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I have a confession. You're not going to like it. - Page 7

post #121 of 137
I agree with everyone who said that it depends on each individual situation. I SAH for a few years and worked a bit too. I’m working out of the home now and find it easier than SAH full time.
post #122 of 137
I think the reason those "easier/harder" statements can get us feeling defensive is because we do feel our work is devalued... and, well, womens' work *is* devalued, and in our society there is a strong message that our work = our worth as people. The statement that SAHMing is "easier" is a step away from saying it's "easy" and that seems pretty close to saying we're all freeloading, etc etc. I know this isn't what anyone here means, but there are reasons that some of us might feel threatened when reading this.

I, personally, am having a hard time reading this thread unemotionally. I struggle as a SAHM. I think I might well struggle as a WOHM, too, but hearing people say how much easier the SAHM job is... well, it's hard to hear when my own SAHM life feels overwhelming. If it's so much easier, than what's wrong with me that I can't keep the house clean/play creatively with my son/be calm and even-tempered with the kids/keep up with outside commitments/finish lots of crafty projects... etc etc etc...

Yeah, that insecurity is all about what's inside my head, and not really about other posters are saying. But, I know I'm not the only one.
post #123 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylith View Post
I think the reason those "easier/harder" statements can get us feeling defensive is because we do feel our work is devalued... and, well, womens' work *is* devalued, and in our society there is a strong message that our work = our worth as people. The statement that SAHMing is "easier" is a step away from saying it's "easy" and that seems pretty close to saying we're all freeloading, etc etc. I know this isn't what anyone here means, but there are reasons that some of us might feel threatened when reading this.

I, personally, am having a hard time reading this thread unemotionally. I struggle as a SAHM. I think I might well struggle as a WOHM, too, but hearing people say how much easier the SAHM job is... well, it's hard to hear when my own SAHM life feels overwhelming. If it's so much easier, than what's wrong with me that I can't keep the house clean/play creatively with my son/be calm and even-tempered with the kids/keep up with outside commitments/finish lots of crafty projects... etc etc etc...

Yeah, that insecurity is all about what's inside my head, and not really about other posters are saying. But, I know I'm not the only one.

This is a great and thoughtful point and I think explains some of the tension people have expressed on this thread. It seems to me WOHMs often struggle with guilt and SAHMs often struggle with feeling devalued (didn't check out the "You're wasting your education" thread, but saw the title, and that spoke volumes). I can definitely see how "MY job is harder than YOURS" can play into that feeling, and can make an already-overwhelmed mama feel defensive.
post #124 of 137
I wanted to note that as a wohm I do struggle with a lot of guilt. There are days that I wish I could always be home with my sweet baby, but then there are days I thank god I can get a break (if that's what you want to call it ). There are really pros and cons to both and it's whatever works best for your family. And there is absolutely no reason to feel devalued as a sahm. SAHM's really do the MOST important job of all- they spend their time raising great people!

I think we all have our days when the grass is greener and you'd rather be a wohm or you'd rather be a sahm. There's no reason to argue about it.
post #125 of 137
I just keep coming back to this - not even really replying to anybody else, but trying to clarify.

I just walked over to the local elementary school (about 25 minutes) and picked up a little boy from kindergarten. We walked back to my house. DD was in the stroller and ds2 in the Ergo. I decided we'd go for a walk in the woods behind my place, because I wanted dd to get some exercise. Due to a bad judgment call on my part, dd fell in the creek and got soaked.

So, now the little boy and dd are having a hot chocolate. DS2 is nursing, because he's grumpy and tired (wanted to go home a little sooner than we did - hence my bad call ending in the creek). I should have had supper in the crock pot an hour or more ago.

So - it's been a rough day in some ways. But...hard? I chose to walk over to the school, instead of drive, because I need the exercise. I thought the kids and I would benefit from being out in the woods for a bit. I can remember trying to pack this kind of thing into the half hour of remaining daylight in a desperate attempt to get some "quality" time with ds1...

My day hasn't been "hard". But, it's been SO worthwhile. I've read Boynton books to ds2 about 15 times today - not hard, but worthwhile. I've gone for a nice walk in the woods - not hard, but worthwhile. I did many, many things in my WOHM life that were much, much harder than what I've been doing today...but I feel that getting dd and ds2 and this other little boy out into the woods was more productive than almost anything I did in my old jobs.

When I picked this boy up today, he told me that he'd been "jumping with glee" because he was going to come over to my place today. Okay- I'm beating my chest - but I felt proud - and it's not because having him here is difficult. I think (hope) that I'm making a difference in this kid's life. Who on earth cares how "hard" that is? It's worth doing, even if it's easy-peasy. If I were at a paying job, I wouldn't be able to do this...
post #126 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli's_mommy View Post
There are days that I wish I could always be home with my sweet baby, but then there are days I thank god I can get a break (if that's what you want to call it ).
Oh, my! You just hit my sorest sore spot in the world. I have someone who used to tell me how "lucky" I was because I could get a break from my kid. She was the one getting paid to look after ds1. For one thing, my day was hell - it was not a break, especially since I missed ds1 every time I had enough time to actually think about him. For another, I used to take ds1 and her son for pretty much the entire evening, except supper time, as soon as I got home...for free. The whole "at least you get a break" thing tends to make me see red. Now that she and I are both SAHM, I don't here that from her anymore, because I don't need as many "breaks" as she does, and am more than happy with those that I get. (Now, it's "well, I have three little ones at home, and you only have two". ARRRRGH! I never comment on this stuff to her. Some people live for the Mommy Wars.)
post #127 of 137
I just came off 6 years of full time SAHM'ing. Now I work part time out of the home. I think full-time SAHM'ing is really hard. All of the structure and organization of the day has to come from you. Having the outside structure and time to reflect on what I do at home (while not being in it) has made my life easier. Just three weeks into my job, I feel more mentally organized and I have more energy when I am with my children.

I am not saying that all SAHM's need this, but I think I do. Getting "breaks" to "take care of myself" as a SAHM made me feel very restless and unfulfilled. And I couldn't find what I really needed to "take care of myself" on my own, because I felt overwhelmed all the time. And guilty for not loving every minute of SAHM'ing.

I wanted to do volunteer work, but couldn't find a situation that worked because I would be paying for childcare while earning no money, and the logistics of organizing all that on my own seemed daunting. And most volunteer positions that I have held are not well organized and end up being unsatisfying. And the cool ones require huge time commitments (childcare$$$$).

That said, I think the logistics of WOH are very difficult when you work full-time and have trouble lining up child care that you are comfortable with. And if you have a commute. And a stressful job. And a high needs kid.

It's all hard, really. My hat's off to full time SAHM's who do it all for a very long time and have the inner strength and creativity to keep it fresh, for them and their kids. And the patience to move at a child's pace at all times. I found/find that really hard, too.

L.
post #128 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Oh, my! You just hit my sorest sore spot in the world. I have someone who used to tell me how "lucky" I was because I could get a break from my kid. She was the one getting paid to look after ds1. For one thing, my day was hell - it was not a break, especially since I missed ds1 every time I had enough time to actually think about him. For another, I used to take ds1 and her son for pretty much the entire evening, except supper time, as soon as I got home...for free. The whole "at least you get a break" thing tends to make me see red. Now that she and I are both SAHM, I don't here that from her anymore, because I don't need as many "breaks" as she does, and am more than happy with those that I get. (Now, it's "well, I have three little ones at home, and you only have two". ARRRRGH! I never comment on this stuff to her. Some people live for the Mommy Wars.)

Well, I wouldn't say I feel lucky.....

Honestly, I've never been the most patient woman in the world. Sometimes *I* benefit from having a bit of time away from ds, because then when I go back home to him, I reallllly reallllly want to make the most of our time together. But once again, absolutely everyone is different and you can't hold the same standards to everyone.

I wish I didn't have to be away 8-10 hours a day, but sometimes it's nice for me (maybe not for others) to have a little breather.
post #129 of 137
You know what, I wanted to come back and say I do feel lucky, dammit. With the situation I'm in, I'm doing beautifully. I have to work full time to live in middle class society. I am absolutely blessed to have an amazing group of friends and family that take care of my ds during the week, because I would be an absolute wreck dropping him off at daycare all of the time. As much as I would like to be a sahm somedays, I also enjoy putting myself into my work as well. I do still get good quality time with my son, and we do fun things together.

This should not be a war though, and it's too bad everyone is getting their feelings hurt. Perhaps if any of you feel devalued for being a sahm, you need to look at yourself closer and be more confident about what you do because it is important and it does have value. Seems silly that a couple of words could break anyone down that easily.
post #130 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherette View Post
Just three weeks into my job, I feel more mentally organized and I have more energy when I am with my children.

I am not saying that all SAHM's need this, but I think I do. Getting "breaks" to "take care of myself" as a SAHM made me feel very restless and unfulfilled. And I couldn't find what I really needed to "take care of myself" on my own, because I felt overwhelmed all the time. And guilty for not loving every minute of SAHM'ing.
I totally completely understand your comments here. I KNOW I would be so much more efficient and productive back at work. I actually took a long-term assignment last year to see what would happen. It was incredible--I rocked. AND I totally ignored my family. So, for me personally, I cannot do both. I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaay too Type A to work fulltime. So, yes, I volunteer!!! I am sooo fortunate to chair a fundraiser which demands efficiency and productivity for 3 mos/year. This way, I can be manic and then it's over. I truly think volunteering is an incredible resource and outlet for all of us. It's like having my cake and eating it, too---for me personally.
post #131 of 137
You know. I find it to be the opposite. I think it is easier to WOH than to SAH.

It could be that I was miserable SAH. I mean, we are busier now and sometimes things aren't as simple as we would like them. We have more rushing around and more busy schedules trying to get everything done between 6pm and bedtime but I think our family is healthier. We enjoy our time together. We do more family oriented things.

It just works for our family.
post #132 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylith View Post
I think the reason those "easier/harder" statements can get us feeling defensive is because we do feel our work is devalued... and, well, womens' work *is* devalued, and in our society there is a strong message that our work = our worth as people. The statement that SAHMing is "easier" is a step away from saying it's "easy" and that seems pretty close to saying we're all freeloading, etc etc. I know this isn't what anyone here means, but there are reasons that some of us might feel threatened when reading this.

I, personally, am having a hard time reading this thread unemotionally. I struggle as a SAHM. I think I might well struggle as a WOHM, too, but hearing people say how much easier the SAHM job is... well, it's hard to hear when my own SAHM life feels overwhelming. If it's so much easier, than what's wrong with me that I can't keep the house clean/play creatively with my son/be calm and even-tempered with the kids/keep up with outside commitments/finish lots of crafty projects... etc etc etc...

Yeah, that insecurity is all about what's inside my head, and not really about other posters are saying. But, I know I'm not the only one.
post #133 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahlmn View Post
My point was that WOHM's still have to accomplish a lot of the same things that a SAHM does,
Hi wah. I'm so sorry you feel attacked! I assure you I do not go trolling around the internet looking for offense, but on the off chance you were actually curious what it was that caused me to use that word (offensive), this is the line. You went on to personalize, but regardless this is the phrase you started with. It's qualified by the words "a lot," but that's something of a distinction without a difference, since it's also true that SAHM's have to accomplish a lot of the same things WOHM's do. This right here glosses over the work of childcare during the day. Maybe it's not a lot to you, but since you used those general labels, I think you have to be more careful not to generalize your life to the rest of the SAHM's. I would not have had a peep to say if you'd only used the second half of this sentence, and you would have really said the same thing.

I am sure you see this as a pointless debate, but having been involved with women's rights law for a long time(I'm a lawyer), I see such a schism between women who are labelled one way or the other, and it's largely because of thoughtless language. I think if we could all be more careful about how we speak to one another we could maybe move past some of the defensiveness and work on getting longer paid leaves and better working conditions for everybody. But we have to use the respectful language first, I think.
post #134 of 137
I've been watching this discussion with great interest, but have only read a smattering of the posts... enough to get a general sense that one major point is being totally missed, and is usually missed by us, in these discussions.

We spend a lot of time looking at each other, assuming things about one another, about one another's life styles, children, husbands, or wives. We point out our own 'struggles' and 'hardships' in an effort to make each other understand what we are going through, or to correct another's assumptions... since I'm new to the term Mommy Wars, I gather this is part of what it/they entail.

What would happen if we focus for a moment on our commonalities? We are all mothers and we are all women. And whether we work out of the home or stay in the home, in Europe or the States, Asia or the Middle East, whether we are gay or straight, Christian or Muslim, or whatever... we ALL have the hardest job in the World: being a woman, in a patriarchal, male-dominated global-society, where it is incumbant upon us all to smile, nurture, be loving, strong, intelligent, and focused; and balance the world perception/paradigm of what a woman (much less a mother) should be capable of and how one ought to behave, with our own unique beliefs and moral compass.

What would happen if we all as a unit, shrugged off the paradigms, and sincerely just accepted that we are all in the same boat? What if we were to fight for equality and justice for the women of the world who don't have the luxury of having this debate because their role has been dictated to them by a patriarchal regime?

I think it would be revolutionary... literally... and we could take over the world...
post #135 of 137
beautiful post!
post #136 of 137
oh Prenna!

I totally agree! Beautiful post
post #137 of 137
Quote:
I think the reason those "easier/harder" statements can get us feeling defensive is because we do feel our work is devalued... and, well, womens' work *is* devalued, and in our society there is a strong message that our work = our worth as people. The statement that SAHMing is "easier" is a step away from saying it's "easy" and that seems pretty close to saying we're all freeloading, etc etc. I know this isn't what anyone here means, but there are reasons that some of us might feel threatened when reading this.


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