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Am I A Bad Mother??? - Page 2

post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post
Know what's more damaging to a child than having a parent who works? Having a parent who can't take care of them! If you need to go back to work for financial reasons, then you're taking care of your child, and therefore, a good parent.
And it's also OK to have a parent who chooses to take care of herself and sometimes that means working outside of the home. I see that my "father" soapbox has already been expressed -thanks LM.

I second the advice to just NOT GO to those blogs. It really won't be helpful to you right now. I simply don't engage in those kinds of conversations online or in the real world.
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post
I've spent time in a very traditional culture where all the women "stay home." But they have a lot of work to do. Some of it very hard. Some of it too physical to take a baby along. But they do the work. They leave the baby in the care of another trusted person in order to do the work that can't include baby--for safety or whatever reason.

As long as there have been women, women have had babies, and women have had to work, and somehow manage a life involving a lot of both.
This.

People all over the world live without ovens and washing machines, have no running water, no ready-made clothing to buy, etc. Just because women don't always hold employment that pays cash doesn't mean that women don't work.

I have been employed for nearly all the years my kids have been alive. I don't have a job because it fulfills me. I work to provide my children with food, shelter, and opportunities, and believe that it's my responsibility to do so.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I have been employed for nearly all the years my kids have been alive. I don't have a job because it fulfills me. I work to provide my children with food, shelter, and opportunities, and believe that it's my responsibility to do so.
THIS! Anytime people ask me about working or potentially changing jobs, I remind them that I work because DS likes to eat. Sometimes DS will want to stay home and play hooky with me. I remind even him that we work because we like to eat and we enjoy living in our house.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Some days I think I would LOVE to be a SAHM. Those are the days when DD1 is being sweet, and takes to my ideas and projects with enthusiasm. When the baby coos and smiles, and nurses with sleepy contentment. Yes, those are nice days, and yes, I'm sad that as a WOHM I'm limited in how many of those days I get to experience. But when DD1 is screaming and crying because I won't let her empty the fish tank on to the floor, DD2 has gas and is screaming and crying, the house is a mess, the dog runs away, the laundry has tissues in it, and the dinner is burnt, those are the days I think heaven that I am a WOHM. It saves my sanity.
Yes on this! Working saves my sanity too. There are those weekends when DS is whiney and cranky cause he refused to nap or eat and I can't wait for Monday to roll around.
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
And let's not forget that the WOHM bashers always manage to leave working FATHERS out of the mix. How come Dads get off so easily? It's ok for Dads to work but not Moms? Horse patooty.

Working women are extremely important in this world! Anyone who feels they have to put a WOHM down, needs to look at their own life first.
All this, especially the part about dads. Nothing irritates me more than letting dads off the hook. Somehow dads still "raise their kids" even if they WOH 60 hours a week, but moms who WOH even very PT *aren't* "raising their kids" or "have a stranger raise their kids."
post #26 of 62
I want to share a very personal comparison with everyone.

My mother has always worked. She went back to work when I was about 18 months old. Obviously, I dont remember getting to stay home with her. My first memories, quite honestly, are of playing at the WONDERFUL daycare she found for me. I went there from the time I was almost 2, through kindergarden, and once I started grade school, continued going there every summer. I had so much fun there, and can still remmeber the names and faces of some of the men and women who took care of me 8-10 hours a day for 10 years. My relationship with my mother is one of the most solid youve ever seen. I try not to brag about it, but I cant help it. My mother is my absolute most best friend in the world, and Im 30 years old! We did/do everything together. I always new I was the most important person in the world to her, even when I was at daycare.

When I was in gradeschool, I went to a friend of the families house every morning and afternoon before and after school. It save my parents money rather then have me go to a before and after daycare. The woman was a SAHM of, at the time, 4 boys. One of them turned to drugs and ran away from home when he was 17. The oldest couldnt get out of the house fast enough when he graduated and went away to college. I used to remember hiding down in the family room while she spanked (more like whipped) her older kids up in the kitchen for "interrupting her" while she tried to do something. I told my mother about this years later (because at the time, I didnt think to talk about it. I was a kid, kids dont question the authority of their care giver, you know?) My mother was mortified. the arrangement only lasted a couple school years, thank goodness. When the SAHM becamse pregnant with her fifth child, my parents decided it was time to make a break for it.

The moral of my story, a stay at home parent does NOT a loving, bonded home make. I'll take my working mother over that horrible woman any day of the week!
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
All this, especially the part about dads. Nothing irritates me more than letting dads off the hook. Somehow dads still "raise their kids" even if they WOH 60 hours a week, but moms who WOH even very PT *aren't* "raising their kids" or "have a stranger raise their kids."


Totally this!!!

(p.s. hi, I'm new here!)
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshersmama View Post


Totally this!!!

(p.s. hi, I'm new here!)
post #29 of 62
One of the most difficult things about being a parent, is having to make desciions that are based on what is best for your family. SAHM can be very difficult, it sounds like that poster is working through her own issues.

Don't let her get you down mama!
post #30 of 62
Here's what makes me feel better, when I think that I'd rather be a SAHM (and really, I wouldn't...it was harder for me). Do you cosleep? That counts too!

Hours in one week: 168 hours
Time DD spends in daycare, which she likes better than time with me: 45 hours
168 - 45 = 123 hours
That's 77% of the week that DD spends WITH ME, with my undivided attention, because through my working I am able to afford help around the house and two meals out each week.
This works for our family. If you have what works for your family, do not feel bad about it for one minute.
Let that woman go live in a tent. I'd like to see it.
post #31 of 62
That "magical moments" crap is just that anyway...crap. What if you are a SAHM and you leave your DD with hubby to run to the store for 15 minutes and in those 15 minutes DD takes her first step? Did you miss a magical moment?

I think I am a pretty good mom and I work a lot. Of course part of what I think makes me a good mom is providing for my family! Tent indeed....
post #32 of 62
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to thank you all again for your comments. Every time I come back to check the thread I read another response that makes me feel better, stronger and more empowered as a mama. So many excellent points have been made here, about dads, about staying at home not being "the end all, be all" of successful parenting and most importantly about embracing my choice and rejecting the judgments of "tent ladies" and zealots on either side of the SAH/WOH fence.

I'm just beginning my journey as a parent but already I've learned that fluidity, not rigidity is essential to motherhood. There are so few absolutes. Every child is different, every family is different... If the tent lady is happy, more power to her (though I wonder how happy she'd be if she really did live in a tent) and if I'm happy, then all is good and well.

Writing from work,
Nicolle
post #33 of 62
mama. You have already received lots of good advice and many insightful comments, but I just wanted to mention that anyone who thinks that SAH vs. WOH is a make or break issue in child development for all children obviously doesn't know very much about (a) child development or (b) how the vast majority of the world works. Children all over the world are cared for by loving adults other than their parents. And for what it's worth, I think it has enriched my son's life and added to our family to have other wonderful people love and care for him.

The following quote comes from another thread, so I hope it's OK to post it here. (When I read it, I bookmarked this post with the name "best MDC post ever.") It isn't the same situation, but I think the concept absolutely applies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
Oh, mama.

You've gotten tons of good advice, but I just want to reiterate: when you see people on the internet talking about their lives, you are, often, seeing a spin job.

You don't know that woman. You don't know her life. You don't know how often you are seeing someone talk about the kind of person they WISH they were, they kind of life they WISH they were living.

And there's a ton of weird competitiveness on the mom internet - or maybe it's not really competition, maybe it's people reaching for answers, reaching for perfection, reaching for the perfect solution that will make their life perfect, bearable.

[...]

People shout about having all the answers because nobody has any of the answers, and it's scary to feel alone in that.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolleLynne View Post
I just wanted to thank you all again for your comments. Every time I come back to check the thread I read another response that makes me feel better, stronger and more empowered as a mama. So many excellent points have been made here, about dads, about staying at home not being "the end all, be all" of successful parenting and most importantly about embracing my choice and rejecting the judgments of "tent ladies" and zealots on either side of the SAH/WOH fence.

I'm just beginning my journey as a parent but already I've learned that fluidity, not rigidity is essential to motherhood.
There are so few absolutes. Every child is different, every family is different... If the tent lady is happy, more power to her (though I wonder how happy she'd be if she really did live in a tent) and if I'm happy, then all is good and well.

Writing from work,
Nicolle
This is so true!! I know a mama from another board who was a die-hard SAHM no matter what. Well, guess what? The economy tanked, her husband lost his job and was having a hard time finding another, so...she went back to work. And she pointed out the same thing you just did...life isn't a series of absolutes and we have to be able to stay flexible and adapt.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by rivkah View Post
That "magical moments" crap is just that anyway...crap. What if you are a SAHM and you leave your DD with hubby to run to the store for 15 minutes and in those 15 minutes DD takes her first step? Did you miss a magical moment?

I think I am a pretty good mom and I work a lot. Of course part of what I think makes me a good mom is providing for my family! Tent indeed....
This happened to me actually. Thanks to Canadian mat leave and a few other things my son was basically with me 24/7 for the first year. My mother was over and I left to make tea in the kitchen - and that's when he walked for the first time.

The first time you see it & share the wonder IS the first time. It's the same at 5 as it is at 5 months, too.
post #36 of 62
I am forum crashing to be sympathetic to your being upset about something someone wrote online.

I read an essay from a well-respected, die-hard lactivist that really upset me. She was saying that thumb-sucking was totally un-natural and that you should nurse your baby every time they tried to suck their thumb. She had lived with a certain tribe for awhile and "none of them sucked their thumbs" so there was her proof. She also talked about how she understood why moms like it so they could get things done was the baby comforted themselves, but that was wrong of the mothers.

All of my EBF kids sucked their thumbs. My youngest was well on her way to doing so as well. I felt really, really guilty like I should nurse her more or something. But truthfully, that was stupid. She was nursing plenty and had (still has) a terrible problem with spit-up. She didn't have reflux, she was just a spitter. So what was I supposed to do? Force feed her milk so she didn't try to suck her thumb?

I'd love to say I knew better than to get my feelings hurt, but I didn't.....having a baby can be an emotional time where our sensitivity antennae are up.

Hugs!
post #37 of 62
OP, I am glad you are receiving much-needed support from this thread. You sound like a wonderful new mama!

One of the hardest things for me - and for you, I suspect, from your post - is *having* to work when there is nothing I would rather do than be at home with my kids. For me it's not about work saving my sanity - I find it incredibly stressful to juggle home and a career - it's about work bringing in a much-needed financial contribution. We simply cannot afford to live on DH's salary alone (and believe me, we live a very modest lifestyle). There are no shortage of posts and threads (on this board, and many others), that suggest if you just planned better, if you would just re-use your tea-bag and make your beans from scratch, you could afford to stay home. Those are really hard conversations to hear, because they trigger my defenses and make me self-flagellate, thinking there must be something wrong with our family since WE couldn't make it happen.

We also have a very similar situation to yours - our DD is with one or both of us 4.5 days per week, and 2.5 days per week she is with our nanny. We are really proud of the fact that despite both of us working, our kiddos have never needed outside care more than 2 1/2 - 3 days per week. But still I feel the guilt. Tonight I have an unavoidable meeting with my board (I run a tiny non profit) that will get me home after 9 PM. (My older dd is already moaning and groaning about how I am "never home" and I know my younger DD, who is in a serious stage of mommy fixation, is going to be hell on wheels for my DH to put to bed in my absense.)

I work my behind off to be with my kiddos as much as I can, even if this means flexing my schedule so I'm writing grants at midnight from my home computer. It's freaking hard. I'm completely envious of the threads I see where SAHMs talk about never wanting or needing to go back to work, where SAHMS with school-aged kids have THIRTY plus hours of time ALONE per week, and then I'm on my grind of trying to make ends meet, burning the candle at both ends, never getting to relax, and trying to be the best mom I can.

When I am feeling gentle with myself, however, I think what you, and I, and all the parents who would LOVE to be home but who cannot afford to, are doing, is nothing short of heroic. We love our families desperately and are doing the best job we can to support them, by bringing in much-needed income, all the while doing a mind-boggling juggling act. Hooray for us! Hooray for you!
post #38 of 62
great post, pennyroo! I know exactly what you mean.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
That "magical moments" crap is just that anyway...crap. What if you are a SAHM and you leave your DD with hubby to run to the store for 15 minutes and in those 15 minutes DD takes her first step? Did you miss a magical moment?
This made me laugh out loud.

When I had my son I saved up a bunch of vacation and with my mat leave was able to stay home for 6.5 mos with him.

While my job is rewarding and the extra income is nice, what is critical is my insurance. My son has CP and needs PT/OT to help him learn to use his right hand and right leg. We could never afford that on our own so I work to ensure he gets the best possible medical care.

Instead of focusing on whether it is right or wrong to work FT or SAH full time why don't we focus on truly becoming a family values country. We hear that term bandied all about and we are so far from any family friendly ideal!!

So many of us aren't making a choice to do one or the other. For many of us free will isn't in the equation at all-food and health and a roof over our heads are what drive our decisions.

I am proud that I work full time and take care of my family and my small house and my small yard. I am not interested in living in a tent-I don't like being cold.
post #40 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PennyRoo View Post
OP, I am glad you are receiving much-needed support from this thread. You sound like a wonderful new mama!

One of the hardest things for me - and for you, I suspect, from your post - is *having* to work when there is nothing I would rather do than be at home with my kids. For me it's not about work saving my sanity - I find it incredibly stressful to juggle home and a career - it's about work bringing in a much-needed financial contribution. We simply cannot afford to live on DH's salary alone (and believe me, we live a very modest lifestyle). There are no shortage of posts and threads (on this board, and many others), that suggest if you just planned better, if you would just re-use your tea-bag and make your beans from scratch, you could afford to stay home. Those are really hard conversations to hear, because they trigger my defenses and make me self-flagellate, thinking there must be something wrong with our family since WE couldn't make it happen.

We also have a very similar situation to yours - our DD is with one or both of us 4.5 days per week, and 2.5 days per week she is with our nanny. We are really proud of the fact that despite both of us working, our kiddos have never needed outside care more than 2 1/2 - 3 days per week. But still I feel the guilt. Tonight I have an unavoidable meeting with my board (I run a tiny non profit) that will get me home after 9 PM. (My older dd is already moaning and groaning about how I am "never home" and I know my younger DD, who is in a serious stage of mommy fixation, is going to be hell on wheels for my DH to put to bed in my absense.)

I work my behind off to be with my kiddos as much as I can, even if this means flexing my schedule so I'm writing grants at midnight from my home computer. It's freaking hard. I'm completely envious of the threads I see where SAHMs talk about never wanting or needing to go back to work, where SAHMS with school-aged kids have THIRTY plus hours of time ALONE per week, and then I'm on my grind of trying to make ends meet, burning the candle at both ends, never getting to relax, and trying to be the best mom I can.

When I am feeling gentle with myself, however, I think what you, and I, and all the parents who would LOVE to be home but who cannot afford to, are doing, is nothing short of heroic. We love our families desperately and are doing the best job we can to support them, by bringing in much-needed income, all the while doing a mind-boggling juggling act. Hooray for us! Hooray for you!
Thanks so much for your post PennyRoo. It's very reassuring to hear from someone who's situation sounds so much like my own. I can't count the hours I've devoted to trying to figure out how to maintain our modest lifestyle on DH's salary. We already "use it up and wear it out", buy the majority of our food from farmer's markets and bulk bins, scour Craigslist and garage sales before even thinking of buying anything new... The thing is, I make almost three times as much as he does. Without my salary, at best, we'd live paycheck to paycheck in a bad neighborhood and have no savings to fall back on in case of emergency. And, dare I say it, I want things for my daughter. I want her to have a sturdy roof (not a tent) over her head and good, wholesome food to eat, I want to her to be cozy and warm in the wintertime, I want her to have medical insurance and live in a neighborhood where she feels safe... And as guilty as I sometimes feel for the time spent away from her, I think I'd feel even worse for choosing to raise her in abject poverty, though I completely respect anyone who makes that choice.

Thank you for sharing your story with me! Hooray for all of us trying to make it work the best way we know how!
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