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SAHMing as default huring society's work/life balance? - Page 5

post #81 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I actually think that the technology has made some of it worse in a lot of ways. Yes, it does support more flexible work which is good. But at the same time it's raised the bar on whether people are expected to be accessible.
I didn't get to finish my post before sending it, which is why it read so disjointedly.

You are right. As dh said earlier tonight, the technology giveth and taketh away too. ; )

For example, he and I work 100% at home. I support a government agency in web development. The technology makes it possible for me to do what I do without leaving my house. Heck, we manage servers in Phoenix, train people in Thailand and Bangladesh, and at one point hosted an application that had people in Pakistan logging into it. How cool is THAT?!

At the same time, I have no excuse to not do work. Sick? well, unless I am in the hospital, delirious, or vomiting, I could be at my desk working, right? Heck, I was back at my desk for a couple of hours a day 2 weeks post partum with my second - nak, of course. Cell phones may mean I am not tied to my desk all day, but it also means taking a client call when I am at the park with my kid. The lines blur so easily.

DH has threatened to leave me if I get a blackberry...

I did hear on the radio that the Census issued a report on free time recently and it showed (contrary to how we all feel day to day!) that;

* while women are in paid employment for more hours a day, men are in paid employment for less.

* both men and women (regardless of employment) spend more time with their children than in the past 30 years

* we all have more free time than in the past.

I can't find the study to cite and dh is nagging me to help him with the rubbish.

ETA: here it is http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/home.htm

But it sure don't feel like this is the case, does it?
post #82 of 185
I take issue with the idea of "leisure" time for women. I know very few women who have actual "leisure" time.
post #83 of 185
Siobhang, I opened your link but could not find the link to historical comparisons on that website.I think this may appear so (I mean that we work fewer hours) because just as you say the lines have blurred and I will not report reading my e-mail from home after I have put dds to bed in the evening as "work" to anyone, and the only person who is a witness to this is the stray cat.. Same goes for you, as you answer your client's calls while at the park with your ds...
post #84 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
I take issue with the idea of "leisure" time for women. I know very few women who have actual "leisure" time.
I do, but I'm lazy

Seriously, I have very low standards for housekeeping and I just plain don't do a lot of stuff.
post #85 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post

DH has threatened to leave me if I get a blackberry...

I did hear on the radio that the Census issued a report on free time recently and it showed (contrary to how we all feel day to day!) that;

* while women are in paid employment for more hours a day, men are in paid employment for less.

* both men and women (regardless of employment) spend more time with their children than in the past 30 years

* we all have more free time than in the past.

I can't find the study to cite and dh is nagging me to help him with the rubbish.

ETA: here it is http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/home.htm

But it sure don't feel like this is the case, does it?
Both my husband and I have Blackberries so there you go.

I suspect just in my professional cohort/class that the numbers are skewed by people who can't find work or who are underemployed in their field. I'm Canadian, but I would bet this is even more so in the US due to the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The expectations on my time have definitely risen over the last 8 years and on my husband very dramatically since the IT outsourcing trend started - to go back further, in the 70s and 80s I don't think too many people were having meetings with India at literally 4 in the morning, as cool as that is... and that time is very rarely traded off.

I agree that the time is "fuzzier" - I think I mentioned earlier in the thread that pretty much everyone I work with has the habit of answering work email one more time between dinner and bedtime. I wouldn't necessarily say that was work in a census question, but I find the expectation a little jarring sometimes.

However we do spend more time with our son I'm sure - not because of lack of paid work hours but because we internet banking, sometimes have groceries delivered, and have a lot of handy appliances to do housework for us, and have totally lowered our expectations of ourselves around volunteering right now. (Again counting is off here 'cause we could do chores with our son and would that count as chores, or as time with our son?)
post #86 of 185
Quote:
I take issue with the idea of "leisure" time for women. I know very few women who have actual "leisure" time.
Heck I stay home full time and i doesn't remember leisure time -- my "free" time is spent doing the chorse i can't get done with a 22 month old in tow -- or maybe woking on a baby book that is 20 months behind ....

i think leisure time is concept that is lost in 2007, no matter what you do.

Aimee
post #87 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
Heck I stay home full time and i doesn't remember leisure time -- my "free" time is spent doing the chorse i can't get done with a 22 month old in tow -- or maybe woking on a baby book that is 20 months behind ....

i think leisure time is concept that is lost in 2007, no matter what you do.

Aimee
But ya know -- I think a pioneer mom might see it as "leisure time" to be able to work on a baby book!

It's true that there's literally always some chore I could be doing -- but I generally put off whatever I can, and that's how I get my leisure time.

By the way, what's a blackberry -- I'm not asking about the fruit, but about the item Siobhang's dh threatened to leave her over?
post #88 of 185
Quote:
But ya know -- I think a pioneer mom might see it as "leisure time" to be able to work on a baby book!
true enough
post #89 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
By the way, what's a blackberry -- I'm not asking about the fruit, but about the item Siobhang's dh threatened to leave her over?
It's a cellphone-type thing that also gets your email, works like a pager, and you can surf the web from it, among other things. For me it means I get my work email wherever I go.
post #90 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
By the way, what's a blackberry -- I'm not asking about the fruit, but about the item Siobhang's dh threatened to leave her over?
You don't know what a Blackberry is?????

It's like a mini-computer/phone thing. They are wireless so you can check and send email, text, etc. all from the palm of your hand.

We know a few people who have them. When they are at our house, the blackberry is always sitting on the table where they can see them, so everytime it it vibrates or beebs they can look at them. They are freakishly addictive electronic devices. I don't want one in my home either!
post #91 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
By the way, what's a blackberry -- I'm not asking about the fruit, but about the item Siobhang's dh threatened to leave her over?
heh, it is clear you don't live in the DC metro area. ; )

Others have described blackberries already.

Blackberries, aka crackberries, are THE top addictive trend in US Gov't employee circles. DOD senior staff all have them, and the rest of the agencies are also now getting them, too. It lets you get your email ANYWHERE in the world that has wireless connection. Like the metro or your bathtub or the school play.

The most annoying thing about blackberries are how people cannot seem to leave them alone during meetings, dinner, other conversations, etc.

Of course, a friend of mine established a pretty hot relationship entirely through blackberry flirting during a big conference - hours of droning generals was made much more fun by pinging dirty messages back and forth.

I do like it when my clients have blackberries - I can get instant responses when they are away from their desks - and I know why it is tempting to get one myself. I do have the capacity to surf the web on my cellphone (a pocket PC) and can check email between meetings if I am out and about (at least 1-2 times a week).

But I have a real hard time turning work off. I don't need one more thing to keep me uber-connected.
post #92 of 185
Okay, I think I found the study that looked over time at work/leisure.

http://bosfed.org/economic/wp/wp2006/wp0602.pdf

Quarterly Journal of Economics: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/...qjec.122.3.969

Quote:
In this paper, we use five decades of time‐use surveys to document trends in the allocation of
time. We document that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable
number of market hours worked (per working‐age adult) between 1965 and 2003. Specifically,
we document that leisure for men increased by 6‒8 hours per week (driven by a decline in
market work hours) and for women by 4‒8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40‐hour work week. We also find that leisure increased during the last 40 years for a number of sub‐samples of the population, with less‐educated adults experiencing the largest increases. Lastly, we document a growing “inequality” in leisure
that is the mirror image of the growing inequality of wages and expenditures, making welfare calculation based solely on the latter series incomplete.
I think the key to intepreting these types of studies is to not look at it as saying "we have it great now", but rather "back in the day, things REALLY sucked".
post #93 of 185
Reading the paper, I found this point particularly salient.

Quote:
This increased leisure for women was made possible by a decline in the time women
allocated to home production of roughly 11 hours per week between 1965 and 2003. This more
than offset women’s 5‐hours‐per‐week increase in market labor.3
(page 3)

Quote:
Despite a
relatively constant amount of time allocated to child care between 1965 and 1993, there was a 2.6‐
hours‐per‐week increase in reported time spent on child care by working women between 1993
and 2003. This recent increase in time spent in child care occurred in all categories: Time spent on
primary child care increased by 1.7 hours per week, time spent on educational child care
increased by 0.5 hours per week, and time spent on recreational child care increased by 0.4 hours
per week. A similar pattern is observed for non‐working women (panel B) and all men (panel C).
Furthermore, similar patterns exist for men and women of differing levels of education (not
shown).
page 17

they do acknowledge a change in the way childcare was classified in the 2003 survey, and their analysis is that childcare hours did not actually increase that greatly, but rather previous to 2003, other activities were not classified as childcare even if a child was present and being cared for at the same time.

I think this tells us more about the way we view childcare these days as a distinct activity vs a background activity - akin to "housesitting" vs just living in your house.
post #94 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
Okay, I think I found the study that looked over time at work/leisure.

http://bosfed.org/economic/wp/wp2006/wp0602.pdf

Quarterly Journal of Economics: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/...qjec.122.3.969



I think the key to intepreting these types of studies is to not look at it as saying "we have it great now", but rather "back in the day, things REALLY sucked".
That's funny; I only read your quote but I read it it this way:

"We also find that leisure increased during the last 40 years for a number of sub-samples of the population, with less-educated adults experiencing the largest increases."

I took this as "the less educated you are, the fewer hours you work, which may or may not be by choice."
post #95 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

I took this as "the less educated you are, the fewer hours you work, which may or may not be by choice."
I think this is true. The study does not address the question of why each group spends more or fewer hours, though it postulates some theories. A very quick review of the study does indicate that men worked approx 51 hours a week in 1965 vs 38 in 2003.

It would be very interesting to see how they would handle "off site" labor, such as checking emails after dinner.
post #96 of 185
the other element of technology is that we are now on call 24/7 for most jobs. It used to be that to be on call, you had to get paid. And that is true in many professions. But when my dh worked for an IT firm which provided services 24/7, he knew that if there was a major outage, he would get a call to fix it, and this task was considered covered as part of his salary.
post #97 of 185
I think the problem is that modern expectations of employment are based on - yes - a time when one parent worked and another parent stayed home full-time and kept things going.

All ya have to do is spend one day as a single mom to realize how true it is.

To put it another way...

if the majority of men in our country actually had to contribute to keeping up the house, making meals, and caring for children, not to mention all of the other things that are frequently done by women, then there would be so many options for non-traditional jobs (i.e. not a 40 hour work week) it would make our heads spin.

I think currently when men do these things (and thank goodness, there are men that do, and please let me know where I can find one) it is seen as exceptional, or above and beyond, or really cool. Not ordinary... KWIM?
post #98 of 185
Quote:
if the majority of men in our country actually had to contribute to keeping up the house, making meals, and caring for children, not to mention all of the other things that are frequently done by women, then there would be so many options for non-traditional jobs (i.e. not a 40 hour work week) it would make our heads spin.

I think currently when men do these things (and thank goodness, there are men that do, and please let me know where I can find one) it is seen as exceptional, or above and beyond, or really cool. Not ordinary... KWIM?
(emphasis mine)

Amen, sister! My DH contributes wonderfully. I think it's mainly because I assumed he would and so it never occured to him there was another option.

I don't know how many times DH and I have said that if we could each work 30 hrs/week (i.e. 75% pay for 75% work-week), life/work/etc would be so much better! But alas 40 is the minimum! Anything less and no Health Ins, etc. . . .
post #99 of 185
I'm SO down with the idea of 2-30 hour weeks. Totally my ideal.
post #100 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
I take issue with the idea of "leisure" time for women. I know very few women who have actual "leisure" time.
I have leisure time. That's why I'm a SAHM instead of WOHM. And, because I'm a SAHM and do the grocery shopping, errands, housecleaning during the week, then my dh has leisure time, too.

And, honestly, every time we go to the park, we're not there alone, so I'm not the only one with leisure time out there.
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