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Is society negative about stay at home moms? - Page 3

post #41 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnieP View Post

Of course you didn't mean it that way. I'm saying that's how it was taken by some . I also didn't know this was the sahm forum . I always enjoy intelligent discussions like these.


As do I.  :)

post #42 of 213

I really like a lot of what Tara2 said! I however want to add that choosing to stay at home vs going to work or any choice in between really for most ends up being a financial question for many. Outside of that however I think it comes down to basic differences in philosophy, values, and standards. For instance I am going to remain at home after the baby I am currently pregnant with is born. We do in fact have access to free childcare because my mother doesn't work (we are very fortunate). I plan on having our third child some time in the next three years after this baby so it really makes no sense for me to go back and work through a pregnancy to quit to stay home again with 2 under 5. Getting back to my point about standards, philosophy, and values. In both my husband and I's family it is a family value to stay home! Neither of our mothers ever went back to the work force even after all the kids were out of the house. This is rooted in our families culturally, spiritually, and mentally. And I thank god/higher power that we can pull it off (though there is extensive budgetary planning). I pointed out in my previous post that things like standards are really really subjective. Just like there are people who cannot operate with any kind of clutter and some people who can live as long as the clutter is "sorted". One system isn't better or worse it just different things work for different people. In our house there is a huge priority about having a non toxic household (I make everything from scratch). We also place a huge importance on food. I make everything from scratch and source everything we buy. I spend hours on budgets and master calendars. I said before my dream is to have everything in the house labeled with an exact place for it I can not operate in any kind of clutter or mess it makes me uneasy and very unhappy. However I have friends who are absolutely fine doing things close to the exact opposite and they spend their time differently than I do. I just think that different things are huge priorities for different families. Me staying at home even though I have a great career now even though I have a degree even though we could use the money is just what makes sense for us. Thats just my two cents though

post #43 of 213

Mod- I don't think it's possible to discuss society's views of SAHMs without mentioning working moms.

post #44 of 213

If you leave a clean house in the morning and drop your kids off at daycare, your house remains the same all day.  When you stay at home with your kids, the amount of work is enormous (not just physically, but mentally/emotionally).  It's not at all the same thing.  So the "what do you do all day question" IMO is just an ignorant question I don't need to answer.  I much prefer the company of other stay at home moms where our conversations consist of babies/birth/placentas/periods/poop/breastfeeding/child discipline ect.  I love my life as a stay at home mom, and I really could care less about the negativity.  It's there but I choose to ignore it. 

 

-Mom of 4 (2 homeschooled/2 in diapers).

post #45 of 213
I suspect the reason there is so much negativity is the same dull reason there is negativity regarding every topic: our species had not evolved past the point of putting others down to lift one's self up. There are obviously pros and cons to any situation and defending our choices plays into woman-shaming. I suggest we all work on affirming one another, and we will soon find our knee-jerk impulses to defend ourselves have vanished. Love, sisters. Love is the answer.
I am a sahm to 3 children-aged 5, 2.5 and 2 months, college educated and the partner of a small-business owner who works 60+ hours a week when he has to. Our struggles are a lack of time together and burn-out from lack of diversity in our daily experiences.
post #46 of 213
My two dc decided to try school for the first time this year at ages 6 and 9. I've always stayed home with them and previously homeschooled but now for the first time I'm home and they are in school. Yes, I do have a few hours during the day to go to yoga or hike with my friends (and dog) but more importantly, I'm able to support my dc new adventure by volunteering in their classes each week. While my first grader was adjusting to the new environment I was able to have lunch with him at the school and stay for recess. I watched him connect with a group of kids and settle in after the second week. I'm so glad I was able to see that first hand and know how his day is going!

Once my dc come home they both seem to need to decompress (in different ways). Youngest needs to play creatively (something he's missng in his busy, full days at school) and my oldest needs to get outside and be active (something he's missing now that his days at school include much more seat work). I help them with their homework and clean/repack lunches all before my Dh gets home, which is when we spend time together as a family.

I feel so grateful and fortunate to be with my dc every afternoon and evening. While I do love working out in the mornings after dropping them off at school, I also love knowing that if it doesn't turn out to be the right environment for them I can always homeschool again.
post #47 of 213
I have been a SAHM for 18 years now. I have 3 kids ranging from a college freshman to an elementary aged child. I gave up pursuing my own degree to be with my offspring. My husband is military, so deploys making me mom and dad at times. I have heard some comments from family, friends, and even strangers about why I'm still at home over the years. Quite frankly I just don't care what they think anymore. Maybe doing this for 18 years has gifted me with that. I did what I thought was best for my kids while other moms do something totally different because it's best for their own kids. To each their own. Am I lazy? Sure there are some days I take off so to speak, but I'm pretty busy all the time and I don't even cook! Hang tough SAHMs. Your validation is those little people who make your lives so beautifully crazy (and we wouldn't have it any other way)!
post #48 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by preemieprincess View Post

Mod- I don't think it's possible to discuss society's views of SAHMs without mentioning working moms.
And there's no reason you can't many SAHM's used to be working parents and vise versa. There will be overlap, talking about both is fine.

Simply asking that we are aware of how our words are coming across to others as it's hard to hear tone on the internet and that discussions stay geared towards topic of forum and forum guild lines.
post #49 of 213

I have found this discussion fascinating for what it shows as experiences of mothers who have made various choices and the preconceptions that come with those choices.  I think what everyone has a tendency to forget is that their experiences and abilities are unique to them.  So what one mother finds as stressful and unmanageable is not necessarily to someone else.  That's not a reflection on either mother!  We all have our strengths.  But reading these responses, it sounds as though many mothers believe that because they found it unmanageable to work and be parents, that their experience is universal and everyone should react as they did.  Likewise, mothers who work and are happy doing so may assume that because their situation works well for them, it should work for everyone and there's a problem with people who can't make it work.  There are myriad factors that play into everyone's situation:  income (everything's a bit easier if you have extra money to throw at a problem!), family support, the needs of individual children, education and job options, job flexibility, the existence of a husband or partner and the willingness of that partner to pitch in and help at home.  What I'm reading here is that the SAHM moms who posted overall believe that their homes are calmer and better managed than they could be if they were working, and that their kids get more attention and that the SAHM moms feel less stress about scheduling and getting everything done.  And I'm also reading through the lines that a significant source of the distress for both working moms and SAHMs is that everyone is a little envious of some of the benefits that come with making the other choice.  And envy leads to resentment and questioning of choices, which leads to defensiveness from everyone. 

 

I work full time.  Not working isn't an option for me as I'm the primary breadwinner. My husband works full time too, but I have an advanced degree that earns a lot more than him.  It doesn't make financial sense for me to be a SAHM in our family.  I've been fortunate to arrange to work from my house, so I'm home and available to my 2 small kids all day.  We can afford to pay my mom to be our nanny during the day, and my husband and I have staggered our work schedules so that I'm with the kids in the morning and he gets home in the mid-afternoon and is with them til dinner. In my kids' minds, because I'm there all day if they fall, or want to celebrate a potty-training milestone, I AM a SAHM, I'm home all day.  And we can pay for cleaners so we can spend our time with our kids instead of on domestic work, so my kids spend 40 hrs a week with their grandmother and the rest of the time with parents who are 100% with them.  I am extremely well aware that many moms would envy my situation.  But I envy parts of their lives, too.  While I am at home if my kids need me, I do not see other adults except my mother and my husband, unless I'm traveling for work (which adds its own layer of stress).  SAHM moms have this problem too but can schedule playdates and get-togethers to commiserate and discuss their lives.  I can't do that because I'm working.  And I have balanced my life to make sure that my kids, my husband and my job all get lots of attention.  But there's only so much time in a day, so the person who gets the short end of the stick is me.  I've gained 20 lbs since having my kids in the past couple of years, and there is literally no time for exercise in my day.  So I AM envious of SAHMs who can go to the gym, and get out and see friends, and do crafts and complex cooking projects.  And I'm also envious of women who go into work every day and get dressed up and have adult conversations, and of people who haven't had to make choices in their careers that may limit them or divert them from their original plans. (I'm also envious of people who don't have their mothers in their house all day!) 

 

But at the end of the day, when I look at my personal situation, I stick with my choices because I think they represent the best set of compromises for my family as a whole.  And I bet everyone reading this feels that way about their choices for their families.  So if you feel that someone is demonstrating overt or implied negativity to your choices, try to remember that it reflects less on you than on that person and her own doubts and insecurities.  A lot of times we put other people down to feel better about ourselves --and I've seen that on this thread just as much in the postings from people supporting the reasons to stay at home as I have from the postings from working moms, it definitely goes both ways.  Hopefully we can truly support each others choices instead of judging them, when we really can't know anything about the circumstances that lead to each family's choice.  And by recognizing our own "grass is always greener" envy as a normal thing that everyone feels instead of letting it turn into resentment and defensiveness, we can keep it from coloring our viewpoint.

post #50 of 213

I don't think that society as a whole feels that there is something wrong with a woman staying at home. But there are more of them now than there were just a couple of generations ago. Some of them think that if you stay home you are lazy, that you are not contributing to your household and/or you are afraid to get a job. Some of them think that you are wasting your life if you don't go out "Into the REAL world", especially if you have a college degree. Some feel that you are betraying other women, because "women fought hard to win you the right to work". Some act as if they think you must be mentally challenged in some way.

 

On the other hand SAHM's sometimes act as if they are somehow superior to Moms who work outside the home. As if they love their children more. Or they act like somehow their life is harder than that of "working" Moms.

 

The reality is that some Moms stay home, some Moms work from home, and some work outside of their homes, and all of them love their children, and all of them have hard parts of their lives and easy parts of their lives. If you are happy, if your children are happy and generally healthy, then you are doing just fine as a Mom. Don't worry about what other Moms are doing, or what they think about what you are doing. How about we get over it and save our judgements for people who deserve it, like those who abuse children.

post #51 of 213
It used to annoy me when people would question my decision or more accurately, The decisions that my husband and I made. It just feels like people think that it's somehow taking away from them and what they're doing. People do what works for them and they are comfortable with it. I do believe that there is some element of jealousy where people think that SAHMs have it better but it's not necessarily true. Everyone's situation is different and no one knows their situation more than the individual. There are some advantages and there are some disadvantages. Other posts have mentioned these things, but it boils down to doing what works and taking responsibility for your own life choices and not worrying about the choices other people have made in their lives.
post #52 of 213
I am so angry. That the OP even has to ask this question. That we have to defend ourselves at all for choosing to raise our children by hand, ourselves. I feel angry. Mostly at a faceless thing called our society, sometimes at feminism going too far, and on bad days I take it out on working moms who have choices. (But then slap my own wrist knowing that's misplaced).

Staying at home for 8 years HAS turned my brain to mush. So please excuse any disorganized thoughts here...
(It has turned my soul into something much more solid and no mushy and so I will accept the trade as I can not take my brain or an eloquently written essay with me when I go.)
My ability to write intelligently has lessened. I look way more stupid talking to people about smart thing. But, seriously, what has been strengthensd as a result of being ONLY a mom for 8 years. Oh my gosh! The coolest, greatest stuff I didn't even know I had inside of me!!!!
Aw, who cares about THAT stuff.

Being a mom who stays with her kids....
Why?? Why do we end up having to defend THIS??? Why are we insecure???

One question. And this goes out to all the mothers in my neighborhood who work and drive beautiful cars and have great furniture, have coach purses and tell me they cant afford to stay home, "lucky!", or more often... i could never stay home because it would drive me nuts!". Why/how is this up for being a CHOICE? Why do you get to look so brave and strong and important to the world? Okay I guess that question is for the world then. Not a question, really, but more of a HELLO???!!!!! Am I in the twilight zone? What's happening?!!
I think I know how we got here. I guess I'm way more disgusted that so many of us are having to struggle with negative feelings for doing something that is so NORMAL!!!!
Do I sound jealous, am I jealous? Um. Yes. Honestly, maybe I do feel a little jealous of the status you have in the eyes of our culture. Jealous or maybe just angry. Angry that my status has dropped to that of a peasant farmer. Angry? Or maybe afraid. Afraid that what I'm placing my bets on...our children and their being nurtured... Putting that first.... Is not important to the society I live in, the one in which they will become an integral part of.

I'm really talking about those with choices here. And I know there a lot. Like I could drive a used car, but I want the Taho. Like, it's too boring. Like, I need the world to see how many gold stars I have. Like, it's not enough to just be a mom. I'm talking about this group because I feel like this is the group that has us to have to ask this question in the first place. It's certainly not happening as a result of women working because they have NO choice. Doesn't that make sense. Someone with a brain help me here!!!

Again, don't like that I'm lashing out at these women. I'm working on this. I just don't understand. No. I do understand. I just feel angry about it.

To those who must work and want to be home. I have seen the sadness in your eyes and there are no words for it. These women seem to raise such incredible children. The example they present each day is the highest love. Their children are watching and see and learn true sacrifice, true strength, and real love. I mean that in all sincerity and can see many faces right now for examples. I love these women.

And I love all women.
And I love that we have choices.
But I LOATHE what we have allowed our culture and focuses of our cultures to do to motherhood and children.

I am bitter that this thing is glorified for being strong, powerful, important, beautiful, and courageous. This THING. This thing that is certainly NOT staying at home parenting. Maybe it's not necessarily about working vs sahm but just "I want/deserve MORE than THIS!!!! Moms". That could be any of us. Uh, I've thought it. I'll say it.

But in the end, my true North beckons me back. I see an older version of myself wondering if I did it right. I feel at peace. Because I chose to be there. I chose that over other things because somewhere I knew it mattered. Somewhere in that place where I(!!!!!) define what is courageous, important, and beautiful and powerful. Not my neighbor.




But, back to my question. What IS more than this? Where is it? Am I missing something?
post #53 of 213

From my experience, I feel like I get a negative reaction from WOHM and others because childcare in general is not highly valued.  The WOHMs I know pay around $3/hr for full-time childcare, and think it is wildly over-priced.  I understand wanting to save money, but if you think education is a occupation worthy of pouring good money into, surely the care and raising of younger children is too?  I never hear these moms saying "teachers are paid way too much; we should pay them less!"  But they literally expect daycare should involve learning, organized play, healthy food, constantly engaging the child, in caregiver to child ratios of 1:4 or less, and should all be done for bargain-basement prices.  So, I imagine, that even if I explain that this is what I do all day (not just for 8 hours), if their mindset is that that is worth $3/hr, than they MUST think less of me than a WOHM making $15/hr or $25/hr or $50/hr.  In this society, our personal worth is very much tied to what someone is willing to pay you for your time.  Now I am only referring to WOHM that I actually know - I don't know about other areas.  But if you think a professional caregiver's time is worth so little money, than you can't think much of me as an "amateur!"

post #54 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge&rooter View Post

I am so angry. That the OP even has to ask this question. That we have to defend ourselves at all for choosing to raise our children by hand, ourselves. I feel angry. Mostly at a faceless thing called our society, sometimes at feminism going too far, and on bad days I take it out on working moms who have choices. (But then slap my own wrist knowing that's misplaced).

Staying at home for 8 years HAS turned my brain to mush. So please excuse any disorganized thoughts here...
(It has turned my soul into something much more solid and no mushy and so I will accept the trade as I can not take my brain or an eloquently written essay with me when I go.)
My ability to write intelligently has lessened. I look way more stupid talking to people about smart thing. But, seriously, what has been strengthensd as a result of being ONLY a mom for 8 years. Oh my gosh! The coolest, greatest stuff I didn't even know I had inside of me!!!!
Aw, who cares about THAT stuff.

Being a mom who stays with her kids....
Why?? Why do we end up having to defend THIS??? Why are we insecure???

One question. And this goes out to all the mothers in my neighborhood who work and drive beautiful cars and have great furniture, have coach purses and tell me they cant afford to stay home, "lucky!", or more often... i could never stay home because it would drive me nuts!". Why/how is this up for being a CHOICE? Why do you get to look so brave and strong and important to the world? Okay I guess that question is for the world then. Not a question, really, but more of a HELLO???!!!!! Am I in the twilight zone? What's happening?!!
I think I know how we got here. I guess I'm way more disgusted that so many of us are having to struggle with negative feelings for doing something that is so NORMAL!!!!
Do I sound jealous, am I jealous? Um. Yes. Honestly, maybe I do feel a little jealous of the status you have in the eyes of our culture. Jealous or maybe just angry. Angry that my status has dropped to that of a peasant farmer. Angry? Or maybe afraid. Afraid that what I'm placing my bets on...our children and their being nurtured... Putting that first.... Is not important to the society I live in, the one in which they will become an integral part of.

I'm really talking about those with choices here. And I know there a lot. Like I could drive a used car, but I want the Taho. Like, it's too boring. Like, I need the world to see how many gold stars I have. Like, it's not enough to just be a mom. I'm talking about this group because I feel like this is the group that has us to have to ask this question in the first place. It's certainly not happening as a result of women working because they have NO choice. Doesn't that make sense. Someone with a brain help me here!!!

Again, don't like that I'm lashing out at these women. I'm working on this. I just don't understand. No. I do understand. I just feel angry about it.

To those who must work and want to be home. I have seen the sadness in your eyes and there are no words for it. These women seem to raise such incredible children. The example they present each day is the highest love. Their children are watching and see and learn true sacrifice, true strength, and real love. I mean that in all sincerity and can see many faces right now for examples. I love these women.

And I love all women.
And I love that we have choices.
But I LOATHE what we have allowed our culture and focuses of our cultures to do to motherhood and children.

I am bitter that this thing is glorified for being strong, powerful, important, beautiful, and courageous. This THING. This thing that is certainly NOT staying at home parenting. Maybe it's not necessarily about working vs sahm but just "I want/deserve MORE than THIS!!!! Moms". That could be any of us. Uh, I've thought it. I'll say it.

But in the end, my true North beckons me back. I see an older version of myself wondering if I did it right. I feel at peace. Because I chose to be there. I chose that over other things because somewhere I knew it mattered. Somewhere in that place where I(!!!!!) define what is courageous, important, and beautiful and powerful. Not my neighbor.




But, back to my question. What IS more than this? Where is it? Am I missing something?


Thank you for sharing your real opinion and not just what is politically correct to say so everyone gets a long.  I enjoyed reading this.  I'm not being sarcastic.  I resonate with a lot of your feelings. 

post #55 of 213

Amber,

  I liked your question, too, as I often ask myself the same question, and I've been a SAHM since my eldest was born; she's now 16.  One difference for me is that, since I live in France, I picked up my elementary-aged kids for the two-hour lunch break.  This meant shopping, preparing, serving, and cleaning up after a cooked meal.  I am generally in charge of all house-cleaning, paperwork, administrative chores, shopping, and school-related activities in our family.  My husband travels frequently for his job, and he helps out with home repair and gardening.  My days are filled with cleaning, running errands, shopping, cooking (from scratch, too, for the most part), walking back and forth to school, helping out with homework, and chauffeuring kids to their activities.  My youngest (of four) started middle school this year and no longer comes home for lunch, but my husband is now working out of our house, so I still have lunches to prepare (although he often steps in there.)  By not working, I am able to juggle all these activities, continue with my music, volunteer at school, and not be stressed out when hubbie is gone for several days, or the school is closed due to yet another strike.   Most of my working mother friends here either have cleaning help, or eat a lot of frozen/prepared food, or run around stressed all the time.  I do feel extremely lucky to have been able to stay home with my kids; now it seems more of a luxury, and I'm wondering about going back to work part-time.  Our weekends are a lot calmer than if we had to get everything done then.  I think the key issues are time and stress.  Maybe if I were better organized and efficient, I could work full-time, too.  Maybe...

post #56 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

What do you think? I stay at home and have for a long time, and when my kids were babies people seemed pretty positive, but as they get older and my role is less baby-minding and more homemaking I'm encountering a bit of negativity. Like that I'm spoiled, I'm letting my brain turn to mush, etc.

Even as far as staying at home with babies and littles. I'm not sure if there's a general positive vibe about that. It sometimes feels like it's viewed generally as an unfortunate lost period of time.

How do you think the role of SAHMs, ie staying home and homemaking and caretaking, is viewed by most people?

I think everyone's definition of "most people" will vary based on where they live, who they interact with, etc. It's dangerous to start assuming that "most people" think one way or another. I'm sorry you've encountered negativity from some people. That's no fun. I think every mom encounters negativity for one choice or another that she has made about raising her children. None of us are exempt from that. Some people might watch one episode of The Real Housewives of NJ and decide that you must be spoiled, too. That's too bad, but let's not paint all of society with that brush. You are confident in your choice to stay home and that's all that matters. And remember that most people are good and well meaning. What you perceive as their negativity may just be their own sadness or baggage about whether or not staying home was a feasible option for themselves. We all see the world through the lens of our own experiences.
post #57 of 213
SunnieP, thank you for your post! I'm a sahm and often feel conflicted. I admire your confidence, your unapologetic attitude, and that you recognize your value.
post #58 of 213
@marge&rooter
I hear you! The ones who I have run into who are super judgmental are the ones who drive new cars, have big houses and eat out like crazy! Their priorities are different and I am trying to learn to ignore them and not let their opinions matter to me. Hard on those rough days! Thank you for your post. i was reeling from amber's comments so was happy to run across your post before I responded.
post #59 of 213

@marge&rooter-- thank you for saying what you said -- it was much better than what I wrote.

 

All week I have been feeling like utter crap and that quite honestly my place in society is useless.  It makes me not want to go on sometimes because the pressure is so great.  Today at one of my kids activities I was scrolling through online jobs....maybe hoping to find something that would fit into my day....and I don't care if it is mind numbing.  I keep asking myself:  if I bring home a paycheck, who is going to validate me?  Society?  My husband?  Myself?  Why do I need those validations when I thought I was doing the right thing?  It would be wonderful to hear the word:  THANK YOU.

post #60 of 213

I have not felt negativity from society about being a SAHM.  I am an artist, a feminist, and I have a college education.  I thought I would have my baby and go right back to "life".  I became a SAHM because I could not leave my wonderful baby, not for a single moment.  It was an instinct deep inside me, a bond I never expected, the deepest love I have ever felt.  I don't care what society thinks... I never have!  I LOVE being with my child.  My husband wishes he could stay home with us too, but I won because I have the boobies!  LOL!  Being a mother is the most incredible gift I have ever received and I cherish it to no end.  Brightest Blessings to all the Mamas (SAHM's or otherwise)!:joy

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