What does your own mother and/or mother in law think of being a SAHM? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What does your own mother and/or your mother-in-law think of being a SAHM, either in general or specifically about you?

Pro/con?

Supportive/un-supportive?

Neutral?

Has their outlook changed over time?
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#2 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I would say unsupportive and probably weirded out.
My IL's come from an era where women's lib was just starting I guess and a working woman was afforded a lot of respect.
I would always be asked when I'm going to start working again and they always praise/sympathize with their daughter (my SIL) about how she works and raises 4 kids at the same time (I only have one).
Of course I could objectively say that the quality of care that my SIL gives her children is far below what I give mine (I say quality of care because I am sure she loves her kids just as much as I love mine). But those things don't matter to my IL's, I guess. I think they feel that there's no reason a woman could hold a job and be able to take care of the household at the same time.
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#3 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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My mom thinks its great. My mil thinks I'm a lazy bum. Oh well.
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#4 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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My mother-in-law stayed at home until her kids were in mid-high school. I sensed a lot of concern in her mind that I wouldn't stay at home (particularly when I did go back to teaching for a few months when the boys were one). My mother was a stay at home mom until all of us were in elementary school so there was nothing negative there either though I don't think she would have been disappointed had I done it differently.

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#5 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
and a working woman was afforded a lot of respect.
Well, to be fair, generally working men are afforded more respect than non-working men.

It's the same for women, I think.

But, I do think it's a bit more socially accepted for a woman to be a SAHP than it is for a man to be a SAHP, which is unfair and not right.
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#6 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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Well, to be fair, generally working men are afforded more respect than non-working men.

It's the same for women, I think.

But, I do think it's a bit more socially accepted for a woman to be a SAHP than it is for a man to be a SAHP, which is unfair and not right.

I guess the word would be "novel". I think during my MIL's time, a woman with a career going for her was quite a novel thing and the thing that most/a lot of women strived for.
But not to downplay women who work at all because even I have a TON of respect for women who are able to do that. It's just that sometimes I feel a little bit resentful that I am not given some respect as a SAHM. YKWIM?
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#7 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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My mom is all for it. She wishes that she could have done it. She and my dad divorced so she was left to fend for herself.

My MIL is kinda neutral I guess. I think it angers her sometimes that I get the chance to do this. She was always the breadwinner in their family because she went to college and had a better job. My FIL was a marine and then worked for his mother's paint store. So he didn't make much money. Anyway, she kinda avoids the topic with me. I think she is jealous/ bitter about it sometimes.

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#8 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess the word would be "novel". I think during my MIL's time, a woman with a career going for her was quite a novel thing and the thing that most/a lot of women strived for.
But not to downplay women who work at all because even I have a TON of respect for women who are able to do that. It's just that sometimes I feel a little bit resentful that I am not given some respect as a SAHM. YKWIM?
:

ITA.

I am a SAHM right now, but I used to work. And I remember facing other people's judgement when my maternity leave was ending and I was considering going back to work.

So, I really felt judged no matter what my decision was...work and put my child in day care or SAH and quit my job from some people.



Ironically, one of the people judging (well, rather who made negative comments) did it to me when I talked about going back to work, and later said negative things about my decision to stay at home!

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#9 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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You just can't please everybody I guess.
That's why my cardinal rule is to please myself first.
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#10 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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Both are really, incredibly supportive.

My mil stayed home with her 2 youngest (3 children total) and breastfed until age 3 with both as well. She tells everyone how lucky Holden is to have his Mommy stay home with him.

My mother is great, too, she stayed home with us until we were both in elementary school. I think she would have waited longer except that my father really wanted her to go back to work.

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#11 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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Both my mil and mother have never vocalized anything but happiness. At first, I think it may have bothered my mil a little bit but she's gotten over it.
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#12 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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I would say both sets of parents are happy with what we've chosen for our family.
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#13 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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Both my mom and my MIL stayed home for some portion of their lives so they're both pretty supportive. I've specifically talked about it with my mom though and she thinks it's great.

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#14 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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My own mother feels like I am judging her and gets very defensive when I talk about how much I love being a SAHM--or just talk about SAHMing. She worked A LOT when I was growing up, she owned 3 newspapers in 3 cities; so my older brother and sister grew up in the care of nannies and I lived with my gran until I was 9. She talks about how she had to work that much to put food on the table. . .but not really, IMHO we didn't really need designer clothes, more than one house, a swimming pool, 3 cars (one of them a corvette), etc. . .but I guess that was all important to her. My MIL is always trying to find me jobs, even circles ones in the paper she thinks I would be interested in. She does think I am an excellent mother. . .but just doesn't get the SAHM thing especially when we've been sooooo poor. Now that we've moved to Japan though, neither of them say anything about me SAHMing. . .ah, the plusses of living overseas

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#15 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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My mom has been a SAHM since I was born! She loves it, and that is the reason I always wanted to stay at home, I had many fond memories of it as a child. My MIL thinks I'm lazy and mooching off of DH. I really don't care what she thinks and have never let it get to me.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#16 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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my mom and mil were both sahm's so they get it and are very supportive. :
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#17 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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Both of us grew up in homes with our moms home with us so it comes as no suprise to either set of parents.

But, DH says my father would have a problem if I had to work.

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#18 of 134 Old 09-18-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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My Mom was also SAHM and it was great for us. There was always someone home and there to take us to all of our activities. That is what I want for my children. Both my Mom and MIL are 100% supportive of me being a SAHM.
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#19 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Both my mother and mother-in-law were stay at home moms so I think they're both very happy about it.
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#20 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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My mom stayed at home with me and my brother, so she is thrilled that I'm home with my kids. She's also thrilled that I can babysit my brother's baby whenever he and his wife need childcare coverage.

My mother-in-law died in March. Before that, though, she thought the sun rose and set on me. I could do no wrong in her book, and she was also thrilled that I stayed home to take care of her precious grandbabies.
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#21 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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my mom is really wierded out by the whole thing, but my MIL thinks i sh!t gold and can do no wrong so i get a lot of support from her!
neither of them stayed at home when raising us but i think the difference is that my mom wanted to work while my MIL really had no choice.
but luckily neither me or dh went to daycare, we both got lots of grandma time!

i think my mom will come around as time goes on, the baby isnt even on the outside yet, (i'm 8months, but was a SAHW before getting pregnant, that was WAY more of an issue to my mom than being a SAHM)
so as time goes on we'll see if she gets to be more supportive.
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#22 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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I'd say my mother in law and mama are supportive to nuetral. It's not spoken about a lot actually, so I don't think they would unsupportive if I went to work either. I think I'm lucky in the respect that my mil and mom know to support my choices on motherhood rather than forcing their own opinions, but at the same time we also do actually agree on most aspects. My mother tried to nurse but had no real support at the time, so she respects my wanting to nurse, and she cloth diapered me so she's my mentor in that area. My mother in law had similar experiences to my mom. I think? that breastfeeding was more of a taboo subject when they had children but now they are both supporters.

I haven't told them about wanting to either homeschool or put her in alternative schooling, so maybe they'll balk at that but I don't think so because neither is very happy about how public school seems to be fairing recently. Other than that, I don't think they understand all of my "crunchy" views, but they don't find them objectionable either.
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#23 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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Both are very supportive here.

My mom would have loved to stay home, but had to work out of financial necessity. I was lucky that my grandparents were able to care for me every day until I started school (next best thing to having a SAHP, imo).

My MIL, as far as I know, has never worked outside the home. She has sold Tupperware, babysat, and bred dogs, but was always at home. My BIL (the baby in the family) is 29, married with a family of his own, and my MIL is still at home. She keeps herself very busy.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#24 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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My mom's been harassing me to go back. My father was a diplomat and we traveled all over the world and she had to quit her job to raise us and remain with her husband. I can tell she regrets it to this day. She will tell me things like, "A man doesn't respect you when you're not working." And there is nothing I can say or do to convince her that it meant so much to me that she was a SAHM. I tell her that I am doing this for my daughter, and the reply will be, "You'll regret it when she's a teenager and has some nasty things to say to you." I feel like she's bitter about her past and wants to correct it through me, by living vicariously through me. My MIL thinks that I am a looser since all my SIL's are working with a lot more kids than I. I just have one. But coming home and cooking and cleaning isn't exactly raising children. It's more than that.
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#25 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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My mom was a sahm, and did not enjoy it. She has told me ever since I was a child, NOT to be a sahm. Well, guess what, I AM a sahm. She is not happy about it, and in the past five yrs has taken any opportunity to making all sorts of digs and comments putting down sah and trying to convince me to return to work. My relationship with my mom has gotten worse since I've become a mom, it seems that she is unsupportive about ALL of my parenting decisions, it has been very disappointing that she is so judgemental.

My mil, is more traditional in her thinking and I think she is glad that I am a sahm. She wants me to take care of my kids, the house and my DH. It's not as much about my happiness, but basically she believes that the mom needs to take care of her family, so she is satisfied that I am fulfilling this role.
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#26 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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my mom was a sahm, she is way supportive. my mil is supportive, but she worked outside of home pretty early on with all her boys (and breastfed each for several years) and i detect that she judges me for not working some. esp. since we are living on a modest income.

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#27 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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I think my MIL thinks I'm lazy. She acts supportive to my face, but she kind of gives off this vibe. Add that in with comments I've heard other members of her family make about me when they thought I wasn't listening and I'm pretty sure she thinks I should be working. Oh well. None of her business.

My own mom isn't in my life.

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#28 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my mil is supportive, but she worked outside of home pretty early on with all her boys (and breastfed each for several years).
Wow, I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk of a mother or MIL (woman of one generation ago) who breastfed for several years and worked.

I just wanted to say that really is an accomplishment, especially if she did that when there wasn't much public support for bfing.
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#29 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She will tell me things like, "A man doesn't respect you when you're not working.".
Hmmm...

I think it really depends on the man.

I don't think my DH respects SAHMs as much as working women.

But then I know at least two husbands who do not want their wives to work. It's not that they support they decision or choice to do either. It's more that they want a traditional marriage where a wife prepares dinner by 5:00.

So, there are all kinds of men out there, including men who are supportive of the woman's choice, whatever it is.
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#30 of 134 Old 09-19-2008, 10:10 AM
 
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Both my mom and mil were SAHM's while children were young. MIL worked part time but had lots of family to care for her kids. Once the kids went to school, they both WOH FT. My mom supports me SAHMing short term, then part time work. She knows how rough nursing school was, she went through it after I did. She does not want to see me permanently give that up. She thinks I should work part time once the baby is less dependent on me (nurses less frequently/eats more solids) That is my plan, too, so no conflicts there. MIL does not state her opinion, but does make comments like we should buy a new house in the burbs on a cul de sac area, and fly to florida next month instead of drive (we live in pa), and buy a new mini-van. Then looks at me like she is confused when we say we cant afford that stuff. I dont know if she is taking a slam at me b/c I am currently not working or what. She always had free child care and does not seem to get that right now if I work, we either have to 1. pay for childcare, 2. me work night shift but then go 48-60 hours without me sleeping and dh getting poor sleep as baby nurses every 1-2 hours at night AND the 3 y/o still wakes at night, or 3. work weekends and have zero family time.

DH is supportive of me SAHMing for now, when the kids are ultra needy as he would have a difficult time doing overnights and bed time alone, and does not want me getting sick from being chronically exhausted. He is very anti-daycare so that is out. He wants me working part time in the near future.
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