How do I deal with the negativity to Stay-at-home moms?

Mary - posted on 12/29/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I'm a married mom of two little girls - 16 months and 2 and a half years. I'm a qualified electrician who came from a very strong, independent women-type environment and I live in a country where, financially, very few women can afford to stay at home. My husband and I decided to try to make it work for me to stay home with the children as long as possible. Its my dream and if we can do it, I'd love to give that to my babies.
Due to financial strain, I work Friday and Saturday nights at a restaurant to bring in extra money while hubby looks after the girls. Sometimes my parents take them. In April, we moved in with my parents, to help us, and them, financially but its a short term goal.one year max.
On the last month, I have received a lot of negative feedback from my mom - who feels I'm setting a bad example for my girls because I do so much for my family. She feels I look bad because the girls will also settle for a man who lets them 'slave away'. (My husband is more than willing to help and is very supportive. If I ask for help, I get it.) Being a stay-at-home mom is my 'job'. A job I do with love.
My sister, who is a Chartered Accountant - and also a 'Superstar in the making' in her field, told me I was a burden to my husband and parents - never mind that my parents have been struggling so much this year, we have basically helped more than they've helped us. She keeps pushing me to get a job.
We have a little bit of debt but I help out as much as possible. All my money goes to my family - groceries, clothes, shoes, treats. But we are not dire. We can afford to get takeouts about once or twice a month. The girls have everything they need and a lot of things they want too. None of us are suffering. Yes, I cannot afford to go to the salon once a month or buy nice clothes just because. But I'm not dressed in rags. I'm a healthy weight - not starved.
Am I wrong? Am I missing something? I think I do a fairly good job - though my stubborn, hard-headed daughter is making me look bad by refusing to potty-train. LOL. But I have no one else to talk to about this. Please help? I need advice.

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Mary - posted on 12/30/2012

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Thank you. Its just incredibly difficult when you feel you have been so good & to suddenly find out that the people you love, respect & are incredibly proud of, aren't proud of you.

Kathryn - posted on 12/29/2012

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Sounds to me you are doing what's best for your family and I applaud you for it; keep up the good work, and yes, it's a lot of work! Im just so sorry your whole family is unsupportive. But the important thing is that your husband is supportive and your darling children have their mother...isn't that why we have children? So WE can raise them , not total strangers. I've had a lot of slack over the years, too, but my teenage sons are very well adjusted and a pleasure for others to be around. Mothering your children is exactly how nature intended. Now, if I could just get my husband to help me.........

Michelle - posted on 12/29/2012

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Try not to let it get to you. Unfortunately we are raised to believe that we're not contributing to our families unless we have a full time job outside of the house. The truth is completely different. Once you factor in added costs such as daycare and transportation you may not be bringing in any money at all ( which is often the case). Occasionally families lose money because the added costs are more then the additional salary. Another myth is that you're somehow sitting around watching tv all day. Obviously not how it really works. Your sister obviously doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't know about your actual financial situation. I've been at home with my kids for 5 years now. Between my husband traveling for work and the fact that we'd be losing money on daycare, me working is not what's best for our family. It's better for the kids anyway. You could try to point out that you are contributing and doing what's best for your family. More then likely you'll just have to try to ignore people and not worry about it because it's hard to convince people otherwise. Hang in there. Know you're doing the right thing.

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