New Study: Working Mothers Are Healthier - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/working-mothers-healthier-study-220400211.html

I thought this was very interesting.
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#2 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/childhood-obesity-working-moms-mothers-guilt-diet-kids-epidemic-children-12868879


So was this.
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#3 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Here is the first study

http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/fam-25-6-895.pdf

 

There doesn't seem to be a link to the second study but here's a longer summary. 

http://www.emaxhealth.com/4233/working-mothers-may-have-overweight-children

 

These both looks like really well done studies that involve a lot of subjects and control for various factors. So, as usual, whatever you do as a mom is wrong and here is clinical proof. Ta Da!

 

I've done both and my kids are slender. Being at home is far healthier for me than working for a bat-shit crazy boss in a freezing  office with dismal moral. I'm sure I'd thrive in a warm and sane work environment. 

 

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#4 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 04:00 PM
 
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It was very interesting, and heartening to read. I am glad to hear working moms benefit from all they do. 

 

As for the other topic, well it is off topic, isn't it, and kind of trying to rain on this good news.

 

The good news about the second topic is "The study authors were careful to say, about their conclusions, that a mother's working is not the cause of obesity, but rather an association." 

 

 

They actually could not explain why the kids were fatter. It is interesting.

 

I am pretty confident that if all moms decided to stay home, the nation would still have an obesity problem. And if all moms decided to stay home, well, we would just have more depressed moms in the ranks. 

 

 

 
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#5 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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As for the other topic, well it is off topic, isn't it, and kind of trying to rain on this good news.

No, not meaning to rain on the parade.. I just thought it was interesting that two good studies seem to indicate that while working is good for moms, it may not be good for kids. And there's the rub, right?
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#6 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 05:26 PM
 
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The causality isn't always clear, though. Less healthy mothers may be less able to work. Which doesn't mean that the not working caused the health issues.

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#7 of 35 Old 01-04-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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First...I'd like to say it's adorable that moms working is considered optional. Most families in the US now cannot survive one just one income.

 

Second...many mothers have no choice but to return to work, often before their nursing relationship with baby is established, which (I imagine) would lead to working moms needing to at least supplement with formula, which has been linked to obesity in children.

 

Third...are men completely useless? How about instead of focusing on how IMPOSSIBLE it is to do EVERYTHING and not screw up, we could demand men step up to the caregiving plate. Seriously, 2012 and they still cant be expected to carpool or fix dinner??



 

 

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#8 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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First...I'd like to say it's adorable that moms working is considered optional. Most families in the US now cannot survive one just one income.

 

 


 

Yeah, its really not so adorable to me. I have to work, if I didn't my ds and I would be homeless (well, he wouldn't be, he'd live with his dad and be raised by his grandmother - a woman with completely uncontrolled borderline personality disorder who is batshit crazy - I'm a better mother than grandma could be, even though I work full time!).

 

He's not obese (or close - but he's also only 3yo), and he probably won't end up being obese since that is not an issue on either side of his family. Either way, I still have to work.

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#9 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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or it could be (speaking to the first study) that no one was meant to raise a child in isolation on one's own.  mothers (or anyone) who have some sort of other "life" outside of spending 24 x 7 with a child/children and being solely responsible for childcare are probably much happier. 

 

for some people, work provides that stimulation or outside activity or break from the duties of childrearing.  i don't think it has so much to do with working outside the home as it does having a mother/father/caregiver with options and a variety in activities and/or responsibility or even just socialization.

 

it just pains me that the second video dwells upon "mothers" working outside the home.  because fathers have no influence?  fathers don't stay home? 

the interviewee/ Dr Boyle talks about "mothers staying home" like that is the only option.  sick.  let's just pretend we're in 1955, shall we?

 


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#10 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, its really not so adorable to me. I have to work, if I didn't my ds and I would be homeless (well, he wouldn't be, he'd live with his dad and be raised by his grandmother - a woman with completely uncontrolled borderline personality disorder who is batshit crazy - I'm a better mother than grandma could be, even though I work full time!).

He's not obese (or close - but he's also only 3yo), and he probably won't end up being obese since that is not an issue on either side of his family. Either way, I still have to work.

I think that Mama2ChicknLil was actually being sarcastic in her response about it being "adorable". Of course it's a very serious situation that so many households require all of the parents to work outside the home. I felt that the video about working moms and obesity rates was suggesting that a lot of us work outside the home because we want to, rather than recognizing that many of us do not have a choice.
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#11 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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or it could be (speaking to the first study) that no one was meant to raise a child in isolation on one's own.  mothers (or anyone) who have some sort of other "life" outside of spending 24 x 7 with a child/children and being solely responsible for childcare are probably much happier. 

for some people, work provides that stimulation or outside activity or break from the duties of childrearing.  i don't think it has so much to do with working outside the home as it does having a mother/father/caregiver with options and a variety in activities and/or responsibility or even just socialization.

it just pains me that the second video dwells upon "mothers" working outside the home.  because fathers have no influence?  fathers don't stay home? 
the interviewee/ Dr Boyle talks about "mothers staying home" like that is the only option.  sick.  let's just pretend we're in 1955, shall we?

All excellent points, Hildare.
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#12 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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or it could be (speaking to the first study) that no one was meant to raise a child in isolation on one's own.  mothers (or anyone) who have some sort of other "life" outside of spending 24 x 7 with a child/children and being solely responsible for childcare are probably much happier. 

 

for some people, work provides that stimulation or outside activity or break from the duties of childrearing.  i don't think it has so much to do with working outside the home as it does having a mother/father/caregiver with options and a variety in activities and/or responsibility or even just socialization.


YES. THIS.
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#13 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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These are interesting studies. Thanks for sharing.

 

Here's what I wish would happen as a result of these studies:

 

I wish we'd figure out how to better support moms who don't work outside the home so that they can be as healthy as moms who do. I wish we'd figure out how to better support families with 2 breadwinners so that kids can be healthy. I wish we'd figure out how to empower more husbands/dads to participate in family life so that women didn't have a disproportionate share of household responsibilities. I wish we'd figure out how to develop healthy food systems and communities where daily physical activity is part of the natural flow of life, so that obesity was less likely for everyone. I wish we'd figure out how to live more simply and in supportive communities, so that all parents felt that the choice to work outside the home really was a choice.

 

But we'll probably just argue over the ways that women screw everything up by not being perfect. *sigh*

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No, not meaning to rain on the parade.. I just thought it was interesting that two good studies seem to indicate that while working is good for moms, it may not be good for kids. And there's the rub, right?


Actually, only one of the studies suggests that working is not good for kids (the one about childhood obesity rates for children of working mothers). The other study just shows that there's an association between working part-time and better health outcomes for mom. There's nothing in that one to suggest that there's a negative consequence for kids.


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#15 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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I think that Mama2ChicknLil was actually being sarcastic in her response about it being "adorable". Of course it's a very serious situation that so many households require all of the parents to work outside the home. I felt that the video about working moms and obesity rates was suggesting that a lot of us work outside the home because we want to, rather than recognizing that many of us do not have a choice.



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#16 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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Uh, as a working mother, I'm healthier.  Less stressed and much happier... WHY?  Because DH stays home and does all the crap that I hate to do.  He's happy, I'm happy, kids are happy and not fat.   Honestly I really hate these kinds of studies.  I feel they do nothing but cause more division.  Trying to validate why any one choice is wrong or right.  We do what we gotta do in this life to get by and we do not need studies to cause guilt or further the division that is already in place.  Besides next year the study will change to say SAHM's are more capable of doing the splits and can cook broccoli casserole better than working moms. 

 

Meh... 

 

 

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#17 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Uh, as a working mother, I'm healthier.  Less stressed and much happier... WHY?  Because DH stays home and does all the crap that I hate to do.  He's happy, I'm happy, kids are happy and not fat.   Honestly I really hate these kinds of studies.  I feel they do nothing but cause more division.  Trying to validate why any one choice is wrong or right.  We do what we gotta do in this life to get by and we do not need studies to cause guilt or further the division that is already in place.  Besides next year the study will change to say SAHM's are more capable of doing the splits and can cook broccoli casserole better than working moms. 

 

Meh... 

 

 


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#18 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 12:48 PM
 
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hey that study has not been published yet! 
 

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I'll put my broccoli casserole up against anyone's, working or not. eat.gif


 

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#19 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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I knew you were being sarcastic. I just always get mad at the whole, "working moms basically suck because they don't raise their children and obviously don't care about them or they would do what is best and SAH like they are supposed to so that their kids always have a parent at home that is devoted to nothing but them" BS that I get all the time on this board. I like mothering, but mostly just for the single parenting board, at least the other single mamas understand that working isn't optional when a roof isn't possible without a paycheck. I know many 2-parent households also need 2 paychecks to survive, and I support any mother who wants to work or SAH, but don't claim to be a better mom just because you SAH and raise babies all day long while I work so that I'm ABLE to raise my baby.

 

Ok, that was a rant, and NOT directed at you. I know you were being sarcastic earlier. blowkiss.gif

 

Ok, I'm not done ranting. I also HATE the implication that if women don't HAVE to work outside the home, or if a family doesn't NEED 2 paychecks, then its wrong for both parents to work. Seriously, some of us LIKE to work. Some of us LIKE our jobs. That doesn't make us bad parents. We can LIKE working AND love our children more than life itself. Seriously. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my ds. If I'm home with him all day he drives me nuts. I still LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE him though. And I also LOVE my job. Seriously, I landed my dream job - its good for him to see me doing something I LOVE (as opposed to staying home and being miserable all the time!) so that he knows that its possible to LOVE your job, and it benefits him to have a happy mom pick him up from school every day. And, to boot, he's WAY more social than I am. I hate parties, I don't like being around massive amounts of people day in and day out - him? He'd rather be in a room of 100 people than a room with just me. So, school is good for him. I could not give him the social outlet that he craves if I was a SAHM. It wouldn't be possible. At school he gets that, and its important. I get what I need, he gets what he needs, and we both go home happy but tired at the end of the day.

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Ok, I'm not done ranting. I also HATE the implication that if women don't HAVE to work outside the home, or if a family doesn't NEED 2 paychecks, then its wrong for both parents to work. Seriously, some of us LIKE to work. Some of us LIKE our jobs. That doesn't make us bad parents. We can LIKE working AND love our children more than life itself. Seriously. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my ds. If I'm home with him all day he drives me nuts. I still LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE him though. And I also LOVE my job. Seriously, I landed my dream job - its good for him to see me doing something I LOVE (as opposed to staying home and being miserable all the time!) so that he knows that its possible to LOVE your job, and it benefits him to have a happy mom pick him up from school every day. And, to boot, he's WAY more social than I am. I hate parties, I don't like being around massive amounts of people day in and day out - him? He'd rather be in a room of 100 people than a room with just me. So, school is good for him. I could not give him the social outlet that he craves if I was a SAHM. It wouldn't be possible. At school he gets that, and its important. I get what I need, he gets what he needs, and we both go home happy but tired at the end of the day.

Amen, sister. I work because it's not only best for me, but it's best for my daughter. She has amazing relationships and experiences through her babysitter & her school, and she gets a happy mama to boot. What's the down side to that?

 

I wish we could get out of the mentality of "working" vs. "not working" is good/bad. Here's what's good: mothers who have support to lead balanced, healthy lives, regardless of their work situation, and kids who have all the support they need to grow & learn & meet their potential. Here's what's bad: mothers who feel stuck in a situation they don't want and feel powerless to change it and kids who aren't thriving. Not every person or family is the same or needs the same thing in order to flourish. That's OK!!!!
 

 

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#21 of 35 Old 01-05-2012, 02:02 PM
 
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I hate it too.  I've been home and worked, I prefer working.  I love my kids but they're in school now and would prefer to be there.  Women who love to be home, more power to them!  We have one life and the choices we make are what we know are best for ourselves and our families.  All opinions to who is the better MOM/WOMAN need to be flushed. 

 

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Amen, sister. I work because it's not only best for me, but it's best for my daughter. She has amazing relationships and experiences through her babysitter & her school, and she gets a happy mama to boot. What's the down side to that?

 

I wish we could get out of the mentality of "working" vs. "not working" is good/bad. Here's what's good: mothers who have support to lead balanced, healthy lives, regardless of their work situation, and kids who have all the support they need to grow & learn & meet their potential. Here's what's bad: mothers who feel stuck in a situation they don't want and feel powerless to change it and kids who aren't thriving. Not every person or family is the same or needs the same thing in order to flourish. That's OK!!!!
 

 



 

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#22 of 35 Old 01-06-2012, 11:03 AM
 
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According to studies I've read, mothers are happiest when they get to choose their lifestyle. This makes sense, as I can't imagine that a mom working a crappy job while desperately wanting to be home is any more content than the sahm who desperately wants to work.

As pps have mentioned, the goal should be to empower parents to reach their personal goals while still maintaining a healthy home life.

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Here is the first study

http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/fam-25-6-895.pdf

 

There doesn't seem to be a link to the second study but here's a longer summary. 

http://www.emaxhealth.com/4233/working-mothers-may-have-overweight-children

 

These both looks like really well done studies that involve a lot of subjects and control for various factors. So, as usual, whatever you do as a mom is wrong and here is clinical proof. Ta Da!

 

I've done both and my kids are slender. Being at home is far healthier for me than working for a bat-shit crazy boss in a freezing  office with dismal moral. I'm sure I'd thrive in a warm and sane work environment. 

 


You hit the nail on the head! All these studies I read about parenting and childrens' outcomes (grades, health, obesity, etc) always focuses on the mother. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 


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Actually, only one of the studies suggests that working is not good for kids (the one about childhood obesity rates for children of working mothers). The other study just shows that there's an association between working part-time and better health outcomes for mom. There's nothing in that one to suggest that there's a negative consequence for kids.


Most children with working moms are in daycare and many if not most daycares participate in the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they go onto public schools that include acces to the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they rarely have access to adequate physical activity in the same schools.

 

Hum.

 

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Most children with working moms are in daycare and many if not most daycares participate in the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they go onto public schools that include acces to the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they rarely have access to adequate physical activity in the same schools.

 

Hum.

 



This can't be the entire picture though, because most daycares that I've looked at required parents pack a lunch and snack. The one that my ds is in has lunch catered everyday, and its pretty good (ie, nothings fried, fresh ingredients, lots of veggies). It's certainly better than what he would get if I was packing his lunch every day.

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#26 of 35 Old 01-09-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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Uh... Take out most.  That majority of Mothers I know that work, have family watch their children.  The only ones I know that do not have family watch their children have their children in home daycares.  The home daycares I have used... Lets just say I'd hang out all day for those lunches! 

 

You had me thinking about the lunches at school.  I give my kids money every week to buy lunches, on days they don't like the choices... CHOICES... they bring home lunch.

 

Meats/Breads (Choice of 1):

Fish Nuggets & Pasta/Cheese

w/ Wheat Roll

OR

Hamburger on Wheat Bun

OR

*Yogurt w/ Large Graham

Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads- (Choice of 1):

Rotini Pasta & Meatballs

w/ Garlic Toast

OR

Deli Sandwich

OR

Chicken Strip Entree Salad &

Cheese Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

Salad Available

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads- (Choice of 1):

Chili Pie & Cheese Sauce w/

Cornbread Muffin

OR

Chicken Filet on Wheat Bun

OR

Chef Entrée Salad &

Cheese Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

Salad Available

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads- (Choice of 1):

Chicken Nuggets &

Cream Gravy w/ Texas Toast

OR

*Cheese Pizza Sticks

OR

Teriyaki Chicken Strip Entrée

Salad & Cheese Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

Salad Available

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads- (Choice of 1):

Stuffed Crust * Cheese or

Pepperoni Pizza++

OR

Corn Dog

OR

*Yogurt w/ Mini Animal Grahams

*Meatless Entrée

Week 2 8/29, 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/7, 11/28, 12/12, 1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23, 5/7, 5/21

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads-(Choice of 1):

Teriyaki Chicken Strips &

Oriental Rice w/ Egg Roll++

OR

Cheeseburger (Hamburger) on

Wheat Bun

OR

*Yogurt w/ Large Graham

Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads-(Choice of 1):

Baked Steak Fingers

& Cream Gravy w/ Wheat Roll

OR

Turkey Hot Dog on Wheat Bun

OR

Chicken Strip Entree Salad &

Cheese Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

Salad Available

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads-(Choice of 1):

*Cheese Enchiladas & Chili

w/ Spanish Rice

OR

Mini Chicken Burgers on

Wheat Buns

OR

Chef Entrée Salad &

Cheese Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

Salad Available

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads-(Choice of 1):

Chicken Strips & Cream Gravy

w/ Wheat Roll

OR

Meatball Sub on Wheat

OR

Chicken Caesar Entrée Salad &

Cheese Crackers

*Meatless Entrée

Salad Available

SIGNATURE ZONE

Meats/Breads-(Choice of 1):

Stuffed Crust *Cheese or

Pepperoni Pizza++

OR

Fish Burger on Wheat Bun

OR

*Yogurt w/ Mini Animal Grahams

*Meatless Entrée

Assorted Chilled Canned Fruits, Fresh Fruits, Salads, or Vegetables – Choice of 2 different items

Milk Variety – Skim White or Chocolate, 1% White, Lactose Free, Soy Milk – Choice of 1 variety


 

 

My girls always eat fish if available and love the Yogurt and salad meal.  The salads are huge.  Full of veggies, hardly any lettuce.  I was really surprised at their options. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post


Most children with working moms are in daycare and many if not most daycares participate in the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they go onto public schools that include acces to the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they rarely have access to adequate physical activity in the same schools.

 

Hum.

 



 

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#27 of 35 Old 01-09-2012, 07:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post


Most children with working moms are in daycare and many if not most daycares participate in the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they go onto public schools that include acces to the government's child nutrition program. Which is terrible. And then they rarely have access to adequate physical activity in the same schools.

 

Hum.

 


I tend to think it is a little more complicated than that.  Complicated as in there are too many variables to make a sweeping generalization that obesity is connected to daycare and/or public school.  My thought is that better educated parents (as in better informed about health choices) will make better choices with regard to their children's nutrition, and tend to seek situations or ask the right questions with regard to the food that their children are eating.  The childcare center that my DD was in for a short while made food available, but upon direct request, allowed me to bring in DD's lunches and snacks (provided they were not risks for allergies).  I also think that lifestyle habits begin at home.  Daycare and public school are often convenient scapegoats, but it is ultimately parental influence that sets life habits (for me, it did, even though I often thought that my parents were a bore...and I was a product of public schooling).

 

I think one of the big problems is the availability of convenience food and our society's acceptance of such as the nutritional norm.  The problem, for me, lies not in whether there are parents working, but the lack of understanding of what is healthy.  People may throw out the argument that working parents don't have time (or take the time) to make nutritional, home cooked meals.  I don't think this is a problem specific to working parents, but a problem in our culture as a whole.  I know people from all walks of life who have crap diets and don't think twice about it.  Then again, I know people from all walks who care deeply about the food their families consume, both parents working or not.  There is an obesity problem in this country (US) and I don't think it is limited to working moms and their progeny.  I live in a large community of working parents and I can't think of a single obese kid from that community.  Just my observation, but where I see the most obesity among children is in socio-economic groups where nutritional know-how/education is lacking.  I guess I could go into the what I think about the economics of health, but that's the subject of another thread.  

 

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#28 of 35 Old 01-10-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post


I tend to think it is a little more complicated than that.  Complicated as in there are too many variables to make a sweeping generalization that obesity is connected to daycare and/or public school.  My thought is that better educated parents (as in better informed about health choices) will make better choices with regard to their children's nutrition, and tend to seek situations or ask the right questions with regard to the food that their children are eating.  The childcare center that my DD was in for a short while made food available, but upon direct request, allowed me to bring in DD's lunches and snacks (provided they were not risks for allergies).  I also think that lifestyle habits begin at home.  Daycare and public school are often convenient scapegoats, but it is ultimately parental influence that sets life habits (for me, it did, even though I often thought that my parents were a bore...and I was a product of public schooling).

 

I think one of the big problems is the availability of convenience food and our society's acceptance of such as the nutritional norm.  The problem, for me, lies not in whether there are parents working, but the lack of understanding of what is healthy.  People may throw out the argument that working parents don't have time (or take the time) to make nutritional, home cooked meals.  I don't think this is a problem specific to working parents, but a problem in our culture as a whole.  I know people from all walks of life who have crap diets and don't think twice about it.  Then again, I know people from all walks who care deeply about the food their families consume, both parents working or not.  There is an obesity problem in this country (US) and I don't think it is limited to working moms and their progeny.  I live in a large community of working parents and I can't think of a single obese kid from that community.  Just my observation, but where I see the most obesity among children is in socio-economic groups where nutritional know-how/education is lacking.  I guess I could go into the what I think about the economics of health, but that's the subject of another thread.  

 



I agree with everything here. I too am the product of an entirely public education (pre-school through law school - I've never been to a private school) and I'm not overweight at all. My family ate relatively healthy, but we were also FAR more active than the average family (as in, my fave vacation of all time remains hiking the grand canyon over Thanksgiving in 5th grade). This also fails to address that even SAHM's send their children to school - of course not ALL do, but most do (not counting the MDC population which seems to be mostly homeschooling/unschooling).

 

I too think that it has much more to do with socio-economic status and education than it does working moms/non-working moms.

 

Of course, all this is said while I am VERY excited to take cupcakes to my DS's class this afternoon to sing happy birthday! (they are mini cupcakes though - they do not need full size cupcakes!)

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I've been a mom for a long time.  Working multiple jobs, SAH, WAH, student, single, teen parent, mid-30's parent, married, 1 kid, many kids, pumping, nursing, ff'ing, cloth diapers, disposable diapers, no paper towels, buying paper towels in bulk at Costco, slinging, stroller'ing, bake bread from scratch, Chinese takeout with an extra side of steamed brocoli, flat broke, money to spare for the extras, homemade baby food from food I hand selected, organic in a jar, ordered from Amazon for home delivery...


Being a parent is tough and wonderful.  This is true no matter who you are.  Some kids are easier than others.  Some years are easier than others.  Some people have lots and lots of support.  Some are doing it 100% alone.  Some of us are old pros, for some of this it is all new!  Some of us LOVE to be alone and figure it out like the Lone Ranger - some of us love a village and would move into one if we could!  These factors are huge, and individual to your family - and MANY times, in flux!

 

It is not us vs. them.  There is no "them".  It is all "us".

 

In my very, very  honest opinion, many use the debate to distract themselves.  I like to continually look at my own situation and my own life and my own support system and ask myself:

 

What could I be doing better, for my own kids, in my own circumstances?

Right now, I need to be more conscious of spending 1:1 time with each of my kids, and I'm going to put the Wii away for a while.

 

What can I do to make sure I am taking care of myself, and staying balanced, in my own situation?

Going to switch my exercise routine to a home one, and the gym will be a special treat when I can get there.  But I can't use not getting to the gym as an excuse to fall apart physically anymore.

 

Am I doing all I can, in my own situation, to excel at work, and focus on impact?

Need to make sure I'm spending the time I need to on coaching my team, and doing a better job of delegating project work.

 

Here is the crazy thing..

 

Some of the answers to my questions today woud have been total no-no's for me in the past.

 

And that's okay!  There are different things in the equation now!

 

I'm not nursing or pumping, so travel is less of an issue.

I've got kids at both ends of the age spectrum, so some nights I stay up late to spend time with my teen (young adult!), and I don't make it to 6:15 Spin, which is "my" time - that's OK!

I'm off work today and dropped the baby off at daycare for 2 hours so I could have some MUCH needed me-time - and that's okay - I've spent the entire weekend cuddling her, and she'll have fun with her friends (see I still feel I need to justify it..) while I deal with the grocery shopping ALONE!

My DH is not as busy at work in the winter, so he does things with the kids in the evenings, and took off today to take the older ones skiing.  When he is busy at work most of the parenting lands on me, and though that is tough, it is part of the balance.

I cook at home a few days a week, and don't sweat some takeout meals.  Eggs for dinner also works!

I rarely clip coupons anymore - just don't have time, as much as I love matching up coupons and sales to save money, it isn't the season for me right now.

 

I really am not saying any of this to seem high and mighty, and certainly not to discredit some of the important research being done. I feel it is good to realize there may be a tendency towards overweight for my kids because I WOH FT.  If I were home with my kids, I'd like to know that I need to make extra sure to take care of my own health.  So just take it for what it is.  If it doesn't apply to your family, see questions above...what do you need to do to get to where you want you/your family/your work/your school/your farm/your whatever is important to you needs to go?

 

And hey - this place is SO awesome - if you are struggling through these questions (Should I switch jobs?  Should I quit my job?  Should we move closer to family?  Should I go back to school?) there are so many super smart, super awesome women (and a few men!) who will jump in to help you!  I have been to a lot of forums on the web over the years, and this is my favorite!

 

Lastly, and then I will get off my soapbox..

 

We need each other.  One of my SAH (now she is working PT for a tax season) mom friends picked my kids up from Vacation Bible school every day for a week a few summers ago - otherwise they would have missed it because of my work schedule.  One my other friends is transitioning back to the workplace from SAH for a while, and I am playing career coach to her.  An older mom friend of mine lent me the $100 I desperately needed for a bill to keep me afloat years ago, while I struggled to WFH and spend more time with my baby.  I paid for groceries, a few bills, etc. for a friend who was trying to make ends meet and stay home a few years with her 3 young kids.  When my 10 week old son died of SIDS, the SAH moms rallied around my family with meals for MONTHS.  My working mom friends sent snack baskets and took off work to travel from miles away to be at the memorial services.  WE NEED EACH OTHER.  WE NEED EACH OTHER.

 

Do not waste your time on tit for tat!

 

Love you all!

 

I'm done.

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Tracey, mama of 5 beloved children here with me on Earth and one precious son I will meet again in Heaven 6/17/09 - 9/6/09.

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#30 of 35 Old 01-20-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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Quote:
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These are interesting studies. Thanks for sharing.

 

Here's what I wish would happen as a result of these studies:

 

I wish we'd figure out how to better support moms who don't work outside the home so that they can be as healthy as moms who do. I wish we'd figure out how to better support families with 2 breadwinners so that kids can be healthy. I wish we'd figure out how to empower more husbands/dads to participate in family life so that women didn't have a disproportionate share of household responsibilities. I wish we'd figure out how to develop healthy food systems and communities where daily physical activity is part of the natural flow of life, so that obesity was less likely for everyone. I wish we'd figure out how to live more simply and in supportive communities, so that all parents felt that the choice to work outside the home really was a choice.

 

But we'll probably just argue over the ways that women screw everything up by not being perfect. *sigh*

Agree wholeheartedly! There should be support for women to do what is best for them and yes all the mom blaming for every problem or "problem" with kids (I personally think the so-called childhood obesity epidemic is at best blown way out of proportion and at worst thinly veiled fat-shaming that all but ignores legitimate childhood health issues like not enough exercise or not enough access to whole foods). I know in our family I take on more than 50% of the child care, but my husband takes on more than 50% of the cooking and we split other household and family responsibilities in a way that works for us and not in a way that leaves me doing everything and him doing nothing. That just wouldn't work for me with us both working full time and quite frankly I don't think it works with one parent SAH either. I think the SAH parent will end up picking up more of the household and childrearing just because it works out that way time-wise and house-access-wise, but the working parent doesn't get to come home and put their feet up and expect the SAH parent to wait on them either.

And yes, in our patriarchal society, there is the expectation that the man works full time and has no other responsibilities and the woman does everything else to make the family thrive, but no matter what she does it is wrong and/or causing all the family issues eyesroll.gif Real families in the real world rarely (if ever) work like this, but that societal expectation hurts women, men and families.

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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