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My complaints about Mothering's neglect of working moms - an appeal - Page 3

post #41 of 172
I don't subscribe to the magazine, but if a particular issue seems useful, I'll pick it up. I think Mothering Magazine has a very specific mission and it's OK with my if they aren't supporting my particular goals of flexible hours, longer paid leaves and a supportive pumping environment. They are doing other things. I don't subscribe because I don't find *that* much that is of use to me. I get a lot out of the forums, especially this one.

I honestly think it's fair of them to say, that isn't our mission. If you are trying to cure world hunger, it *might* not be within in your purview to protest the war in Iraq for example, even though the war is probably creating more hunger.

I find that "Working Mother-type" magazines exist to sell forumula and devices and to a large extent ANY magazine owes it's existence to products.
I do think there is space for a magazine in the market place that addresses the growing audience of equality-based parenting (though such a magazine might exclude from it's mission the issues of single-parenting).

I honestly think we will see and ARE seeing major shifts in parenting responsibilities to more equal and shared parenting and I applaud that. My own story is that me mother kept working when she found herself pregnant with me, in her 40s with 3 older children. And she kept the house and did all of those other things like laundry and grocery shopping. In my own situation, I routinely see fathers picking up or dropping off children, being AWARE of how many diapers are left or if they've run out of diaper cream and making a note to BUY MORE when they go to the store. WOW! That's a huge change for me.

Sure - there's still more to do. Mom's Rising and Mothers Acting Up are 2 organizations pushing for social changes that unite all mothers, including better leaves. But honestly, I think it's fair of Mothering Mag to say - that isn't our mission.
post #42 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerwest60610 View Post

It seems like Mothering could be one of our best media allies when it comes to these issues...but I do feel that they've left us stranded a bit when it comes to resources. The resources I need are: how do I contact our lawmakers about the issues that are important to us such as guaranteed paid maternity leave, generous health care, etc? And how can we point out to our lawmakers that FMLA is inadequate? How are the laws inadequate now? How can we mobilize to make real change and progress for moms and dads?
yes! for example: in California where i live we get State Disability (paid) to cover time off before having a baby and we get Paid Family Leave after having the baby for care and bonding. it's not FMLA, something totally different. it's a state program available to anyone who has paid into it. i lurked around a lot on MDC two years ago when i was thinking about ttc specifically looking for info about this. i could not find a thing! i came back to MDC when i did become pregnant and actually joined because i was interested in other aspects but i was disapointed there was nothing on here about it. i figured it out, obviously. but, doesn't it seem like something that Mothering would get behind and say 'Hey people in other states get on your lawmakers to create this in your state. These are the stats on how successful this program has been in CA. Here is how it works in California for all you working moms out there'? like a sticky or something with info always available? (i will actually post my experience with filing for this program on the boards so it is there for others to access. the EDD website for CA is unnecessarily confusing )

and also, as a magazine Mothering ( and the forums too) could be a real resource for working moms looking to get information about specific companies that do champion working mothers. i see alot on MDC and in Mothering about what companies to boycott or to not buy from because of bad policies/toxic products but little to nothing about which companies are excellent at supporting the AP lifestyle and families in general. i would go out of my way to give my business to companies that had policies that were supportive of families and specifically mothers. i may not be looking for a career at these companies but it would be great for someone who was and also as a way to pressure other companies into changing their policies. (and i'm not talking about cottage industry type companies/home based businesses, i mean large companies. corporations that have brand awareness in the marketplace.)
and i don't see why, as a magazine on the forefront a new-ish concept of parenting, Mothering could not incorporate this as a positve aspect to their magazine. (i feel like i don't buy the magazine regularly or read some of the forums on MDC because of a somewhat pervasive weary warrior tone.)

maybe the boards could have a sticky with a list of family friendly/AP supportive companies and their policies. i'd be interested in researching this and creating a forum/thread. i'm not sure where to start except from personal anecdote perhaps, but i'm passionate enough about this issue and willing to do what i can to share any info i find out.
post #43 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
I don't subscribe to the magazine, but if a particular issue seems useful, I'll pick it up. I think Mothering Magazine has a very specific mission and it's OK with my if they aren't supporting my particular goals of flexible hours, longer paid leaves and a supportive pumping environment. They are doing other things. I don't subscribe because I don't find *that* much that is of use to me. I get a lot out of the forums, especially this one.

I honestly think it's fair of them to say, that isn't our mission. If you are trying to cure world hunger, it *might* not be within in your purview to protest the war in Iraq for example, even though the war is probably creating more hunger.

I find that "Working Mother-type" magazines exist to sell forumula and devices and to a large extent ANY magazine owes it's existence to products.
I do think there is space for a magazine in the market place that addresses the growing audience of equality-based parenting (though such a magazine might exclude from it's mission the issues of single-parenting).

I honestly think we will see and ARE seeing major shifts in parenting responsibilities to more equal and shared parenting and I applaud that. My own story is that me mother kept working when she found herself pregnant with me, in her 40s with 3 older children. And she kept the house and did all of those other things like laundry and grocery shopping. In my own situation, I routinely see fathers picking up or dropping off children, being AWARE of how many diapers are left or if they've run out of diaper cream and making a note to BUY MORE when they go to the store. WOW! That's a huge change for me.

Sure - there's still more to do. Mom's Rising and Mothers Acting Up are 2 organizations pushing for social changes that unite all mothers, including better leaves. But honestly, I think it's fair of Mothering Mag to say - that isn't our mission.
Sure, but the magazine is called "Mothering" not just "SAHMing." I think people are just stunned because they are just now finding out that this is really "Stay-at-Home Mothering," and they hadn't realized it before.
post #44 of 172
I haven't read all the replies (mainly because I don't have the emotional energy to deal with the anger it would probably cause right now), but I just wanted to chime in here to say that I come to these boards for the wonderful insight that I get from you fellow mothers. If the "organization" that is the magazine doesn't totally support my choices, then I'm ok with that. Because of the information I have learned from Mothering and from the information I have learned from the fellow mothers here, I am a better mother. And I am inspired to continue the quest for even better mothering. I do subscribe to the magazine because I learn so much from it and I know it needs money to exist (including the facilitation of these boards). I deal with the opinions expressed about WOH/SAH by knowing that I am the best judge of what is the best situation for my children and family. It is not an easy decision for me (as expressed in my signature!), but it is a decision that has been well thought out, researched, and contemplated.
post #45 of 172
I don't read the magazine very often, and then just take it for what it is -- a production of a pretty small group of people with their own particular views. These boards encompass a much wider and more diverse group. I have sort of learned to compartementalize a lot of stuff on these boards -- you have to when there's so many coming here. The fact we have this subforum means there isn't hostility or total exclusiveness, and a lot of other topics on the board don't have to really even go to the issue of whether you are at home or not. So I just don't worry about it, unless there is a thread where people are being insulting (and there have been quite a few in the past, it's calmed down a lot). As long as it's understood that one can adopt AP/NFL practices while working outside the home without being pilloried for not being perfect (and how many stay at home parents are perfect AP/NFL anyway?), I don't care that much. I've also come to adopt the attitude over the years of people can kiss my you know what if they don't like it-- I know when I'm doing my best and when I'm not. I used to feel pretty guilty, but I don't anymore b/c I am sure I'm doing my best, most of the time.

The only thing that still kills me is why so many are willing to excuse their male significant others for working crazy hours and not being around much to parent/help around the house but are perfectly willing to criticize any woman whose children go to daycare (mine don't, so it's not even personal for me-- just makes me wonder about the continuing power of sexism and its accompanying doublethink).
post #46 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilushka View Post
The only thing that still kills me is why so many are willing to excuse their male significant others for working crazy hours and not being around much to parent/help around the house but are perfectly willing to criticize any woman whose children go to daycare (mine don't, so it's not even personal for me-- just makes me wonder about the continuing power of sexism and its accompanying doublethink).
Ditto this. I'm constantly astounded by the dismissal of fathers or partners as adequate caregivers on Mothering and even elsewhere. My husband and I moved to a place that would be more family friendly knowing both of us would have to work if we had kids. I never would have had a child had I not found someone who would parent as much as I do. (I did breastfeeding and infant night wakings, he'll scare potential boyfriends and stay up waiting for her to come home)

I also woh b/c I want to. I couldn't be a good mother if I were a sahm. But I learned early on in reading Dr. Sears and other crunchy books and even What To Expect that I was a bad person for not doing everything in my power to be a sahm. And no, sahd wasn't a good substitute.

Work places need to be FAMILY friendly not just MOTHER friendly. It's how you prevent shuffling women into less important jobs and marginalizing them, I think.

And I thought I'd tell you something about what my company does for families that I'd never heard of before. If you've been with the company for a year you get 2 hours of paid leave time per month to do things like go to school functions, dr. appts and other family obligations on top of regular leave time. I just thought that was the nicest thing for those things where you don't need a whole day off, just the ability to leave a little early or come in a little late and not have pay docked. And this is for mothers and fathers and single people.
post #47 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post
And I thought I'd tell you something about what my company does for families that I'd never heard of before. If you've been with the company for a year you get 2 hours of paid leave time per month to do things like go to school functions, dr. appts and other family obligations on top of regular leave time. I just thought that was the nicest thing for those things where you don't need a whole day off, just the ability to leave a little early or come in a little late and not have pay docked. And this is for mothers and fathers and single people.
Oh, that's neat!
post #48 of 172
Lisalou - that IS a great policy! We need to hear more about the progressive policies that other companies offer if we are to push for change.

Aprilushka - I'm right there with you on co-parents where one is working crazy hours and the other is martyred. I'd like to see us both working a combined 60 hours a week - 30 a piece. Right now we are 40 each. But for us, that's WAY better than 80/none and even better than 60/20.
post #49 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post

Work places need to be FAMILY friendly not just MOTHER friendly. It's how you prevent shuffling women into less important jobs and marginalizing them, I think.

And I thought I'd tell you something about what my company does for families that I'd never heard of before. If you've been with the company for a year you get 2 hours of paid leave time per month to do things like go to school functions, dr. appts and other family obligations on top of regular leave time. I just thought that was the nicest thing for those things where you don't need a whole day off, just the ability to leave a little early or come in a little late and not have pay docked. And this is for mothers and fathers and single people.
I def. agree with "family friendly". my husband intends to be a relevant partner in raising our child. he already is my partner in life, so....why wouldn't he be? but, i do kind of understand that maybe this aspect wouldn't be addressed in a magazine called Mothering.

the other part of the quote above is more along the lines of information that i think should be written about more in the magazine and on the boards. the magazine online has a section called "Activism" but from a quick perusal of it's past topics it feels like it should be called "Reactivism". i guess what i would hope for from a magazine so forward thinking as Mothering is a column that directly addresses how to be Pro- Active with regards to creating workplace policies (by the gov't. and by industry) that directly effect woman in their roles as mothers.

as far as compartmentalizing the diverse nature of the boards.... i totally get that too. i mean there are some posters who i just do not agree with. it's fine. i don't personalize it. i actually think it's quite astounding when some get so soapbox-y in their opinion that they resort to name calling in their posts and i instantly dismiss what they say. i'm not into fanaticism on any level. but you know, every movement needs the keepers of the flame. so, while i don't agree with the nature of the way they communicate their belief i understand their role in getting the message out there.

i've definitely become a lot more aware since reading the boards over the last 41weeks + 1 day (but who's counting ) Mothering has been a wonderful source of info for me specifically regarding vaccinations and circumcision and it's totally opened my eyes and changed my mind. sooo... what's my point here?

i'm not bashing the philosophy of Mothering magazine, at all.
i just think they are missing a wonderful opportunity to educate the public that there are companies out there that have created policies that help mothers (and families). and that by doing so these companies have increased the loyalty of their employees thus making them more profitable and retaining a more skilled workforce.

as a magazine that is about supporting the role of women as mothers i just think they could get behind this idea more fully and maximize the exposure of these types of companies almost as a message to other companies / policymakers that this really is the future of business in our country. instead, i find that sometimes the message that is put out there is battle, battle, battle and not so much about how to be at the forefront of creating this newly imagined future.
post #50 of 172
I frankly agree with you.

Women have always worked, and that in history and across the world has often meant that Mom hasn't been in the vicinity every day. Out in the field, spinning, sewing, dragging water, group cooking, etc. That means that some women keep an eye on the kids playing, and while others do other things. It happens all over the World.

It frustrates me, that this false dichotomy exists and that it is fostered and encouraged by women.
post #51 of 172
I'm honestly not suprised. The undercurrent has always been there.
post #52 of 172
Being that those threads are 2 years old maybe a mod (or better yet Cynthia) could give us an update on where they stand today.

I am not neing naive- I know it is really SAHM-Mothering.com but there has been a lot of media attention on the mommy-wars recently with those books that came out his year (I forget the titles).

Maybe there has been a shift in ideas?
post #53 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DRJ View Post
I'm kind of new to the mothering.com scene, but I have felt similar working mom frustrations with LLL.

For me, breastfeeding and attachment parenting were essential when I worked full-time with DS#1. Nursing allowed us to instantly reconnect and cosleeping gave us the touch-time we really needed. I don't know how I could have mothered him effectively without those practices.
I think the last time I ever opened "The Womanly Art of BF" was when I flipped to the section on pumping and returning to work to find it consisted of a bunch of personal narratives from high-paid women who decided not to go back to work. *Just* what someone who needs to go back to work so the family can keep their health insurance needs to read. There was absolutely nothing useful in my edition of WAoBF on pumping.

So many posters here bemoan the numbers of women who don't even initiate nursing, who wean early, etc. Well, the vast majority of information for working mothers looks like it was written by Enfamil product reps -- because that space has been left as a vaccum by AP and NFL publications whose only official position is "You shouldn't work, so we won't give you any advice or help in how to incorporate work into your life as a mother."
post #54 of 172
And of course, there is the framing of the entire parenting model as "Natural." Like, most of the planet and most women in history have somehow come up with "unnatural" mothering.
post #55 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I think the last time I ever opened "The Womanly Art of BF" was when I flipped to the section on pumping and returning to work to find it consisted of a bunch of personal narratives from high-paid women who decided not to go back to work. *Just* what someone who needs to go back to work so the family can keep their health insurance needs to read. There was absolutely nothing useful in my edition of WAoBF on pumping.
FWIW "So That's What They're For" has a big section on pumping at work.
post #56 of 172
I remember reading those threads and being less than happy.

I guess one of my problems with the stance was, hmm, aren't these working mamas who make up the magazine promoting "natural mothering?"
post #57 of 172
Just wanted to add my support for the general sentiment I see on this thread. I was a SAHM/part-time WAHM when DS was born. DH worked full-time with a 1.5 hour commute each way. It was a constant balancing act between giving DH time with the baby and getting the baby to bed early enough for him to get decent sleep. It wasn't fair to anyone involved. After DD was born we moved our schedules around so that I would work more hours and he would work less. It was great, except for the no benefits part. But at least our kids got to see their dad during the week.

Now I'm working full-time at a job with a somewhat flexible schedule and DH is mostly a SAHD. (Works one evening a week.) I have more earning power and can work closer to home in a more flexible position. (Plus I like working.) This is by far the best work situation we have been in yet.
post #58 of 172

i would have to quote everyone!!!!

i agree !!!

i agree !!!

i agree !!!

with the first few posters! i love the ideas and comments!
post #59 of 172
I remember that thread from 2 years ago... It was actually a big part of my decision to leave MDC for a while because I was so deeply offended at the response. At that point, I was in a position where I worked because I needed to for my own sanity. Now, it makes me even MORE mad because I bring in the vast majority (ie. almost exactly 5/6) of our income... DH's work, while providing insurance, would scarcely cover our rent. So we really ARE in a position where I HAVE to work.

At this point, I'm back on the forums, but I have made a commitment not to financially support Mothering Magazine OR these forums until they make a statement about their change in policy -- meaning that I don't click through advertisements, I use heavy-duty adblock when I'm online, I don't subscribe to the magazine, and I don't purchase/pay for features here. That was the bargain under which I felt like I could come back to the forums side.

It's funny, because apart from the whole working thing we're a pretty model AP family... and it pisses me off that that ONE issue seems to be enough for Mothering to dis-include us in the group of people it supposedly advocates for.
post #60 of 172
Would folks like me to move this to Questions and Suggestions where it is more likely to get a response from someone (admin or Peggy)?

For me, I guess I see that Mothering the mag and MDC the website are somewhat different entities, although clearly they are related. Similar to what Ellien said, a magazine has to pretty much stick to a mission and a demographic in order to survive--I guess this means like a 'niche.' MDC as a community can be much broader and more inclusive, but still within limits of NFL. At times it seems that people have expectations of the magazine that it can't live up to. Though I also think an article on how to best promote AP while still being a working mom would be great, and I don't think this would necessarily go too much against the grain of the mag.
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