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#61 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 03:52 AM
 
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Mamawannabe: I would love to debate all this again with you but really I think you simply see it all quite differently and only time and experience can change your view. perhaps not.
One thing i learned after being a parent was it's really really not what we might expect and we may be very surprised, very befuddled, and finally understand what people may have attepted to tell us at some point while we closed our ears. Im not saying you havent done your research, surely you have. I was working with kids for years before having my own I had lots of ideas on how things 'should' be.
I love that you are passionate about the equality of womens work. I am too, ask my dh :LOL .
I just think that a lot of time we get caught up in seeing what we dont have: time, space, help, money and become resentful of the person who is helping the entire family in the way that he knows how. if that means that he needs a reminder about the work that just means we are doing what we need to do as a team-- no one is the boss.
The work of a sahm is difficult and never ending and yes not clearly appreciated in the way it deserves and that is what is sad.
~L
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#62 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Can't it be both?
I guess so, if that's how you want to view it, but to me, if a mother says she provides childcare for her children while her husband is at work, it's the same as a father saying he is babysitting when his wife has gone out and he has the kids.

Something about this whole, Yes, I'll watch the kids while you're gone, but as soon as you get home I'm going to enforce a 50/50 division of labor just strikes me as not very ... parental. It just sounds jobbish. It sounds not very joyous. It sounds like drudgery. Maybe that's just me, but I do what needs to be done as a parent and homeowner without regard to whether dh is doing his "fair share."

Also, no, I don't expect my husband to just "see" what needs to be done around the house. I am the one who spends most of the time here, and I am the one who is most familiar with what needs to be done and when. Not because it's my "job" to, but just because I am the one who is here most and I am the one who uses the house most.

As for the working/staying at home thing, I'm sure it can be viewed both ways: the wife pays the price for the husband's career advancement, or the husband pays the price for the wife being able to stay home. My husband enjoys his job, but he does miss out on time with the kids (and with me) by having to work. I, personally, feel like I have to better end of the deal. And I don't think that makes me some sort of brainwashed housewife.

Namaste!
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#63 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, what a lot of responses! I didn't think I'd have this much to respond to after just a weekend, thank you all!

A few clarifications...

Quote:
Also, some mamas have posted that you'll have it easier because your dd will help and clean up her messes, etc. I wouldn't count on a 4yo to be much of a help when a new baby arrives. At least not at first. She's going to need a lot of extra attention and may want to be treated like the baby herself. Not to say that there aren't 4yos who sail through this transition period and are a huge help to their mothers. It's just that I've never experienced that or seen it happen with anyone else. A 10yo, sure. But at 4?
My DD is 9. You are correct, DH came into our lives when she was 3, but we've been together for 6 years, married for almost 4. Not that I think DD won't still need me--she is a very huggy cuddly child, and I definitely would still spend a lot of time with her! But when she and I discussed it, I was thinking she really needs more of my intellectual time at this point in her life--she and I talk a lot, and we can still do that while I am changing diapers or nursing.

Well, there is a lot of food for thought here. I can't say I know everything about my DH's motivation. My motivation in being home is to be a homemaker for my whole family, including DH. Part of what we dislike about our life currently is that the time we spend together seems to be rushing around trying to get stuff done. If it's possible, I would prefer to do most of that when he isn't home so we can just enjoy our time together.

About the nighttime parenting. I kind of figure that if I'm already up nursing, what is the point of getting DH up so I can have 15 more minutes of sleep while he changes the diaper and burps the child? Colic is a different story (BTDT), but my DD is school aged, which means I can sleep while the baby naps, and I fully intend to. At that point, it's not that he needs rest more than I do, it's that I can take a nap during my "work" day, and he can't. Not only that, but to be honest, I *do* think his job requires a full night's sleep. I can come to my job as an accountant half rested and still do okay. If I were a SAHM, I may be a tad cranky for a day or so, and the child may get a little more TV than normal. If he goes to his job half rested someone could get hurt, including himself. Not that he is more important, or his job more important, but that I think he requires more sleep to do his job reasonably well.

DH and I have pretty low expectations for the house, as long as it's not filthy and we all have clean clothes to wear, I can't imagine it being a problem. In addition, he's always been very willing to jump in and take over the slack when I just can't get everything done, even if it means he ends up doing a lot more than I do during the week. I kind of feel like I made him out to be some 50's era dad who doesn't want anything to do with his family, and that's not the case. He and I want me to be the primary homemaker, and for him to be the primary money maker.

Anyway, I guess I'm overanalyzing. I love my DH, and I'm happy with him, and he is truly a wonderful husband who mainly just wants me to be happy. So we'll just have to work out the details as they come, because I've gotten the impression that I have no idea what it will be like, that my previous experience means nothing because I was a single mom. (which may well be the case!) And I do have baby blindness, I remember what it was like to a certain degree (boy that colic sucked), but I would still happily go through it all again!

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#64 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 01:46 PM
 
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Rebecallizzie> Yeay for you for being able to see your way to having another baby and trying to have the family that you wish to. I think you have a good view of what the situation will be like and an attitude much like Dharmamamas and mine about 'family life' as well as 'division of labor' .
I dont think you made your man out to be a 50's dad or anything like that- I think others will always see what they project onto your situation and so dont worry about the over analyzing SOME OF US , myself included, love a good debate, especially when it comes to things near and dear to our heart. YOU will be a fine wife, mother and NOT a single one =do not begin to think that way (oh, meaning no dis-respect in that smilie)------
It's a great thing to know when your dh comes home to you and the kids you are giving him and your family what they need and he will be doing the same
Good luck and lots of baby vibes coming your way! :
~~~L
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#65 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraess
Rebecallizzie> Yeay for you for being able to see your way to having another baby and trying to have the family that you wish to. I think you have a good view of what the situation will be like and an attitude much like Dharmamamas and mine about 'family life' as well as 'division of labor' .
I dont think you made your man out to be a 50's dad or anything like that- I think others will always see what they project onto your situation and so dont worry about the over analyzing SOME OF US , myself included, love a good debate, especially when it comes to things near and dear to our heart. YOU will be a fine wife, mother and NOT a single one =do not begin to think that way (oh, meaning no dis-respect in that smilie)------
It's a great thing to know when your dh comes home to you and the kids you are giving him and your family what they need and he will be doing the same
Good luck and lots of baby vibes coming your way! :
~~~L
Well, that is a self-congratatory glib post.

The op came looking for different opinions and she got them. Sounds like she is sorting them out and figuring out what applies to her and what doesn't and what premises she agrees with and what presmises she doesn't. Good luck with the baby Razzle!
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#66 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 04:45 PM
 
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Oh, dd is 9, not 4. Well, now your thinking makes a lot more sense to me. (If only I'd had a helpful 9yo when my second was born...)

Re the night-time parenting, I know what you mean. It seems to make sense. If you're up, why not change that diaper? All I can say is, having someone else on night diaper duty makes a heck of difference. With both my kids, my dh saw that taking care of a baby was pretty much non-stop nursing, and it was all on me. So he told me that he was doing night diapers and I was ordered to wake him up for them!
It was a lot easier for me to stay in a state of semi-sleep when all I had to do was nurse the baby and then roll over. Fully waking up and changing him would have been a lot more difficult. And dh's offer to do this, and him doing it, really made me see how committed he was as a partner and a father.

Good luck with all of this!
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#67 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama

Re the night-time parenting, I know what you mean. It seems to make sense. If you're up, why not change that diaper? All I can say is, having someone else on night diaper duty makes a heck of difference. With both my kids, my dh saw that taking care of a baby was pretty much non-stop nursing, and it was all on me. So he told me that he was doing night diapers and I was ordered to wake him up for them!
It was a lot easier for me to stay in a state of semi-sleep when all I had to do was nurse the baby and then roll over. Fully waking up and changing him would have been a lot more difficult. And dh's offer to do this, and him doing it, really made me see how committed he was as a partner and a father.

Good luck with all of this!
Very very good point, i agree. Seeing though that op's dh is a police man it would surely be a very personal decision based on situation and all.
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#68 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 07:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Well, that is a self-congratatory glib post.

The op came looking for different opinions and she got them. Sounds like she is sorting them out and figuring out what applies to her and what doesn't and what premises she agrees with and what presmises she doesn't. Good luck with the baby Razzle!
Yes, if that's what is was- self congratatory- by all means go ahead and assume again that you know where im coming from. It did appear to me that what she is looking for is along the lines of what i beleive in a family and so of course i am good with that.
You can go on trying to draw the line of 'fairness' down a marriage and a family all you want--- I wish you luck too.
~L
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#69 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauraess
You can go on trying to draw the line of 'fairness' down a marriage and a family all you want
Not what I'm doing. You really don't get where I am coming from if that is how you'd describe it.
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#70 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 07:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
My motivation in being home is to be a homemaker for my whole family, including DH. Part of what we dislike about our life currently is that the time we spend together seems to be rushing around trying to get stuff done. If it's possible, I would prefer to do most of that when he isn't home so we can just enjoy our time together.
That makes a lot of sense to me because I feel the same way. I haven't always found it possible, but it is a reasonable goal as long as everyone stays flexible.

Quote:
I can sleep while the baby naps, and I fully intend to. At that point, it's not that he needs rest more than I do, it's that I can take a nap during my "work" day, and he can't.
I did all the nightime parenting when we had only one child and I never felt put upon. I did rest when she was sleeping during the day.

Quote:
I kind of feel like I made him out to be some 50's era dad who doesn't want anything to do with his family, and that's not the case. He and I want me to be the primary homemaker, and for him to be the primary money maker.
I thought it sounded like you were trying to figure out what it would be like to be a SAHM, so you asked women who are. I've been asked the same thing by moms IRL who are considering quitting their jobs, so it seemed like a totally reasonable request.

Quote:
So we'll just have to work out the details as they come, because I've gotten the impression that I have no idea what it will be like...
yes, the only thing that is clear after this thread is that different people have different experiences and points of view! :LOL

Good luck!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#71 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraess
It did appear to me that what she is looking for is along the lines of what i beleive in a family and so of course i am good with that.
You can go on trying to draw the line of 'fairness' down a marriage and a family all you want--- I wish you luck too.
~L
This thread is so far from my realm of understanding, I have been hanging back on responding. This last quote, though, seemed to tip my hand. So many of the posts remark that they do not feel "put upon" to do X, Y, Z because they are the mommy and that is what the mommy does. It seems there are some clearly drawn gender roles here that people aren't recognizing.
Out family has two mommies. One of us just happens to work outside the home ("birth mom" is the one works outside home, actually). I identify with what mamawanabe is saying. I, too, see things very different than others in this thread... and I attribute that to us having two moms and thus no male/female dichotomy.

dharmamama, I will use you as an example (because I always have tended to agree with your viewpoint on most all threads!)

Quote:
Something about this whole, Yes, I'll watch the kids while you're gone, but as soon as you get home I'm going to enforce a 50/50 division of labor just strikes me as not very ... parental. It just sounds jobbish. It sounds not very joyous. It sounds like drudgery. Maybe that's just me, but I do what needs to be done as a parent and homeowner without regard to whether dh is doing his "fair share."
Julie and I enforce a 50/50 division of labor. We are two moms Sometimes it's a struggle because one of us tends more toward laziness and procrastination, LOL. You are right, it's not that fun to point out to my partner when I come home from the office that the laundry is piled up, toys are everywhere, breakfast dishes still dirty, etc.... do I just suck it up and do what needs to be done? Heavens no! We are a team. Two moms, one baby, and we are a team to his care and well being. One of us doesn't get off the housework or evening/weekend child care (and it would be *me* cause I am the one who works outside the home, so see I am arguing against my own self serving interests).

I know you can see two moms as being equally motivated, equally responsible for baby's well being. So why would a husband get less expectation? I think we are so swept up in the idea of Mothering with a capital M that we give fathers the short shift (and I am saying this as a lesbian, LOL). Their role is just not as glorified or considered "important" - whereas most of you would say that my DP and I are equally important and responsible for our baby. I see this all the time with my hetero AP friends. Two moms are supposed to *both* be AP and fully attached and parenting 24/7. Whereas a man and wife, the wife is considered the primary parent.

Quote:
Also, no, I don't expect my husband to just "see" what needs to be done around the house. I am the one who spends most of the time here, and I am the one who is most familiar with what needs to be done and when. Not because it's my "job" to, but just because I am the one who is here most and I am the one who uses the house most.
I do expect my partner to just see what needs to be done and jump in. She expects the same from me. If we expect less from men, then I think we should own up to the fact that we are relying on the old stereotypes and ways of thinking.

I am not bashing the stereotypical ways of dividing labor. I am just trying to shed some light on what I see mamawanabe saying (that she sees those old divisions playing out). I see those stereotypes in this thread too, because they don't apply to two women with a baby
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#72 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 10:38 PM
 
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Wow, Kincaid, that's not what I meant at all. Dh's role in the family has nothing to do with his sex and his or my ideas about what each gender should be doing. I am a woman and a mom, I write from that perspective. I write about my male husband, who is a father, because that's my life. It really has nothing to do (at least for me) with what mommies versus daddies do. It has everything to do with what the SAHP and the WOHP parent do. I don't expect dh not to notice what needs to be done because he has some defective male gene that keeps him from being domestically handy. I just don't expect him to walk into an environment that is less familiar to him because he's not there all day long, living that environment and its innate sense of rythm, and carry on as though he'd been around all day. The house changes considerably during the nine hours he's gone all day.

Btw, two of my closest friends are a lesbian couple raising their son. They have very clearly demarked homemaking and WOHMing roles, those that people would consider traditional gender roles. Come to think of it, so does a male couple that I know.

But really, why do any of us care what the rest of us do, as long as we are all happy? Does it matter whether I do the homemaking and dh does the WOHMing because we have rigid, "old-fashioned" gender roles or because we each enjoy what we do and appreciate each other's contributions to the family? Nope, doesn't matter at all, as long we we have all hashed it out in our own homes and are happy with the decisions we've made.

Namaste!
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#73 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Ps. The way it generally works in our house is that I do as much of the housekeeping each day as I can (or want to) get done. If dh comes home and there are dishes in the sink or dirty socks on the floor, he generally ignores them and plays with the kids and helps them bathe and get ready for bed (which is what I like for him to do, anyway, because the kids having a relationship with their non-primary-caregiving parent is way more important to me than dirty dishes and dirty socks). If I feel inspired to clean up in the evenings, I do. If I feel downtrodden and overwhelmed and can't ignore the mess, I ask dh and the kids to help clean up, and they do. Otherwise, we all ignore it until one of two things happens: it's "clean-up time" in the bedtime routine and while the kids are cleaning up toys dh and I straighten up a little bit, or neither of us does anything and I take care of it the next day. Dh is welcome to pitch in spontaneously, and sometimes he does. Sometimes he doesn't. I don't really care either way, because we have pretty laid-back housekeeping standards and we're all content living with what I can get done during the day.

Somehow, that just doesn't strike me as some sort of gender-induced subservience. If I worked outside the home, I would be the same way. I would come home and my priority would be spending time with my spouse and my kids. I wouldn't complain about the housekeeping or lack thereof.

Namaste!
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#74 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraess
You can go on trying to draw the line of 'fairness' down a marriage and a family all you want.
I finally thought of how I would phrase it. It isn't about fairness, it is about both parents being fully engaged with the children and the home.

I really want my kids to see that. It was something me and my siblings didn't see growing up, and it impoverished us. In many ways, "our family" was mom and us (Mom, who took care of us and our home). Dad was this person who came home at 6 and played with us and said really interesting things and gave me my first journal; he was a placeholder of importance, but he wasn't really a part of the workings of the family - that was my mom and my siblings. I do believe it would have been different if he was helping feed us in the evenings and cooking on the weekends and doing dinner dishes and grocery shopping while my mom was at thd laundry mat. Food is huge for kids - and my mom planned and prepared every single meal we ate. I want my kids to have a different kind of father and a different kind of family.
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#75 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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That, MamaW, is a good explanation of your viewpoint. I can completely appreciate what you have said. But just remember, not everyone feels that way. My parents had very traditional roles, but I never felt my father was not a full-fledged member of the family.

Namaste!
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#76 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 11:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kincaid
This thread is so far from my realm of understanding, I have been hanging back on responding. This last quote, though, seemed to tip my hand. So many of the posts remark that they do not feel "put upon" to do X, Y, Z because they are the mommy and that is what the mommy does. It seems there are some clearly drawn gender roles here that people aren't recognizing.
Out family has two mommies. One of us just happens to work outside the home ("birth mom" is the one works outside home, actually). I identify with what mamawanabe is saying. I, too, see things very different than others in this thread... and I attribute that to us having two moms and thus no male/female dichotomy.

dharmamama, I will use you as an example (because I always have tended to agree with your viewpoint on most all threads!)



Julie and I enforce a 50/50 division of labor. We are two moms Sometimes it's a struggle because one of us tends more toward laziness and procrastination, LOL. You are right, it's not that fun to point out to my partner when I come home from the office that the laundry is piled up, toys are everywhere, breakfast dishes still dirty, etc.... do I just suck it up and do what needs to be done? Heavens no! We are a team. Two moms, one baby, and we are a team to his care and well being. One of us doesn't get off the housework or evening/weekend child care (and it would be *me* cause I am the one who works outside the home, so see I am arguing against my own self serving interests).

I know you can see two moms as being equally motivated, equally responsible for baby's well being. So why would a husband get less expectation? I think we are so swept up in the idea of Mothering with a capital M that we give fathers the short shift (and I am saying this as a lesbian, LOL). Their role is just not as glorified or considered "important" - whereas most of you would say that my DP and I are equally important and responsible for our baby. I see this all the time with my hetero AP friends. Two moms are supposed to *both* be AP and fully attached and parenting 24/7. Whereas a man and wife, the wife is considered the primary parent.


I do expect my partner to just see what needs to be done and jump in. She expects the same from me. If we expect less from men, then I think we should own up to the fact that we are relying on the old stereotypes and ways of thinking.

I am not bashing the stereotypical ways of dividing labor. I am just trying to shed some light on what I see mamawanabe saying (that she sees those old divisions playing out). I see those stereotypes in this thread too, because they don't apply to two women with a baby
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#77 of 111 Old 07-18-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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I think its doable.
I do it but our house isnt perfect by any means.

We have a 5 1/2 yo, a 3 yo and an 8 month old.
My dh works 12 hour shifts
My dh is wonderful enought that if a load of dishes needs to be loaded or unloaded he will do it if he has time
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#78 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
I finally thought of how I would phrase it. It isn't about fairness, it is about both parents being fully engaged with the children and the home.

I really want my kids to see that. It was something me and my siblings didn't see growing up, and it impoverished us. In many ways, "our family" was mom and us (Mom, who took care of us and our home). Dad was this person who came home at 6 and played with us and said really interesting things and gave me my first journal; he was a placeholder of importance, but he wasn't really a part of the workings of the family - that was my mom and my siblings. I do believe it would have been different if he was helping feed us in the evenings and cooking on the weekends and doing dinner dishes and grocery shopping while my mom was at thd laundry mat. Food is huge for kids - and my mom planned and prepared every single meal we ate. I want my kids to have a different kind of father and a different kind of family.
See, What a few of the posters here have not gathered from my posts is the specific amount of time during the week that allows or doesnt allow my dh to do chores. The subject of regular work/chores/ upkeep is key to this thread and on a daily, during the week basis what im speaking about is NOT expecting dh to come home munch down diner, quick get some play time in, bath time, ready for bed -time and reading the kids their books PLUS throwing in some laundry--- It's just not humanly possible.
I will state again that one every saturday I am free to do as I please without children or husband and he will get work that he can do finished when he returns home from his saturday job in the late afternoon and sunday. In between all that he is often playing and teaching the kids about things he does around the house. He is thouroughly engaged in the life of our kids and our home.

Really, I dont think we all disagree as much as we misunderstand each other. What Dharmamama and i aspire to is an understanding that our team works best when everyone helps out when they can. isnt that what we all want???
~L
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#79 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 12:31 AM
 
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I just wanted to post this agian since This is where I am coming from; - Dharmamama is my idol now as she has helped me to clarify for myself WHAT the heck im doing most days! :LOL

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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I think that a main part of the problem is that we define being a SAHM as a job. I don't think it's a job, I think it's a lifestyle, one that is generally freely chosen. People then take this lifestyle and frame it as a job, expecting to get all the "benefits" of a job, such as a lunch break or "time off" or whatever. Even I used the "job" language in my previous post in this thread. But I don't think of what I do as my "work." I think of it as the way I have chosen to live. Do I sometimes get burnt out on doing laundry or usually having to handle not just one but three people's needs all day long? Yes. I sometimes ask my husband for help, and I do ask for some down time in the evenings. But I don't expect that each household task be delineated and as "his" or "hers" and I don't expect that my husband help out "equally" around the house. To me, having my husband spending the time that he is not at work doing household tasks would partially defeat the purpose of me being home. I try to do all the household stuff so that when dh is home, we can be having fun, not "working." I know that everyone conceptualizes being a SAHM/homemaker differently, but I think the trend toward describing it as a job is misguided because it them sets up expectations of receiving job-like perks. Caring for a child and a home is not like having a job, and the simple truth (to me) is that you're going to have to invest a lot more time in that than you would working outside the home, so saying "Why should I have to work 24 hours a day?" is a moot question. You do because that's what being a SAHM is.

Namaste!
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#80 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 12:42 AM
 
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I honestly don't see it as work, even when I was living with a roommate she and I had an arrangement that she would buy the cleaning supplies and I would do the cleaning. That's just the way I am. *IF* I asked DH to help me with something he would but I don't need his help, cleaning house is a breeze to me and so is taking care of my boys. He's very involved as a father but as far as chores are concerned there arn't any for him to do by the time he comes home.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#81 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kincaid
. So many of the posts remark that they do not feel "put upon" to do X, Y, Z because they are the mommy and that is what the mommy does. It seems there are some clearly drawn gender roles here that people aren't recognizing.
I'm the one who used the phrase "put upon" and I was referring to night time parenting -- which was BREASTFEEDING my kids, and frankly, that is a "gender role" if ever I saw one!!!!

mmmm.... we've managed to have a stay at home parent for 8 1/2 years and we have a stronge marriage, but I get the feeling that my point of view is some how seen as not PC because I would rather spend my DH's time home from work doing something fun together as a family than doing the stupid laundry. :

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#82 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move
mmmm.... we've managed to have a stay at home parent for 8 1/2 years and we have a stronge marriage, but I get the feeling that my point of view is some how seen as not PC because I would rather spend my DH's time home from work doing something fun together as a family than doing the stupid laundry. :
Might not be PC but it sounds nice to me and I think it comes from a place of integrity. I sense you really honor of your role. And when I say role, I don't mean "as a woman" (in her place and all that blah blah blah), I mean your role however you and your family has arranged. (Part of what makes this conversation so difficult is that a lot of our language is really loaded and words can carry excessive baggage, putting undue weight on otherwise simple statements.... IMO anyway. Hence my explanation of what I mean by role... okay I'm overexplainging, sorry... :LOL) As a person who is struggling to strike a balance in her own r-ship, I appreciate this prespective. I had never really thought of it that way. I will admit I feel a bit "put upon" and it's an attitude I'm trying to shake. All the mundane things I "have" to do around here are really not all that bad when I weigh the benefit of me being able to be home with my DC.

And this thread is making me think.... I sometimes feel that my DH doesn't appreciate and respect my role as sahm, but really, I think it's ME that doesn't appreciate it. Ain't that a peach of a revelation? Nice projection! Hrumph.
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#83 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move
mmmm.... we've managed to have a stay at home parent for 8 1/2 years and we have a stronge marriage, but I get the feeling that my point of view is some how seen as not PC because I would rather spend my DH's time home from work doing something fun together as a family than doing the stupid laundry. :
for me, it isn't at all about PC (I hate that term btw - it can negate so much consideration for others and good-hearted attempts at kindness with just two syllaballs). Rather, it is about the importance of household chores to the rythms of family life. I really want to have my kids see their dad mopping the floors. It says that the "stupid" mundane work of family life is as important to him as to Mom. It says that men are not just for woh and fun and stimulating discussions and protective cuddling, but for body/house work. It breaks apart the dichotomy of "mens work" from "womens work" still ingrained in this culture (which will give my kids more possibilities for imagining who they could become).

And laundry is not stupid - and my kids helping their dad fold clothes or giggling in the bathroom as he scrubs the tub and toilet IS family time.
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#84 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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[QUOTE=mamameg]it sounds nice to me and I think it comes from a place of integrity. I sense you really honor of your role. QUOTE]

maybe. And I don't want to belittle the family arrangement that has clearly worked well for Lindaonthemove.

BUT :LOL another way to look at it is not that a do-all-the-housework sahm finds integrity in her work, but that she thinks of it as "stupid" (Lindaontehmove's word) and so wants to get it done so that when her dh is home, their family can do better things together than "stupid" household chores.

Disclaimer: Linda, I'm not saying this is how you feel or think. I am confident it isn't. Just saying that a lack of real value of housework can be the subtext of the idea of sahm's doing all the housework so their family can do fun things when dh is home.
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#85 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Just saying that a lack of real value of housework can be the subtext of the idea of sahm's doing all the housework so their family can do fun things when dh is home.
This could also be said of the WOH world, in which some people sprint to their cars at quitting time so that they can come home and do fun stuff with their family. I don't think we have to love everything we do around the house to still enjoy being a SAHP and honor our role. I know I don't go through my day all blissed out at the prospect of scrubbing toilets and wiping butts, but I have chosen to do it because it is valuable work, even if I sometimes feel like it's a PITA that takes time away from more fun activities.

Namaste!
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#86 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 07:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
This could also be said of the WOH world, in which some people sprint to their cars at quitting time so that they can come home and do fun stuff with their family.
But I thought sahm wasn't like a job

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#87 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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It's not. I'm talking about any task that must be done, whether it's a job or a chore or studying for an exam or wiping a baby's bottom. We can choose to do things because we know the work is valuable regardless of whether we actually enjoy doing it. Since you had mentioned that SAHMing was like a job, I went with the job analogy, even though I don't agree that SAHMing is a job.

Namaste!
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#88 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 10:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameg
I sense you really honor of your role. And when I say role, I don't mean "as a woman" (in her place and all that blah blah blah),
I do. I have a real sense of purpose in being home.

My DH has tremendous respect for what I do, which also makes a big difference in how this plays out in our family.

Quote:
I sometimes feel that my DH doesn't appreciate and respect my role as sahm, but really, I think it's ME that doesn't appreciate it.
I think that sometimes it is really hard to hold on to why having a parent available to kids all the time is important because it is not something our society values. I'm somewhat sheltered from those values because my DH and my mom both think I'm doing the most important thing that I could be right now -- so other people's views usually just bounce off of me.

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Originally Posted by mammwannabe
Just saying that a lack of real value of housework can be the subtext of the idea of sahm's doing all the housework so their family can do fun things when dh is home.
Actually I think I value housework most than most moms I know, SAH or working. I believe that how our house looks effects how we feel. If things are basically tidy and have been mopped/vacuumed/dusted in the last week, I find our home a more comfortable place to be. If my kids toys and art supplies are well organized, they have the freedom to play and be creative. Our house isn't spotless but it isn't trashed. I have systems for how I do things so it isn't overly time consuming. Inspite of the fact that I do most of the housework, I still have time to do lots of fun things with my kids while my DH is at work. Today I took the kids to the water park.

I think that every family should do what works for them. Different things have worked for us at different time. If what works for you and your DH is for one parent to stay home and NOT do the house work and so that you can do it together, then that is what you should do.

That isn't what works best for us. It works better for us to spend quality time together. In the evenings, we like to take a walk together and read a chapter out of a book as a family. On weekends, my DH and I often work on a project around the house together or we take a day trip as a family. We really love picking our own fruits and vegies -- we are hoping to go pick peaches next weekend. (BTW -- it wasn't like this when the kids were babies, we were just trying to keep our heads above water)

Quote:
I really want to have my kids see their dad mopping the floors. It says that the "stupid" mundane work of family life is as important to him as to Mom.
Kids learn not only from what they see but also from what they hear and the attitudes that they pick up. My kids don't see the work I do as being unimportant because they haven't been raised that way. I think that our own attitudes towards work greatly influence our kids. I was really influenced by The Continuum Concept on this.

Quote:
It says that men are not just for woh and fun and stimulating discussions and protective cuddling, but for body/house work. It breaks apart the dichotomy of "mens work" from "womens work" still ingrained in this culture (which will give my kids more possibilities for imagining who they could become).
This seriously is not about GENDER, but about availablity. If I worked and my DH were home with the kids, I would hope that he would set aside a few hours of his week to get some of this stuff done.

One of the odd things about this thread and me and my DH is that the way we've broken down jobs is based on our strengths and weakness as well as our availablity. I take care of all car maintenance; my DH is in charge of decorating (he is soooo much better at it than I am).

My kids see more possiblities for their lives through other women they know. As much as I love being a SAHM, I want them to know women with all sort of jobs.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#89 of 111 Old 07-19-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
It's not. I'm talking about any task that must be done, whether it's a job or a chore or studying for an exam or wiping a baby's bottom. We can choose to do things because we know the work is valuable regardless of whether we actually enjoy doing it. Since you had mentioned that SAHMing was like a job, I went with the job analogy, even though I don't agree that SAHMing is a job.

Namaste!
it was a joke
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#90 of 111 Old 07-20-2005, 12:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move

This seriously is not about GENDER, but about availablity. If I worked and my DH were home with the kids, I would hope that he would set aside a few hours of his week to get some of this stuff done.
But our kids don't grow up in a cultural vaccum. The vast majority of housework and childcare is still done by women whether or not they woh or not. There are a lots of studies documenting this (and documenting the hours less lesuire time married women have than married men). Our kids will see this IRL, they will see it in commercials and sitcoms, and they will hear it in jokes (the sexual (in)division of labor is the basis for much humor). So while you can say that you are doing the housework because you are the spouse staying home, our culture bombards them with another narrative to explain it. The best way to counter this cultural narrative, IMO, is to have dh pick up a mop.
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