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WOHM thinks I should be back at work

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
This really upsets me. I am a SAHM, with both kids now in full-time school. My friend always harps on about me going back to work. She bumped into DH in the city and asked him about it last week. She works easily because her parents have done all the daycare/school run for her for 7+ years.

I don't have an unpaid helper. I have a DH who works long, irregular hours so I do everything kid-related. I want to pick my kids up myself, not have them go somewhere like after-school care and before-school care and vacation-care because that is MY reality.
post #2 of 33
A true friend would not "harp" on you.

I would tell her that your life is your business, that you are no longer going to discuss it. Lather, rinse, repeat. If she persists, tell her to bug off and don't talk to her anymore. Simple as that.
post #3 of 33
I would just avoid her for a while. Sounds like maybe she's unhappy with having to work or she has a skewed view of what a SAHM actually does all day - which is not sitting around eating bon-bons. She also has a skewed view of the hassles/problems that finding and paying for daycare can create since she's never had to worry about it.

Besides, if you and your DH have decided it's ok for you to stay home, why does she care? It's none of her business!
post #4 of 33
I agree - totally none of her business.

And, as a working mama, I can see where you're coming from. It is much better and healthier for children to have unstructured time in their days than it is for them to always be chasing from before school to school to after school program. Your work at home gives your DH way more flexibility about his work, and reduces stress on your family in a number of ways. Your emergency contingency planning, for example, deals with stuff like "what if mom gets sick?" and not "OMG, how do we cope with Bunker Hill Day?"

It drives me bats when people fail to appreciate the work of SAHPs, because while I don't wish I was one, I sometimes do wish DS had one.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
A true friend would not "harp" on you.

I would tell her that your life is your business, that you are no longer going to discuss it. Lather, rinse, repeat. If she persists, tell her to bug off and don't talk to her anymore. Simple as that.
ITA. I wonder why she feels so invested in what you do with your day?
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
This really upsets me. I am a SAHM, with both kids now in full-time school. My friend always harps on about me going back to work. She bumped into DH in the city and asked him about it last week. She works easily because her parents have done all the daycare/school run for her for 7+ years.

I don't have an unpaid helper. I have a DH who works long, irregular hours so I do everything kid-related. I want to pick my kids up myself, not have them go somewhere like after-school care and before-school care and vacation-care because that is MY reality.
She does not seem like a friend.

I admire your desire to be there for your children before and after school.
post #7 of 33
Aw... if you say she's your friend then she's probably your friend. Everyone has issues. She might just think that you secretly want to go to work & doesn't realize how her persistance is getting to you.

I wouldn't go the avoiding or the harsh route on this. I'd have an honest conversation about it - you could even bring it up.

I had a friend who was similar. We both had babies around the same time. She had a nanny from the get go (even while she was "at home!") AND a housecleaner & did not relate to my enjoyment AT ALL!

She eventually went back to school for her MFA & was concerned that I felt the way she did when I stayed at home with my kids. It's easy to project, you know?

I said something like

"I've been thinking a lot about what you said about going back to (School) and really weighed the two options. I'm just really happy staying with my kid right now! Everyone has to do what's best for them and being with my kid is really important to me during these early years. This route is really why I had kids in the first place.. I wanted this to be my job! I'm sure I'll decide to go to (school) eventually, and when that time comes I totally will! But for now I'm really in heaven!"

That really put an end to it. She'd bring it up occassionally "Have you thought about DOING something?" & I'd laugh & say "I do a LOT around here..." & go off about something awesome we did lately.

She might think you aren't thinking clearly or about your future. Did you have a career prior to kids? She might also be concerned you're "throwing it away." She might even miss having friend time with you. Can you guys go out sans kids & talk over a bottle of wine?

I'd be totally honest with her. Assuming she's your friend she's probably thinking she's looking out for you & doesn't realize the toll it's taking.

If she really bothers you after your conversation, sure. Take some distance. But if you can let it roll off your shoulders & accept that everyone has faults then you can still have a good friend with a very different lifestyle. I'm sure she has as many exciting stories as you do!
post #8 of 33
Jealous.

And you'd better believe she'd be singing a different tune if you were her go-to person when her kids got sick during the day and needed a friendly face, a couch, and some soup until mama got off work.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I agree - totally none of her business.

And, as a working mama, I can see where you're coming from. It is much better and healthier for children to have unstructured time in their days than it is for them to always be chasing from before school to school to after school program. Your work at home gives your DH way more flexibility about his work, and reduces stress on your family in a number of ways. Your emergency contingency planning, for example, deals with stuff like "what if mom gets sick?" and not "OMG, how do we cope with Bunker Hill Day?"

It drives me bats when people fail to appreciate the work of SAHPs, because while I don't wish I was one, I sometimes do wish DS had one.
I'm a PT WOHM too, and I agree with this! It's hard work juggling it all, and if my work outside the home weren't my passion, I'd be tempted to give it up since, even PT, the stresses and struggles of two people woh + a child get us down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carley View Post
Aw... if you say she's your friend then she's probably your friend. Everyone has issues. She might just think that you secretly want to go to work & doesn't realize how her persistance is getting to you.

I wouldn't go the avoiding or the harsh route on this. I'd have an honest conversation about it - you could even bring it up.

I had a friend who was similar. We both had babies around the same time. She had a nanny from the get go (even while she was "at home!") AND a housecleaner & did not relate to my enjoyment AT ALL!

She eventually went back to school for her MFA & was concerned that I felt the way she did when I stayed at home with my kids. It's easy to project, you know?

I said something like

"I've been thinking a lot about what you said about going back to (School) and really weighed the two options. I'm just really happy staying with my kid right now! Everyone has to do what's best for them and being with my kid is really important to me during these early years. This route is really why I had kids in the first place.. I wanted this to be my job! I'm sure I'll decide to go to (school) eventually, and when that time comes I totally will! But for now I'm really in heaven!"

That really put an end to it. She'd bring it up occassionally "Have you thought about DOING something?" & I'd laugh & say "I do a LOT around here..." & go off about something awesome we did lately.

She might think you aren't thinking clearly or about your future. Did you have a career prior to kids? She might also be concerned you're "throwing it away." She might even miss having friend time with you. Can you guys go out sans kids & talk over a bottle of wine?

I'd be totally honest with her. Assuming she's your friend she's probably thinking she's looking out for you & doesn't realize the toll it's taking.

If she really bothers you after your conversation, sure. Take some distance. But if you can let it roll off your shoulders & accept that everyone has faults then you can still have a good friend with a very different lifestyle. I'm sure she has as many exciting stories as you do!
Wise and loving advice.
post #10 of 33
I'd just say, "Actually we really like things the way they are" with a smile, and if she continued to bring it up I'd probably say something like, "I told you we're happy with the way things are ... why does this matter so much to you?" If she's a close friend, you should be able to ask her that without causing a rift. If she continued to harp on it after that, I'd tell her flat-out that her insistence on bringing this up hurt my feelings because she's implying that being a SAHM doesn't have value.
post #11 of 33
I agree with madsommer in that she probably has a skewed idea of what it is really like for those of us who don't have help. Our family life would be sooo much different if we had family to fall back on for support!

In fact, I'm close friends with a SAHM in our apartment building. Whenever she has mentioned the possibility of going back to work, I always tell her to think twice about it...because it is really hard, logistically, to juggle all the daily tasks of work plus pick-up times plus school closings, etc.

I think maybe you have a friend, but a clueless one (not unlike my own family in some aspects!).
post #12 of 33
I don't necessarily think she's jealous.

In fact, it may be coming from the completely other end of the spectrum. Perhaps she is trying to steer you towards work because she cares about you. I am acutely aware of the financial risks that SAHMs run - be it due to spousal death, divorce, etc. Perhaps she is just concerned that you are never left high and dry. I have a friend who is a SAHM whose youngest child recently started full-time school. We discussed her future plans, and paid work does not seem to figure in them at all. As much as I respect her choices, I also have some concerns about how financially dependent she is on her husband, and her marriage. I passionately believe that women need to retain financial independence - maybe your friend feels the same way and is just having trouble expressing them to you in a caring way.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
I passionately believe that women need to retain financial independence - maybe your friend feels the same way and is just having trouble expressing them to you in a caring way.
You have a right to that belief.

But isn't it a bit disrespectful to push it on someone? to press the issue?

I passionately believe my "dependence" (I would say it's more of an interdependence) on my hubby and my marriage is a good thing. Wouldn't it be annoying if I tried to push that on you as the only good way of doing things for every woman?
post #14 of 33
I would tell your friend that you are trying to make the best choice for your children and that you enjoy what you are doing with your life right now.

Sometimes negative people are jealous, so I would just make an effort to be positive.
post #15 of 33
wow, that's incredibly rude! i agree that a true friend would support you in your decision, and not harp on you.

i'm currently WAHM (i do home daycare), but in a few years time (after some reno's are paid off), i plan on going back to SAHM. i feel like there's so much to do at home, around the house, with/for the kids that it's a huge job on it's own. i can hardly imagine WOH and then coming home to do everything else.. it is all so overwhelming, i'm in awe of WOHM who do it all.

all in all, i think SAHM is a wonderful choice!!! your friend just may be jealous.
post #16 of 33
I would just ask her, politely, to drop it. Tell her that you find it grating, even though she might think she is doing you a favour. I don't think she is jealous...she probably thinks she is helping.

Can someone please tell me: why aren't people following my husband around...telling him how if something happened to me, he would be paying about $1400 in daycare fees, as well as paying bussing fees to school and weekend babysitters so he can go to the gym? I may be dependent on my husband, but he is plenty dependant on me...that's for darn sure. And he knows it and we're both comfortable with it, so why do our WOHM friends feel the need to 'educate' us? Sorry for the rant, but this peeves me off. As if there's no such thing as life insurance...or savings...please.

I am so tired of people thinking that because I SAH that, somehow, I left my brains at the hospital the minute my first baby was born. We are still intelligent women, perfectly capable of making our own decisions.

Sorry for the rant...this topic just burns me a bit.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaluvspirates View Post
I would just ask her, politely, to drop it. Tell her that you find it grating, even though she might think she is doing you a favour. I don't think she is jealous...she probably thinks she is helping.

Can someone please tell me: why aren't people following my husband around...telling him how if something happened to me, he would be paying about $1400 in daycare fees, as well as paying bussing fees to school and weekend babysitters so he can go to the gym? I may be dependent on my husband, but he is plenty dependant on me...that's for darn sure. And he knows it and we're both comfortable with it, so why do our WOHM friends feel the need to 'educate' us? Sorry for the rant, but this peeves me off. As if there's no such thing as life insurance...or savings...please.

I am so tired of people thinking that because I SAH that, somehow, I left my brains at the hospital the minute my first baby was born. We are still intelligent women, perfectly capable of making our own decisions.

Sorry for the rant...this topic just burns me a bit.
I love this post! Yes, if anything, my DH is way more dependent on me than I am on him. There's no way he could do his job and take care of our kids and house--there just aren't enough hours in the day. He does realize it, that's why we have an insurance policy on me as well as him. I honestly don't think he'd be able to hire people to replace me, and he certainly wouldn't have the peace of mind.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaluvspirates View Post
Can someone please tell me: why aren't people following my husband around...telling him how if something happened to me, he would be paying about $1400 in daycare fees, as well as paying bussing fees to school and weekend babysitters so he can go to the gym? I may be dependent on my husband, but he is plenty dependant on me...that's for darn sure. And he knows it and we're both comfortable with it, so why do our WOHM friends feel the need to 'educate' us? Sorry for the rant, but this peeves me off. As if there's no such thing as life insurance...or savings...please.
That is a marvelous point, and one that never occurred to me before. Thank you so much for this post!!!
post #19 of 33
For me as a SAHM, when both my kids were finally in school, I used to get lots of queries from people wondering when I was returning to work. Repeated questions about this from the same people started to feel intrusive. I just insisted that we were happy and this arrangement worked for us. I tried to remember that people who pressed the topic had some kind of "issue" of their own, and that it was not simply about me. But it's so annoying, it's hard to be zen about it all the time.

After I got a part time job during school hours, people seemed to be "happier" with my choices. I just try to take it all with a grain of salt (their approval OR disapproval). You know what works best for your family.

It may be that people asked me about working because I used to work full time, and they thought of me in a certain way, and didn't know what to make of the SAHMing.

Also...love the comment about DH's "dependence." Too funny!
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I agree - totally none of her business.
I agree. In fact, it sounds like your friend is a wee bit jealous that you don't have to work. I may be wrong but it's possible.
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