Originally Posted by mambera
My mom has a successful career and raised 3 children. I guess I saw that as the norm and therefore didn't realize quite how tough it is. I've always had a lot of respect for my mom but I have even more now that I'm navigating this road myself.
It sounds like your mom is really deserving of your respect. Some women do make it look easy, but I am willing to bet it's not easy for them. What a great resource you have to draw on your mom's experience and knowledge and advice. And what a great role model/mentor. That is really lucky.
My mother never worked. She was not educated. She was also a single mom, with no money. And yet that never motivated her to work. We were very impoverished and it was a really dreadful childhood with access to almost nothing and many times we didn't have enough food and heat. I really, really wanted her to work. Everyone in her family wanted her to work because they felt she needed to be self-sufficient. So, I'm certain that colors my world a bit, right, but probably not to the extent that my husband thinks. He thinks I don't want to work because of my mother and what she has been her whole life. And I've only not wanted to work two times in my life - immediately following the birth of my child and when I was breastfeeding, and then, from time to time now as I try to figure out how to live with DH's long hours and his - cluelessness? turning the other cheek? I don't know what it is, exactly - when it comes to helping me out with work and child. It's always when I have travel or a really exhausting series of meetings or something or I start missing a lot of child related events because of work.
The rest of my life I always worked my butt off - in college I put myself through school and worked the entire time, I really worked hard to build a career after college, and I'm working really hard now trying to balance everything so I'm really just, well, fed up with my husband and the things he says about my work ethic. I'm not my mother and a woman who wants to stay at home with a newborn shouldn't have her work ethic questioned. Like these other posters below, what should be questioned is the sorry shape of maternity leave in this country where a woman has to make such heart wrenching "choices."
Originally Posted by kindergirl77
I think whether an educated woman chooses to SAH depends on a lot of things. Her husband or partner's income, their debt, student loans, quality of life they are used to living, mortgage, and mainly their child-raising philosophies. Some women would rather go bankrupt, lose their home, and move in with family than go back to work. They are THAT committed to SAH because of their beliefs.
I agree that it is easier for non-professional women to SAH. I think the women who DO have an education are under a lot more pressure to USE their degrees, especially so if they have student debt. (That is my situation). And knowing that they could help provide a 'better' life for their families using their education is a big reason women choose to work. The question is what constitutes a better life- that is debatable.
And many women don't have a choice. They HAVE to work to make ends meet. And that is what makes me very upset about our society. We live in a 2-income society that (as a pp said) doesn't value children and sees them as burdens. We get very little Maternity leave in the US. And most women CANT have the choice to SAH anymore. There is little choice. Not with the housing costs, not in this economy.
It is only because my DH makes 100K that I was able to stay home for 5 years- and that wasn't even enough- I had to take on babysitting jobs and watched a neighbor's baby full time in order for me to stay at home (we also live in Southern CA). Now my kids are school age and I want to go back.
My cousin, who lives in Germany, is a very educated lawyer and she gets 1 year off and her employer must still hold her job for her if she decides to come back. 1 YEAR! And she did go back to work after 1 year (She gets to work part time.) She gets nursing breaks at work too where her nanny brings the baby to work and she nurses her. How awesome is that!
This is such a good post. It really, really gets at the issue here. THIS, above, is exactly what I'm talking about. The example of the lawyer and her options in Germany should be standard! A woman who takes a year to be with her baby should not have to jeopardize her career...ever! Seriously, if you go to college for 4 years, then law school for 3, then practice for a while, then take one year off, why should your work ethic be questioned, your career jeopardized, or your motives at work be any different than they were before?
Originally Posted by Punchy Kaby
The mother/child maternity leave situation is so much better in every nation as wealthy as ours. It is pitiful in the US. Now that I am in the work force, 'own' a home, pay taxes and have mostly gotten over the continual need to buy things I realize that the big motivator in our economy is to BUY THINGS. The reason most of us have to work (2 incomes households) is because housing costs are driven up by other 2 income families. People, me included, want THINGS. I think back in the 50's-60's life was more simple, people did not have perfect homes that they remodeled to their desires, 4 TVs, 2 cars, computers, costly extra curricular activities for the kids, vacations, the list goes on and on.
I am starting to meet more SAHM now that DS has activities. A lot of these moms had careers before they had kids and quit. DH and I both work varying hours, but I consider his job 3/4 time. He usually has the summer off and several weeks here and there throughout the year. It has been wonderful having him home for the kids, they love it, we love it and I know the kids have a special bond with him. We feel extremely lucky to have this. DH does have plans to get another part time job when the baby is a little older so we can put away more money. Right now we are barely eeking by with our mortgage(we live in a high COL city as well) and day care costs, we have very little saved for retirement.
I love my career, but dislike my job. I feel cornered, like I have no choices.
That is Nice-have you considered taking nutritional supplements? If you are vegetarian you could be severely sufficient in amino acids, B 12, iron, all things that meat provides. Also, fish oil (DHA) is needed for brain development (and use
). I take fish oil everyday, it definitely helps my brain concentrate.
It sounds like you have some serious issues to consider in your personal life-your DH sounds like he wanted a room mate to share life expenses with, not have a life partner to love unconditionally. Will you ever feel safe and loved (and will your child) in this kind of environment?
Thank you for this post. I thank you for really understanding my own personal situation, which is part political as we have all been discussing and part DH-attitude.
I take good supplements and try to eat really well...I don't know what is going on...I just don't feel good anymore at all and I haven't for quite some time. I think it might be the enormous stress and sadness I feel with basically every word and action towards me coming from H. As I said before, Mondays are my worst days at work and it's because, I think, I'm coming off a weekend where I'm sure DH called me a B at some point for some thing EVERY
single weekend. It is so hard living with him, so incredibly draining. I am so tired of his circular, indignant arguements about everything. Tonight, just a small, small example, I asked him to sweep the floor, which really needed it, and he did, but he was taking the broom and sweeping it with broad, long strokes like he had no idea how to really sweep, and maybe he doesn't, and he was lofting the dirt and particles into the air and across the floor, spreading most of it around even more. He was doing this, probably, because in his mind it's more efficient and sweeps everything faster if you go longer distances, and he could be done in double time.
It was a totally wrong, and child-like way to sweep, really, and I know I might actually sound like the B he thinks I am. So, help me. How do you react if your H flubs things - either deliberately to speed things up so he doesn't have to be sweeping or cleaning for that long of a time, or unintentionally because he really doesn't know how to sweep and hasn't listened to you or learned in over 10 years of marriage? It's so frustrating. At first, I said something like please don't sweep that way, it spreads the dirt and particles across longer distances and into the air so it's not really cleaning it's just spreading it around. Sweep in smaller brushes and direct it toward the dust pan or a pile, then pick it up with the dust pan. And DH says, it doesn't matter how you sweep as long as you do it. Sweeping is sweeping, and continued to argue about the angles and efficiencies of his sweeping and why the trajectory was this or that. I get so frustrated. This is so classic of how he operates and our exchanges. I can't tell. Is he not listening and doing these things because of his linear thinking very techocratic brain, or because he really does have Asperger's as I've continued to suspect as a possibility all these years, or because he really just wants to bug me and be a jerk, or because he really thinks his way to do it is the best way even if it's counter to how I've seen anyone else sweep, how a housekeeper would sweep upon hire, or how they demonstrate sweeping in broom/mop commercials. Seriously. DH's sweeping just made the room messier. It would have been easier, in the long run, to do it myself, and it's this way with everything!
Do I just say, thanks for sweeping, honey? And nicely overlook how he does everything? I truly think it might be that he is so lazy he find the quickest and easiest way to do anything he doesn't give a care about, and sweeping is one of them.