How do you respond to someone who's openly disdainful to your life choices?
I'm a stay-at-home mom to two sons, one with autism. Staying at home has certainly hurt us financially, but it was the right choice. I had been a kindergarten teacher and couldn't imagine being with kids all day long only to go pick up mine at daycare. My sisters-in-law are career women with good paying jobs. They're so rude to me about being a stay-at-home mom. I largely avoid them. But what's the best way to handle people like this? I'm very open-minded and tolerant of others so I can't understand their disdain for me. Why are people so threatened by those who make different choices?
First, let me thank you for asking this question that touches the lives of thousands of people spread around the world.
By nature, many people are arrogant, disdainful, slighting, derisive, and dismissive of others, who choose a particular career option that best suits their current lifestyle. It is not a sin to be a stay-at-home mom. In fact, you are doing something that takes care of your sons' immediate daily needs. Who else will take care of them? In my view, a stay-at-home mom is far more equipped to handle pressure and domestic upheaval than a woman, who may not have come across a potentially disturbing situation that you are facing right now. In my view, sisters-in-law may be living in a fool's world. Just ignore them and move on with your tenacious and career-fulfilling dreams that will lead to achievement of several important goals.
I remember two important quotes now:
"Once you feel avoided by someone, never disturb them again."
"Ignore me. I don’t care. I’m used to it anyways. I’m invisible."
Please avoid crossing oceans for those people, who do not even dip their feet in a shallow puddle. It is a sheer waste of time to spend your precious time to think about such people, who are already ignoring you.
I wish you all the best for a wonderful career! Stay fit, live large and lead a great life.
Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of our family and that is what you have done for your children so I would not worry about what your sister in-laws have to say because they do not walk in your shoes, it could be that they have some kind of Jealousy in them ,,,,The only person you need to worry about is what your husband says about you being a stay at home mom so continue to do what your doing and when the time is right maybe you can use your teaching skills to be a at home tutor for hire for students who need your teachings and it can also be a online business as well for you to continue to be a stay at home mom and also help bring in some extra income for the family.
Thanks Handicapped Chef. Yes, having a son with autism, has made me even more protective of my family. When you're engulfed in a career like teaching, it's difficult to find a balance between work and home. It's a job that's always in your head.
They will probably never understand that you made a choice to stay at home and sacrificed your life for your children. Money is not everything, but some people just don't get it. They could even be jealous that you don't have to work, or they could see it as a boring job. whatever the case, the next time you are around them, stress on the facts of how much pleasure you have received from your children after you "chose" not to work. Create a list in your mind and find the opportunity to speak of only the benefits as well as a list of negatives for leaving their child in daycare and give them doses of it ... keep it subtle and stay positive and not a word of complain in front of them.
Thanks Irfan. Right now I'm just doubting my life choices so I need to get stronger to defend them. Deep down I know I've made the right decisions for me and my family, but it's hard when everyone around us has the material goodies and we don't.
It is a tough spot to be in when you look at it that way (they have, we don't). The thirst for material things can never be quenched and it grows with time. I know its hard and you may lose connections, but its OK. [sorry not enough space here] ...
Don't doubt. Irfan is right. Keep what is true to you. Your values and what would truly satisfy you influenced your choice. Trying to please others or being double minded will make you unhappy and undermine your success in the path you have chosen.
I know it must hurt to have members of your family circle show a lack of respect, insight or empathy with how you choose to live your life.
Unfortunately the working woman culture can be unforgiving but it is none of their business. To me choosing to stay at home and be the best parent one can be is all you and your family need to know and acknowledge.
Being a parent is a privelge as well as being a huge and demanding role in life. In fact once you become a parent it never ceases until the day you hit the horizontal plane of silence.
Each person comes into this life for a different raison d'etre and that doesn't mean one's signifigance is less or more. Its just different.
Thanks ThreeKeys. I get what you're saying about the unforgiving nature of the working woman culture. i think at the center of this is the hurt I feel about our family never helping us/reaching out to us when our son got diagnosed with autism.
Sorry about that. Some people just don't know how to deal with challenges. It can hurt when it's family or other loved ones that don't give that support. They probably don't know how.
You have brought up an excellent question and one with a myriad of answers.
Isn’t is a shame people don’t define others by being good parents? Rather than praising a parent for sacrificing a career to raise their children, new acquaintances will first ask, “What do you do?” We end up being defined by our career path.
There is more to life than a paycheck and a job outside of the home. True wealth and fulfillment come from the love of family and the quality and quantity of time we spend with them. My quick response to those who question your decision would be, “You don’t pay my bills so don’t worry about it.”
Oh, I do love that response, Dennis. You're so right about being defined by our career paths. My sisters-in-law don't know what to do with me since I don't currently have a job. When I taught kindergarten, though, so many people talked down to me!
Strange huh, when 0-7 are the most important years. Shows the understanding we have as a society w.r.t. shaping persons of good character.
Nancy......I would not venture to know why people feel threatened by people who make different choices. It's obviously a flaw of some sort in their character or attitude. The unforgivable thing about this is that these pathetic individuals find it necessary to comment negatively and/or offer their unsolicited opinions on the matter. Who asked them what they think and who cares?
Each of us are the producers & directors of our own lives and the choices we make. The reasons we make particular decisions do not need to be advertised, announced nor published to satisfy the curiosity of some nosy, intrusive and insignificant person, merely looking to be judgmental.
Nancy, you never need to explain yourself, your lifestyle nor decisions to anyone (except your own children & spouse). You needn't apologize to anyone who has no business whatsoever commenting in a negative fashion to you regarding your choices.
Personally, I commend you for placing your children/family first in your life. Every child should be so fortunate to have this beneficial situation.
Just one more thing Nancy, woman/mother to woman/mother.....you need to believe me on this: Those other "women" are obviously jealous of you in several ways while also being unhappy in their own lives (I don't give a damn how good-paying their jobs are) We all eventually wind up trying to find a "balance" in our lives. No one can have it "all." We determine what we do and do not do, what we are willing to sacrifice is a matter of personal choice. YOU, my friend, will never regret your choice!.....Hold your head up high and don't forget the Swagger!!........Peace, Paula
Paula, you're the best. Can I carry you around in my pocket and have you give me affirming messages?! Thanks so much. It was a LONG weekend with the sister-in-law but now she's gone.
I have a feeling that you're quite capable of giving your own self-affirming messages & remaining positive. To hell with what someone else says or thinks....this is strictly your life....not theirs. Good luck!
Welcome to the Mommy wars. If you stay at home, you're criticized by working women. If you work, stay at home mothers may criticize you as neglecting the children. Work part time, and career mothers still criticize you for failing to reach your potential (I've dealt with that one).
Bring up that this is what the doctor recommended for your son, that this is in the developmentally challenged child's best interest - and daycare isn't.
TW...This mother is not obligated to EXPLAIN a damned thing to anyone about her personal decisions. She needn't use the "doctor" excuse or explanation. Her life & choices are the business of No One else! She can ignore them!
Au fait....I know. I've taken note of this fact more & more as we roll merrily along here at HP. I notice several people here & there who seem 2 think similarly. Often I read a comment & it's precisely what I may have said! Know what U me
I agree Paula, bravo that would have been my choice also, but my children needed a roof over their heads and food in their tummies.
I don't know if anyone criticized me, and only I supported 2 my kids, so my choice alone.
Well Shy....IF anyone did criticize U 4 doing what U had 2 do, I think U could have told them as soon as they pay all UR bills, U'll stay home!!
There are probably certain parenting decisions that are worthy of some disdain:
1. Letting our kids watch television all day.
2. Feeding your kids fast food as their primary source of nutrition.
3. Letting your kids play in the street unsupervised.
There are probably more. However, choosing to be a stay-at-home mother because you believe it's in the best interest of your child is not something anybody should criticize. Usually people criticize because they're jealous, not because they actually think it's a bad decision. Raising kids and affording kids is hard. I know a lot of women would rather stay at home rather than work. Personally, I'd rather work. I like the socialization my kids got at daycare. They do well around other kids as a result. If you enjoy your time with your children and you're helping them, it's nobody's business what you do.
The best way to handle people like your sisters-in-law is to revel in your enjoyment of spending time with your kids. Show respect for their choices even though they don't respect yours, but also feel free to express your satisfaction with the path you've chosen. And if that doesn't work, just ignore them.
Well said. A few people have brought up the jealousy angle and, I must say, I never considered that. Having a son with autism has often been challenging and heartbreaking. However, if someone just looks at the surface, they may think my life is easy.
Never let them forget that parenting is work. Hard work. Being home all day with kids is way harder than going to work. I could not do it. They are the ones that have it easy.
You are strong, never listen to negative comments. Instead think whatever you are doing is the best. Some people can't see other's happiness so they make disdainful remarks. You shouldn't dwell on that. Don't waste your precious time and energy thinking about it. Good luck with your life and be blessed always!
The reasons we make particular decisions do not need to be advertised announced nor published to satisfy the curiosity of some nosy intrusive and insignificant person merely looking to be judgmental.
In all honesty, your sisters are probably feeling threatened because your choice makes them question their own. We hate the most in others what we fear in ourselves. Just like there are women who judge mothers for working because they secretly wish they had pursued careers of their own...Happy people who are confident in their own choices certainly don't behave the way your sisters are behaving towards you.
It's important to note here that you have done nothing wrong and nothing to deserve this treatment! Only you can determine what is right for you and your child, and you are doing so in the most responsible and caring way possible. Are there going to be others who think you should have done this or that differently? Of course! But they're not waking up every day to live your life and they are exempt from the consequences of the choices they want you to make. It's very easy to say "So-and-so's life would be better if she just ___" but until you've actually walked in another's shoes, it's all theory and armchair psychology.
Aside from those universal issues, there is the fact that many men and women simply look down on stay-at-home moms. What most fail to understand is that childcare costs dramatically outweigh the benefits of a second paycheck for many families. (Again, unless they're paying your bills? None of their business!)
In my experience, the best way to respond to family members who are openly judgmental of your life choices is to stop responding. Negative people feed on a cycle of wounding with their words, letting it heal for a bit, and then opening it up again. You can't control what they say, but you can control whether they get an audience with you. I'd say you're doing the right thing by avoiding them, but keep your head held high while you're doing it. If they're particularly persistent, you could always say something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, I know you have the time to micromanage other people's lives, but I'm too busy living mine to entertain people with nothing productive to say."
Wow, if I knew what supportive comments and sage advice I'd receive on Hubpages forum, I could have saved a lot of money on therapy! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, lanablackmoor.
If you are happy, then just smile when they bring up the topic. Stay on the same page with your husband.
1) On handling them, they are not your friends so don't try to engage with them as such. Share next to nothing personal, don't let them draw you into questions that give them ammunition. Don't try to explain your choice or let them see the way they discourage you. Engage with them as if they are acquaintances that you have something in common with (parents/parents-in-law) in as positive (but elementary) a manner as possible, then move forward with your life and do great things with your children (and even with a home business/work situation), no matter what small people think or say.
2) The difference in your choice may be making them feel guilty. Keep in mind that when there is more than one, then one of them may be the leader of the pack and the other(s) afraid to cross them because they know they would be targeted as a consequence. Try to have a sort of compassion for them that lets you be kind in the face of their attacks. Rise above the nastiness and raise the bar for them by your responses. Again, stay on the same page with your husband by communication. He might be able to rescue you in a really bad situation even if it's by a simple understanding wink below their radar.
You're right, R Talloni. There's strength in numbers. My mother-in-law was a stay-at-home mom but is too afraid to mention any benefits of staying home because her two daughters are working moms. I'm definitely outnumbered, but my husband is SUPER.
Having your husband on the same page is HUGE.
I see nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. I can't think of a better teacher for your sons either.
Doesn't matter what other people say, it is your job as a mom, to do what you think is best for your family. Evidently, you must have the means to do so, and if not... well, still your choice.
These days, when you send your children, to 'day care', you don't always know what you are getting your children into.
Sometimes no matter what you do is never going to suit up to the so called family members. Who cares, not their job to raise your children. Or their choice.
Stick to your guns girl!
You know, the strides women have made free them to be anything they want to be in life- that includes staying at home with kids after earning a doctorate or having a successful career as a CEO. It's your choice to pursue what you have decided is best for the people who are important to you- your kids.
Other adults need to respect that choice you have made as an adult.
Thanks for the supportive comments, jtrader. I feel grateful to have had choices and don't regret staying home. My son with autism is doing great, and I know that it's because we simplified our lives and made him and his therapies a priority.
Nancy, I admire you, bravo.
Tell your sisters-in-law, that there is no need for their envy/jealousy, that you are keeping your priorities straight and as long as your children's health and well being comes first, that is what you are concerned about and you will not question their putting finances first if they don't question you putting you putting your children first.
Thanks so much, Shyron. I hope people understand, too, that our choices are sometimes limited. When my son was diagnosed with autism, he needed speech and occupational therapies three times a week. Then I needed to follow-through with that at home.
@Nancy And don't forget that someone else would have to be paid to take him to all the extra appointments that come with autism, doctor appointments as well as therapy. You should write a hub about childcare costs for a child with autism!
Being a stay at home mom is a job, and financially saves your family more money than you would make in the end. I would tell them that you choose teaching children as your career path and now you are continuing it at home and that you would rather stay and help your children grow than selfishly spend more money just to leave your children all for a job title. Do what's right for your family and never let anyone make you doubt it.
Yes, that's true. You don't make a fortune as a teacher. You have to consider the cost of day care, gas for the commute, and wardrobe for work. Plus, most teachers spend a lot of their own money on supplies and teacher workshops.
And that's not even taking into consideration that daycare for an autistic child costs much, much more than standard daycare.
Your critical family members are perhaps envious. Ignore their snipes. I was a working mother from when my boys were aged 11 and 2 respectively. I went out to work because I had to earn a living following divorce. Prior to that I had been a stay at home mum. My experience was that I ended up doing two jobs less well than I could have done one, and I never had a minute to myself. And all this with the support of nearby grandparents, who acted as unpaid childminders. I wish that I had been able to spend more time with my children when they were young.
I've cut such people out of my life, family members or not and I don't regret it for an instant. I'm physically disabled by lupus and injuries sustained while homeless as well as being a high-functioning autistic person and had people in my life who considered it all the result of a bunch of lifestyle choices and they were not shy with their disdain. All they did was depress me and make me feel more crappy about things I already felt crappy about and could not change.
Guess what happened when I cut them out of my life? I've been happier and my physical and emotional health have been better. I no longer have to keep justifying why I had to quit working outside the home so frequently. If I justify it less, I think about the causes of my injuries less and the things my illness has taken away less, too. That helps with the PTSD aspect of the whole mess. I also don't have to feel the shame for not earning more money that they tried to instill in me that caused me to want to justify my "choice" to work from home.
There are plenty of wonderful, loving people who will be your true friends and family out there in the world. So there's no reason to accept bullying and rudeness from people who think they don't have to treat others with kindness if there's some kind of family relationship.
You've been through a lot, Kylyssa, and I appreciate you sharing it with me. The hardest part of having a son with autism is the disappointment I felt in my family for not being supportive. My son is doing so well now but that hurt still remains.
I share because I don't want other people like you and your son to go through similar unnecessary BS or in the hopes it may help them handle it when they do. I wish someone had told me it's OK to distance yourself from toxic relatives sooner.
Don't look around that people.They are inhumans.I think you were the best mother in this world.Now a days many of them are not caring their children but you are caring your son with disabilities.Once again you are a good mother....
I ran into two situations in graduate school that seem to relate to this situation. Two months before I began, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily they got it all but she was on chemo for a year. She wouldn't take an aspirin for a headache so pumping toxic chemicals into her body couldn't have been a more threatening situation to her. My school was an hour and a half away and I didn't have classes on Fridays. Thursday afternoon I went home to take care of my mom and do what needed to do for the rest of the week for both my parents then drove back in time for a 7:30am class on Monday. At the end of the year, my mentor gave me the feedback that the faculty was concerned about my performance. I'd gotten perfect scores on all five areas of my first year evaluation so I was confused. He said my absence from the department on weekends was a problem as it didn't show that proper dedication to my future career. I told him my family comes first and it always would and if that was a problem I'd drop out then and their. I graduated top in my class 4 years later with Ph.D. having cared regularly for both parents throughout, never hearing another complaint from any faculty. The second situation arose toward the end of the program when I was speaking with some classmates, all women about family. I made the choice that when my children were born I wanted to stay at home with them until they were at least school age. Dead silence. Finally, one woman said, "It's women like you who ruin it for all women. What do you think women's lib was all about?" I calmly replied that I thought it was about choices. I added that meant that now it was every woman's right to make the choice to pursue a career OR to stay at home to raise her children OR to do both, that by saying to a woman you can't be a stay at home mom was just as bad as saying you can't have a career. It was just another way of removing women's choices. Good luck to you and your family.
You get the courage award as well as the reward for speaking up about doing the right thing!
Thanks, Natalie. You're an example of how someone's life choices really tell so much about their character. I hope people see that with my choices, too. But, as so many people have written, it matters what I think, not others.
Nancy, you & parents like you are raising tomorrows citizens who will shape our world. What could be a more important career than that? And you can't ever leave your work at the office. I have such respect for you & hope others get it soon!
I have gone through this. And my strong advice is- be confident and carry on with your work. Please don't waste time answering them. Time alone will tell. And that will take 15-20 years.
Do understand, somewhere they are unsure and are hence hurting you.
There was a time (several years) when I could not work. I was humiliated, looked down upon. I didn't answer back. But I made one mistake. I didn't carry myself well either. That gave them the chance to hurt me and also have an upper edge. I wish I had shown confidence in my behavior.
For, today, they are far behind me. I have children who have done very well in academics and are well placed (Touchwood). Whereas their children are showing signs of heavy drinking, smoking and a career that's not going anywhere. Also, they have a lot of problems that they never solved earlier.
Autism is curable, I have heard. If possible join such a school as a teacher, since you have been a Kindergarten teacher.
Please don't waste time answering back. It will fill you with negative thoughts as your brain will become a battle field.
You know, there's a famous bookwith a tItle- She stoops to conquer- By H.G. Wells
I have tried keeing that in mind.
Good luck Nancy. I am sure, one day they will all appear as dwarfs before you!
As I was reading your question, Nancy, about the best way to handle people like this, a song popped into my mind: "To each, his own". As a child, I heard this song on the radio and never exactly knew if the words were, "to each is own" or "to each his own," but I always understood that those four words are part of a thought that says, each person has a right to his own approach to life and this is mine. Of course the song is a love song and when I looked it up just now, the first lines were powerful even in a generic sense:
"A rose must remain with the sun and the rain
Or it's lovely promise won't come true".
We parent according to who we are. I think we have to practice knowing from the core of our being that our choice is right for our children and ourselves on an ongoing basis. Then when someone comments, we will be able to smile from a sincere place and simply say that little phrase: "to each, his own" without judgment of them. I think can go a long way to meeting each other on a level playing field. Saying that statement reminds the listener: “My choice is my choice,” but it also implies that I respect theirs. So it’s a win-win.
As an aside: the other day, I met a person who had come to visit a neighbor. The conversation got around to cars and the "gentleman" asked me which was mine. I pointed out our Prius down the block. His response: "I hate Prius drivers." I wish I would have remembered the advice I just offered here and had responded, "to each, his own". Instead I just stood their in dumbfounded silence. Your question has helped me put that phrase in the forefront of my mind, ready for the next time Thanks and cheers, Billie
Thanks, Billie. I think a casual and cheery "to each his own" is the ideal response. I will try to keep that phrase handy. I'm like you with the Prius guy. It's easy to be left speechless when someone is that shockingly (and needlessly) rude.
I'm sorry to say that people are usually intolerant of differences. Whether it is job choices, the choice to have children, the choice to be married, skin color, sexual orientation, etc. People are usually intolerant of difference.
As for your sister-in-law, I personally would choose avoidance. When you must spend time around them, keep the topics light and inconsequential. If they bring up the fact that you stay home with your kids, or your financial position, you could look at them disdainfully and say, "I don't think that is a conversation I'm willing to have with you." Or you could say what my friend the mayor often says, "I can't believe you asked me that (or said that)."
Then walk away, with your head held high.
You are so right, Deborah, about people being intolerant of differences. Having a son with autism has certainly shown me that! People would give me such judgmental looks when my son was little and would flap his arms (self-stimulation).
My brother is the Archie Bunker type. I am disabled but he would always say stuff like, "Why don't you get a job?" (In a sarcastic tone) He has a sign that says, "I fight unemployment -- I work!!" Well, didn't stop him or my sister-in-law for having me house-sit for free for years. Jealousy. Anyway, now he's got a severe back problem, too, so maybe he has a little sympathy. He will never admit it, though. Had a fight with him a few years ago. I finally apologized in an email (even though it was his fault) but he hasn't apologized to me. Haven't seen him or his wife in almost 4 years. Maybe if you just tell them to mind their own business, they won't come around. It worked for me. I also told my brother he was a verbal abuser and told his wife, "Maybe you want to put up with this, but I'm not going to." Good luck. I think some people hate their own lives so they pick on others. Maybe they need a scapegoat so no one else in the family will look at THEIR own problems.
Your question and situation is a tough one. I began teaching in 1981 and was criticized for putting our daughters into day care and even much later when they were old enough to come home from school by themselves and be there alone for an hour before I got home from work. The girls were required to start their homework and help with household chores. They received a generous allowance for their chores. For the stay at home Moms who complained about my choices, I can honestly look back and look at their children now and see that all our children have had their successes and failures as adults. Each woman should make her own life choices about what is right for herself and her family and IGNORE the opinions of others.
Staying at home is a destructive lifestyle, both to yourself and to your family. Like you said it hurts financially, we need more women in the workplace, and it's women staying at home or tending to their children is the reason that most women don't get paid as much as men. Most daycare and schools are professional organizations designed to raise your children better than untrained educators. It's not about being open-minded or tolerant, it's about what is best for society. Your choice is a drain on society, focus on a career and getting the best for your family, not settling for crumbs.
actually, Helen Pippin, staying at home with your children is the best way they can be taught. since today's society is morally destructive. Money is not the most important thing.
Disagree with above. Maybe it might hurt you but with cost of daycare and transportation costs and everything else it seems that if would still be a financial burden
@Helen Pippin It's hard to think anyone actually believes this. What do you think daycare costs for an autistic child? The remains of a dysfunctional patriarchy keep women's wages down, not parents choosing to care for their own children!
You think children are better off raised by overworked, stessed professional day care workers than by their own flesh and blood parents? Not all day cares are bad, but there's lots of terrible ones. What's best for society? Screwed-up kids?
The only way to a strong society is through the raising of strong, moral and ethical members who treat each other respectfully including the choices they make, Where better to teach these values. Children also learn about relationships from family.
Helen Pippin you are speaking about financial balance between men and women.but ask any child,whom he/she loves,they will say there mother.they will not tell as there father
There is the assumption that women never have another vocation when they stay at home with the kids. My mom stayed at home with me until I was twelve, and she would babysat other kids to make more money. Also, some women own their own home businesses
This mother has a degree in education so I wouldn't call her an untrained person. Society can take a flying leap -- your family is the most important thing. And I don't think anyone else but a child's own parents can be as good as they are
@destructive lifestyle - disagree - its constructive
@women don't get paid as much as men - disagree - my experience says otherwise
@daycare is better - disagree - why have kids in the first place?
@drain on society - disagree - she promotes unity
No one should have to justify staying home to nurture young children. Our children are far more important than any passing career.
It is a sad reflection on society that people value money and position over building strong loving families.
Nancy Mitchell, your life choice to me is so admirable. With someone like that, the only way they would be rude or criticize you is from insecurity of their choice. Just turn the other cheek if there's no way for them to change their opinion about you
It's possible they feel guilt for not staying home with their own children and resent that you did this for your own. I would try to be gracious. It may seem counter-intuitive, but try to comfort them by encouraging them in things they are doing well. This might boost their self-esteem and verify your identity to them as someone who is a source of comfort and not criticism. Hurt people tend to hurt others.
For me, I ignore, and is the same thing I can reccomend you! Ignoring useless people is the best defense you have... if you try to say something to them, you are giving them something precious: your time. Some people don't deserve a reply, especially those who would never change their behaviour. So ignoring is the best way, and it hurts more than any other thing you could say.
You need to kick them to the curb, throw them under the bus, and get yourself a couple of voodoo dolls. I do not tolerate such nonsense. If you bite into an apple, only to find that there is a big fat juicy worm rolling around in your mouth, you don't hesitate, or worry about the worm, you just spit it out. That's my advice..
People usually put down others out of jealousy. They probably think a SAHM has it so easy. You probably don't. But their perception is probably that SAHM's are lazy. But no amount of evidence to the contrary will prove to them you're not. So forget them. Just focus on your kids and doing what makes you happy. You can't listen to people who are just lashing out for no good reason. You can't let them mess with your happiness.
Being with your kids is the best thing you can ever choose even the career people always long for that, but just because they are career people, they make you feel inferior. You have the best thing they envy to have, they are jealous of your decision. Nevertheless, it doesn't stop from just being a stayed home mum, there are other things you can do to give you some income and be more successful than the career people. I will be glad to discuss with you some of the opportunities you can try and make your time at home worthwhile. Stay blessed and encouraged.
In the sight of GOD, you are an outstanding mother and that's the ONLY thing that matters!
Titus 2:5 says that a woman is to be "...keepers at home, good... that the word of God be not blasphemed." You certainly fit that role!
Society has moved away from the WORD entirely! Economics has placed the hardship on families which requires two or more salaries leaving our children to be raised by schools, day cares, and electronic devices.
You feel "it is the right choice," and God said "it is the right choice," so there should be NO DOUBT! Your husband is apparently in agreement therefore "their opinion" doesn't matter! They apparently have other issues (jealousy) because what person would not want to see "their brother's children" receive the best care! They only wish they could do the same but have probably "over-extended" themselves financially! Any human (flesh) would be "jealous" too!
Keep doing what you're doing which pleases you and God!
Try not to judge. Especially if their choices are not affecting your life. I would definitely avoid them as well. Never place yourself in circumstances which cause you stress.
JUDGE w/WORD! Titus 2:5 says women are to be "keepers @ home" so she has EVERY RIGHT to tell them what Titus says which they are NOT doing!
Oh, that's definitely good advice, Lovey. One of the most stressful situations for me is being around family members who don't care about my well-being. I'm not alone. That's why there's so much over-indulging during the holidays!
I would say to love such people despite their differences.
GOD'S definition of LOVE is not man's!Tell TRUTH in WORD is LOVE! Ppl have taken Matt 5:44; Lk6:28 to mean "love" in natural! Disciplining kid is not LOVE to them, but is!Same w/CHRIST! Did JESUS LOVE (Matt23)?"Bless & pray"w/discipline=LOVE!
Yes, I can definitely love them. I just don't want to spend much time with them!
Nancy- you answered you own question. Too many times, we tend to take opinions and judgments-internally. Maybe because we also are doubting our choices. But that's not to say what you are doing is wrong- it's just that you are not recognizing other people's insecurities, jealousies, and life experiences that have no business in yours. You, instead, let it seep into your own insecurities or doubts. You have made a decision and it's the best for YOU and YOUR family. So own it! I have had many battles with a passive/aggressive mother hinting that I cuddle my kids or 'someone' told her they couldn't believe I 'still tuck-in an 8-yr old at bedtime'. Want to throw them completely in a spin? Whenever they start to allude to poor judgement, start going on and on about a psychologist you read regularly or have supposedly spoken to and how he was lamenting on neglectful parents that put their standard of living ahead of their kids! It gets kind of fun batting it back in their court! I told my mom I wanted to make sure MY kids felt loved and secure that I loved them all- no favorites! She immediately went into defense mode. LOL.
You're never too old to get tucked in by someone you love.
You're certainly correct, Ro. I am feeling insecure about my life choices and need to own them. My question and everyone's thoughtful responses got me to realize that I need to make some changes and get stronger.
I think you have to do an internal adjustment. There doesn't have to be a response to those who disagree with your choices. To qualify them only makes it appear they need defending.
You didn't say in what way they disrespect your choice to stay home, or how they express disdain, but open kinds of insults? I just roll my eyes at those with irrational comments. They don't deserve more attention than that.
Everyone is really making me think about this. It's like being in therapy. What hurts most is when they talk about their new cars, new appliances, fancy vacations. I need to deal with it because they have every right to talk about that stuff.
Perhaps there's an element of fear involved? After all, they are one child with special health needs away from involuntarily sharing your position as a SAHM and health issues can pop up at any point.
The need to show off fancy new stuff can be the need to protect against something-fear? regret? guilt? shame? Knowing they haven't been focused on what's important? They may have the right to talk about it but not to knowingly hurt you when doing so.
Nancy, some people need "things" to validate their life choices. Well, "things" have a way of breaking down after awhile. Evidently, material things matter more to them than family does. I think they are snobs
Nancy? I had a million dollar home, 3 cars, a vacation home, and could fly at the drop of a hat. Was I happier than you? No. I am now getting ready to leave that world behind me. It no longer means more than happiness.
You don't have to respond. Your life is your choice and how you choose to live it is up to you (and your husband) and no one else. Other people's opinions are none of your business. You don't have to explain, justify or validate your choices to anyone. Why do you allow the opinions of other people bother you? You shouldn't feel bad, guilty or offended by their opinion of how you choose to raise your children. End of story.
Forgive me for being so blunt, but if they are not doing any of the 3 "F's" then their opinion shouldn't matter and that's Feeding You, F*cking You or Financing You! I lived the first half of my life making decisions based on other people's opinions and it was a huge mistake. My bad choices were based on what other people thought and NOT based on what I thought or all of the information I had and I knew. As long as you are confident in your choices and believe you are doing what's best for your family, nothing else matters. Keep doing what your doing and stop worrying about what anyone else thinks about it.
As a former stay at home dad, I would just ask your family, why they are even worried about it. They built strong careers, do they ever feel remorse for not staying at home? You gave up something you loved to do something else you love. don't feel bad, but don't listen to the family that berate you.
I believe you have to own it. Your choices in life will never please everyone and you will drive yourself insane trying to figure out why people act the way they do. I too suffered very understanding people when I made the decision to put my children's needs before a career. I am forty-one year old and just now I am just now attempting to begin my career. Although I am a full-time grandma and my life is hectic.
I even went so far as to homeschool my children during their high school years (with online teachers of course). I have heard all the negative feedback possible and felt the brunt of those who were jealous but my idea was to own it and never let them get to me.
My girls turned out great and both have good lives. So to all those who were concerned they can kiss it where the good lord split it. ha ha
you're doing what your family needs and money isn't everything in this life. Just take lessons from all the millionaires all over the news. Money bought them a front page headliner that usually reads so and so is on drugs again, or so and so is beating their spouse.
my brother has autism and my mom has had to sacrifice a lot, and i see how much it takes from her, i have never once heard her complain. you're doing great! not everyone will understand you're choices and that is okay, it doesn't go unnoticed, keep your head up.
Tell me about it, it's like my sister hates me for not having any children. Only we know why we do what we do, and we can't please everyone.
Even if we understood why our sisters and in laws feel what they felt, would we be able to change their opinions and feelings even further? We dont know exactly what they're going through. Their husbands/mother might tell them they should be like you and that probably shakes them up. It might reflect on how they treat you.
It matters cause they are family, things are supposed to be easy and smooth sailing. But when there's much closeness things can get uncomfortable. Don't worry, have faith in yourself, your choice and that all will be well when the time is right between them. They will eventually get tired of being the way they are with you. If not then consider it a blessing, perhaps you're gaining more by not having them close to you. Stay bright.
Ignore them. People who openly show how they don't like what you do, do it with the hope of getting some reaction that will somewhat show that their own opinion are correct. And their opinion won't do much for you anyway, I mean they live their own lives, you live yours. If you and your husband agree with this setup its really none of their business.
My eldest sister's youngest son is autistic and I have personally seen how it could become difficult. He is just mildly autistic but you still can't expect other people to look after the kid the way you'd want them to. When they had some emergency where she needs to be somewhere else and the kids have to stay home, I've seen my sister get so stressed and worried on who to ask to watch over the kids for a few nights. Even tutors that shed hired, some even majored in "Special education", lose patience with my nephew. With my honest opinion, you actually chose the harder role.
One of the things I think people forget is with women having more choices this gives them the choice to live how they want. If you want to be a stay at home mom, I think it is smart economically as well as socially for kids. Growing up my mom stayed at home until I was twelve, and then she got a job later. I do not feel like I had a deprived existence, and a lot of my friends wished their parents could stay home, too. So whether is be the mom or dad staying home with the kids, why is this a bad thing. As a single person I always wondered why people want to have kids and then stick them in daycare all day long. To me having a child means sometimes you put the needs of that child first, and perhaps that means spending more time with the kids when they are young. Also, daycare is expensive, and some families realize they can save more money if one parent stays home while the other works. This means sometimes having a more frugal lifestyle and not eating out or going to the movies constantly, but perhaps a family decided they enjoy more of the simple pleasures in life. For instance, I remember walking home after school, and then sometimes I would go on another walk in the forest with my mom. We had so much fun growing up in our quiet mountain life, but perhaps this is not exciting to families who want more of a urban lifestyle.
Ignore the negatives, surround yourself with positive influence, and press on. The nay-sayers can go peddle their discouragement somewhere else.
I think that the person will not know what the reasons for the decision because he has not been tried or have previous experience and despite the job that your sister make, but it may be the day of days, failed in the management of the life and take fateful decisions that will change her life.
You must struggle to the end and convince yourself to do more and remember your children and in making different life for them.
I wish you success
I was a stay at home mom, one of the best support systems you can get is a group called MOMS, Mothers of Preschoolers. If there is one in your area., At least the one I went to was very supportive.
I know first hand that staying home with your children is a sacrifice on your part. You go without things that others can afford, and it is sometimes harder than just going to work. Your job doesn't clock out.
If you figure out the price of child care, gasoline, clothes for work, etc. you may find you would not be making much after all. I think there should be a tax credit for it, but that is not the world we live in anymore.
Yes, if you're Chelsea Clinton or Ivanka Trump, going to your high-powered, high-earning jobs is a no-brainer. But, as a kindergarten teacher, I had to weigh the cost of day care, gas, wardrobe plus the tremendous commute time and stress from work.
I do not know whether this advice has been given or not. I cannot read all the answers either as there are too many of them so I am just going to discuss what I think. Forgive me if this advice has already been given.
My advice is to go straight to them and ask them that do they hate you for being a stay-at-home mom. If they say yes, then you should say that you are proud of yourself and it is your life and your choice so they should just respect your choices. I have put this in a polite manner, but feel free to respond in a less polite manner so that they can understand your feelings.If they say no, then ask them why are they so rude about you being a stay-at-home mom. They should respect your decisions and if they do not support and respect you, then how are they part of your family. Family does not mean having a blood relation, but it is a lot more than that.
If you cannot support your family and if they do not support you, then you are not a family. A enemy is better than a friend who is jealous of you and is rude to you. I think you will figure out the rest. In the end you have to decide what kind of approach you want to take and what kind of impact it will have on your happiness. Good luck.
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