pain of childbirth v toil at work - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So this is something that I've had on my mind lately and just thought maybe we could discuss? I know it's a spiritual topic but only in regards to how it applies to sahming so I hope that this could stay here... I really am not up for debate of religious belief. But of course totally understand if it's moved.

So anyway many of us struggle with societal expectations to return to work. But in eden as a "punishment" for sin women were given the pain of child birth and men were given the sweat on their brow due to toil at work to survive. If you're Christian and subscribe to this belief, why would it be fair for women to have to bear both of those while a man only has to bear one?

Also I know this sounds a little funny, coming from me who is always tooting my I love what I do horn - but I really do. I don't have that begrudged work feel, if I did then I would be tooting the unfair horn instead lol.
Anyone?

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#2 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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So this is something that I've had on my mind lately and just thought maybe we could discuss? I know it's a spiritual topic but only in regards to how it applies to sahming so I hope that this could stay here... I really am not up for debate of religious belief. But of course totally understand if it's moved.

So anyway many of us struggle with societal expectations to return to work. But in eden as a "punishment" for sin women were given the pain of child birth and men were given the sweat on their brow due to toil at work to survive. If you're Christian and subscribe to this belief, why would it be fair for women to have to bear both of those while a man only has to bear one?

Also I know this sounds a little funny, coming from me who is always tooting my I love what I do horn - but I really do. I don't have that begrudged work feel, if I did then I would be tooting the unfair horn instead lol.
Anyone?
I don't think the Fall is very fair. I wish Adam would have reminded Eve of Truth. But I'll spare you my thoughts on all that jazz.

I am not sure what you are really wanting to know? Can you rephrase it for me?
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#3 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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I grew up very religious so I get what you mean. No, I don't think it is fair from a religious standpoint and I don't think it is fair even if I take a stance other than religion.

Even if you take religion out of it, there are still many households in which the woman has to work and still bear the biggest burden of the household (kids, cooking, cleaning, etc.) and I think that isn't fair at all. I just quit my job again recently in preparation for having this baby so this is somewhat a sore subject with me. My husband keeps asking me when/if I'm going to get a full-time job again and I could just bite him. When I work full-time it doesn't cut down on my child-rearing responsibilities a bit. I still am fully responsible for their homeschooling, I am the only one who makes an honest effort to potty train (hence why they aren't trained yet, I just wasn't here enough hours of the day), and pretty much everything is left up to me. Yet, I was out of the house 40+ hours just the same as my husband.

Add to this, I was deeply religious back when I got married which my husband knew when he married me. He knew my stance on that whole thing and he lead me to believe that he believed the same. Because of the way I was brought up, part of what started me on my path to natural childbirth was the fact that I thought I had to feel the pain of childbirth, else get "punished" for my sins in some other way.

Taking care of children is hard work. Raising them to hopefully become good people is even harder. It is a full-time job in itself and even more so as it never ends. It is one of those "horror" jobs people joke about in their later years, the starter job that had you on call 24/7. The fact that it is just seen as something that women do and counted as nothing while they are still expected to work at a "real" job has been a burr in my side for years.

Mama to two boys and a girl.
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#4 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess muttix2 pretty much summed it up for me - no need to rephrase :=)

I am fortunate that dh is on board but I still get pressure from the outside. And I have friends that get pressure the equivalent of being hit on the head with a brick daily.

For some reason everytime I pick up anything it has some sort of reference to this lately... it just keeps speaking to me more than ever before really. I just wondered if I was the only one. It appears I have at least one other that is hearing the same message

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#5 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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My parents are very secular.

Growing up, my mother worked full time, commuted an hour each way, and did all the cooking and almost all the cleaning. My dad had a LOT more free time. He just complained that my mother wasn't available enough, or didn't have enough energy left, to do things with him that he wanted to do.

I told DH I wasn't going to do everything. I'm not going to be a mother, housekeeper, and full time employee at the same time. He agreed, and we decided not to have children until I could stay home.

Before I started staying home, we both worked, and I did more than half of the housework and cooking. But I was OK with it because I was more suited to it, and I also knew it was temporary. Before that, there was a period when DH was unemployed, so he did all the cooking and housework.

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#6 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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Ah, I agree then.

I see a lot of lies floating and flying around Christianity. It really bothers me too.
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#7 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
I see a lot of lies floating and flying around Christianity. It really bothers me too.
I'm sorry, I don't follow. Can you elaborate on the lies floating around in regards to women not being given the responsibility to financially support the family? Or at least that has been my interpretation of these passages. I just wander if we are agreeing on the same thing :=)

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#8 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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I don't have an answer to the exact question, but it reminded me of the fact that this was the main reason men opposed pain relief for women in childbirth in the 19th and 20th centuries-- that it took away the pain they were supposed to be feeling for biblical reasons.

There are so many weird attitudes about women's pain in childbirth, ranging from the "they should feel it" based on adam and eve to the natural childbirth "if you felt severe pain you did something wrong and weren't natural enough." Either way it's all pretty judgmental!

I was traumatized by birth pain so I think about this sort of thing a lot.
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#9 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 11:19 PM
 
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Interesting posit...

As someone who experienced excruciating back labor, I can't imagine that the type of unrelenting pain and fierce, frequent contractions I experienced would be something God would choose to put women through, but then what do I know?

As for modern day society, we certainly aren't adhering to the belief that the pain of child birth removes us from the "pain" of balancing a career with family.

Honestly, I don't see career and family as a pain, but rather a dream, if it can be properly balanced.

I doubt it can...like many say, we women can have everything...just not all at once.
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#10 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear you all on the God inflicting pain... I'm not really even thinking of it from that perspective. I was thinking more as I thought muttix2 wrote about the rearing of children v the (hard) work for survival. Sort of each person has a crux to bear... why are some women being beat over the head that they need to carry both. Or more so why do some women beat themselves up for not carrying both. And since I guess it often needs repeated - not a judgement of anyone's particular situation or lifestyle - everyone chooses the path tha's right for them... just thoughts that I have had..

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#11 of 13 Old 12-29-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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I hear you all on the God inflicting pain... I'm not really even thinking of it from that perspective. I was thinking more as I thought muttix2 wrote about the rearing of children v the (hard) work for survival. Sort of each person has a crux to bear... why are some women being beat over the head that they need to carry both. Or more so why do some women beat themselves up for not carrying both. And since I guess it often needs repeated - not a judgement of anyone's particular situation or lifestyle - everyone chooses the path tha's right for them... just thoughts that I have had..


I wonder about these very questions myself.

Why do women (myself included) often beat themselves up for not carrying both? Why is there so much judgement toward working moms or stay at home moms?

On the first point, I know I struggle with the issue of staying home vs. working because:

1. There are so many disadvantages to being out of the workforce for the length of time necessary to raise a young child to school-age.

2. Both internally and externally in my social world, I face judgement for not working outside the home. I've heard so many intentionally mean comments, intentionally dismissive comments, and UNintentional dismissive or rude comments.

3. When I was considering returning to the work place and putting my child in day care, I caught some flack for that from people, so I felt it was a Catch-22. There has been more negativity with staying at home, but that's probably only because I considered day care and didn't actually follow through with it. I'm pretty sure if I'd put my child in day care, I'd have heard some derogatory comments about that from some of the same people making derogatory comments about staying at home.

4. If you lack family support, it is very hard to balance being a good mother with good self-care and still having a life as a woman and person, as well as a life as a mother.

5. If you lack family support or don't have consensus to stay at home in your marriage/partnership, then there is added risk for staying at home and being out of the workplace.

I "beat myself up" and go back and forth on the work vs. stay at home issue for all these reasons...because it just doesn't seem like there is an easy answer.
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#12 of 13 Old 12-29-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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I hear you all on the God inflicting pain... I'm not really even thinking of it from that perspective. I was thinking more as I thought muttix2 wrote about the rearing of children v the (hard) work for survival. Sort of each person has a crux to bear... why are some women being beat over the head that they need to carry both. Or more so why do some women beat themselves up for not carrying both. And since I guess it often needs repeated - not a judgement of anyone's particular situation or lifestyle - everyone chooses the path tha's right for them... just thoughts that I have had..
Honestly, I think a lot of the negativity and judgement is rooted in two things:

Envy - you might face judgement from people who are envious of your option to be a SAHM.

Contempt - you might face judgement from people who perceive that as a SAHM you've "dropped out" deliberately of the work force...as if having kids was an excuse just so you would have to face the "toil of work." So many people are unhappy with their jobs that they look negatively at someone who isn't working...and cast all kinds of labels at them for not working.


I can put up with the first emotion, but the second bugs me. I didn't SAH to drop out of the work force. I SAH to care for my child and if there were decent options for working mothers to balance work and family, I'd still be working. I worked for nearly a decade to build a career in a field I loved so when I feel the scorn from people presuming I dropped out, I think it is insulting to me and the importance of my previous career and also to the importance I place on raising my child.
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#13 of 13 Old 01-01-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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Eve and the Choice made in Eden by Beverly Campbell is a great book that addresses this.
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