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Old 12-16-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default stay home mom vs. working mom

I have been both. I currently work part-time. I just went to a gathering the other night with old friends. I quickly realized I had been put into the sahm(stay at home mom) catagory and felt the sting of disrespect. This has happened before and each time I didn't see it coming.

A female friend talked past me to another mutual friend as if I wouldn't really understand her business talk. As if I wouldn't get it or be interested in her work life. I was more than interested, I replied, I totally understood and participated in the conversation. But it was obvious that there was a lack of respect. And definitely, no interest in my "work".

Another time I was at my husbands work dinner and his boss acted as though I was a shut in. That was a horrible evening.

When I got home from this last gathering, I was really upset. Of course, I came home to a handful of mom problems. As if no one can get by with me being gone for 2 freakin' hours. That was the icing on the cake. No paycheck for that days work.

I wouldn't trade my mom time for anything. I know how lucky I am. But I also feel the sting of the other females that can't relate.

Is there really such a divide? Aren't we all working towards the same thing in the end? Why do we need to put the "others" in a group or put them down?

Anyone else having this problem? It's probably just me being super sensitive right now. Just needed some support.....
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
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I'm sorry they treated you that way! I am so fortunate that all my friends are SAHMs or work outside the home but aren't judgmental about my decisions, thus making things easy. But outside of my little circle? The fact that I was a housewife, then a SAHM and a homeschooler, to boot? I definitely get rude comments about it.

I hate the notion that SAHMs hold so little societal value, as though it doesn't take ingenuity and intellect and isn't hard work, or doesn't hold any real benefit. It is SO far from the truth. It is a different skillset and has different requirements from their job, perhaps, but is no less valuable or stimulating. Homemaking and raising children is very much what you make of it - someone assuming I have nothing to contribute to a conversation or no real skills or interests to cultivate and share is ignorant, and it benefits me greatly to remind myself that it's their prejudice to shoulder and doesn't need to get me down.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:26 AM   #3
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I think part of it is jealousy. I was always planning on being a SAHM, but its just not in the stars for me for at least 10 years. We just can't do it right now...not just moneywise, but I need my job primarily for the great insurance.

I think that a lot of working moms also feel judged for working and leaving their kids at daycare or a babysitter...I would assume that most of the hostility and indifference stems from them being self conscious about being a working mom.

Of course, there are those who really do look down on SAHMs and think they should contribute more. And there are SAHMs who make working moms feel like crap too. ("Oh, I could never leave my child with a stranger...It must be so hard for you to leave your child for so long each day.") It goes both ways, and I think that those stigmas affect how people act.

I don't think there's as much of a divide as just self conscious people projecting their insecurities about choice of SAHM or WM.

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Last edited by ArtyKay; 12-17-2011 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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Arctic Mama - I agree totally. You've said everything I wanted to say.

Did you know that in Germany you always get paid a decent figure for each kid - and you are allowed to take off a whopping 2 years after your child is born?? That means you will be paid by your employer each month (not the entire amount, but a good amount) to care for your child. And I think the situation in Sweden is even better. Also, if the mother wants to continue working, the father can take the two years off instead? Not everyone takes this much time away from work, but it is at least a possibility.

America sucks in this regard - royally. Sorry, I know my lovely examples aren't going to help your situation.

First, women - your female friend talking past you to another! How enraging! She is your friend? really?

Second, your husband's boss - I wouldn't have expected any more from him. This is a guess, but he has probably got where he is because he can effectively make others feel small, thus exercising a sort of mental control over them. It is manipulating behavior, comes natural to some, unfortunately people buy it (I'm not saying anything about your husband, he didn't promote his boss to that position). I'm not trying to offend anyone- there are also people who are in managerial positions because of their skills and ability to work well with others.

But if your husband's boss made you feel uncomfortable and lowly, I tend to think he has the same effect on others.

I don't have any children, but I can identify with how you feel in another way. I know how angering and painful it is: Many Germans treat me like I have the intelligence of a teenager at best. There are very few foreigners that ever learn German successfully, it is a super complex language. I still make small mistakes and have an accent of course. In America, we are very used to hearing broken/incorrect English. Germans aren't used to hearing their language spoken incorrectly. Somehow they end up thinking that my few grammar errors or my odd wording is a sign that I'm not as intelligent as the rest.

This is especially disheartening for me, particularly because I just spent the last 10 years of my life studying/working at university.

But what can you do? Say "Hey Listen to me! Don't you know how capable and intelligent I am?" Heehee

Anyway, people stink.
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:43 PM   #5
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I knew you guys would come through for me. Yes, sometimes people stink. I think the situation with DH's boss was totally about his people skills. He knew how to put me down. Thanks for pointing that out. It wasn't just me he's belittled.

As for the the friend- no not so much a friend, I think I took it personally when really, it was more of a case of her needing to feel superior. In hindsight, I can see that it was something that I shouldn't have taken to heart.

I stayed home with my kids because I couldn't make enough to pay for childcare. I know we all have our reasons, but it in our case it wasn't worth it financially. I stayed home to save money. But, whatever the reason, we all want what is best for our kids.

I have my head straight now. Thanks for the reminder! My kids are good, I'm doing good, I just need to remember that it's all worth while!

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