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Is either WOH *or* SAH part of NFL? - Page 9

post #161 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
(btw, am I the only non-senior member who sometimes feels weird posting responses in Q&S?) ETA Not that that apparently stops me... :LOL
Nope I lurk on a number of heavily debated threads... but I'm too slow. Usually by the time I read it someone else has already voiced my opinion. I'm not nearly as well written as some of these fine mommas.... So usually I just chime in with a WTG sign or Yeah That.
post #162 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by kira
(6) But, please, remember, Mothering Mag needs to push back hard on all the influences pushing non-staying-at home mothering - because no one else is. But I agree that we need to be inclusive.
I agree with a lot of what you wrote. However, society as a whole encourages mothers to SAHM. I haven't read Working Mother, but all of the other parenting magazines I've read, forums I've belonged to and books I've read really push being a SAHM. Whether all of those books, magazines and forums are AP is another matter. I could also site media coverage that plays into the fears of WOHM as well. Also, SAHM is on the rise in this country. Personally I also feel if WOHM was something so pushed I would be able to find play groups, story times, etc. that happen after work hours or on weekends. Instead if there are any those tend to be for dads and children. I can't imagine how isolating it is to be SAHD when I feel it must already be hard enough for a SAHM.

However, as others have said, ideally things should be about being a mother period. I don't feel I can be an effective AP if I'm not happy with myself and what I'm doing. So we should be helping mothers become the best they can be by supporting them in finding and being able to do what makes them the best parent. Instead of letting other mothers' choice make us feel bad and defensive about our own, we should be celebrating every mother who is attached to their child(ren) and happy to be a mother. The only time a mother's choice should reflect poorly upon other mothers is when she has made one that sacrifices her happiness and ability to be a good mother.
post #163 of 209
kira, I really like the points you raise, esp. #1.

re: your #2 and 6, I think the reality, is that there is very little support for either WOHMs or SAHMs in this society, but there's more than enough criticism to go around. so if we WOH we are constantly being told what's wrong with that, and if we SAH we are constantly being told what's worng with that. so it's very easy to believe that if we were on the other "side", we wouldn't be getting so much crap. but you know what? we are mothers in a society that doesn't respect mothers, and women in a society that doesn't respect women, and the fact is we are caught in a double bind. kinda like no matter how I dress my ds, when I walk outside my door there is invariably someone telling me he is too hot or too cold.

bottom line: we are on the same side. WOHMs need to support SAHMs and SAHMs need to support WOHMs (and a big big to all the supportive SAHMs that have chimed in on this and the other thread)

eta: kira, i didn't think you were saying we aren't on the same side, and i didn't htink you were playing into the "competition" of "who has it harder." i was just tangenting of what you said.
post #164 of 209
: I've been reading this thread but haven't chimed in.

I don't want to detract from the point that WOH and SAH are equally valid choices. I do want to add that I think there needs to be more social support for mamas to SAH with our kids if we want.

Where I'm coming from with this is I was thinking of changing my sig to "Welfare Mamas Supporting WOH Mamas." Then I thought... hmmm, I'm in Canada where paid maternity leave is a year, welfare is almost enough to live on, and you can stay on it without even having to do job searches until your youngest kid is four. Not to glorify the Canadian welfare system, but it is my strong impression that it is better than the American one, and I'm thinking if it weren't for welfare here I'd be a WOH mama for sure.

So I think it's not always an equal choice. If a mama wants to WOH coz that's how she is happiest, I give my full support. But mamas who have partners who make the big bucks are the ones more likely to be able to SAH if they want, and that sucks. I'd like SAH vs WOH to be a valid option for everybody.

I hope that makes sense and is not offensive. Lemme know (I'm sure y'all will... )
post #165 of 209
OMG, where's my sig??
post #166 of 209
I think that's a great point, thismama. (But get rid of the couch and your oh-so-sexy feet? noooooo!)
post #167 of 209
I agree thismama. Women should have the freedom to choose regardless of finances. It makes me sad when women want to sah, but can't because of finances. I want to work, but I can't because child care would cost me more than I make.
post #168 of 209
Yeah TM that is a really important point. To be honest, I have stayed away from making that point b/c when I do, invariably some SAHMs chime in to say "but we are poor and we've made many sacrifices so I could SAH." OK, I totally respect tha! But it doesn't change the fact that it is much much easier to SAH if you have partner who makes big bucks.

Also I don't want to get into a position of defending WHY we WOH. Some people only support WOHMs who have no choice, and I don't think that's fair.

But the bottom line is, yes, it should be a real choice for everyone, and it's not.

Re: welfare - in the US you are forced to start looking for work in a very short amount of time (which varies from state to state). I think it's like 6 mo in most states? But I'm really not sure. And of course you are therefore forced to place your child in daycare, and of course you have very little choice in daycares since you are probably using government subsidies and have to deal with unbelievable waiting lists, etc etc. So yeah, this is one instance where there is absolute pressure to WOH. And I think it has everything to do with class and race. And I have seen SAHMs on this very board complain about those "lazy welfare mothers" and the hypocrisy makes me want to :Puke
post #169 of 209
Of course, just because a woman's partner makes enough money to support the family doesn't guarantee a woman can stay home either, or conversely, just because her partner doesn't make enough doesn't make enough to support the family doesn't mean she'll be able to work outside the home if she wants to. There's more to the picture than just finances. (I had to really fight dh before my pregnancy, through my whole pregnancy, and through about half of my mat leave to be able to be a SAHM). And I know if I'm still not doing a "real job" and "living up to my potential" once my children are in school (except I'm thinking of homeschooling), I'll be "wasting my life, my intelligence and my brain", according to my mother, who thinks I should stay home for the first couple years, but anything more is anti-feminist.
While we're at it, I could go on and on about how offensive I find the terms SAHP, WOHP, and WAHP, being that they are so one (or two) dimensional, and really imply that as humans all we do is parent and, in some cases, work, which just feeds our screwed up societal view of life. The definition of work in our society really gets to me too. Like unless we make money for what we're doing it doesn't count. And unless we make big bucks as a professional we don't count. What a waste.
post #170 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerthElde
While we're at it, I could go on and on about how offensive I find the terms SAHP, WOHP, and WAHP, being that they are so one (or two) dimensional, and really imply that as humans all we do is parent and, in some cases, work, which just feeds our screwed up societal view of life. The definition of work in our society really gets to me too. Like unless we make money for what we're doing it doesn't count. And unless we make big bucks as a professional we don't count. What a waste.
:
post #171 of 209
I just wanted to chime in and say that this is a great thread. I am learning a lot from this debate. I definitely believe a shift in the values of our society is needed. This is a bit off topic, but I highly recommend a book I just read called The Soul of Money. It is an excellent book that addresses our society's focus on money to measure a person's worth and offers other ways to look at things.
post #172 of 209
I don't know, I consider all of Mothering mag to promote the "ideal".

Ideally, we should all do child-led weaning.

Ideally, we should do the family bed for years and enjoy it.

Ideally, we shouldn't punish, coerce, use time-outs or bribery.

Ideally, we should always wear our wee ones in a sling.

Ideally, we should eat 100% organic foods.

Ideally, babies and mommies should be together for the first few years of life.

Ideally, we should have a great community of like-minded mommas who support one another so we have a "tribe".

Ideally, all low-risk women would home birth.



Once you start going down the slippery slope, though, every shade of gray would need to be covered. I was forced to work when my dd was 8 months old because I was too mentally unstable to be a full time mother. I know that, ideally, it shouldn't be that way. But it was.

What would happen if Mothering diluted its message of ideals? How far would one want to take that? Before you know it, the mag. would be getting angry mail because "you made us formula feeders look bad, we can't help it that we don't breastfeed, you need to include us" and "you need to show the cons of leaving boys intact, too" and "your articles about organics aren't realistic and balanced because many of us can't afford it" and so on and so forth. While all of these things are actual TRUTHS for many of us mommas, Mothering's message would be totally diluted by being wholly inclusive and NOT putting forth the highest ideals.

That's why I love Mothering mag. I've tried CIO; I weaned both kids at the age of 2; I worked outside of the home; we don't do organics right now; etc. etc. etc. I LOVE the mag because I know what the ideals are and I try to live up to them. Sometimes they don't work and they are not right for me and my family, and that's okay. I'd rather have a mag. promoting AP ideals than watering down every message in fear of offending someone.
post #173 of 209
Candiland, I totally agree with your idea of Mothering promoting the "ideal" and slippery slopes(as long as it doesn't try to make people who can't do it feel guilty). And actually, I've been meaning to add that I really do love the magazine, and the impact it had on me has been immense: I'm very very grateful for its strong stances and educational resources. I feel fortunate to live in a time when so many other families have AREADY been impacted by Mothering Magazine...

The ideal that is missing in Mothering (at times there is a little something about it but not nearly to the extent of everything else) is:

Ideally we should all be working and AP-ing our child at the same time.

Mothers, after all, have been doing this for ages. And work is as fundamental as birthing, babies' poop (i.e., cloth diapers), vaccinations, ect...

Every edition, I can learn all about, if I am new to this, how to natural birth and resources for this, why not to vaccinate, not circumcising, cloth diapers, probably enlightened, humane relating with my baby. But I cannot learn about how to work to feed and house and clothe my baby and myself while AP'ing him/her. But this has proven to be the most difficult and elusive of all, even after 6 years.

I can hear some other mothers asking if, on the other hand, does that mean they have to stop being lawyers, and teachers and social workers, ect... in order to AP their child? Is that really an ideal? Is that Mothering's position? Is there any other issue that is as controversial as this? (And Mothering Magazine - hallelujiah - takes on controversial issues without fear). Certainly, work involves something as central to women as their body (which has the right not to constricted by medicalized, controlling hospital births). All other positions by Mothering are very clear (cloth diapers, home birth, ect...) and, I think, all are fully liberating to both mother and child. Can that be said about work?(And, is it any less central than these other issues to AP-ing a child)?

Can an ideal really exist without tackling work, source of money and labor?

Even Waldorf and anthrosophy, which tries not to compromise its ideal at all, tries to deal with work (local based economies, small scale, a school should have a working farm that is "self contained", ect... didn't CSA's come out of them?). This is why I think every edition should try to enlighten us about work, and show us, yes, it's really, really possible.

I hope I don't sound too strident - I'm tired from way too little sleep, and it's hard to stay focused. I really appreciate hearing everyone's views - all 9 pages of them!
post #174 of 209
Kira,

Intersting and intriguing post -- as long as everyone remembers that staying at home IS ALSO working...for me, it's the most difficult, demanding work I've ever done, taking care of my children 24/7 while running a household. I've had plenty of job experience and I've been a graduate student at an intense University. But SAHM is the MOST challenging thing I've done in my life (and the most rewarding). So for me, I am working AND being with my kids. (My toddler assists as best she can in the real work of gardening, house repair, cleaning, cooking, etc.)

So as long as you don't mean that the ideal should be that all mamas work away from their infants and toddlers, and that no one should be a SAHM (which, I don't think you meant, just wanted to clarify).
post #175 of 209
Well, no. Actually there are many kinds of work. I meant having your child with you while you work, either working at home or taking them to work, and then I talked about mothers who might leave children with other caretakers (although is it possible that work environments could be less centered around "immaculate professionalism" and open up a space for children?). And I agree with you that staying at home is also really hard work. The hardest jobs I have been paid for are housecleaning and nannying (nannying because of the loneliness of missing adults and because of the "slow nature" of the work day as compared to other jobs where you try to do alot), and stay-at-home involves some of the same stuff.

I was too tired to clarify in the earlier post that "stay-at-home" without any kind of "earning money" is not something that is accessible to many many mothers, no matter how much they might want it, nor can stay-at home mothers count on always being being one (no'one can read the future, as my mother found out when my parents divorced). As such, the centrality of paid work to mothers' nurturing children is something that all mothers should be concerned with. (Actually, Haven't almost all mothers been involved in the economy, perhaps gathering the food, or tending the gardens, spinning cloth, ect..., except for aristocratic mothers who were neither involved in the economny and often hired wetnurses and nannies...So one could bemusedly ask, by not adressing the issue of work, Is Mothering Magazine adressing themselves to the historic descendants of this population and convincing themselves to care for children themselves?)

Also, I've been really influenced by "The Continuum Concept" and tend to agree that stay-at-home would be easier if neighborhoods were more like villages filled with children. And that mothers' lives should be less about being totally centered around children, and more about involving the children in their parents' lives. In such a world, a stay-at-home mother might find it natural to be involved in the local economy/volunteer, ect...

I hope I am not sounding critical of anyone here - I have been in many of these positions -stay-at-home in my own home for a little while, work out of home while bringing my toddler/child (apprenticing on farms and doing work-exchanges while visiting intentional communities, housecleaning group- houses, babysitting), and perhaps you could say work-at-home if you count looking for child friendly work/options over months for looking for work is the most exhausting of all jobs, in my experience..., also stay-at-home/working in other people's houses since I did not have my own home... And, though I have not left my child with other caretakers, I can be critical of myself on this account because perhaps my child's life would have been more stable had I placed him in daycare as a baby and gotten a 9 to 5 job, earned the bread and butter, and paid for a normal apartment, ect... Which was more important - keeping him with me and putting together a patchwork of low income, short term solutions where he was able to always be with his mother but not count on having a home (some say I was his home) or other continuity in his life and having a stressed out mother? Or being in daycare long hours and having a stable home and continuity, and a less stressed out mother? (Maybe - that's if I found a job that covered the increasing expenses of home renting and the costs of daycare...). Which is closer to the ideal?

Though I chose one path, I certainly don't recomend it to others nor do I congratulate myself too heartily about it...

But, yes, staying at home is also work. It's what low income immigrant women are paid to do - the work that no'one wants to do..., that no'one values...that needs to be done... Each month, Mothering Magazine reclaims the dignity and profoundity of that work....

(The part that's missing is connecting the family to the local economy)
post #176 of 209
[QUOTE=guerrillamama]
Also I don't want to get into a position of defending WHY we WOH. Some people only support WOHMs who have no choice, and I don't think that's fair. [QUOTE]

:
post #177 of 209
yes, do women have to give up being lawyers, teachers, other professions they may be passionate about or have a lifelong committment to, because there is such a disccrepancy between workplace and children today? Do they bhave to choose between these two sides of them rather than fully integrate them?
post #178 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah's Mom
One more thing, I see so many mothers' groups/publications/websites that are solely or primarily for SAHMs because this is the ideal, they have the least support, etc. Where IS the support for WOHMs? I don't get much support at all and I have waaaay less time to get together with fellow moms. Where *can* we go for this if we're not really welcome (and barely tolerated) anywhere?
I am a co-leader for a local chapter of the national organization Mothers & More . I highly recommend checking out your local chapter. I do not know how I could remain sane without the irl support of that group of intelligent, thoughtful group of women. Our group is some sahms, some wohms, some wahms and nary a division is felt. We are all mamas, which is as it should be.
post #179 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by guerrillamama
Re: welfare - in the US you are forced to start looking for work in a very short amount of time (which varies from state to state). I think it's like 6 mo in most states? But I'm really not sure. And of course you are therefore forced to place your child in daycare, and of course you have very little choice in daycares since you are probably using government subsidies and have to deal with unbelievable waiting lists, etc etc. So yeah, this is one instance where there is absolute pressure to WOH. And I think it has everything to do with class and race.
Wow. Here you don't have to do anything (except attend occasional stupid meetings) until your child is four. And after that you have to job search and/or volunteer part time. I'm sure they don't make you put your child in care to job search even after they are 4.

Don't get me wrong, welfare here sucks, it's not enough to live on. But it sounds like it's worlds better than the American system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guerrillamama
And I have seen SAHMs on this very board complain about those "lazy welfare mothers" and the hypocrisy makes me want to :Puke
Yeah I'd be just as lazy if I had a babydaddy paying the bills. :LOL
post #180 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine
So in my opinion, the mommy wars will be endless, because our personal histories plant us emotionally more on one side than the other.

So I guess we all just have to realize that we all have different lives and respect the difficulties of each, even if we don't "get it" at times.

Peace, Trish
ITA! this applies to all heated debates really. Marijuana use, SAHM/WOHM, naturalBirt, etc...it is so hard to walk in another persons whoes, especially when it is an emotionally charged topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mahdokht
I was really dissappointed when I saw that forum. I spoke against it every time it was suggested. I just recently went looking for support for student mamas and discovered that there was a sahm forum. I think the majority of women here are sahm's and that is def. the mainstream culture of MDC, I don't see why we need a sahm forum.
I dont see why we wouldn't need a SAHM forum. Majority of us BF and we have a few BF forums, majority of us CD and we have tons of CD forums.
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