Aren't you just sick of working moms looking down at you?

India
September 7, 2008 8:49pm CST
At the onset let me make it clear, this is a very very personal opinion and not a general comment on working moms at all. The day I started staying at home to take care of my infant, looks like I became dumb in front of many working women who leave their children behind everyday to go to work. I admire them, but the feeling is not reciprocated. Its been more than 2 years now, but it still hurts me when some of them ask "so what do you do at home?" or "how can you even stay home for one single day, my god I would get bored to death!". Now I believe that staying at home or going to work after having a child is a personal preference based on many things, if I can and want to stay at home, how does that make me uninteresting, naive and lagged behind? How does it amount to "not doing anything"?? I am there for my child, still a toddler, still dependant on me for most things, 24 hours a day, so how does that make me useless? I never pass judgement on working moms who leave their babies at a daycare, because I know she must be thinking of her child all the time, but at the same time i hate it when working moms try and make me feel inferior. This is my choice and if I am happy about it, they should not have anything harsh to say about it.
4 people like this
20 responses
• Canada
8 Sep 08
I know exactly how you feel as this is the same impression I get . I stay home with my children and because of this I am treated as if I am either too lazy to go to work every day or as I were to stupid to be able to do it . For me it is a personal choice, I feel that children are only small once and they grow much to fast and want to be there for them . I did work for a short period of time last year and one of my teenagers was devestated that I wasn't home all the time and she was making things difficult so I ended up giving up my job to stay at home with the children all the time . The heat I took for this was ridiculous . Instead of family and friends supporting my decision they made rude comments about how I couldn't allow my children to control me or that it must be nice to be able to sit on my butt all day and not have to worry about money . The truth is we don't have a lot of money and could use the extra income but both my husband and I agreed that it would be best for me to stay home with the children and I don't want to look back on things when I am much older and wish that I had been able to spend more time with my children because I was working all the time . I respect all those who do work and come home to take care of their children but would like to have the same respect especially with family and friends . And like you pointed out this is our choice to make and really should be no buisness of theirs if the only thing they have to say is to somehow put down who we are as people . Take Care:)
2 people like this
• India
8 Sep 08
Family and friends should respect each other's choices and if they can not, either ways they should mind their own business.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
10 Sep 08
As I was reading this, I felt like I was reading MY OWN POST! Fortunately I do have a group of friends who are also stay at home moms so it isn't as bad as it used to be. Every single one of us worked full time for years before we had kids! I don't happen to have a degree but some of my friends do, and they even (gasp) used those degrees in the job field they went to college for before having kids! I really don't know where somebody gets off thinking that people don't actually choose to be home to raise their kids. If you aren't doing it, who do they think does? Daycare? When my youngest was younger, she was so very clingy I couldn't even leave her with daddy much less her brother and sister. If I'd tried to leave her with somebody else, she would have screamed all day long. It's also really expensive to pay for daycare, especially if due to a commute you need one that operates outside 'normal' business hours. I tried working part time twice, the first time was at my gym. I was able to bring my daughter and it was supposed to be temporary/part time while one girl was on maternity leave. I won't go into what happened except that it dragged on much longer than the maternity leave because the girl never came back. My teenagers had some emergencies, generally happening on ANY day that I had to work. They, too, were used to me being home and because I wasn't there, I think my older daughter was finding ways of trying to make sure I would be. I quit when things came to a head. Then I tried doing childcare for one toddler from my home. This started out okay except I was doing it VERY cheaply and ended up having her for 10+ hours a day. This cut into my family time and started to cause problems again. When it comes down to it, it isn't about 'children controlling you' I don't think. When I think about that aspect, that's more like a kid preventing you from going to the grocery store or to run an errand because they threaten a meltdown. In that case I always go anyway and if they have a meltdown, oh well. I can't order pizza 3 days in a row because x kid doesn't want to be dragged to the store so I can cook. When it comes to their well-being because a parent isn't home though, I'd rather be home. My daughter had SAID she didn't mean for me to quit but what she didn't say showed all over her face when I was home when she got off the bus from school. Even my husband felt I was being taken advantage of at both part time jobs and he noticed I was under a lot of stress. I know even more than I did before I was a parent that you cannot have it all. If you spend all your time with your kids, you get blessed that way, which may not be financial but is worth so much more. If you spend all your time on a career, you miss a LOT as far as your family, and my husband can attest to that. He admits that he is better able to handle missing those things than I could, not that he wants to but he can stand it. Either way, you can't have both and you can't have all. Those who say you can have your cake and eat it too in this situation are truly delusional. The only time you could actually have it all is if you were home with your kids during the day and then worked a partial graveyard type shift while the kids were asleep and could somehow function on less than 4 hours of sleep a night. It would still make you less productive though because you'd have to split your time between two things, that part never changes.
• United States
8 Sep 08
I began staying home 8 years ago when I got pregnant. Even my family treated me like I was a drain on society. I am not unemployed. I work from 5:00 am to 7:30 Pm on kids then I get to take a few minutes for me and get ready for tomorrow. I know I work harder now then I ever did in the work force. What do we do all day, everything and then some! This was the right choice for us, not for everyone. We are able to scrape by on one income and we are happy to make the sacrafice to make it work. I try not to judge others choices but I wish they wouldnt judge mine.
1 person likes this
• India
8 Sep 08
Making it on just one income is so difficult these days, yet when I weigh my choices, raising a child seems more important to me, everybody doesn't have to agree with me but they need not condemn my choice either.
• United States
8 Sep 08
Let me start by saying I am so glad I found this conversation. This is all EXACTLY how I have been feeling. I have also been home for over 8 years. I have two children, the youngest being 5 and she just started kindergarten this week. We have struggled financially to allow for me to stay home and raise the kids. I wouldn't trade that. Not only do I feel judged but others, but I am starting now to feel punished for choosing to raise my family. With both kids in school, I thought I would try to get a part time job outside of the home to bring in some extra money. Yet, because I chose to stay home all of these years, no one wants to hire me! Just because I love my family and choose to put them first does not mean that I have no brain or that I am not good at other things as well. But without that 8 years filled in on a resume with work experience, I'm just another lazy, unintelligent female. It is so frustrating!
• India
9 Sep 08
And that scares me too, what if, when my kids are a little grown up and I want to go back, no one hires me? But I am sure it is just a matter of getting one break, same it will be for you. Keep faith and start with whatever you can get, it is a sad truth of today's life, people who stay at home are regarded as not intelligent, a myth which we got to shatter. Best of Luck.
@chai37 (142)
• Philippines
8 Sep 08
I'm not married or with a kid but i know exactly how you feel. you should not pay attention to these people and you shouldn't even bother listening to them. you made have your choice and that's it, if you're happy then to hell with them. I posted 40 tips to make your life better...check it out maybe it would help you.
1 person likes this
• India
8 Sep 08
I sure will check them out, thanks for the response.
@chai37 (142)
• Philippines
8 Sep 08
no problem, glad i could help. :)
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
8 Sep 08
Moms have never gotten the respect that their "job" deserves. Look at Sarah Palin - she's being critisized cause she's a working mom, but if she wasn't a working woman, she wouldn't be deemed qualified to be VP. Kind of dang if she works, dang if she don't. IT's the same with all working/non working moms. THrough in just cause you are at home, doesn't mean you aren't "working". I don't think most of the working moms that put SAHM's down could handle a day in the life of a SAHM. It'd kill them! At work, things are specified and by the book and guidelines and all that. At home, with kids, anything can and probably will happen and no schedule or agenda or business meeting can ward it off! Working you don't have to start till 8am and get to stop at 5pm. SAHM start the minute their eyes open and don't stop until they close nad that is only providing all is well through the night! I admire both trades of mom's, and think that one deeming the other is just stupid and deserves a "time out" to think about what they have done. That is what they'd both do to the kid that said similar!!!!
1 person likes this
• India
8 Sep 08
We work day and night without a pay only to hear something like this " what to you do"? its irritating !
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
8 Sep 08
When people would ask me that, I would say "well what do you do at your job?" and they'd say someting and I'l throw in "oh, I do that to...." and explain how I do the near similar thing and they'd look at me like a calf looking at a new fence!!! They were shocked that I gave them that response to their amazing answer and then not have a response to what I said!!! I literally compared both jobs, showing them that they are near identical, just mine is without pay and they couldn't understand it.. Of course, they made a quick exit!!! And on the other hand as a working mom - I worked before I left for work, worked all day and then worked as soon as I got home until I fell asleep - and they coudln't understand that either!
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
8 Sep 08
A relative asked my what I did all day. I told her that I do all the things for my child that she pays someone else to do.
1 person likes this
• India
8 Sep 08
That was a smart retort !
• United States
8 Sep 08
Working moms have it so so so much easier. I wish they would try being with a child 24/7 for once.
1 person likes this
• India
8 Sep 08
yes and than they would know how much it tests your patience !
@makingpots (11920)
• United States
8 Sep 08
I have a working sister who likes to slide in comments through the back door about my not getting things done 'even though I'm a stay at home mom'. She doesn't seem to realize that the whole reason I stay home with him is to spend the majority of my time with him, teaching him to learn, grow and adjust to the world around him. Some times I think se must believe I let him watch cartoons all day will I eat bon bons.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
8 Sep 08
Plus, a house is easy to keep clean, when you are out all day working.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
8 Sep 08
There's no one there to mess it up. No lunch to make. No dishes to wash. No toys, toys, toys to pick up.No crafts to put away etc.
@makingpots (11920)
• United States
8 Sep 08
good point.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
8 Sep 08
Staying home is a sacrifice and should be admired. I think that women on both side of the issue are questioning their own judgement and are always looking for a way to validate their own choice. Maybe putting down stay-at-homes just means they are insecure in their own decision to go to work outside the home. Let's be kinder to each other. We are all raising the nest generation.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
8 Sep 08
typo. Not "nest" but "next". Sorry.
• India
8 Sep 08
Well said !
• United States
8 Sep 08
Hi Serenidity, I am a full time mom to a two year old ! This is a choice over a corporate life that I used to have. I gave up my dream job for the sake of my family, and that is my choice ! Nobody could ever make judgement on me or my decision because I stayed at home 24 hours a day and does not earn a single penny. Taking good care of my husband and daughter has no price tag, no amount of money could pay for that. Raising a kid is no joke, 24 hours a day 7 days a week and no day offs at all. And they could not say that you are not working ! you are working all day long ! So, stay at home moms, we should be proud because we have the opportunity to take good care of our family, we are there on every single moments for our children, we witness every remarkable things that they do, and we experienced how great and wonderfull they are ! So, held your head up high !
• India
8 Sep 08
Taking care of family is sadly no longer regarded as something noble or prestigious in the society today which becomes more materialstic and fast paced with each day, but you are right, I should hold my head high up, it isn't what everybody can do these days.
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
8 Sep 08
That's what the working world wants you to think, but you don't have to subscribe to this view of a homemaker's role. Unlike other vocations, the prestige and economic value of this role is not measured in dollars and cents.
• United States
8 Sep 08
With me, I have been both. I used to be a single mom. I left my ex husband due to abuse when my son was just about to turn 2. From then, for 4 years i was a single mom. At the time, i couldn't choose to stay at home with my son. But after i met my fiance (current) I still worked for 2-3 more years. But i had changed shifts at my job so when he wasn't in school, i would be home with him. I got hurt on my job and that put me out of work and i haven't been able to work since. So now i am a stay at home mom and i haven't regretted it since. Children do grow up fast and if you don't pay attention, you will miss it. For some people, it is a choice to stay at home with their kids and there is NOTHING wrong with it. And when other people look down on them for doing so, like the one person earlier said, "it must be nice for you to be able to stay at home and not work" I say screw those people for saying that. In my opinion, when they make those kind of remarks, it just shows that they are jealous because they can't do the same. I realize it most on how fast my son has grown, is when i look back at the videos i have taken of him when he was younger and i think to myself, "lord, he has grown up soo quickly, where has the time gone?" So, for those moms who can stay at home with their kids, even if they are in school, i say more power to ya. Don't listen to those who look down on you because they are just jealous because they can't afford to do the same.I know, I've been there. But i have never looked down on anyone because they stayed at home...even if they were the ones who just didn't want to work. If they choose to live that life, so be it, it isn't my life so it isn't my business. But anyhow, if you are(or not) a stay at home mom, cherish every day the time spent with your kids. If you don't, you may regret it later in life. Always love them as if they were not gonna be there tomorrow. Because you never know what tomorrow may bring. Anything is possible and anything could happen at any given moment. Life is too precious and too short.
• United States
8 Sep 08
oh yea, just to make it clear..lol..when i said the quote, "must ben ice to bea bale to stay home" i was just quoting what the other person said in their comment, NOT that they said it...just to keep it clear..didn't want any confusion..bye!
• India
8 Sep 08
I guess they are jealous to some extent after all, just like I envy working moms sometimes (not all the time) but I don't let it cloud my judgement of them.
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
8 Sep 08
The community I use to live in was sort of that way, where I live now it is quite opposite. There are a ton of SAHM and the ones that do work full time and have to put their kids in daycare are looked down upon. I think what you are doing is awesome. I was lucky enough to stay at home all summer with my son and I am starting a job that works around the school year, so I will be home when he is off of school. I do not believe any child should be put in daycare, before or after care or anything like that - ever.
• India
8 Sep 08
You are very lucky in that case.
@tismesara (113)
• United States
8 Sep 08
i get the same reaction. i used to be up and ready for work at 4:30 am, then i got pregnant and HAD to stay home, then chose to after my baby was born... well, 2 babies down and i still stay at home. there arent many moms that work that really realize what it takes to stay home. they go to work, have someone else raise their kids and many times (not all times so dont yell at me) come home just to feed and put their kids to bed. they dont (many of them not all) spend much time with their kids. i think that staying home is one of the most glorious things a mom can do! what do we do all day? clean, teach, cook, shop, and oh so much more!!! does it get boring? how could it when you have such a wonderful lil one that wants to learn so much. the thing i wish is that i did have more adults to speak with!! LOL! i find myself talking in very simple terms to everyone so they "understand"!!! anyway, this is just MY opinion!
• India
8 Sep 08
We miss out on office life and probably a career, they miss out on the precious hours in the lives of their kids, each must choose and respect the other's choice.
@tammytwo (4302)
• United States
8 Sep 08
I have been on both sides of the fence. When my children were small I stayed at home and even did home daycare so that I could be with them and still make money. It isn't easy and I used to hate it when people would ask my husband "Does your wife work?' I would tell him he!! yeah I work, we have three kids. What the heck do people think I am doing with my time at home? Now as a working mom I never look down on a mom that chooses to be home with her children. I know it takes a lot of patience and it can sometimes be very depressing when you haven't enjoyed the conversation of adults for a day or two. When you do finally have a conversation with an adult you don't want them putting you down because YOU are raising your child. They wouldn't want you to do the same to them for being in the workfield. Keep on doing what you are doing and don't let the snide remarks hinder your goal of raising healthy, happy children.
• India
8 Sep 08
I wish atleast your ( in this case mine) closed ones would be more considerate!
@rainmark (4302)
8 Sep 08
I am also a fulltime mom, never been working because i am looking my baby 24/7 and it's hard work compare your job at the office but it's rewarding, i feel pitty to those baby's leaving at home to thier nanny's because thier mom going to find a penny for a living, so what if i stay at home? i never feel inferior of it, it's not boring or it's not nothing to look after your own baby,we have given a chance to see every development in them.well even i am looking my baby and without a job our life is better than those who are working really hard, atleast we can eat three times a day,we can buy whatever we want, we can do shopping and make our life happy because we look after our family, it's just our first priority is our baby. We can have a career when they are big enough. So be proud that youa re fulltime mom!
• India
8 Sep 08
yes, my priority is my baby, I wonder why it is so threatening to some people ? thanks for the response.
@jillhill (37379)
• United States
8 Sep 08
One of my daughters also stays home....and gets the same kind of flack that you do.....and disrespect sometimes. But her daughter is older now which frees her up to volunteer to be a room mother (this is a good point to bring up when your child gets a little older that because they work they can't volunteer) she also does other volunteering for the school etc....who would do that if someone wasn't free to do it? You have every right to do what fits your families needs...and don't worry about the others!
• United States
8 Sep 08
I couldn't agree with you more. Despite that I didn't get as much as bad and negative words from working moms, in my area, there are lots of moms that are working moms that understand me since I am a sahm (stay at home mom). We as a sahm are lucky enough to not miss anything of what our lik ones do on a daily basis. I am planning to go to school this coming fall and will be out of the house for at least 3 hours and twice a week. My hon and his mom will help me take care of them while I am gone. I chose to do that so then I can get my translation biz rolling. I plan to do that with my freelance writing career that I decided to get into since July 26. Being a stay at home mom gives us more option to make income at home as well. Think about it. There are lots of stay at home moms who own their own business as well as telecommute from home. One mom I met recently in person gets to work at home for a company in my local area that have to do with adult education. Find lots of ways to make income at home while at the same time be able to watch your child. I have three girls. One is already in school and the second one will be going to head start sometime this month. My hon and his mom will help me watch the 8 month old baby while I'm at my local community college. Show them that there is more to life of being a sahm than being a mom who works away from her child and not see what that child does on a daily basis.
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
8 Sep 08
I know of many learned women who decided to give up their job to be at home, permanently or temporarily, for their children. Let me quote you two cases of people whom I know who made such decisions. One is my elder sister, and the other a church friend. My sister graduated with a Social Science Honours degree and worked as a social worker with a government department. Not long after, she went abroad for a year when her husband was sent overseas for a scholarship. When she returned and had a child, she decided to give up working to look after her child. She had a 2nd child soon after. She spent quality time looking after her children and at the same time did some tuition at home. Her sacrifice paid off. Today, her two children are one a doctor and another a dentist. They were great kids when they were growing up, and became wonderful God-fearing, brilliant, obedient and filial adults. My sister could have had a fulfilling corporate career if she had worked outside all her life, but she feels that no amount of money from working and being away from her children can pay for the kind of upbringing her children received and the type of bond she and her children had established by her being around for them when they were growing up. The other case is that of a church friend of mine who has worked about 8 years. She is married with 2 small children about to start school. She is both a university graduate and a lawyer by profession. Recently at a dinner, she was sitting at my table. In our discussions, she revealed to me that she was about to quit her job to stay at home, although she had not decided if this was going to be for a short term or permanent. Imagine a lawyer about to give up a lucrative career and the potential to make a very good income. She explained to me that she made this decision because her children had been in the care of a foreign maid since birth (because both husband and wife were working), and it is a significant price for her to pay if she continues to work long hours each day at the office, and never really takes the time to see her children actually grow up when they go through their learning years, teach them good moral and value systems, nurture them into good wholesome teenagers and adults and bond closer with them as parents and children. Obviously money is not the important criteria in her making this decision, otherwise she will just carry on working. The trade-off she is making in her case cannot be quantified. What this lady is about to do is forward-looking. She is investing in her children's future, and there will be paybacks later on in their lives. Serenidity, whatever decision you have made about staying home, take heart, stick to it, hold your head up high, be proud you made that decision and don't be influenced by what others think, because only you (and not them) know what's best for your family situation and circumstances. The working mums really have no right to judge you. The women I have described above made such decisions in their lives and I'd say they made very prudent decisions for the sake of their families. I'm confident that your decision will prove to be prudent too if you had made it with the right intentions and priority for your family. ~ Victor
• India
8 Sep 08
Thanks for sharing the experiences of your friends, it gives me hope.
@shana123 (2096)
• India
9 Sep 08
Im one among the peopl who has considered you inferior i actually used to ask my mom and even othrs that how could they stay at home one whole day as when we are in summer holidays after college we feel very bored to stay at home , only now after reading your discussion i can really feel that those words are really hurting people like you.. may be because im a small girl people never took me wrong as im asking them these question out of curiosity and ignorance but from now on i shouldn't ask such questions i dont think your inferior i have special respect to moms who really sacrifice their career for their kids..
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I don't understand this myself. To my way of thinking, 'working' is relative. The whole 'looking down' thing only occurs because ONE group gets PAID and the other doesn't, at least as far as monetarily in a paycheck. OR perhaps it has to do with a misconception that somebody who is educated doesn't just stay at home. They would be surprised. Being knowledgable and intelligent doesn't necessarily mean you WANT to be working. Think about it this way. Most husbands and fathers work. This doesn't mean that MOST husbands and fathers ALSO run all the errands, clean the house, shop, cook, chauffeur kids around to school, sports, ballet, the mall, appointments, etc. Why don't most men do this? I don't think they could. If you are a mom, period, you already have a full time job. I mean full time as in 24/7, not 40 hours a week. If you also work on top of this (the 40 hour a week thing), this means you have to take that 40 hours PLUS commute time out of your total pool of time. This is time you cannot be there with your kids and for your kids. This is time you most likely are paying somebody ELSE to be there with your kids, therefore you not only give up that time with your kids, you PAY somebody else. Sounds backwards. There is nothing DUMB about somebody who chooses purposely not to work outside her home! These days it means you're pretty well off because who can afford to not have two or three incomes? People really should stop thinking that it's easy or that it means somebody is dumb. Many moms who are full time moms and don't have secondary employment did work and had a career for years before having kids. They saved and put aside some of this money in order to prepare for staying home with kids, or they changed their lifestyle in order to be able to not have to work and raise kids. In my opinion, this is SMART, not DUMB. I actually admire people who can multitask this way. If you can take care of kids well AND your home, AND your marriage, AND your friends, AND yourself and do it all at the same time while working full time, sure I admire you. I know that I cannot in any way, shape, or form make sure that all of those things get equal value without suffering if *I* worked full time, so I don't. It's like a house of cards, ONE thing gets out of whack and the whole thing just crumbles. If you can, that is great, but there is a HECK of a lot of people who CAN'T, and that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with us if we can't. It just means you're like super duper great if you can. I think it's a stretch for people who do it, it is not the norm, it's not easy, and not everybody can do it. Another huge misconception is the whole 'stay at home' thing. Just because someone is not EMPLOYED outside their home doesn't mean they actually stay at home. They may be involved in a LOT of activities and do things with kids and friends all day and all evening. They might even make some money doing certain things from home but not go on and on about it because it's not what somebody would survive on, just something 'extra'. It's not a career, and it doesn't define them or who they are. I think it's purely a choice, there is nothing inferior either way - unless you are leaving your kids because you prefer somebody else raises them because your career is more important - but that's a different subject I suppose. I kind of think that when you have kids, the kids should have an edge when it comes down to what is more important, so I don't see putting a career first. I understand that you need to have an income, and I'm not complaining about that aspect, but when it's all about 'I love my career' vs 'I love my kids', I think that the kids should win, hands down, every time, without question.
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
8 Sep 08
I've done both. I've worked out of the home and in it. Working outside the home was hard, because I didn't like leaving my child at daycare and at the end of the day, my boss wouldn't always let me leave on time. Then I was late picking my child up from daycare. Head home and have to cook, clean and get ready for another work day. I hated it because I felt that I didn't really have enough time with my child during the work week. If my child was sick and I had to take off work, my boss would call me in to speak to me about my absences from work. You try to squeeze in some fun on the weekends while at the same time trying to do all the household chores that didn't get done during the week. Working outside of the home is no picnic. Staying at home is no picnic, either. SAHMs never get a break. We're on 24/7. There's no morning break, lunch break, no TGIF. Every day is the same. There's a ton of work to be done here and unlike working outside the home, your job assignments are never completed. There's never a pat on the back from "the boss". There's never a lull in what needs to be done here at home. Just when you think you're going to catch a break, there's another catastrophe that needs to be dealt with. I do get upset at some of the moms from school who feel that since I'm a SAHM, I should be 100% involved in every school activity. Some of those moms work outside the home and some don't. I don't like the fact that they feel that since they have spare time on their hands, that I must too. I don't like the fact that too many women don't bother getting to know someone before making judgments about them. I really wish that all women could just look at each other and say - working outside the home or in it, raising children is a tough job - and call it a day!