Price of Motherhood - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 12-09-2001, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read The Price of Motherhood by Anne Crittenden recently and I found it fascinating. I really liked how she sliced through the traditional SAHM vs "working mother" debate by intelligiently writing about the disadvantages ALL mothers face in our society. Like Anne Crittenden, I've also felt like I've become invisible as soon as I say I'm a stay-at-home-mom. People always say "How great!" and then flee from me and find someone more interesting to talk to. I also like how she pointed out that when women control the money that comes into their household, the children always benefit. Before reading this book I sometimes felt like I was not contributing to society by staying home with my children. Our society pays lip service to mothers but really our work is seen as insignificant, childcare is seen as "unskilled labor" even though our children will grow up to run the gov't, practice medicine, pay social security taxes, etc. Every year on our tax return, I list my occupation as "mother" but this year I'm tempted to write "unpaid laborer." Excellent, thought provoking book.
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#2 of 3 Old 12-10-2001, 02:48 AM
 
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I agree - I loved this book - it really got me thinking about mothering and the very real price our society exacts from us for choosing to stay at home. I was particulary struck by her use of statistics to emphasize how badly children suffer after their parents get divorced and the mother (usuallly relatively impoverished thanks to the way the courts figure out alimony/child support) has custody - the standard of living goes way down for these kids (not just financially, but practically since the mother usually has to re-enter the workforce and leave the kids with daycare or have them be latchkey kids) , while the fathers' standards of living shoot way up after divorce. I keep telling DH that I want him to sign a "Post-Nup" - guaranteeing that if he ever has a midlife crisis and wants to divorce, we'll split our assets and he will support us to the standard of living that we had pre-divorce. The book made me a bit morbid actually about the high rate of divorce and how stay at home moms get the very short stick and how this could happen! I think DH wishes I never read it!!
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#3 of 3 Old 12-11-2001, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree. And her coverage of welfare mothers was enlightening. These women are reviled by society simply because they are caring for children. And she makes an interesting distinction about the way widows get better treatment from the gov't than divorced women. It's like the divorced women are being penalized for not having a husband. Even the word "widow" brings up the image of someone chaste, sensible, downtrodden, deserving, But "divorcee'' has completely different connotations: "gay divorcee" and all that. Makes me want to move to Sweden.
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