Author Topic: "He must be a slacker.."  (Read 5456 times)

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Allyson

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"He must be a slacker.."
« on: September 10, 2010, 04:31:35 PM »
I have a good friend, Katie, who's engaged to Sean, who's a friend but I don't know him quite as well. They have a two year old daughter. Their situation is pretty unusual, but not unheard of--Sean stays at home and takes care of Daughter, and Katie works full time. They both really prefer it this way--Sean is much more the 'caretaker' personality in their relationship, and Katie is very driven, tending to be a bit workaholic..I think they balance each other out really well! They're not rich, definitely have to save money, but it's important to them to have one of them at home with their daughter, at least till she starts school. They also don't have famiily around who'd be available to look after her.

But, it seems like because it's the woman who is working, people make all sorts of unflattering assumptions about Sean, like that he's just mooching off of Katie because he isn't working..he's at home taking care of the apartment and kid! I have had more than one person make a comment to me about how he should get a job, how can she let him just sit at home all day, and so on. It really burns me up..these are good people whose situation works for them, even though many people wouldn't like it.

I really don't like just letting these comments go, so I will 'interesting assumption' them, basically saying something like "Hmm, really? That's an assumption people probably wouldn't make if it were Katie staying at home!" or "From what I've seen, the situation works really well for them." I hope I'm not being rude in return, but the idea they might repeat this to Katie and Sean is really aggravating. If I am being rude, any suggestions for better things to say?

JacklynHyde

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 04:54:24 PM »
I would edit out the role reversal thing and leave it at, "That's an interesting assumption.  It seems to be working perfectly for their needs and their daughter's."  The whole interesting assumption thing implies that the assumption is either off-base or plain old rude.

Bibliophile

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 05:00:20 PM »
I would edit out the role reversal thing and leave it at, "That's an interesting assumption.  It seems to be working perfectly for their needs and their daughter's."  The whole interesting assumption thing implies that the assumption is either off-base or plain old rude.

POD.  If it works for them, great - it's no one else's business.  A guy I used to work with quit to become a stay at home dad.  His wife did make more money, but you could tell he'd be better with a kid (she was way more focused on her job than he was).  He just didn't have the passion for the work he was doing - he was much more excited about his child and would just glow when he talked about her. 

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Raintree

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 06:14:11 PM »
I disagree; I think it would be good to point out to them how sexist they are being by saying exactly what the OP says: ""Hmm, really? That's an assumption people probably wouldn't make if it were Katie staying at home!"

It comes across as non-accusatory while still pointing out the assumptions about gender. Or you could say, "Well somebody needs to look after the child. So you're saying that Katie should be the one to stay home? Why? Do you believe it's solely a woman's job to raise children and that men should not have to sacrifice their careers while women do? Or are you saying it's better for both parents to work and hire someone else to look after their child? I'm just curious as to why you would think a reversal of traditional roles is not OK."

I think it's absolutely fine to call people on their assumptions about gender roles. If they feel they must comment on something that isn't their business, then they should be perfectly fine with being called upon to explain what they mean.


sammycat

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 10:33:42 PM »
I agree with Raintree.

Bratski

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 11:27:48 PM »
DH and I have used a variation of what Raintree has posted. Over the years we have taken turns being home with the kids due to changing situations.

Now I work back shifts and DH has a seasonal job (April-November) and picks up odd jobs in the winter. It works out for us because there is always a parent at home, I really only need a sitter for a few hours a day, 3 times a week in the summer so I can sleep.

I really hated when anyone assumed DH was lazy for being at home. I know what a handful our three kids are and what it takes to run a home smoothly, he was definitely not taking it easy!

Darcy

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2010, 02:16:40 AM »
Agree with Raintree.

DaisyLeigh

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2010, 09:41:03 AM »
I am the one who works while DH stays home, at least for now.

No one has had the lack of class and manners to actually comment on it, but it does seem to carry with it, an air of "why". It doesn't seem to be accepted, for some unknown reason.

Darcy

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2010, 02:33:47 PM »
I am the one who works while DH stays home, at least for now.

No one has had the lack of class and manners to actually comment on it, but it does seem to carry with it, an air of "why". It doesn't seem to be accepted, for some unknown reason.

I've also noticed sometimes where people will say that a mom is "taking care of" her kids, while a dad is "babysitting" his kids.

Zenith

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2010, 11:53:49 PM »
I agree with Raintree.

I don't get the double standard when fathers/men stay home and the wife works. Sometimes it's better that way.

My parents often switched with who stayed home with the kids. Some years Mum did because she earned more and got better benefits, sometimes Dad did because he was studying at night and it was easier for him to be a stay at home Dad. Whatever works for the situation at hand.

[quote author=Darcy link=topic=83591.msg1990315#msg1990315 date=1284230027
I've also noticed sometimes where people will say that a mom is "taking care of" her kids, while a dad is "babysitting" his kids.
[/quote]

Gah, I HATE that statement. You parent you kids regardless if you the Mum or Dad.


Deetee

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2010, 10:42:59 AM »
"And if she was staying home with the baby, would you think that abut her?" *Puzzled look*

Anyone who thinks that looking after a baby full time is slacking is ridiculous. (It's not so much hard, as unrelenting-Speaking of which I better get to sleep, as I want to get my baby (nearly 2) to stop waking up every 2-3 hours to eat, so my plan is to cuddle her back to sleep instead, but it may be hours of crying tonight....)

sweetgirl

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 11:16:05 AM »
I'd be tempted to say something like "well the bills are paid,he's happy,I'm happy baby, is happy and it works for US...isn't that all that matters? And what does it matter to anybody else what WE DO in OUR FAMILY?"

shhh its me

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2010, 12:12:50 PM »
I agree with Raintree.

I don't get the double standard when fathers/men stay home and the wife works. Sometimes it's better that way.

My parents often switched with who stayed home with the kids. Some years Mum did because she earned more and got better benefits, sometimes Dad did because he was studying at night and it was easier for him to be a stay at home Dad. Whatever works for the situation at hand.

Quote from: Darcy link=topic=83591.msg1990315#msg1990315 date=1284230027
[b
I've also noticed sometimes where people will say that a mom is "taking care of" her kids, while a dad is "babysitting" his kids.[/b]

Gah, I HATE that statement. You parent you kids regardless if you the Mum or Dad.

POD  my ex actually used to say " Can't come to lunch,help you move etc.  I'm babysitting"  no NO NO! your not babysitting your parenting.

mechtilde

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2010, 12:26:39 PM »
How about "He's a full time parent- that IS a job."
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Elfqueen13

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Re: "He must be a slacker.."
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 11:02:33 AM »
I hate when people do that!  When we were first married (2008), my husband went back to school.  He'd been laid off, in a field that is still struggling, and decided it was time for a career change, which I fully supported. At one point I had to take him to the ER for what turned out to be a ruptured disk in his neck and the PA who saw him could not seem to wrap his head around the difference between "full time student" and "unemployed worthless loser". It is sexist, and people should definitely be called out on it.
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