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Mothering's position re: WOH/SAH - Page 2

post #21 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonttaylors
So sad. I guess I'll have to start my own, more inclusive magazine.
And we'll all come work for you. And bring our babies.
post #22 of 73
I'm with sweetbaby. I'm a hs teacher, and I am really damn good one. I'm the nurturing, compassionate, individual-oriented teacher who really with all my heart cares for each of my kids, that everyone says we need more of in our schools. Some of my kiddos have done amazing things building on tools that I gave them. I've never once had one of their parents (many of whom were SAHMs), when they all came back to tell me thank you and what a great thing I did for their child, wish that I'd been at home with my kid.

My husband says the whole "mother at home is best for baby" line of thought is simply not true, and is just a way of inducing guilt to keep women under control. If and when our finances allow it, he is willing to let me stay home, but honestly believes it is a not only not a better choice, but actually a subpar choice in the realm of what's best for *our specific child.* And I'm not sure that he's wrong.
post #23 of 73
sweetbaby3,
your post was the best thing I've read all day!!

I am one of those SAHMs who are grateful everyday for what you and your fellow nurses do (and all the other WAHMs for that matter). All the caretakers in Kai's orphanage had kids of their own, but I am forever indebted to them for taking such good care of mine at the beginning of his life! Who would take care of the world's orphans if not WOHM moms?

I guess I am deeply tired of this debate. One is NOT better than the other. We all have the most fundamental things in common (Motherhood, love, wanting the best for our kids, exhaustion :LOL ......), I guess I am being naive when I expect both groups to see that.

This is making me very, very sad

April : mama to Kai - b.12/30/03 - a.9/2/04 Kazakhstan
waiting for a referral for our baby girl from Kaz
Vermont
post #24 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmBnB
And we'll all come work for you. And bring our babies.
Semi off-topic, not directly in response to UmmBnB's comment (you're cool by me!) but prompted by it: while I *love* and will lobby for increased opportunities (choices) for women (and men) to bring children to work (or work from home or have flexible schedules), sometimes I see it espoused as a magical answer for everybody, when it's not. Many jobs, including jobs traditionally held by men and typically far higher paid, are in child-unfriendly workplaces (and/or on-call schedules) that CAN'T be made friendly to babes. Think of longshorepeople, OBs, construction workers, surgeons, congresspeople, ambulance EMTs. To espouse an attitude of "well, let's just open workplaces to kids - as a single suggestion for the 'right' way for moms to work" will ultimately further divide careers into lowpaying, women-and-child friendly ones, and higher-paid male jobs. And saying that more jobs should be part-time doesn't fix everything, either. It's ONE additional choice, and one employers should consider. But most professional jobs can't be job-shared. (Part-time accountant? doctor?) And many women don't want to have the reduced authority, client contacts, knowledge, money etc. that comes from "down-shifting" their career track. They shouldn't have to make that sacrifice, unless they so choose.

edited to add: wolfmama just made a really similar point, about WAHM not being the best solution in all cases, in the original thread at post #83. See http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...86#post3191186

Job alternatives are one tool, but without more, such alternatives imply that women shouldn't have jobs entirely separate from their children. We need these choices PLUS a full-force reduction in guilt and attacks. We need knowledgable parenting authorities explaining that WOH is *just as good but merely different* for kids and families than SAH, and we need backup with practical strategies for making our tough balance work better.
Quote:
the whole "mother at home is best for baby" line of thought is simply not true, and is just a way of inducing guilt to keep women under control.
I agree, PaganScribe.
post #25 of 73
In B1's early days I longed to be a sahm. But now in retrospect I'm happy that things worked out the way they did. I would not be in the position that I'm in or earning what I am, had I quit working. I would not have the control and flexibility over my work hours that I do now. We wouldn't be in a place to have one stay at home parent today. When we found out I was pregnant with Bella, then soon after that Gabriel had three completely ruptured disks and would have to have surgery and totally change careers, if I wasn't were I
am career wise, we would have been totally screwed. Everything happens for a reason.

I don't feel like I missed Bilal's babyhood, or am missing Bella's very simply because of the very deliberate choices I've made about how I optimize our
time together.

When it comes to work or family..for me family always comes first. My work schedule revolves around my family schedule. Again, I wouldn't be able to do this had I left work when B1 was a baby.

HOnestly, I don't think B1 suffered at all from being in day care...and I absolutely don't think B2 is suffering in any way being home with dad. He is such a social kid that he really enjoyed being with others while I'm at work. He also has a fantastic imagination and truly enjoys solitary play so he's digging being at home with dad now. About once every couple of weeks he asks to go to his old sitters to play.

I sometimes feel guilty when I'm out for lunch with co-workers or on a business lunch. I try hard to make sure that he has adult time as well. It's truly a shame that their aren't more resources out there geared to the stay at home *parent* as opposed to just moms. He really feels isolated at times....but that's another thread.

Sometimes I do really feel like I'm being pulled in a thousand directions, but what parent in today's world doesn't, you know.

When I look back at my separation from B1 in the early years I can't see a single way that he has suffered. We are super attached, he is a bright, energetic, empathetic, social kid. He's healthy and happy. Really what more could any parent want?

The idea that being a sahm is *best* simply doesn't hold water for me. The idea that being a wohm is *best* simply doesn't hold water for me. I honestly
believe that the only *ideal* is that every parent do what is best for their situation and their family.

The idea that NFL and AP are laundry lists of things one must do or be is a crock if you ask me. Isn't it all about repsonding to the needs of our family...isn't it all about recognizing that we, the parents, are the best ones to make this decision....not a magazine, a book, a poster on a message board.
post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
Check out my new sig!

Hope you don't mind Almamiel.
I'm very flattered
post #27 of 73
Hi all-- just wanted to pipe in. I've been moderating the WOHM forum for a couple of months now. I probably should have properly introduced myself, but frankly, I've been too busy!! (I'm a WOHM mama with three children, one of whom is only 5 months).

What I would like to say in reference to this discussion is that members who are posting that they are afraid they will be shut out of MDC for being WOHM have nothing to be afraid of. The WOHM forum has been here awhile and there are no plans or discussions about taking it away. Although the choice to WOH is not necessarily promoted, neither is it put down in any way by MDC. If it were I am certain that there would not be a WOHM forum. The decisions about which forums to host on MDC are considered very carefully by Peggy, Cynthia and usually put up for discussion among all the mods. IF the forum exists, it is because MDC has already made a commitment to host it, and thereby support it conceptually. Does that make sense?

So, I don't think anything is going to change (in terms of WOHM forum shutting down or anything). At the same time, although this thread is not technically in violation of the UA, the tone is sliding a bit into open criticism of MDC outside of Q & A. If we keep the tone positive and perhaps offer suggestions (such as the one on perhaps writing an article for MOthering on WOHM issues) it will be more constructive.

I think many of the members are also on the right track when they affirm that what is working for their family is the right thing for their family. None of us can judge another family's choices. It is not constructive to debate WOHM versus SAHM (as the member in the Q & A thread discovered!) Let's affirm what is good and right about our own situations and how we integrate attachment parenting into our WOHM lifestyles in a way that is positive for our whole family!
post #28 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmBnB
The idea that being a sahm is *best* simply doesn't hold water for me. The idea that being a wohm is *best* simply doesn't hold water for me. I honestly
believe that the only *ideal* is that every parent do what is best for their situation and their family.

The idea that NFL and AP are laundry lists of things one must do or be is a crock if you ask me. Isn't it all about repsonding to the needs of our family...isn't it all about recognizing that we, the parents, are the best ones to make this decision....not a magazine, a book, a poster on a message board.

:

Totally with you, UmmBnB. That is what it is all about. And Sweetbaby, thank you again for that reminder about the good that you are able to do for other people.

Seasons, thank you so much for starting this discussion.

Mia
post #29 of 73
I think sweetbaby3 should be the one to write that article.
Seasons, thanks so much for starting this and the other thread. Your posts have been really insightful.

I'll sing kum-ba-ya with you anyday.
Kaly
post #30 of 73
I really can't believe there are such strong feelings against working mom's here. I know that there are many wonderful attached children of working mom's. I myself work part-time and dh stays home with ds while I am at work. I know that I am in no way neglecting him or affecting our bond. I actually believe he has strengthened his relationship with dh because of this arrangement. Dh had to figure out his own way to put him down for naps, comfort him, etc., and I think that is great! I really don't understand the competition and negativity. We are all mom's after all.
post #31 of 73
I just wanted to say, as a SAHM, that I don't have any ill feelings towards working moms at all. Mothering is a hard job no matter what. Those that judge others have not walked in their shoes.
post #32 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipperump-a-zoomum
I think sweetbaby3 should be the one to write that article.
You know, I just might.

And to all the nods to my post(s), thank you.
post #33 of 73
Just wanted to chime in and say that it is obvious (or should be!) that WOHM can AP/NFL with the best of 'em.

I SAH but if the earning potentials were reversed, my dh would be doing the SAHD thing and kicking-rear-end at it.
post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaganScribe
I'm with sweetbaby. ... I've never once had one of their parents (many of whom were SAHMs), when they all came back to tell me thank you and what a great thing I did for their child, wish that I'd been at home with my kid.
Ditto Sweetbaby and PaganScribe. I work as a public defense attorney for juveniles charged with crimes. Not one parent has ever said that I should be home w/ my DD instead of cleaning up the messes they've made of their kids' lives and doing my utmost to keep Junior out of prison. All in all, they're very glad I WOH.

And, by the way, I refuse to say whether I have to work or want to work even though one earns me Über-sahm pity and the other gets me Über-sahm condemnation. Working mothers are not an evil. Is this a revolutionary concept??? The only person in this world I have a responsibility to justify my choices to is DD. If that gets me booted off MDC or made to feel that my family's lifestyle is second-best, then sayonara.
post #35 of 73
Quote:
Semi off-topic, not directly in response to UmmBnB's comment (you're cool by me!) but prompted by it: while I *love* and will lobby for increased opportunities (choices) for women (and men) to bring children to work (or work from home or have flexible schedules), sometimes I see it espoused as a magical answer for everybody, when it's not.
ITA!

I noticed in the Mothering article on bringing your children to work that the situations they showed seemed to include:

1. The mother not actually working but instead interacting with her child
2. The mother doing work and ignoring her child nearby

I'd much rather that my child be fully cared for by an active, involved, engaged caregiver while I work, than for the child to feel that he has to compete with the computer screen for my attention.

When I was WOH, my own mother cared for my toddler son, and she read to him and took him to the aquarium and the park and gardened with him and climbed trees with him and napped with him. To me, that was a much better option than having him cooped up in the office with me while I divided my attentions.
post #36 of 73
I think the best thing that happened to us, was that my dh was able to rearrange his work schedule such that he got a full day home alone with the children from when they were 3 months old. My children are stongly attached to both myself and my husband. We never got into the mommy does everything mode and I had to learn to rely on my dh and not be fussy about the details. This never would have happened if I had been a SAHM.
post #37 of 73

SweetBaby, want to write it w/ me?

I found myself sketching out an article in my head last night. The first thing to do is to submit an author's query, I think. Submission guidelines And maybe see if there's a prof. writer who can help us.

I don't want to submit something that'll be yet another volley in the Mommy Wars. What I'm thinking of is along the lines of "Yes, it really is possible to WOH and practice NFL!" And then describe how we--and many other mamas here--make it work for us.

And just maybe put in a few examples of "Imagine a world of NO working mothers."
post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
I found myself sketching out an article in my head last night. The first thing to do is to submit an author's query, I think. Submission guidelines And maybe see if there's a prof. writer who can help us.

I don't want to submit something that'll be yet another volley in the Mommy Wars. What I'm thinking of is along the lines of "Yes, it really is possible to WOH and practice NFL!" And then describe how we--and many other mamas here--make it work for us.

And just maybe put in a few examples of "Imagine a world of NO working mothers."

I am at work, and will be here until 7pm. I will check in later and in the meantime, between traumas and sick kids, i will start thinking about what i want to input (possibly!) and will talk to the rest of the nurses who are with me today (only one does not have children).
post #39 of 73
I would love to offer any help I can with writing an article that does NOT add fuel to the "mommy wars" (though, I can't imagine we could write something that people wouldn't twist to their own ends). As a SAHM who can totally see myself working when I figure out what the heck I want to be when I grow up (I've already had one very fulfilling career, pre - kids, now I'm ready to do something different), I have no weird hang-ups about WOHM *or* SAHM... geeze... we are ALL just trying to do our best.

I guess there will just always be those people who are conflicted and need to validate their choices by criticising anyone who disagrees or makes different choices. People who can't see past their own life story... their situation, to understand that everyone makes the best decision they can with the information and resources they have. If you haven't been in their position, then you really can't judge what they "should" or "shouldn't" do... kwim?

Sorry, I'm rambling. Just want you all to know there's at least ONE SAHM out there who doesn't (even secretly!) think you WOHM's are evil incarnate (that title is reserved for the POTUS in my book!
post #40 of 73
Thanks Lolov!

I also do NOT want it to be a justification of why we work. Obviously, a little of this is necessary (more along the lines of explanation, I guess). Things along the lines of "I make a lot more than dh, so it made sense for him to stay home." Or "I'm a single mom, I had no choice." But a lot of the justifications I see here just inflame things more (I've been guilty of it myself). Guerrillamama started a great thread on this a few months ago--examples of how things we say in our own defense can sound like fighting words to the, um, other side.

And I'd love to see a variety of stories--in my case DH is a SAHD. But others don't have that option, so maybe a description of finding a dcp you trust.

And some of the hurdles, too--difficulty finding an accepting LLL group. Troubles finding "me" time.

I've done a little searching in Mothering archives (heh heh, we have full-text access back to '90). So far I've seen descriptions of companies offering family friendly policies, or stories of bringing baby to work. But nothing quite w/ the scope of what I'm thinking of.

Of course, I'm a big procrastinator so let's hope this gets done. Hopefully the pressure & support of all you mamas will light a fire under me...
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