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Thread: Stay at home mums

  1. #1

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    Default Stay at home mums

    Stay at home Mums,
    Sometimes it seems such a difficult job.
    It feels a bit lonely and isolating. I love being there for my DD though. I go to mothers group which i enjoy.I never realised how much our society seems to not value the role of SAHMs or is it just me?


  2. #2

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    I know what you mean, sometimes when I meet other women and they ask me what I do and I say i'm a SAHM they sort of go "Hmmm" and change the subject. I love it though and I fill my days so I don't get bored. I think if you find something you love doing and do it regulalrly then how lucky are you?! I get to go to the gym every day and what's really easy for me is hard for lots of working women to do.

    I think a lot of the time, esp if it's coming from other women, is jealousy that you have more time and flexibility then they do.

    Cheer up sweetie, if ever those people had to spend 40 hours+ a week with kids they'll soon realise how hard it is!

  3. #3

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    I hear you

    Often i feel that because i am a SAHM i am less valuable to society than some one who is working. It can be difficult and isolating yet like you i too love been there for my DD's. When i feel like this i just reflect on the fact that i believe i am giving my DD's the best start to life by been a SAHM and therefore helping to make them well rounded happy and healthy ppl. See i am doing my bit for society. I was quite lonely when i had my 1st but now with my 2nd i am finding that more and more of my friends too are SAHM and have children. Is there someone from playgroup etc that you could catch up with another time to help with the loneliness. Or maybe see if anyone from playgroup would like to meet on a diff day at a park or something similar. This is how i became friends with the ladies in my playgroup. Although i enjoyed playgroup and liked the other mums it was always a bit hard to form strong friendships in the 2hr block once a week iykwim. Maybe if someone lives close you could organise to go walking together or something similar. Also maybe join another playgroup or swimming or something else to try and get out and meet ppl. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut trust me i know. For me i try to keep busy. Mon is dancing for my 2yo, Tue is shopping day, Wed is play grp, Thur is my stay home and cleaning day etc and Fri we go to the park with other mums from playgroup weather permitting. I find if can get out most days if only for an hour or two i dont feel too bad. HTH.
    Hoody

  4. #4

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    I second ya on that, i know exactly how you feel, sometimes i do feel alone and by myself but i love spending time with my DS and watching him lear and grow and talk back to me lol i enjoy it so much that i couldnt imagine doing anything else... we go to play group every wednesday and my son is at his happiest annoying other kids."

  5. #5

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    I met some people at a mates place one night & they were talking about their careers. 1 was with a legal secretary, 1 a teacher & 1 a physiotherapist. The physio aked me what I do.
    When I said I was a mum she said 'yeah, but what do you do?'
    My friend - the lagal secretary - didn't know what to say.
    I just said 'that IS what I do'. She hardly spoke to me for the rest of the night!

    We get along OK, but I think she thinks I like her more than I do.
    She's just pg now & I think thats really interesting.
    She never even tried top consider the fact that I'm happy doing what I'm doing. & the fact that we can't just come up with a few thousand dollars to invest in shares.

  6. #6

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    I love being a sahm - I do work, but at night, so my dh gets him... does that count? I couldn't bear the thought of leaving him with a stranger (or family) and going off to work and missing out on all his milestones! He's only little once. When I was pg, I wondered how my sister could do it, but now, I can see why! I love it! I had to wrangle an agreement with dh about it, but it worked out good, coz work wanted someone at night!!

  7. #7
    smiles4u Guest

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    OMG, I can't believe I found this delightful topic .....

    I became a 1st time Mum at 40 ... and DP & I decided together that the best decision for our daughter's upbringing was for me (or he if I was originally earning more than him which I wasn't) to be a SAHM

    DP said he feels so wonderful & secure for our daughter when at work that our daughter's primary carer is one of her parents ... Who could be better we ask !!!!

    We are in a financial situation to be able to & of course I feel incredibly fortunate to do so ... Unlike my sister who had no choice & had to go back to work when her son was only 6mths old. Believe she was a wreck & cried that much the night before going back to work.

    After my being in the workforce for over 20years I was & still am sickened & horrified by the response that society gives to us SAHM's

    Rather than feel congratulated & praised for making the choice in giving up my career to be my daughter's full time carer ... I am looked down upon. That so deeply disgusts me

    Yet who gets the praise ??? ... Is it parents that pay for a stranger to bring up their child whilst they are at work (please I absolutely mean NO disrespect to anyone that does but I don't know anyone that knew the childcare worker BEFORE their 1st or only child was placed in their care) ??? ... I just don't get it ... Why does society look upon us SAHM's this way ???

    I have met some Mother's that have gone back to work as they find it hard to cope with being a SAHM, which is fair enough as I totally understand as I personally find it to be the hardest job I have ever done for many reasons. But I keep sane, active & busy ... and simply cherish the time that I have with my daughter

    PLEASE NOTE : I am not here to cause any arguments on the topic to those that do have their child/children in childcare as I honestly do understand (like my sister's situation & several of my friends) we ALL don't have the opportunity to be a SAHM, and I think usually due to financial situations

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF US MUM'S WHETHER WE ARE SAHM OR NOT

  8. #8

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    I'm about to become a SAHM again after having to go back to work for 12months - my contract with current employer has come to an end and they won't put me onto another project given that I'm pregnant and was looking to finish in November anyway.

    Long story short - I CANNOT WAIT TO BE a full time mum again - the last 12months although financially less pressure have been extremely difficult emotionally and physically - I'm so looking forward to having 1 on 1 time with my gorgeous boy and am also looking forward to arrival of this new baby to join in with the fun.

    I think the only thing that I will do differently this time round is make sure that I at least interact with other mums/children once a week through play group or something like that - I think it will be really beneficial to my and DS well being - but other than that WOOHOO Seeya later WORK

  9. #9

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    yes we SAHM's do get left out of convos and looked down upon cause all we do is sit at home and look after our kids. People just don't realise that we are actually doing the most important job on Earth! Motherhood was always my dream job and i love it (it certainly has had its moments), it has taken over 2 years for me to really get used to the idea of being content with being a SAHM and not feel guilty about not working and earning an income etc, but i am so content right now and DH and I love that I am the one raising our son, not a stranger. I cannot imagine missing out on any of the little milestones that happen each and every day. It is very easy to forget about ourselves and remember to leave the house a few times a week to be with other adults and children, but it makes such a difference to have other mums to chat to about the positives and negatives of being SAHM's.

  10. #10

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    You know, I think this highlights the city v country divide. Out here it is the working mums who cop *the look* and SAHM's are congratulated - especially from older women in my experience. When I had my first baby I got asked all the time was I going to go back to work or not and depending on the age of the person asking I got either the 'oh, I couldn't stay at home, I'm going back to work' (younger women) or "oh, that's really great, children need their mum at home' (older women) when I said I was staying at home. In the city it is almost the norm to go back to work whether it be by choice or by necessity so for someone in the city to say that they are a SAHM it is a big thing because it is just assumed by others that you're going back to work. Out here though it is completely different with almost all mums staying at home for a number of years before entering the workforce again, if at all. There are some who go back before their child is one, but not often. I guess there is just a different value set in country areas that places the importance on staying at home with your children because often we have the luxury of being able to stay at home for longer because the cost of living is so much cheaper so one income is usually more than enough in a lot of cases.

    And yeah, I've had a run in with a career woman (wife of BIL's friend) and she told me that she could never give up her career to change ****ty nappies all day and that I was less of a woman for doing so (yep, she really said that) and I told her "what career? you work in a dead end job in a country town - that's not a bloody career" We don't speak anymore LOL

  11. #11

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    I have spent the last 6 years teaching primary school and have been a SAHM for 4 months now and I love oi! I would not swap it for the world. Sure there are times I miss my old job but only for a moment and usually only a particular aspect of it. I am amazed at how critical people become once I tell them I am a SAHM. One lady at my playgroup was telling us how she got a job part time in a school and wanted to know what everyone else did (which was odd cause most of us are SAHM's) and after that she would only talk to those ladies who worked, weird.

    Anyway i love my DS and anyone who thinks that being at home is not work is not a parent. Its the biggest job of all because it's not just 8 - 5 it's all day everyday for the rest of your childs life. Hey if others think less of me then they can go jump.

  12. #12

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    I agree Macca, its a job just like any other and I don't think women realise just how hard and demanding it can be until they have a child themselves. My hat goes off to mums who do work though because some days I have enough work to do for 10 people, let alone going to work and having to do it all at home - talk about knocking off work to carry bricks....

  13. #13
    paradise lost Guest

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    I think women have it tough both ways. I have a friend who has no kids as yet, but she went to Uni for NINE years to get the career she has. She wants to have kids while she's still young physically, but she really can't SAH and have the career she has worked so hard for. Luckily in her case i think her DP would SAHP, so that might be how they do it, but i know it's something she struggles with.

    I know many many women who bought houses nearly a decade before starting their family, and when the biological tock began to tick they STILL had a decade or more to go on the mortgage, and having paid half of it off i can see why they weren't inclined to downsize in ORDER to have a kid, when most people need/want MORE space, and a BETTER neighbourhood, when they have kids.

    Having said that i too have come across women who looked down on me (very foolish, they won't repeat the mistake let me tell you ) for my decision to raise my kids myself. One said to me i was anti-feminist, and an enemy to educated women, quite quietly in a crowded room, and i replied loudly, "EXCUSE ME if i decided to follow the deeply female activities of pregnancy and birth with the equally female act of nurturing my children. Perhaps YOU feel a 17-year-old you've never met with an NC in childcare can do better than you raising your kids, but i think my skills are just a LITTLE better than that! I still menstruate too, in an era when i could suppress it with drugs and be just like a man - is THAT anti-feminist too?" The whole room turned to look at us and she went beetroot in the long silence that followed. EVentually her DP made a joke to break the atmosphere and i leaned in and smugly said to her " i thought a feminist was a woman who could speak her HERSELF." and wandered off. Amazingly she still speaks to me, but she's never tried to pull that one again!

    Bx

  14. #14

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    I've got a foot in both camps because I've been a SAHM for a year and am now back to work part-time.

    So my perspective is this. I'm an older mum and I think part of being older is not relying on anyone else for my own self-worth. That would be harder if I was younger but I've already been successful career-wise and have heaps of life experience. So if I was to meet someone for the first time and being a SAHM was a conversation-stopper, I'd have lots of other things to talk about.

    If we're talking to women/people who don't have kids, they often don't know what to say if we say we're SAHMs because they don't know where to go with the conversation if we say we've got a 6/9/12 month old. They don't know milestones, they don't know whether to ask if our baby is crawling/walking/talking. In essence, they don't know what to SAY.

    So I think there needs to be a bit of give and take. If you show no interest in the job they're doing and don't say "oh, a legal secretary, what sort of law d'you work in?" then that to me is as dismissive of them as a lack of questions from them is as dismissive as you. Conversation is a two-way street.

    I do think, however, that being a SAHM is much more complicated and emotionally draining than a job and that's pretty difficult to explain.

    It is MUCH easier going to work. When I go to work, I make my To Do list and I gradually work through it.

    When I'm home, I pretty much have the same To Do list every day and I can't always get through it because DD wants to play or wants to 'help'. I can't just start a task and finish it like I can at work and that is frustrating.

    Having said that, being at home is much more rewarding than being at work. I get to play peek-a-boo, I get to watch DD learn new things every day and for every minute of frustration I get much more back in enjoyment.

    And the first thing people have asked me since going back to work is, "oh, who's looking after your daughter?"

    I am quite sure DP has NEVER been asked that question!

    So it's all swings and roundabouts.

  15. #15

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    Fiona - I agree with you. At my age - 24 - there aren't too many mum's around. So when I go out & meet a group of people my age it's hard cos I was pg at 17. I have no idea what to talk to them about besides kids. Unless we gossip about a mutual person we know or something. I have only ever done casual work in a cafe & a pub. Not exactly the type of work you need to be really smart for!
    So SOMETIMES, not all the time, I am made to feel dumb.
    I do know alot of people without kids who have neices & nephews though. That makes things easier.


    I think the whole 'older, younger' mum has very different views too. As I said, I was pregnant with my first at 17, so am a young mum. I think that young SAHM's are looked down on alot more than older SAHM's. We are seen as people who have their babies so they don't have to work & there for don't contribute to society.
    Older mum's are seen as having done their bit & when they SAH it is a little bit more accepted.


    I have a friend atm who is really peed off with the new laws about mothers returning to work when their youngest turns 7. Because she is being made to go back.
    She is 50. Her boys are 16, 17 & 23, but she feels she is still needed at home with the 2 younger ones. They are too old for a baby sitter, but she still feels she needs to be home for them so they don't get up to no good. So they have some supervision. They can do what they like, but someone responsible is there jic.
    Someone is keeping an eye on all the 18 year olds who are new to drinking & all the ones who think they are pro's at it & do stupid things to show off.
    Instead she is being sent off to do all these courses to return to the workforce, which tax payers are paying for, to be able to retire in a few years. She only gets one part payment every few months anyway coz her DH works.

  16. #16

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    Skye I have found since I'm back as a SAHM that my teenagers really appreciate it. Just because they're older doesn't mean they don't enjoy the luxury of having a mum at home. One thing about parentling is that it never ends!

    Fiona I agree with you about having a strong self worth. I had my first child quite young but never felt I had to justify myself as to why I was staying at home. My mum didn't why shouldn't I?

    Life's about choices. Having been both sides of the fence I know that there are sacrifices made no matter what you do. We've put on hold extensions to our house but I wouldn't trade it for the smile I get from Paddy when I get him up from his nap.

  17. #17

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    Teach - I know her boys appreciate it, but thats only coz she's happy to be their slave!
    But I agree with her. She has a very close relationship with them. Even though they are boys, and I think it's coz she is there for them. Anytime they need her, what ever they need her for.

  18. #18

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    I agree that teenagers need to have a parent when they get home from school just as much as a younger child... I swear if I wasn't here when my 13yo DD got home she would be getting into alot more strife than she does because I am here. This is quite a revelation... I always thought that I would resume my career when my youngest was at school... maybe I will but now that I realise that kids these days have access to more "trouble" than I did as a teen coming home to an empty house, in the country, in the 1980's. It's a very different world for my children...

    Regarding feeling undervalued as a SAHM... I don't care as much as I used to. It used to get me really down... but as i get older I realise more and more often that most people are "doing it all wrong" I follow my intuition whereas others follow the bucks. I reap rewards from following my gut feeling to be at home with my kids whereas I am already seeing my peers are no happier or problem-free for following the money by "needing" two incomes. I don't judge them unless they judge me... live and let live and all... somedays I say to my DH "I need to get a job so I can have a break!!!" (I discovered that returning to work was easier when my DD was 2.5yo and went to Family Day Care twice a week so I could work as a receptionist. But the easiest path isn't necessarily the best.

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