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Mothering's position re: WOH/SAH - Page 4

post #61 of 73
Asherah

And to all the others who have offered support, thanks.
post #62 of 73
Hey ladies,

I posted early on in this thread, came back a few days later and LOOK at how many of us there are!!! Yes we can feel bad about the stance Mothering takes on working or feeding formula or whatever, but I am currently basking in the warmth of an awful lot of support from both SAHM and WOHMs. There are a lot of us who just want to be there to help eachother through the sometimes difficult (OK REALLY difficult) job of raising smart, interesting, caring, loving human beings, irrespective of whether some of us woh or sah. Like I said earlier, currently I am sah, but am already keeping an eye out for something interesting to do in the next year or so. And let me be totally honest here, one of the biggest reason I am sah is because we live in a super rural area where there aren't a ot of jobs nearby. I have been offered stuff that is an hour away, but I HATE commuting. So sah isn't some big ethical thing with me, it is simply inconvenient to work from here. If we lived in a city or even a town, I'd be working part-time, you betcha!

Anyway, in the past I have deeply appreciated the support I have gotten from my WOH friends, and I try to do what I can for them (watch their kids, set up play-dates, make dinners). THAT'S what makes a community, being there for eachother, and supporting eachothers life choices. NOT preaching and getting "holier-than-thou."

This thread has been very loving, just thought I'd mention that.

April - : mama to Kai - b.12/30/30 - a.9/2/04 Kazakhstan
waiting for a referral for a baby girl from Kaz
Vermont
post #63 of 73
Hey all- i lurk here once in a while & really need to post a & here! Maybe it's b/c i came to MDC after dd was a year old, maybe it's b/c i am a deeply stubborn person or just super reasonable but ITA that it's a non-debate. I am very lucky to have a career that's really flexible. When i told my boss that i wanted to work PT after dd was born & she didn't think she could work it out, i said ok- i can find a PT postition somewhere else. Like i said, LUCKY.

Working has always been part of who i am. I desperately need the recharge it gives me. dd gets such a better mama as a result of my WOH. I reap huge benefits- emotional, psychological, etc. from WOH that my SAH side is better equipped, more fun, playful & gentle. I am coming to GD with a lot of difficulty, & it's harder & harder the longer i'm home. It's a struggle every day, but the sense of balance i get between work & home helps in a HUGE way.

I love the idea of an article truly exploring the aspects of WOH- i hope it's accepted & published. Maybe it will help a lot of mamas out there realize we really do play on the same team!!!
post #64 of 73
I have been watching this thread too, and I really appreciate it because it's made me think about why I really do work. Yeah, I don't *have* to either, we would survive, but I love my work and can't imagine not being involved in it in some way. I wrote a letter to Mothering mag that was published in the most recent one about taking my kid to work, and how I got hassled for it (I'm the "Rev." ). I guess I could have quit, but I brought her a few more months, and then, on our own time, we found caregivers for her that made us all happy.

I, like geofizz ( ) didn't really see this as a debate, at least not in my life. I work, I love my work, I'm not ashamed, and everyone who knows me knows that I am a mama before being a pastor, absolutely. But they are both a part of me. Thanks for the reason to think, y'all.
post #65 of 73

Hop

I've been on MDC for years, but don't really post a lot. I'm attracted to the progressive stance. However, I'm really an MDC pariah. I fully vax my kid, she was partially ff, I work full time, blah blah blah. HOPEFULLY (HOW DID THE CAPS LOCK GO ON!!!!! WHAT"S GOING ON HERE< HELP! HELP! THE LIGHT IS OFF) alright that was weird< the caps lock light is on now< but oh whatever! hopefully mothering can accommodate us poor working slobs> i was unaware that ms peggy was not supportive> things that make me say hmmmmmm>>>>>
post #66 of 73
I just want to be a part of this great group of mamas, so I'm posting, even though I have little to add. So there :LOL . I am a WOHM, a neonatologist in a University hosptial, who does breastfeeding research. I have never felt like there was any WOHM/SAHM debate at all, in my twisted little world. I simply refuse to acknowlege or be a part of tearing down other moms. I'm a doctor, and that's a part of who I am, I was a doc before DS was born, and I'll always be one. I like saving babies' lives, and helping their parents through tough times. I also LOVE being the subversive AP neonatologist. I advocate toddler nursing, demand feeding, co-sleeping, to all my patients

I'm glad you're all out there with me!
post #67 of 73
First, I would like to say that I am very much enjoying this discussion. I wish that I had the stamina to particpiate in a productive way right now but I have had my fill of the "mommy wars" lately.

Second, I could not be more disappointed in the stand that Mothering has taken on this issue. Apparently only mothers are capable of having a meaningful impact on the lives of their children. How denigrating to the important contribution of fathers in raising children! It would seem that it doesn't really matter if a father has to work a 60-70 hour week to pay the bills so long as the mother is home. After all, he is merely a "playmate," a distant "gateway to the world." For heaven's sake! As guerrillamama so perfectly put it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by guerrillamama
I DO expect Mothering to support WOHMs in our efforts to be AP and NFL.
I DO expect Mothering to support ALL mothers in those efforts, and not to privilege SAHMs over WOHMs or vice versa.
I DO expect Mothering to rise above the petty divide-and-conquer mommy wars and see a bigger picture for the good of all children.

I have been very disappointed in those expectations.
Finally, Sohj, I could not agree with you more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sohj
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.
While I am always interested in joining in productive conversations about the social constructs of gender and parenthood I have had my fill of the self-righteousness that so frequently accompanies this "debate." It honestly begins to sound like bullies in elementary school. I guess that for some people when you don't feel good about yourself and the choices that you have made the only thing that makes you feel better is to put others down and convince yourself you are somehow superior. Enough already.

Oh yeah, and just in case I didn't say it clearly enough at the beginning, you guys rock!
post #68 of 73
Quote:
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
: I get really annoyed by the terms "working mother" and "full-time mother" and how rarely they're used for fathers. My dad often referred (very approvingly) to one of my cousins as a "full-time mother" because she's w/her kids most of the time; she actually does some freelance work from home. This was really grating on me. Finally I said, "Every mother is a full-time mother! You worked in an office at least 40 hours a week during my whole childhood, but I would never call you a part-time father!" I think he got the message...or at least he's become more careful of his terminology around me.

In fact, part of the reason I feel comfortable WOH is that I feel that my parents were equally important in raising me. Yes, one of them earned most of the money while the other did most of the cooking and laundry. But both parents were there for almost every performance and parent/teacher conference. They spent about equal amounts of time really engaged w/me (talking, playing, etc.) because my SAHM encouraged us to entertain ourselves most of the time so she could work on her various projects, and my dad spent a lot of time w/us on weekends and did our bedtime story every night. When my brother and I visited our dad's office, we saw our drawings on the walls and knew he was thinking about us when he was at work.

Add to that the fact that I was aware from an early age that my mom felt trapped as a SAHM and felt her education was wasted, and it's no wonder I'm so firm in the conviction that a WOHM can be best for everyone in SOME families. For the above-mentioned cousin, however, and for many other women I know, being a SAHM is a dream come true. I can tell that my cousin often feels defensive about her choice, and I wish she didn't. Why can't our society just accept that (a) caring for children is "real work" AND (b) parents who do other work some of the time are still powerful forces in the lives of their children?

Basylica I hope you can find a better situation soon!!
post #69 of 73
ITA EnviroBecca. Your post was right on.
post #70 of 73
The thing that bugs me most about the debate is I feel forced to be dishonest. I have an ongoing dialog in my head about whether or not I'm doing the right thing by WOH, what direction I want my career to take, etc. Right now they want me to up my job from PT to FT. I have a thousand different ideas to work through but I feel like if I share those doubts/worries I can't do so without letting down the WOHM cause.
post #71 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarahsolazy
I have never felt like there was any WOHM/SAHM debate at all, in my twisted little world. I simply refuse to acknowledge or be a part of tearing down other moms. I'm glad you're all out there with me!
This ring true for me as well. Outside of a sister in law who made it a sport to criticize me, i never felt there was much of a debate either! And working in an ER is definitely a twisted little world, let me tell you! We are a close group, and of course many of the nurses are mothers (and fathers!). And my friends that are at home full time, well, we're friends and my working and them being at home is a non issue. we are simply women who like each other and have kids!
post #72 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cielle
The thing that bugs me most about the debate is I feel forced to be dishonest. I have an ongoing dialog in my head about whether or not I'm doing the right thing by WOH, what direction I want my career to take, etc. Right now they want me to up my job from PT to FT. I have a thousand different ideas to work through but I feel like if I share those doubts/worries I can't do so without letting down the WOHM cause.
I hear you. There are a LOT of ambivalences many of us feel, I suspect, and we fear voicing them because then we won't be good soldiers, and our doubts could be used as "ammo" by "the other side" (I'm using disgusting war imagery deliberately). I think it must be like marriage: sometimes we're reluctant to admit the NORMAL stress and arguments and doubts, because outsiders will think that our marriage is on the rocks. (Note that I was only married a few months; I may be just guessing, here.)
post #73 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
And my friends that are at home full time, well, we're friends and my working and them being at home is a non issue. we are simply women who like each other and have kids!
Yes, I think that I couldn't be good friends with someone not working outside the home (because I do) if they made it an issue, or vice versa. Most of the women I hang out with are at home full-time, and I feel like I can complain about my job without them saying, "well, you should quit" or whatever. And they can tell me if they've had a hard day without me saying, "but you're so lucky to be at home" or something crappy like that. That's why we're friends, ya know?
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