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Mothering's position re: WOH/SAH - Page 3

post #41 of 73
just wanted to add though that accountants and doctors CAN and do job share/work part time. they just work less days/shifts and take on fewer clients.

i don't want to see jobs segregated into child friendly (and thus mostly female) and not (mostly male) though
post #42 of 73

hey - thanks...

I don't have anything deep to say or anything, but felt the need to say something. As a mama who doesn't feel like I fit in anywhere, this thread has meant a whole lot to me.

Not to sound overly dramatic or anything, yesterday was a tough day for me. The thread in the other area really, deeply hurt me. (I cried at work). I don't know. Mothering and MDC are the places I feel that match my beliefs as a parent most closely & those comments (perhaps out of context, perhaps not) truly had an effect on me.

I'm an accidental mother - I love being a mom, perhaps more than anything I've ever done - but I do what I need to do, what my husband and I jointly think is best for our family. Intellectually I realize that we have made the best choices for our family, but emotionally there's always doubt. When you are pitied or tolerated - that adds to the doubt.

Reading all of your eloquent, thoughtful responses has helped me.

That and the fact that I have NO doubt that my son (OUR son - because my WOHH also ROCKS) is attached to BOTH of us. He also clapped and said "YAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!" when we pulled into the daycare lot today. Seems pretty well adjusted to me.... He's really bright - he's able to comprehend complex relationships and is able to form different kinds of attachments to different kinds of people. Humans are amazing creatures after all - regardless of their age.

Laura
post #43 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
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.
Until today, I have *never* gotten into any thread discussing the WOHM/SAHM issue. I've stayed out of it because it always seems like someone is itching for a fight, and well, ask and yee shall receive.

I think this is the first constructive idea I've seen in a long time. I think that the whole debate is a non-debate. There is nothing to debate in my opinion. Some women are employed outside the home and some are not. It's a choice for some, but for others it most definitely is not a choice, and that applies to both sides of the aisle. Those that are evidently sensitive about their position are defensive when they hear a statement by another to be a criticism of their life.

So, I'm going to come out of the closet.

Why do I work? Because I love my work. I could quit and we could live comfortably. I could quit and take care of my child full time so as to not "abandon" my child to the care of her daycare. I could stay home full time and drive myself, my child and my husband crazy. I work because my brain needs to think about physics in a very detailed way for many, many hours of the week. I am a geek to the core. I have approached parenting in much the same way I've approached my career. When tackling a new problem, I dig into the scientific literature. I've read zillions of papers about attachment in babies and children. I've read the scientific literature about vaccinations and homebirthing. I've read agriculture literature trying to figure out why oatmeal helps breastmilk supply, for god's sake. I am confident in my parenting, and I am confident in our decision to place my daughter in daycare. My husband did choose to stay home with her for two years, as was his choice. My daughter is happy, smart, adjusted and very attached to me and my husband, as well as Barbara and Mariann -- her wonderful, caring, corporate daycare providers.
post #44 of 73
Wendy, I think I love you...

Why? a:
Quote:
I think that the whole debate is a non-debate. There is nothing to debate in my opinion. Some women are employed outside the home and some are not. It's a choice for some, but for others it most definitely is not a choice, and that applies to both sides of the aisle.
YES. This is reality, not utopia, and so let's make reality work the way we want it to, right?

And b) your explanation of why you work. to me for not including that in my pp. Yes, some--many--women work b/c they have to, or b/c "it just makes sense," but many work b/c it's just who they are. And no one should have to apologize for finding fulfillment in a way that's different than someone else's ideal.
post #45 of 73
Well, while I felt hurt by the "position" of Mothering, I'm enjoying the feelings of supportive community I'm getting from the thread it inspired!

Right after posting yesterday, I went to pick up my baby, who when I arrived was in the Exersaucer working very seriously at his research, but the moment he realized I was there he turned around and began grinning and waving his arms and saying, "Hubble hubble hubble!" Moments like that make me feel very certain both that he's enjoying his time away from me and that he remembers and loves me despite our separation.

As for "missing his babyhood", I do worry that his first steps or other milestones might happen when I'm not around...but in general, I feel that I'm experiencing his babyhood more attentively BECAUSE I'm away from him for a little while: When I come back, I'm seeing him w/fresh eyes. He often seems bigger than he was in the morning!

ITA w/the point about not all jobs being the type one can do w/baby on lap. My job is done mainly at the computer, and my baby is willing to nurse or sleep in front of the computer while I type w/one hand, but if he's awake he just doesn't think staring at columns of numbers and pages of code is as interesting as I think it is. When I get up from the computer, it's to look up irreplaceable documents in big lateral file cabinets; I couldn't reach the length of a drawer (or fit comfortably into the very narrow file room!) in my last month of pregnancy, and I wouldn't be able to do it w/baby in a sling, and the risk of his spitting up into the files is unacceptable. I did bring him to work once for 3 hours and managed to get 2 hours of work done, but it wasn't easy and wasn't much fun for him.

That said, if someone could take care of him in an adjacent room while I'm working and I could pop in there to nurse, that would be GREAT! Can't do that here, though, and can't do it from home because I work w/confidential data and also have much poorer task-completion ability when I'm at home. (I'm always getting distracted by other things I could be doing.)

If any of you write an article for Mothering, I'm happy to say something quoteable!
post #46 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
And b) your explanation of why you work. to me for not including that in my pp.
Ahh, see that wasn't my point. I quoted your list of reasons and added my own, but my intent was really to drive home the point that the reasons aren't necessarily important for the much more important discussions that we have in this forum. I love the working moms forum here because of the wealth of creative ideas to be shared on making work+family doable. I've seen fabulous advice on daycare, striking a balance between work and home, time management, finding time for ourselves and adult relationships, etc. All these suggestions are given in a light of recognizing the general philosophy most of us use to raise our kids. With the very rare exception, I find that those that post on this board take a woman's employment status as a given, and the fact that a woman is working away from her children is not made the central issue.

I may go back and edit the above paragraph if I can figure out how to unmuddy it. In the mean time, I've got calculations and a proposal to get back to.
post #47 of 73
Like Geofizz, I try and stay off the WOHM/SAHM threads. Unfortunately, I've been known to give in and post something.

I don't get hurt by the "position". Nope, my feelings are pretty indestructible.

But, what I do feel (and what is probably just as damaging to me in the long run) is CONTEMPT. Yes, I feel a great deal of CONTEMPT for people who persist in creating this totally false debate. I assume that these are deeply insecure people who need to be bullies. I don't want to know them. I don't want to have to be polite to them. I wish they weren't parents (and I frequently fervently HOPE this as well) and I certainly DON'T want my son playing with their kids.

I'm not actually angry at any of them. I just don't want to know them. Opening up one of those threads frequently reminds me of stepping in dog crap.



And I really like the posts I've been reading here. I'd like to say thank you.
post #48 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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."


sweetbaby & nate , I commend you! (And holler if you'd like another voice in your mix.)

I responded to the other thread with some story ideas -- http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...41#post3195441 at post #128 -- before I saw your comments here. Working parents could DEFINITELY fill issues!
post #49 of 73
I generally stick to diapering on MDC, but the last couple months have been increasingly rougher for me and I thought i'd pop by the working mom area and look for some support, or atleast sympathy

I started reading this thread and i'm really really sad. Not only does it really hit on the reason i was upset in the first place, but makes me feel even worse about it!

I make more than DH, but not by much. We both don't make very much at all. Unfortunately, DH makes about 50 bucks A MONTH too much to qualify us for any government help, but that gives you a idea of how little he does make. I make like 100/mth more than he does.
I did the math, over and over and over again. If we just stayed in a 1bdrm apartment. If we sold one of the cars (both of which are paid for)
If I clipped every coupon, and shopped every sale.
If I could only just find money where there wasn't any.

But the facts remain, we need X ammt of gas to get my hubby to work.
We need X ammt of money for food. I can live on 60-70 a month, but my hubby likes to eat more than once a day
We need roughly 200/month for medical shit for my hub, between scripts and dr's appts.

No matter how I wangled it, I still had to work.
And i'd need daycare. And working parttime/retail wouldn't cut it because i'd be making what I was paying daycare, and what sense is there in that??

I an a very very poorly paid IT sys admin. (less than half industry standard) but they don't give me TOO much grief when I call in "sick" because i've had a migrane for 3 days and haven't slept, and C decided to keep me up til 4am to boot...
Or when I call in because DS has a ear infection, or hives from his vax's (monday)...

And until recently I worked M-W-F, and usually a couple hours either at nights on tues/thurs if needed, or on the weekends (very common)
but since we have moved offices, i've been working my BUTT off. 100-120hr workweeks (all for about 3 bucks a hour. yipee)

I breastfeed, I'm a totally attached parent, and I cloth diaper...
It really makes me sad that I can't stay home with my DS. I'm working on a plan right now (i'm gonna see if I can't land a better paying M-F job and save up for a year, eventho it kills me to spend LESS time with my baby boy) to work and save for awhile, then start a daycare at home. With 2-3 babies I'd be making as much doing daycare as I make right now working insane crazy hours.

It really upsets me to think that not only are people judging me a "bad mother" for working, when believe me, i'd much rather be a SAHM, but also feel like i'm not welcome at mothering because of that.

If mothering will provide me with a DH that makes about 40-50K a year, i'd be happy to be a SAHM. Just let me know where to email my mailing address.
post #50 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Basylica

but since we have moved offices, i've been working my BUTT off. 100-120hr workweeks (all for about 3 bucks a hour. yipee)
OMG! Is there any way to keep them from taking advantage of you like this?
post #51 of 73
Quit.

The verbal abuse is a nice touch too though, I'd miss that...not.
I like being told how i'm a fat useless cow (when i'm pregnant) or how i'll be fired if I get pregnant again, ect. Thats always fun.

Getting paid below minimum wage for my job is nice too....

Working long crazy hours is kind of the deal you sign when you are IT/IS, computers breakdown, and stuff generally has to be done after-hours for anything thats maintance.
So I work 9-8, 9-9 most days of the week, depending....
But if anything major happens, like when I was 36w pregnant and one of my servers crashed (i'd been telling them for months it would happen and they wouldn't give me the tools to fix it) I ended up working for 48hrs straight...

Most IT people go through this in some manner, but generally when they tell the boss "hey, we need to pay 1K to get a decent server" or whatever, they GET one....
And they generally get paid hourly/time and a half, or bonuses for working weeks like that.

I did however get the first bonus of my life recently. 500 bucks.
More than a weeks pay for me.
But I also worked 100+hr weeks for more than 6 weeks, and worked 47 days without a day off....
post #52 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurturing Mama
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).
Bravo, my dear, BRAVO! This is the kind of support and acceptance that *should* be overwhelming, should be the rule (not the exception) in a place like this - we all love our children and are trying to do the very best we can for them and that is all that SHOULD matter.
I always support mommas (and daddas) in their decision to WOH, SAH, or WAH.
post #53 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004
The only person in this world I have a responsibility to justify my choices to is DD.
Exactly.
post #54 of 73
I don't think I've ever posted in this forum, but I do read it daily. I just wanted to say thank you to the owners/mods for having this forum, and THANKS to all the wonderful folks who post here. As a PT WOHM, I do find that there are challenges unique to our situation, and it's so great to hear others' ideas, suggestions, and support.

I'm sad that others feel the need to be judgemental of any parent's choices, but I'm glad that there is this relatively safe haven of support.
post #55 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz
Ahh, see that wasn't my point. I quoted your list of reasons and added my own, but my intent was really to drive home the point that the reasons aren't necessarily important for the much more important discussions that we have in this forum.
Oh, I never thought that was your point. But sometimes we (I) allow ourselves to get caught up in defending our choices. And your post is an important reminder that we shouldn't feel like we have to defend our decisions.

Does that make sense? Maybe it just makes sense if you're in my brain, following the twisted synapses...

I know that sometimes I allow myself to get drawn into "I work b/c I made more money, or want to provide a stable financial future for my daughter, or want to live in a 1/2way decent neighborhood, or, or or, etc." But you know what? If none of those things were an issue, I'd probably still work at least part-time (even though I also could strangle my admin sometimes), b/c it's part of me and it feels right . And I shouldn't have to defend that.

Basylica, . Your situation sounds very hard, and I hope you find a way out soon. Also, your coworkers sound like .
post #56 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
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.
Regarding mamas “defending” WHO, I think it is absolutely critical that any discussion (or article) note that one almost NEVER hears fathers defending their decision (or their right) to WOH, and they are rarely (if ever) asked if they “have” to work. Why subject mothers to a different standard? Yet people do it all the time, without recognizing the essentialist thinking behind this double standard.

Many people say “Well, mothers and fathers are different.” But mothers are different from one another, as well (as are fathers). Breastfeeding is the one area in which there might be some legitimate debate on this topic, but even then—it is fully possible to be a nursing, WOHM.

I think it is really important to raise this point as often as possible; it reveals a lot of the deification of the SAHM for what it truly (IMO) is: sexism.

This doesn’t really have as much resonance when discussing the issue with people who insist that a child needs a SAHP (not just a SAHM). But I think people often pay lip service to the idea that children need a SAHP—what they most often mean is a SAHM. (FTR, both my dh and I work PT—therefore, we are both WOHPs *and* SAHPs!)
post #57 of 73
I love the discussion about how not every job problem can be solved by bringing the kid to work. I literally can't imagine it working for me, it would be an unqualified disaster. Not only would the poor kid be bored out of their skull, but I'd be a wreck. I lose my train of thought when people walk past my cube for crying out loud!

On the subject of why we work, I've been thinking about this for quite a while now, and I'm starting to come to the feeling that it's actually important to me to say, publically, that I work because I want to. Because I do. There are other considerations -- Achieving my goals, the $65K in loans I have from school, DH's desire to be a doctor and his need to continue being a student, having lots of worries about money when I was a kid, I could go on forever, really -- but the main reason is that I love what I do. There are options out there in the world that would allow me to SAH (most of which involve massive student loans and anxiety about money and other things we chose against) but I chose to work. Not because I love the money, but because I like what I do.

I want to be public about my choices because I feel really frusterated with the rhetoric which seems to focus on the idea that all WOHM's are materially greedy and work only for the things we can buy and the presumption that all mothers would be good at staying at home, if only they'd try it - something that I think devalues the skills and work that stay at home mothers do, because it's a special skill and a talent, one I exist in awe of, but know I don't possess. I don't want to be prissy about it, or start debate, but I do want to kind of offer the data point of "Hey, look. I WOH, I'm not a screaming materialist with expensive shoes, perhaps not every WOHM is a stereo type."
post #58 of 73
I browse these forums because I like a lot of things about AP and NFL and I find a lot of good information and tools to incorporate into my life. I just wanted to say I have noticed the anti-wohm vibe. As a WOHM this has made me very sad. Women truly are there own worst enemy. We don't need men to keep us down we are doing a fine job on our own.

I work outside the home. I am happy. My kids are happy. End of story.
post #59 of 73
Hi everyone.
Sweetbaby.. I'd be happy to copy edit your article for you if you want!
(I AM a professional you know lol)


When I first started coming here, I felt like I had to want to be a Sahm.. felt very guilty that I didn't. Then I went through a phase of feeling that I DID have to justify working.. I was the main bread winner, I had the insurance etc etc etc...

As my self-confidence as a mama grew.. as my child thrived.. the guilt and the defensiveness began to melt away. My child, my wonderful boy, was living evidence that we were doing okay.

It has been a long, slow painful evolution for me... from guilt, through defensiveness, to finally coming to a place of confidence. Now I am working on letting go of anger.

It isn't that I care anymore what people say about ME.

It is that some women seem invested in seeing my child fail and suffer.
And THAT makes me sick and angry.. to think that any other mother.. in her heart of hearts.. would wish pain on another mother's child. But there are those that do. Because if my child thrives.. if he is happy... than their whole self-concept as the "superior mommy" is proven a fallacy. And I guess that is what I am having a hard time getting past.

Also, for the record.. I embrace, support, respect and value Sahms. And Sahds.. and Wahms.. and all the other collections of letters we label ourselves and each-other with. That has NEVER been an issue for me. I have never never been invested in comparing myself to anyone. I don't NEED to feel superior to anyone. I just want to do the best I can for my own family.
I am muddling through the best I can, like most of us.
post #60 of 73
i usually hang out over in the 'running mamas' thread [hey geo!] and i am a wohm...so just wanted to stop in for a minute give us all a

i don't think i have it in me to join the debate over in Q+S...but to those who are over there representing the many facets of wohm-hood, i salute you and a big

ok one more for the road...

~jennifer
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