SAHM - Vent

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2006
SAHM - Vent
11
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 9:24pm

Ok, so I know mum's who have to or who choose to go back to work get a bit of a raw deal quite often from quite a lot of people. 

But I made the choice to be a SAHM. Not an easy choice btw. It meant less money for the family, more day to day mummy stress and many days where I feel like I'd just love to have an adult conversation. Not to mention that my job skills are going stale and i'll have to retrain eventually in the future.

BUT, it was a choice I made, with the support and input of my husband, willingly and happily. So why is it I am being made to feel guilty for being a SAHM? People say "what do you do?" My reply of "I'm a SAHM" has started to sound derogetory when it comes out of my mouth. Or maybe it's just the dissapointed look in the eyes of the person I speak to. I don't know, but I feel like it is a put down. "She's a SAHM", "She just keeps house and looks after the kids."

Why am I being made to feel this way? And why is it mostly coming from mums that work outside the home? I get that they have had a lot of negativity aimed at them, But surely the soloution is not to gang up on those that choose to SAH. I've had two people say to me, (both mum's who work full time outside the home) "caring for my child/children all day every day is just so boring, I have so many better things to do with my life." What about my choice, is raising my children a waste of my time? I know my answer to that, of course it is not! But then why am I being made to feel like it is a waste? 

I support the rights of a woman and her husband or SO to make the choices as to who will have care of the children day to day. There are many different soloutions to this. SAH Dads, Part time work for each parent, live in Nannys, Grandparents or other family who look after the kids, Mum's who work only school hours....I'm sure there are litteraly hundreds of options. And as long as children are in a happy and healthy environment than I think that is the most important part covered. Isn't that what this should be about?

But why is it that I, who made the most "traditional" and perhaps old fashioned choice of raising my family, is being penalised? Picked on? Put down? Ignored? Made to feel like a second rate citizen?

This is seriously turning into another breastfeeding vs. formula debate. Anyone who has been part of that debate knows how heated that can get. :smileyhappy: That is a board I love to go visit just to watch the fur fly. 

Can't I just be given the respect I deserve as a woman who raises her children full time and works her butt off to support her husband in his work endevors? It's not "the easy way out". Its not a lazy way of life, that's for sure! And it's not cause I'm uneducated or had no career previously. My education level is higher than my husbands and my ability to earn is at least as good if not better than DH's. My DH isn't the breaswinner cause my DH makes a ton of money either. Extra money would never go astray but we live a life within a budget that allows us all our basics, a few nice treats and the ability to keep out head above water.

I just don't get how people can be so cruel. 

Anyone else out there feeling the pressure to return to work for no other reason than to fit in with everyone else's expectations? Anyone have any way of dealing with this? 

Candice

 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
In reply to: tzygani
Sun, 09-23-2012 - 5:52am
I'm not a member of your EC, but this was on the main page and I thought I would reply. It's not you that these people are necessarily reacting to, it's a preconceived notion they have of the SAHM. I'll be honest and say I had nothing but contempt for SAHMs for the longest time; but the SAHMs I knew were lazy with filthy houses, dirty children and husbands who had I cook and clean up because the mom/wife was too busy on Yahoo or IM. Once I moved to an area where SAH was more common, my perception changed. I met moms who had immaculate houses and were always on the go with their babies and doing things. Now, I work part time while my little one is at preschool and we have our playtime and my house is clean. If SAH is done right, it's a lot of work but worth it. Do I have days where I wish I worked full time? Yes, absolutely. But I'm fine with where I am :smileyhappy: It's not you, it's peoples' prejudices. Prove them wrong :smileyhappy:
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2008
In reply to: tzygani
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 8:05pm
Dont let it get to you-Some Moms will judge you for anything you do differently than them. To me being a SAHM is a privilege but the hardest work I have ever done in my life. Personally speaking-being a SAHM is the most important job in the world, facilitating a yound persons healthy growht and development is priceless. Since your little ones know you are there for them they can focus on things like growing and playing.
Megan! Wifey to Joe since 8-9-8, Mama to Mimi since 1-27-10, and eagerly expecting #2 around 10-01-12!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
In reply to: tzygani
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 4:36pm

I was always a "work outside the home" mom although I did cut down my hours and worked slightly less than full time.  Objectively I think we shouldn't look down on SAHMs.  I do think it's everyone's personal decision what to do and other people shouldn't judge them because what works for one family might not work out well for another family.  I think if you're happy, the kids are happy, etc. you just need to know that your decision is the right one for you & not worry about what other people say.  like if people looked on me negatively for working (which I think my MIL did a little) I was secure that it was what i wanted to do, so I didn't worry too much about what they said.  I'm sure that some working women are jealous that they can't afford to stay home.  I also think that it has become much more the norm in society today that mothers do work outside.  Like maybe someone might take a year off for maternity leave but really, if your kids are in school & you're still at home, you're really looked at as kind of "lazy"--like what does she do all day? or kind of uneducated, must not have had a good job, didn't have any choice, blah, blah.  So unless you want to go around defending your choices all the time, I do think you just have to forget about other people's opinions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2006
In reply to: tzygani
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 7:21pm

Hey Carrie,

Yeah it's sad isn't it. Just can't get it right no matter what you do!

Mums who work in or out of the home work so hard at whatever they are doing...why make it harder by negativity?

Candice

 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2006
In reply to: tzygani
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 11:41pm
Thanks so much for that. I'm not really looking for sympathy really just some ideas of how to deal with the negativity. And yes, having a boy with ASD has given me added incentive to stay home. But it was a decision we'd already made before we had children. DS#1 is the one with ASD and as the oldest he'll be out of the nest and at school the soonest. 5 days per fortnight starting next year and then full time in 2014. At that point DS#2 will still be at home for a couple years before school starts and our expected baby won't start school till 2018. WOW! what a strange thought! Anyhow, I'll be a SAHM at least until the youngest is at school. I choose that on purpose. While we can afford it of course, you never know what is around the corner.

As to your situation Mary, yes it can be hard to fill it the time sometimes but I've found a few hobbies that keep me real busy on top of general housework. (I'm a little obsessed about the way I keep house) Maybe you'll find some of these helpful? We go to story time at the library once a week. We go to the park also. I try for once a week. We have a lovely backyard with a good size vegie patch. That keeps me real busy as well as a front yard with flowers etc that needs attention. I bake a lot. Almost every day. I often try to drop a home made lunch off to DH's work. Often, the job site is close by and he has time to have a coffee and eat with us in a nearby park. I DO NOT sew (I can, but I don't) but maybe something you can take up to pass the time? I read a lot. I have a few friends who do not work during the week and so we catch up for pots of tea and a good chat when we need it. Between those things and housework and caring for my children and playing with them, that is my day done. By the time my DH comes home we spend time as a family. Mostly playing with the kids, working in the garden or going for a walk, a coffee or even a spot of shopping. Then it's dinner time, bath time for kids, bed time routine and then mummy and daddy time. Next thing I know its breakfast for the next day. Looking back over this, I suppose it seems like I do have a simple life. But it's a happy one. Not at all a waste. And I feel as if i have many good friends who I have a lot of time for. I'm never too busy to have a chat and a cuppa with a friend who needs support, who is sick, lonely or simply in need of a relax. I have an open door policy in my house for my friends. No need to call, just drop in. The pot of tea is always on and there will almost always be something fresh coming out of the oven to eat.

You'll find plenty to do to keep yourself busy I am sure.

Candice



 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2004
In reply to: mary1282
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 11:17pm

Anna,

GREAT REPLY!  Why couldn't mine have sounded like that!  LoL  I always try to over explain things, even in real life!  *sigh*

Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2004
In reply to: tzygani
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 11:11pm

I'm not dealing with this yet, but as you know, I'm going to have to leave my job due to pregnancy complications.  My last day is next Friday actually.  I will be a SAHM until this baby is at least 1 or 2 years old, and the thought of it scares me to death.  LoL 

I'm not made to be a SAHM.  I love the break from my kids and having adult conversations.  I also feel like having my youngest in daycare is best for him, because he can get lost of socialization throughout the day and learn to take direction from someone other than DH and I.  

After I had my first son, I stayed at home for a year, and I know how hard the work is.  I look up to any mom who can do it for an extended length of time.  :smileyhappy:  

With that being said, this time when I become a SAHM, I will have four children, not one, so I may not be quite as bored (LoL). I'm also planning activites ahead of time, as we will be pulling our 3 year old out of daycare when I quit my job next week.  The other two are school aged, so Collin (3 YO) and I will have a break with just us during the day until baby comes. If I'm able too, Collin and I may take advantage of our year long Zoo Membership, and free trips to our local library.

Another great thing about me becoming a SAHM is being able to drop in on the teachers at school.  Since my two school aged boys have ASD, I like to make sure the teachers are following the IEP's.  Dropping in is a great way to keep them on their toes!  LoL 

I'm getting off track here, but I can deffinately see why some of the working moms don't understand why you want to stay home.  Times are so different now!  The only SAHM's I know are members of our local Autism Support Group, so it's really becoming rare.  I tell the SAHM's all the time they are the strongest women I know!  It may not be for me, but now it has to be.

(((Hugs))) 

Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2006
In reply to: tzygani
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 10:47pm
Thank you Anna. See? This is the kind of non-judgemental attitude I want to find in others. Surely it's not that hard?!

And Anna, no these two mum's were very clear with me. They are at work because they need to be to feel complete, so they don't waste their life sitting around at home. Yes, their choice, I have no problem with that. But please don't put me down in the process!

Anyone else?

Candice
 BabyFruit Ticker