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#1 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got off the phone with my dad, who just totally gave me the third degree about being nothing more than a mother. I am so upset about it. I'd love to be doing more, but I have many health issues right now and essentially no help from DH (who works way, way too much) or anyone (we just moved to this area and don't know anyone yet). And I am barely keeping it together as it is. It just breaks my heart, because I so badly want him to be proud of me, and either he isn't, or he's just lousy at showing it.

The crazy part of it is that my mother always wanted to be more than a mom, but my dad didn't want her to work outside of the home. WTH?
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#2 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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Maybe it suited HIS needs to have his wife at home, at his beck and call. And maybe it suits HIS needs for you to have a job, perhaps so he can boast about the job his daughter has. (That is, if he is anything like my father...)

My father has also given me many comments that imply he would like me to have a career. That's all very well for him to say, when he lives in another state and has never been around to offer any support! He does not value the fact that I look after my children so well....basically because he does not value parenthood. He left my mother to bring up my younger sister on our own, and has never been around to help or show any interest in his grandkids.

I know what you mean about wanting him to be proud of you...all my life I have wanted my father to be proud of me, even now when I am not that young anymore, I still want that, but I know that if he is not proud of me as I am now, there is no hope. Maybe he is proud of me, but like you said, is lousy at showing it!

SAHM to three
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#3 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe it suited HIS needs to have his wife at home, at his beck and call. And maybe it suits HIS needs for you to have a job, perhaps so he can boast about the job his daughter has.
Yeah, I guess that is exactly it. He just hasn't considered or doesn't care about what would be best for me. He is thinking only of himself. Gosh, that's sad. He is overall a great guy, but I think perhaps he had too much manliness instilled from an early age. He doesn't want to be the kind of person who thinks about other people's feelings.
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#4 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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The crazy part of it is that my mother always wanted to be more than a mom, but my dad didn't want her to work outside of the home. WTH?
Funny, your dad sounds exactly like my mil. She was a sahm and thinks it's so weird that I want to be home with my kids!!
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#5 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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I'm sorry your dad is behaving that way. That's really hard. You aren't 'just' a mother. YOU ARE A MOTHER!!! You have the most awesome job ever!

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#6 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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that's awful, and I'm so sorry. I know what it's like to have a father who makes HIDEOUSLY insensitive comments and, try as you may, they always hurt.
Obviously, he has not one clue how hard it is, and what it takes, and the huge sacrifice involved in "only" being a Mom.
We can never get this time back, and hard as it is, we'll look back on it and be SO glad we did it this way!
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#7 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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oh, the just a mother comments. maybe he is just voicing his concern that you have nothing to fall back on if the marriage tanks?

my usual response to the 'just a mom' comments is that, as a feminist, i respect the work that women have done across millenia. so called women's work was valid then, no matter what the history books say, and it is valid now. it is not 'less than' because it brings in no paycheck. to speak otherwise denigrates all women, across space and time, and i wish you wouldn't do so in front of me.
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#8 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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ugh, my stepdad used to say things like that... "back them, the women HAD to stay home. we paid money for your education and you could be making so much money and you choose to waste it"

i always reply that i would do ANYTHING in my power to be home with my kids, choosing to be at home is different than being forced into a life of serving your family because its a womans job.

my parents were always concerned with me being left by dh and having no $$. they are real optimists.

maybe there is a genuine place of concern he is coming from? it broke my heart to read that you just want him to be proud.

he should be proud of the mother and woman you are- regardless of any other accomplishments

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#9 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think he's worried about DH leaving me. DH is a great husband and father, and absolutely part of the family (and we've been married twelve years). Also, I am a lawyer, so I could get a good job pretty easily if I needed to.

Talking to DH last night, I realized that this whole conversation started right after he'd asked me to go to a football game with him when they come to visit in a few months. I expressed reservations about DD (she hates loud noises and we wouldn't have a sitter unless my mom was planning on staying home with her). Perhaps he felt that I was hesitating because I don't want to spend time with him, and he got his feelings hurt.
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#10 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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You know, women are judged every day for just about everything we do - by each other and others. We're either too fat or too thin, too slutty or too prudish, too career-oriented or too mom-ish, too...everything.

It's really heartbreaking and sad to me. I don't live it every day, but I am trying to ignore the chatter and just focus on what I know and believe in and feel good doing.

I have family members who think less of SAHMs...think they should be doing "more." I know it matters and I know my kids are benefiting, so I try to just stay focused on that.

I just want to add that my Dad has never come out and said he wishes I had a career, but he thinks women who do are amazing. He makes a big point of telling me when he meets a young woman who is very successful career-wise and has a kid or two. At the same time, he thinks my kids are happy, well-adjusted, confident, etc. (of course he is their grandpa!) ... sometimes I feel like pointing out that DH and my conscious parenting choices may have something to do with that.

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#11 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I'm sorry. My dad often praises me (wft, advanced degree) in public but no longer praises my sister (sahm, advanced degree). Praise for my brother is always about his work. It all stopped when she started staying home. His (rare) praise of my mother is based on her teaching career not her kids, you know, HIS KIDS.

In my father's defense, *everything* in his life is about how hard you work so I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone.
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#12 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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I shudder to think what your Dad would say about me.

People think that raising children is the equivalent of baby-sitting. It's not, of course. It's as hard as any profession. And just as important.

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#13 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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My mom is like that sometimes. Before dd was born I was an opera singer and would leave home for weeks to do a show. I still sing a lot, but I refuse to travel with a 20 month old. It drives her crazy. She thinks I'm wasting my talent. Ugh

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#14 of 23 Old 08-30-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by provocativa View Post
oh, the just a mother comments. maybe he is just voicing his concern that you have nothing to fall back on if the marriage tanks?

my usual response to the 'just a mom' comments is that, as a feminist, i respect the work that women have done across millenia. so called women's work was valid then, no matter what the history books say, and it is valid now. it is not 'less than' because it brings in no paycheck. to speak otherwise denigrates all women, across space and time, and i wish you wouldn't do so in front of me.

Melissa crochetsmilie.gif, wife to Tom geek.gif, mom to The Baron modifiedartist.gif, the Bean superhero.gif, Little Bear diaper.gif, and Baby Beaver babyboy.gif
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#15 of 23 Old 08-30-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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What I don't get is when people talk about how great the kids are, how well behaved and well rounded they are.... then in the next breath devalue being a SAHM. They push at you to do something with yourself because they feel you're just wasting all your talents *sigh* . I just think "Hummm, my great kids should be evidence of my talents being put to good use"
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#16 of 23 Old 08-30-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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My father is hands down the LEAST supportive person in my life when it comes to staying home. Here is a true story: I found out I was pregnant with ds2 immediately before I took the Bar exam. I waited until after the test to tell my parents because I didn't need any more drama. My father's response? "I thought you were going to work now." Uhhhhh, thanks for the support, dad! He will now grudgingly admit that my children seem to be doing really well, and that *just maybe* I have something to do with it. Of course, this is the same man who told me I needed to stop expecting dh to help so much... our dads should have a club for old dudes who just don't get it!
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#17 of 23 Old 08-30-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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Funny, my father is the opposite. I go to school and work some weekends and he acts as though he doesn't get why I don't stay home 100% of the time.

poetry-writing feminist, loving my h and my ju-ju-be
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#18 of 23 Old 08-31-2010, 07:03 AM
 
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Slightly OT, sorry to derail, but I'm relieved to see that there are so many other attorneys here choosing to SAH! I've been an only since 2008, and just had twins a couple of months ago. I'm staying at home with them now bc they are soooooo much more important, fulfilling, and "me" than silly lawyerin'! I feel like I kind of wasted those three years and six figures of debt, but I don't care, as long as I've got my boys. But we moved in with my folks to help with the babies (and to save $ of course), and my parents support me staying home. Luckily. To the OP, I wish you strength and encourage you to be the very best mommy you can be for your LO!!

Mama to twin boys born at 30 weeks. 5/21/10. 
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#19 of 23 Old 08-31-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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I think that children and marriages are suffering from all the work we do. And for what? So we can buy more, do more, waste more....

I say live below or within your means, take care of your children and marriages, live simply and be a good citizen. There is no shame in that.

Seriously, our culture is so messed up.
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#20 of 23 Old 09-03-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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To the OP...I know it's heartbreaking to think that your father doesn't approve of your choices, but you need to stand up for yourself and your family's choices. Tell him in no uncertain terms that you understand that he has a low opinion of your role in your family, but please don't let him speak to you like that. Just let him know that you are very happy in your role as a mom and that you will have to agree to disagree on this one...and that is the last you will speak of it. Don't let him demean you.

Oh, that just burns me...someone telling someone else that their life choices just aren't good enough. Why on earth is it a respectable life choice to become, say, a nanny...caring for someone else's children, but when someone wants to invest the time in their own children it's a 'waste'?

hotmamacita, you're completely right. Our culture is completely messed up.

I have 3 kids! : Lookit them go!!!
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#21 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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Being a mom is a 24 hour a day job. Maybe you should tell him that he can watch the kids while you 'take a break' and get a day job.

I remember Alice on the old Honeymooners program saying something like, "Men work from sundown to sun up, but a womans work is never done.

I would omit the 'just' and take it as a compliment.

Circ doesn't work! Stop the violence of circumcison. Had another UP/UC/HB in August!
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#22 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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so glad i found this forum!

from baby to small child, i was raised by live-in maids in a home where breastfeeding was just plain gross. so just about EVERYTHING i do is just weird for my folks, haha! they STILL gag when my LO comes crawling up to me asking for milk in front of them. they even insisted me wanting to stay home and nurse my LO was my way of playing GOD, making sure her survival would depend solely on me.

i don't quite remember my parents' exact parenting style, but i do remember that there were not many memories of us actually spending more than 5 minutes together, usually at the dinner table. and naturally, much to my dismay, today we don't connect at all on so many levels.

there is nothing wrong with wanting to work away from home, trying to provide money for the family, but there is also nothing wrong with wanting to stay home. i spent the first few months letting my folks get to me and feeling sorry for myself, but as i see that little smile grow bigger and bigger, i feel like i'm on top of the world!! there are perks to both kinds of life, and neither are wrong.

i think the most important thing is connecting with your child and it's totally up to you and your child on how that happens.

working or not, be proud as a parent! i need to keep telling myself that every now and then, too!
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#23 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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I genuinely believe there is no more important job on this earth than raising healthy, happy, whole human beings to adulthood in a loving and nurturing environment. When people devalue what SAHPs do I just sort of gawk and then politely give them like a, "Hmm, interesting" before I walk away or change the subject. We have such different values and priorities that I can't imagine further conversation would be at all productive.

I agree with hotmamacita. A culture that values Mammon over Mama is desperately sick. I'm sure the comments hurt a lot coming from a parent; just try to remember that they are no reflection on what you do, but on the speaker's own values and morals.

What you do is immensely important, and don't you ever forget it.

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When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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