Anyone's family not happy with you being a SAHP? (vent) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My family doesn't approve of being a SAHM, I know that, but they basically keep quiet about it. I grew up with both parents working and my mom always bashing SAHMs for just being moms and being lazy, having no career and thus not having fulfillment in life.
I always thought that to be a self-evident truth growing up. However once I left for college and grad school, I found my own principles and life ideals that differ greatly from my family's views. I know they think I'm wasting my education and work experiences by just being at home. They say nothing though.
BUT today, my sister basically "interviewed" me about when I would be going back to work. She has a son who is 3 weeks older than my DS, she stayed home for a year and now works part-time (30h/week)... She basically said I should work, and that I should work now from home when DS goes to bed or takes naps (Hello, what about me recharging or relaxing?)... I replied that I intend to go back to work once all my kids are in kindergarten at least, because it is important to me to stay with them and nurture them personally, and luckily we are in a financial position to do so. I also said that I am quite tired in the evening after playing, teaching my son all day, along with tending to the house, yard, cooking, washing, etc - my husband helps a lot, but is military and gone a lot, and those times I gotta swing the whole thing by myself. It's funny cause at this point she said how exhausting it is to work and then take care of her DS (she works 8am to 2 pm) - so I asked, why should I put that stress on my family if it is not necessary in our situation? mumble mumble change the subject to something else was the answer.
I have a hard time portraying what happened, but she was very arrogant all the time and put down the work that SAHMs do. It's only work if you get paid for it and apparently it's super easy peasy to just babysit your child all day long. She also thinks I should dump DS in base daycare (really not a good place) to rather work a shift at Walmart than staying at home - well no thanks (as if that would even cover the cost of daycare, even the crappy base one). I leave her alone about her choices, why does she have to put me down for mine and let me know how terribly dumb I am in her eyes? What about respect?!
Vent end.
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#2 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Oh yes, I have heard some real doozies over the years.

Sorry you have to deal with that.
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#3 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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Yep. For several years there every time my hubby saw his mother she'd say something like: 'so WHEN is Mary going to get a job?'

Each time he replied: 'she has a job...taking care of your grandchildren.'

By the time baby #3 came she seemed to stop asking anymore....now she just harasses us about when we are going to stop this 'homeschooling nonsense.'

Hubby and I had a long talk about it a few months back and it was enlightening. Apparently my MIL (despite loving her children) really didn't like being a mom. She worked throughout their childhoods of financial necessity (sort of) and her boys spent a good bit of their time with grandparents.

That was her choice and I get why she chose it. I even understand more now why she was so insistent for so long about my choice. She really can't fathom someone liking being a mama or choosing to stay home with the children. Because she cannot understand it, she feels bad that I am 'stuck' with the children all the time.

So I changed my tactic with her to one of (gently) showing her what a fun and busy time I have with the children. I never let her hear me complain. I shared my blog address with her so she could peek in on what we are doing (she's several states away now) and how much fun we have.

I think this has helped things between us immensely. In my case I needed to see things from her perspective and help her, then, see how different mine was.

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#4 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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maybe she's jealous? im not a sahm but i have been and i quite honestly dont like it but i see the value of having a sahp and thats why dh sah. it gives us more flexibily and imo less stressful
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Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#5 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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None of my family gets it... My ILs are totally on board with it though. My family is always asking when I am going to get back to using my degree and get a career. I kind of avoid giving them the most truthful answer, which is probably never.

Rachel, proud Army wife to my superhero.gif and SAHM to my crazy boys jumpers.gif... Trevor 4/08, Trenton 6/09 and Travis 10/10
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#6 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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You really don't have to discuss this with your sister or anyone else.

"This works for us. More bean dip?" is the way to go.
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#7 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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Everytime I say something about my day or talk to my MIL about anything that is going on in our lives, she mentions something about me going back to work (I work from home) or starts a phrase with "Well, once she's in daycare", even though I've said time and time again that I did not have a child to put her in daycare.

I quit my job at when I was 4 months pregnant and she let me know time and time again that she worked up until the day before she had my dh. She was a single mom and she wasn't in the situation that we are in. I totally think she's jealous. Plus, she thinks that her poor son is having to work so hard because his lazy wife wont get a job. (I run his landscaping business). He has even explained to her that this was our plan, she just doesn't get it.

So, I've just started saying rude things back, so abruptly that she can't respond.
Her:"So, when you go back to work.."
Me:"I'm not going to go back to work, probably not until all of our children are out of the house"

She finally got the hint and stopped asking me.

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#8 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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Argh, my MIL is like this as well. She worked and I think she feels threatened by my choice. I don't have any judgement at all about her decision to work and put my DH and his little brother in childcare but I think she feels I must judge her in order to make a different choice because she is SO defensive about it. The worst incident was one time the "honey do" list came up, which of course is a list of 3 things that I need DH to help out with around the house (like hanging pictures or mowing the lawn) and she asked if he got to make me a honey do list as well?! (No, because it would constantly read 1. raise our child 2. keep the house clean and 3. have sex with me) and one time she was badgering him to lose a few pounds and said "Karen needs to make time for you to work out every day" as if I'm the one keeping him busy. GRRRRRRRR

About your sister, I truly believe that WOHMs who are so critical of SAHMs are feeling very insecure about their own choice and need to prove to themselves that being a SAHM is silly in order to feel OK about putting their children in other care. So next time she quizzes you, consider that she is secretly wondering if she should be making the same choice or wishing that she could make that choice. It will make the interaction easier to get through.

Karen , wife x 11 years to J and SAHM to Evie 9-19-08
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#9 of 23 Old 05-24-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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Tell your sister and any other people who think that they have a right to comment about your life, that if and when they pay your bills, they can comment, but until then, it is absolutely NONE of their business. If they persist in being rude, severely limit your time with them.

You don't have to take anyone's crap. Not even from family. Family is great, but they can be cut off too, if they keep being rude.
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#10 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lyra1977 View Post
Argh, my MIL is like this as well. She worked and I think she feels threatened by my choice. I don't have any judgement at all about her decision to work and put my DH and his little brother in childcare but I think she feels I must judge her in order to make a different choice because she is SO defensive about it. The worst incident was one time the "honey do" list came up, which of course is a list of 3 things that I need DH to help out with around the house (like hanging pictures or mowing the lawn) and she asked if he got to make me a honey do list as well?! (No, because it would constantly read 1. raise our child 2. keep the house clean and 3. have sex with me) and one time she was badgering him to lose a few pounds and said "Karen needs to make time for you to work out every day" as if I'm the one keeping him busy. GRRRRRRRR

About your sister, I truly believe that WOHMs who are so critical of SAHMs are feeling very insecure about their own choice and need to prove to themselves that being a SAHM is silly in order to feel OK about putting their children in other care. So next time she quizzes you, consider that she is secretly wondering if she should be making the same choice or wishing that she could make that choice. It will make the interaction easier to get through.
And vice versa. I have seen SAH parents be VERY critical of the WOH version. Like they dont love their children or made very poor choices, thus the reason they stick their kids in daycare all day which we all know is BS. As a SAH mom for 8 plus years, I have seen my share of critism for both sides.
I have also seen SAH mamas over the years who would be better off working either FT or something PT because it would help them. OTH, I know several parents who would do anything to SAH but cannot for whatever reason life dealt them.

Yes, some people are envious of whatever lifestyle you are leading and take it out by putting you down. But they would do that anyhow judging by the way they treat you, its just an obvious choice since its a different choice then they made.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#11 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
You really don't have to discuss this with your sister or anyone else.

"This works for us. More bean dip?" is the way to go.
This is the best way to respond. You have to do what works for you and your family. I can't understand why there always seems to be this battle between who is better--SAHM or working moms. The most important part is the "mom" part. Some people stay home, others work and both situations are fine. Be proud of what you are doing as a mom and try not to worry too much about what others think you should be doing.
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#12 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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subbing!

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#13 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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Don't take the bait! There is nothing you can say. The whole WOHM vs SAHM debate is a no win. You will offend or hurt someone's feelings if you try to defend yourself. It's such a complicated issue.Just tell them that staying at home is the best option for you right now.
On a side note: I've started to realize that my family's opinion doesn't matter. My parents were in charge when I was a kid and now it's time for me to be an adult. The choices I make are well thought out and are good for my family. I don't need commentary from the peanut gallery. Learning to ignore input about the way I raise MY child and how I am as a wife to MY husband has been so liberating!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#14 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 11:51 PM
 
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My mother is extremely critical of our choice for me to SAH. For years it has been constant. I just grin and bear it and I never actually get into a discussion with her about it. I also never try to defend it to her as I don't feel that is necessary. My life, my choice.

She seems to find it such a relief that I am now going back to school but she doesn't understand that when I finish I will be working as little as possible. For her, I think a big part of it is that her associates ask her what her daughter does and she is embarrassed to say SAHM. She has always been a very high powered career woman and it really chapped her hide that both of her daughters were SAH parents for a time (my sister went back to work when she divorced).
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#15 of 23 Old 05-28-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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My family is pro-SAH, my in-laws are not. I get the "when will she finally get a job" thing a lot.

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#16 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 04:32 AM
 
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My DH's family is very supportive of my staying at home. My FIL's mother stayed at home with her five, my MIL's mother worked from home (they owned an BandB) so was always home with her children as well.
My family not so much. My mom worked out of the house until she was diagnoised with cancer and couldn't stand long periods of time to work. Then she made it plain that as soon as she was better she would return to work because staying at home is useless. We basically raised ourselves (we stopped going to daycare when I was 6, my brothers were 8 and 10.. we walked home 2 miles across a large not so nice city to make it back to our apartment) and got told repeatedly that it builds character. My mother passed away when I was a teenager but she told me all the time about how useless SAHMs were and how they burdened society with their nonsense. So, Im pretty sure she wouldn't be happy with me staying home. My father keeps moaning and goaning about the degree he "paid for" (I had scholarships to college, all he helped with is giving me a place to live and food on the table but I was 16 so legally he had to do that) and the fact Im "wasting" my life by not working. I keep being told by him that he doesn't know what I do all day. Like taking care of a 3 year old and a 1 year old while my husband is hardly ever home is no work what so ever.

I could go on but Id rather not get to mad at him since I have to call to wish him a happy birthday soon.

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#17 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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Ya... my brother once said "It's not the f-ing 50's anymore. You need to get off your a-- and get a job."

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#18 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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why is it ok for it to be someone else's job to watch your kids, but it's not ok for that to be YOUR job? If someone told me that it wasn't a job because I didn't get paid, I would calculate the cost of daycare and tell them THAT's how much you do get paid, because really, it is. And that has to be at least as much as a job at walmart.

I have family who I'm sure think it's ridiculous that I stay home, but they don't say anything. They just think I have a terribly uninteresting life. I try not to talk about it, but if they do ask I tell them it is the most challenging but most fantastic job I've ever had!

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#19 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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My family is pro-SAH, my in-laws are not. I get the "when will she finally get a job" thing a lot.
Ever thought of telling them to shut up and mind their own business?
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#20 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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I wouldn't say my family is against it, but I think my mom is jealous of it. She has always worked out of necessity, and wanted to stay at home but couldn't. Now that I am, she is constantly coming up with things for me to do because "I'm just sitting there at home doing nothing." And I would just blow her off, but she'll do things like schedule my grandma's dr appts and I feel like my grandma shouldn't be punished for her rudeness. But she also comes up with some ridiculous s*it that I do say no to.
DH's family, though is for it and so is the rest of my family.
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#21 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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My family is pro-SAH, my in-laws are not. I get the "when will she finally get a job" thing a lot.
I can so relate to this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grace and Granola View Post
why is it ok for it to be someone else's job to watch your kids, but it's not ok for that to be YOUR job? If someone told me that it wasn't a job because I didn't get paid, I would calculate the cost of daycare and tell them THAT's how much you do get paid, because really, it is. And that has to be at least as much as a job at walmart.


I have a part time job from home now and make way more than if I worked full time out of the house if you factor in how much it would cost for childcare for my three younger kids (and then have a teen at home by herself for a couple of hours a day which is not a great idea, either, imo).
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#22 of 23 Old 06-05-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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Both my mother and my MIL WOH and are both very supportive of me being a SAHM. I think they both are ok with their choices as parents and ok with mine. I do plan to WOH when my youngest goes to school but that might change.

Sara
I love my girlsMadaline(9), Mary-Grace(7), Georgia(3), & Evelyn(1)
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#23 of 23 Old 06-06-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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Hmmm, what's your family dynamic like, honestly?

Do you typically have a competative relationsip with your sister, or does she typically tend to undermine/examine you?

Sometimes I think people blame critique by family members on SAHMing...when to put it bluntly, no one cares really about SAHing or not, if it wasn't that it'd be something else.

And then, it's easy to get sucked into the whole mommy war crap.

If people in your family tend to express concern or worry by fussing, or if you have a bossy dynamic with a sibling, or if your parents/ILs need to have you be a clone otherwise they get snarly about respect...then if it wasn't this it would be something else.

I really think that is why a policy of non-argumentative shrug off (pass the bean dip) works the best. If you engage, then you're feeding the dynamic. And it's sooo easy to slip into a bad dynamic without eve realizing it!
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