Getting grief from colleagues about choosing to SAH - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 10-10-2011, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there, my colleagues and some of the folks I worked with are giving me hell about this choice--and a heck of a lot of guilt tripping is going on around my decision to stay at home.   

 

So, I need a list, actually two of them:  

 

  • a list of reasons why it makes sense for a professional (in my case clergy, with masters degree) with a great deal of education, promise and influence in her profession, to choose to stay home with young children
  • a list of witty and sarcastic retorts.  

 

 

 

So, hook me up--I need some support and witty things to reply with when folks say things like "when will you stop messing around with supply when there are parishes that need you".  


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#2 of 14 Old 10-10-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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How about "My children NEED me."


It's complicated.
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#3 of 14 Old 10-10-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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It's sad that our society doesn't value a good nurturing upbringing and think that the contribution we can make to the world professionally is more important.
So i could go on for days, but as for a few reasons why moms should stay home if they so desire:
-because they need you, and deserve to have that need fulfilled
-because they are your primary responsibility
-then you have control over the type and style of upbringing they receive
-depending how many young children you have and your salary, child care may not be financially worth it
-because it feels right
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#4 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 12:05 AM
 
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I read "Being There" by Dr. Isabelle Fox after meeting her at an Attachment Parenting Meeting. http://www.foxbeingthere.com/

 

After that I don't really feel the need to justify to anyone why I need to be a stay at home mom, I just am. I really hope you can find peace with your decision.


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#5 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 02:52 AM
 
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Yes to all the things Tincia and Learning_Mum said.

 

Countries which value the SAHM and make it easier for mothers to stay at home consistently have better outcomes in terms of crime and other measures of societal health.

 

You mentioned you were clergy. A Christian church? I'm pretty sure Mary was a SAHM.

 

And there's no reason why you can't start working again when your children are older. 


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#6 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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I think first that you have to acknowledge the validity of their feelings to them. 

 

That it is difficult in a profession where there is high "demand" for your colleagues to see someone step down.  Particularly hard where it might be someone in whom they may have invested time and energy in terms of training, opportunities, etc. 

 

I also think you approach this seriously in part not to damage their attitudes towards women coming behind you in the employment track (sad but true).

 

And then, as clergy, I believe you have a perfect "excuse" (which I believe if you are clergy must be true) which is that you feel your calling is not with the church at the current time, but rather with your children and after prayer and reflection you feel that you can not proceed with your employment at the current time.

 

I would leave the flip responses for casual acquaintances, not actual co-workers. 


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#7 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

I think first that you have to acknowledge the validity of their feelings to them. 

 

That it is difficult in a profession where there is high "demand" for your colleagues to see someone step down.  Particularly hard where it might be someone in whom they may have invested time and energy in terms of training, opportunities, etc. 

 

I also think you approach this seriously in part not to damage their attitudes towards women coming behind you in the employment track (sad but true).

 

And then, as clergy, I believe you have a perfect "excuse" (which I believe if you are clergy must be true) which is that you feel your calling is not with the church at the current time, but rather with your children and after prayer and reflection you feel that you can not proceed with your employment at the current time.

 

I would leave the flip responses for casual acquaintances, not actual co-workers. 


I believe, firmly, that one can have dual callings.  My calling to the church AND my calling to be with my child.  So, I'm subbing on Sundays as needed/able.  So, as far as excuses go, this doesn't quite work for me.  However, I do agree with giving serious responses to colleagues--and I have.  The continuing shaming is getting to me tho' and I'm trying to laugh as able.  

 

Thank you for all of your responses.

 


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#8 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishin'&hopin' View Post

I believe, firmly, that one can have dual callings.  My calling to the church AND my calling to be with my child.  So, I'm subbing on Sundays as needed/able.  So, as far as excuses go, this doesn't quite work for me.  However, I do agree with giving serious responses to colleagues--and I have.  The continuing shaming is getting to me tho' and I'm trying to laugh as able.  

 

Thank you for all of your responses.

 



You have made your decision and you have given them serious responses already.  That is more than you should even have to do.  It is a personal decision, not one that should be up for discussion.  Next time it comes up, I would say "I have explained it to you already, and it isn't up for discussion.  What nice weather we've been having, huh?"  Be a broken record.  "It isn't up for discussion" plus subject change. Again and again and again.  They start shaming you, you repeat "Not up for discussion" and walk away if you have to.  It is absolutely ridiculous that anyone is questioning a personal choice. 

 

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#9 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all, I actually took a bit of BuzzBuzz's advice--in the sense that I just gave a VERY public shout out to the clergy and lay folk who have supported me as clergy AND as mama.  I'm hoping that will soothe some of them a bit--I also reiterated that the church has been around 2000 years and that it will still be there when I no longer have small children at home AND mentioned in passing how I am staying connected to my professional (paid) vocation.  

 

I guess the biggest bummer of it all, and this is where I mostly just need hugs, is that I have a clergy friend/mentor who has completely dropped me (and my family) due to this decision--she really does feel like I've betrayed her and the church...


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#10 of 14 Old 10-11-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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I find myself justifying my education and being a SAH parent on a regular basis.  I know I shouldn't have to justify it to anyone, but I feel like I do.  For me, I'm toying with entering the clergy in a few years (calling?  not sure if that's it, more along the lines of 'this WILL be the path, you can do it the easy way, or you can do it the hard way...') but I made a decision not to do that until after my children are a little older. In the grand scheme of things,  there is just no way I can juggle that much demand and have anything left of myself.  However, if you can keep a foot in the door- so to speak- and return to that vocation when you are ready, it seems to me you are doing the best you can for everyone.  

 

In my situation, I spoke with someone I respect a great deal (and who has many MANY years of experience, though not as a woman- which further complicates things) before making the timing decisions as my church is a huge mess with major chasms in need of healing at this point in time.  The shaping of what it will be in years to come is something I have been very active in since the 90s when the schism became apparent, but I just can't be the rock-solid anchor needed at this point to step into a full time role. 

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#11 of 14 Old 10-12-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Oh, so frustrating!  Everyone has made great points.  What I always tell people is that there is no solid argument (for us) in favor of having a child and giving it over for someone else to raise.  The first years of a human's life are so formative and the intimate contact with a care provider (Dh or I or close friend/relative) is incredibly important.  I would rather live with a tight purse for many more years than only know my children in the early morning and evening.

 

I left a promising career in academia- many many years of schooling, research, teaching, job experience and the 2 years I have been gone have killed my professional life dead.  It makes me unhappy, but it will come back.  It is my kids that I want to grow old with, not my job.


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#12 of 14 Old 10-17-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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I have been pondering this issue myself! Our society now seems built on having two earners, and it's pretty hard to do it with just one (unless they really earn a lot!).

 

Actually, I am in the position of penstamon -- lots of schooling, research, and now, thinking of how to have more time with the little ones... Penstamon, 2 years out, is that since your first was born? How did you make the decision to stay home? How do you see your possible re-entry someday? 

 


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#13 of 14 Old 10-17-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcelina View Post

I have been pondering this issue myself! Our society now seems built on having two earners, and it's pretty hard to do it with just one (unless they really earn a lot!).

 

Actually, I am in the position of penstamon -- lots of schooling, research, and now, thinking of how to have more time with the little ones... Penstamon, 2 years out, is that since your first was born? How did you make the decision to stay home? How do you see your possible re-entry someday? 

 


Well, I originally thought that I would only take a semester off to be with DS1 but once I gave birth I realized just how ridiculous that was for us.  I was still working from home pt until DS2 was born and then I was cut.  I had felt comfortable enough to do pt woh and pt wah after DS1 was 18mo or so but that only lasted a semester and then along came DS2.  Staying home is not really a decision I felt like I made- it was made for me by my kids and the type of parenting I believe to be important. 

 

As to re-entry- that is difficult and I have been staying blissfully ignorant for awhile.  We live in a rural area with 2 universities and I have worked/been a student at them for 7 yrs so I am hoping that I still have connections in another year or two (or three+) when I feel ready.  I do not want the career that I was on the path for and can't quite give myself over to my job as would be expected of me.  So I guess I will take it as it comes and hopefully the right thing will come along.  I also fantasize about starting my own business (DH is self employed) but have yet to find the right niche.

 

Haha, not very helpful- sorry!

 


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#14 of 14 Old 10-20-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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Disclosure: I work (part-time) out of the home, so I hope my thoughts are welcome here. :-)

 

My advice is to simply not explain or justify. The more you defend your choices, the more right people will feel they have to argue with you. It gives the impression that they have a say in how you live your life and they don't. On top of that, you risk hurting feelings or offending moms who do work if you end up putting down that choice. 

 

I've gotten some reverse comments ("Oh, I don't know how you could possibly stand leaving your baby to work!") and I just respond with "Isn't it great that we can all make the decisions that are best for our own families?" and smile and change the subject.

 

Good luck and congrats on your decision to stay home with your babes!

 

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