In Budgeting, Discussions, Discussions, Life, Money, Parenting, Wealth

Working Mother shaming & why we need to just STFU

I just got judged by my neighbour the other day. I was kind of chuckling at the judgment but we’ll get to why later on.

She basically said to a room full of mothers and fathers:

I don’t understand or respect women who want to go back to work.

I mean, I can respect women who go back to work because they have to make money OF COURSE, but if you don’t need the money, why not stay at home and nurture your child?

….Where do I even begin?

city-life-new-york-city-landscape-travel-work

1. THE YEARS DO FLY BY

I can see her point to some extent.

Baby Bun is a little over 2 years old and I can already feel the march of time. He is so much bigger, sturdier, stronger and more vocal.

I am nostalgic for his newborn days and when he was just a little itty bitty thing.

He now has opinions, he is playful, sweet, naughty and sometimes very hard to convince that vegetable soup is not something I’ve dreamed up to make him unhappy, but otherwise, he is very good.

I can understand the pull to stay at home to watch him grow bit by bit (his head is almost clear over our dinner table now!!!!!) … and to hear him say more words, put thoughts and concepts together and do super cute, obviously learned-from-mommy-and-daddy things like grab a napkin from a counter and clean up after himself, then put the napkin in the laundry to wash.

(Seriously. I just recorded it.. )


2. WHAT ABOUT THE FATHERS?

Why don’t men get judged?

Why are mothers judging other mothers?

We’re doing this to ourselves and then men just jump on the bandwagon and say: You said it first!

I certainly don’t blame them for doing so either.

Frankly, she should look at her own situation and wonder why her husband chooses to work when he is independently wealthy instead of staying at home with her and the baby.

He doesn’t need the money, as she is often repeating, over and over again (probably more as a way to soothe herself for the days when she feels like a single mother), but why is he working then?

He hasn’t been home for more than a day a week since that child was born and she complains about it ALL THE TIME.

In contrast, my partner and I both sat down and talked it over, and we decided together as a family that we would stop traveling outside of the city so that we were BOTH at home with Baby Bun while he is young and growing.

We don’t want to miss those years by being in another city, alone, eating in front of the hotel TV while trying to Skype with the family at home.

work-career-desktop-paper-pen-study-computer

3. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WANTING TO WORK

It seems to be okay for a father to moan and groan, saying:

I cannot wait to get back to work and not deal with the kids. I miss working.

In some cases fathers have even said to my face that women are “better equipped and more likely to be the ones to stay at home because BIOLOGICALLY we are meant to do this childrearing more than men are”.

(Oh the field day I had…)

.. but if a mother says it, she’s a bad mother. She doesn’t love her family or her child enough to want to stay at home and be with them 24/7 instead of working.

Work brings a lot more than just money. It brings independence, a break from your child so you can appreciate them more and have more patience for their tantrums and shenanigans (true story), and not only that, you get to interact with adults all day long.

Unless you have a steady playgroup to take them to, it can become extremely overwhelming to be at home all day with a toddler or children with no adult interaction.

You’re starved for it by the time your partner cruises in the door and they’re exhausted from work too, but may think you’ve just been lying around on the couch all day doing nothing.

4. I AM NOT SACRIFICING MY LIFE FOR MY BABY

Yes, he is mine. Yes he is adorable, sweet, yadda yadda yah. … but I am my own person too. I am not some self-sacrificing mother who thinks her child is the center of her universe and I should give every single bit of myself to him with nothing leftover for myself.

I need to be myself too.

apartment-live-home-house-family-sitting-zen-relax

5. SHE TENDS TO BE A BIT .. OPINIONATED, LIKE YOURS TRULY

So we were also discussing perhaps moving to a smaller place to save on rent, and she totally flipped out on me.

She shrieked at me with this horrified look on her face and said:

YOU NEED TO THINK OF YOUR SON!!!!

What is he going to do when he’s older and wants to be in his own room? You have to think of him too!!

I just about lost it.

You would have thought I had just announced I would drop him off at the adoption agency and pick him up 18 years later.

I AM thinking of Baby Bun.

I am thinking of the money we will save, the fact that with that saved money we will be able to be a little more lax in taking contracts and stay at home with him a bit longer rather than working, and that we will not have to worry about retirement.

Or that maybe once my car breaks down, I can go out and easily buy another one with cash rather than freaking out about how to get him to places without having to liquidate my investments.

I kept it together, and the other parents were looking at her and me like: Whoa. 

But I took the high road, didn’t say anything and said:

It would only be for now, temporarily to save money, and when he wants his own room, we’ll figure out a space for him.

Either we section off the living room so he has his own spot, or we halve the bedroom, or whatever we can come to as a decision.

She was in total disbelief.

…but people around the world LIVE LIKE THIS.

I mean, I read in the past they used to put babies in drawers as ‘beds’.

My partner himself grew up in a bachelor apartment with 2 other siblings and his parents in the same room.

A bedroom for each child is a luxury and I certainly didn’t want it when I was younger; I always ended up sleeping with my siblings at night until I was much older, in my pre-teens.

apartment-work-home-live-house

I held my tongue but if I wanted to be absolutely rude beyond belief I could have said:

It is very easy to say whatever you want when you pay absolutely NOTHING for everything you have.

Her husband is independently wealthy but it wasn’t with her that he made the money. They met after he was rich.

He pays for everything. Literally everything. She has not had to fork over a SINGLE PENNY for anything, and has kept her own savings from when she worked.

He also gives her an allowance.


She just has a credit card she uses & he clears it.

He bought the place they own completely on his own.

They are thinking of buying a second apartment and expanding into it, whereby they will then take over half the floor of the building.

So as you can see, it is easy to spend other people’s money and judge them for not spending more or less when you don’t value it the same way they do.

I myself have saved every penny and worked hard for my money.

work-career-stars-dream-world-travel

I am CHOOSING to downgrade and pay LESS rent (saving about $500 a month after taxes or $6000 a year) because it means I have lower living expenses and maybe I could really live off my dividend income while Baby Bun is under 5 years old.

Sure, with my money I could easily afford to stay where I am but for now and the next 5-ish years, I am seeing that Baby Bun (with his personality) wants to sleep with us and stay close to us.

Therefore, why have a second bedroom when it’s just dead space?

We’re using it for storage. We don’t need it for now.

When he gets older, we’ll move again, to a bigger place.

*sigh*

Mommy Wars.

She is also super competitive in wanting to prove her son is just like mine or better.

Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

Previous PostIn the world of Save. Spend. Splurge.
Next PostJune 2016 Budget Roundup = $506,737.70 or an increase of +11,384.98 or 2.25%

8 Comments

  1. Elisa

    She sounds like someone with a major self-esteem problem. I feel sorry for her. Be sure–she knows she lives off her husband’s money/work, and whether she realizes it or not, that does not lead to feeling accomplished. Best she can do is to criticize others for what she does not dare to do. I worked until 70, and, in the process, my son became an extremely successful man, and a very loving and caring father and husband. When he was in high school, he proudly told me that I was not a very convential Mom, and he liked that! Keep doing what you are doing, and work should be part of it, if it leads to your financial stability and independence.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I am definitely going to keep working and bringing in money even if I don’t technically have to until Baby Bun is older. I think it shows him that women are strong, equal providers in the home and it will be his basis for future relationships.

      Reply
  2. Maria

    sleeping with your sibling is one thing, with your parents another, my dad was the youngest of a big family and due to lack of space he had to sleep in a bed n the same room with his mum and dad and he really was not comfortable about it when they were intimate.

    Reply
    1. K

      Sleeping the the same room as your child does not have to mean you have sex in the same room as your child.

      Pretty sure that is some kind of abuse.

      There are plenty of place to have sex that are not in a bed if you use your imagination.

      Reply
      1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

        Haha, thank you for the laugh.

        I think though in Japan, I read somewhere that sometimes kids could hear their parents having sex beside them in bed as they all slept together in one room. Can’t recall the book .. or article.. but it stuck in my head.

        Reply
    2. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Yes, I slept with my siblings for comfort… my partner used to sleep on the floor of his parents’ room because he was most secure with them versus siblings. Maybe his siblings also snored & kicked. HAHA.

      Reply
  3. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    That. Woman!!!

    Ugh.

    People can’t seem to make their decisions about their own lives and be content, they need to pick at everyone else’s to be happy by putting them down or judging them. I probably wouldn’t have done half as well in keeping it together as you did 🙂

    But clearly she has no inkling that people can grow up with no private space and be just fine. Or she thinks they’re poor people and therefore inferior.

    I have no desire for either a sprawling mansion or a tiny home but that doesn’t make the choice wrong for anyone but me. It’d be nice if people would grow up and realize that. And a bedroom per child is TOTALLY a luxury. Nice to have but not the end of the world if you can’t. Sheesh.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I also think we would just MAKE IT WORK. I told my partner that, and he said: Well Baby Bun can take OUR room and we can sleep in the living room then.

      I said: Or the opposite. There are 2 of us. HE sleeps there and can stay up later not bothering us. We always sleep early.

      Reply

Leave a Reply