"stay Home mommy" book idea - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 11-14-2008, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'm thinking a lot about writing books-This would be something new to me but I have book ideas. I want to write a book on the benefits of staying home with your children when they are babies.
Somewhere along the way it became the cultural norm to put your baby in day care at 6-12 wks. I think many women feel they need to go back to work because of finances, social pressure, family pressure, or maybe they just don't consider any other option. I think there is a lot of heartbreak involved in women leaving their babies.
Any feed back?
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#2 of 24 Old 11-14-2008, 02:26 PM
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Hi and welcome to MDC.

I think your heart is in the right place but I don't think it is possible to write a book like that without trashing WOHMs. Personally, I like to stay far away from the mommy wars. Maybe look around the SAH and WOH forum a little and see if you can find a more positive spin on your topic.
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#3 of 24 Old 11-14-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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I agree with the previous poster. If your intended audience is mothers, then listing a bunch of things for women to feel guilty about if they are unable to stay home or choose not to stay home is not going to be well-received. If your intention is to change public policies to allow more flexibility to women so that they can stay home if they choose to, then you will need to conduct or to gain access to thorough, peer-reviewed research that supports your idea.

A less divisive way to approach the topic if your audience is mothers may be to focus on how to overcome obstacles to staying at home for those who want to but feel like they can't.

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#4 of 24 Old 11-15-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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If you believe with all your heart that this is something you should write then go for it.

I don't know if it will sell. That's irrelevant anyway.

it will likely anger a lot of WOHM. That's unfortunate but I'd still write it.

I don't know that I would be concerned about the people I would anger if I were writing a book. I would just write it if I felt inspired to do so.

Sometimes controversy is good. It gets people talking.

I've been a WOHM and a SAHM. I've had guilt feelings from both..from the first from being away from my kids and the second being the example I'm setting for my daughters. I'm in a constant mommy war internally.

If you want to write the book I say go for it. I'll read it.
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#5 of 24 Old 11-15-2008, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to those who responded,excellent feedback. I think it is an internal struggle for all of us as mothers. I think my point has more to do with a feminist perspective of having a choice and being the woman you want to be rather than doing something because you have to or because it is the societal norm.
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#6 of 24 Old 11-16-2008, 03:45 AM
 
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There's a book on a similar subject you might like, called Opting In. I don't remember the title.
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#7 of 24 Old 11-16-2008, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There's a book on a similar subject you might like, called Opting In. I don't remember the title.
Thanks I think I'll get it! I looked it up on Amazon and it looks good.

My basic premiss is- How many women would stay with their babies if the culture supported us in this endeavor? What if companies and the government supported maternity leaves of 6-12 months instead of 6-12 weeks, Tax breaks for SAHF, having the support of being the societal norm rather than the oddity or exception.
I think feminism backfired on us in a way. Rather than freeing us, it now confines us as far as our choices around mothering. We now live in a society that is based on two income families, so how do you bridge the gap that occurs when you have a baby and want to become a single income family?
Go into debt? Sell cookies in your front yard? Time to get creative.

I definitely have respect for WOHMs I was one for 11 years and a single mom for 5 years. I also know how difficult it is and my DD was preschool/ school age.
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#8 of 24 Old 11-16-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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A lot of countries do support what you describe, and I would say on average they are as feminist as or more feminist than the US (there are exceptions, but as I say that's on average). Certainly in Canada they don't call a year "SAHM," they call it "standard maternity leave" as the Canadians on this board will tell you. So it sounds as though you are addressing policymakers rather than ordinary moms.
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#9 of 24 Old 11-16-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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Have you read The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden? She covers a lot of what you are talking about.
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#10 of 24 Old 11-18-2008, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'l' look into that book. Well Michelle Obama is looking forward to staying home with her daughters. so perhaps there is hope.
Any body know other countries that support longer maternity leave? The Netherlands?
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#11 of 24 Old 11-18-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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I'l' look into that book. Well Michelle Obama is looking forward to staying home with her daughters. so perhaps there is hope.
Any body know other countries that support longer maternity leave? The Netherlands?
is she really? i thought i remembered her saying something about SAHMs that annoyed me. thats going to bug me now lol

o and good luck on your book! i think an interesting tidbit is that every single friend i have (I'm 21 and stopped going to school to be a SAHM .. so they are all 20-22) with the exception of 1 says that she could never be a sahm b/c she would get bored and need more stimulation.. it would be to monotonous thanks guys lol they mean well they just don't know BUT none of them have any intention of staying home with their kids. most of them have SAHMs too lol.
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#12 of 24 Old 11-18-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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Any body know other countries that support longer maternity leave? The Netherlands?
I live in the Netherlands. Here you get a total of 16 weeks maternity leave. Four to six weeks is before the due date and 10-12 weeks after the birth. This is fully paid. Mothers and fathers can also get 13 weeks of parental leave. This is mostly 'paid' for in terms of a tax break. Sometimes it is possible to take the parental leave full-time, but mostly this is not possible and people use it to reduce the number of hours they work for about a year.

I understand you get about a year maternity leave in the United Kingdom and that some of the Scandinavian countries also give mothers about a year's worth of maternity leave.

Mama to DS1 and DS2
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#13 of 24 Old 11-25-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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Perhaps you can do some research into all aspects of motherhood + career + family. There have been some books regarding different aspects of it.

I have a good book called Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children by Sylvia Ann Hewitt.

There is a number of women who delayed having children until they passed the age it would be easier for them to have children, having bought into the concept that they can delay their children indefinitely with the "security" of knowing that medical procedures (IVF, IUI, etc) exist and it has deluded them into thinking that they will be guaranteed a baby whenever they feel it will fit into their lives. The above book discusses the views of the women who feel like they were fed a lie and now they have to live with the consequences. It has, in some instances, really torn some women apart. They have some really useful resources in the back for selecting careers that are more family-friendly.

She actually discusses in detail other countries leave of absence policies, and it has been an interesting look at how ours differs and how our society has made it so much harder for women with families and careers.

It is an interesting insight to how some women were almost duped. That thanks to the "miracle" of modern science, they could continue to be high-achieving women in their careers without being told the full story - that it's really, really hard to conceive a child even with medical procedures after a certain age. So, there are a number of women in their late thirties and forties that wished they could have children but medical procedures failed them and for that they have to come to terms with.

I think there is in the US. a societal "set-up for failure" with regards to women and raising families. It's not wrong to want a career, it's not wrong to stay at home and raise children. But I do I think it that there is a lot of conflicting messages and very, very little support for mothers in whatever choices they make.

Most pro-stay at home mothering books I have found have a Christian slant to it. Not that that is bad, but I'd like to see some more writings that don't emphasize religion of any kind but a careful look into the pros and cons of choosing to move in and out of the career path for the sake of raising the family. The hardest part is that our society does not make it easy to get back into the workforce once you've stepped off it. And now, with the economy going to heck in a handbasket, it's even going to make it more difficult to return when the children are raised.

But, I think you could write a good well-balanced book by reading as much as you can about the subject of mothering in all aspects before embarking on your own. Just my $0.02

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#14 of 24 Old 11-25-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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In my opinion, books don't have to be well balanced. Many non fiction books are pro or con an issue. This is no real exception. If you want to focus on stay at home issues, go for it. Peruse the bookstores and see how many you find for WOHM and their specific issues. I'm not saying that you need to exacerbate the mommy wars, but I think it's ok to focus on the one side in which you are interested.
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#15 of 24 Old 11-26-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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In my opinion, books don't have to be well balanced. Many non fiction books are pro or con an issue. This is no real exception.
Perhaps the OP's stance does not have to be well-balanced. I suppose I'm still looking for the well-balanced book that discusses how to navigate one's way in and out of the workforce with ease and offers support through both, as family needs evolve. That neither SAHM or WOHM is intrinsically bad for anyone, but that a woman can manage do both as needs change.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#16 of 24 Old 11-26-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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I would love such a book.

:Mama to 2 :
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#17 of 24 Old 11-26-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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Perhaps the OP's stance does not have to be well-balanced. I suppose I'm still looking for the well-balanced book that discusses how to navigate one's way in and out of the workforce with ease and offers support through both, as family needs evolve. That neither SAHM or WOHM is intrinsically bad for anyone, but that a woman can manage do both as needs change.
I did not mean to pick on your use of the work well balanced. It seemed to me that many posters were putting out this idea that one sided books were not the way to go, and yet so many issues are approached that way in books. People who agree with them and need support in that lifestyle are the main purchasers, imo. However, that is like preaching to the choir, imo again.

Good luck finding a book like the one you want, Miss Information maybe you need to write it?!
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#18 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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Good luck finding a book like the one you want, Miss Information maybe you need to write it?!
Don't think I haven't considered it.

I just wanted to make sure you didn't feel I was negative, so I wanted to explain.

I've been both a WOHM (for two years) and a SAHM for four. Neither one is an easy job. It's very easy (IMHO) to lose sight of oneself in trying to make everything work, regardless of which choice is made. It's the moms that have to wrestle with the monumental decision and the good and the bad that comes from either choice.

I have much sympathy for both sides having been there in each place myself.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#19 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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Don't think I haven't considered it.
Well, you were the one posting about writing more/again, so there you are...a ready made topic.

And I agree, though I've only been a sahm, being a mother is a mother of a job. Not for the faint of heart.
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#20 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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I think if you feel the leading, write it!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#21 of 24 Old 11-28-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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I live in Canada, and I got 17 weeks of paid maternity leave plus an additional 35 weeks of parental leave that was available for me/my husband/split between the 2 of us. Since he's self-employed and works from home I took the full years-worth. It's only a percentage of what I was making monthly, but it does help. I don't know what I'm going to do when that runs out...I really want to stay at home until my kid(s) go to school.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about how our fight for equality in the workplace sort of backfired because while women do get equal pay and promotion opportunities (at least in theory), we get stuck balancing the same work expectations as our male counterparts with the demands of being a mom. So instead of adjusting the workplace to meet our needs we have to adjust our lives to meet the needs of both the workplace and the family...or choose one or the other. Which sucks. A lot.
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#22 of 24 Old 11-29-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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i think its a great idea, and dont worry about offending WOH moms. If you slant it towards changing public policy to make this a viable choice for more families, rather than a guilt-trip for WOH moms, that should work...and besides, any passionate view is going to offend somebody.

I read a great book a while ago by a child dvelopment expert, Penelope Leach, and while based in the UK rather than US, it still might have relevant points for you. Its called 'Who cares: a new deal for mothers and their small children', and basically argues for the government to pay for mothers to stay home with under 3's, and explains why day care is detrimental to under 3's.

also, 'affluenza' by oliver james has a chapter about early attachment and how today's modern emphasis on getting and having more, material wise, is detrimental to the mother-child bond by forcing mothers back into work even when it isn't strictly economically necessary (i.e. you could still feed and clothe your family on one income, but you need a fancy car or a better house or whatever).

Another book I read is called 'Come home to your children' - cant recall the author - and that is a U.S. author. It explained, amongst other things, how you can make it possible to stay home even if you think you can't, and explains why its actually b etter financial sense to do so, as well as for all the other reasons.

I also discovered an organisation called 'full time mothers' in the u.k., perhaps there's one similar in the US? here in the u.k. we get 9 months paid leave and 3 months unpaid. It's a huge improvement from, only a few years ago, only 3 months paid leave, and certainly much better than the u.s. deal. Most mothers i know chose to take the full leave, which just shows.

good luck!
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#23 of 24 Old 12-10-2008, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been thinking about this a lot. The challenges I face as a SAHM are this: economic concerns,and a lack of a support system (this can be built-sought out). If I was a WOHM I personally would be struggling with many,many more issues. I would be very concerned about DS, I would be struggling with how to be an attachment parenting mother-We use cloth Diapers, learning natural infant hygiene, BF on demand, take naps together, practice baby wearing, working on baby Sign language, and I'm mom to 13 yr old DD and she needs me too. Soooo....I'm at home, I'm very grateful and happy my DH supports this choice. I think telling different people stories would be the most powerful form for this book. "Be the change you wish to see in the world" I would love to see legistlation that supports the choice to stay home while our children are in their infancy. My brother-in-law received $3000 by being his children daycare provider. Unfortunately that program was discontinued.
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#24 of 24 Old 12-11-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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Well, canada is pretty good. we get a year maternity + parental leave as the pp said. And we also get (depending on your familial income and your province) upto $425/month in child tax benefits. Which I get all of, and BOY does it come in handy. Still, it's not really enough to stay home one, so we pinch pennies and all the rest. But, I'd rather be pinching pennies with my daughter than working to have abundance away from her.
Now, i'm looking to the middle road : working at home part time.
Good luck on your book. I say: write what you feel inspired to do and critics can say what they will. I'm sure many authors had issues with SOMe demographic when they ppublished.
I also think that some mothers are passionate about what they do away from home and that they must pursue that. It's a personal choice a lot of the time, not just a cultural one.
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