Biggest Misconceptions - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-26-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe View Post
My biggest fear regarding a misconception is that working mothers will think I am judging them for not doing what I am doing.
yes! i'm not really afraid of it, but i am sad to think there might be wohms who think i'm here, silently judging them. :/
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:06 PM
 
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yes! i'm not really afraid of it, but i am sad to think there might be wohms who think i'm here, silently judging them. :/
I think this happens with other parents I know who aren't homeschooling, and it keeps them at arm's length :-(
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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That it's easy. Most people I know have no idea how trying it can be to parent 24/7 while keeping up with most household chores.

That it's a privilege. Well, it is. I can do it without going hungry and homeless. But people throw out the word privilege a little loosely. We make major sacrifices and are not saving money. It's a difficult decision with pros and cons and with a unique solution for everybody.

That if we're struggling financially and I'm not working, I must be a nut who thinks all women belong at home. No- just don't wanna put my 1yo in daycare 40+ hours a week for a not-very-lucrative salary.

That it's antifeminist. I'm sick of this. People are just entrenched in the idea that childcare is worthless. It's sexist that you can't get a part-time job with benefits more easily and then get back into the workforce, and that you can't care for young children without being independently wealthy or financially dependent on a spouse.

That you're some sort of patriarchal soldier and martha stewart simpleton wannabe if you *shudder* kind of enjoy aspects of it.

That you're going to be home for the rest of your life and never work outside of the home ever again.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
That you're going to be home for the rest of your life and never work outside of the home ever again.
Honestly, I can totally see how this would be annoying as well, but I havn't had anyone assume this yet. In fact, about 100% of the time I get the opposite which is "Oh, so you're going to go back to work when __________". Fill in the blank with whatever random "milestone" the commentor feels should be the cut off for being a SAHM. When your kids reach X age or when they go to school are the two biggies we hear a lot.

There are so many reasons I think that statement (well all these statements!) are just wrong. First, like there is something wrong with you if you do in fact feel it's best for your family for you to be a life long SAH wife and mother? I was a SAHW before I was a SAHM and, man oh man, if you think the comments you get about being a SAHM are bad just try being a SAHW on for size.

Second, to me the above statement seems to imply that there is some random cut off date for when your kids need you. Ummm....no! Just because my kids are 5 or 8 or 12 or 17 doesn't mean they need me less. Need me in different ways definitly, but not necessarily less you know?

Usually I just tell people that no, I don't have some set time I'm planning on going back to work. Obviously if it was an issue of putting a roof over our heads or food on the table I would go back to work. Barring that, I will go back when DH & I both feel it's time. If that happens to be when they're still at home great. If it happens to be after they've moved out on their own great. If it happens to be never, well, that's great too!

Also, I tell people who say "When you kids start school" that we're going to homeschool them. That causes enough confusion that they usually forget what they were originally talking about.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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Pageta - ITA. We decided before marriage that I would be a SAHM and have set it up so it works.

The one that gets me, is people who do things like SAH for a while, but then they *have* to go back to work because they buy something unnecessary like a vacation home. Then they can no longer "afford" to stay home and "have" to work. I'm sorry, if you're buying things like vacation homes, you are choosing to work.

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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I was a working mom out of financial necessity until January, when we were finally able to move to a more affordable, more rural area (DC was killing us financially). One of the misconceptions I had when I was working was that I would be more relaxed as a SAHM - that I'd finally have time to get all those things done that I never could before. Now I know. My life is far more exhausting now than it was before. I wouldn't change a thing, but I never truly appreciated the fact that when WOH I got a break, had adult companionship, and could hold a conversation for more than 30 seconds without interruption until it was gone.

When I worked outside the home, I also had a HUGE misconception about a SAHM's ability and availability to volunteer. Now I know. I have less time to volunteer now than I did before, because before I could do things at work during breaks and at lunch. But now, there is no break, except nap time, which is the only time my toddler lets me get any housework done.

There have been moments while cleaning a toilet that I've muttered "I got a masters degree to do this", but I will never every believe I am "wasting" my education. It has helped that I have a great community of SAHMs in my new home town who are progressive, fun, feminists and who are all examples to me of who I want/hope to be.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:50 AM
 
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I wouldn't change a thing, but I never truly appreciated the fact that when WOH I got a break, had adult companionship, and could hold a conversation for more than 30 seconds without interruption until it was gone.
The adult interaction thing is the hardest part I think. I wish I could get DH to grasp this.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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My dh doesn't seem to understand the adult interaction thing either. He is a student and does not need to be around people. He actually does not really like to be around people. So he does not understand why I get so lonely at home.
We just moved and its so hard to meet people.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:40 PM
 
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Jane when I go back to work my kids will still need me and I can still be there for them while working, but I don't think they'll need me all day. I do think there is a difference between staying home with teenagers and staying home with babies. But that's my opinion. That doesn't mean I would look down on individual decisions. My mother never went back to work (not that it would have been easy after being out of the paid workforce for so long.)

I get this all the time. As soon as my kids were a few months old, it's like I was dropped in the SAHM box. People in this country think women are either sahm or wahm, and have no concept that most women are both or some combination therof at different points in their lives. The idea of a year-long maternity leave, staying home a whole!year! and then going back just confuses most people.And actually I do do freelance editing, at night while exhausted, but I don't go to an office so people seem to think it's not really working and that it's so easy to do while at home in my pjs. It's bizarre.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:56 PM
 
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My dh doesn't seem to understand the adult interaction thing either. He is a student and does not need to be around people. He actually does not really like to be around people. So he does not understand why I get so lonely at home.
We just moved and its so hard to meet people.

ok.
I could've wrote that post exactly.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mee toooooo sistah!!
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:00 PM
 
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That we're stuck in the 1950's...

I was at Whole Foods buying some steaks for dinner and I asked for one that had a really small amount of fat, because DH doesn't like it, and I was kind of in a hurry to get home and get dinner on the table for DS and DH... and this woman (wearing a suit, hair in a twist and impeccable makeup) was like, "Its a sad day for women everywhere"

The $$ thing bothers me too... I gave up a extremely large salary to SAH with DS... but no one is interested in hearing THAT kinda thing :
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:10 PM
 
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That we're stuck in the 1950's...

I was at Whole Foods buying some steaks for dinner and I asked for one that had a really small amount of fat, because DH doesn't like it, and I was kind of in a hurry to get home and get dinner on the table for DS and DH... and this woman (wearing a suit, hair in a twist and impeccable makeup) was like, "Its a sad day for women everywhere"

The $$ thing bothers me too... I gave up a extremely large salary to SAH with DS... but no one is interested in hearing THAT kinda thing :
I don't understand....the woman's comment was directed at you? What does it mean? Confused, sorry. What does this have to do with the 1950s? I am presuming lots of people, men and women, buy steak at Whole Foods...
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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That we're stuck in the 1950's...

I was at Whole Foods buying some steaks for dinner and I asked for one that had a really small amount of fat, because DH doesn't like it, and I was kind of in a hurry to get home and get dinner on the table for DS and DH... and this woman (wearing a suit, hair in a twist and impeccable makeup) was like, "Its a sad day for women everywhere"

:
WTF???? I cannot believe a total stranger had the gall to make a comment to you like that. Why is it so wrong to do something nice for your significant other?? Would it be a "sad day for men everywhere" if your DH was doing the same thing?? What a jerk.
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:15 PM
 
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That we're stuck in the 1950's...

I was at Whole Foods buying some steaks for dinner and I asked for one that had a really small amount of fat, because DH doesn't like it, and I was kind of in a hurry to get home and get dinner on the table for DS and DH... and this woman (wearing a suit, hair in a twist and impeccable makeup) was like, "Its a sad day for women everywhere"
I agree. It was a sad day for women everywhere...that a total stranger felt she had the right to make a comment about your life choices, just because you're also a woman. How would that woman like it if a man made the comment that it was a sad day for men everywhere because she was in a suit and obviously on her way home from work?

Why is there this perception that men expecting us to stay home with out children in the 50s just because we're women was vile, but other women expecting us to WOH in the 00s just because we're women is acceptable?

I'm a woman. I make my life choices based on what works for me and my family - not based on anyone else's agenda, be they chauvinistic male or a certain kind of feminist.

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Old 09-27-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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I hate when people assume that I have a lot of free time.

Designing and sewing is one of my passions..something that I must make time for no matter what. So I made a dress for my niece's wedding, and everyone comments, "Oh, it must be nice to have time to do that," as though if I gave them an hour they would be able to make something exactly like it. Ummm, no...this is what I do instead of watching TV or eating out or going to a movie or reading the paper!
So true! I have a coworker who always used to say, "Just wait 'til you have kids" when she would see me reading a book. She'd tell me how she used to be an avid reader, but no longer had any time. So now I have the little one and still read every day. Now her comments have morphed into, "Well, just wait 'til you have teenagers." : I guess she needs to feel superior no matter what. :

Some people thrive on telling others how eternally stressed and "busy" they are. Being overly busy doesn't make me feel accomplished, so I do my best to make sure my life isn't that way, and I don't feel the need to justify my schedule to others who buy into that busy = successful American ideal.

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Old 09-27-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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Some people thrive on telling others how eternally stressed and "busy" they are. Being overly busy doesn't make me feel accomplished, so I do my best to make sure my life isn't that way, and I don't feel the need to justify my schedule to others who buy into that busy = successful American ideal.
Limabean, you are singing my song here! I've always said to DH "If I'm really busy, it means I'm failing". People confuse it with living......
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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Okay, I'm REALLY, really not trying to sound like that woman, but does she have multiple kids? You mentioned one, so maybe that's a difference. Not to justify her snotty attitude, but I think moms with like three kids really get no time. It's true, sometimes I feel busy and then realize I was so tired I wasted time on the internet when I could've run or read. But my time for reading went flying out the window when I had my second. There was just more to do, less time in the day to do it. Having one kept me pretty busy, but two just gave me almost no time to myself.

Anyway, I'm also confused. Did that woman really say that? That's just rude. And stupid.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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Okay, I'm REALLY, really not trying to sound like that woman, but does she have multiple kids? You mentioned one, so maybe that's a difference. Not to justify her snotty attitude, but I think moms with like three kids really get no time.
I have about six million times more downtime with three kids than I did with one and a job. I have a supportive spouse, which I didn't have before, and that makes all the difference in the world. That comment didn't sound like it had anything to do with how many kids anybody has - it sounded like "oh, some woman being the good little housekeeper - what a waste".

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:53 PM
 
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I have about six million times more downtime with three kids than I did with one and a job. I have a supportive spouse, which I didn't have before, and that makes all the difference in the world. That comment didn't sound like it had anything to do with how many kids anybody has - it sounded like "oh, some woman being the good little housekeeper - what a waste".
ITA. This is exactly what I got from the post as well.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:22 AM
 
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: I was commenting on two different posts. I think you were too? Anyway, I guess it just depends on the kids/sitution. Mine play together, but at 1 and 3 they need near constant supervision. With that much more dishes and laundry and less time in the day to do it (b/c I have to watch them together more), I just have way less time, and then there's another who sometimes wakes in the night. I agree that the woman making the comment was probably just being rude. It's just that I thought the poster mentioned rude lady as having kids (plural) and her having one little one, and to me there is a diff. Just felt like throwing that out there, not trying to play devil's advocate.
WRT the little housekeeper post, wasn't that from another poster? I understand the comment's intent. I was confused b/c I wasn't sure if the pp meant that that woman really said that, or was just scoffing and probably thinking something along those lines. If so, yeah, it's rude. That was one of my pet peeve's- the assumption that anything remotely resembling tradition is viewed as patriarchal and inherently unequal or sexist.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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Okay, I'm REALLY, really not trying to sound like that woman, but does she have multiple kids? You mentioned one, so maybe that's a difference. Not to justify her snotty attitude, but I think moms with like three kids really get no time.
She has a grown daughter who lives on her own and a 13yo. Part of this woman's personality is just complaining, justifying her stress, and trying to drag others to her level. If someone else is happy or has free time, it can't be because they structure their life that way and make conscious efforts to have time to themselves (and have a terrific partner who makes sure that everyone's needs are met), it must be because they don't have it as hard as she does yet, and "they'll see" later.

As for 2 kids being more work, I'm sure that's true, and I'll hopefully find out one day, but reading is just something I will always always do. My mom read every day, and she had 2 kids and had to raise us all by herself. If something is important to you, you make time for it. Reading might not be your "thing," but I'm sure there's something you enjoy doing that you make time for no matter how many kids you have!

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Old 09-28-2006, 01:16 PM
 
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As for 2 kids being more work, I'm sure that's true, and I'll hopefully find out one day, but reading is just something I will always always do. My mom read every day, and she had 2 kids and had to raise us all by herself. If something is important to you, you make time for it. Reading might not be your "thing," but I'm sure there's something you enjoy doing that you make time for no matter how many kids you have!
Lima, I just read the Iliad for fun while tandem nursing. So yes, you will be able to READ as long as you make it a priority. You may read in a slightly different position however.

And I read on the potty more now than I ever have before. DH likes to "catch" me in there begging for one more chapter before I have to go back out.

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Old 09-28-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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oh reading is definitely my thing. I think it's b/c I do freelance work at night often, so I am just too tired to keep it up. I do it, but much too slowly for my liking as my reading list grows and grows- and I often spend my free time "reading" and learning a lot here (although that's not how I would qualify reading!). I probably need more motivation b/c I get overwhelmed and give up (I think that's a misconception too- the mom who's just a mess with kids ala lynette on Desperate Housewives! I'm only like that on bad days. ). It's good to hear about moms with even more on their plate managing it.

But just wait til you are like me- you'll see. You won't keep it up then.
(that was a joke. )
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:58 PM
 
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Hazelnut: My post made no sense. I didn't realize you were replying to two posts, so I was replying to a post you didn't really make...

That probably made no sense, either. I hope I shake this cold soon - I seem to be thinking through cotton.

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Old 09-28-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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oh reading is definitely my thing. I think it's b/c I do freelance work at night often, so I am just too tired to keep it up.
I hear ya! I actually have a full-time job editing from home, so I thought I would get burned out on reading for work and not want to read for pleasure, but I've had this job for 6 years now and that hasn't happened yet, thank goodness! Reading is just how I wind down at night -- no matter how tired I am, I'll read for at least 20 minutes. And if I'm not too tired, I'll read for an hour or two before bed. It relaxes me and provides a mental escape -- it's like my therapy!

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Old 09-28-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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I hear ya! I actually have a full-time job editing from home,

Well you would definitely make it hard to say "wait and see!" to with any seriousness! How do you do it full-time!? I can barely manage part-time, and with a little help from my mom. Well my 3yo is very strong-willed. Wait til you have one of those. THEN you'll see! Just wait! Then I'll have to make some big burden up to alleviate my guilt for not plowing through all my books. :
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Well you would definitely make it hard to say "wait and see!" to with any seriousness! How do you do it full-time!? I can barely manage part-time, and with a little help from my mom. Well my 3yo is very strong-willed. Wait til you have one of those. THEN you'll see! Just wait! Then I'll have to make some big burden up to alleviate my guilt for not plowing through all my books. :


I actually am blessed with a very easy-going (so far!) DS who takes loooong naps every day. So between working for a couple of hours before he gets up, working for 3 hours during his nap, and working for a couple of hours when DH gets home, I'm actually able to get it done and still have evenings and weekends relatively free. I freaked out about the logistics at first (and I still get overwhelmed sometimes, as evidenced by some of my frantic pleas for help here), but it's working okay for now.

I do have to admit, my reading material has gotten decidedly lighter in substance over the years -- these days I need stuff that's closer to "fluff" writing rather than something that's going to require intellectual effort.

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Old 09-28-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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. So between working for a couple of hours before he gets up, working for 3 hours during his nap, and working for a couple of hours when DH gets home, I'm actually able to get it done and still have evenings and weekends relatively free.
except for the 3-hour nap. That is just cruelly unfair. Do you know how much reading time I spent on reading sleep books? :
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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The biggest misconceptions I've encountered are:

From MIL: That since I'm not Suzy Homemaker in a stereotypical, classic sense that I wouldn't enjoy being a SAHM!

From former co-workers: That SAHMing means you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. They think since you're not tied to a schedule at work, that you're not tied to any kind of schedule at all. Hmmm...did they forget there's a child involved in being a SAHM??

From other moms who aren't SAH: That every day is a sunshine filled wonderful day with your child! And that you must not have any money worries!

From husband: That it's a nice vacation for me from my career! Who said anything about not having to work as a SAHM??
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