A word about "Full Time Mothers" - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-06-2006, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
G&B'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington state
Posts: 2,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maybe I am just in a bad mood today, but I need to have a little vent. Does the term “full time mother” drive anyone else crazy except me? It implies that there are “part time mothers” and more specifically that employed mothers are somehow less of a mother. I very carefully refer to myself as a WOHM, so as not to imply that mothers who are not employed do not work hard at what they do. It would be nice to have a little consideration in return, I guess.

Okay, I am done now.
G&B'sMama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-06-2006, 02:37 PM
 
nonconformnmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: in the wilderness
Posts: 5,160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry you're feeling : It doesn't bother me. *I* know I'm a full-time mom and my children and husband know and that's what counts. It doesn't matter to me what other people think.
nonconformnmom is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 02:39 PM
 
wawap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 1,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, it's not just you. Anyone who denies what that phrase is meant to imply/mean is just kidding themselves, lying or just insensitive (and then they would stop using it...).

It is a carefully chosen term with very specific intentions - to state that those mothers who don't SAH are only part-time mothers.

It's the same "war of the words" game that the pro-choice/anti-choice/pro-life/anti-life folks use....

I see it as a little dig at minimum & a huge insult at its worst, depending on the situation.

Of course, I've been known to overreact to such things.
wawap is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 03:33 PM
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: The Mountains
Posts: 1,564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It bothers me too ... a lot. I prefer the terms SAHM, WAHM and WOHM.

I hate that that term implies that a SAHM is a fulltime mother and a WOHM is a parttime mother at best.

You know what? I work fulltime and I'm a fulltime mother.

I have never implied that a SAHM works less than a WOHM because 1) I don't believe that's true and 2) It's insulting. Yet, a few people have implied that because I am a WOHM that I am not as 'mothering' to my DS as I should be, and it hurts me to the core.

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
snowbunny is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 03:37 PM
 
Irishmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with heartmama
Posts: 45,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Working moms are full time moms too. No one calls working dads part time dads.
Irishmommy is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 04:05 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bothers me too.

On a different note, it also bites when folks say that my partner, who is a sahd, "doesn't work, so he can look after dd", or describe him as unemployed. What, so mothers who stay at home full time are "full time mothers" while dads who do so are unemployed??
mammastar2 is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 04:14 PM
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: The Mountains
Posts: 1,564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2
Bothers me too.

On a different note, it also bites when folks say that my partner, who is a sahd, "doesn't work, so he can look after dd", or describe him as unemployed. What, so mothers who stay at home full time are "full time mothers" while dads who do so are unemployed??
That bothers us too. DH works HARD as a SAHD and is so wonderful. But we often get comments like, "Well ... is he working yet?" and "Oh ... what are you going to do when he finally gets employment?"

It's really unfair.

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
snowbunny is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 05:41 PM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You've hit on what is slowly becoming my biggest parenting pet-peeve.

Yeah. I'd say more about that, but it's getting to the point where every time I correct some well-meaning idiot (like the lady in the WIC office who utterly should know better than to say "Your profession is full-time mother, right?") I'm doing it through clenched teeth and sitting on my hands so as not to resort to violence. For some reason this one really, really, REALLY gets to me in the same visceral way that the stuff about working mothers and materialism gets to me.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
Belleweather is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 06:44 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is interesting. When I was WOH, the only person who thought I was a part-time mother was me. If I'd heard the term "full-time" mother, I don't think it would have crossed my mind to see it as a slam...would have just considered that it meant a mom who's only job was her kids. Now that I think about it, it is somewhat dismissive of WOHMs...interesting that I didn't see it that way when I was one...

Hope you ladies don't mind a SAHM occasionally lurking here. I was a WOHM a lot longer than I've been a SAHM, and the "mommy wars" side of things is interesting to me.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
G&B'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington state
Posts: 2,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am particularly sensitive to this today after I was up all night with DS who had some type of tummy ache/gas thing going on- part time mother that I am I got about three hours of sleep last night. Then I overheard someone talking about being a full time mom and it just really made me mad. It doesn’t make me feel personally feel bad when people use the term (as I know that I am just as much of a mother as anyone else) but the lack of sensitivity to others makes me bristle. I know many a SAHM who are quick to correct anyone who uses the term “working” mother, but rarely see anyone challenge the “full time” mother comment. It also bothers me because I don’t like to play into the “mommy wars”- it divides women and focuses attention away from more important discourse that affects the lives of women and their families. By bringing up the “full time” mother issue am I playing into the mommy wars, or just standing up for myself and others who are tired of being treated like we are second class mothers?

Belleweather mentioned another hot button issue for me- the working mother-materialism bit. I can’t even get started on it. We are the least materialistic people I know… and what business is it of anyone (except my immediate family) what the reason is that I am employed?

My DH has had tons of comments about being unemployed- including one from a nosy co-worker who found the perfect job for him- so we could get some more money coming in and wouldn’t have to shop at thrift stores anymore!
G&B'sMama is offline  
Old 01-06-2006, 09:40 PM
 
snuggly mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: snugglin' on a comfy couch
Posts: 1,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I was SAHM, I always made it a point to say that I was "home full-time", NOT that I was a full-time mother. Now that I'm WAHM, I can see even more how much of a put-down it is. Juggling everything is hard enough without people implying that I'm doing something wrong.

Oh, and dh is currently unemployed and being a SAHD. The same people who thought it was great for ME to be home with the kids now think he's lazy and irresponsible for not having a job. I think people should just mind their own business and let us worry about how to handle our family!
snuggly mama is offline  
Old 01-07-2006, 11:38 AM
 
kewb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,272
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That phrase drives me bonkers as well. I still have pent up anger towards another mom who made comments along this line to me 2 years ago. I have to see her at every PTO meeting and just looking at her makes me angry.
Then I get angry at myself for allowing these 2 year old comments to still bug me so much.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
kewb is offline  
Old 01-07-2006, 10:32 PM
 
1xmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: MD
Posts: 1,774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I find that term insulting. I've always thought of myself as a full-time mom.

But my question is what do u call a sahm whose child is in public school .
1xmom is offline  
Old 01-07-2006, 10:36 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am a SAHM and hate the phrase as well.

And you sure as heck better not ask my DP to "babysit"--- he's the father, not someone who's being paid to watch my kids for a few hours!

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
Old 01-07-2006, 10:36 PM
 
griffin2004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: On permanent holiday
Posts: 2,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You are not alone. The phrase and the implication behind it drive me batsh*tting insane. Anyone who wants to take a walk in my shoes as a full-time mom/full-time WOHM and call anything about it "part time" is more than welcome to take a try at it.

wild.gif  kickin' it old school
griffin2004 is offline  
Old 01-08-2006, 09:34 PM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
And you sure as heck better not ask my DP to "babysit"--- he's the father, not someone who's being paid to watch my kids for a few hours!
Kind of OT, but that's the one parenting comment that drives DH nearly to violence; we split the child-care duties since we're both students and both have jobs and are damn lucky to be able to have one of us with DS at all times. But when HE goes out to a bookstore or playgroup or grocery store with DS everyone comments on how he's 'babysitting' this afternoon and how cute it is. : It makes him want to pull an incredible-hulk style freak-out.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
Belleweather is offline  
Old 01-08-2006, 11:27 PM
 
Lucky Charm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: brett favre's house
Posts: 7,478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride

Hope you ladies don't mind a SAHM occasionally lurking here. I was a WOHM a lot longer than I've been a SAHM, and the "mommy wars" side of things is interesting to me.
Please, hang out with us! as a mom who works 2 days a week, I am kinda on the fence and I do ocassionally post in your forum as well.

All moms have points of view, opinions, etc.

As for the OP, I dont think much of it, but to me it is a not so subtle dig. We are all full time mothers. Some of us just happen to leave the house for a job.
Lucky Charm is offline  
Old 01-09-2006, 01:35 PM
 
AmyC08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I see that phrase as yet another reflection of how some SAHMs tend to be very defensive about their choices, to the point of insulting anyone who didn't make the same choice. Grrr.
AmyC08 is offline  
Old 01-09-2006, 01:49 PM
 
sunnysideup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,348
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wawap
It is a carefully chosen term with very specific intentions - to state that those mothers who don't SAH are only part-time mothers.
I'm a SAHM. I don't think people use this term to intentionally slam WOHMs. I think it is an attempt to try to find some accurate discription of what SAHMs do, since many feel they don't "stay at home." It's a difficult dance to try to find the right discriptive phrase that will not offend anyone in this area where people are so ready to be offended (on both sides of the issue).
sunnysideup is offline  
Old 01-09-2006, 03:03 PM
 
delaneymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 566
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't like it either-I'm still the mother even when I'm at work.
delaneymom is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 02:07 AM
 
TVChick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
Sorry you're feeling : It doesn't bother me. *I* know I'm a full-time mom and my children and husband know and that's what counts. It doesn't matter to me what other people think.

You're my hero. I've spent SO much time and energy trying to bring myself to a place where thoughtless comments like that don't bother me. Between the "full-time mom" title and the statement that "Being a SAHM is the hardest job there is" I honestly want to cry and avoid every mom I know.

I work 4p-midnight, so many of my mom friends (most of which are SAHMs) think of me as "one of them". That's great until they start talking about how much harder their lives are now that they don't WOH. What does that say about me? Unfortunately, very few have taken the time to listen to, and try to understand, my concerns.

I've taken to just keeping my mouth shut, which goes against everything that I believe in. I KNOW that I work hard, and that should be enough. I just wish that somebody, besides my dh, would appreciate all that I go through.

I know. It's a process.
TVChick is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 01:31 PM
 
wawap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 1,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVChick
...I've taken to just keeping my mouth shut, which goes against everything that I believe in. I KNOW that I work hard, and that should be enough. I just wish that somebody, besides my dh, would appreciate all that I go through....
Well, I appreciate all that you go through AND admire your ability to keep your mouth shut. I could use some of that.
wawap is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 01:43 PM
 
TVChick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wawap
Well, I appreciate all that you go through AND admire your ability to keep your mouth shut. I could use some of that.
thanks!
TVChick is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
G&B'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington state
Posts: 2,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree. I wish I didn’t bristle about it either. I think worse of myself for not being above it. For as much as I hear some people complain about how hard it is to be a “full time mother”- none of them would trade that for WOH. It’s the constant reminder of all the sacrifices they are making to be at home and devoted to the kids. But is it really a sacrifice if you give it up willingly, or if you never really wanted it in the first place? Of course all mothers work hard, and all mothers make sacrifices. As another thread points out, there is a huge continuum between purely SAHM and WOHM. Families make all sorts of arrangements to bring in income and to meet other needs. I guess I just wish that if I am going to be constantly reminded how hard this particular subset of mothers works, then I wish they could do it without making it a judgement or comparison.
G&B'sMama is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 04:26 PM
 
trinket23us's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by G&B'sMama
I agree. I wish I didn’t bristle about it either. I think worse of myself for not being above it. For as much as I hear some people complain about how hard it is to be a “full time mother”- none of them would trade that for WOH. It’s the constant reminder of all the sacrifices they are making to be at home and devoted to the kids. But is it really a sacrifice if you give it up willingly, or if you never really wanted it in the first place? Of course all mothers work hard, and all mothers make sacrifices. As another thread points out, there is a huge continuum between purely SAHM and WOHM. Families make all sorts of arrangements to bring in income and to meet other needs. I guess I just wish that if I am going to be constantly reminded how hard this particular subset of mothers works, then I wish they could do it without making it a judgement or comparison.
I have been a stay at home mom for ten years. I would say about 90% of the time I hear how nice it is that I am able to stay home from working moms. It is a choice that I made that came with many years of going without certain things. Sacrifice of material items that I would like to have but have chosen that my child is way more important. Most of them could make the same choices if they really wanted too.
trinket23us is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 04:35 PM
 
TripMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
NO. I agree with you. And I take this a bit further too. I get offended reading posts by moms who love to discuss how . . . because they are AP. . . they never leave the dc . . with anyone . . ever . . maybe DH or DP once for an hour to have surgery . . . but that was it (exaggerating obviously). Are we WOH mommas in the VAST minority? Does WOHM mean we can't be AP because we obviously leave the dc to WOH? This topic really gets under my skin.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
TripMom is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 04:37 PM
 
MountainLaurel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: The Crescent City
Posts: 1,246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinket23us
I have been a stay at home mom for ten years. I would say about 90% of the time I hear how nice it is that I am able to stay home from working moms. It is a choice that I made that came with many years of going without certain things. Sacrifice of material items that I would like to have but have chosen that my child is way more important. Most of them could make the same choices if they really wanted too.
Trinket, please keep in mind that for many WOH mothers, not working means they would be sacrificing wacky little things like buying medicine for their children, paying the gas bill, and being able to fix their car so they can drive to the grocery store instead of taking a bus with three kids. For some it means being able to not live in poverty as a senior citizen because of the disgraceful way this country cheats SAHMs. For some it's a safety valve in case her husband leaves her because she's gained weight or talks about the children too much, or if her husband becomes abusive.
MountainLaurel is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 04:39 PM
 
TripMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinket23us
It is a choice that I made that came with many years of going without certain things. Sacrifice of material items that I would like to have but have chosen that my child is way more important. Most of them could make the same choices if they really wanted too.
This is an example of the attitude that deeply offends me. This comment is amazingly presumptuous - and really bums me out - as it confirms what I sense that some SAHMs are thinking about me. As though I have to explain myself and my financial/medical situation to justify my work situation . . . .

I don't look down on SAHM - I envy them. And unfortunately, it is not a choice that I could make only if I "really wanted too".

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
TripMom is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 04:42 PM
 
TripMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainLaurel
Trinket, please keep in mind that for many WOH mothers, not working means they would be sacrificing wacky little things like buying medicine for their children, paying the gas bill, and being able to fix their car so they can drive to the grocery store instead of taking a bus with three kids. For some it means being able to not live in poverty as a senior citizen because of the disgraceful way this country cheats SAHMs. For some it's a safety valve in case her husband leaves her because she's gained weight or talks about the children too much, or if her husband becomes abusive.
:

. . . or how about medical insurance for those with serious pre-existing conditions who are otherwise uninsurable outside of group coverage . . .

. . . if only I were willing to make the sacrifice for those petty little material things like others are so willing to do . . .

Sorry - this one really hits a sore spot with me.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
TripMom is offline  
Old 01-10-2006, 04:57 PM
 
sunnysideup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,348
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom
This is an example of the attitude that deeply offends me. This comment is amazingly presumptuous - and really bums me out - as it confirms what I sense that some SAHMs are thinking about me. As though I have to explain myself and my financial/medical situation to justify my work situation . . . .

I don't look down on SAHM - I envy them. And unfortunately, it is not a choice that I could make only if I "really wanted too".
I am a SAHM and I agree that that attitude is disrespectful. I think we all get unthinking, disrespectful comments on both sides at one time or another. I wish everyone could be more understanding and respectful. I don't think you should have to explain or justify why you work. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been asked "what I do all day", and that's wrong too.
sunnysideup is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off