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AIBU?

Do career women get more kudos than part-timers/sahms?

205 replies

Mcemmabell · 27/02/2024 09:17

I don't know if it's just my experience, but I feel like I hear a rhetoric day to day where the women I know who are very career focused (demanding full time work, considered "high flying") get kudos and praise from other women. I've recently heard relatives and friends talking with admiration about how dedicated and hard working women in these positions are. But women who work part time or are sahms, I don't hear them getting any praise for the hours they put into childcare and keeping house. Or the sacrifices they make for their children.

Is this just part of the sexist discourse that diminishes the value of any traditional female activity? I would love to hear someone say "Oh, Jean works so hard to take care of her kids." But I never do.

Note: I take the feminist attitude that women should be supported to do whichever of these they want. No one is better than anyone else because they work full time out of the house or because they take care of their kids full time in the house.

Anyway, am I imagining things or is looking after your own children (as a mother) still an undervalued activity that gets very little recognition from the outside world?

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

259 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
59%
You are NOT being unreasonable
41%
Comedycook · 27/02/2024 09:18

Yes, of course.

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TomeTome · 27/02/2024 09:20

I think it’s just easier to talk about a job than a life. People often think that sahms do what employed mums do just spread across the day. Just do you.

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ion08 · 27/02/2024 09:27

part timer here

and given i am pottering around my kitchen catching up on jobs, about to take my dog for a walk and then meet a friend for lunch…. i personally don’t give a hoot about “kudos” all i know is that if it meant going full time…. not a bloody chance as i love my life too much and my 2 days off (plus love my job so win win)

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Sweetheart7 · 27/02/2024 09:30

I think it depends what you around OP. So people have no choice but to be part time life isn't as simple as that. I'm quite content with mu work balance and being a mum well it's been like this for the last 8 years!

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Beezknees · 27/02/2024 09:32

I don't see why anyone needs to get kudos for doing anything to be honest. Why do we need praise for going to work or looking after children? We all do it.

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GrumpyPanda · 27/02/2024 09:42

You lost me at "career women." Haven't come across that particular bit of lazy old-fashioned sexism in quite a long time...! NOT the hallmark of somebody who truly believes that "women should be supported to do whichever of these they want."

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DrCoconut · 27/02/2024 09:42

I suppose society gives "kudos" to people who have a career because they have worked and studied to get where they are and continue to work in the dual role of parent and whatever job they do. That's really hard going always at times and involves a lot of sacrifice too. The question is whether kudos and value are the same? Brain surgeons get more kudos but the people who empty my bin and stack the shelves in Aldi are far more relevant in my life as it stands at the moment.

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A1b2c3d4e5f6g7 · 27/02/2024 09:44

I know I definitely admire women (and men) who are parents and manage to combine this with successful careers, since becoming a mum myself. Until I did become a mum, I didn't realise how hard it would be. The juggle, logistics, sickness, time pressures, trying to prioritise quality time and activities with the children and then both working in the evenings to catch up after bedtime etc and do the household chores.

Time at home on maternity, or my partners paternity (shared leave), has been easier for us in our experience. So I really admire those who do manage to do 'it all' and make it look effortless, because we know how tough it is. That might be where some of the admiration is coming from.

But it's equally valid to be at home or part time, and one day I might like to go part time, as might my partner

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Mcemmabell · 27/02/2024 09:46

GrumpyPanda · 27/02/2024 09:42

You lost me at "career women." Haven't come across that particular bit of lazy old-fashioned sexism in quite a long time...! NOT the hallmark of somebody who truly believes that "women should be supported to do whichever of these they want."

Please point to the part of what I wrote where I used that term.

OP posts:
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Pelicanlover · 27/02/2024 09:49

We live in a capitalist society where people’s value is based on how much they earn, sadly.

it’s also a patriarchal society which devalues traditional female roles ( when an industry is male dominated, pay levels are higher than female dominated roles. This is regardless of complexity of role)

I’m a full time working mum. I’d say both roles have challenges, but I chose to work because I enjoy it

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ion08 · 27/02/2024 09:50

Mcemmabell · 27/02/2024 09:46

Please point to the part of what I wrote where I used that term.

career women 

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ComfyBoobs · 27/02/2024 09:50

Mcemmabell · 27/02/2024 09:46

Please point to the part of what I wrote where I used that term.

Ha! It’s in the thread title.

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WandaWonder · 27/02/2024 09:52

Mcemmabell · 27/02/2024 09:46

Please point to the part of what I wrote where I used that term.

Isn't career women in your title?

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Needmorelego · 27/02/2024 09:52

I really don't care what other women choose to do with their life.
Full time "career" type job or full time job job.
SAHM.
Part timer.
Own business selling sweet cones online.
Whatever.
I don't care and don't think any choice is better or worse.

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WandaWonder · 27/02/2024 09:54

Well the gap widens when the cpuple split up then there is panic about not affording to live or pensions

I presume people do what works for them and gets on with it regardless of what others think, like the mature people they are?

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User55567 · 27/02/2024 09:56

There is something admirable and praiseworthy about:

  1. Earned (not given)
  2. being self sufficient
  3. not looking for handouts
  4. Provide for the family
  5. truly being an equal in a relationship


working women are also full time mothers!
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MrsSkylerWhite · 27/02/2024 09:57

Oh goody, another thread encouraging women to take chunks out of each other.

Seriously, who cares what choices other people make? focus on your own life.

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chickensandbees · 27/02/2024 09:58

This is one of those debates that will go round in circles.

I feel that "career women" get criticised for not spending enough time with their children. In your OP you say you wish people would say "Oh, Jean works so hard to take care of her kids." Does that mean you think that women that work don't work hard to take care of their kids. I feel I manage to work hard to feed and clothe and house them and also all the other aspects of taking care of their mental and physical wellbeing.

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MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 27/02/2024 09:58

What an odd post.

I don't admire people for having a job or for looking after their kids. Surely these are just basic things that most people do at different points in their lives. Why would you get kudos for them?

I do admire people who have made exceptional contributions to society through their work. But equally, I admire people who have made exceptional contributions to society in a more traditional "caring" capacity, e.g. those who have fostered loads of vulnerable children.

But expecting kudos for looking after your own family in a way that happens to suit you? No, sorry, that's what we all do in one way or another, and it's weird to expect a pat on the back for it.

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SparklyRainbowDinosaur · 27/02/2024 09:58

I work 4 days a week and so does DH. So we each have her 1 day per week and she is in nursery the other 3 days. But tbh my job hasn't changed so I feel pretty much full time just paid less 🙃

I've never had anyone praise me for working or having a career! If anything I get the opposite, particularly from my mum who thinks I'm some kind of deviant for not staying at home with DD, and I've had a few barbed comments from more part time colleagues about 'not wanting to spend more time with my child'.

The difference in how people view my working arrangements vs DHs is honestly astounding. He gets praise HEAPED on him and treated like he is some kind of super dad for being PT and pulling his weight. It actually grinds my gears a lot that we do exactly the same but I'm seen as a lesser mum for working whereas he's seen as a superior dad for the same!

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MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 27/02/2024 09:59

Mcemmabell · 27/02/2024 09:46

Please point to the part of what I wrote where I used that term.

Um, it's in your thread title.

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Divebar2021 · 27/02/2024 09:59

I think some jobs deserve more “kudos” actually. If I ever met a Dr or a Vet I would internally be giving them kudos because I know how long they’ve trained and I know I’m not clever enough to do it ( and I’m very very grateful for them). I give kudos to teachers because I know the bloody bureaucratic nightmare it is and my brief experience home schooling has taught me I don’t have the temperament. There’s all sorts of jobs I give kudos for ( not necessarily professional ones) because we need them and I’m grateful for them. What other people do with their families doesn’t really impact me personally so I tend not to think about it.

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Mumoftwo1312 · 27/02/2024 09:59

I dunno, I'm part time but I'm juggling two jobs so about 4 days pw altogether.

I'm not sure who you mean who gives the kudos - I feel more ashamed of how messy my house always is, because dh and I never have time to sort it properly and our weekly cleaner only has time to firefight the clutter hoard.

My ILs affectionately shake their heads and unpromptedly clean our kitchen/trim our hedges etc each time they visit.

I'd feel more proud of myself if I had a tidy home. But I'd miss my job and the income

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Mumoftwo1312 · 27/02/2024 10:01

chickensandbees · 27/02/2024 09:58

This is one of those debates that will go round in circles.

I feel that "career women" get criticised for not spending enough time with their children. In your OP you say you wish people would say "Oh, Jean works so hard to take care of her kids." Does that mean you think that women that work don't work hard to take care of their kids. I feel I manage to work hard to feed and clothe and house them and also all the other aspects of taking care of their mental and physical wellbeing.

Very true, it's been done on mn so many times and I always get sucked in!

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JustFrustrated · 27/02/2024 10:03

Well yes, being a SAHM is undervalued.

But having been a SAHM and now a "career woman"

The actual difference, and why I do think WOHM mother's have it harder, is that we have the exact same demands at home as we did before, just now less time to do it in. So I do think that deserves recognition.

And I say that with a DH who is a very hands on parent/domestic guy who doesn't leave everything to me.

The children, even though they're older, have the same demands of me but now they have bigger (and more consequential) problems than they did when they were toddlers/young school children.

And my work demands a lot too.

So no, kudos isn't required. But actually it's understandable.

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