To be sick of people saying they 'have' to go back to work and that I am 'lucky'

(222 Posts)
Neverenoughcake Fri 28-Jun-13 15:20:32

Sorry this is a bit if a rant but I have to get it off my chest. I've lost count of the number of other Mums I've now met who are complaining about 'having' to go back to work because they can't afford not to, and for them to tell me in the next breath how 'lucky' I am that I haven't had to go back to work.

I am at a loss what to say as I know that for at least 3 of the people who have said this to me lately they have more than 3 nice holidays a year, one has just bought a very expensive new car (there was nothing wrong with her other one) and one always has a new outfit on whenever I see her. I drive a really old car and can't remember the last time I went clothes shopping and have one holiday a year with my family, but thats my choice and i'm happy with it. Don't they get that almost no one has the spare cash just to not go back to work without making some significant changes/sacrifices and it isn't down to luck?? I honestly don't care if people choose to return to work or not, totally up to them and so please don't turn this into a stay at home vs working parent debate! I just really wish people would be honest and say I want to go back to work so I can maintain my current lifestyle, that is just fine. Please help, I want to know what to say to these people when they complain they hate their jobs but have to go and that it's alright for me I'm so lucky. Don't want to be rude to them but I'm getting fed up with hearing the moaning!

Neverenoughcake Fri 28-Jun-13 15:22:10

Oh and by the way I completely realise there are those who really do have to go back, not having a dig at them at all, but these people I'm referring to really do have a choice but they choose to make out that they don't.

soverylucky Fri 28-Jun-13 15:25:05

If you don't care then don't care.

MaryKatharine Fri 28-Jun-13 15:25:45

Meh!
When I stayed at home I was jealous of those who went back and when I went back I was jealous of those who were at home. There are no easy answers and very few women making either choice are completely happy with that choice all the time.

fluckered Fri 28-Jun-13 15:25:46

since when is one holiday a year not a luxury? anyways just say " yeah I know I am lucky" and smile patronisingly. why give it a second thought. and btw unless you are these people's family accountant you don't know someone's financial circumstances. a new outfit or a car is hardly defining they are rolling in it. they may appear to have more but perhaps are swamped in bills, debts etc.

thatstoast Fri 28-Jun-13 15:25:52

Is the alternative any better? If someone said to you that they didn't want to give up work because they want a certain standard of living (ie, better than yours), isn't that worse?

jimijack Fri 28-Jun-13 15:26:14

I get you.
I'm taking just over a year off with my baby and keep getting told how lucky i am to be able to do this.

I am though..lucky that is.

I am using my life savings in order to budget for it. In this climate, i am very fortunate to have any savings.

TBF i think that they are just saying that to you out of envy. I dont think that they are making judgements at all.

BacktoSquareOne Fri 28-Jun-13 15:26:19

But how do you really know that these people 'have a choice'?
Just because someone has a nice outfit on doesn't mean it was paid for by cash.
They could have bills coming out of their ears,debts,credit cards etc.
They could be living this 'wonderful lifestyle' on credit.

Anyway next time they say that you're lucky just smile and say 'yes I am' and then change the subject.

MaryKatharine Fri 28-Jun-13 15:28:15

p.s you are lucky to have the choice. Many women don't and their circumstances aren't always what you think.

ithaka Fri 28-Jun-13 15:28:22

Well, I had to go back to work & we didn't get 3 holidays a year & a big car & house, so I was really unlucky. I used to be mega jealous of the SAHMs who didn't have to work and were better of than us - that really does suck. But there you go.

Ashoething Fri 28-Jun-13 15:28:41

Its all down to choice. Some women choose to do their own childcare-some choose to out source it. Be happy in your choice. I always reply yes I am lucky when I get comments like these as I secure in my own choice.

AThingInYourLife Fri 28-Jun-13 15:28:45

How about just not letting it bother you?

Yes, they are being disingenuous, but the only ones they are fooling are themselves.

They obviously need to feel that working is not a choice, for whatever reason.

It must be kind of shit not to be able to own your choices and feel in control of your own life.

Just let it wash over you.

You are lucky - you made a choice that makes you happy, and you're smart enough to know what kind of choice it was.

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 28-Jun-13 15:29:03

I experience this, I'm also "lucky" but what people don't appreciate is that I have no parents and the money they left me is what allows me to not work. I would not even feel obliged to explain or justify your sacrifices, just smile through gritted teeth.

cazboldy Fri 28-Jun-13 15:29:42

OP - i completely agree with you. I too regularly hear this...... and don't know what to say.

I truly think that to some people their lifestyle, having their hair coloured every 6 weeks, new handbags/shoes/clothes/ eating out, holidays etc, etc are so essential to them that they become a neccessity, like food, and they just cannot contemplate going without, and so create this world where they have to justify it to those that make different choices.

MaryKatharine Fri 28-Jun-13 15:31:06

Oh and whilst I am lucky enough to financially bd able to stay at home I don't actually want to for lots of reasons. However, with 4 kids the youngest if whom has some difficulties and a DH who is often out of the country I just can't seem yo make it work. So home I stay.

soverylucky Fri 28-Jun-13 15:31:16

I went on an amazing very expensive holiday last year and the year before - in-laws paid for most of it!

CityGal29 Fri 28-Jun-13 15:32:49

Its probably just small talk politeness, a throw away comment to make you feel better about missing out on the holidays/ material things you & they know you are not getting.

nenevomito Fri 28-Jun-13 15:34:55

You are lucky.

You could look at me and go 'well she has new clothes and a new car so she could give up work if she gave up those as well."

Well actually not. I'm the main breadwinner. What DH earns doesn't even cover the mortgage and bills, so I have to work.

With me working I canpay all the bills, buy new clothes and afford a holiday. Without me working, we couldn't even keep a roof over our heads.

So yes, you are lucky and your measurement of other women is silly as you don't know if they are in the same situation as me do you.

TiredFeet Fri 28-Jun-13 15:35:20

just be happy with your choice and don't worry what they do / say. certainly don't pay so much attention to what other people spend their money on, I am tired of threads like this, everyone has different priorities and you don't know what's happening behind the scenes

a nice car, clothes, a couple of holidays, quite possibly still only a small % of what their job brings in to the family income, so it may be that a large slice of what they earn is needed to pay the bills. or maybe they don't need to work now, but with big financial commitments like mortgage etc they like the security of knowing that even if their dh lost his job they would have money coming in

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 15:36:06

i was made redundant while on maternity leave but felt lucky that it gave me the option to stay at home

really i can not see why it bothers you

nenevomito Fri 28-Jun-13 15:38:35

p.s. of course this is going to turn into a WOHM / SAHM debate. they always do.

There's an element of smugness in your post that, look, you are making sacrifices to stay at home with your children, while other women put cars and holidays first.

cazboldy Fri 28-Jun-13 15:41:11

don't want to put words in the OP's mouth, but why it bothers me is the fact that these women (and I don't mean all, paricularly not those that really do have to work, but some) don't recognise it as a choice that you have made, a sacrifice you have made, (which I don't resent at all btw, or feel at all more holier than thou) but they make out that it isn't a choice....

that there is no choice...

and it's bollocks, they just aren't willing to make it!

MaryKatharine Fri 28-Jun-13 15:41:26

Yes, that is also true. I don't think you are considering the % of household income the other mums are bringing in.
My friend went back to work as a chartered accountant. Her husband is a furniture/cabinet maker so his income is sporadic. Without her income they would struggle so she needed to go back but with her extra 45k they more than meet the bills so can also afford nice hols and cars etc. it's not always black and white.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 28-Jun-13 15:42:17

You are lucky.

The women who say it to you (and ok, it's a bit in your face of them to put it out there, I agree) probably couldn't afford their mortgage if they didn't return to work. The 'extras' come with that additional essential income, probably. Maybe they make ten percent more than all the essentials IFSWIM.

You are lucky, so stop feeling sorry for yourself concerning this one minor issue. Try a leetle bit more empathy in this respect.

Just agree that you are lucky when they say it, then have a moan about the stuff bothering you! Which you are also entitled to do.

cazboldy Fri 28-Jun-13 15:42:56

why is it smug?

she isn't saying she is better....... or even that she is right, or better or anything

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