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Who is "raising" your child- terminology that matters - Page 2

post #21 of 107
Its funny, but I've been either a student or full time WOHM since dd was 3 weeks old and I have never had anyone say this to me (or at least to my face )

It so important when your life is hectic to surround yourself with positive energy and supportive people - dont feel like you have to justify who you are or what you do.
post #22 of 107
We have always been blessed with consistent and loving home care providers for my three children. Each of my children has developed an attachment relationship with my dh and I, AND the child care provider. I like to think of it as a three legged stool, which is of course, more stable than a two legged stool. A loving dcp has insights into my child's behavior that I may not have thought of, or sometimes just a different way of thinking about things because the dcp is more objective. I have always learned so much from the dcp's views of each of my children. Sometimes these views have been reassuring, sometimes challenging (ex-"your dd is having trouble sharing"), but always enlightening. I feel an incredible benefit from this three way attachment relationship.
post #23 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by namellea View Post
I just bristle at the suggestion that somehow I am NOT (that it's an either/or).
This is the part about that statement that I bristle at the most.

I have no problem admitting that multiple people are providing support & guidance to my boys. I think it's a good thing, like many pp's have said. But, these other people are not a replacement for me as a parent. I actively chose each and every person who has an infuence in my kids' lives. Even public school teachers weren't accepted without consideration (and yes, I've moved DS1 out of a class with a teacher I didn't trust). I created the village we have and continue to evaluate it on a daily basis. Why? because I'm the PARENT. It's my job, not anyone else's. Over the past few years, it's become DP's job, as well, but the last time I checked we were the only 2 doing any "raising" around here.

Sometimes I think maybe "raising" means something different to me than people who use the phrase in the OP. To me, "raising" means to help a person make the full transition from infant to adult. As far as I'm concerned, unless something happens to me, I'll be the only one who will meet that definition. When the boys are adults, I'll be the one who was there from the beginning. Maybe "Ms. Polly" watched them for a few days a week when they were three and maybe "Mrs. Smith" was the best 7th grade teacher ever, but I'll be the one who raised them. Everyone else will be (hopefully) positive little additions to their lives.
post #24 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvirnon View Post
It's highly obnoxious. I'd go postal (but in a very nurturing, attached way, I'm sure! ) if I were entirely responsible for providing every single value, viewpoint, learning experience, and shoulder-to-cry-on to my children for 20 years straight. Because yeah, God forbid anyone else on this planet contribute to the raising of my children. They'd be tainted for life!


Me too.

And, honestly? I think that what would taint my kids for life would be ME raising them without any outside input. I can't even begin to list all the great things I have learned about parenting from our nanny and dd1's preschool teacher. It has made me a better mom. Well, that and the adult interaction I get by working.
post #25 of 107
I went through this a couple of years ago with a sister of mine.

*sigh*

I won't go into the whole thing... you have all pretty much stated the situation.
post #26 of 107
Honestly, Kailey's provided is not teaching her anything. If she suggests something to Kailey that we have taught her differently she actually says something to our provider.

But, Kailey is 7 and is with the sitter for about 4 hours a week. Dh and I am our family raise her and teaher her. If she were in FT daycare or preschool now that would be another story.

Her teacher- yes, in fact she IS helping to raise our daughter and I am extremely thankful for that.
post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dena View Post


Me too.

And, honestly? I think that what would taint my kids for life would be ME raising them without any outside input. I can't even begin to list all the great things I have learned about parenting from our nanny and dd1's preschool teacher. It has made me a better mom. Well, that and the adult interaction I get by working.
Me too. This is actually what my mother tried (it's kind of good homeschooling wasn't in vogue then) and it was not a good thing.
post #28 of 107
Quote:
I created the village we have and continue to evaluate it on a daily basis.
I love that! I firmly believe in "it takes a village". I do have working mom's guilt, but every time that comes up, I remember how important these people are to my kids.
post #29 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I think it's obnoxious but I too have learned from MDC to redirect/reframe it back as "yes, it's wonderful that Noah has so many people who love him."

I have to say that when I first went back to work full-time, that was when comments like that REALLY hurt and enraged me, probably because I was ambivalent about being away from my son. Now that I see how much "raising" I do, and how it really actually IS about more people involved, not me being UNinvolved, I still find it obnoxious but I'm a little bit more detached.

It's kind of humbling too to realize that although I am my child's best and only mother, I am not - nor ever will be - his everything in the way that it was when he was an infant. And that is natural as a progression.
: I have worn many different labels WOHM,SAHM,WAHM but I was always my children's parent, but no matter where my children were? The more people that loved them and contributed to their wellbeing the better.
post #30 of 107
I guess I don't find it offensive at all because I'm extremely happy that someone else is helping me raise my child and I always point this out. I honestly don't think most folks who make comments like that have ever stopped to think that it could be possive. It's simple logic to me - more adults who care for them = more opportunities for bonding and broadening their circle of understanding, caring and love. I don't think most ppl even stop to consider this aspect.
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I think those families often *do* think that way. My MIL, for example, gets great pleasure out of talking about how little FIL did for their kids because he worked 70+ hours a week and traveled all the time. (They've somehow missed the boat that DH rearranging his schedule to be home more and SIL's kids having a SAHD suggests perhaps the kids weren't happy with that set-up.)
I've seen threads right here at MDC to that effect - probably why that particular phrase tends to come up here a lot. And it didn't seem to be a minority opinion, either. Lots of "DH gets absolutely no say in matters relating to children because I'm the one with them all the time."
post #32 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I've seen threads right here at MDC to that effect - probably why that particular phrase tends to come up here a lot. And it didn't seem to be a minority opinion, either. Lots of "DH gets absolutely no say in matters relating to children because I'm the one with them all the time."
I guess i just don't understand what's in it for the husbands in those cases. Work all the hours god gave them, get no time with the kids, get no input on their upbringing. It sounds so one-sided to me, I could never ask my DH to live like that.
post #33 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I guess i just don't understand what's in it for the husbands in those cases. Work all the hours god gave them, get no time with the kids, get no input on their upbringing. It sounds so one-sided to me, I could never ask my DH to live like that.
Aha! I'm the OP and I guess this is actually helping me understand this perspective a little. So do (eta: THOSE KIND OF) SAHMs think (eta: all) WOHMs function the way these WOHDs function- with no input into childrearing? (ETA: okay, does that sentence make any sense? I mean- - do the sorts of people that make these comments think I must be, because I WOH, an unengaged parent the way some WOHDs are?)

I guess I know there are Dads that function this way, but I'm naive enough to think that all moms realize that's not ideal... Do they think that's what I want? And thus they are making a value judgment about what they perceive as my choice to opt out of raising my child, when they don't have a model for an actively engaged WOHP?

Or is it really just mean-spirited?
post #34 of 107
I think it is mean-spirited.

Also my husband doesn't get much say in childrearing because he flies off the cuff and goes overboard with discipline (punishment). He loves our daughter but has little patience because he was not shown any as a child.

He has said "fine do it your way." And I will. I will not give into someone who can't focus on being kind to their child because they have so many issues with their own childhood.

No, I can't leave him because I am in school and will not risk my future and my daughter's stability. I graduate in 2 semesters. I think we can hold out until then.
post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by namellea View Post
And thus they are making a value judgment about what they perceive as my choice to opt out of raising my child, when they don't have a model for an actively engaged WOHP?

Or is it really just mean-spirited?
I think your first question hits it on the head. I don't think a lot of SAHMs (at least in my experience) really understand how working moms function. I know the families we know with a SAHD get this sort of reponse - a completely blank stare and questions about how Dad manages.

The general recipe where we are (and I know this varies by region, so it's very general) for a breadwinner/housewife family is mom who is college educated (and probably beyond) who had a fairly ambitious professional career path. Dad is an executive of some sort. They have kids in their mid-30s, and then Mom devotes all of the attention that was devoted to her career to her children.

That becomes her domain, and her rise in power is relative to her control of the house. Dad is completely removed, in large part because he wants to be. He works and does "real manly stuff" while she raises the next generation. For some of them, I do think they don't have an idea of how women can work and raise children because of their all-encompassing view of child-rearing (which is its own problem/thread). I know some of these women have asked me (and it's not judgmental; they're honestly curious) if I feel guilty for not spending all of my time with my kids. It's a very different mindset for me to understand.
post #36 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thanks Brandi,

That makes sense to me. I think back to when I was first returning to work when my dd was only 11 weeks old. I was devastated and it did feel "wrong" to me in some sense (but I'm the primary breadwinner and it REALLY wasn't an option not to go back). But now I am loving my role as WOHM, and that guilt has mostly faded. Yes, I would like more time with my daughter. But that doesn't mean I'm not happy working and happy with her daycare, too. I would like more time in my daughter in the way that I would like more vacation days- - not in a way that seems threatening to what I have with my daughter.

So the role took some learning time and adjusting for me, so how can I expect others who don't have a model for this to be there already? I guess it is really sad for the Dads. Makes me so so glad that I have an actively engaged dp that would never accept not being an equal participant in parenting and running the household. (Not that he always picks up his socks, but he does try.)

Its still offensive, but I'm gaining some perspective. Thanks!
post #37 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
I'm mostly a SAH (I freelance occasionally) but the suggestion that having a child in daycare means that the daycare providers are "raising" that child seems like it should be offensive to everyone. It's so disheartening to hear people say things like that.
Exactly. I'm appalled at that. Do people say this to your face or online?
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by namellea View Post
I think back to when I was first returning to work when my dd was only 11 weeks old. I was devastated and it did feel "wrong" to me in some sense ...... But now I am loving my role as WOHM, and that guilt has mostly faded.
That's been my experience, too. I was terrified of putting DS2 in dcp at 7 mos after wahm'ing since his birth. Even though I'd already been through it with DS1, I still had those "omg, this is the end of the world" kind of thoughts. Then, as he got older, those feelings subsided and I started to realize that my kids are still wonderful, happily attached little poeple who love me and depend on me. It wasn't the end of the world at all.
But, I think women who have stayed home their entire mothering life don't really understand that, for the most part.
Sometimes it's mean spirited, sometimes it's just honestly not knowing how you go about raising a child and having a career.
It's like moms whose oldest kids are going into kindergarden for the first time. I cried my eyes out on DS1's first day of school, bawled all the way home. It honestly felt like he was all grown up, but fast forward 5 years and that just seems silly in retrospect. He was still just a baby I'm sure I'll cry when he goes off to college... and then when he's 30, I'll look back and laugh at myself for it.
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by namellea View Post
But now I am loving my role as WOHM, and that guilt has mostly faded.
I think the guilt is such a universal part of motherhood but unnecessary. I had terrible PPD after DS was born. I brought up this almost panic I had about working to my therapist. She said that she'd had to go back to work because of finances when her son was around 2. He went to daycare at the hospital where she was working. She said for the first few days, she would have to go into the bathroom to cry before she could go to her office. Then one day the kids were outside while she was out eating lunch, and her son was grinning and sitting with one of the workers and it hit her - "HE doesn't have any problem with this arrangement. I'm the only one who feels bad about it. And for what? Obviously he's having a great time and knows he's cared for."

Quote:
Makes me so so glad that I have an actively engaged dp that would never accept not being an equal participant in parenting and running the household. (Not that he always picks up his socks, but he does try.)
I feel this way, too. Plus I think it creates such a circle of insanity about men taking care of children. Families that function this way exclude Dad, but then many women complain that their husbands aren't more involved. It seems like an insidious trap. I am grateful that whatever my ILs did, they agreed very early on to raise their children to be prepared to handle all family roles "in case my sons didn't marry someone like their mother" as my MIL told me.
post #40 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post

The general recipe where we are (and I know this varies by region, so it's very general) for a breadwinner/housewife family is mom who is college educated (and probably beyond) who had a fairly ambitious professional career path. Dad is an executive of some sort. They have kids in their mid-30s, and then Mom devotes all of the attention that was devoted to her career to her children.
That is my geo area exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I know some of these women have asked me (and it's not judgmental; they're honestly curious) if I feel guilty for not spending all of my time with my kids. It's a very different mindset for me to understand.
I know some people are like that, and perhaps they think AP is about spending 24-7 with your child.

My perfect life blend -- and I'm working towards it -- is to be part WAHM and part SAHM.
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