I do. I just let her think she understands my role (when she clearly has no idea). I just think to myself, does it matter in the overall scheme of things? I‘m sure your mum is very proud of you, tells all her friends etc, whatever job she thinks you do!

ManchesterLu · 29/01/2024 12:33

My parents don't understand that I have a job, because I work from home. I have done since 2012, and even now it's widespread after the pandemic, they still don't get it, even though my MUM now works from home!!!! She thinks hers is different because her company have a physical office whereas mine doesn't.

Catza · 29/01/2024 12:34

Why is it important that she understands? Are you looking for some kind of recognition?
I have an opposite problem. I am an OT (try to explain that to people!) but my mum is absolutely convinced I have some sort of a medical degree and rings me up for diagnosis of something or other all the time.

CantDealwithChristmas · 29/01/2024 12:35

My parents don't understand what I do, not even to the level you've described. But, they're immigrants (English not first language) and working class (one was a car mechanic, the other a dinner lady), and left school at 14 & 15 in their native countries, so I don't judge them for it and I don't get frustrated. It is what it is.

In fact, I'd much rather have their complete ignorance then a parent who'd studied/worked in the same field who kept trying to give me their two penn'orth about my career and field, as some of my colleagues do!

Mercedes45 · 29/01/2024 12:38

I'm an accountant. People don't understand how broad that term is. I'm in industry. I constantly have people asking me their payroll and tax questions.

anothertrainwreck · 29/01/2024 12:38

I couldn’t get worked up about this with anyone as long as they were supportive. There is a meme that makes me laugh about spending time with your best friend when you say “how is your job going and also what is it”. I think that so many modern careers can be a bit nebulous that it’s just not within people’s sphere of understanding, especially if it’s not/wasn’t their working experience.

Cheepcheepcheep · 29/01/2024 12:41

My parents don’t really ‘get’ my job but my mum has never worked in the City and Dad retired 15 years ago and this job has really only existed for about 20 years. They see me bringing home a paycheck and providing for the family and they know I’m doing well so I think that’s all that matters to them! It doesn’t really bother me - although by the sounds of things it’s not understanding the job that bothers you, but your mum thinking you’re significantly more junior than you are?

ShipSpace · 29/01/2024 12:42

Same here. Neither of my parents would have a clue what I do despite having been told about it many times over the last 25 years.

The best bit is my mum is the kind of person who spends all day gossiping to people about other people’s lives, so lord knows what she tells people I do for a living.

EveryoneEnviesMeEverywhere · 29/01/2024 12:42

I don't understand what our children do, all three of them other than two are into very hush, hush security work and the other is some type of fraud investigator but its complex and I'm just pleased they have always worked and what most people would consider a very, very clearly, along with perks.

I've worked for many years before leaving to investigate the abuse of elderly/frail and am like above

None of us is stressed or anything if we do't fully understand what the other does as we have more important things to get on with.

Waitingfordoggo · 29/01/2024 12:42

I’m a fair bit younger than your mum but would struggle to understand exactly what it is you do. Purely because I know next to nothing about the corporate world and how businesses work. I have genuine difficulty understanding detail about the sorts of roles and processes that go on in such environments. I would believe you though when you told me you weren’t a secretary and had a high-powered position!

ellie09 · 29/01/2024 12:43

I am a relationship manager in the same line of work which can be stressful and nobody in my family really understands what I do despite me giving them a huge list of examples of what I do.

I had an ex who basically thought all I did was "listen to complaints" but didn't understand I had high level presentations, contracts, invoicing, data queries, weekly/monthly/quarterly calls with all clients and also being in charge of soft skills training across the business and organising the businesses social events.

WolfFoxHare · 29/01/2024 12:44

I’ve got a PhD and I don’t really understand what my husband does. I know it’s IT-related….

Shouldhavebutdidnt · 29/01/2024 12:45

Same as @WolfFoxHare

shepherdsangeldelight · 29/01/2024 12:45

My parents don't have a clue. In my case it's symptomatic of a general lack of interest in me and an underplaying of my achievements, though.

So I suspect that might be the case for OP too.

elQuintoConyo · 29/01/2024 12:45

I hear you, Chandler Bing!

myjob · 29/01/2024 12:45

Thanks all, I think I am frustrated that she thinks it's the sort of job where I can leave on time every day and probably just sit chatting with my colleagues. When I was WFh over the pandemic, she said "it must be lovely not to be working". I tried to explain that I am but she seemed to think I was watching This Morning and Loose Women all day. When I would say "I'm working", she'd say 'they won't notice if a secretary hasn't logged on and couldn't another secretary cover for me.

She's always been a SAHM, so I think she just doesn't really have any idea that women can have real jobs!

OP posts:
ApolloandDaphne · 29/01/2024 12:46

I don't really understand what my DD does (digital campaigns manager) or my DH (CTO in IT/cybersecurity). I have a real block about anything technology related. I was a social worker before retirement. I understand people.

MadamVastra · 29/01/2024 12:47

My dh works in finance. I have been married 30 years and if I am ever asked what he does I say 'something in banking'

it's not that I wouldn't understand but really rather that it doesn't interest me! My job doesn't interest him either - apart from general gossip surrounding it.

my dd also works in finance and I don't know what she does either! She hates talking about it herself so she sure as hell isn't going to be discussing it with me (apart from who is stealing the toilet roll and so and so micro managing her etc etc)

my mum used to think I had a medical degree when I was a prescription clerk 😂

Imicola · 29/01/2024 12:49

My parents have no idea what I do - I've tried explaining it, but to be fair it is far outside of any job I ever could have imagined before I started doing it, so I can't blame them for not really understanding it. They do realise it is an actual job though, your DM sounds very dismissive which would really irritate me.

Thelnebriati · 29/01/2024 12:49

Underplaying your achievements is undermining. There's no need for her to be constantly making silly comments about what she thinks your job entails.

Muddywalks34 · 29/01/2024 12:50

Years ago I used to work for Hewlett Packard (HP), my mum used to tell everyone I worked for HP (the makers of brown sauce - she even started buying it to support my company). Another role I had was at a University, she would tell everyone I was a lecturer. Both roles were in finance, I have never made brown sauce, nor taught for a living. I gave up many years ago trying to correct her!

useitorlose · 29/01/2024 12:55

If my husband didn't work from home, I would have only a sketchy idea of how he spends his day (instead, I know far too much!)

I'm in education so my parents understand my job, and my sister works in her local Tesco Express so I guess they get that one too.

Endoftetherweather · 29/01/2024 12:56

I’m in a strategic leadership role at a large commercial law firm. My mum knows I’m solicitor (correct) but on some level she thinks I wear a wig and get baddies locked up for murder (vastly incorrect).

Ace56 · 29/01/2024 12:56

myjob · 29/01/2024 12:45

Thanks all, I think I am frustrated that she thinks it's the sort of job where I can leave on time every day and probably just sit chatting with my colleagues. When I was WFh over the pandemic, she said "it must be lovely not to be working". I tried to explain that I am but she seemed to think I was watching This Morning and Loose Women all day. When I would say "I'm working", she'd say 'they won't notice if a secretary hasn't logged on and couldn't another secretary cover for me.

She's always been a SAHM, so I think she just doesn't really have any idea that women can have real jobs!

Yes, this would annoy me. It’s like she’s blatantly refusing to try and understand and would rather just label you as ‘secretary’. Maybe you could try and share more anecdotes from work just so she understands the kind of atmosphere it is - ‘in the board meeting yesterday they said we need to get our teams to meet X targets, phew that will definitely be a challenge as I’ve also got to fit that in with the presentation to Y next week’
just so she realises you’re not just typing!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.