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