Old SAHW and interesting behaviour...
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  1. #1
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    Default Old SAHW and interesting behaviour...

    I was at a friend's picking berries and rhubarb the other night. There were some other people there. They were talking about their jobs, etc. They inevitably ask me what I do. I told them I was a SAHM/W and glad of it!

    All of a sudden the conversation took an entirely different turn. They dumbed down the language and talked about frugality and kids, etc. I really felt out of place! Anyone else had this happen?

    I was tempted to use some four syllable words on a long thought out esoteric subject, but I kept my mouth shut and picked my berries, ate my cake, drank my wine, and didn't talk much about myself at all. Funny how they all assumed there wasn't much to talk about.

    And they assumed I must spend all my time volunteering. I was pretty disgusted. I actually spend the bulk of my time doing my art and writing.

    Somedays I'm just amazed and dismayed by people's perspective of people who don't work outside the home. Anyone else have this happen to them?

    Jean - still shaking her head in amazement

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    Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Yes, but I just ignore them and steer the conversation back to what ever or onto something else. Just because I don't work outside the home with others in an office or something doesn't mean I can't relate in some way to the dynamics of things. When things come right down to it we all are pretty much the same and all have something to contribute to almost any subject. If I don't know I can listen & learn & ask questions. I do listen to the news and keep on on current events...I'm not living in a bubble here, lol.
    Most times when I talk about "my so called boring empty life" things like watching nature, cooking,reading and gardening I get the "I wish I could do that"


    Next time go ahead & dazzle them with your charm.




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    Registered User MandiDawn's Avatar
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    well, I have to say,
    They were talking about their jobs, etc.
    it seems like they were trying to add you in the converstaion, but you don't have a job, and might not have anything to offer to that conversation. I mean yeah, you have a job running your house, but working people dont' see that as a job, since, well we do that AND we go to work. I don't know the tone of the conversation, but maybe they turned to the other topics as a way to include you and not to insult you in any way.

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    I have been there!

    but then think to myself...I actually enjoy my "job" lol. I can dress how I want, I can sit in the sun and play with the kids.

    I think my life is a lot richer than theirs.

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    Yeah I get that a lot too Jean. I just do a lot of what you do and think, "you have no idea about how busy I stay doing meaningful things". I have one relative that always asks me "What do you do with all of your time?" in a somewhat condescending tone. It really irks me but then I just do my best not to sound offended and answer with about 47 things out of the millions that I do.

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    Registered User Monner 1's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, I have had that done to me before. I have a sister in law that used to condemn me for hanging clothes on a clothesline. Guess what she now hangs clothes on a clothesline. She always wondered what I did all day even when I worked part time. She is now retired at 55 and her days are filled up without having her daughter at home. It is amazing how these people think. If you just wait long enough as in years they will eventually put their foot in their mouth. I am glad that I have lived long enough to just sit back and put a smile on my face. Hang in there we are not dummies by any means and sometimes I am up on things sooner and have more knowledge about stuff that the working girls. We are all working girls one way or another. We all know that a woman's work is never done.

    Monner 1

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    You know, I've never had that happen. I've had the opposite occur, though. I've been surrounded by SAHMs who can talk of nothing but babies, diapers, labor, pregnancy, etc. As a SAHW, I do understand that their lives pretty much revolve around that. However, I don't understand how they can stand talking of nothing else. I've felt very isolated during those conversations. The worst time was at a women's tea at church, and I sat at a table for 2 whole hours while talk was about nothing else. Because I have no kids, I had nothing to contribute, so I sat in silence for the entire time. No one even noticed. It wasn't too long after that that we decided to find a new church.

    Also, some of my old college friends never call me anymore or want to do stuff with me. They assume that because I have no kids, I don't want to be around them. They surround themselves only with other SAHMs. That hurts.

    I finally contacted one of my old friends, who lives mere blocks from me. We hadn't spoken in a few years. I told her I missed her and wanted to know if she was mad or me or something. Turns out, it was just that she figured our lives were too different since she has a kid, and I don't. I really don't understand that. Anyway, we're getting together tomorrow.

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    Registered User KWLinda's Avatar
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    "it seems like they were trying to add you in the converstaion, but you don't have a job, and might not have anything to offer to that conversation."

    I agree they may have been trying to include you but because of their ignorance of what a SAHW/M career entails didn't know what to talk about. Not everyone understands that for many this is a choice to not work outside the home, I think many people mistakenly believe that women stay home because they lack the skills/intelligence to get what in their minds is a "real job". They don't see that you are many careers rolled into one. A full time home economist, inventory specialist, disagreement arbitrator, etc.

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    Registered User i.m.cheap's Avatar
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    This is an interesting topic, because since I became primarily a SAHM (I work 12 hours a week), I have alot more time to keep up with current events, reading the newpaper every day, writing letters to the editor, etc. I never had time for much community involvement when I was working. I feel like I have alot more interesting things to talk about now than when I was working 55 hours a week.

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    i.m.cheap:

    Yeah, that's how I feel too. My emphasis is writing manuscripts right now, but I did not feel that was terribly valued in the conversation. This was an attempt to include me in the conversation, but definitely at a lower level than the others. It was amusing and maddening at the same time. Next time I'll throw in a discussion on educational theory and multiple intelligences or some such.

    The woman doing most of the talking down was a young lady newly married and on a career path with a 2 month old baby. It will be interesting to hear her thoughts change as her child grows. These were friends and family of one of dh's staff members. Not a good scene.

    I think what bothered me most about the conversation was the way it was assumed I was frugal, that it was assumed that was a 'thing' that SAHMs did, and that it was treated in a condescending manner.

    In the final analysis I get the last laugh. We can afford 3 vacations in the next year because of that frugality. I'm happy!

    Jean

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    Registered User pkellyc's Avatar
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    I have been in situations with women who can't understand what I have been doing all these years. My solution is to just keep them talking. I ask questions about their jobs, recent trips they have been on, and family members. For example I know of a women who is like a walking encyclopedia, having trouble with baking gluten free bread I knew she would have the answer to my baking dilemma and she did. Not only did she have the solution by the way but she gave me the science of it all. She was glad to help and it really loosened her up to better conversation. I was slightly embarrassed when this same woman adored my placemat purse. Asking me where I purchased it. I laughed. I couldn't help it. I then had to tell her I made it out of a placemat $1.98 total cost. She got the biggest kick out of it and now am making her one. Another example is a woman who is going on a cruise in a couple of weeks. I had read a article in the paper the day before discouraging tourists from going to Turkey because of terrorist attacks and Turkey is on her itinerary. She had not seen the article but it started a whole new conversation. I sort of felt bad about this one, I had just assumed she knew and I didn't mean to scare her. But then again I would want to know if it were in the reverse. I really like this woman and tease her that she is my new world traveler friend.
    Another woman is in the insurance industry and is excited about going back to school. Well that is easy enough. Questions of what branch of insurance, what her new job will entail ect. ect. I really thought it was interesting, learned a few new things and I believe she also enjoyed my interest. We are getting together next weekend to go to a clam bake.
    So I guess what I am saying is sometimes you hit it off and sometimes you don't whether working or not.
    Most who know me find me to be practical and smart and I just love it when a woman who makes a salary 3 times more than my dh earns asks me for advice. What could be a better compliment than that. I pointed this woman in the right direction to get financing for her sons education. She could have found it on her own but she knows I know where the best rates are. Her financial adviser had told her she spent 3 times the amount on groceries that most people spent. She asked me for my honest opinion. She lives in a part of the state that is very expensive and when I told her what she spends in deli meat alone I could feed my family for a week she just couldn't believe it. I guess I opened her eyes to a few things. This same woman threw away all her 5 year old kitchen appliances on a whim and went out and bought new stainless steel models. When her dh complained she turned to me and asked if I though it was unreasonable. Well what could I say? I said Kathy nothing gets bought new in my house unless it's broken or really ugly and then when I buy new they are planned out purchases. It's not a question of who is smarter it's how much you can connect with eachother differences and all. Some how even though we are worlds apart Kathy and I, we connect.

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    Registered User Goodwin17's Avatar
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    I wanted to tell all the SAHW/SAHM that I'm proud of you all. I am what people call a "career girl" I guess. I went to college for 6 years, and now I'm a nurse practitioner. I work full time, and I'm the major "bread winner" of the family. I however ache, yearn, dream of the time when I'll stay at home. My plans are to work into my 40's and then stay at home after that. I have heard people say they don't want to stay at home, because they would be bored. I never understand that. I know I would be as busy as a bee if I were home all the time. I would have more time to learn more, and would be a more laid back person. My advice is if people don't understand or appreciate your decision to stay home, then you don't need them around!

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    Registered User Persimmon Lace's Avatar
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    Even though I only work 12 hours a week at a preschool, I want to be home fulltime. Being home would allow me to help dh with his consulting business more and taking on a few more clients. Which in return would mean some re-education to the world of networking and computers. We've teamed together before and I made more working just a few hours a month than I make at preschool and it was pretty much on my terms! Right now there have been so many changes at the school that it is no longer where I want to work and I am not comfortable being there. It's become more like daycare and that is not what I want to do. My plan is to become a sahw again by the first of October or at least a part time sahw.

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    Registered User miss_thrifty's Avatar
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    i alwasy say fulll time house wife, mother of two and live in chef.. they eitrher get stunned or laugh. i proceed to tell the snotty ones"the ones who say what do you do all day"---doing what i love, and hows your job treating you.? ? lol lol

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    You know, when my parents do their taxes, under employment for my mother, she always writes in "House Goddess". Well, one year she wrote "home wrecker", but that was because she got tired of her uneven cabinets and tore them off the wall, taking part of the wall with them. The IRS never says anything about it.........

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