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SAHMing as default huring society's work/life balance? - Page 8

post #141 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Yeah, and forgive me for being a frazzled SAHM cause I didnt even think of that-It occured tome that when both parents work, the kids go to daycare at 6 AM and get picked up at 6 PM.

Sorry for assuming, I really didnt think about that at all.

(And in the case of daycares I have seen-that IS the case often-6AM to 6PM)

My children had contact with many trained professionals with whom they bonded in childcare situations. I consider them very lucky to have this variety of carers, rather than just one full time frazzled carer.
post #142 of 185
You guys realize we're a little off topic, right?

Let's not fuel the mommy wars.
post #143 of 185
Personally I find the idea that a "balanced" life is having a WOHP working 60 hours a week in a stressful job and a SAHM who does everything else at home bizarre and alien. That seems so out of balance to me. We tried it, and we both hated it because it felt so wrong and so alienating from each other. We're used to sharing our lives and we were so separated when we did that. We argued, we were stressed, our home life suffered, and most importantly our son suffered. Now, with two WOHPs in family-friendly jobs, our lives are happy and full now in ways that they weren't when we were trying the societally-approved official SAHM/WOHD model.

My husband lived that growing up (absent earner) and is deliberately rejecting that model in favor of the two-WOH/family friendly model of my parents. For us, it's much better.

Obviously, people find balance in many different ways. I certainly accept that there are people who find very balanced lives with the traditional SAHM/WOHD model. It just isn't for us, that's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
If "mom and dad have a carreer" is the default-then who is raising our children?
Transformed, I was in daycare starting at six weeks, and since you insult my wonderful, amazing parents by implying they didn't raise me, you should know that I am closer and have a better relationship and more respect for my parents than most of my peers, many of whom had SAHMs. I think you need to open your mind to the idea that families can work very well in different ways.

You know, I was in daycare throughout childhood, and I loved it. I felt sorry for the kids who didn't get to go. We did fun things and then my parents showed up and I showed them everything we did. They knew all my friends, they knew all my teachers, and they were more involved in my life than many of my friends' parents.

I really take exception to the idea that my parents didn't raise me, not because I think it's true (the idea is absurd) but because there is an implied insult to my parents there. I love my parents, and I don't like insults to them.
post #144 of 185
I would really hate to see such a fascinating thread break down into Mommy War bashing, SAHMs vs. WOHMs.

It doesn't really surprise me, though, because I think it's very hard to have this discussion without it turning into an argument about whether individual women are making "the wrong choices." I think our culture encourages mothers to feel pitted against each other (or sometimes against working women without children), rather than encouraging us to ask larger questions about why our social and economic system is arranged the way that it is.

Many people have spoken about the demanding requirements of their job, or their husband's job, and how that affects family choices about SAHM/WOHM. But very, very few jobs in and of themselves require long hours, etc. - it's a matter of how the industry or the employer has chosen to structure the work. If someone "has" to work 50-60 hours a week or "has" to be on call 24/7, that's almost always because their employer has chosen not to hire enough people to allow for a more reasonable schedule.

Whether or not individual families choose to have one or two working parents, the fact remains that it no longer makes sense - if it ever did - for the workplace to be structured on the premise that workers have no family commitments or outside priorities. Across the board - across all industries and professions - there needs to be a recognition that workers of both genders are likely to have pressing commitments outside the workplace. There needs to be greater space for each individual to create the work-life balance that works best for them, whether that might involve flex time, job sharing, part-time work, telecommuting, etc. There needs to be a way to secure health care for your family without being tied to a full-time job.

The answer is not to say that WOHMs should quit their jobs and stay home, and it's not to say that SAHMs are hurting other women if they don't go back to work. The answer is to restructure the American workplace.
post #145 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka5 View Post
Whether or not individual families choose to have one or two working parents, the fact remains that it no longer makes sense - if it ever did - for the workplace to be structured on the premise that workers have no family commitments or outside priorities. Across the board - across all industries and professions - there needs to be a recognition that workers of both genders are likely to have pressing commitments outside the workplace. There needs to be greater space for each individual to create the work-life balance that works best for them, whether that might involve flex time, job sharing, part-time work, telecommuting, etc. There needs to be a way to secure health care for your family without being tied to a full-time job.

The answer is not to say that WOHMs should quit their jobs and stay home, and it's not to say that SAHMs are hurting other women if they don't go back to work. The answer is to restructure the American workplace.
Amen!
post #146 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by leewd View Post
You guys realize we're a little off topic, right?

Let's not fuel the mommy wars.
But the entire topic of the thread stirs the common mommy wars, as its called.

How about WAHMing/WOHMing as default hurting society's work/life balance?

Or how about WAHMing/WOHMing as default hurting society's family life balance?


I still think the whole thesis is kinda a waste of time. Really. I think we need to love our families and neighbors as best we can and with all our heart, mind and strength. That, to me, would be a good start to benefit society. And there are women who work and women who do not work. They know, whether they are working or not, if they are caring for their family. I think we need to respect that of each other and if we truly believe someone else is not loving their family well? Be a loving example and encourage your neighbor...but that takes friendship, dialogue and time.

SAHM's/WAHM's/MEN/Minorities/Married couples/Homosexuals/Free Thinkers/The Religous/WOMEN/the uneducated/the educated/immigrants/residents.... no one group can bare the ails of society and no good solution can come about from that line of thinking.

But that's just MY frazzled opinion.
post #147 of 185
I'll just say what I said on another thread, when people started debating about what "raising" meant.

Well, I can't remember my exact words from back then, so I'll paraphrase. Raising a child is providing for that child's physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and material needs.

In my family's case, at times we've relied on taxpayer-supported benefits to meet some of our material needs. We currently still rely on Medicaid for our girls, and a taxpayer-supported hospital discount for dh.

I still don't feel the taxpayers are raising my family -- but I acknowledge that these taxpayer-supported programs are helping dh and I to do a better job. In the same way, working parents can get help from others in providing some of their children's direct care, without forfeiting the right to say they're raising them. That should be obvious to everyone.
post #148 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I'll just say what I said on another thread, when people started debating about what "raising" meant.

Well, I can't remember my exact words from back then, so I'll paraphrase. Raising a child is providing for that child's physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and material needs.

In my family's case, at times we've relied on taxpayer-supported benefits to meet some of our material needs. We currently still rely on Medicaid for our girls, and a taxpayer-supported hospital discount for dh.

I still don't feel the taxpayers are raising my family -- but I acknowledge that these taxpayer-supported programs are helping dh and I to do a better job. In the same way, working parents can get help from others in providing some of their children's direct care, without forfeiting the right to say they're raising them. That should be obvious to everyone.
Thank you.
post #149 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

In my family's case, at times we've relied on taxpayer-supported benefits to meet some of our material needs. We currently still rely on Medicaid for our girls, and a taxpayer-supported hospital discount for dh.

I still don't feel the taxpayers are raising my family -- but I acknowledge that these taxpayer-supported programs are helping dh and I to do a better job. In the same way, working parents can get help from others in providing some of their children's direct care, without forfeiting the right to say they're raising them. That should be obvious to everyone.
I belive in gov't sponsered healthcare. I'll use medicaid whenever I possibly can because I belive that everyone deserves healthcare!

post #150 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
I belive in gov't sponsered healthcare. I'll use medicaid whenever I possibly can because I belive that everyone deserves healthcare!

Yes, and I'm just saying that getting some help in meeting our children's needs, doesn't mean we're not raising them.
post #151 of 185
This is such a good topic and I hate to see it go up in flames.

I am a sah parent and I have been for 5 years. DH has been the provider for all that time. When he is at work he is still an employee, partner, boss etc, but he is also a husband and father. If something is going on, he also will want to know- is someone sick, how did dd1's school day go, how am I doing? DD1 is at school from 8:40 until 3:15. We are still her parents.

I hate when we start making statements that can turn into nightmares. There are a lot of both parents working so they can raise their children and provide for them. And no amount of cut cable, eating out twice a month, and go to garage sales can change that. And some of them have demanding jobs etc but they may also have debt from schooling, or something that happend in their life to make them have to do this.

Yes we all know that sahm who is sooo busy at the health club, playing tennis, gets her nails done etc. At least that is what I have heard! She hasnt moved into my neighborhood yet or maybe she is too good to talk to me!
And I know all the sah moms who know that one or two moms who she went to college w/, is your SIL, neighbor etc who says they cant afford to stay home but drives a fancy car, eats out all the time....is buying a 7000 sq ft house, has 2 nannies, and has to travel 20 days a month.
These are extreme stereo types that most of us dont really know and neither does most of anyone you know IRL, but the media wants you to think. So it shouldnt factor into discussions such as this one.
post #152 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
My children had contact with many trained professionals with whom they bonded in childcare situations. I consider them very lucky to have this variety of carers, rather than just one full time frazzled carer.
This struck me as a very rude comment.
post #153 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
I
: : : : at the risk of being labled a hopless june clever and asked to turn over my drivers liscen -- why is this so wrong -- it allows for the best care of the children, it creats puzzle peices that are able to fit together to form a stable and workable family unit. It allows for the man and wife to be complementry rather than identical or competevie.
I have no issue with you or anyone else organizing your family in that way. But unfortunately, these gender stereotypes can cause a great deal of needless anxiety when we don't fit them. I disagree with your statement that this set up allows for the best care of children because the way the statement is phased, it is a universal. And there is NO ONE BEST WAY. Period. End of statement.

Look at it this way. One of the hallmarks of humanity is our adaptability to new environments and contexts. We are able to fine tune our responses to exactly fit the ever changing needs we face.

So of course moms and dad are going to have a myriad of responses to childcare and earning money - this is evidence of our ability to adapt. We don't want to see others doing exactly what we are doing, because it means that someone (us or them) is NOT responding to the specific circumstance that we uniquely face.

Quote:
ALso I think this is really an outdated statement. I know sahd and was raised by one. None have "issues" with the wife making all the money.
I wish this were true. The pressure that men I know personally have faced, from friends, family, potential employers, when they have made decisions which made making money lesser to family commitments is astonishing for this day and age. There is a reason why the standard excuse for a top executive being fired is "decided to spend more time with his family." It is so patently a lie, it assumes that the only reason why a high flyer would spend more time with his family is because he has no other choice.
post #154 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka5 View Post
It doesn't really surprise me, though, because I think it's very hard to have this discussion without it turning into an argument about whether individual women are making "the wrong choices." I think our culture encourages mothers to feel pitted against each other (or sometimes against working women without children), rather than encouraging us to ask larger questions about why our social and economic system is arranged the way that it is.
Yup. Because if we can present the problem as one of individual choice, then society bears no responsibility.

I had a conversation with a friend about the "opt out revolution" recently - the fact is that the decision about working or not working with children is directly constrained by:

* inadequate and costly childcare
* insufficient part time jobs and a workaholic culture
* rising cost of living and lack of equal salary increases
* clear and patent discrimination against mothers in the workforce
* high divorce rates
* lack of health insurance, and increasing premiums in employer based insurance
* increased recognition that social security won't see anyone through their 80s
etc etc etc

There is no one right choice, because many of us are going to get it in the neck, regardless of what we decide to do.

But if we frame all this stuff as a choice - then suddenly, the responsibility is ours to deal with the rest of the system. Free will and all that.

Yeah, right.
post #155 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
But why, oh why, are WOH dads never categorized as "not raising their children"? Why is this thrown only at Moms who WOH? I never hear the SAHM talk about how their DHs aren't "raising their kids" -- only that WOHM aren't.
I think the whole thing is wrong and offensive, but I could deal with it better if it weren't so hypocritical . . .
I agree.
post #156 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
Yup. Because if we can present the problem as one of individual choice, then society bears no responsibility.

I had a conversation with a friend about the "opt out revolution" recently - the fact is that the decision about working or not working with children is directly constrained by:

* inadequate and costly childcare
* insufficient part time jobs and a workaholic culture
* rising cost of living and lack of equal salary increases
* clear and patent discrimination against mothers in the workforce
* high divorce rates
* lack of health insurance, and increasing premiums in employer based insurance
* increased recognition that social security won't see anyone through their 80s
etc etc etc

There is no one right choice, because many of us are going to get it in the neck, regardless of what we decide to do.

But if we frame all this stuff as a choice - then suddenly, the responsibility is ours to deal with the rest of the system. Free will and all that.

Yeah, right.
: As always Siobang, you put it perfectly.
post #157 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Yeah, and forgive me for being a frazzled SAHM cause I didnt even think of that-It occured tome that when both parents work, the kids go to daycare at 6 AM and get picked up at 6 PM.

Sorry for assuming, I really didnt think about that at all.

(And in the case of daycares I have seen-that IS the case often-6AM to 6PM)

Well here you couldn't even find a daycare that opened at 6am and closed at 6pm. DD's current one opens at 7:30 and closes at 5:30. Her former one opened at 7 and closed at 5:30. Most kids are not there the whole time. In fact we moved from the NYC area b/c we realized if we had kids they would have to be there for 12 hours a day.

A big ditto to this

Quote:
Whether or not individual families choose to have one or two working parents, the fact remains that it no longer makes sense - if it ever did - for the workplace to be structured on the premise that workers have no family commitments or outside priorities. Across the board - across all industries and professions - there needs to be a recognition that workers of both genders are likely to have pressing commitments outside the workplace. There needs to be greater space for each individual to create the work-life balance that works best for them, whether that might involve flex time, job sharing, part-time work, telecommuting, etc. There needs to be a way to secure health care for your family without being tied to a full-time job.

The answer is not to say that WOHMs should quit their jobs and stay home, and it's not to say that SAHMs are hurting other women if they don't go back to work. The answer is to restructure the American workplace.
thank you Rivka. I really thought after 9/11 there would be a bigger switch to more family friendly workplaces at least a little b/c so many people saw what was important. But then the next day when my boss still went into the office (I worked just below 14th St and Broadway in NYC) and left her family of 3 in NJ, I knew it probably wouldn't change.

Now you read about "good workplaces" like Google where they offer a hair salon and dry cleaning and wonderful catering "on campus" and I fail to see how that's a good workplace. Frankly I'd rather be encouraged to take my full hour lunch and get out of the office to have lunch and work such hours that allow me to drop off my dry cleaning (if I had any) to or from work. How is it good to really do your best to make work the only thing in your life?
post #158 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by meganeilis View Post
This struck me as a very rude comment.
Yes, I thought it was rude, too -- but I think that poster was responding to some who said that WOHM's weren't raising their children. I hate when this happens, because when one person makes a below-the-belt statement -- it just encourages the attacked parties to hit below-the-belt, too.

I'm going to reiterate my belief that as long as our primary focus is on parenting our children and meeting their needs during the years when they need us -- we're ALL raising our children.

Yes, occasionally I've met some parents who always seem to be looking for a place to drop off their kids so they can have "child-free time." I've perceived those parents as not very attached to their children -- but I've met some like this who SAH, and others who WOH. And no, I'm not talking about sometimes needing a break just to do something for yourself and recharge.

I'm talking about moms and dads who'd like a block of several hours every weekend -- or about one of my friend's husbands who was always nagging at her to find someone to keep their children overnight, so she could come help him finish his work and they could have a child-free night. I think those poor children were spending at least 2-3 nights a week away from their parents.

That is really sad.: But, as Amys1st said about the "extremes" -- these people are very few and far between, compared with the majority of parents who, whether WOH or SAH, are doing what they do out of love for their growing children.
post #159 of 185
Oh, and I heard about one couple who dropped their child off at Grandma's on Monday morning and picked him up Friday night: this was their routine EVERY WEEK. I guess because of all the odd hours they worked, and the distance, it "wasn't practical" to have him live at home during the week. When you do that with a small child, I think it creates a real confusion as to who his parents really are.

Well, at least it was less traumatic for him when Mommy and Daddy divorced. He kept living with Grandma, and Dad moved in there, too. And then he got to be with Mommy, like every weekend or every other weekend (similar to before, only without Daddy). Not such a big change for him, I guess. So maybe this arrangement really was better for this particular child and family.

Edited to add: didn't mean to go OT -- just, if we have to talk about who is/isn't raising their kids, I thought I'd throw in an example. It's clearly an unusual case: most parents -- whether WOH or SAH -- wouldn't dream of being separated from their child for 5 days a week, every single week.
post #160 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
It's clearly an unusual case: most parents -- whether WOH or SAH -- wouldn't dream of being separated from their child for 5 days a week, every single week.
Well, just to throw out another data point. My dad was sent to boarding school at age 7. This was very common in his country (Ireland) for his class/religion (middle class Protestant Anglo-Irish). He went to a school that was less than 5 miles from his house and he spent every weekend at home with his family.

He was extremely well loved (spoiled, really) and very attached to his mother.

At age 13, he was sent to boarding school in another country (England) and he came home maybe four times a year.

My aunt (his younger sister) was sent to boarding school at age 8, to a school over 20 miles away. She also came home every weekend.

Even today, while the school my father went to is now combined day/boarding, there is still a strong tradition in particular class/groups in the UK/Ireland of children sent to boarding school by age 7-12.

Few places/cultures that I know about normally encourage support separation under the age of 5, however.
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