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A word about "Full Time Mothers"

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
Maybe I am just in a bad mood today, but I need to have a little vent. Does the term “full time mother” drive anyone else crazy except me? It implies that there are “part time mothers” and more specifically that employed mothers are somehow less of a mother. I very carefully refer to myself as a WOHM, so as not to imply that mothers who are not employed do not work hard at what they do. It would be nice to have a little consideration in return, I guess.

Okay, I am done now.
post #2 of 130
Sorry you're feeling : It doesn't bother me. *I* know I'm a full-time mom and my children and husband know and that's what counts. It doesn't matter to me what other people think.
post #3 of 130
No, it's not just you. Anyone who denies what that phrase is meant to imply/mean is just kidding themselves, lying or just insensitive (and then they would stop using it...).

It is a carefully chosen term with very specific intentions - to state that those mothers who don't SAH are only part-time mothers.

It's the same "war of the words" game that the pro-choice/anti-choice/pro-life/anti-life folks use....

I see it as a little dig at minimum & a huge insult at its worst, depending on the situation.

Of course, I've been known to overreact to such things.
post #4 of 130
It bothers me too ... a lot. I prefer the terms SAHM, WAHM and WOHM.

I hate that that term implies that a SAHM is a fulltime mother and a WOHM is a parttime mother at best.

You know what? I work fulltime and I'm a fulltime mother.

I have never implied that a SAHM works less than a WOHM because 1) I don't believe that's true and 2) It's insulting. Yet, a few people have implied that because I am a WOHM that I am not as 'mothering' to my DS as I should be, and it hurts me to the core.
post #5 of 130
Working moms are full time moms too. No one calls working dads part time dads.
post #6 of 130
Bothers me too.

On a different note, it also bites when folks say that my partner, who is a sahd, "doesn't work, so he can look after dd", or describe him as unemployed. What, so mothers who stay at home full time are "full time mothers" while dads who do so are unemployed??
post #7 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2
Bothers me too.

On a different note, it also bites when folks say that my partner, who is a sahd, "doesn't work, so he can look after dd", or describe him as unemployed. What, so mothers who stay at home full time are "full time mothers" while dads who do so are unemployed??
That bothers us too. DH works HARD as a SAHD and is so wonderful. But we often get comments like, "Well ... is he working yet?" and "Oh ... what are you going to do when he finally gets employment?"

It's really unfair.
post #8 of 130
You've hit on what is slowly becoming my biggest parenting pet-peeve.

Yeah. I'd say more about that, but it's getting to the point where every time I correct some well-meaning idiot (like the lady in the WIC office who utterly should know better than to say "Your profession is full-time mother, right?") I'm doing it through clenched teeth and sitting on my hands so as not to resort to violence. For some reason this one really, really, REALLY gets to me in the same visceral way that the stuff about working mothers and materialism gets to me.
post #9 of 130
This is interesting. When I was WOH, the only person who thought I was a part-time mother was me. If I'd heard the term "full-time" mother, I don't think it would have crossed my mind to see it as a slam...would have just considered that it meant a mom who's only job was her kids. Now that I think about it, it is somewhat dismissive of WOHMs...interesting that I didn't see it that way when I was one...

Hope you ladies don't mind a SAHM occasionally lurking here. I was a WOHM a lot longer than I've been a SAHM, and the "mommy wars" side of things is interesting to me.
post #10 of 130
Thread Starter 
I am particularly sensitive to this today after I was up all night with DS who had some type of tummy ache/gas thing going on- part time mother that I am I got about three hours of sleep last night. Then I overheard someone talking about being a full time mom and it just really made me mad. It doesn’t make me feel personally feel bad when people use the term (as I know that I am just as much of a mother as anyone else) but the lack of sensitivity to others makes me bristle. I know many a SAHM who are quick to correct anyone who uses the term “working” mother, but rarely see anyone challenge the “full time” mother comment. It also bothers me because I don’t like to play into the “mommy wars”- it divides women and focuses attention away from more important discourse that affects the lives of women and their families. By bringing up the “full time” mother issue am I playing into the mommy wars, or just standing up for myself and others who are tired of being treated like we are second class mothers?

Belleweather mentioned another hot button issue for me- the working mother-materialism bit. I can’t even get started on it. We are the least materialistic people I know… and what business is it of anyone (except my immediate family) what the reason is that I am employed?

My DH has had tons of comments about being unemployed- including one from a nosy co-worker who found the perfect job for him- so we could get some more money coming in and wouldn’t have to shop at thrift stores anymore!
post #11 of 130
When I was SAHM, I always made it a point to say that I was "home full-time", NOT that I was a full-time mother. Now that I'm WAHM, I can see even more how much of a put-down it is. Juggling everything is hard enough without people implying that I'm doing something wrong.

Oh, and dh is currently unemployed and being a SAHD. The same people who thought it was great for ME to be home with the kids now think he's lazy and irresponsible for not having a job. I think people should just mind their own business and let us worry about how to handle our family!
post #12 of 130
That phrase drives me bonkers as well. I still have pent up anger towards another mom who made comments along this line to me 2 years ago. I have to see her at every PTO meeting and just looking at her makes me angry.
Then I get angry at myself for allowing these 2 year old comments to still bug me so much.
post #13 of 130
I find that term insulting. I've always thought of myself as a full-time mom.

But my question is what do u call a sahm whose child is in public school .
post #14 of 130
I am a SAHM and hate the phrase as well.

And you sure as heck better not ask my DP to "babysit"--- he's the father, not someone who's being paid to watch my kids for a few hours!
post #15 of 130
You are not alone. The phrase and the implication behind it drive me batsh*tting insane. Anyone who wants to take a walk in my shoes as a full-time mom/full-time WOHM and call anything about it "part time" is more than welcome to take a try at it.
post #16 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
And you sure as heck better not ask my DP to "babysit"--- he's the father, not someone who's being paid to watch my kids for a few hours!
Kind of OT, but that's the one parenting comment that drives DH nearly to violence; we split the child-care duties since we're both students and both have jobs and are damn lucky to be able to have one of us with DS at all times. But when HE goes out to a bookstore or playgroup or grocery store with DS everyone comments on how he's 'babysitting' this afternoon and how cute it is. : It makes him want to pull an incredible-hulk style freak-out.
post #17 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride

Hope you ladies don't mind a SAHM occasionally lurking here. I was a WOHM a lot longer than I've been a SAHM, and the "mommy wars" side of things is interesting to me.
Please, hang out with us! as a mom who works 2 days a week, I am kinda on the fence and I do ocassionally post in your forum as well.

All moms have points of view, opinions, etc.

As for the OP, I dont think much of it, but to me it is a not so subtle dig. We are all full time mothers. Some of us just happen to leave the house for a job.
post #18 of 130
I see that phrase as yet another reflection of how some SAHMs tend to be very defensive about their choices, to the point of insulting anyone who didn't make the same choice. Grrr.
post #19 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by wawap
It is a carefully chosen term with very specific intentions - to state that those mothers who don't SAH are only part-time mothers.
I'm a SAHM. I don't think people use this term to intentionally slam WOHMs. I think it is an attempt to try to find some accurate discription of what SAHMs do, since many feel they don't "stay at home." It's a difficult dance to try to find the right discriptive phrase that will not offend anyone in this area where people are so ready to be offended (on both sides of the issue).
post #20 of 130
I don't like it either-I'm still the mother even when I'm at work.
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