SAMH article in NYT - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-21-2005, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/na...icle_popular_1

I'm curious what other SAHMs thought. I hate the perspective that we are somehow wasting our minds and our educations to be at home. But I think it is cool that more women are seeing the value of staying home.
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#2 of 15 Old 09-24-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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I was wondering if anyone here had seen it. I had a really hard time with that article. It was as if the older women who were interviewed thought that by staying home with your children (even part-time, from what I could tell), you are neglecting your duty to society. Sorry, but I think raising a child is a lot more important than a lot of jobs that are out there. How is marketing valuable to society? There are a lot of jobs for well-educated people that I think are pretty depressing. I'd rather stay home with my daughter. I was really amazed that nobody in the article mentioned the value of raising your own kid, as if SAHMing is just a selfish whim on the mother's part. One of the letters in response to the article actually used the word selfish. I was pretty taken aback. When I read the response letters, there were 11 of them, and most of them were shaming mothers for not reaping the benefits of the feminism, as if we are traitors to our sex. A few days later, there was an editorial by a man that was along the lines of "how dare you women think you aren't going to be a money-earning member of the household?" I don't think there was one ounce of support for sahms in that paper last week. I was really disappointed. It made me feel as if most of the country thinks there is no excuse for staying home with your children, and if you do, you must be a very privileged individual. Sorry to rant, I was just pretty upset about it.
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#3 of 15 Old 09-24-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katja
I was really amazed that nobody in the article mentioned the value of raising your own kid
OT, but wohm do raise their own kids . . .

re the article - it was pretty bad journalism to start with http://slate.msn.com/id/2126636/?nav=ais

And I do hate how sahm is only a sexy topic when it is about privledged sahms.
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#4 of 15 Old 09-24-2005, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mmm... Good points. I also steam that there is not more attention paid to the idea that if we had flexible work places that valued kids and families, there might be a way for more women to work (if they chose) and be with their kids.


The article bothered me on many levels though. I hate seeing being at home with kids as devalued. The sahm's I know work really hard to give their kids a great start in life. I know initially I struggled with the idea that I was "putting my life on hold" while I raised dd at home (which is the crap we get from society) but as I have gone into it I realize how enriched I am and how much more I can now offer my community.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-24-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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nak

I found it odd indeed, Basically I felt this was its message:

"Rich ivy keague girls marry rich and can afford to SAH! What a brave decision! And then they will go back to being lawyers!"

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#6 of 15 Old 09-25-2005, 05:04 PM
 
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I love how they interview many young female students who are no where near that place of sahmoming and tell what they intend to do eventually. Who cares? When I was that age- it was the furthest thing from my mind. Also the use of many is a surefire sign this auther did little or no research for this article. She also interviewed many older women from a few generations ago. There is no direct answer of anything and no resolve. Did she go to journalism school???

I think to give these young ladies some credit- I appreciate they want to put forward the best effort to raise their family no matter what decision. These are the products of the working mom majority twenty years ago and they see that they missed Mom and/or Dad at home. Granted there are women who need to go back to work for reasons other than lattes and that second suv, it does still happen.

One thing I am very grateful for is my education. No one can ever take that away from me and it has helped me move ahead. But having my mother at home (as well as dh having his there at home) was the best thing I had growing up. I do not want to miss my daughter's childhood which is moving fast and you cannot ever get that back. So this is where I am. We both felt strongly about this before getting married. Also, my dh says that both of our parents would look down on the fact if I had to be gainfully employed. I think he is right- esp my father. Both sets of parents really value family and both worked hard to have that. I used to work with a man who said his in laws frowned on the fact that his wife worked full time. But she wanted to- so to each his own. She was much happier out of the house earning. I do not judge on that- to each her own. Just like I do not like anyone judging me for my decision.

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#7 of 15 Old 09-25-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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Ok, bad journalism aside, here was makes me sad about this article. When I was a college freshmen imagining my life, I saw the career motherhood problem so many women were facing and thought "Well, in 10 years, surely we'll have different kinds of work structures, family friendly structures that allow part-time with benefits for men and women (imagine if a husband/wife team could share one tenure track professorship or one partner track law position), career paths that are open to part-time and/or years off, employers that allow kids at the workplace and the workplace in the home." I was convinced that things would change and I wouldn't be faced with the all or nothing "choice" I am faced with now.

It looks like 18 year olds women don't even imagine that there will be more options for them in the future. That is sad.
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#8 of 15 Old 09-25-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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I'll be the lone voice of dissent---I thought it was a decent article. To show staying home with children to be a reasonble choice made by educated women, can only work to improve the general public's opinion of SAHMs.

(--coming from a 23 yr old college graduate SAHM )
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#9 of 15 Old 09-25-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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I went to an "elite" east coast women's college, and I've always liked the quote from one of our presidents there that said, "the purpose of a liberal arts education is to make your head a more interesting place to live inside of for the rest of your life." I "use" my education every day.

What bothered me in this article was the idea that because I choose to be a SAHM that I apparently just accept the status quo and don't question things, that I think it's a "private issue" and don't see a bigger, feminist pciture. It certainly couldn't mean that I believe feminism is about getting to choose what is good for me and my family and support other women's choices, whether they stay at home or not.
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#10 of 15 Old 09-25-2005, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrzmeg
I'll be the lone voice of dissent---I thought it was a decent article. To show staying home with children to be a reasonble choice made by educated women, can only work to improve the general public's opinion of SAHMs.
Well, that is true. But the more I think about it, the more sad/angry I become that this "reasonable choice" means that my dh will get about 3 hours a day with his kids. How sad is that?! For him. For his kids. There is no reason why work can't be set up so that he and I could both work say 25 hours a week (and thus both spend a lot of time home with the kids).

I wonder if the only way we are going to get real changes is if we frame this as an issue about fathers. If it is just about women wanting to be great mothers AND work, then we'll get no where. But if it is about poor men not getting to be the kind of fathers they want to be, not getting to share in their kids' "firsts," and poor kids growing up without a masculine influence, then maybe we'll get family friendly work structures.
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#11 of 15 Old 09-25-2005, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Well, that is true. But the more I think about it, the more sad/angry I become that this "reasonable choice" means that my dh will get about 3 hours a day with his kids. How sad is that?! For him. For his kids. There is no reason why work can't be set up so that he and I could both work say 25 hours a week (and thus both spend a lot of time home with the kids).

I wonder if the only way we are going to get real changes is if we frame this as an issue about fathers. If it is just about women wanting to be great mothers AND work, then we'll get no where. But if it is about poor men not getting to be the kind of fathers they want to be, not getting to share in their kids' "firsts," and poor kids growing up without a masculine influence, then maybe we'll get family friendly work structures.
:
This is my thought too. You just put it far better than me. Given that, I must say my SAHM situation is dh works 4 days a week and I work one as a freelancer. 3 of my sahm friends have 1/2 time jobs as do their dh's. So we are seeing some flexible work options here - just not enough.

Either not enough people fight for them, have work places that will go for it, or have the creativity to imagine how to do it without working themselves to death.

I know when I first had my dd I worried about teaching her to be a martyr (my definition of sahm has broadened ) but I worried about the idea that to raise children the way *I* believe they should be raised it meant that she would eventually have to step away from her own dreams and devote herself to her child.

Then as I raised her I realized what a priviledge it was and was glad I had a daughter who could easily choose to be home and not a son who would more than likely miss out on all the magic of being a child's primary caregiver...
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#12 of 15 Old 09-27-2005, 11:54 AM
 
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I just herad an interview on the radio with Martha Berg (sp?) who was hugely critical of this article because it was unfeminist (she didn't use that word but that's what she was saying). She also pointed out that the poll given to these young women was not scientific.

Then at the end of the program a very annoyed sounding listener said she "resented the over educated stroller pusher" in the article who said she wanted to stay home "to raise her child the right way--" suggesting of course that women who have their children in daycare or nanny/ babysitter care are raising their children the wrong way.

Why is it not ok for a SAHM to say she feels she is raising her child the right way? Can't we all make our own choices? I mean, I can imagine if I were a different person in a different life, not SAH might feel like the right choice. But who I am, today, for my family, SAH is the "right" way to raise my kids. Why do women want other women to all think the same way, like some kind of hive mind?
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#13 of 15 Old 09-27-2005, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee

Why is it not ok for a SAHM to say she feels she is raising her child the right way? Can't we all make our own choices? I mean, I can imagine if I were a different person in a different life, not SAH might feel like the right choice. But who I am, today, for my family, SAH is the "right" way to raise my kids. Why do women want other women to all think the same way, like some kind of hive mind?
The woman who called in didn't think the yuppie stroller woman was saying sahm is the right way to raise her kids, she thought teh yuppie stroller mom was saying that the sahm is the right way to raise kids.

Who know if yuppie stroller mom meant her kids or kids in general. But why is the caller so defensive, why would she assume yuppie stroller mom meant kids in general? Probably because our culture gives a lot of crap to wohms. They are defensive because they are attacked constantly (just like sahm can be defensive about their choice because they too get a lot of crap).
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#14 of 15 Old 09-27-2005, 12:21 PM
 
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Its funny- but true meowee. why can't we all be friends and let other live but as long as the media is there to feed the mommy wars which they created it will go on. I could care less what decision anyone made about whether to be employed out side of their home or be their child's primary caregiver.

I just wish everyone would give me the same respect. Besides, I am not an "over educated stroller pusher" but an "educated baby carrier" since I prefered wearing my baby :LOL If anything my education made me a better person and I use it everyday in the decisions I make.

What is the big deal that these women have the notion to look ahead and plan that yes- since I am going to have this child, I would like to be there for this child. I think anyone who turns their nose up to that or anything a sahp does has not done it kwim??

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#15 of 15 Old 10-05-2005, 12:59 AM
 
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Before I read the original NYT article, I read this article, written in response.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/features...1152396.column

I posted a thread about it but wanted to post it here too, since they are related, and this one is just too ridiculous to let go...
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