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The things people say - Page 3

post #41 of 169
double post
post #42 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by subrosa View Post
I really resent the idea that if you just budget correctly and "cut back on expenses," anyone can SAH, and that all WOHMs are out there working because we had to have the McMansion and the SUV.
Right. Or the similar idea that all moms want to SAH, but some can't afford not to. These two ideas together imply that all working moms are either 1. money- and status symbol-hungry or 2. forced to work to pay the bills. There's no room in some people's minds for moms who actually WANT to WORK for their own personal satisfaction, or who think it's good for kids to see their moms doing satisfying things and/or helping society (disclaimer: being a SAHM is also satisfying and helps society. ).

Of course, as I mentioned previously, I totally understand wanting to SAH and I totally understand wanting to WOH, so I am feeling it from both sides now as I try to make a decision! I hope to end up working part-time, I think.
post #43 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis80 View Post
Right. Or the similar idea that all moms want to SAH, but some can't afford not to.
the basic assumptions are:

1. SAHM is the best childcare arrangement for all kids, period.

2. "Good" mothers will want only the best for their kids, and should be willing to sacrifice themselves for their kids.

For the first point, I emphatically do not believe that having a SAHP is the best way to raise kids. I think there are many great ways to parent and that kids are way more adaptable than we give them credit for.

I think the core virtues of a healthy and happy family are healthy and happy members, lots of love, and lots of attention. The rest of it is more a matter of logistics - what makes sense in terms of the time, energy, skills, interests, and abilities of the family.

And for the second point: I really hate the mommy=martyr attitude. Childrearing requires balance - where ALL members of the family get their needs met to the best of the family's ability.

I do think that the extreme situation when kids get their desires/wants met and the parents (especially mothers) sacrifice their own needs/passions to meet those desires, it can create some pretty selfish/entitled kids.

What bugs me most about these judgments is how much is NOT said about how hard it is to combine working/a career with attending to family needs. Long commutes, long work weeks, few holidays, and the demand for travel and responsiveness put more and more demands on parents. In order for one parent (usually dad) to meet these demands, the other parent (usually mom) has to pick up the slack at home, which puts her at a disadvantage in the workplace.

The entire rhetoric about "choice" does obscure so much lack of choice - whether it be a lack of affordable childcare, lack of healthcare benefits, lack of support for work/life balance, lack of affordable housing close to work, etc etc.

post #44 of 169


I think that was the greatest post I've read on MDC.
post #45 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by subrosa View Post
I really resent the idea that if you just budget correctly and "cut back on expenses," anyone can SAH, and that all WOHMs are out there working because we had to have the McMansion and the SUV. Well, look. I make more money that my husband does. I have more income-earning potential. And to get that income-earning potential, I racked up $100k in student loan debt. Cutting out cable TV isn't going to pay that sucker off!
This is my biggest gripe as far as crazy stuff that has been mentioned here. Cutting cable while I did make the choice to reduce my services hardly makes up for earnings. I have always worked and I hardly live in a McMansion driving a Hummer...

Right now I am in that grey area, in between jobs but with a masters in managment I actually have more earning potential than my dh who is a journalist so I know that being a SAHM is never gonna be in my cards. Thing is I am fine with that, last thing I am gonna do is tell dh to get a new career so I can SAH or work 80 hours.. since then he would not see his dd.

Yeah people say some pretty heartless things as for the daycare raising my kid, I don't see it that way and while they may genuinely care for my child at the end of the day she is my child.

Shay
post #46 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
the basic assumptions are:

1. SAHM is the best childcare arrangement for all kids, period.

2. "Good" mothers will want only the best for their kids, and should be willing to sacrifice themselves for their kids.

For the first point, I emphatically do not believe that having a SAHP is the best way to raise kids. I think there are many great ways to parent and that kids are way more adaptable than we give them credit for.

I think the core virtues of a healthy and happy family are healthy and happy members, lots of love, and lots of attention. The rest of it is more a matter of logistics - what makes sense in terms of the time, energy, skills, interests, and abilities of the family.

And for the second point: I really hate the mommy=martyr attitude. Childrearing requires balance - where ALL members of the family get their needs met to the best of the family's ability.

I do think that the extreme situation when kids get their desires/wants met and the parents (especially mothers) sacrifice their own needs/passions to meet those desires, it can create some pretty selfish/entitled kids.

What bugs me most about these judgments is how much is NOT said about how hard it is to combine working/a career with attending to family needs. Long commutes, long work weeks, few holidays, and the demand for travel and responsiveness put more and more demands on parents. In order for one parent (usually dad) to meet these demands, the other parent (usually mom) has to pick up the slack at home, which puts her at a disadvantage in the workplace.

The entire rhetoric about "choice" does obscure so much lack of choice - whether it be a lack of affordable childcare, lack of healthcare benefits, lack of support for work/life balance, lack of affordable housing close to work, etc etc.

Get out of my head . My dh & I have often talked about this, that if I truly wanted to be a SAHM, he would have to work a zillion hours which would then mean I would have to carry the household duties on my own. Since as a journalist for him to get a job that pays enough in our area would mean a 2.5 hour commute to the Boston area.. that's 2.5 hours each way. So we would never see him.. No way man, that would drive me crazy. Everyone has to make choices that feel right for them, but that choice would not feel right to us.

Shay
post #47 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
: if I truly wanted to be a SAHM, he would have to work a zillion hours which would then mean I would have to carry the household duties on my own.
EXACTLY! Dh and I talk about this a lot, too. Yes, we could technically afford for me to stay at home if:

1. we sold our house and moved to a much worse neighborhood - but since our neighborhood has excellent schools, lots of kids, sidewalks, and little traffic, we'd lose a lot.

2. he went contracting (we call it "working the salt mines" )- meaning he'd probably have to commute over an hour each way, working 60-80 hours a week, and being on call all the time, in a job he hated.

3. we used all of our savings to pay for living expenses and cut out things like preschool, life insurance, and so forth.

So beyond the fact that I enjoy work, my working also allows my husband to have more time with the kids, our quality of life is higher, and we have more long term protection.

My dad had the traditional corporate 'We own you" job. He literally missed half the Christmases growing up, and either left early or arrived late for every single vacation (the ones he didn't skip entirely) - because he was working.


When I married DH, I told him that I refused to live like this. I refused to sacrifice his relationship with his kids - we would cut back on our expectations, make our work life fit our home life for BOTH of us.

It is an uphill battle, because society is not supportive of dads who wish to spend more time with their kids. Women, in many ways, get a free pass on "opting out" or "downshifting" due to work/life pressures, but men are often belittled or pressured if they try the same thing. My own DH in fact never talks about being around his family more as a key benefit of working for ourselves with his former colleagues or friends - instead, he is "running his own business", which fits more easily into that masculine ideal...
post #48 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis80 View Post
OMG, I was on some other site where this woman had written a piece on how "My son will remember that I was there to kiss every boo-boo, he will remember that I made him three meals a day, that even though we never stayed at the Hilton, his mama was always there for him, not off working to own mansions and fancy cars and take expensive vacations."
Nice. Part of the reason I WOH is that I grew up with a SAHM who would have really been much happier if she'd had a career. Sure, she was there (and doing the best she could, I'm not slamming on her) but I truly think that if she'd not been a full time SAHM she would have been a much happier person. I learned from her example that having a full time SAHP is not necessarily best for all families.
post #49 of 169
You mean, I've been WOH for 3.5 years with all the stress of pumping, commuting, and juggling DR's appts, and I was supposed to get a McMansion AND a Hummer?!?!

What happened?

Where's my McMansion???

--LEE
post #50 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomToKandE View Post
Nice. Part of the reason I WOH is that I grew up with a SAHM who would have really been much happier if she'd had a career. Sure, she was there (and doing the best she could, I'm not slamming on her) but I truly think that if she'd not been a full time SAHM she would have been a much happier person. I learned from her example that having a full time SAHP is not necessarily best for all families.
Me too. My mom was MISERABLE as a stay at home mom and made that VERY clear to us kids....Her biggest regrets in life are never having gone to college and never having had job outside of the home. Ever. And now that she is in her 60's and the kids are grown and out of the house, she is even more miserable and feels that it is just to late for her to do anything else with her life.

I WISH my mom had been a WOHM, if even just part time. She would have been MUCH happier and fulfilled and, as a result, I think us kids would not have had to bear the brunt of so much resentment toward us.....
post #51 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
HA! Thank you for this. I feel exactly the same way about that comment.

I've had this one, from a SAHM (not that there's anything wrong with that, etc): "I don't get a paycheck. But I get hugs and kisses!" Ah yes, my cold hugless existence. No affection from my kids whatsoever. Good thing I've got that paycheck.
This bit of ick falls under my cutesy-things-from-grown-adults clause. I've been on the receiving end of way too many e-mail forwards ("I'm a mommy! I'm a martyr! Look at all I have to do and I don't even get paid! But it's not for me--it's for the love and snuggles and cuddles and fuzzy wuzzies!" I wanted to reply: "I'm a stepmom! I get to do all of that minus the chapped nipples, with the knowledge that should anything happen to my partner or my relationship, I may never get to see my kid again! Yay!") from my oldest friend in the world--she had a baby in April and it's been nonstop stuff like that.

I suppose this is meandering off-topic, but I cannot stand the word "snuggles" coming from adults. I blame the fabric softener and that evil bear. Carry on.
post #52 of 169
Quote:
I really resent the idea that if you just budget correctly and "cut back on expenses," anyone can SAH, and that all WOHMs are out there working because we had to have the McMansion and the SUV.
Me too! I don't work for a McMansion and an SUV, I work to have a roof over my head and food on the table. I live in a freaking trailer and drive a car that's 20 years old--hardly a McMansion and an SUV I also work because I love my job and I love to WOH. Even if we won the lottery, I'd still work because my job is extremely fulfilling. Right now I don't actually *have* a choice about working anyway because I'm the primary wage earner since DH works very PT and goes to school FT. Hey, I guess if I quit to SAH and "raise my own kids" we can collect more foodstamps and maybe get some HUD or something and be totally miserable.
post #53 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by leewd View Post
You mean, I've been WOH for 3.5 years with all the stress of pumping, commuting, and juggling DR's appts, and I was supposed to get a McMansion AND a Hummer?!?!

What happened?

Where's my McMansion???

--LEE


Guess we shouldn't have been squandering our earnings on silly luxuries like food and electricity, then maybe we could afford the McMansion/Hummer combo! (would that be the Supersize Yuppie Deal?)
post #54 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
]not for me--it's for the love and snuggles and cuddles and fuzzy wuzzies!" I wanted to reply: "I'm a stepmom! I get to do all of that minus the chapped nipples, with the knowledge that should anything happen to my partner or my relationship, I may never get to see my kid again! Yay!")
OT- but just wanted to allay your fears a little. My stepmom is coming to see us tomorrow - she lives 3 hours away. To visit and see her grandkids (my kids) My dad died 3 years ago, and she has a boyfriend, but she will always be a part of our family. Your position isn't always as fragile as it appears at times.
post #55 of 169
In a perfect world, well, in MY perfect world - I would work part time so that DH could also work part time. He'd have a day alone with the kids, I'd have a few days alone with the kids and they would still spend some time at our childcare center. That to me would be the best of ALL worlds. They have so many people who care about them that if they were to leave DC now I think the kids would be crushed.

It's not a perfect world. I do work PT, which IS perfect, but DH's practice requires much, much more attention than I had ever imagined. Maybe someday he will be able to step back a little. I think the brilliant post before about basic assumptions and such sums it up for me as well. I work, I am happy, my kids are happy, I make a difference in the lives of others. I am also able to approach my work differently because I am not the primary wage earner - I know this is not the case for everyone here, believe me we have been there!

No amount of crazy comments will change how my family functions!
post #56 of 169
Another "crazy comment" assumption is that somehow working moms don't do the same things that non-wage-earning moms do. I have read so many gag-inducing blogs about how "I stay home so that I can play, read stories, bake cookies, make dinner, make sure everyone has fresh laundry, etc..." (I'm paraphrasing, of course). The implication is that if the author were working, she wouldn't be able to do those things. Well, guess what: I make dinner every night, do laundry, bake cookies, play with and read to my daughter, etc. Nothing is "outsourced" except for 5 hours of daytime childcare.

Okay, I apologize for helping this devolve into a ranting thread but I'm just so sick of the comments. And I'm sure that SAHMs are sick of being judged for their situations, too.
post #57 of 169
This thread really lifted my spirits...because sometimes the comments about moms WOH, even if they are well-meaning, get me down. My favorite all-time comment was not from someone I know, but from a thread on another website concerning comments about obesity in American children. One woman stated that obesity in children was due solely to working moms. She said that if moms didn't work, they would be at home making sure their children have balanced meals. When I responded to her post and asked if the obesity problem was related to us vegetarian, hiking/biking families, she angrily replied that I was a fake and then instructed me to "get off my working butt and go home and clean my house!" I then responded that we don't live in a house...we live in an apartment...and then asked her to back up her "facts" about the correlation between working moms and childhood obesity with some real data. She never posted again.
: who wants some tofu!
post #58 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post

Okay, I apologize for helping this devolve into a ranting thread but I'm just so sick of the comments. And I'm sure that SAHMs are sick of being judged for their situations, too.
As a former SAHM I will say yes to that. SAHMs get stupid comments too.

Though I admit the comments about "being paid in hugs and kisses" make me gag, I can see where the person is coming from since SAHMs aren't paid and I do think childcare should be recognized as work.

But mostly I can't believe some of the things people say. Not only would I never say such things I have never even thought them.
post #59 of 169
Thanks to this thread, I've now realized that our family works less hours combined (meaning me part-time and DH with a standard 40-hour week) than my two closest SAHM friends, even though they only have their DHs working. Kinda does make you wonder what the point of all the sanctimonious comments is, doesn't it?

Naturally the SAHMs I'm friends with don't actually say that crap!
post #60 of 169
I just felt slapped in the face by a co-worker who returned from maternity leave this week. Her fiance is being a sahd. We were talking about her baby and she told me how he is staying home. I said how great for you. She followed with - yes, I would never put my child in daycare. I have worked with this woman for the last 10 years and she knows full well that both of my children were in daycare. I also know she was not directing the comment at me personally but I felt slapped just the same.
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