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Is either WOH *or* SAH part of NFL? - Page 4

post #61 of 209
Oy vey. Where to start.

I have had so many thoughts and discussions around exactly the same ideas and LLL. I was dismayed to read statements by the founding mothers that were definately anti-wohm. This was at a time when I was trying to decide whether or not to become a leader. I have always personally felt supported as a wohm by LLL, in my own experiences at meetings and interactions with various leaders. But I had to ask myself - can I be committed to an organization that perhaps doesn't support this? Or is the one on one experience more important? I talked to other wohm about it too, and found that for the most part their experience came down to the attitudes of the individuals they encountered. Perhaps its just me, but this is more powerful than the policies and pronouncements of a larger organization. (I also realized that the founders are from a generation that is just going to have very different ideas about it all and took it with a grain of salt.) I should point out that the stated philosophy of LLL is open to interpretation, and I felt in the end that the philosophy did jive with my own parenting.

I don't think you can boil the argument down to quality vs. quantity. Yes, I am separated from my child while I work. But I have many choices to make both about how that separation is handled and how we spend the time we are together that definately do and can fulfill attachment with my child. Being together 24/7 is no guarantee of attachment or a happy, healthy family. Being apart is no sentence to suboptimal parenting either. Its about the choices you make in your own situation.

Our family has never looked at having others helping us care for our daughter as something LESS. Our attachment is strong, strong, strong. We work in partnership with our DD's caregivers. They have added a ring of love, learning and experiences to her life that only compliments what DH and I are doing. They are part of our "village".

In some people's minds, its solely the mother's responsibility to care for her child 24/7. We don't live in a culture that supports mothers, and we all know that motherhood in any context can be isolating. I think that's a narrow view - for mothers, families, society AND children. When oh when can we let go of this Cleaver family view that dictates that the only choices are either A) mum cares for child in isolation at home or B) she must work outside the home without her child. The many voices here proove that there are soooo many alternatives and different situations. Fact is, throughout history and throughout the world, women have participated actively in their communities WHILE caring for their children. Its a pretty short window of time in a very specific part of the world that has decided that choices A) and B) are it. Its the either/or conundrum that's got to go. This mindset seems to trap us in "the mommy wars", as well as covering up the zillion and one happy, healthy options available.

The choices and pressures are so much more complicated than working either because of financial necessity and/or for mother's personal fulfillment. Simplifying to that degree minimizes the difficult decisions that almost every mother faces. I also think that it puts the "blame" when its there squarely on the shoulders of the mother. The larger society has to take some responsibility in how our children and families are supported. I scratch my head every day and wonder how we can change things from the inside out, to give both mothers and children the respect they deserve in our world.

OK, getting off the soapbox now. You mamas are awesome. That's why I'm here. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I found the WOHM forum.
post #62 of 209
Another SAHD family here with me WOH full time. I used to post a lot here on MDC and was here when the Working Mothers forum started (I even remember starting some SAHD threads). This issue is the major reason I've stopped coming so much to MDC. Some of the vehemence against WOHM, even when the other parent is home, is really offputting. It makes me even more sad to see the "official" Mothering stance is every bit as exclusive as I thought.

For the record, IIRC the studies on severe detachments due to extreme separation were on children in orphanages with NO attachment to primary caregivers. I think it really weakens the Mothering argument to extrapolate such an extreme situation to WOHMs because it's really comparing apples and oranges.

I wonder if there is a place for us pariah WOHMs (whether single, with a SAHD/Partner, or with kids in daycare) who strive to be as AP/NFL as possible to go other than MDC.

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?

edited for typos
post #63 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah's Mom
For the record, IIRC the studies on severe detachments due to extreme separation were on children in orphanages with NO attachment to primary caregivers. I think it really weakens the Mothering argument to extrapolate such an extreme situation to WOHMs to use that as a basis because it's really comparing apples and oranges.
Yes! Thank you.
post #64 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?
That has been the biggest disappointment. During my limited free time I would love to go story times or sing alongs with my dd and meet other mothers. However, they're aren't really any ever scheduled during the weekends or after work hours. Same with LLL meetings. Same with parenting books whose overall philosphies I believe and agree with but that I can't buy or read b/c the going back to work chapters are all about figuring out how to not have to go back to work.

It's been very disheartening to have the choice of people who WOH but are pro-formula, anti family bed, and have a "your child is a demon who must learn to submit" attitude who think I'm too crunchy granola or AP parents who think I'm evil for doing everything I possibly can to be a SAHM.
post #65 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou
That has been the biggest disappointment. During my limited free time I would love to go story times or sing alongs with my dd and meet other mothers. However, they're aren't really any ever scheduled during the weekends or after work hours. Same with LLL meetings. Same with parenting books whose overall philosphies I believe and agree with but that I can't buy or read b/c the going back to work chapters are all about figuring out how to not have to go back to work.

It's been very disheartening to have the choice of people who WOH but are pro-formula, anti family bed, and have a "your child is a demon who must learn to submit" attitude who think I'm too crunchy granola or AP parents who think I'm evil for doing everything I possibly can to be a SAHM.
I hear you loud and clear!
post #66 of 209
When we moved to this city, we found that a number of the centres that offer playgroups during the week have one on Saturday too - for dads only. : Dh and I were both rather irked. The general idea was to encourage dads to spend time with their kids, but the whole notion is based on otherwise reinforcing traditional gender roles. We've just now moved to a 'hood with a Saturday playgroup that's everyone welcome like in our old city, and there are also Saturday family storytimes.

...sorry, that was prob OT, but I know what you mean!
post #67 of 209

What about an article in Mothering?

I posted this idea to a similar thread, so sorry for duplication...
Has anyone submitted an article (or an idea for an article) on this to Mothering? They often have "how I'm able to be an AP parent even though etc."-type pieces. I'm not volunteering, necessarily, although I could probably be convinced to co-author something.

I think this is an area Mothering should take advantage of. It's awfully easy, when you're WOH, to say "oh, I can't bf (or CD, etc.) b/c I'm WOH." Mothering should be showing people that you CAN do both. Otherwise it's ignoring the reality for a vast majority of the population.

I agree (w/ the editor who responded to Asherah) that SAHM should be supported and celebrated in their decisions and choices. But so should WOHMs.

BTW, Asherah, WOHM forum is tons of fun! Come back!
post #68 of 209
Wow, I'm just .. stunned and sad. I've noticed, of course, the idea around here (from individual posters) that WOH is only OK if you truly have no choice, but I didn't realize that's pretty much the official stance. I guess if you actually want to work you can't be a real AP'er ... yeah, whatever, I'll keep doing what I do and even keep posting here, but this does sour what I thought was a great place that I could feel at home in.
post #69 of 209
I guess I'm a little confused. I thought that part of AP was being available and there for your children to foster a bond. Breastfeeding isn't simply about providing the most nutritional food for your baby. Or is that the only reason some AP people do it?

My kids are a little older but I can tell you that at 4 & 5 there are still plenty of situations where, in their eyes, there is no substitute for mom. When they get hurt, when they are not feeling well, when they are tired and cranky. The list goes on. If one of them falls and scrapes their knee yeah daddy can comfort them but enter mama and believe me you know who they want and need at that moment.

I am sorry but no employer will cater to your kids needs. Kids are not meant to be away from their mom hours at a time on a consistent basis. At least not at a younger age. Unfortunately our society has evolved into a very unnatural society. People have been taught that it is the norm and that it is ok, even that it's the best thing for kids. But whether it be in our society or in the wild, imo, children are meant to be with their parents, predominately their mothers, a majority of the time.

Our society has moved so far away from that so it is becoming more and more difficult for many and for some even impossible. So I do see it as necessary not to condemn women for making this choice but I don't see it as the best choice and it makes complete sense to me for Mothering to take a stance on one and simply be accepting of the other.

I know that the feminists are all upset because it's all about choices for women. I agree to some extent. I don't want a man telling me I can't work or that I can't vote or that I don't have a brain and need to stay home and just raise children. I don't think you can decide to be a surgeon, refuse to touch blood, refuse to go to school for years, refuse to learn about the human body and expect to become one of the best surgeons in this country. Likewise I don't think you can decide to be a parent and refuse to do what's necessary to be the best parent. Choices to me is being able to decide when I want to leave my career to have children or whether I want to have them at all. You can have it all but there's good, better and best. It seems to me that AP and NFL is all about being the best and in tune to what's natural to use as your guide. It is not natural to abandon babies and children at such a young age even though many people now believe it is.
post #70 of 209
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Has anyone submitted an article (or an idea for an article) on this to Mothering?
I've thought about it, but discouraged myself for exactly the fear Lumi and others mention: that "WOH is only OK if you truly have no choice." I'm a single, WOH mom now, and began working because my x left. (When we were married, we'd planned for me to be a SAHM.) Now, as it happens, as time has passed and I've experienced both SAHMing and WOHMing, work has become a choice for me as well as something I have to do (to pay our bills). If I were still married, I probably would have chosen to go back to work. It's what is right for me, for my daughter, for our family. And unfortunately, were I to tell MY story I don't think people would see the "choice" aspect of it, and that is the most important part of the story.

Quote:
I think this is an area Mothering should take advantage of. It's awfully easy, when you're WOH, to say "oh, I can't bf (or CD, etc.) b/c I'm WOH." Mothering should be showing people that you CAN do both.
And hmmm, a cover story on that subject would get people to BUY the magazine! (And if the subject of WOH were treated well, inclusively of all families' choices, then such a story wouldn't offend existing SAH readers.)

There are working-parent magazines, well, maybe one. But it is hardly AP. There's a large niche of working AP (or AP-interested) parents who might bring in subscription and advertising dollars for a magazine savvy enough to support them.
post #71 of 209
Quote:
My kids are a little older but I can tell you that at 4 & 5 there are still plenty of situations where, in their eyes, there is no substitute for mom.
How difficult that must be for the children in such situations. And how sad for their father.
post #72 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by em&namama
You can have it all but there's good, better and best. It seems to me that AP and NFL is all about being the best and in tune to what's natural to use as your guide. It is not natural to abandon babies and children at such a young age even though many people now believe it is.
Wow. Nice to know that working = ABANDONING my children. Exaggerate much?
post #73 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by em&namama
I guess I'm a little confused.

I don't want a man telling me I can't work or that I can't vote or that I don't have a brain and need to stay home and just raise children.

It is not natural to abandon babies and children at such a young age even though many people now believe it is.
I am too.

You dont want a man to tell you what to do, and you dont want a man to tell you to stay home and raise children, but its ok for YOU to tell ME to do just that and that its abandonment if I work.
post #74 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah's Mom
Wow. Nice to know that working = ABANDONING my children. Exaggerate much?
: Are you seeing shades of grey, Hannah's Mom? Complexities? Nuances? Individual variances? Don't you know that's not allowed around here?
post #75 of 209
First of all, yes people breastfeed for a variety of reasons.

Second of all, being a sahm is not necessarily the best for every family. A lot depends on the people involved.

I won't even go into the benefits of day care.

If people are so concerned about the children of WOHMs, why don't they lobby for different work hours, work place criteria, child care arrangments, etc?
post #76 of 209
it seems sad to exclude WOHM's just because TO SURVIVE they need to work.

off to change my siggy.
post #77 of 209
Thanks for your helpful post, em&namama! I feel all loved and supported and all kinds of warm fuzzies now.

Thank you so much for upholding every woman's choice to either work or have kids. You want mine? After all, I abandon them every day (to their loving father, but he's not a mom so he's not good enough), so it's better that I not have them at all. Thanks for showing me the light!

It's all "the feminists" fault. Darn pesky feminists, thinking women can be equal and have real choices and stuff.
post #78 of 209
I don't have much time to post so I will come back later but I will say that I am glad to see this thread. I am fairly new to MDC and have really been grappling with what has felt like an ultimatum that the only/best way to mother is to be a SAHM.

I can't even begin to describe how that has made me feel, yet because of the rich dialogue and knowledge that is available here I stay.

I will be back later with more thoughts.

Shay
post #79 of 209
no it's definition fit

abandon= to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent, to withdraw protection, support, or help from

Is that not what you are doing whether it is daycare or a babysitter? I was also not saying it's wrong just imo it's wrong for such a long duration at such young ages. I also didn't infer you were handing them over to a child molester. I was simply saying if you were at a park with a bunch of other women and your child got hurt on the other side of the playground who would be the "best" to go comfort your child. Even if it's someone the child knows and trusts it's always going to be mom. On the flipside as a mom I couldn't help but rush over there to comfort my child.


quote
How difficult that must be for the children in such situations. And how sad for their father.

Yes it is difficult when you are 1 and all you want is your mama. It is also difficult when you are 30 and find yourself in a situation where you wish you had your mom there to offer her support and unconditional love and hugs. Something about moms. BTW my husband is a wonderful dad and the kids adore him. They have a terrific relationship but he doesn't feel put off by that special bond he knows exists between a mother and child. He also has special bonds with them but they are different and both are to be celebrated.

I am going to pull out of this discussion now because I was just offering a different view on why I thought Mothering might take their stand. Clearly having a different opinion only forces a debate. For those who were so quick to get defensive perhaps you should read more carefully.

As a SAHM my choices become more and more difficult because of the direction society has taken. I also hear numerous WOHM say that they wish or could only dream of being a SAHM. They no longer have that choice because society has make it very difficult to afford. So on my side, so to speak, I question our real ability to make a choice.

I didn't even use the word bad. I recall using good, better and best. None of those are horrible.
post #80 of 209
You know, it's precisely BECAUSE I have a strong attachment to my child that he does not feel "abandoned" when I leave him with a trusted, qualified caregiver.

Oh but nevermind - apparently I can't be trusted to decide what is best for myself and my child.
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