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The things people say

post #1 of 169
Thread Starter 
I don't want this to turn into the mommy wars, so let's not do that, but what comments do people make to you about WOH that make you mad?

We visited the in-laws over the holidays and my FIL was describing a relative his age in the following way: "His mother went to work at a time when people didn't do that so he was essentially raised by his grandparents and didn't really have a relationship with his mother."

I just about fell over. The man, and his wife, my MIL, have never said one critical word about me working, but WOW. I was stunned silent and never did say anything about it, but I was so angry I dreamt about it that night. It's so ignorant on so many levels. Who knows, maybe the guy he was describing had a mom who worked in another country without telephones or visits home, because otherwise, WTF? He didn't even have a relationship with her? What does he think DS and I have? And what about this guy's father, presumably he worked. Did he not have a relationship with his children either?
post #2 of 169
My DD1's left eye looks slightly to the left of what she's looking at, so she wears glasses. Someone asked me how I knew she needed glasses so young. (She was 10 months when she started wearing them.) When I told the person about her eye looking slightly to the left her reply was "As a working Mom I'm surprised you noticed something that slight". :

Overall, I swear some people just have no idea what they sound like.......
post #3 of 169
Well, this one is quite cliché, but I just had it used around (not exactly "to") me the other day. We were at our parenting group and a couple of us were talking about daycare, and someone else said, "Well, I stay at home with ds because I don't want someone else raising him..."

Barf. Of course it stings both because it is and isn't true. Double-edged sword, that one.
post #4 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis80 View Post
Well, this one is quite cliché, but I just had it used around (not exactly "to") me the other day. We were at our parenting group and a couple of us were talking about daycare, and someone else said, "Well, I stay at home with ds because I don't want someone else raising him..."

Barf. Of course it stings both because it is and isn't true. Double-edged sword, that one.
this one kills me to.
post #5 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
We visited the in-laws over the holidays and my FIL was describing a relative his age in the following way: "His mother went to work at a time when people didn't do that so he was essentially raised by his grandparents and didn't really have a relationship with his mother."
Is it possible he didn't mean it that way? Perhaps his mom went to work and he stayed with his grandparents often. That's what I did. My grandparents did raise me. Overall, I lived with them as much or more as I lived with my mom for various reasons. I'm still closer to them than my mom, in part because mothering wasn't a big priority for her when I was small. Then she was working FT, going to school FT, volunteering, etc. so I didn't get a lot of bonding time. Maybe he used the two together in his explanation but didn't mean it the way it came out. The guy really could have had no relationship with his mother, but it's not necessarily because she worked. It's also possible she did work to get away from her children, which is an entirely different situation.

Mine is that people ask when I'm going to get a "real" job. I work from home, so most people assume I don't actually work. My MIL refers to what I make as "pocket money" and compares it to when she (who was a SAH always) did survey research for $20 or so. I want to scream "I make as much as I did when I worked full-time!" But then that's really not their business.
post #6 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Mine is that people ask when I'm going to get a "real" job. I work from home, so most people assume I don't actually work. My MIL refers to what I make as "pocket money" and compares it to when she (who was a SAH always) did survey research for $20 or so. I want to scream "I make as much as I did when I worked full-time!" But then that's really not their business.
Ha. Yeah, me too. I don't get that exact question, but I do get the attitude. People seem to assume that I am not really working because I am at home, and that I am free to interrupt my day for lunches, long chats on the phone, and all the other stuff they would never ever pull if they knew I was sitting in an office dressed in a skirt and panty hose, as opposed to home at my desk in my jammies.
post #7 of 169
My favorite is "I'm a full-time mom." Yeah, ok, and bite me. I only care about my kids some of the time?
post #8 of 169
One of the worst I've ever gotten was this exchange with a neighbor, when DD was about six months.

"Oh, you're still working."

"Yes, I still work."

"I could never have left DS. He would have been fine, but I wouldn't be able to handle being away from him all day."

What is the correct response to that?

"Well, I actually have a heart of stone!"

What I actually responded was that I went back to work to give it a try, and found out that it really wasn't that bad, so I kept going. If it stops working, I'll quit. (And then it did stop working, about two years later, and I did quit, but I still work, heartless thing that I am.)
post #9 of 169
As a working mom, I know exactly what you mean. Both my SIL's are SAHM's and they just can't relate so similar things have popped out their mouth.

OP, question for you - in this particular instance you gave is it possible that your FIL was describing a situation where there really wasn't much of a relationship b/w the guy and his mother, and the working part really has nothing to do with it....? I don't know, I guess I'm just wondering if maybe he was summing up an old family story and it came out bad?

Has your FIL made similar comments about working moms?
post #10 of 169
I have a one year old ds, and work full-time as a teacher. I haven't had much said to me, because I often come across as being the one that doesn't want to be working. In a perfect world, my husband and I could afford for me to be at home - not because I "don't want someone else raising him" or anything else, but for ME, that is what I want. I think that is what is often missing from the things people have mentioned in pp, the people making the rude comments to you haven't been making 'I' statements. Each person is different, and what works for one doesn't work for others.
post #11 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
I don't want this to turn into the mommy wars, so let's not do that, but what comments do people make to you about WOH that make you mad?
Oh my goodness. My dd is 10 now, but I'll never forget what my SISTER said to me when I was pregnant. "I'd rather not have a child than have a child in daycare."

And she didn't, in fact, have children, so I replied, "Well, I'd rather have a child in daycare than no child at all." Which made her mad! But she deserved it after what she said to me. ( She wasn't dealing with infertility or anything at the time. She was childless by choice.)
post #12 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis80 View Post
Well, this one is quite cliché, but I just had it used around (not exactly "to") me the other day. We were at our parenting group and a couple of us were talking about daycare, and someone else said, "Well, I stay at home with ds because I don't want someone else raising him..."

Barf. Of course it stings both because it is and isn't true. Double-edged sword, that one.
To a person making that comment, I would ask, "So how do you deal with the fact that your husband isn't raising his own kids? He does go to work 5 days a week, right?" As a mom who used to WOH, but who now WAH, I find it amazing that there wasn't a moment where I had to walk up to my 4yo, introduce myself, and explain that I would be raising him now.

I used to get irritated when other moms would give me sage advice like, "You kow, if you don't make at least $30K ayear, it's not worth working because your paycheck gets eaten up by daycare, drycleaning, commuting, etc." Um, I think I've got that covered. I have an actual career here, not a paper route.
post #13 of 169
Oh, there are so many comments, but they are so silly.

What's interesting is that as I get older, and my DS gets older, I find that they bother me so much less. The "raising my kid myself" comment, for instance, mostly makes me internally roll my eyes at the ignorance, but it slides right off me as far as affecting me.

Every so often I get a new one, but I've found that they just don't bother me very much any more. I mostly feel sorry for the person who is clearly unhappy enough in his or her life that he or she needs to lash out and insult other families to feel better. That's sad. It can't be good for their kids to see, either.
post #14 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Literate View Post
My favorite is "I'm a full-time mom." Yeah, ok, and bite me. I only care about my kids some of the time?
I've gotten, "So, you're a FT mom now?"

To which I reply happily, "Yes, and I WOH, too!"

post #15 of 169
We were having dinner at a neighbour's house a few years ago. They come from a background where it is absolutely unthinkable for a woman to work outside the home once she has kids.

DD was just 2 at the time. She said "thank you for dinner" to the hostess after we ate. Her husband said "wow, she has great manners. You must have worked hard on that. Or, really, I guess your daycare provider did."
post #16 of 169
I'm a stepmom and a law student, not a biological mom, so I'm speaking hypothetically here...but staying home with children seems like my own personal version of hell. (Just my own hell--I know it's others' personal heaven and that's cool too.)

And it's almost an Achilles heel for me when someone tells me: "Oh, just you WAIT! When you have one of your own you'll just want to inhale that sweet little baby smell all day and you won't DREAM of putting that precious little muffin in day care. You'll just want to have the most important job in the world...being a MOMMY!" (Yes, someone used those words on me. I hate both cutesy squeaky talk by and among grown adults, and being told I can't possibly understand anything or know what I want because I don't have one of my own.)

Yes, I realize that "things change" and hypotheticals don't mean squat when there's a squirming bundle that (OMG!) you made! and you have to take care of!...but I still resent being told that I *will* change my mind and that my thoughts and opinions are invalid. (OT: The woman in the above-referenced conversation also told me I "can't possibly understand" when the topic of...sizing children's clothing(!) came up. I worked at a kids' store for years, and I do have a stepchild who wears clothing...this doesn't require first-degree genetic relationships to figure out.)
post #17 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_Bear View Post
We were having dinner at a neighbour's house a few years ago. They come from a background where it is absolutely unthinkable for a woman to work outside the home once she has kids.

DD was just 2 at the time. She said "thank you for dinner" to the hostess after we ate. Her husband said "wow, she has great manners. You must have worked hard on that. Or, really, I guess your daycare provider did."
Ouch. That's just cold.
post #18 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
I'm a stepmom and a law student, not a biological mom, so I'm speaking hypothetically here...but staying home with children seems like my own personal version of hell. (Just my own hell--I know it's others' personal heaven and that's cool too.)

And it's almost an Achilles heel for me when someone tells me: "Oh, just you WAIT! When you have one of your own you'll just want to inhale that sweet little baby smell all day and you won't DREAM of putting that precious little muffin in day care. You'll just want to have the most important job in the world...being a MOMMY!" (Yes, someone used those words on me. I hate both cutesy squeaky talk by and among grown adults, and being told I can't possibly understand anything or know what I want because I don't have one of my own.)

Yes, I realize that "things change" and hypotheticals don't mean squat when there's a squirming bundle that (OMG!) you made! and you have to take care of!...but I still resent being told that I *will* change my mind and that my thoughts and opinions are invalid. (OT: The woman in the above-referenced conversation also told me I "can't possibly understand" when the topic of...sizing children's clothing(!) came up. I worked at a kids' store for years, and I do have a stepchild who wears clothing...this doesn't require first-degree genetic relationships to figure out.)
Don't you just hate it when people assume that just because your kid doesn't share your genes that you don't know what it's like to be a mom? There's more to being a mom than procreating...

FWIW, I always assumed I'd be a SAHM, but now that have my own wonderful child (NOT my biological child) and have also held my little squirming bundle, I can safely say that I'm happy to WOH and I know both my children, biological or not, are happy when I'm working and also when we're home. WOH is the right thing for me. I love it!
post #19 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by onesofar View Post
In a perfect world, my husband and I could afford for me to be at home - not because I "don't want someone else raising him" or anything else, but for ME, that is what I want. I think that is what is often missing from the things people have mentioned in pp, the people making the rude comments to you haven't been making 'I' statements. Each person is different, and what works for one doesn't work for others.
Oh, absolutely. I think the reason the "someone else raising him" comment got to me so much, and the reason I said it was a "double-edged sword" is I am struggling right now with what I do want. I really want to work, but I also am struggling with the idea of having ds in daycare so much. I totally don't feel like I'm not raising him (that's ridiculous, and the "full time mom comment" made me ), but I don't feel like I get to spend the amount/quality of time with him that I would if I worked less. I don't think I could handle not working at all, though.

So, yeah, feminism is about choices! And each mom should get to make her own choice. I can't help but comment on the privilege I have to get to choose, though. There are many, many, many moms out there who don't get to choose whether to work.
post #20 of 169
There are so many frustrating comments already mentioned - someone else raising them and not a full time mom, etc.

My favorite is the whole "it's a sacrifice that *I* was willing to make for the well being of my children," thing. Maybe it is a sacrifice, but the emphasis on the "I" makes it so icky & holier than thou. Like I'm not willing to put the interests of my kids ahead of some cash. Because my career is all about the cash.
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