Who's responsible for the stereotypes against SAHM's? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-25-2005, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Bleu
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Judejude, since you say you identify as a feminst, may I ask what kind of feminist? What major authors/schools of thought most influence your particular brand of feminism? What feminist issues are most core to your practice of feminism? I ask because I'm so happy to see another feminist here at MDC, and because, as I'm sure you know, the label "feminist" covers a wide range of beliefs, many of which are conflicting.
I hope you sincerely want to know 'cause it sounds a little bit sarcastic (granted it is hard to tell in typed conversations as opposed to IRL)

I did begin to read The Price of Motherhood, but never got past the first chapter due to deciding to homeschool and diving head first into homeschool books. By the the link that you posted it seems like I should still read it 'cause it sounds so awesome. Also, I had read a couple other books with similar topics right before that and I think I was getting burned out on the topic.

Thanks for the links for NOW and what they've done on the breastfeeding issue. That was good to know.

I guess I do know that things like that are being done, but it just doesn't seem to be even half of what they do...........and maybe it shouldn't be---there are a lot of issues concerning women after all.

The biggest thing is that all the feminist mags and papers I used to read just never seemed to talk about mothers. I do, on occasion, still flip through a mag., here and there, but since I started feeling like I wasn't really represented in the pages I haven't read them regularly.

I am a feminist because: (and I got this from Amanda Stevens on the web)

I am a feminist because rape victims shouldn't be put on trial, made to defend themselves, or be blamed because of what they wore, what they drank, or where they were.

I am a feminist because I want control over my life to decide what is best for me and my family, not what someone tells me my role as a mother should be.

I am a feminist because I want access to birth control.

I am a feminist because women come in all shapes and sizes and are beautiful even if they do not meet the criteria that society has bestowed upon them.

I am a feminist because I want equal representation in institutions that make decisions that affect my life.

I am a feminist because I want to be paid equally for the hard work I do whether it be in the home or in the workplace.

I am a feminist because I want welfare programs to give recipients resources for the future, not just transfer dependence on the state to dependence on a man.

I am a feminist because I want children to have access to health care and adequate child care and parents to have work schedules that allow families to spend time with one another.

I am a feminist because I want family-friendly corporations instead of ones that label themselves as such, but do not offer decent health insurance, family-orientated schedules, and pay where individuals can be with their families.

I am a feminist because without equal opportunity legislation and affirmative action, I would not be protected from losing my job because I am pregnant, have as many opportunities for education, and legally be protected from being discriminated against by a company because of my sex.

I am a feminist because I have a special needs child, a daughter, who deserves to be treated equally despite her disability.

*I would add that I am a feminist because I believe in equal rights for mothers like myself --- BF'ing, homebirthing,AP'ing, homeschooling, marrying young, getting pregnant young, being fat :LOL , tattoo'd and non-mainstream in a whole bunch of other ways-kind-of-mom.

I'm not sure if I've finished my train of thought, but this post is long enough and the kid has sat next to me and talked to me non-stop through this whole post
I don't think I really answered the "what kind of feminist are you" in full, but gotta go for now before my brain splits in half

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Old 09-25-2005, 09:05 PM
 
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I really never feel "looked down upon" for being a sahm to my ds. He's not in school. There are hours of the day that he needs to be raised and that's my job, as I see it. When he goes to school those hours will be mine to go back to work and prosper. Not tos ay that he doesn't "need to be raised" anymore after school happens--- but he moves on to another phase in his life and I will with mine. I think a lot of women who choose to be sahm's to kids who aren't there (in school) may feel "looked down upon" because it's so confusing... not working... not taking care of a child... ?? not in school?? what then?
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Old 09-25-2005, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not tos ay that he doesn't "need to be raised" anymore after school happens--- but he moves on to another phase in his life and I will with mine. I think a lot of women who choose to be sahm's to kids who aren't there (in school) may feel "looked down upon" because it's so confusing... not working... not taking care of a child... ?? not in school?? what then?
Well, WOW! This gets very close to the start of debating whether women should be SAHM;s or not and that is not the point of this thread. Since this thread is posted in the SAHM section it is assumed that people here are already respctful of SAHM's and what they do. Also, the question is "Who is responsible for the stereotypes against SAHM's"? The question isn't why the hell would a mom SAH after their kid goes to school.

I can think of a lot of answers to that actually, since I've done it.

When you say "because it's so confusing", do you mean it's confusing to the SAHM herself because she doesn't know what she's supposed to do or it is confusing to the general public who are wondering what the hell she does all day?

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Old 09-25-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude
I hope you sincerely want to know 'cause it sounds a little bit sarcastic (granted it is hard to tell in typed conversations as opposed to IRL)

[edit] I guess I do know that things like that are being done, but it just doesn't seem to be even half of what they do...........and maybe it shouldn't be---there are a lot of issues concerning women after all.

The biggest thing is that all the feminist mags and papers I used to read just never seemed to talk about mothers. I do, on occasion, still flip through a mag., here and there, but since I started feeling like I wasn't really represented in the pages I haven't read them regularly.
TO be perfectly honest, I wasn't being sarcastic so much as disbelieving. Now that I read your very real-feminist list of things your believe in, I'm on board! Judejude = big bad feminist mama. Before, since you kept offering up these terrible, inaccurate images of feminists and feminism, I thought you were one of those trolls that claims to be oh-so feminist, yet coincidentally believes in roughly the same social agenda as Phyllis Schlafly. I appreciate you conceding that feminists are actively engaged in improving conditions for mothers. 'Cause I'm here to tell you -- no one else is!

I know what you mean about the invisibility of mothers in the feminist movement. It waxes and wanes. Remember, though, not to accept the notion that feminism is only found between the pages of Ms. magzine, or only uttered by Kim Gandy . Feminist work can be raising consciousness right here at MDC (please god) or at the playground. Recently I've been reading a lot of articles on mothering and feminism in Bitch magazine. As always, there's plenty of feminist analysis at Hipmama.

other resources:

Feminist Mothers at Home
The Mothers Movement Online

Fwiw, despite the sterotypes, I notice a far greater proportion of feminists staying at home with our children when they are small than women who do not identify as feminist. Unfortunately, that probably speaks to privilege and anti-woman, anti-parent workforce politicies as much as anything else.
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK well, I like what you pointed out because I do identify with Hipmama, Bitch and Bust (especially when they have a whole issue about mamas) and some others. It wasn't long after I had dd that I quit subscribing to Ms. I just couldn't relate anymore and when someone wrote in to the editor about it and their answer was that they planned on STARTING to have a quarterly article about mothering---well, that seemed rediculous to me. I don't know what the percentage of women are mothers but it is kind of big deal to a lot of women---this thing called having babies.

I'm glad we've gotten around to that I'm not a big feminist hater. I've been trying to do the feminist- being- critical- from- the- inside thing, but it's hard when someone doesn't know you so they all get defensive and think you're women bashing. To me that goes along with people who can't handle people bashing our government because it's not patriotic. I don't think you'd give a crap enough to be pissed or critical if you didn't love our country. I feel the same way about feminism. I hate the dang stereotypes and I'm not super keen on the women who fit those stereotypes either (which I used to be one of). The rigid thinking is just as anti-feminism if you ask me. That whole "you must fit in a box" thing pisses me off.

I totally have a life that is somewhere between ultra-liberal, non-conformist chick to traditional housewife role. It's weird, but I feel like the only people who are really down with what I do are right wing anti-feminists who support what I do for all the wrong reasons. Not to mention they would hate everything else that I'm about besides my SAHM & wife thing.

It is cool to see moms staying home with their kids more, but I'm not so sure that they are so confident in their decisions and they are still made to feel (by a lot of people) that they are betraying the movement...not to mention their families if they can't "afford" it.

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Old 09-26-2005, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by beansavi
When money gets tight, my dh thinks it is acceptable to literally scream at me and apologize for it later. I am supposed to go to football games for my son and listen to my father in law (who has devoted his life to being the v.p. of an investment corp.) hint around that I could work here or there, and ask me personal questions about our finances-like I am a child.
Just because these men have no respect for what I do will not change what I know is right, and what I feel called on a spiritual level to do for the future of humanity.
But damn, it sure gets hard on occassion...
Well, I'm sorry you have to deal with that all the time. I'm sure you know you are not alone.
Just know that you are doing what you know is the best thing for your kids. That is really what matters in the long run.
I hope you have some good support and/or other moms that you can hang out with.

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Old 09-26-2005, 02:14 AM
 
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But of course, as others have mentioned, it is much more convenient for the powers that be to characterize this whole issue as a "mommy war" and about "choices" that people make than to focus on practical solutions that would give women real choices.
I just want to clarify what I wrote here. Yes, it's the "powers that be" that would rather frame issues that involve mothers as mommy wars and individual choices that are responsible for the bind we're in. BUT, I think it is also the responsibility of every single one of us as mothers not to accept the status quo, not to say, "Yep, that's just the way it is," but to actively work for change: writing our representatives, getting involved politically, talking about this among ourselves, so that one day our children will live in a better system.
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Old 09-26-2005, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by edamommy
I think a lot of women who choose to be sahm's to kids who aren't there (in school) may feel "looked down upon" because it's so confusing... not working... not taking care of a child... ?? not in school?? what then?
I totally totally totally disagree. I took more crap from more people for staying home in the first year of my first DDs life than I have in all the years since. Everyone who knew me knew me in my career -- knew how successful I was, what sort of money I made, etc. and felt that I was throwing it all away. Now that I've been home for 9 years, my circle of friends have changed so much that most people I know have no idea what I even did before I had kids. People see me as a mom -- nothing more. They therefore don't question that I am a stay at home mom. My DH makes a nice living, I have lovely well bahaved kids, and I'm involved with the community so what I do is OK with our society (I believe it wouldn't be OK with other people if my DH made less money, my kids were brats, or I didn't do unpaid work for people outside my family -- all of this bugs me).

Stay at home moms whose kids attend school log many volunteer hours. They are in the classrooms, running the scout troops, keeping on eye on the latch key kids, ect. All on top of running their own homes, caring for their extended family (SAHMs take more of the burden for aging relatives, making meals for sick neighbors, etc.

This is all unpaid women's work that there is a smaller and smaller pool of people to do each year. Many people don't see that this work exists or value that it gets done.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-26-2005, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move
Stay at home moms whose kids attend school log many volunteer hours. They are in the classrooms, running the scout troops, keeping on eye on the latch key kids, ect. All on top of running their own homes, caring for their extended family (SAHMs take more of the burden for aging relatives, making meals for sick neighbors, etc.

This is all unpaid women's work that there is a smaller and smaller pool of people to do each year. Many people don't see that this work exists or value that it gets done.
Wow! You said it better than I could have, so I'm glad I didn't before. I was trying to avoid the old defending SAHM's or at least teh debate of SAHM's vs. WOHM's since that's not what this thread is all about, but you were very eloquent.

I do log a lot of hours volunteering (last year I volunteered at an adult ESL(english as a second language)class once a week, volunteered twice a week at my daughter's school, and volunteered twice a month at the women's prison). I also take care of our household, which is a lot more than just doing dishes and laundry. Not only that I spent many hours in the car driving the kid back and forth between school. I counted how many hours a day I spent in the car and it added up to be 4 to 5 hours a day...and she doesn't have really any extra activities---maybe one a week. That's only some of what I did last year. This year I will be homeschooling for the first time so I will only be keeping up with the volunteering at the prison (although I'll be putting in more time this coming year since the person I visit will be getting out so my role will change and I will be helping to transition her out into the real world)
Out of us 5 kids I am the one who is responsible for my mom who will be 70 this coming year and thank goodness she's very healthy, but I will be the one to be taking care of her when the time comes.

My sister, for the first time in her life has only (or mostly) her job and home to think about. She homeschooled her girls until high school (they both are newly married now) and had my dad living with her the last few years until he died this year. She also is involved in church groups and volunteering. She also is a soloist who gets hired to sing here and there for different occasions.

Yes, the pool of women who do this work gets smaller all the time and most people don't even think about all of the stuff we do. Who takes care of our aging parents, and who does all those little things that people take for granted? My daughter has a disability and I am quite sure that I will have little to no break between caring for her and caring for my mother. By the time my daughter is a young adult and maybe moving out on her own, by then my mother will be at least 80 years old. Some people don't have this responsibility, 'tis true, but even still this is a perfect example of what SAHM's do and what they do besides take care of the babies until they go off to school.

This is classic SAHM's work. I (and SAHM's in general) are just as busy as any working mom, so if you're wondering what we all do once the kids go off to school---well now you know.

I told my husband that maybe when the kids go to school is where the stereotype of eating bon bons and watching soaps comes in )
Some days I really wish that were true.

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Old 09-26-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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judejude, I also prefer houswife to SAHM. I'd rather be called housewife.
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Old 09-26-2005, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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judejude, I also prefer houswife to SAHM. I'd rather be called housewife.
I have never heard anyone say that before, besides me. Cool!

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Old 09-26-2005, 05:33 PM
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Stay at home moms whose kids attend school log many volunteer hours. They are in the classrooms, running the scout troops, keeping on eye on the latch key kids, ect. All on top of running their own homes, caring for their extended family (SAHMs take more of the burden for aging relatives, making meals for sick neighbors, etc.

This is all unpaid women's work that there is a smaller and smaller pool of people to do each year. Many people don't see that this work exists or value that it gets done.
Thank you for the wonderful post. Last year I also volunteered every day at the Anishinabe Academy(public school for the Native Children in the city). Also, cooking, cleaning, laundering clothes, you know-all that housework stuff that somebody has to do when you can't afford a maid, butler, cook, chauffer(sp?), etc. :LOL
The last part is very important to me, I so feel like that is the awful truth.

As for the SAHM stereotypes, I do think some blame falls on the SAHM's themselves for not actually talking about everything they do, kwim? I know it gets pretty tiresome and boring, but it is important work, even down to the scrubbing the gum off the linoleum floor on hands and knees parts. (I learned to use a butter knife for that ).

I had this conversation with my DH the other day. He spills coffee on the floor EVERY morning! I asked and asked him to please clean it up before it stains the floor. He didn't, so I did. He came back from work and said, "Wow, the coffee spill is magically gone!"

No, donkey hole, it did not magically disappeared. Your loving wife and mother of our children got down on her knees and f#*@in' cleaned it up herself.

Why does it take until we are pissed off before something will change? Do we need to get pissed off at our legislators?
I have met our mayors and governors, and tried. OMG, some of them are so slimy!!! Yucky, yucky, yucky. If you are even remotely pretty to one, yes, they will say yes to meeting you, but it is not what you had in mind at all.
So, I will just keep writing my letters and visiting with other mothers and sharing knowledge and learning.
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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Good thread.

I am sensitive to both camps, moms at home and moms that work outside of it, mostly because i don't fit in with either. Yup, I work two days a week, but I am not in a "career"...meaning I don't go to meetings and have projects hanging over my head (I work 2- 12's in a busy emergency department). I don't fit in with the sahms, because I haven't taken a significant chunk of time off. And I get crap at work: "Lisa, I haven't seen you in a while" Me: yeah, I'm here, Thurs & Fri's" Then: "ahhhh, must be nice" Me: Yeah, it is : . I work mostly for the benefits, and the security I feel having this job.

Women are so hard on each other. I am 39, and I'll be honest, I am not well read on feminist studies. I always thought that feminism was about making sure women have options...no glass ceiling, that sort of thing. Simple thinking , yes. And of course, womens right to choose and equal rights. I don't think its fair that moms at home do not get social security, but I am a bit ashamed to think that you get what you put into the pot. So if you choose not to work, then make sure you make arrangements for retirement in another way (this is me pretending we will have social security when we retire). I mean, If i was at home all the time, i would make other investment arrangements, because I was not going to receive social security. Then again, am i thinking this way because i can actually have a retirement account/portfolio? Then we get into economic privilege and or status, with me understanding that there are women choosing to stay at home with little income left over to contribute to anything, much less their retirement!

And because I am in this gray area, i see it from both perspectives, and really believe that women continue to get the short end of the stick and that you simply cannot win no matter what you do.

I log alot of volunteer hours at my sons school, about 15 hours a week, not bad considering I work for 2 of the 5 days. I do field trips, fund raisers, crossing guard, lunchroom, playground, you name it. I have a stack of administrative stuff I need to tackle, and I work outside the home. I don't see an influx of volunteerism at the elementary level once the kids are in school. When I approach moms, they tell me they have earned the right to be at home alone for the 5 hours the kids are in school. Who am I to argue. But it gets old, very old, being in my 18th year of parenting to fond so little involvement in school (then hearing about how the working mos dump on the sahm's, which in my 18 years, has simply not been the case).

I just think we need to remember we are on the same team, with a common goal, our kids!
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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I don't see an influx of volunteerism at the elementary level once the kids are in school. When I approach moms, they tell me they have earned the right to be at home alone for the 5 hours the kids are in school.
I only know a handful of moms whose children are all in school full time who do not either work or go to school -- all of moms I know in that situation do extensive volunteer work. What you are saying doesn't jive with the very mainstream moms I meet because our DH's work together or the counter culture moms I meet through my own interests.

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Originally Posted by Judejude
I was trying to avoid the old defending SAHM's or at least teh debate of SAHM's vs. WOHM's
I don't think there should be a debate between SAHMs and WOHMs. Different things work for different families and for different women. Feminism should be about respecting each others right to decide what works best for ourselves. I wouldn't feel the same way about the work that I do as a SAHM if I had no choice. This is my choice and I get to make my own job description If me having a career weren't an equally valid choice for my life, I would be little more than a serf.

I'm having trouble putting this into words -- but I feel like when we fall into debate mode we are just buying to the patriarchy. The debate itself assumes that there is one choice that women should make -- the only question is what it should be. I reject that. I don't think that their is one right answer that has to work for every woman and I think arguing about what the choice "should" be just detracts from the real issue which is a lack of power.

I think that women really having power needs to be not only about getting rids of glass ceilings, , but also about respect for the real work that women do in our homes and our communities.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-26-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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What you are saying doesn't jive with the very mainstream moms I meet because our DH's work together or the counter culture moms I meet through my own interests.
I cannot help that what I say doesn't "jive" with the moms you meet, because in the three different elementary schools my kids have been in, this has been the case. I can tell you from my own personal, extensive experience, that this is what I have found. Please understand that I am in the school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays, and this is the second time I have been the volunteer coordinator of the entire school, which means any volunteer, even if its a mom who can only fill Friday Folders on Fridays for an hour, goes through me, to get to that point. So what you say doesn't "jive" with me either.

I have lived in two different counties in South Florida, and now live in a suburb of Colorado Springs.

I can send you a figure representing the active volunteers at my school now if you'd like. And whats so interesting is that my assistant is also a working mom!

My point being, things aren't always what they seem.

Working moms aren't evil selfish women raising serial killers, and moms that are at home aren't the lazy, bon bon eating slugs portrayed in the media. Women have to do whats best for them and their families. Oftentimes, it changes many times over the years.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
I cannot help that what I say doesn't "jive" with the moms you meet, because in the three different elementary schools my kids have been in, this has been the case... And whats so interesting is that my assistant is also a working mom!
It wouldn't suprise me to find that most moms who volunteer at their kids' schools work part time. In my experience, most moms with kids this age work at least part time. If the moms who work part time didn't volunteer, then there would be no one left to volunteer.

I'm not sure what we are aguing about. What I said was that I only know a few women who are SAHMs whose children are all in school full time and they all do extensive volunteer work. You seem to be saying that there are lots and lots of SAHMs whose children are all school aged who sit on their butts and do nothing while the working moms do all the volunteer work.

If that really is what you are saying (and I hope I've misunderstood you):

1. Are you sure these moms have all their kids in school? If a mom is home with a baby and a toddler, her ability to volunteer is limited.

2. Are you sure these moms aren't working or going to school themselves?

3. Do you know what their extended family situation is? If they are caring for a sick relative, their ability to volunteer is limited.

4. How do you know if they are volunteering some place else? May be, for whatever reason, they prefer spending their time at the animal shelter/church/food bank/homeless shelter/scouts/AYSO/etc/ rather than at school. (my kids don't attend school and I don't volunteer at school).

5. Do you believe that moms who don't work for pay have more of an obligation to volunteer than moms who work? You seem to be saying that because some women don't work for pay, then they *should* work for free. I disagree. I am a SAHM because I believe it is what is best for my kids, not so I can work for free. I do volunteer work because I enjoy it and I can, not because I *should.* This is really the only point that is on topic. Women's work is traditionally unpaid (and therefore undervalued). You seem to be saying that SAHMs don't do enough unpaid work. I really hope that I've misunderstood you.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-27-2005, 12:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move

5. Do you believe that moms who don't work for pay have more of an obligation to volunteer than moms who work? You seem to be saying that because some women don't work for pay, then they *should* work for free. I disagree. I am a SAHM because I believe it is what is best for my kids, not so I can work for free. I do volunteer work because I enjoy it and I can, not because I *should.* This is really the only point that is on topic. Women's work is traditionally unpaid (and therefore undervalued). You seem to be saying that SAHMs don't do enough unpaid work. I really hope that I've misunderstood you.
I don't want to interrupt your little sidetrack here, but I did want to say that this part really resonated with me. There does seem to be the attitude that if you are at home, when your kids hit school you will naturally and unquestioningly devote your free time to volunteering in the school. Where I live anyway. And while I certainly don't mind doing things on an occasional basis, I have NO interest in being one of those mothers. More power to them, and yes, the school depends on them, but it's not for me.

When my oldest is in school full-time next year and my youngest is spending three mornings in preschool, I intend to use that 9 hours of free time per week for myself. I DO deserve a break after this long slog. I want to devote more time to my writing, research starting a business, and just enjoy the solitude for a bit.

I'm not aiming this at anyone on this thread; it just raised some things I'd been thinking about as I've encountered the other kindergarten mothers these past two weeks - many of whom seem to want to throw all their energies into their child's school. Which, again, is great for them. Just not for me.
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Old 09-27-2005, 12:56 AM
 
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It wouldn't surprise me to find that most moms who volunteer at their kids' schools work part time. In my experience, most moms with kids this age work at least part time. If the moms who work part time didn't volunteer, then there would be no one left to volunteer.

5. Do you believe that moms who don't work for pay have more of an obligation to volunteer than moms who work?
I think we misunderstood each other. I was just responding to your post, which to me, sounded like sahm's do all the volunteer work and the selfish working moms dumped all the volunteer work on them, which in my experience, is simply not true. I hope I misunderstood you.
And, *NO*. moms who do not work for pay are no more obligated than anyone to volunteer just because of their employment status. I think anyone who gives their time at their child's school should do it because their hearts lead them to.
Quote:
I intend to use that 9 hours of free time per week for myself. I DO deserve a break after this long slog.
I agree. In fact, I wish it were me, who for the first time in a long time, have time alone. 18 yrs is a long time, and like you, it has been a slog at times. I deserve a break as well. I only hope that more parents step up to the plate, because i feel a tremendous obligation to the school. And I hear you, its not always my thing either, but i kinda got sucked into it (and for the most part enjoy it).

But your point raises a good question, if its not your thing, and I am tired of it being my thing, and that sentiment is felt by the other parents, then who does it? Ahhhhhh....thats for another thread :LOL

But, many people put pressure on moms....both sahm's and wohm's. Mom's at home because well....they have all the time in the world, and they lay guilt trips on the working moms who cannot always make the time, and when they do "its never enough". It simply isn't fair. And society does put alot of this on mothers, both at private and public schools (I have a friend whose child goes to Catholic school and the time required by parents is staggering, so its not just public schools that are doing the asking).
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:37 AM
 
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[QUOTE=zinemama]

When my oldest is in school full-time next year and my youngest is spending three mornings in preschool, I intend to use that 9 hours of free time per week for myself. I DO deserve a break after this long slog. I want to devote more time to my writing, research starting a business, and just enjoy the solitude for a bit.

QUOTE]

Well, that doesn't sound like "free time" for yourself or "a break." Writing is work, researching starting a business is work. If a guy spend nine hours a week alone writing, he'd certainly call it work. Why do we call it "me time" or "free time?"
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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That NOW press release was from the Summer of '98, 7 years ago. Have they done anything for mothers more recently?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Well, that doesn't sound like "free time" for yourself or "a break." Writing is work, researching starting a business is work. If a guy spend nine hours a week alone writing, he'd certainly call it work. Why do we call it "me time" or "free time?"
:

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Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
I was just responding to your post, which to me, sounded like sahm's do all the volunteer work and the selfish working moms dumped all the volunteer work on them, which in my experience, is simply not true.
I hadn't said anything about working moms, who I really don't see as selfish.

The women I know who do the most volunteer work don't seem to feel dumped on -- they do it because they like it. I think we all have to figure out how much is the right amount for us and then draw a boundary (there is more unpaid work in the world than there are people willling to do it). I was responding to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
I think a lot of women who choose to be sahm's to kids who aren't there (in school) may feel "looked down upon" because it's so confusing... not working... not taking care of a child... ?? not in school?? what then?
which I really found annoying.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-27-2005, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can someone tell me how you can quote more than one person inside one post?
thanks

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Old 09-27-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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JJ, I start by hitting the quote button of one post that I like, say from yours or Linda's, then i scroll down and hightlight with my mouse other parts of others threads, one at a time. I know there is an easier way, but I haven't figured it out yet. So if anyone knows how, please do tell!
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good thread.
I am sensitive to both camps, moms at home and moms that work outside of it, mostly because i don't fit in with either.
Women are so hard on each other. I am 39, and I'll be honest, I am not well read on feminist studies. I always thought that feminism was about making sure women have options...no glass ceiling, that sort of thing. Simple thinking , yes. And of course, womens right to choose and equal rights. I don't think its fair that moms at home do not get social security, but I am a bit ashamed to think that you get what you put into the pot. So if you choose not to work, then make sure you make arrangements for retirement in another way (this is me pretending we will have social security when we retire). I mean, If i was at home all the time, i would make other investment arrangements, because I was not going to receive social security. Then again, am i thinking this way because i can actually have a retirement account/portfolio? Then we get into economic privilege and or status, with me understanding that there are women choosing to stay at home with little income left over to contribute to anything, much less their retirement!

And because I am in this gray area, i see it from both perspectives, and really believe that women continue to get the short end of the stick and that you simply cannot win no matter what you do.

I just think we need to remember we are on the same team, with a common goal, our kids!
: I don't even know where to begin on this one

OK, first of all, I know you are not well versed on feminist studies and I don't really believe that you can see it from both perspectives.
And if you really believe we are (or should be) on the same team then it would benefit you to educate yourself on the subject of SAHM's.

Yes, it's me, one of the moms who "cannot afford" to stay home and is making a career out of it. A mom with no savings and whos family lives pay check to pay check...........and as a matter of fact has an unemployed dh right now.

It would take me way too long to give a full out speech on economics and why people without INVESTMENTS and no retirement funds and no social security coming (if there is any and I do think I will be getting about $200 something) would ever decide to be home with their kids and why I don't think it's irresponsible. And you are right. It is an issue having to do with privilege, status, etc.

And when you say that you are ashamed to say that you get what you put into the pot? Well, you should be!
I'm not sure if you know this but us SAHM's do actually contribute to the economy. Must I list all the ways? We are putting IN a lot!!! in a lot of different ways.
That would be a big point we've been talking about. We do put in a lot but we get back a whole lot of nothing. That's the whole discussion of "women's work" being undervalued in our society.

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Old 09-27-2005, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to interrupt your little sidetrack here, but I did want to say that this part really resonated with me. There does seem to be the attitude that if you are at home, when your kids hit school you will naturally and unquestioningly devote your free time to volunteering in the school. Where I live anyway. And while I certainly don't mind doing things on an occasional basis, I have NO interest in being one of those mothers. More power to them, and yes, the school depends on them, but it's not for me.

When my oldest is in school full-time next year and my youngest is spending three mornings in preschool, I intend to use that 9 hours of free time per week for myself. I DO deserve a break after this long slog. I want to devote more time to my writing, research starting a business, and just enjoy the solitude for a bit.

I'm not aiming this at anyone on this thread; it just raised some things I'd been thinking about as I've encountered the other kindergarten mothers these past two weeks - many of whom seem to want to throw all their energies into their child's school. Which, again, is great for them. Just not for me.
The biggest question to me is---why do we feel like we have to list all the things we do if we don't earn an income? As if we have to prove that we aren't lazy shits?
It is sad that everything in our life is about money.......not work, but money. If you got it without workin' that good for you but if not you better be workin' those 50 hour weeks. When people talk about work-a-holics there is a bit of respect (for lack of a better word) that we give them even while we're saying it's not good. It's completely nuts.

If a mom sits at home doing just a little of this or that while the kids are in school, well, who the hell cares? We have this idea that at every moment in our short lives we have to be doing something worth while which only falls into a couple categories and they're usually all about money.

I don't know if any of you watch Going Tribal or any of those other shows that are about indigenous societies, but dang you can learn a lot from them.
Here are people who we consider to be poor. There are a lof of them who literally sit around all day. They sleep, they talk, they tell stories, fix each others hair, etc. Some of the journalists who go there have said they get bored and can't figure out what to do with themselves all day.
A lot of these people hunt or "work" a couple hours a day or maybe only 1 or 2 days a week and then the rest of the time they hang out.
By our standards they should be "working" everyday to stock pile their food supply, build better shelter or houses, hunt more often, etc. Why would they "settle" for so little?

But still we are always giving lip service to needing to slow down our lives and how we are all too busy, etc. It's all craziness.

I say so damn what if a woman gets free time during the day that doesn't include what someone else finds valuable. If she takes 2 naps during the day before the kids get home, well, who the hell cares?

I agree with a poster from a ways back on the thread who stated that she thinks that the sterotypes about women has more to do with how we view money in this society (not that it's not about mysogeny too).
If you read books and nap all day, you damn better have an explanation about why the hell you are such a lazy slob. and that goes for women, men, with kids or without.

We just value money and it all comes down to that if you're not making it or figuring out how you can then you are worthless.

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Old 09-27-2005, 05:59 PM
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judejude-your pp reminds me of a seminar I attended. The man held up a $20 bill and asked ppl to raise their hand if they wanted it. Almost everyone did. Then he crumpled it up and asked again. Same ppl raised their hand. Then he ripped it in half and asked who still wanted it. Again, almost everyone raised their hand.
He then asked why is a crumpled and ripped piece of paper more important than the person sitting next to you.

I don't know the rest, because I got up and went to the daycare and got my children and spent the rest of the day playing with them.

It is so true that in this society money is more important than our children.

Just take a look at the legal system. Anything to do with the loss of money is highly punishable, but the loss of your child...nothing can replace that.
And I am not just talking physical death. What about the son who grows up to be the BTK killer? What about the daughter that grows up to be the hooker in Las Vegas.
Does anyone believe that was the dreams or goals of their parents?

I was fortunate to have grown up with my tribal community. I was surrounded by aunts and mothers who breastfed, cd'd, co-slept, etc. Uncles and fathers who actively supported the women to be the best they could. The men did not just stop at supporting the women, but also were an integral part of all the children's lives, not just their own.
Everyone hunted and gathered and farmed and cooked and cleaned. There were no people big or small that were not 'putting into the pot'.

Okay, off topic-the one thing that has always confused me about this society is potty-training. In every tribal system where people eat together, all the babies were EC'd or potty-trained. No one wants urine or excrement near where they eat, kwim? Almost every child was potty trained by the time they could crawl away from the place of food preparation.
Most parents and older children 'knew' when a baby had to 'go' and would carry them away and lift their bottoms in the air, then clean them up. It was very rare for a baby to urinate or poop near where people ate or slept. I only remember one time, it was a child of 5 yo holding a newborn and the newborn exploded all over him. :LOL Everyone helped clean up and no one shamed the child, but there were a few laughs later.
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5
That NOW press release was from the Summer of '98, 7 years ago. Have they done anything for mothers more recently?
Good question. I wondered that myself.

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Old 09-27-2005, 09:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
judejude-your pp reminds me of a seminar I attended. The man held up a $20 bill and asked ppl to raise their hand if they wanted it. Almost everyone did. Then he crumpled it up and asked again. Same ppl raised their hand. Then he ripped it in half and asked who still wanted it. Again, almost everyone raised their hand.
He then asked why is a crumpled and ripped piece of paper more important than the person sitting next to you.
I don't get it. He didn't ask people to raise their hand if the $20 was more important than the person next to them; he just asked who wanted it. How does the judgement follow?


Quote from judejude:
The biggest question to me is---why do we feel like we have to list all the things we do if we don't earn an income? As if we have to prove that we aren't lazy shits?


I listed the things I will be doing with my time when my kids are in school because I believe it's important to do something productive/creative/helpful/whatever with the time I am given. When my kids are in school and I have that free time, I won't be doing anything more around the house than I already do: meal preparation and a fairly sketchy approach to housecleaning, plus laundry. Personally, I couldn't justify having that time for loafing around. NOT that this is what other sahms do, just that it's what I'd find myself doing if I didn't have a specific plan in mind.

You're right that what many of us do with our "free time" does not seem valuable to the world. I guess what I'm getting at is that for me, spending time on writing is a valuable use of time. For others, "a little of this, a little of that" is valuable. For some it's volunteering. For some it's nothing really that quantifiable, but it makes the home what it is. These are hard things to explain to a system that wants to quantify and place a monetary value on almost everything.
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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I don't get it. He didn't ask people to raise their hand if the $20 was more important than the person next to them; he just asked who wanted it. How does the judgement follow?

I didn't get the next two parts either. So what does the money lesson have anything to do with daycare? And how does either the money lesson or daycare have anything to do with the BTK killer?
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