Anyone plan to be a SAHM indefinitely? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-21-2005, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally agree with you Angel....
I do have a problem with the women's movement since the point of it all was supposed to be about choice but we ended up just being "made" to do something else. Ofcourse there is more of a choice then there was a long time ago, however, according to what is accepted in society it doesn't feel like much of a choice.

I feel like the only reason I get "let off the hook" with my family (and people in general(besides close friends) is because my daughter has a disability. My sister would be the only one to think what I was doing was OK, since it was what she did. She homeschooled her girls until high school and then she got a job a few blocks from the school and the girls walked from school to her work and they all went home together. My mom, on more than one occasion, said something like "if she's happy not doing anything with her life". At the time I actually believed that. Now I think-- geez, homeschooling 2 girls and taking care of a house, etc. isn't exactly doing nothing with your life. Most people don't do that much with their life. Now my sister has 2 newly married daughters who are amazing and they didn't get that way by accident..............so, I wouldn't say she did nothing with her life. I only hope that I do as well for my dd that she did for hers.

It would be nice if people saw SAHM's in the media (or wherever) looking like who we really instead of only when we've gone whacko.

I don't know if I mentioned this on here before, but my dad told me once that he saw an article once and they said that they did a study or something and fouond out that kids who know that there is one parent home while they're at school have way less anxiety/worries at school. Apparently just the feeling of having someone at home who is accessible and who will be there when you get home makes our kids feel good. I really like that. One of the reasons I like it is because the other expectation about SAHM's is that you have to go back to work the second your kid is school age and if you don't you're a lazy schmuck or some chick from the stone age.

This whole conversation is really OT, but what the hell.

I do plan to be a SAHM forever and for me that means not working at all until my kid is gone and out of here
We've started the adoption process so hopefully I'll have mu hands more full then they are now. We aren't adopting a baby, but I do hope to have at least a total of 3 kids around here. I love my job and it's what my mom did and what my sister did and despite that my mom now hates what she did and wish she had a career and all that----I don't care. I liked having my mom with me and my daughter likes being with me and it's what I want to do.... forever, until she doesn't need me anymore.

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Old 09-21-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude
I totally agree with you Angel....
I do have a problem with the women's movement since the point of it all was supposed to be about choice but we ended up just being "made" to do something else. Ofcourse there is more of a choice then there was a long time ago, however, according to what is accepted in society it doesn't feel like much of a choice.
Yea, sahms get a bad rap. The problem with blamming the woman's movement for this bad rap is that wohms get a bad rap too (you know, selfish, neglectful mother ).

I'm thinking it is more cultural mysogeny than woman's movement gone too far - women are screwed in terms of society's sterotypes no matter which option we choose. I'd say we need MORE women's movement not less so that there REALLY is a choice. So that mothers who stay home aren't told they are wasting their education and mothers who work aren't told they are being selfish. (oh and so there are real career options for women who want to take years off or work part-time - many career tracks don't allow for either).
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking it is more cultural mysogeny than woman's movement gone too far - women are screwed in terms of society's sterotypes no matter which option we choose. I'd say we need MORE women's movement not less so that there REALLY is a choice.
Well, I agree that the cultural mysogeny plays a part for sure, however, I could only agree that we need more women's movement if they change in a big way. I DO NOT think we need more of the same women's movement. They have most definitely played a huge part in what is expected of women today. They have made no room for women who choose to do the "traditional" thing and stay home with their kids. They are the ones who perpetuate the idea that we are wasting our educations and setting the women's movement back and all that. We only need more of the women's movement if they are willing to change and include ALL women, which they don't even come close too. They do not allow for anything outside of the "feminist box" they have created. And since some of "feminist" thinking is now main stream, society as a whole expects us to be doing a certain thing or fitting into a box....it's just a new box now.

The women's movement started with giving women the right to birth control, the right to vote, allowing us to enter the work force and then work for equal pay...and the list goes on. At some point things changed and the idea that we all had to actually be "doing" all the things we were fighting for. But (big but), they forgot that we were fighting for CHOICE. Of course you have to take advantage of the things we fought for in order to show that it can be done, but that doesn't mean that we all have to switch to all doing one thing all over again---just a new thing.

OK, I could go on with this forever and I guess it really is off thread.

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Old 09-21-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude
Well, I agree that the cultural mysogeny plays a part for sure, however, I could only agree that we need more women's movement if they change in a big way. I DO NOT think we need more of the same women's movement. They have most definitely played a huge part in what is expected of women today. They have made no room for women who choose to do the "traditional" thing and stay home with their kids. They are the ones who perpetuate the idea that we are wasting our educations and setting the women's movement back and all that. We only need more of the women's movement if they are willing to change and include ALL women, which they don't even come close too. They do not allow for anything outside of the "feminist box" they have created. And since some of "feminist" thinking is now main stream, society as a whole expects us to be doing a certain thing or fitting into a box....it's just a new box now.

The women's movement started with giving women the right to birth control, the right to vote, allowing us to enter the work force and then work for equal pay...and the list goes on. At some point things changed and the idea that we all had to actually be "doing" all the things we were fighting for. But (big but), they forgot that we were fighting for CHOICE. Of course you have to take advantage of the things we fought for in order to show that it can be done, but that doesn't mean that we all have to switch to all doing one thing all over again---just a new thing.

OK, I could go on with this forever and I guess it really is off thread.

But if society was really OK with women choosing to work (so "OK" that it has become the mainstream box - which it hasn't), it wouldn't come down so hard on working mothers or ambitious women etc.

I really don't think it is feminists or women's movement putting sahms down. It is the patriarchy that (just like in the 50s) both expects women to sah with kids AND belittles the work of sahms.

But, yes, this is off topic. Of course, since it is your thread, you can go as off topic as you want
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
But if society was really OK with women choosing to work (so "OK" that it has become the mainstream box - which it hasn't), it wouldn't come down so hard on working mothers or ambitious women etc.

I really don't think it is feminists or women's movement putting sahms down. It is the patriarchy that (just like in the 50s) both expects women to sah with kids AND belittles the work of sahms.

But, yes, this is off topic. Of course, since it is your thread, you can go as off topic as you want
OK, I might have started the thread but it's still probably bad to go OT

I think society really is OK with women working(provided they work for less pay and "stay in their place"). I guess they're not totally OK with MOMS going to work, because maybe they're just not OK with moms in general since no matter what we do we're screwed. However, I do think that they are more OK with moms who work outside of the home, at least some of the time, than they are with moms who don't work at all and don't plan to and who maybe never have.

I do think that the 2 income household is considered the norm and choosing to have less money, etc. is considered down right crazy. I do think there are different rules for moms who have husbands who make a good bit of money. Those of us who choose to live with very little money, no savings, etc.-- I do think we are looked at as irresponsible and lazy, etc.

No matter who started it or is perpetuating it I do not believe that the women's movement is doing a damn thing about helping us SAHM's and how we are percieved. They could care less. Although they'll fight for childcare for women who work, but they would never think about fighting for support services for women who choose to stay home. They will fight for you to have the same job when you return to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave, but if you are not involved int eh work force and are a SAHM, well they have no time for you. Basically what they are saying is that you are only a woman (visible woman, cared about woman, deserving woman) if you are in the work force.

Wait until you're a mom and have to deal with the attitudes of family, friends, strangers, etc. about every damn thing concerning your parenting and life choices. Some people have it worse than others, but there's always someone who's wanting to judge you.

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Old 09-21-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude
OK, I might have started the thread but it's still probably bad to go OT

I think society really is OK with women working(provided they work for less pay and "stay in their place"). I guess they're not totally OK with MOMS going to work, because maybe they're just not OK with moms in general since no matter what we do we're screwed. However, I do think that they are more OK with moms who work outside of the home, at least some of the time, than they are with moms who don't work at all and don't plan to and who maybe never have.

I do think that the 2 income household is considered the norm and choosing to have less money, etc. is considered down right crazy. I do think there are different rules for moms who have husbands who make a good bit of money. Those of us who choose to live with very little money, no savings, etc.-- I do think we are looked at as irresponsible and lazy, etc.

No matter who started it or is perpetuating it I do not believe that the women's movement is doing a damn thing about helping us SAHM's and how we are percieved. They could care less. Although they'll fight for childcare for women who work, but they would never think about fighting for support services for women who choose to stay home. They will fight for you to have the same job when you return to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave, but if you are not involved int eh work force and are a SAHM, well they have no time for you. Basically what they are saying is that you are only a woman (visible woman, cared about woman, deserving woman) if you are in the work force.

Wait until you're a mom and have to deal with the attitudes of family, friends, strangers, etc. about every damn thing concerning your parenting and life choices. Some people have it worse than others, but there's always someone who's wanting to judge you.
Great point about sahms whose husbands don't make a lot of money - there are different standards based on class. It is more socially acceptable for a wife to stay home if doing so isn't a finacial sacrifice for the family. And just think of how socially unacceptable it is for women without a husband/partner to be a sahm. They are "welfare moms" and get treated with upmost disdain. My mom was a sahm, and she actaully asked me when my friend (who is a single sah who lives with her parents) was going to get a job. I said "She's a sahm like you were," and my mom said "that was different" :

The woman's movement actaully does a lot for all poor moms and their kids in terms of fighting for healthcare and social services for underprivledged kids. But, you are maybe right that they don't do enough for sahms in particular; I'd say that it isn't that the movement is part of the problem as much as there is so damn much to do.

Honestly, I think that because you are a sahm and thus experience the prejudice agiants sahm you believe it is greater than that focused on wohms. But I can't tell you how many times I've heard people make comments about my friends and sils etc who are wohms - subtle, snide comments about putting their career first and daycare raising thier kids.

As I sahm I will face subtle, snide comments, but I've seen enough to know that if my choice was different, the comments would be differnt but just as snide.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm starting a new thread on this subject so I won't feel guilty and feel like I should hold back based on the fact that it's totally OT.

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Old 09-21-2005, 08:39 PM
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wow, took me forever to get through this thread!

Anyway, I plan on being a sahm for a long time... I personally never wanted a "career" anyway... besides, I am an artist, musician and majored in Sociology so no one pays you for those things anyway LOL ...

I am really happy being a SAHM... sure, sometimes I feel overwhelmed and like I have "lost my identity" but part of me knows that is crap too, because our daughter is only about 4 months old so she is still in that "I need you every second of the day" place...

I suspect as she grows and gets interested in her own things -- whether it be art, karate, ballet, baseball, music, whatever... that I will have more time to pursue my own "thing" a few hours a week or whatever because I have an AMAZING husband who is really supportive of me doing whatever it is that makes me happy.

Even now I still paint and play music when he is home, though sometimes it is difficult because she wants mama all the time... but that is perfectly okay, I signed up for this so to speak, and it is exactly what I want to do!

On the moms who work outside the home, I really have no issue with this, it really is not my business, but I will *tentatively* say that I do tend to judge the kind of parents who are like --- okay, gradutate college, marry, have a baby, back into work, bop bop bop... like having a child is just sort of another notch in their "plan" know what I mean? To me, the decision to have and keep a child (even if the pregnancy was not planned) is a huge decision and I *personally* feel that your children should be your top priority... I am not suggesting that one should have NO other interests or hobbies, or even an outside job with a child, but again, I don't think children should be just one more power point plan in your spreadsheet of life (and I think we all know those people).

On the feminist movement, I am a staunch feminist but I will (again tentatively) say that I do feel that the feminist movement did women a disservice in one way. Yes, I do believe you can "have it all" but I DON'T believe you can have it all at once, and I feel that is kind of what the feminist movement (of the 60's anyway) kind of said. I feel that something always suffers when you try to do it all at once, even if it is just YOUR own sanity, or the pressure you feel to excel at everything -- have a great carreer, happy marriage, clean home, perfect kids, lots of hobbies, volunteer work etc... look at how many "choices" I have!

That being said though, I still firmly believe overall, it was a great thing for women...

Anywhoo, I went off topic...

I love being a SAHM because I hate working "for the man" too... I remember my career days, having to practically ask permission to go to the bathroom!! Crap, I will never do that again... unless I can open a vegetarian feminist cafe/anarchist bookstore I doubt I will ever work full time again LOL
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Old 09-22-2005, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude

No matter who started it or is perpetuating it I do not believe that the women's movement is doing a damn thing about helping us SAHM's and how we are percieved. They could care less. Although they'll fight for childcare for women who work, but they would never think about fighting for support services for women who choose to stay home. They will fight for you to have the same job when you return to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave, but if you are not involved int eh work force and are a SAHM, well they have no time for you. Basically what they are saying is that you are only a woman (visible woman, cared about woman, deserving woman) if you are in the work force.
I understand what you are saying and I agree with it to a point, but I must protest that we feminists aren't doing anything about it. Just last May The National Organization for Women went up against the government in support of SAHM.

The problem is, in supporting SAHM, feminists are up against a capitalistic ideology. When we support SAHM, it's understood as Socialism, which is a red button issue event today. No one wants to be a socialist. I mean, god forbid we should have health care, retirement benefits, childcare.
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand what you are saying and I agree with it to a point, but I must protest that we feminists aren't doing anything about it. Just last May The National Organization for Women went up against the government in support of SAHM.

The problem is, in supporting SAHM, feminists are up against a capitalistic ideology. When we support SAHM, it's understood as Socialism, which is a red button issue event today. No one wants to be a socialist. I mean, god forbid we should have health care, retirement benefits, childcare.
I do agree with you. It is true that we're not exactly lobbying on this ourselves.............which brings me to thinking about that that may be because some or most of us are brainwashed (on some level) to think that we really are what they say and therefore we don't want to be the ones to stand up on this issue.

As far as this being a socialist issue---well that's true, but I always wondered why we didn't get more support under conservative administration since they are all into the traditional roles. They talk about how they support all that, but I guess it becaomes a socialist issue when we start talking about supporting it with $$$

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Old 09-22-2005, 09:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude
I do agree with you. It is true that we're not exactly lobbying on this ourselves.............which brings me to thinking about that that may be because some or most of us are brainwashed (on some level) to think that we really are what they say and therefore we don't want to be the ones to stand up on this issue.

As far as this being a socialist issue---well that's true, but I always wondered why we didn't get more support under conservative administration since they are all into the traditional roles. They talk about how they support all that, but I guess it becaomes a socialist issue when we start talking about supporting it with $$$
Yeah, I think we're on the same page with this. I think one reason conservatives don't support it is because they still believe in trickle down economics, even within the family. A woman will be provided for by her husband, but then with CEO making twice what workers make, that isn't always the case.
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