to think that the further you are from the world of work, the crazier being a working mum sounds?

(1000 Posts)
StripeyBear Sat 09-Feb-13 15:06:38

I did it for 3 years - motherhood and a (part-time, but) demanding job... when you were always running from pillar to post, and buying take-away pizza, and feeling guilty because your child was crying when you left, and always being tired and hassled and answering your blackberry on your days "off" and being f**ked off because your job wasn't half as interesting as the work you used to get when you were childless and in the office full-time-plus....

Almost 2 years of being a SAHM later, my working-mother-friends come round for coffee on their day off and moan about all of the above.. It sounds familiar, but now even their moaning exhausts me. I'm more in a swapping recipes for lemon-drizzle-cake and making my own pizza dough sort of head space. These days I just potter around - my whole life has slowed down.....

Don't get me wrong - I realise I'm fortunate that we can manage without the wage (and not everyone can), but I find I am barely worse off (once the childcare is taken into account, and it is so much easier to spend money wisely, now that I don't have to buy crappy pizza because I am too exhausted to cook or book my holiday at the last minute because I wasn't organised earlier). And life feels so much better now that I'm not always exhausted... and I actually have time to do interesting stuff like read (grown-up) books... and there is no stress around childcare and the like....

So when my friends come round and moan about their blackberries ringing and being side-lined for promotions and feeling stressed about organising a child's birthday party when they have no time to really do it and so on.... instead of feeling oodles of sympathy... all I can think is... WHY? WHY? Why are you doing it then?

AIBU? I sort of suspect I might be sad

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 15:55:57

Yabu as you suspected. Each to their own, they may need to work for financial reasons/to stay sane/to keep on a hard won career/for future independence etc etc

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:56:56

I agree, Jamie. Plus they might end up with more kids to moan about.

earlierintheweek Sat 09-Feb-13 15:57:15

but jamie because they're just friends, the OP won't know the personal private ins and outs of their financial obligations. so she won't know whether or not they have to work.

LaQueen Sat 09-Feb-13 15:58:06

We could easily have afforded for me not to work when the DDs were tiny. Infact, I tried being a SAHM twice, for 6 months each time.

But, both times I felt like I was climbing the walls with boredom within 2 weeks. I hated being a FT SAHM...how many times can you make a fresh pasta sauce, or tidy a cupboard. Swapping recipes for lemon drizzle cake...? I'd rather stick pins in my eyes, ta very much hmm

Being a SAHM bored me shitless...and I didn't look forward to weekends, because my whole week was actually just a weekend.

For me to be happy and energised I needed to go back to work, part time, doing a job I adored. It gave my week structure, exposed me to intelligent, adult conversation for 2.5 days per week (not SAHMs droning on about nappies), and made me appreciate my days off and weekends.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 15:59:14

I think Stripey seems incapable of not projecting her own experiences as a WOHM on to everyone else. So you found it stressful, guilt inducing etc? That was you.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:59:34

earlier

that is true. I can see how your back would be up if you don't have these choices

Pagwatch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:59:35

You last comment makes it sound more like you are irritated by women who try to be perfect at everything and then complain it is hard.

I think there are some people who do that but it isn't restricted to wohm. A woman I know but tend to steer clear of is endlessly taking on stuff and then moaning about but she is a sahm. Her thing is being chair of the PTA and organising the teas at swimming and helping with the theme day at school - all fab but that is all she ever talks about and it is always in martyred tones.

I think you are complaining about something that has nothing to do with being a wohm or a sahm tbh.

I would get new friends though. They do sound a bit whiney and you don't seem to like them anymore. It happens sometimes

Stripey - in 5 years when your dc are at school and your husband has become resentful about earning every penny you spend and you want to go back to work and find nobody wants to employ you , well THEN I think you will see why they work and you'll feel really foolish about this thread.

I look forward to reading your friend's comments 'Our mate Stripey was bloody smug about sahming for years and insinuated we fed our dcs crap and left them with ravening wolves whilst we climbed the corporate ladder. Now we're better off and she can't get a job that she thinks she deserves all she does is MOAN. Are we being unreasonable to think WHY did she do that?'

BigAudioDynamite Sat 09-Feb-13 16:00:16

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DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Feb-13 16:00:18

I'm a working mum with a decent job, but my experience is nothing like what is described in the OP. I've never had any guilt about working and I love my DS very much. Maybe some people are better at coping with being a working mum than others.

Now, SAHM's moaning about having to entertain the kids during the school holidays baffle me...

Different people make different choices about their lives for a multitude of reasons - working mum or SAHM, neither is any barmier than the other.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 16:00:31

Very perceptive post Pagwatch

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 16:01:16

Pag

I know someone like that

Pagwatch Sat 09-Feb-13 16:03:57

<<whispers>>
Can we not counter stripeys unreasonable and cliche comments about WOHMs by posting unreasonable and cliche comments about sahms.
After all many of us will at some stage be both. And most people I like know just think women are pretty great dealing with their responsibilities in the best way they can.

Ta [winning and hopeful smile]

Spero Sat 09-Feb-13 16:04:18

Another working mother who just does not recognise the world you describe, nor do any of my working mother friends moan as much as yours. Maybe we are just better organised? I can quite happily fit in everything I need to do because I love making lots and lots of lists and being efficient.

Putting on my cod pyschologists hat for just a tiny moment, I suspect what you are trying to do is justify a choice you may not be entirely happy with.

But hey, what do I know?

BigAudioDynamite Sat 09-Feb-13 16:04:50

Haha, YY laqueen How many variations of lemon drizzle cake are there. How very interesting hmm grin

MystiCally Sat 09-Feb-13 16:05:06

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catgirl1976 Sat 09-Feb-13 16:06:14

WHY? WHY? Why are you doing it then?'

1. Need the money
2. Enjoy working (although a lot less now I have DS)
3. Have neither the patience nor stamina to look after DS 247
4. Like the adult company
5. Worked hard to get where I am
6. DS is only going to get more expensive - someone has to pay for that

Spero Sat 09-Feb-13 16:07:19

O yes and as to the anguished WHY of your post, sadly some of us weren't quite so clever to snag a moneybags hubby - or indeed any hubby at all. So there's your 'why' from me.

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 09-Feb-13 16:07:49

I prefer to be working now the DC are in school but was fortunate to be able to stay at home when they were little.

I'm not a moaner by nature and it helps that I enjoy and feel valued in my work which makes me a happier person than I believe I would be just staying at home all day although a major factor in me being a SAHM would be not having a car - I love the freedom my car gives me.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 16:08:04

Too right Pag

It's so boring.

janey68 Sat 09-Feb-13 16:09:56

Right stripey- now that you've posted a bit more, why not go back and re-write the op so you're being upfront about what you really intended to say. You aren't mildly bemused by your working friends who sometimes have a bit of a moan about the kids waking in the night. You actually just want to moan yourself (oh the irony!) about other mums who aren't doing the same as you.

It's fairly clear why you gave up work: you said yourself that when you went part time you weren't given interesting work to do, and you also felt guilty about using childcare.
Well, this clearly comes as a revelation to you, but we don't all have that experience. Some of us keep working after children and don't get lumbered with all the boring stuff- our careers remain interesting. And we don't all feel guilty about using childcare. My children were thrived in nursery, there was absolutely nothing for me to feel guilty about. 3 days in nursery, 4 days at home a week- great combination when they were small, and I was able to get back up to full time work when they started school because I'd kept my hand in

Its a shame it didnt work out for you being a WOHP but don't assume it's like that for us all

ninjasquirrel Sat 09-Feb-13 16:11:04

YABentirelyU for generalising. I love being a working mum (admittedly in a not very stressful job) and very few can 'just not do it' and not have to worry about money. If you had said "My friends take on extra stuff that they don't need to do like a philosophy course, and then moan about not having enough time", then fair enough.

Startail Sat 09-Feb-13 16:11:12

YANBU
Every time DH moans about some insanity of their procedures I'm so glad I don't work.

I having to fill out forms requisition, finance and health and safety forms is not something I miss.

FirstTimeForEverything Sat 09-Feb-13 16:11:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Feb-13 16:12:03

I know MN would die a slow death without all the SAHM/WOHM to-ing and fro-ing but it isn't half dull.

It's like being surprised that we don't all like the same food, or fancy the same men/women, or enjoy the same TV programmes.
Newsflash! People are individuals!

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