Back to work ft - surprised by how unsupportive some people are being :( - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > Back to work ft - surprised by how unsupportive some people are being :(
wildmonkeys's Avatar wildmonkeys 11:34 AM 03-03-2014

I stopped working FT 10 years ago and have been a freelancer. A few months ago, I went back to FT work and am surprised by how unsupportive some people are being. It actually seems to anger a few of my friends and my mom.


Whenever we talk my mom will say stuff like, "So what are you doing today?" If my answer mentions working it actually seems to make her mad.  A few of my friends keep inviting me to do stuff during the day and when I say I have to work, they act like I am deciding to blow them off.


I really didn't expect this and don't know what to make of it.

sillysapling's Avatar sillysapling 02:03 PM 03-03-2014

I'm a full time student and got a similar response from female, childless teachers. I gave birth two weeks before finals and one teacher was so unwilling to work with me that I had to go to the dean to get an extension. Even the women who have kids sometimes give us crap because they took sabbaticals to be at home for the first few months or a year, and we don't have that luxury. Rather than recognizing that we'd really prefer to be able to take time off, that we're in an incredibly difficult and stressful situation due to it, they give us attitude as if we're trying to show them up! There are also a lot of women around campus who seem to really need me to no longer be able to wear our kiddo (now 10 mo, little over 20lb), it's actually disturbing. At the same time, a lot of those women are very smug to see me using bottles to feed our kid, some even make bragging comments about how long they were able to breastfeed.



I think that women who choose a career or to SAH feel threatened by someone who "Does it all" (and working moms are judged for not spending enough time with and being fully available to their kids). Our society pits women against each other- the "mommy wars".  No matter what choice you make in life, it's wrong. Unfortunately, some people internalize that and take it out on others.

cynthiamoon's Avatar cynthiamoon 10:19 PM 03-09-2014

I was a little hurt when a friend of mine decided to go back to work.


I wasn't really mad at her, I was just resentful that as someone with few friends, and even fewer SAHM friends, that one of precious few friends was now no longer available (since evenings and weekends fill up quickly for both of us). It did create a distance for a short while because we literally couldn't see each other anymore for months at a time.


I had an absolutely selfish perspective on the whole situation, and I hope I never revealed these immature emotions to her. I don't think I did, but I might be wrong. 


It's possible your friends are just sad to know you won't be as available anymore, and that is costing them valuable adult time. 


I wouldn;t take it too personally. 

wildmonkeys's Avatar wildmonkeys 08:40 PM 03-11-2014

Thanks Cynthia Moon, that is great perspective - thank you!

Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 10:15 PM 03-18-2014

Congratulations on your new job!


I went back to work full time a little over a year ago, and has been quite a switch. I was ready. My kids were ready.


My mother complains about how hard it is to speak to me on the phone, and one of my friends who doesn't have a job or kids doesn't understand why I'm busy. Oh well.


I'm making new friends at work. I eat lunch most days with a group of really awesome women.

lauren's Avatar lauren 01:44 PM 04-12-2014

It could just be where I live but hardly anyone I know stays home full time. Those that do are more the exception than the rule. I am so curious why women are un-accepting of one another's choices. It has been perplexing to me for the 20 years that I have been a mom. I have a hard time seeing it for anything other than immaturity and jealousy of another's situation, and I say that objectively after many years of pondering. Women feel threatened. If you are working, they are somehow not 'good enough.' I think it may stem just from someone's own insecurity. 

phathui5's Avatar phathui5 01:01 PM 04-23-2014

I recently got flak for working from a homeschooling mom who babysat for us for one day (and wasn't asked back because the kids didn't like her).

Bernie 2627's Avatar Bernie 2627 01:24 PM 04-23-2014
I am planning on going back to work full time and all the other mothers I know are full time stay at home moms. They have been making comments about how they make it work financially. I respond with it doesn't make sense for our family financially for me to not work. My husband doesn't earn enough for us to live on one salary and we can't afford child care but my boss gave me the ok to have the baby at work. I tell people my job is very accommodating and this just works for our family and let any other irritating comments roll off my shoulders. They aren't me or in my position.
JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 10:59 PM 04-25-2014
Really, I think moms take it every way. I worked for the first six years and was laid off. I love being at home except for the significant income drop even after hideous childcare costs. I had a lot of warning etc and find it totally relaxing and even exhilarating and *so much easier* than my former life. I had a fair number of wealthy SAHM (with nice Pilates/childcare bottoms)who seemed to encourage my misery when I worked and now want to expect my misery when not. Talking about being happy and finding my SAH life pleasurable is NOT appreciated even among women who seem to have a lot of support.