Feeling devalued as a mother.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2013
Feeling devalued as a mother.
Thu, 01-03-2013 - 4:50pm

My spouse and family really get me feeling down about my decision to be a SAHM. He keeps pressuring me to go back to work, but I feel very strongly about our daughter being raised by others, be it family or friends. And his family not respecting my decisions or the way I choose to raise our baby is infuriating. His grandmother lives in close proximity, whom raised multi generations. Even before I gave birth there's been this almost expectation that I would go back to work and she would become basically our child's primary caretaker. I feel like I was expected to pop our daughter out and hand her over. I mean literally not  30 min after giving birth, and trying to bond in the delivery room was his g'ma barging in trying to delegate when we should let visitors in. Sorry for ranting, but I still carry resentment over that. I guess I just need to vent. But I don't know what to do. Our daughter is now almost six months, and I want to raise her. Anyone else experience this sort of thing with in laws?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 7:28am

I have not experienced this personally, but I know my BIL's ex-wife did when they were together.  She didn't work the entire pregnancy and made it clear that she wouldn't work after the child arrived either.  The whole family was supportive of it, in theory, but as soon as the baby arrived the extended family started pressuring her to get a job and leave baby with MIL.  She stood her ground and refused and my BIL stood right along with her and stated "No, this is OUR decision to make.  It is not yours."  Having him behind her really helped.

I would sit with your DH and point-blank ask him if HE wants you back at work or if it's family pressure.  If it's family pressure than he needs a reminder that HE married YOU, he CHOSE to have you in his life and he needs to back you on this.  I've had to have this discussion with my DH a couple times when his family has interfered, but we live far from family so it's not a huge issue.

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Tue, 01-08-2013 - 5:39pm

I agree with what everyone has said. 

I was wondering too if your DH and you had decided you would be a SAHM?

Maybe tell them what Trixsy said (I am going to remember that one, good advice).


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2000
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 10:51am
The one thing that stands out to me in your post is that you say your husband is pressuring you to go back too. Was he on board with the idea of you being a SAHM? Is this pressure new, maybe related to the way his family feels? -Or has he always wanted a 2 income family? Normally, I would suggest that your husband deal with his rude family, but that might not work if he agrees with them. I do like Trixie's comment, though. A lot!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2010
Sat, 01-05-2013 - 5:37pm

Both of our families comment all the time that I should go back to work. DH tells them we had kids so we would raise them not extended family or strangers. That usually puts an end to it for at least the rest of the visit.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 10:00pm

That's a really tough situation.  I've been going through a lot of that lately for other reasons.  My only advice is to stick to your guns!  I truly believe that we mothers (or the majority, anyway) instinctively know what our children need, and no one else can provide that sort of connection.

You do, I think, need to have a sit-down with your DH and get him on the same page as you.  Let him know how important it is to you that you are the one to raise your daughter.  He may not get it, but at least you'll have tried.  Be gentle but insistent -- eventually it may get through.  :)

Best of luck, and know that we're always around here to vent to or ask advice.  We SAHMs have to stick together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2011
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 1:52pm

You are not alone! My own family has never supported my decision to be a SAHM. They believe that if I'm not out of the house working and bring in a paycheck, that I'm not contributing to society. As far as I'm concerned, I am staying at home and raising two daughters and teaching them how to be productive and decent members of society and I think that is more important! As for my in laws, we use to have a great relationship, and I emphisize USE TO. When our first was born all was just peachy. If we needed help we asked and they assisted. But for some reason this time around they seem to think we have no idea how to raise a child. It is completely frustrating. Just remember that you are doing the right thing! I have great admiration for moms who go to work and raise their kids. But if you have the opportunity to stay at home then do it! They only stay little for so long, so be at home and enjoy the time while you can!