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Is this common? - Page 7

post #121 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
That logic does not relate to what I said at all.

Some of my best memories from childhood were the times I spent with my godmother or godfather or other babysitters. I gained a lot from those interactions and I never missed my parents when I was with others, though I loved my parents very much. My kids gain a lot from interactions with other adults, and I don't feel that it is detrimental at all for kids to have attachments to people outside the immediate family. It's certainly better for kids than having a burned out resentful mother.
To be fair, the OP didn't give me any impression that she thinks there's something wrong with children having relationships outside the immediate family. I got the feeling she was talking about something quite different. I've definitely met a few people who don't seem to be even remotely interested in interacting with their kids, and it just seems really weird...
post #122 of 160
Ok, I agree that there can be situations where a child is left for excessively long periods when he or she shouldn't be. Neglect exists, we know that.

But the situations in the OP were not excessive. Remember, we're talking about the co-worker and his wife who only had one day off in common, and who used it to nurture their marriage while the child was at the grandma's. The mother who used childcare now and then to do errands alone. That kind of thing.

These are not crazy, outrageous instances of neglectful parents "dumping" a kid for exessive amounts of time. These are the kinds of strategies most parents I know employ.
post #123 of 160
Quote:
IMO, that's excessive. I don't think I've ever met a parent who would disagree. At some point, it's definitely possible to leave your children too much...and if the kids are feeling unwanted, I'd say that point is, at the very least, being approached.
And the answer lies right there in the bolded part: how do the kids feel about it? We can analyze this into eternity and discuss (in a circular fashion or otherwise) what we think or observe about parents and their activities, but how does the child feel? Does the child feel or look happy? Loved? How does he treat or respond to others around him? Obviously a baby can't articulate what it feels in any known language, but it sure can cry and look miserable and exhibit other non-verbal signs of unhappiness and discomfort. This sense of abandonment or feeling unwanted will then surely exhibit itself in other ways as the child grows, even if internalized at first.

And to get back to the OP's original question, I don't think some of the isolated examples of excessiveness cited in the previous posts are common, at least in my experience.
post #124 of 160
For myself, I'd find several examples in the OP to be excessive. But, I was a WOHM who didn't want to be for a long time. I spent a ton of time away from my son, when all I wanted was to be with him. So, the idea of volunteering for another day a week (or whatever) without him just...feels really weird to me. We were pretty much attached at the hip when I wasn't at work, and I wanted it that way. I just have to keep in mind that everyone is different...maybe I would have seen things differently, if I'd been getting something out of WOH, aside from my paycheque.
post #125 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Ok, I agree that there can be situations where a child is left for excessively long periods when he or she shouldn't be. Neglect exists, we know that.

But the situations in the OP were not excessive. Remember, we're talking about the co-worker and his wife who only had one day off in common, and who used it to nurture their marriage while the child was at the grandma's. The mother who used childcare now and then to do errands alone. That kind of thing.

These are not crazy, outrageous instances of neglectful parents "dumping" a kid for exessive amounts of time. These are the kinds of strategies most parents I know employ.
I know I personally was referring to other posters as the conversation seemed to evolve into the more excessive, if that makes sense. I also don't feel the OPs examples were excessive as given and I don't think she was saying they were. The thread went on a different course as usual.
post #126 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
The vibe I always get from these threads is that those "other" moms are enjoying themselves to much instead of martyring themselves in the currently fashionable way.
So wait are you saying moms who stay with their kids all the time aren't enjoying themselves and are martyrs? I am lost in this statement. Firstly I don't get that vibe and secondly who says anywhere any of us have to be martyrs? I think it's too much of a generalization. Moms can be happy with their kids 24/7, with some breaks, or even gone all day. On the flip side moms can be the real martyrs who are gone all the time, with some breaks, or with their kids 24/7. I think it's just the stereotypical "if you are with your kids you are miserable" in order to combat the stereotypical "if you are away from your kids you are selfish". Neither are right.
post #127 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

But the situations in the OP were not excessive. Remember, we're talking about the co-worker and his wife who only had one day off in common, and who used it to nurture their marriage while the child was at the grandma's. The mother who used childcare now and then to do errands alone. That kind of thing.

These are not crazy, outrageous instances of neglectful parents "dumping" a kid for exessive amounts of time. These are the kinds of strategies most parents I know employ.
I just want to say that I did read the examples in OP and think that for me that would be excessive and out of the question. I didn't have a baby to then turn around and not spend time with her. I waited until I was very ready and wanting a baby very badly and I *want* to spend most of my time with her, she is only young once and I want very much to be around her to experience everything.
I also agree that having family in LO's lives is VERY important. I don't get a long with my mom, but that hasn't stopped me from moving across the country to be nearer to her so that my dd could have more than just me and her dad in her life, y'know?
I enjoy the occassional date night with dp, but our relationship has changed since having her and I am ok with that, it's a new faze and I expect that as life evolves there will be many new fazes to our relationship.
What I don't understand is the idea that in spite of having a child, people expect to continue doing all the things they did in their pre-baby days. To *me* that seems ridiculous. Having me time to decompress makes sense, having time to continue the lifestyle you had before baby does not, again, to *me*.
I also don't know a lot of parents that do that kind of thing or even want to, but again, that's just me.
post #128 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
So wait are you saying moms who stay with their kids all the time aren't enjoying themselves and are martyrs? I am lost in this statement. Firstly I don't get that vibe and secondly who says anywhere any of us have to be martyrs? I think it's too much of a generalization. Moms can be happy with their kids 24/7, with some breaks, or even gone all day. On the flip side moms can be the real martyrs who are gone all the time, with some breaks, or with their kids 24/7. I think it's just the stereotypical "if you are with your kids you are miserable" in order to combat the stereotypical "if you are away from your kids you are selfish". Neither are right.
I thought I was the only one who thought that was a ridiculous thing to even throw out there!
I am thoroughly offended at the idea, esp on a forum called mothering,that a mom could not enjoy her kids company enough to want to spend much of her time with them.

For the record I could be working outside the home, what's to stop me? I was running a gallery before I had dd and *loved* it, but it wasn't where I wanted to be anymore, I wanted to leave that life and stay home with my dd. And I love it! I don't feel in any way cheated. My life is just as good now, just different.
I also don't susbscribe to the "having it all" mentality. And I think a lot of women are realizing that that was an illusion from the start.
post #129 of 160
Quote:
For myself, I'd find several examples in the OP to be excessive. But, I was a WOHM who didn't want to be for a long time. I spent a ton of time away from my son, when all I wanted was to be with him. So, the idea of volunteering for another day a week (or whatever) without him just...feels really weird to me.
I understand what you're trying to say, StormBride, I'm a WOH mom myself, and I desparately want to spend every available moment when not at the office with my DD. But, maybe its my training as a lawyer (which may be a negative in itself...ha, ha), but there is not enough information or enough facts stated in the OP for me to reach any conclusion that any of those examples are "excessive." Maybe the OP's co-worker has three days off a week, one in which he spends with his DW. Maybe the person who tries to get shopping done before she picks up her child after work is in my situation (has to ride subways and buses to get to DD, then has to ride more subways and buses to get home; shopping is on the way to DD; DD and I have a few blocks to walk home that is not near the grocery store; I just want to get home to spend time with DD and economize my time doing errands...which I find highly unpleasant even without DD in tow). In essence, we don't know those individuals' work schedules, we don't know what they do when they are at home, we don't know what their approach is to childrearing. Thank goodness our legal system requires a little more proof and a little more fact digging before people are thrown in jail.

I'm lucky enough to have flex-time schedule which allows me to come and go as I please in order to pick up DD from school. In addition, many parents in my firm utilize a work plan that allows them to work 4 days and have 3 days off. There are many parents at my DD's school, however, who have to employ part-time nannies to pick up their children, as they do not have the flexibility to leave work when school lets out every day and have few relatives in the city to help out. Someone from the outside looking in might think: "Whoa! These people send their kids to pre-school AND they have nannies. They must really not want to spend time with their kids!" Point is, they do what they have to do to make it work.

The OP contained no other relevant facts that would lead me to believe that anything about the co-workers' behavior was excessive. So what if the guy and his wife spent one day of the week together without their DC? We don't know anything else about them. We assume they are working some other days of the week. But how many days and during what time periods? Do they live next door to work with no commute time? Does the grandma live with them? These types questions are all terribly relevant to how much time I spend with my own DD. That's why I'd like to know more.
post #130 of 160
I want to add that I think this thread has turned into a situation where posters are starting to take a lot of comments out of context and building arguments on those particular statements. It's called a strawman argument: taking another's position, turning it into a different position, and then attacking that position.

I wish the OP would come back and talk to us!
post #131 of 160
Hmm, coming in quite late to the conversation.... anywhoo

In the past I have given up days with my DS specifically so he could spend time with his grandparents or other family members. Yes, I did use that time to run errands like shopping, getting my hair done etc but the main focus was HIM spending time with other people who loved him. I think that the more people who love my son and who he loves the better. IMO, it makes him a more confident person. "Wow, look at all these people who love me and I feel secure and safe with". He and I will always have a special relationship (I hope - haven't hit the teenage years yet!) but I don't want to be the 'be all and end all' of his life. Does that make any sense?

As well, I think its important that these relationships grow without me or my DH being there. My mom and DS have developed such a special relationship because she watches him for one day a week while I work. I don't think that would have developed to the level that it has if I was always around.

Yes, there are parents out there who sadly don't spend enough time with their kids but I think the opposite is true as well. Sometimes there are parents who don't let their kids form special relationships with other adults as well. I think that a healthy balance between the two is key.
post #132 of 160
CatsCradle: That's a good point about flex-time and/or part-time hours. I hadn't even thought of that. I don't really think the things in the OP sound all that excessive, anyway. They just would have felt like a lot to me when I was WOH. I met my bff for dinner about every six weeks, and sometimes, I even begrudged that small amount of time away from ds1 (but I didn't begrudge it enough to actually skip meeting her). DS1 loved it when I came home, but he was fine when I was gone, too. I was the one who hated it.
post #133 of 160
Quote:
I don't really think the things in the OP sound all that excessive, anyway. They just would have felt like a lot to me when I was WOH. I met my bff for dinner about every six weeks, and sometimes, I even begrudged that small amount of time away from ds1 (but I didn't begrudge it enough to actually skip meeting her). DS1 loved it when I came home, but he was fine when I was gone, too. I was the one who hated it.
StormBride: I totally know what you mean! I think it all comes down to how WE FEEL as moms/parents. Intellectually I know that DD is fine when I'm not there. Deep down I'm like, dang, I miss that kid! When I'm away from her but look at her photo, I just want to squeeze her and tell her that I love her. I even get that way when she is off running around with her dad. They will call me on the phone and she will prattle on about what they are doing, and I'm feeling "arrrggghh...I wish I had gone too!" There is a bond between parent and child that I think most parents can't deny. Unfortunately there's a few out there who never bond or feel that connection, and hopefully the kids of those parents will come out on top. I don't think it's a new thing...I think the world has always been this way in some respect.
post #134 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I didn't have a baby to then turn around and not spend time with her. I waited until I was very ready and wanting a baby very badly and I *want* to spend most of my time with her, she is only young once and I want very much to be around her to experience everything.
I also agree that having family in LO's lives is VERY important. I don't get a long with my mom, but that hasn't stopped me from moving across the country to be nearer to her so that my dd could have more than just me and her dad in her life, y'know?
I understand your viewpoint, but the way you say it seems to imply that all babies are planned.

I love my 17yo dearly, but he was not planned. He was conceived while I was on the pill. I was in the military. So, my choices were to terminate, give him up, or be a full-time (and then some) WOTH mom. I was only 21 when he was born, and had never really given thought to having kids prior to learning of my pregnancy, because in my mind, kids were something that was going to happen "some day."

And seeing as I was in the service, moving near my family wasn't an option. The "needs of the Navy" come first. And since my boys' dad is a career Navy guy, we've never lived near family, since we spent years moving from place to place after he and I got married. That doesn't mean they've never had anyone else in their lives besides me and their dad. They've had awesome caregivers, and the children and spouses of their caregivers were equally awesome. Friends and neighbors. Lots of visits to the midwest to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.

No, I didn't have a baby just to turn around and not spend time with him. I did the best I could with what I had. On the rare occasion that I left with with a sitter to go out with friends, it was after he'd been put to bed for the night.

Believe it or not, those of us who have to work to put a roof over our heads often would prefer to spend all our time with our babies, too. I never wanted to leave my kids in daycare. Stuff happens.
post #135 of 160
I haven't read all of the replies, but I will happily go shopping without dd when I have the chance. For example, if I am out at a meeting in the evening, then I will go to the store after that. It takes a lot less time and dd and I don't get into a fight about the things that she wants. She has been (rather frequently) known to have screaming meltdowns in the grocery store. However, most of the time she goes shopping with me.

Last year I trained for a marathon. Most of the time, I ran with dd in the jogging stroller during her nap. However, I also left home 15 minutes early on work days to get a short run in. I think that's logical self care, since she was going to grandma's house anyway.

For financial reasons, in the fall I am increasing my work hours slightly. I am going to use 1 day per month to do medical appointments and have breakfast with my mom. Dd can't stand coming to my appointments, so the two of us discussed it and agreed that this new arrangement would be fine with her.

I WOH part time and WAH part time, and often I take dd to meetings and on work-related errands or programs. I think that she comes to "adult" activities more than most kids I know. While that's fine with her, I pick and choose what she comes to, and we make it (mostly) fun, I also find that it's nice to have times when it's just the two of us doing the things that we enjoy. Having childcare during the work / errand times facilitates this by allowing me to do errands and work more quickly.

By the way, I love the Continuum Concept and want dd to experience coming with me to things rather than being left behind. However, this also requires an understanding of how your child will react to certain activities, how you'll make sure that she's engaged (she no longer fits on my back, even though she'd love to be there), and what activities you choose to do together.
post #136 of 160
[QUOTE=2xy;13961571]I understand your viewpoint, but the way you say it seems to imply that all babies are planned.[QUOTE]

I'm sorry it came across that way, it's not how I meant it at all. I was just relating how *I* came to be a mother. I actually did not include my first pregnancy in that story because it ended in the first trimester, but it was when I was 17. It taught me a lot about myself and what would be the best for me and that turned out to be waiting to get pregnant again until it *was* a planned pregnancy. That was about 10 years later.
post #137 of 160
I think the OP is absolutely right that there is a cultural context here.

Now I don't know a lot about Mexican culture, but typically US/Canadian culture is not family-friendly as a whole. As a broad generalization (flame away...) adults and children socialize separately, with their peers. Extended family is a smaller part of our life than in many cultures. A lot of public places are not designed for children or with children in mind. At least where I live, if you DO bring your child everywhere, it invites comments and looks. Our entertainment is primarily age-targeted and oriented towards individual activities.

So if US/Canadian parents are using babysitters more often than is typical in a family-oriented culture, why are we surprised? I think that has more to do with the answer to the original question than trying to come up with a universal formula for what constitutes excessive babysitting.
post #138 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
What I don't understand is the idea that in spite of having a child, people expect to continue doing all the things they did in their pre-baby days. To *me* that seems ridiculous. Having me time to decompress makes sense, having time to continue the lifestyle you had before baby does not, again, to *me*. I also don't know a lot of parents that do that kind of thing or even want to, but again, that's just me.
Sadly, I do know a few. One mother told me that when they had their baby, their lives weren't really going to change. That they weren't going to change their lives to fit the baby, but rather train the baby to fit their lives. For them, that meant continuing to do ALL the things they did before, frequent dinners, movies, vacations, shows -- all w/o the baby. Which meant that baby was now spending lots of time with her grandmother and babysitters. And they refuse to take her to places like the zoo or children's museums b/c THEY have no interest in it, but right now they feel that she is too young to enjoy adult art museums so they go alone and leave her home. Now that, to me, is excessive!
post #139 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
What culture are you from? Certainly, growing up, my mother carted us around most places. As for me, i do the same. I find it more of a nuisance to organise a babysitter, and the whole 'pickup' thing annoys me, because then i am constrained by a time. I' rather just have my kids with me. If they need to nap, they nap in the stroller or on me. Sometimes, this allows me to go to a ...gasp...cafe.

I like spending time with my kids, because basically thats all of think about now anyway. Everything is about them.

I find ways to do other things i like, with them. For eg, i like to read, so i read in the playground.

I find i dont really need a 'break' from them, other than i get already with naps etc.
There are some things i just dont do anymore, like to go the movies. But that can wait.

Maya with ds1 3.75 and ds2 14m
This is us. I really enjoy my kids most of the time. I can go everywhere with them. They love go to restaurants, my older one loves to order from the menu. She makes her deposit tickets when we go the bank. Always is something fun to do.
Sometimes I get tired that people assume that I need time away from my children. I wish that the same people some day will offer to make some boring errand for me.
post #140 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by olliepop View Post
Sadly, I do know a few. One mother told me that when they had their baby, their lives weren't really going to change. That they weren't going to change their lives to fit the baby, but rather train the baby to fit their lives. For them, that meant continuing to do ALL the things they did before, frequent dinners, movies, vacations, shows -- all w/o the baby. Which meant that baby was now spending lots of time with her grandmother and babysitters. And they refuse to take her to places like the zoo or children's museums b/c THEY have no interest in it, but right now they feel that she is too young to enjoy adult art museums so they go alone and leave her home. Now that, to me, is excessive!

Yeah, to me that is what the OP was saying, but maybe I read it wrong. That, to me is such a sad scenario and those kinds of parents don't know what they are missing out on...
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