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Is being a mom "enough"? - Page 3

post #41 of 90
Here's my thoughts from a btdt and have the tshirt that says grandma on it perspective. The period of intense, on-call 24/7 mothering doesn't last forever. Now that your last one is in school is the time to think about your next career. Explore your interests. You enjoy making cupcakes--take cooking/baking classes. You want to garden? Take organic/native gardening classes. You love little kids--take child development classes. Volunteer at the neonatal unit at the hospital. Volunteer at Head Start or your local school, library, etc. Look at your city's recreational classes, adult ed classes, community college,, etc. And, who knows, but spending some time focusing on you can help your marriage and your relationship with your dh and your children. From the other person's perspective, focusing all your being into being a mother can feel suffocating to your children as they hit their teens and your dh can feel neglected and that you no longer care about your relationship with him. At the very least it will give you a more balanced you. something that you will need down the road when there is just you and your dh. And take it from me, being a grandma is fun but it's not the same all encompassing feeling that you get from being a mom. Besides your grandchildren already have a mom.
post #42 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I got the opportunity to begin a work-at-home position giving business/conversational English lessons over the phone to people in Western and Eastern Europe and Asia.
Totally OT, but this sounds like an awesome opportunity!
post #43 of 90
Yes, being a mom is "enough" to fill one's soul, but I feel that it is part of my job - as a mother - to ensure that I have at least some kind of training/education/background to fall upon should anything happen. Even those of us who are in positive, loving, stable marriages cannot assume that nothing will happen. I have a university degree, and I don't use it right now - but I made sure to earn it before I started having children, "just in case".

That's just how I felt, having a mother who stayed with an alcoholic husband for 30 years because she didn't have any education past elementary school and didn't think she could afford to take us out of the home.
post #44 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

college is not the only way to be self sufficient.

but absolutely dont jump on this right now. just enjoy the free time and breathe.
I completely agree with this quote right here!! We need moms who WANT to be moms and LOVE being moms. Not moms who don't like their children. IF and WHEN you ever come to a time when you need an income, I have NO DOUBT you will find something. Even if it's in home day care. Or selling Pampered Chef. You'll find something.
post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
Personally, I think being a mom is enough if you feel like it is enough. Only you know what is best for you.

However I do agree that taking classes in things that pertain to little ones would be pretty cool too if you really want to get a degree. Child psychology, early childhood education, nutrition... most things pertain to kids and you could find a path. Of course, you could always just get certified for doing home care and take care of OTHER people's little ones as well so you can still act as a mom (ish hehe) but also have a way of supporting yourself as well as having others be quiet about it.

I definitely think though that something will eventually speak to you. Nothing spoke to me until I realized that I absolutely adore all things childbirth. I want to be a childbirth educator and I also have a huge interest in being a postpartum doula because of how my experiences went. I think eventually you'll find your path as well

for now, I'd enjoy what I enjoy... and if you are already doing it... well then why stop??
ITA!

I think you could look at almost any of the MDC forums, figure out which one is your favorite, and build a career around it! I love being a mom and I don't have any ambitious goals for myself career-wise, but I am really interested in nutrition and natural health *especially as it pertains to caring for my family. I am really interested in taking correspondence courses in these areas to be able to better care for my family, and if it leads to a career then it does, but I don't really care! of course if something did happen and I needed to support my kids, then I would already be on my way to a career that I like.

But please don't let anyone else tell you what should or should not satisfy your soul. Be confident in what you're doing and you might just convince those other people that mothering is THE thing for you and you are complete as things are now.
post #46 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by septmommy View Post
In general, though, does our society support women who feel fulfilled by making parenting their main role? I often feel very belittled for feeling it is enough. It's as if I have a more limited view of the world and less to contribute to conversation.
septmommy i face that prejudice too. i am a full time student living off of loans and grants. i went back to school because 'I' wanted to go back to school. it is my calling in a big way just the way being a mom to my dd was. the urge to follow my dream came right when dd started school.

argh i get so many looks and comments because i dont work. because i pick up my dd from school and then we hang out and do our hws together.

i am at a point where for me mommy and student are equally important. one is not more than the other. or less. of course if i had to choose obviously mom would win. but i see the huge impact of me following my dreams is having on my dd. our lives are soooo much richer than it was 3 years ago.

i am investing in my dd NOW. she is growing up to be a really confident and fearless young woman. and i am doing that by listening to my calling. tomorrow when i come out of college i am going to do amazing 'work'. it wont be my 'work' it will be my calling from which i will never ever retire. i will die 'playing' my favourite game.

i see the same with my dd. we are poor. really really poor. but we manage. and lead a v. v. rich life. we make decisions together. and her life is enriched by me doing my thing.

btw SM some of the best read people i have found are mostly those who read on their own without going to college.

but society sees me as irresponsible. not taking good care of my dd. not setting up anything for the future. i feel i AM doing EXACTLY that. but going about it in a different way. i am investing in dd's sense of self rather than $$$$. which will last her forever than any amount of money ever will.
post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Totally OT, but this sounds like an awesome opportunity!
Thanks, it truly has been ...and of course this opportunity wouldn't be the "bees knees" for everyone -- but my main point is that no one needs to jump into doing anything that they don't really want to do. The right opportunities are out there if we are willing to trust that they are out there, and just stay in a state of calm alertness so that we'll see them as they emerge.

It initially felt just awful when I realized that, realistically, I needed to start thinking about how I could bring in an income. I would lie in bed at night feeling really yucky about it. But then this faith just came to me -- faith that the right opportunity for me was out there and it would come to me when I was ready for it.

And it did. I think the OP also has some great ideas for home-based businesses. She doesn't necessarily need to start anything right now, but just having that sense of alertness about it, and allowing her brain to start processing ideas for how to meet the financial needs of her family, can really set some wonderful things in motion -- some wonderful connections with others for one thing.

As far as the poster who is sad about the direction the thread is going -- I don't think anyone here is demeaning motherhood. I also happen to think being a dad is enough, too! But providing for our children's physical and material needs is part-and-parcel of both mothering and fathering.

When I learn about the natural cultures that many of us at MDC base a large part of our parenting philosophies on -- I think the main difference is that these cultures are based upon a way of life in which providing for material needs involves little-to-no separation of mothers from children, and also a lot less separation of fathers from children than what we see in our culture, since Dad may take off sometimes on a long hunt but he's also spending heaps of time at home in the village.

I've been reading a book by Steve Taylor called The Fall: Evidence for a Golden Age, 6000 Years of Insanity and the Dawning of a New Era, which is kind of OT, except that one point he makes seems applicable here. He feels that unfallen peoples don't have modern man's unsatiable need to accumulate wealth, status and stuff -- which kind of tells me that they already feel like they are "enough," just as they are.

They still do what they need to do to meet the material needs of their families -- but in and of themselves they are okay -- they are enough just as they are.

I am enough. You are enough. Right now, just as we are. We don't need degrees or job titles to prove it. We can just be, and whatever we decide to do can be because this is our chosen means of sharing our love and joy with the world.
post #48 of 90
Also, meemee's posts about this really resonate with me, as do all of her other posts pretty much all the time.
post #49 of 90
I also wanted to add that sometimes providing for our families might involve availing ourselves of public resources that are there for families in difficult situations, such as single parent families.

There's no shame in accepting help when we need it; we can always add more back into the system later on when we're able -- and we are absolutely still "enough" even at the moments when we are receiving the most help .
post #50 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbieB View Post
This thread is sad to me. If the moms from MDC think that mothers need to find fulfillment outside the home because mothering is not enough than where are we satisfied mothers and homemakers to find support?

Yes, being a mother is enough!

In the future, you may change your mind and that is the time to look for something else. In the meantime enjoy motherhood and be there for your kids who still need a mother even though they are at school for a few hours everyday.

I agree with AbbieB. Being a mother is absolutely enough! It is the most important thing we can be and I wish that our society and community offered more support to women who love nothing more than to nurture, educate, and care for their children.

Raising children and taking care of my home is the greatest job I have ever had and I am very proud of what I do.
post #51 of 90
Again, I simply don't see where anyone on this thread has devalued mothering or homemaking. I think we all take pride in what we do as moms.
post #52 of 90
I think that being a mother "is enough". I am a SAHM and I love it and feel great about what I am doing with and for my son.

Obviously, each woman/mom is different and for some moms it isn't "enough". I believe it is important that all people recognize what they need to be fulfilled/satisfied/whatever and pursue that.

But, as someone who grew up with a single mom who really struggled financially, I think an important part of being a mom, whether you currently stay home or not, is being able to support your children on your own if you need to. You may or may not need a degree to do that - depends on what you would choose. If your youngest in entering school and your relationship has been rocky and you potentially have 6 children to support - it would make sense to me to start studying or researching or laying the ground work to have some sort of job you like and are good at.

ETA: I just reread my post, and somehow it sounds much more judgmental than I meant it to be. What I meant to get across is that I think being a mom is "enough" for some people (including me it is - not for others - I totally recognize that), but that sometimes regardless of it you think it is enough, a persons life is such that it isn't practical to be a SAHM. Sometimes the best way to be a mom is to have some way to support your family even if you would rather be home and/or the job you do isn't your passion.
post #53 of 90
Thread Starter 
I've really appreciated everyone's posts and have enjoyed all the different points of view. I still don't have a clear idea on how I want to proceed, but I have a lot of wonderful suggestions to ponder. For now I am going to enjoy this beautiful day with my kiddos and be thankful that I am in a position in life that affords me the luxury of even questioning all this
post #54 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by septmommy View Post
I've really appreciated everyone's posts and have enjoyed all the different points of view. I still don't have a clear idea on how I want to proceed, but I have a lot of wonderful suggestions to ponder. For now I am going to enjoy this beautiful day with my kiddos and be thankful that I am in a position in life that affords me the luxury of even questioning all this
Don't overthink it. When you have something, you'll know it.

Right now, your kids have school, lunches, backpacks... all of this is very time consuming. If you are not lounging on the couch all day watching The Price is Right, and complaining "I'm soooo bored!!" then, just relax. THIS is your passion right now. Your next one will show up without you ever knowing it. It doesn't have to be a job, or a class. It could just be an interest that makes you happy. It could even be working at your kid's school.
post #55 of 90
A class here and there is a good start and you may find once you get into it that you want to be a mom and work slowly towards a degree you can use once your kids are grown. You don't know where life will take you and I think some education beyond high school is a good thing. Just taking college classes had made a difference in the quality of the jobs I was able to get once my husband and I split up. It is scary to be on your own and to have almost no prospects.

I also want to say that those of us who work are still moms. Some of us define our life by that. Work is something we do to support our families but that doesn't decrease our love of being a mom or our love and connection to our kids. In fact, I found that my relationship with my dd got closer once I started going to school and even more once I started working full-time after graduating. I think it is because we cherish our time together now and make the most of it by spending it together building a better relationship. I don't think working or going to school to make your family life a little better is a bad thing, especially if money is tight or your relationship is rocky and you want to feel like your family and you personally will have the security you need to keep the stress down.
post #56 of 90
Kids grow up and need you less. My youngest starts high school in a few days. He's been lucky enough to have had me home his whole life. But yes, I'm job looking now. Not because I need some kind of fulfillment ... but to help my kids with their college costs.
post #57 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I also want to say that those of us who work are still moms. Some of us define our life by that. Work is something we do to support our families but that doesn't decrease our love of being a mom or our love and connection to our kids.
This is such a great point. As I've said, I think we all take pride in being moms.

And while "I" would certainly be enough and I would certainly have enough of a life without bringing in any kind of income, as One_Girl said it sure does bring the stress down for me to have this position.

After almost a full year of unemployment, dh has landed a full time work-from-home job, the sort of thing we'd been wanting for him for a long time. It's a guaranteed 40 hours per week, but the pay is a lot lower than what he was earning when he had to drive to and from work.

The fact that I can continue to work from home part time enables us to live out this more family-friendly lifestyle much less stressfully than if we were still depending on just dh's income.

Also, in today's changing economy, it feels good to have these two different income sources. If something happens to one source, the other source is still likely to be there to tide us over. I'm part-time now, but I had actually added a lot more availabilities to my schedule this past month because we were anticipating dh losing his unemployment soon and this being our whole income.

Now he's started his new job, so I'm not adding any extra hours for September. But I can add hours at a moment's notice if need be. I've noticed that within a couple of days of adding any new hours, those time slots usually start filling up with lessons which means more income for my family.

Is it "sad" that I feel this way? Does this mean that I'm demeaning stay-at-home motherhood and homemaking? Not at all! I think it's kind of sad that anyone would be sad about mothers doing what they need to do to care for their families. We are all full time moms.
post #58 of 90
Being a mom is enough.

I personally have a hard time imagining what I will do during all those hours my kids are in school. I can bake cookies as it is, LOL. How clean will your house be, you know? Your kids will get more and more independent.

And I do agree that if your relationship is patchy it's good to have something to fall back on. Something early-childhood may be good for you. At worst, it will tide you over until you can get qualified for something better. Child-care is a great option: just doing a little pre-school a few days a week may provide you with a lot of money, and then in addition it's something you could scale up.

Quote:
these cultures are based upon a way of life in which providing for material needs involves little-to-no separation of mothers from children
This is a myth. There is little separation from babies, but when you find me a culture that has mom in the home with all her kids from babes to adolescents or at least pubescents, I will send you a million dollars.

Kids separate. It is a natural human progression.

Now, that does not mean the SAHM calling is less important. It is important. But let's not reinforce lies about how in the forest somewhere there are three-year-olds sitting in a hut all day playing happily with mom because their guts are so in balance because of all the kombucha. Those kids need and love playing with other kids and a variety of adults.
post #59 of 90
Thread Starter 
I was so afraid that posting this would start the stay at home vs working mom debate that I almost did not start this thread. I am in no way questioning whether or not being a stay at home mom is "BEST". There are parents of all incomes, work scenarios, religions, ethnicities, schools of thought, etc that produce amazing people. It is my belief that as long as children are truly loved then they have a great fighting chance no matter what choices their parents make. I hope we don't fall into that debate as it is such a drain on energy and only serves to upset people. I'm not asking should being just a mom be enough, but rather, can it be? The responses have opened my eyes to the EVENTUAL need to have more. So simple, but something I personally neglected to think forward to. So thank you to everyone who responded, it has really been helpful.
post #60 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
This is a myth. There is little separation from babies, but when you find me a culture that has mom in the home with all her kids from babes to adolescents or at least pubescents, I will send you a million dollars.

Kids separate. It is a natural human progression.

Now, that does not mean the SAHM calling is less important. It is important. But let's not reinforce lies about how in the forest somewhere there are three-year-olds sitting in a hut all day playing happily with mom because their guts are so in balance because of all the kombucha. Those kids need and love playing with other kids and a variety of adults.
I actually never said that mothers and children were sitting in huts all day together. I have read that children in these cultures have a lot more freedom to run around and explore and play with other kids than do most children in our own culture. So, no, I'm not picturing the three year olds sitting on Mom's lap all day.

The babies get the intensive one-on-one time with Mom when they need it, and then they branch out and start exploring and also getting involved in varying degrees with adult tasks.

I think many of the adolescents and pubescents are fully integrated into adult life, so the girls may be helping Mom or going out gathering food with other groups of girls and women. The boys are most likely learning to hunt and being mentored by their dads and other older men.

At the same time, I keep reading that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle (or, as some would call it, the gatherer-hunter lifestyle) is a lot less labor-intensive than our Western way of life. So I imagine that everyone who is still able to live this way of life has a lot more leisure time to just hang out with friends and loved ones and do whatever strikes their fancy.

It's hard to talk about non-industrialized cultures without getting accused of over simplifying or idealizing or what-have-you. There are so many of these different people-groups, and they've all had varying degrees of contact with cultures like ours, and as we require more of the Earth to live out our chosen lifestyles, the hunting-gathering way of life is becoming less and less of a possibility for more and more people.

My actual point was really not about how great these other cultures are, though I think we do have a lot to learn from them.

My point was that many of the principals of attachment parenting have been gleaned from the observations that Westerners have made of the parenting practices in some of these non-industrialized cultures...and my point was also that these cultures don't have the dichotomy of "stay at home mom versus career mom."

All of these mothers participate in the economic life of their communities. When I accepted that it was going to be necessary for me to participate economically, too, it became my goal not to be "sad" about that, but to look for ways to do this that would mesh with my desire to still be available to my children.

I guess I just think of myself as "enough" regardless of what I am doing or not doing -- which means that whatever I do, whether it's classed as "radical homemaking" or "career woman stuff," is simply an outgrowth of my love for myself, my family, and my world.
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