or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Do you feel like being a SAHP is a job?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you feel like being a SAHP is a job?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

??

I do, not in a bad way but it is still a job, I just don't get paid for it and frankly it's a lot longer than 8 hours a day...DH literally laughed in my face, not in a nice way, when I said this to him as he was leaving for work and moaning about his job which he hates to tears and once again he trivialized me staying with DD... "you stay home all day, I wish you would just get a job!" Then he backtracks and says "no no I like that you are with DD... I didn't mean it that way!" As I once again get defensive because whenever he is crabby about work he complains about me being a SAHM...

 

It is a job isn't it?? I'm not sitting and eating bon bons all day, I am watching DD, doing chores, cooking meals etc...

post #2 of 61

Yes, and a very hard one!

post #3 of 61
I don't know that I've felt the need to define it as a job. When I went into SAHMing, I felt determined to do it willingly and not fall into the martyr role - not to say I don't have my own pity party on a bad day, but I try to remain willful about why I'm doing this. Certainly, SAHMing (yes, I'm making SAHM a verb, forgive me) is demanding and challenging and exhausting, with few (if any) breaks. But the stresses are different from a "regular" job, and I've not found much value in comparing them.

Now, I also come at this from the mindset of having a partner who thanks me regularly for staying home, who listens to my complaints and sympathizes with my bad days, and who fully supports me (and would still do so tomorrow if I decided I'd had enough and wanted to be a WOHM). I've never felt the need to defend staying home to him, and if I did, hoo boy, I can't imagine it'd go well. I can understand saying something like, "geez, I wish I could stay home with DD all day instead of going to my stinky job!" But I wouldn't appreciate DH telling me to get a job.
Edited by Addie - 5/19/11 at 12:28pm
post #4 of 61

Definitely a job in my book!  I have 3 kids, plus I babysit all day Mon.-Fri.  So, during the week, I have ds7, ds3, ds1... and a 4yr old that I watch... plus I'm 16 weeks pregnant.

DH recently had 4 days in a row of vacation, and he was dying to go back to his "real" job...lol!  He fully admitted it to me, and says he doesn't know how I do it.  He gets a one hour lunch break... he gets to potty alone, without his boss barging in the room asking for something... he can step away from his desk to grab some coffe... etc.  As a SAHM with 4 kids, I don't get any of those luxuries.  Even if ds3 is taking a nap (he's the only one who still does), I still have 3 kids awake, and plenty of chores to keep me busy.  

 

I don't think I'm being the "martyr" at all though. As stressful as it can be, I love what I do.  I enjoy the luxury of being able to stay home and raise my babies.  I try to never take that for granted, even though there are days where I literally want to open the front door, and just run... 

I think the only thing that DH is jealous of is the fact that I don't have to wear uncomfortable clothes to my "job".  orngbiggrin.gif  

post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post

I don't know that I've felt the need to define it as a job. When I went into SAHMing, I felt determined to do it willingly and not fall into the martyr role - not to say I don't have my own pity party on a bad day, but I try to remain willful about why I'm doing this. Certainly, SAHMing (yes, I'm making SAHM a verb, forgive me) is demanding and challenging and exhausting, with few (if any) breaks. But the stresses are different from a "regular" job, and I've not found much value in comparing them.

Now, I also come at this from the mindset of having a partner who thanks me regularly for staying home, who listens to my complaints and sympathizes with my bad days, and who fully supports me (and would still do so tomorrow if I decided I'd had enough and wanted to be a WOHM). I've never felt the need to defend staying home to him, and if I did, hoo boy, I can't imagine it'd go well. I can understand saying something like, "geez, I wish I could stay home with DD all day instead of going to my stinky job!" But I wouldn't appreciate DH telling me to get a job.


What she said nod.gif If I had to use one word to describe it then I guess I would use the word lifestyle rather than job. 

 

But I certainly don't think there is any justification for trivialising the value of SAHMing (it's definitely a verb thumb.gif ). It is extremely valuable to individuals, families and societies. I doubt the same can be said for sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day .

 

post #6 of 61
Thread Starter 

Hmm I wasn't trying to equate it as a job in order to be a martyr..

 

I was getting pissed at DH because when he is really annoyed about his own job he lashes out about me staying at home and while he can insist he is so glad I stay with DD and she doesn't have to be in daycare or whatever...he will periodically when he is peeved or we are bickering come up with some statement about how he wishes I would get a job or how I "just stay home all day"...To which I'm like, "dude this is a job, a 24/7 job with no breaks and lunch times! I am working, it's fun but it's not like I'm just sitting around (well I am at the moment but DD is currently coloring) and doing nothing all day!"

 

Sometimes he thinks me being a SAHM is just hte greatest and then others times his true, slightly bitter feelings come out about me being a SAHM..it drives me nuts!

post #7 of 61

Totally agree.  I have been a SAHM for a little over a year now and I never imagined how rewarding or difficult it would be.  I laugh because sometime I feel like a maid, pre-school teacher, order taker and cook but I wouldn't change it because I truly feel that it is best for our little ones.

post #8 of 61
I don't really feel like it's a job. But, I am a "working SAHM" (I WAH 20 hours a week) so in my mind, that is my job, even though I'm also taking care of DS full-time.

To me, a job is something you do to get paid. You also get breaks from a job...

SAHMing is like... I don't know. I don't even have a word for it. I guess lifestyle is as good as any but it doesn't quite fit to me. It's more consuming and more personal than any job I've ever had...

I guess the bottom line is, it doesn't matter what you call it, it deserves respect and appreciation. I'm really sorry you're not consistently getting either from your DH. Has he looked for a job he enjoys more?? Maybe that's just his (kind of mean greensad.gif) way of expressing his dissatisfaction? As in, it's not about you and what you do, it's about him not wanting to go to work, not wanting to have the burden of breadwinning on him, something like that? The unsaid part of, "I wish you'd get a job," I think, is, "because I wish I didn't have to go to work."
post #9 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I don't really feel like it's a job. But, I am a "working SAHM" (I WAH 20 hours a week) so in my mind, that is my job, even though I'm also taking care of DS full-time.

To me, a job is something you do to get paid. You also get breaks from a job...

SAHMing is like... I don't know. I don't even have a word for it. I guess lifestyle is as good as any but it doesn't quite fit to me. It's more consuming and more personal than any job I've ever had...

I guess the bottom line is, it doesn't matter what you call it, it deserves respect and appreciation. I'm really sorry you're not consistently getting either from your DH. Has he looked for a job he enjoys more?? Maybe that's just his (kind of mean greensad.gif) way of expressing his dissatisfaction? As in, it's not about you and what you do, it's about him not wanting to go to work, not wanting to have the burden of breadwinning on him, something like that? The unsaid part of, "I wish you'd get a job," I think, is, "because I wish I didn't have to go to work."

you got it mama in a nutshell..he hates his job but feels like it's the only one he can make good money in...so trapped..

He also hates working in general, he's never had a great work ethic, it used to be a major issue with us but at least he works now. I always tell him I don't care if he doesn't make as much money he can find a job he prefers to the one he has... It's not even about me being a SAHM really, it's about him and his issues with his job but of course it's easy to take your frustration out on your spouse...

It just drives me crazy because I DO feel guilty about not working when he says things like that. I did enjoy having a job, I have always had a job it seems like, since I was 16 and I have a good work ethic...DD being home with me is just so much more important that this point in our lives though. I keep trying to tell him I am going to get a job eventually, unless we really do the farming thing like I want but right now DD needs to be with mama. She is not a kid who would take well to daycare or preschool or anything like that.
 

 

post #10 of 61

I totally agree - being a SAHM is a job in its own way!  I don't look at myself as a martyr... but I do reserve the right to have a bad day, to get stressed out, to complain about how hard/frustrating it can be, and to get some time to myself sans children.

 

Just last week DH complained that the house was a wreck, the dirty laundry was threatening to take over our laundry room, and dinner was late.  I asked him, if we had a nanny come to the house to watch the kids, would we expect her to do all the housework, cooking, laundry, errands, AND watch the children?  Nope!  So I believe that parents who work outside the house don't get to have a "get out of any and all household duties" card!

 

On mother's day DH took care of our 3 kids (DS - 5, DD - 26 mos, DS - 6 mos) for 2 hours by himself.  He was about ready to pull his hair out and couldn't WAIT to get back to his cushy desk job!

post #11 of 61
Thread Starter 

hehe DH watched DD for about 2 hours while I slaughtered some chickens (yum yum) and he was begging me to hurry up and finish because DD was driving him crazy...At the same time he INSISTS he could be a SAHD if he had too...Well yeah we all can do anything if we had to but that does't mean he could just pick it up tomorrow and not have a really really rough transition...I like the analogy about being a nanny because I was one!!

 

Although the last boy I watched was older, like 13 (SN, thats why his parents wanted to him to have a nanny) and I was able to get a few household chores done for them..If it was a toddler, forget about it!

post #12 of 61

Haven't read all the posts yet, so sorry if this has already been said: unpaid labour is an integral part of the economy, both on a national/global scale as well as within a family. Just imagine if you had to hire and PAY everyone for all the things you do. People have done calculations for the amount of money the average SAHM (and I say "M" because it really is a feminist issue) would make if she were being paid, and it's in excess of a hundred grand/year. It is a job, and it is a job with financial value, although in the negative rather than the positive -- you SAVE your family money by being at home. Sure, you don't have a paycheque, but it's money in your pocket all the same.

post #13 of 61
Thread Starter 

hmm interesting and excellent points Annie Mac..

I think if DH ever gets snarky about it again I will mention something to that effect.

post #14 of 61

It totally is a job!  DH and I treat it as such so that when he gets home we make sure to both pull our weight equally in terms of watching the kid and doing chores.  I totally don't understand the connection being made between seeing SAHMing as a job and being a martyr.  I think you are much more likely to be martyred if you don't see it as a job because then the expectation is that you are always the responsible one even when your partner is around.  And that wouldn't fly in this house for one flat moment.

 

And of course I would trade with DH in a heartbeat so that probably colors my view.  If SAHMing is a "lifestyle" it is one that was I was unwillingly thrust into.

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post

 

I was getting pissed at DH because when he is really annoyed about his own job he lashes out about me staying at home

 

 

Yes, I have experience with this -- although not DH, but a former friend of mine that I eventually drifted away from. We both worked similar academic-setting jobs for years before I made the switch to very PT work from home after my son was born. Her support for my decision to be at home "mysteriously" waxed and waned depending on her outlook on HER job. When she was having a stressful time at work, I started hearing snarky comments about how it must be "nice for me" to watch tv all day (which couldn't be further from the truth) or that I had a DH that "gets paid so well" (again, clearly, she has no idea our our degree of frugality). But, when things are going well for her at work, she's all "I think it's great that you're a SAHM!!" and then she's all smiles. I remember just how weak-stomached I would feel when I was hit with a criticism out of left field...soley because she was disliking her job at the moment. I'm really sorry, I can only imagine how hurtful a comment like that can be coming from a partner. It's frustrating, but when other people don't really have a clear picture of what goes into SAHMing (she and her husband made the decision to not have children, so there's a lot of misunderstanding about life with a baby, in general), I guess there's a natural tendency to assume that it's better than their current job situation.

post #16 of 61
Quote:

 

I was getting pissed at DH because when he is really annoyed about his own job he lashes out about me staying at home

 

 

 

 

Yes, I have experience with this -- although not DH, but a former friend of mine that I eventually drifted away from. We both worked similar academic-setting jobs for years before I made the switch to very PT work from home after my son was born. Her support for my decision to be at home "mysteriously" waxed and waned depending on her outlook on HER job. When she was having a stressful time at work, I started hearing snarky comments about how it must be "nice for me" to watch tv all day (which couldn't be further from the truth) or that I had a DH that "gets paid so well" (again, clearly, she has no idea our our degree of frugality). But, when things are going well for her at work, she's all "I think it's great that you're a SAHM!!" and then she's all smiles. I remember just how weak-stomached I would feel when I was hit with a criticism out of left field...soley because she was disliking her job at the moment. I'm really sorry, I can only imagine how hurtful a comment like that can be coming from a partner. It's frustrating, but when other people don't really have a clear picture of what goes into SAHMing (she and her husband made the decision to not have children, so there's a lot of misunderstanding about life with a baby, in general), I guess there's a natural tendency to assume that it's better than their current job situation.

post #17 of 61

double post

post #18 of 61
Of course. And dh considers it one, too and gives me the respect I deserve for doing it.
post #19 of 61
Being a mom isn't a job, but the daily stuff I do is definitely a job, and I'd have to pay someone else to do it and it would become that person's job if I didn't do it.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post



you got it mama in a nutshell..he hates his job but feels like it's the only one he can make good money in...so trapped..

He also hates working in general, he's never had a great work ethic, it used to be a major issue with us but at least he works now. I always tell him I don't care if he doesn't make as much money he can find a job he prefers to the one he has... It's not even about me being a SAHM really, it's about him and his issues with his job but of course it's easy to take your frustration out on your spouse...

It just drives me crazy because I DO feel guilty about not working when he says things like that. I did enjoy having a job, I have always had a job it seems like, since I was 16 and I have a good work ethic...DD being home with me is just so much more important that this point in our lives though. I keep trying to tell him I am going to get a job eventually, unless we really do the farming thing like I want but right now DD needs to be with mama. She is not a kid who would take well to daycare or preschool or anything like that.
 

 


A book you might want to check out is Equally Shared Parenting. Maybe it will be too 'out there' for you guys (or simply not something you're interested in) and it wasn't quite perfect for us but it gave me & DH a lot of ideas about making things feel balanced, doing the things we each enjoy, avoiding childcare for DS, etc. We are incorporating some of the strategies into our life and it really made me think differently about my own job (which I despise!) and other aspects of parenting. The premise of it is that each of the 4 realms of parenting are split 50/50 -- breadwinning, childcare, housework, and fun. Well, I think those were the 4 areas, now I'm not positive! lol.gif
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Stay at Home Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Do you feel like being a SAHP is a job?