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A word about "Full Time Mothers" - Page 3

post #41 of 130
Originally Posted by trinket23us
I have been a stay at home mom for ten years. I would say about 90% of the time I hear how nice it is that I am able to stay home from working moms. It is a choice that I made that came with many years of going without certain things. Sacrifice of material items that I would like to have but have chosen that my child is way more important. Most of them could make the same choices if they really wanted too.
I feel that this attitude not only hurtful, but illustrates the ignorance of WOHM's situations that is so very prevalent.

I guess that I too could make that choice to 'sacrifice material items that I would like to have but have chosen that my child is way more important' and leave work.

Hmmm -- yeah I guess I should sacrifice our shelter, food on our table, healthcare, transportation so I could stay with my baby (who would be starving and homeless since I wouldn't be working.)

The idea that WOHMs are materialistic and choosing materialism over their children really upsets me. I don't know any WOHM who would rather work so she can buy herself a chanel suit and jimmy choo shoes than stay at home and care for her child.
post #42 of 130
Yeah, I WOH so I can buy name brand toilet paper instead of the genaric brand. Oh and provide healthcare and all those fun materialistic things. Gee, which home should I give up first, the one in Aspen or Hawaii. dripping with sarcasm of course. Gimme a break!!! :
post #43 of 130
I'm working on that whole keeping my mouth shut. I won't be catty. I'm a good mama & I'm willing to bet everyone on this board is as well....
post #44 of 130
To say I could or would quit if i really wanted to is stupid.

I provide the health, dental and vision benefits as well as our retirement.

I put alot into a retirement so I am not a burden to my children when we get old.

I provide health insurance because we are homeowners. Us qualifying for any kind of state or federal aid is a joke.

I am paying cash for our daughters tuition for college.

We all make choices. We all make sacrifices. And I am not comfortable sacrficing our financial security. Period.
post #45 of 130
I have been a stay at home mom for ten years. I would say about 90% of the time I hear how nice it is that I am able to stay home from working moms. It is a choice that I made that came with many years of going without certain things. Sacrifice of material items that I would like to have but have chosen that my child is way more important. Most of them could make the same choices if they really wanted too.
Although this was put in a pretty disrespectful way, I have gotten kind of the same thing. I am a WOHM, but when our new babe is born in August I'm quitting to stay home. I've had a bunch of people sniff and say things like "must be nice to just not have to work" and "wow, I wish I had that kind of money". It's a tad insulting the way it is usually said, not generally supportive. Yes, I'm really lucky--DH happens to be in a decently paid field, and we are in a low cost of living area so we can afford to live on just his salary. But at the same time, we aren't rich, so we are choosing to forgo extras like vacations and a second car. And we've put off having this baby for years so we could pay down debt first. So the insulting "must be nice" comments are kinda hurtful. It would be different if they were said in a supportive way.

It's ridiculous to say that if you loved your kids enough you would stay home, and insulting as well. Sweetbaby loves her DD enough to pay for her college, and I don't know that I'll be able to do that. That's a pretty amazing thing to do for your kid However, in my mind it's empowering to think that you are choosing to work to make a better life for yourself and your family, rather than saying you "have" to work, which in my mind is depressing. The things that you all are doing with your salaries are so worthwhile for your families! That's how I've tried to think of working the past 9 years--maybe at one point I would say that I was choosing to work so I wouldn't have to go on food stamps, but that made me feel like I was making my own decisions, not the ones forced upon me. Some of you are choosing to work so you still have a house, some of you are choosing to work so you have health insurance, and some women choose to work so that their kids can go to really awesome private schools or so they can take spectactular vacations.

And some moms work because their work is wonderful and fulfilling. In my mind, those are all excellent valid reasons, and we all should be celebrated in our choices to WOHM or stay home or any combination of the two.

Hopefully that makes sense...that's why we are all full time moms, because we are all mommy-ing the best ways for our families
post #46 of 130
Originally Posted by TripMom
This is an example of the attitude that deeply offends me. This comment is amazingly presumptuous - and really bums me out - as it confirms what I sense that some SAHMs are thinking about me. As though I have to explain myself and my financial/medical situation to justify my work situation . . . .

I don't look down on SAHM - I envy them. And unfortunately, it is not a choice that I could make only if I "really wanted too".
The WOHM=materialism over children argument also bothers me a lot more than the labels (call me whatever you want, I'm still a mother). It's a judgment generally made from a place of relative comfort and seems to imply that WOHMs are working so they can have a Gucci bag, eat out all the time and travel to exotic places on a whim, when in fact the vast majority of them are probably living on a lower level of material comfort than the SAHM making the judgment.

Of WOHMs, my guess is only between 10-20% could stay home without rather serious consequences for their families (ie, no health insurance, being unable to help relatives desperately in need (what about all those WOHMs with relatives in third world countries barely scraping by?), having to move far away from close knit family, causing such strain on the marriage it breaks apart, etc. I won't even go into the fact that a considerable number (maybe as much as a third or more) of WOHMs are sole or main breadwinners, and many of those who aren't together with their husbands barely make a subsistence living-- it seems a bit presumptious to think that all those shop clerks, waitresses, secretaries, etc in working class and lower middle class jobs who are the bulk of working women (most of whom are mothers) are just working because they want to and they want "stuff" instead of, together with their husbands making the same or lower wages than them (or without any help from any other adults at all), trying to put food on the table, have a place to live somewhere where they don't have to worry about their kids going outdoors (some still can't do that despite their hard work because of living costs), having medical insurance, and maybe, if they're lucky, putting a little away toward college and retirement. The fact that a SAHM who makes this sort of judgment primarily knows WOHMs (in her judgment) who could, at least from appearances, afford to stay at home by just cutting back on the extras says a lot about the material position of that SAHM, rather than the reality of most WOHMs.

I don't see anyone ever suggesting that any FATHER could stay at home if he was just willing to make the right material sacrifices...

Also, I would add that there aren't a lot of people I know whose financial circumstances I know well enough to truly be able to judge whether one of the parents could stay home or not.
post #47 of 130
A reminder to all to please, please don't engage in 'mommy wars here'. Everyone makes choices for their own family that fit their family. For some that means staying at home (mom or dad) and some that means working out of the home (mom or dad). It's all good!
post #48 of 130
The first time I heard a working mama take issue with this phrase (I had never heard it), I actually got defensive as a SAHM. I thought, well, if you're a full-time mom AND work full-time, then what am I? A full-time mom and slouch?? I'm working all day with my child! I had never thought I was some kind of superior mother for staying at home, but I felt like all that I was doing all day was being slighted if they felt they were working and doing the same. Which just goes to show that the whole back and forth is stupid. I can see now why it would bug moms. Probably because "Mother" kind of becomes part of our identity, and is not really just a job description, despite all the work and effort involved, so tacking full-time (and implying part-time) before it is kind of insulting.

I can't think of anything that would perhaps not be insulting in some regard. Primary care provider maybe? It's a little stiff though. I like Sahm/sahd best, even though it's not perfect. I think the intention behind "Full-time mom" may not have been judgmental, but it's still obnoxious, because as someone pointed out, no one refers to dads as full-time or not. They're just dads.
post #49 of 130
The reason why the WOHM = Materialism argument gets my knickers in a twist so much is that we probably *could* live without my income right now. We'd have to downsize intensely, sell our second car, get rid of our renters and collision coverage, cell phones, high-speed internet, DS's 529 plan, and all the other 'extras', move to a smaller place with no yard or garden and no play space for DS, and do a ton of other things to pedantic to list out, but we probably could manage to.

The thing is, I don't want to be a SAHM. I respect SAHM's, I think it's an awesome choice and that everyone should have the ability to chose to do it if they want to -- but I don't want to. I would be crappy at it, and I would go insane. I'm a much better person and a better mother to my son by working. I'm not going to say that there are no material aspects involved, because there - we want to send DS to private school and pay for college and can't do that without my salary. But even if I were barely making enough to cover my expenses I would still work.

I really hate the implication that other mothers think that my job is all about materialism. I think we're all fighting to create some kind of balance between the life-consuming job of Motherhood, and trying to have some sense of self outside of it while we have too little time and are constantly being made to feel guilty for spending any of it on ourselves. And I really feel like it's that sense of self that's being attacked and held up as worthless when people say that WOHM's are either forced into working, or doing it only for the materialism.

I don't know that any of that remained on the original topic, but I felt like I had to get it out.
post #50 of 130
Originally Posted by Belleweather
The thing is, I don't want to be a SAHM. I respect SAHM's, I think it's an awesome choice and that everyone should have the ability to chose to do it if they want to -- but I don't want to.
I think this is an important point. It seems there is an common implication that all mothers should want to stay home with their kids. And many don't want to. And they can still be great mothers.

I personally struggle with this. I am a SAHM, have been for about a year and a half, and will be for an unknown period of time (new baby due in April). But I constatnly struggle with the "do I want to go back to work" question and while part of my motivation in even asking myself is admittedly financial (security, not materialism), part of it is about whether or not I feel this is the right choice for me. I often feel I am not very good at being a SAHM. I sometimes feel that my child would be better served by a committed, responsible, stimulating, quality care provider. I don't know if these thoughts are simply my inner critic, or if I am truly not cut out for this work. I guess I am too early on in my path to really know and time will help me sort it out.

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in and say that I think sometimes, a mom is the best mom she can be by knowing herself well enough to know that being home with her kids all day will not fulfill her. Some moms are better moms when they are working. And it has nothing to do with money.
post #51 of 130
Thread Starter 
I think the most important question is- after reading all these posts, listening to different stories and perspectives- why don't we as women honor each other and our ability to make choices that we feel are right for our family? We still have a long way to go, but not so long ago in the US women didn't have as many choices. In many parts of the world today, women still don't have any choice.

I originally started this post because I feel very frustrated at the "full time mother" attitude. We are homeschoolers and DH is a SAHD and we encounter it a lot. Just because we have a SAHP in our family doesn't mean that I am okay with that attitude. Not only does it bother me- but it undervalues what all mothers do. Why does it have to be a contest of who is a better mother? No one wins that contest.
post #52 of 130
Originally Posted by G&B'sMama
Maybe I am just in a bad mood today, but I need to have a little vent. Does the term “full time mother” drive anyone else crazy except me? It implies that there are “part time mothers” and more specifically that employed mothers are somehow less of a mother. I very carefully refer to myself as a WOHM, so as not to imply that mothers who are not employed do not work hard at what they do. It would be nice to have a little consideration in return, I guess.

Okay, I am done now.
That bothers me as well and I'm a SAHM. every mother is a full time mother. its ridiculous to state otherwise. I worked for 3 months this summer (July 1-oct 12) and it was SO hard for me to separate my work and my worry about my son. I eventually ended up quitting because I couldn't handle it but I'm going to have to go back to work really soon. that won't make me a part time mother *shakes head* thats just ridiculous.
post #53 of 130
The phrase "full-time mother" bothers me and I'm a sahm. It's offensive to wohms, but secondarily, it bugs me because it implies that "mother" is all I am. My total identity 24/7. Yes, I'm a mother. I always will be. But I am a lot more, too.
post #54 of 130
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post #55 of 130

Fulltime SAHM

Personally I don't mind being a full-time mom and being recognized as one. I don't think society sees a full-time mom as a real occupation. I think full-time mom really work overtime and more...because they on duty 24/7.
post #56 of 130
But see, here's my question: full time mother vs. mothering full time? Is there a distinction?

I'm asking in all earnestness and am not trying to get rowdy or flame anyone.
post #57 of 130
Originally Posted by anniej
But see, here's my question: full time mother vs. mothering full time? Is there a distinction?

I'm asking in all earnestness and am not trying to get rowdy or flame anyone.
no i don't think there is a distinction. A full-time mom mothers full-time.
post #58 of 130
Originally Posted by TVChick
I work 4p-midnight, so many of my mom friends (most of which are SAHMs) think of me as "one of them". That's great until they start talking about how much harder their lives are now that they don't WOH. What does that say about me? Unfortunately, very few have taken the time to listen to, and try to understand, my concerns.
I just wanted to say that what you do is very hard, it can be impossible to get the sleep you need working those hours. I come home from work at 10:00pm and find it difficult to wind down and rest so that I can be ready for the girls in the morning. I don't think many of my friends know how many hours I work outside the home because, I do see them during the day and basically live a SHAM life. So, I do understand your situation.
post #59 of 130
I work FT now and the phrase doesn't really bother me.

Reason being, I guess, is because when I'd use other phrases to describe myself when I stayed at home with the kids, I could just feel certain people looking down their noses at me. The term "full time mom" made me feel more bold, more embrazened, to stand up to people who thought that I was just sitting around watching soaps, eating bon bons, that kind of thing. To me, "stay at home mom" is almost akin to describing myself as "homemaker", at least with the reaction I've gotten from people in the past.

I never said it to insinuate that women who work out of the home aren't mothers while they are working. It just meant exactly what I said.... I was staying at home, physically with my children, all day every day... that was really my only "title", just like you may wear your title of "doctor" or "lawyer" or whatever just as proudly.

Hope that made sense.
post #60 of 130
I'll chime in. I stay at home with my daughter and I don't call myself a "full-time mom." I don't because I think it's usually meant to be a slight to mom's who work outside the home. I also think it's a defensive sort of comment--I'll insult you before you insult me. I could be wrong, but that's what I think.
Also, I really, really appreciate when mom's with paying jobs say that they are work outside the home moms. I've never actually heard it in real life--just on this board.
In real life I have heard, after saying, "oh, I'm tired" , "Yeah I'm tired too and I WORKED today" from moms with jobs. And it makes me feel so incredibly unvalued. I work hard all day, too.
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