thread: Dealing with those who do not understand

  1. #1

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    Dealing with those who do not understand

    I am having trouble dealing with people who do not understand and sometimes quite shocked at my decision to not go back to work full time once the baby comes along. It mostly comes from women who have not had children. I am getting to the point where I do not wish to discuss the question of when am I going back to work.

    Basically my situation is:
    My position needs to be full time and I only would want to return part-time and I cannot work some days from home.
    Childcare is scarce in my area, so even if I wanted to go back full time, I cannot guarantee when I can, if I can. (I dont drive and we have only 1 car which DH needs to go to work at 5:30am, so I am limited to childcare within walking distance) Also the cost of childcare is scary.
    I need to start bringing in some income after 6 weeks. So I can't take the 12 months to think about what I want to do, or to see if work gets busy enough to put on a part time position just for me.
    Most of all I did not decide to have a baby only to put it in fulltime child care straight away.

    Anyway my solution has been to start bookkeeping from home, that way I can bring in some money and not have to put the baby in childcare. Also for a lot less work and hopefully hassle I can bring home the same amount of money as if I was working full time and paying for childcare.

    So my questions are
    is what I have decided to do unreasonable? and
    how do I deal with those who don't understand and so I don't have the full explantion each time?

    Thanks Astrid

  2. #2
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    Hi Astrid,

    I don't think what you are proposing is unreasonable at fact it sounds like you have thought out your situation very well!

    In terms of dealing with those that don't understand......well, that is a tricky one. I was in the exact same situation as you; and also found it difficult to explain to people what my plans would be after I had Olivia. I quickly realised that by taking on their opinions, I only got annoyed, so I ended up saying, consistently:

    " I have no idea how I shall feel about coming back to work. I have never had a baby before, It may be that I want to return full time, or it maybe that I can't bear to be parted from her. So I shall play it by ear"

    A kind of non-descript, one-size fits all answer to a question, which at the end of the day, is actually none of their business!

    Now that I have been off work for over a year (I resigned rather than take mat. leave for all sorts of reasons) I still have people calling me offering me work or people asking me when I plan to go back. To which my answer is:

    "Olivia and I are having such a great time together. I am working from home, running my own business, earning plenty, whilst still spending loads of time with her, so at this stage I have no plans to change that"

    Some FT working women who have no kids look at me like I am mad, but I figure they have not been lucky enough to experience the joy of kids.

    Some women with kids express their envy and wish me all the best.

    Most guys don't care much either way, apart from my old boss who is disappointed, but knows me well enough to understand!

    Astrid, I hope this helps?

    If you can work from home, make ends meet and enjoy your baby, well, I think you will be the envy of most people!

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    Melbourne, Australia

    Hi Astrid,

    Sounds like you've got a good situation which suits you; who cares what anyone else thinks!

    I felt pressured both ways; some people implying that I shouldn't consider returning to work part-time when my baby is just one year old; others frowning upon me contemplating resigning from my job to be a stay at home mum. Anyway, I finally concluded and took on board that I need to do what is best for me, my baby and my husband. Anyway, after one year of mat leave, I went back 3 days per week for a while (for about 6 months), and then resigned in favour of being a stay-at-home-mum and doing some occasional casual work for my old employer (running a group on one evening per week). Like you, I'm also looking into doing some work from home. I love my life and I am very content to have found a situation which suits my own little family so well.

  4. #4

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    Thanks for the replies. I feel much better now. I was beginning to feel that what I wanted to do was really unusual and that there was something wrong with me for even thinking that juggling fulltime work and a baby would not be easy.

    It tool a little while to convince DH that working from home was better. So after battling him I do not feel like "battle" any one else. DH's main problem was that he could not understand why work could not be more flexible, he thought I should be allowed to bring the baby to work! Anyway I managed to convince him once I explained how much childcare costs and few other logistical things, like trying to continue breastfeeding (assuming I can in the first place).

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Not at all Astrid its so hard, I went back to Sat work after Matilda was 4 months because we needed the $$ and because it gave daddy/daughter time. But I couldn't put her in childcare yet... and we were becoming desperate for $$, then a few weeks later I started going in with Matilda to do bookkeeping, but it turns out that it takes me 4 hours to do what without Matilda would take 1 1/2 hours and its frustrating. So now that she's older she's going into care once a week for that day and I am picking up a bit more work to do at home (writing protocols etc) so what you are doing isn't unusual.

  6. #6
    Fire Fly Guest

    I think its great that you can stay at home and work from home to earn a bit. I wish i could find something that i could do to help out with the bills, might make life a bit stress free.
    Like the other girls said its your decision, you will find that everyone will have different views about most things you do through your childs life. It seems to come with the job of being a mum. Take it all with a pinch of salt.

    I originally was going to go back to work when DD was 4 months old. But then it turned to 6 months then 8 months until i finally resigned to the fact that i was quiet content to be a SAHM. I dont regret my decision at all.

    Its your life and your child. Just ignore them and be happy

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    Hi Astrid, I think most mums or mum's to be in here would love to be either SAHM or WAHM's but for most it just comes down to finances.

    I am negotiating with my work at the moment to come back three days a week, but they don't know that i actually want to resign at the end of the 12 months, just not 100% about the finances yet, so I want to keep my options open. i want more than anything to stay at home with Jackson when he is finally here.

    As for explaining it to other people, you seem more patient than me, i would just tell them it was none of their business and how dare they judge me! LOL, i need to settle a bit!

  8. #8
    *Rachel* Guest


    I'm glad I found this thread, as I was about to ask a similar question!

    I too am not returning to work now I have had Keenan - and am sick of people asking 'When are you going back to work'? like they expect me to go back and earn my keep in a 'real job'!!! Grrrr.

    It's frustrating, and if we ever need the extra money I have kept up my registration so I can return, but why do people just assume you will go back to work and put the little one in CC?

    I know some people have to go back to work and have to use CC and I respect that, but maybe it's just society these days - a reversal of the 50's!!! where if you wanted to go back to work you were frowned upon!!! That and the current cost of living (frowns) LOL

    Best wishes to all mums whether you work in a 'workplace' or a 'homeplace' - you're still doing a stirling job for your kids by being their mum.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004


    I just wanted you to know that I have had numerous people asking me when I'm coming back to work, and a simple "I'm taking a year off work, and I'm not sure how things will pan out" is a simple, direct answer.
    How can any of us first time mums really know what its going to be like? Financially it will be tough, but in our case we can get by by making heaps of sacrifices, so we are lucky.
    Its really not anyones business what you want to do, and if you think you can work from home doing some things, great news - good for you.
    There is nothing wrong with what you are proposing, and todays day, I think the ones who get to stay home are the lucky ones.
    There is nothing wrong with CC, but I'm sure most mums would love to stay at home if they could.
    Best wishes, and welcome to BB!

  10. #10
    jcm73 Guest

    I'm with Min, its nobody else's business what you do.
    As long as you're happy, and the baby is healthy, it shouldn't matter to anyone else whether you work for someone else, or from home, or not at all. Suit yourself and your partner, and tell anyone who gives you grief to buggar off!! LOL!

  11. #11
    Wynnie Guest

    Sadly my employer in not a very family friendly one. I was lead to believe that I would be able to work from home part time even before we had started trying to get pregnant. When I told them I was 12 weeks the reaction was one of disappointment and inconvenience – for them. After a meeting, that I was never involved in, it was decided that it would not be possible for me to work from home. This was a surprise to me as I was lead to believe before hand it would be possible and several of my co-workers (who work in inter state) are allowed such privileges. For me this lessened the joy I was feeling about being pregers for the first time and all the excitement I was feeling was now mixed with how are we going to cope financially.

    While we never based our decision to start a family on me working part time from home – it was going to be helpful. We also decided that we didn’t what to have kids to them put them in child care and let someone else have all the fun of watching them grow up. DH is a shift worker and is home during the day so he will be as involved in the raising as much as I will.

    We have now decided that we will just suck it and see. I have told the "Company" that I will be taking a year off - but going by the treatment I have had I doubt I will come back - but am keeping that door open.

    If we find it a bit tough with the $$ then we will cross that bridge when we get to it. It seems to me thought that the choice to take a year off – the most important year of your child’s life – is a bit of a luxury that few of us can afford.

    I no longer put the "Company" first. For me now – in this new ear of my life – my family comes first.

    My only advice would be if you are asking to work from home, either full or part time, make sure you are clear about what you want, and that you let your employer know. I have no illusions that looking after a baby - and the first one at that and juggling work from home would be easy, but everyone’s situation is different and only you will know what you can and can not do – be sure your employers know that as well.

    I am now 23 weeks and looking forward to NOT having to work from home. Just being able to be a mum! What better job in the world could there be? I have also had time to think of all the other things I might like to do with what ever spare time I have and the possibilities are endless. Bring it on