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Mothering's position re: WOH/SAH

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
I recently posted a thread in the Questions & Suggestions forum asking what Mothering's position was, re: WOH/SAH etc. I wanted to point it out here, to working mamas.

My thread is http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...1&page=1&pp=20

The answer is in post #25 (on page 2 of the thread).
post #2 of 73
For fear of violating the user agreement, I'll just say that I long ago stopped judging other mamas for the choices they make when I realized that the driving force behind my judgements was to validate my own choices.

--A PROUD WOHM who's kiddos are lovely, bright, well-adjusted and ATTACHED!
post #3 of 73
I replied to the other thread, but just wanted to mention in here that I was in the chat with Peggy on Tuesday, and I asked a question about being a working mama (pretty much just whined to her about how hard it's been for me sofar). I will post the question and response from Peggy in here when it becomes available in the transcripts of mommychats.com.

She was basically very respectful though, and mentioned reading Nursing Mother, Working Mother, and suggested that I try to work from home, etc. I wasn't offended at all by her response (though my mother guilt makes me feel like I deserve criticism).

And before reading this thread today I had no inkling that Mothering was possibly anti-working mama. Makes me kinda sad.
post #4 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almamiel
For fear of violating the user agreement, I'll just say that I long ago stopped judging other mamas for the choices they make when I realized that the driving force behind my judgements was to validate my own choices.

--A PROUD WOHM who's kiddos are lovely, bright, well-adjusted and ATTACHED!
very well said.
post #5 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons
The answer is in post #25 (on page 2 of the thread).
post #6 of 73
:

I posted on the other thread. I am all about supporting Mothers in the hard work that we do. I had always taken the pro-SAHM, WAHM stuff as an aspect of that. The only thing I can say is that I am so disappointed.
post #7 of 73
Well that's rather sad. That's part of the reason why I never joined LLL in my town either. The meetings are only during the work day and as I read more about LLL I realized their stance is the same. Frankly my husband would also be kind of saddened by the response since he'd be a SAHD in an heartbeat and practically is during the summer since he's a teacher. I hope he doesn't run into this attitude this summer going to story times and sing alongs.

Just looking through posts on these boards you can see no two children are the same. I guess I don't see why the diversity of children need a cookie cutter definition of what comprises a good, loving, attached mother.
post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almamiel
For fear of violating the user agreement, I'll just say that I long ago stopped judging other mamas for the choices they make when I realized that the driving force behind my judgements was to validate my own choices.
--A PROUD WOHM who's kiddos are lovely, bright, well-adjusted and ATTACHED!
VERY well said. And bears repeating!

post #9 of 73
I have about a million things I want to say, yet am hesitant to for fear of violating the user agreement (I don't think anything would be that controvesial, but still...)

When I went back to work when Sam was 3 months old, my SAHM "friends" stopped speaking to me. Flat out. They would not invite me to see them on weekends, they would not call or return emails, nothing. It really broke my heart and shattered my perception that I had found a cool supportive group of mommies to hang with.

I am lucky because DH is a SAHD. And because both my boss and our publisher are WOHMs with SAHD husbands, so they understand what we are dealing with. Of course, my boss is more into my parenting style whereas my publisher thinks I am a bit of an alien (if I'M the resident earth mama of the group, we are seriously lacking in earthy people...I mean, I'm earthy, but not that earthy).

It's like someone once said to me: the only people who care if you have a tattoo are people who don't have tattoos. I'm not going to judge what someone does, and I think that all thinking, aware mamas can raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted, attached babes.

It is good that we are all here and can share with one another. I wasn't even going to come to these boards because I'm not totally a "mothering mag" mama, but when I got pg this time and tried to find somewhere else to chat, I could find nothing that felt right, except here.
post #10 of 73
I'm not a working mama, but I hope it's okay to offer my support here. It must feel crappy to be a working mother with securely attached children, and not be supported in your decision. I'm a SAHM, but I'm sad right along with all of you. Please remember that just because Mothering doesn't celebrate you in your decision to WOH, doesn't mean that you aren't making the right decision for you and your families (as I'm sure you all already know).
post #11 of 73
Thread Starter 
Nurturing Mama, I think truly attached folk are comfortable enough to celebrate and support others' different choices and recognize those choices as equally valid (as I do yours). My life choices may not be right for you, in your family, but you recognize that they are right for MY family, in MY circumstances. Thank you.

I mean, probably each of us questions ALL of our parenting decisions, including decisions regarding work, sometimes. (Heck, I question far more minor parenting decisions: "should I have double-diapered tonight? Could I have disciplined differently?") Probably each of us is ambivalent at times.

But those who have found some internal peace can more easily truly want a peaceful, exciting world of multiple viable choices, for ourselves, each other, and all of our children. We can aim at support, true information and true nurturing for our concerns. And such a world is the most "natural" aim of family life (including the recognition that we smaller families all live within one large, Earth's family) that I know.

(I really want to sing "Kum Ba Yah" now.)
post #12 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by samsmamma
When I went back to work when Sam was 3 months old, my SAHM "friends" stopped speaking to me. Flat out. They would not invite me to see them on weekends, they would not call or return emails, nothing. It really broke my heart and shattered my perception that I had found a cool supportive group of mommies to hang with.
Samsmamma: I am so sorry this happened to you! I always find this kind of behavior to be so disturbing, because this is so far from the way my reality is! I have a number of friends who are moms--some SAH full time, some are in school, some WAH, and others work longer and harder than I do. I never feel judged or slighted by them--we bond over the fact that mothering is intense, wonderful, indescribable sometimes, and just plain HARD other times.

It's only here that I come and feel judged for my choices. So why do I keep returning? Hard to say. I guess because I feel like I get more benefits from it than I do negatives. I've met some amazing people here who I don't think I ever would have met IRL. And I've learned a lot about different ways to do things and to think about things.

I do feel like it is a shame that some people seem to only be able to validate their own decisions by denegrating other's choices.

Sending support for all women and their families, regardless of what choices they make.

Mia
post #13 of 73
Do you think that if someone submitted an article on WOHM and AP, they'd publish it?

Not that I'm volunteering, but it seems like they've published articles on things much more controverial than this!
post #14 of 73
Good grief.

Honestly, being a PT WOHM feels like the very best choice for me. While I needed to concentrate on mothering 24/7 in the first months to get the hang of it and form a good bond w/my son, by the end of my maternity leave I often was finding it hard to be w/him all day. I feel that my working hours "recharge" me for mothering rather than tiring me. I know the experience is just the opposite for other people and would not presume to tell them that mine is the One Best Way. I am not trying to "prove something"; I genuinely feel that BOTH my baby and I are thriving in this arrangement.

I do understand that there are detectable differences in the quality of breastmilk refrigerated for 24 hours vs. straight from the tap, but these differences are tiny compared to the difference between breastmilk and formula. For MY OWN family, I feel that the advantages of continuing my career (recharging, feeling that I'm useful for more than one thing, contributing to the family income so that I feel justified in asking my partner to contribute to the childcare) far outweigh the disadvantage of slightly less nutritious milk. Other than the nursing issue, I don't see any important reason why a mother needs to be the only person who cares for her child.

If Mothering really believes bio moms are so magical, how can they accept adoption???

Many people, including on these boards, told me I'd change my mind about WOH when my baby was born. I haven't, and I don't think it means I'm a terrible person or my baby and I have a weak attachment. I think it means I've found a wonderful sitter whom I trust and my baby adores and I have a career in which I feel I am working toward a better society for my child AND everyone else.

I don't need Peggy O'Mara's approval to validate my life choices. I just hope she won't make WOHMs unwelcome here, because I think we have a lot to offer the community. After all, we too are AP mothers 24 hours a day!
post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
Good grief.

Honestly, being a PT WOHM feels like the very best choice for me. While I needed to concentrate on mothering 24/7 in the first months to get the hang of it and form a good bond w/my son, by the end of my maternity leave I often was finding it hard to be w/him all day. I feel that my working hours "recharge" me for mothering rather than tiring me. I know the experience is just the opposite for other people and would not presume to tell them that mine is the One Best Way. I am not trying to "prove something"; I genuinely feel that BOTH my baby and I are thriving in this arrangement.

I do understand that there are detectable differences in the quality of breastmilk refrigerated for 24 hours vs. straight from the tap, but these differences are tiny compared to the difference between breastmilk and formula. For MY OWN family, I feel that the advantages of continuing my career (recharging, feeling that I'm useful for more than one thing, contributing to the family income so that I feel justified in asking my partner to contribute to the childcare) far outweigh the disadvantage of slightly less nutritious milk. Other than the nursing issue, I don't see any important reason why a mother needs to be the only person who cares for her child.

If Mothering really believes bio moms are so magical, how can they accept adoption???

Many people, including on these boards, told me I'd change my mind about WOH when my baby was born. I haven't, and I don't think it means I'm a terrible person or my baby and I have a weak attachment. I think it means I've found a wonderful sitter whom I trust and my baby adores and I have a career in which I feel I am working toward a better society for my child AND everyone else.

I don't need Peggy O'Mara's approval to validate my life choices. I just hope she won't make WOHMs unwelcome here, because I think we have a lot to offer the community. After all, we too are AP mothers 24 hours a day!
Very well said!

Slightly OT - about the adoption issue: My friend and her DH adopted a 2 yo little boy. Her DH was able to be home with DS for a few months before going back to work to teach, while my friend worked FT. One of the family counselors they recently met with in preparation to adopt a second child told them they were all wrong and that it should always be the mother who stays home and develops the primary attachment and hoped they would consider doing it differently this time.
post #16 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almamiel

--A PROUD WOHM who's kiddos are lovely, bright, well-adjusted and ATTACHED!
Check out my new sig!

Hope you don't mind Almamiel.
post #17 of 73
I'm at work now, and for the first time in months, i actually have 30 minutes.

Of course, i am saddened. But what can you do. All I have to do is read some of the threads in parents as partners, and single parenting to realize that my having a job and a means to support my family is in fact a good thing. This is not about me lurking in other forums (like some do in the wohm forum) to make myself feel better. But i will say that whenever i read threads about asshole husbands who hoard money, who buy pot instead of food, when i read about mamas left high and dry and with little earning potential, it does make me glad at least that i have chosen the career field that i have (I am a nurse).

And the irony is, is if right now every nurse that had children were to leave and be with them....there would not be a single nurse in the ER to care for the patients waiting, and the community at large. Every nurse on staff today has at least one child. I myself have 3 (and are in the care of my mom).

I have said this before, many times, and i will say it again. While the powers that be talk about how the mother at home is ideal, i have never in my entire career met a mother who after handing me her pulseless and breathless child, wished i was at home with my own that day.

And i'll bet you one other thing. If Peggy's child, grandchild, niece or nephew ever needed an emergency room, my bet is she would be grateful we were there.
post #18 of 73
sweetbaby3 - I, for one, am thankful for all the working moms out there who do amazing things. Every time I see someone here tell people to call legal services (I'm an attorney for legal services) for help with legal matters from custody to disability to landlord/tenant issues, I want to say the same thing! Many of the attorneys with legal services (at least ours) are WOHMs who are doing this because we care about the world and want to help people AND have a somewhat flexible work environment that allows us to take care of our kids. Thank you for doing the job you do!
post #19 of 73
:

Great post.

I started out wanting to write all about why I work, etc. But you know what, I don't feel like justifying things today.

I work.

It's good for us.
post #20 of 73
I am a SAHM (for now) and I just wanted to give a HUGE shout-out to all you WOHM! You are awesome, I have TOTAL respect for what you do and the choices you make for your family. I was really sorry to read the post that stated Motherings position.

I know how it feels to be shut out of Mothering. I am an adoptive mom who can't breastfeed, so really I don't fit in here at all (except on the adoption thread). The statement that to be an advocate for breastfeeding and then support use of formula is not possible for them hit me hard. What are my options? Not to feed my son? There is no other magazine that remotely reflect my parenting style, but I'm also not welcomed at Mothering. So sad. I guess I'll have to start my own, more inclusive magazine.

Cheers to you all!
: mama to Kai -b.12/30/03 - a.9/2/04 Kazakhstan
waiting for a referral for a baby girl from Kaz
Vermont
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