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#61 of 90 Old 08-25-2013, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by FarmerMomma View Post

Working- a very normal thing to complain about.
Spending time with kids- not so socially acceptable to complain about.

 

So true... why is that, I wonder?  People who have out of the home jobs spending time with kids still get to complain... like teachers and day care workers... and they only have to (get to?) spend time with kids for around 40 hours a week, and I think everyone agrees that kids save their worst behavior for their parents.  (And here I am in NO WAY saying that teachers and day care workers shouldn't complain. :) )  But people whose job it is to stay home with their own kids work 24/7 and are not allowed to complain.  It's like we're SO LUCKY to get to stay home that we shouldn't talk about it lest we offend someone.  It's not just complaining either... I can't say anything positive about my life without offending someone... like simply telling people that we had a nice morning walk and it was sunny... without getting the eyeroll that says oh, it must be so nice to be able to do that while I had to slave away at work... or worse, they think I'm gloating.  And I wouldn't even dare to say anything about the things I've given up to be able to stay home with my kids... like mentioning it would be nice for me and dh to have the money to go out to dinner for our anniversary without getting the response of well, you made your choice to stay home, didn't you?

 

I've seen the other side of this too, where people assume that I'm SO UNLUCKY (or pathetic or something?) to not have an education or ambition (neither true) and that I should be doing something to better myself and my family and at least want to get a job.  And of course you'd best not waste your time complaining then because instead you should be doing something about your situation. 

 

But I'm rambling... it sure would be nice to be able to talk about what I do with other people without the constant scrutiny.  Do working moms generally feel scrutinized when they talk about what they do, I wonder?

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#62 of 90 Old 08-25-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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ALL mothers feel scrutinized!! Its really not fair and we shouldn't let people treat us like we don't do enough/don't do it right. Mothers, in general (working or not) work harder than any other class of human beings. Seriously, I know plenty of single men who complain constantly and it seems totally socially acceptable. :(


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#63 of 90 Old 08-26-2013, 03:23 AM
 
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Treehugz- you make some really good points. I think that moms who work outside of the house and SAHMs shouldn't compare their days. Both jobs are tough and their are pros and cons to any job. Besides the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.
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#64 of 90 Old 08-26-2013, 05:37 AM
 
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I'm a high school teacher and am currently on maternity leave with my second child. I stayed home for eight months with my first, and of course am home all summer. When I'm working I feel like it's harder than staying home and when I'm home I feel like it's harder than working. Not sure what that says about me except that it sure validates the idea that there are pros and cons to both!
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#65 of 90 Old 08-26-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ALL mothers feel scrutinized!!

This stinks!  I don't think I even knew what scrutiny meant until I became a mom.  I certainly never felt scrutinized for my choices when I was in the working world before kids. 

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I think that moms who work outside of the house and SAHMs shouldn't compare their days. Both jobs are tough and their are pros and cons to any job.

I think you must be right... sounds like it's like apples and oranges. 

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When I'm working I feel like it's harder than staying home and when I'm home I feel like it's harder than working. Not sure what that says about me except that it sure validates the idea that there are pros and cons to both!

Lol, sounds about right.  It's nice to hear that from someone who knows both sides. 

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#66 of 90 Old 08-30-2013, 08:23 AM
 
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This is totally what my sister would say..... she is a work in the home mom.  But my other sister is her "nanny", cleans her house, does her dishes and her laundry.  She doesn't see how much assistance she gets during the day and now, her son is in school for part of the day so my other sister is there less, but she has more consistent time to work without the distraction of her son. 

I think we all work hard.  We may work in different ways or at different times but I think we all love our kids and we all do the best we can and I hate when people who work and choose a different lifestyle than me try to make me feel like I am not working hard enough.  

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#67 of 90 Old 08-30-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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No, moms who work do NOT do the same work as a stay at home mom and their job. I don't care what their job is. Their nanny or their babysitter cares for the children. That's why they pay them--because it's a job.

And, as for the shopping, as I'm towing my two around Trader Joes during the middle of the day I almost always see a working mom friend who says, "Oh, it's so hard. I have to do this during my lunch break." And I always think, "Wow. You get a lunch BREAK?????" But I can't say it because I have to grab my toddler before she knocks that stand of crackers down ;)


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#68 of 90 Old 08-30-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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No, moms who work do NOT do the same work as a stay at home mom and their job. I don't care what their job is. Their nanny or their babysitter cares for the children. That's why they pay them--because it's a job.

And, as for the shopping, as I'm towing my two around Trader Joes during the middle of the day I almost always see a working mom friend who says, "Oh, it's so hard. I have to do this during my lunch break." And I always think, "Wow. You get a lunch BREAK?????" But I can't say it because I have to grab my toddler before she knocks that stand of crackers down ;)

 

 

Way to perpetuate the on going mommy wars.  Pat on the back for you.

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#69 of 90 Old 08-30-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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No, moms who work do NOT do the same work as a stay at home mom and their job. I don't care what their job is. Their nanny or their babysitter cares for the children. That's why they pay them--because it's a job.

And, as for the shopping, as I'm towing my two around Trader Joes during the middle of the day I almost always see a working mom friend who says, "Oh, it's so hard. I have to do this during my lunch break." And I always think, "Wow. You get a lunch BREAK?????" But I can't say it because I have to grab my toddler before she knocks that stand of crackers down ;)

Wait what if they are a preschool teacher? Or go home and nurse their baby on their lunch break. I do agree though. The idea of getting a job right now seems like a vacation in comparison some days.

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#70 of 90 Old 08-30-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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No, moms who work do NOT do the same work as a stay at home mom and their job. I don't care what their job is. Their nanny or their babysitter cares for the children. That's why they pay them--because it's a job.

And, as for the shopping, as I'm towing my two around Trader Joes during the middle of the day I almost always see a working mom friend who says, "Oh, it's so hard. I have to do this during my lunch break." And I always think, "Wow. You get a lunch BREAK?????" But I can't say it because I have to grab my toddler before she knocks that stand of crackers down ;)

 

 

I did want to point out that you don't actually know.  You don't know if someone has a nanny or what they're babysitting situation is.  Not everyone can stay at home and some of it has to do with liking heat and running water oh and food.  Some single mothers work and raise their children without a break.  Without another adult stepping in.  And some working mothers with working partners still do a lot more than you can imagine.  While school and daycare cover day time babysitting of your child, they're not washing your kids clothes, bathing your child, running your kid to all their activities, holding them at night when they're not well, or doing the millions of other things that need to be done just to keep the household running.  I work half the month and stay home the other half.  I get a break from both.  And they're both equally as hard.  I work 12 hour days when I do work, come home and feed my kids, bathe my kids and help them with homework.  I make sure they have clean clothes for the next day and sit beside them at night while they drift off to sleep with a million things running through my head.  ON the days I'm off, I try to get ALL THE THINGS done so that I can enjoy a few hours a day with my kids.  And it can be draining.  Both of them are draining but they both have good parts and bad parts.  On my days at work I can eat my lunch in peace, on my days at home I can lounge on the couch an hour or so with my kids watching a movie.  But I still have things to get done regardless.

 

But I will tell you one thing,  YOU as a parent do not have it harder than single working mother.  There is no way you can ever convince me otherwise.   Oh and I'm partnered.

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#71 of 90 Old 08-31-2013, 12:10 AM
 
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I can only speak of my experiences. When I was a working, single mom, it was work, but being a SAHM to 3 is way more work. I could run an errand or two, bg myself during a lunch break. We weren't home as much, so there wasn't near the amount of housework. So, for me, that was easier.
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#72 of 90 Old 08-31-2013, 07:19 AM
 
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And I always think, "Wow. You get a lunch BREAK?????" But I can't say it because I have to grab my toddler before she knocks that stand of crackers down ;)

Yuuup.

Getting to finish a conversation? Not the privilege of a SAHM.

Getting to wait in line so you are actually served when its your turn?

Not the privilege of a SAHM.

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#73 of 90 Old 08-31-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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Have fun hating on each other.

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#74 of 90 Old 08-31-2013, 04:35 PM
 
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So far my life as a single student mother is easier than being a sahm. Going to the school is a break..moments alone in a car are silent and I can finish a thought. Speaking to other adults on a daily basis is amazing! I love my kids but 24 hours a day is grueling, especially since my ex didn't help. When I graduate I will be a WAH, single, home schooling mom. Now that is going to be tough.


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#75 of 90 Old 08-31-2013, 04:52 PM
 
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No, moms who work do NOT do the same work as a stay at home mom and their job. I don't care what their job is. Their nanny or their babysitter cares for the children. That's why they pay them--because it's a job.

And, as for the shopping, as I'm towing my two around Trader Joes during the middle of the day I almost always see a working mom friend who says, "Oh, it's so hard. I have to do this during my lunch break." And I always think, "Wow. You get a lunch BREAK?????" But I can't say it because I have to grab my toddler before she knocks that stand of crackers down ;)

Only true for moms who work OUT of the home AND/OR who have a nanny/babysitter. I know WAHP of infants/toddlers who don't have any daycare/babysitter/nanny/etc. They DO have to do everything a SAHP does AND work. I know one WAHM whose baby JUST turned 2, she JUST had a baby, and her "maternity leave" is just cutting slighly back on her work- she still has to keep up with her business and such, and she's only taking 6 weeks of that "maternity leave". And people are still complaining that she isn't doing enough and grumbling about why she doesn't put her kids in daycare so that she can do more work.

I'm sure her fully employed husband helps around the house sometimes- but I also know plenty of SAHP whose spouse/partner helps around the house after work as well. I know there are also WOH partners/spouses to SAHP who have no sympathy and will refuse to lift a finger with housework or childcare, but that's not true for everyone and I've seen it be true for WAHP as well as SAHP. As has been repeatedly stated- it varies wildly by situation.

 

I'm not saying that WAHP always have it worse or always do exactly the same thing SAHP do AND a job. I'm not saying all SAHP are lazy and could do a full time job if they just applied themselves. As has been repeatedly stated, it varies so wildly that htis conversation is pointless and the working parents who deride SAHP are ignoring a lot of realities and usually being unfair. But so are the people who are making disparaging remarks of working parents. The OP specifically said "Do WOH/WAH moms do everything I do as a SAHM plus work a full time job?"- not specifying WOHP ONLY, including WAHP in it. A lot of the comments on this topic seem to be ignoring that many WAHP don't have nannies/daycare/etc and have to take care of very young children and the household while doing a full time WAH job.


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#76 of 90 Old 08-31-2013, 10:39 PM
 
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To answer the original question: Do WOH/WAH moms do everything I do as a SAHM plus work a full time job? ... I've been both and the answer is no, when I worked full time I didn't do everything I do everything I do now, plus work. I didn't have all this wonderful time to be with my child! I still had to cook and clean, run errands and was constantly attached to a breast pump trying to get enough milk for daycare. My work breaks consisted of being attached to a pump, as well, stressing about the fact that I wasn't at my desk getting work done. My absolute favorite part of the day, was visiting my son at my abbreviated lunchtime (the one hour minus my two pump breaks) so he could breastfeed and I could be in his sweet presence. When I was at work, I was miserable and wanted to be with my child. Outside of work, I was getting everything ready to go to work again and still wishing I could just be with my child. It was the worst time in my life. I love being a SAHM. I have my moments when I feel I might go crazy from dealing with unreasonable childhood phases some days, painful boredom other days, and always worrying about lack of money, but I know this is what I want and where I'll be happiest and that I'm so lucky to have this opportunity. Obviously, my day would be more stressful if I had a whole bunch of little ones, but trying to WOH on top of that would be an absolute nightmare. Being a mom is never easy, but being a SAHM definitely makes life more enjoyable for me (and hopefully my child!).


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#77 of 90 Old 09-02-2013, 12:50 AM
 
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Whatever have fun hating on each other, Martyrs.

i am not sure they are "hating on each other" or being "martyrs" i think they are voicing their feelings. the OP stated a comment she has been told, and it is not ture. there is NO WAY any one person can do all the things all the time. you may have a job outside the home or even in the home but you still can not do EVERYTHING and work. someone some where is helping you. whether it is a daycare, a nanny, the dad, grandma, sister... someone is watching the kid(s) OR you are working your butt off all night so you can be there during the day, but even then you are giving up something.

and honestly sometimes it stings when the idea of "out of the home work" is viewed so much higher than being home with the kids. so when you are at Trader Joe's and the kids are being nutty and you run in to a friend who is on her lunch break, yeah it feels a bit like a slap when you hear "oh i do what you do AND have a job". NO you went to trader joe's on your own. LOL while you were at work SOMEONE was watching your kids, NOT YOU. which is fine. for goodness sake. it is ok if you work outside the home because you have to, or because you want to. it is ok to love your job. it is ok. what is not ok is devaluing someone else (by acting as if they are somehow lazy for not working outside the home AND doing A,B,C). and sometimes as a SAHm it gets under your skin.

my oldest turned 19 this year. i have been parenting for almost 2 decades. and most of that i have worked at least part time, at nights, weekends, holidays, to make ends meet. recently, the last three years, i have been blessed to be able to stay home. and i can tell you... i NEVER did as much at home as i do now. and my husband and i worked opposite shifts so at least he was home with the kids. we do homeschool, so most of the kids are home with me ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. and yes, when someone says they have a lunch break some days i don't know whether to laugh or cry. BUT i know that my other choice just is no longer workable for us. and i have bad days and good days, just like when i worked outside the home. 

i think being able to VOICE feelings, frustrations, guilt, anger, hurt feelings.. doesn't make someone a martyr. it makes them a human. when our society says how important mothering is, and yet does nothing to help mothers and then you have people posting studies that say we really don't spend more time with your kids and people tell you they do so much more than you and all you can see is you are up to your eyeballs in your life... yeah, you do think... LUNCH BREAK??? must be nice.

and this is in no way devaluing WOHM. because that is a tough job too. mothering in general is a tough job. and you have to make choices. do you work the night shift to be with the kids and not get enough sleep?? do you work 3 12 hour days so you have 4 off? do you work early (and not get to be there in the morning) so you can pick them up? what if you have an office job and have to work 8-5? 

in the end the WOHM is not in fact doing all the things and the stuffs AND working outside the home. it just isn't possible. that doesn't mean she isn't busting her butt. unless she has a time turner, she is not doing it all and working. 

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#78 of 90 Old 09-02-2013, 11:55 AM
 
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I just want to remind responders on this thread not to engage in name calling or personal attacks.  I understand this is a sensitive topic, but I think we are talking at cross purposes here.  I don't think the point of this thread was to debate the question of who has it harder, and I agree that just perpetrates the whole "mommy wars" thing, but I can't help but think that this battle is manipulated and inflamed by people who are not the actual participants in the motherhood experience, generally for the purpose of creating controversy in order to gain financially.
 

From personal experience, I have generally seen the sentiment "I do all that AND have a job" expressed towards women who chose to stay home with their babies in the early years.  When I first stayed home with my daughter about 14 years ago, there were a few people who had no qualms expressing the opinion that it was laziness on the part of the mother to not have a job, sometimes along with the old-fashioned idea that breastfeeding is anti-feminist and women shouldn't be giving up their power in the workplace on the basis of biology when technology is available to circumvent that.  But the bottom line is someone has to care for children when they are infants, and whether you choose to do the work yourself, or pay someone else to do it, it is clearly a job.  It's one thing to say that you're not a full-time mother when you have a job, which of course you are.  I don't define motherhood in one particular way.  But it's quite another to say, "I do everything you do and I work too" because it devalues the work that caretakers of children have to do.

But none of this has to do with who has it harder, and that is a completely ridiculous argument to get into, in my opinion.

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#79 of 90 Old 09-02-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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I can't help but think that this battle is manipulated and inflamed by people who are not the actual participants in the motherhood experience, generally for the purpose of creating controversy in order to gain financially.

 



Agreed. Large coorporations gain by perpetuating these arguments. Women should be fighting for paid leave, flexible hours, instead of with each other. Corporations also gain by having men work longer hours (with a SAHM providing childcare) rather than fighting for their rights as dads.


From personal experience, I have generally seen the sentiment "I do all that AND have a job" expressed towards women who chose to stay home with their babies in the early years.  When I first stayed home with my daughter about 14 years ago, there were a few people who had no qualms expressing the opinion that it was laziness on the part of the mother to not have a job, sometimes along with the old-fashioned idea that breastfeeding is anti-feminist and women shouldn't be giving up their power in the workplace on the basis of biology when technology is available to circumvent that.  But the bottom line is someone has to care for children when they are infants, and whether you choose to do the work yourself, or pay someone else to do it, it is clearly a job.  It's one thing to say that you're not a full-time mother when you have a job, which of course you are.  I don't define motherhood in one particular way.  But it's quite another to say, "I do everything you do and I work too" because it devalues the work that caretakers of children have to do.



But none of this has to do with who has it harder, and that is a completely ridiculous argument to get into, in my opinion.


 



This makes a lot of asumptions. What would a comparison look like of a nursing/co-sleeping/pumping WOHM to a SAHM whose children go to bed in a separate room for 12 hours every night.... Hmmm... With regard to parenting, yeah, I think there really are parents who 'do all that AND have a job'. The 'all that' refers to the actual parenting and active engagement time with children. I think the main thing WOHM miss out on is sleep. Its just very hard. I don't think caretakers shoud ever be devalued, but I think WOHM's feel devalued when people claim that the 40 hours a week that they are outside of the home are WAY more critical than the 128 hours a week that they are actually in the home. Many babies with working moms end up reverse-cycling, so they are asleep for most of the time mom is out of the house. Pretty comparable to a mom who puts baby/toddler in a crib every night... Just food for thought...
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#80 of 90 Old 09-02-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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 I think the main thing WOHM miss out on is sleep.  .... Many babies with working moms end up reverse-cycling, so they are asleep for most of the time mom is out of the house.  

That's an interesting perspective and I'd never heard that before, this reverse-cycling thing of becoming nocturnal and sleeping most of the time from 8:30am-5:30pm when mom isn't available.  That certainly would create a temporary situation of 'doing all that AND having a job' for the period when the infant is in that mode.  In a matter of months, I would think that as the baby becomes a toddler and active, that it would be natural for them to want to explore the world while it's daylight and that would come to an end.  THEN the WOH mom is not just missing out on sleep, but also on those moments during the 9 hours per day her walking little one is exploring the world and learning new things in the presence of whoever is caring for him/her.  Probably those are more than half of her child's waking hours, so quite a large chunk --the majority-- of the experience of watching her awake little one grow up.  

I'm not trying to be judgy or snarky, just realistic.  Women have crap options, if you ask me.  I'm about to have my first daughter and I really hope when she's making motherhood choices that the options are a bit better, and include more options to bring your baby to work, and/or more societies have made longer full paid maternity leave (1-3 years with their job security 100% intact to return to) a normal thing and women don't need to feel like they are taking a step off their career path if they want to stay with their little ones even for the first 3 years.


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#81 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 07:23 AM
 
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I dont want a start a debate, but i dont agree that the main thing that WOHMs miss out on is sleep. Come on...

 

On the issue of lunchbreaks, or waiting in line,the other day, i bought tickets to go on a ferry/watertaxi. I was first in line to buy the tickets. But, since i have an active toddler to look after, i had to follow her around, along with my two older boys, and could not wait in line, In the meantime, the line filled up.  I put myself at the front of the line in order to get on the boat once the boat arrived. Some people (without children), hissed and  grumbled, like they had a better sense of ethics than i did. I told them i had bought the tickets before them, but that unlike them, i didnt have the privilege of waiting in line. (i did not mention, that because unlike them, i was an active duty taking care of 3 children right then)

 

See, thats a job in itself. Thats what i am referring to. Thats not being a martyr, thats saying it how it is and sticking up for myself in a non child friendly world where everything revolves around the single adult.

 

Being a WOHM  i imagine would be difficult. Noone said it wasnt. But it has certain advantages, depending on the type of job, for eg, getting some time to just focus on an activity without interruption(maybe you get to go on facebook?), maybe some credit for the work you do, some respect (the paycheck as well of course). But it isnt logistically possible to be the same as someone who is at home with their children. In my opinion, PRESENCE, is part of parenting in itself. 

 

Everyone has their challenges. I would like mothering to be valued for what it is, hardwork, but a labor of joy.

 

The truth is, i feel a bit sorry for someone who has to be away from their young/or even older children for large segments of the day. Thats really why i dont want to  debate the subject too much. Even as finacnially strapped as i am, and with all the difficulties of sahm'ing, and with all the work i do that noone helps me with, i feel more privileged.  No Martyr here,  i feel completely blessed, dishevelledly blessed perhaps. I like that our family stays together. I dislike how the norm in our society that values money before all else separates families on a constant basis.

 

 

Thankyou for your interesting comments voila and mamaofthree.

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#82 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 08:26 AM
 
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I'm confused, do ya'll really think WOHP have it easier?  Less stress?  None of the same problems as any of the stay at homes have?

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#83 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 10:53 AM
 
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I'm confused, do ya'll really think WOHP have it easier?  Less stress?  None of the same problems as any of the stay at homes have?

Sorry to barge in on this thread - haven't posted on MDC in while but this one caught my eye because I've seen the thread title quoted by various people on the internet and it often irritates me that these little underhanded comments are the best we can do in supporting our positions.

 

I agree with a prior poster(s) that it is silly and non-productive to argue about who has it harder or easier.  It is all so subjective.  One is not easier or harder than the other, they are simply different.  One of my difficulties as a WOHM is that I'm constantly switching gears.  My particular profession (lawyer) requires me to spend a lot of time thinking of and evaluating issues and there are times of the week that I feel totally drained from a mental standpoint.  Spending time with DD and DH actually rejuvenates me, so I don't see home life as "hard" at all.  On the other hand, I have a good friend/neighbor who is a SAHM and she often looks frazzled and I know she needs a break.  Neither of us have it harder or easier, we just deal with separate issues.  She has zero spousal support (her DH rarely helps her at all) and I have great support with DH.

 

I think part of the reason that we see or hear statements like "I do all that and have a job" is that many working moms lack support from their partners.  I can't imagine having to be in charge of all things at home as well as handle an intense work situation.  DH participates fully in household managment and DD's school-related activities.  I'm not doing it all because I have a partner who is right there beside me.  Our family couldn't function any other way and I feel extremely fortunate for that.

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"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#84 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 11:20 AM
 
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Cats that's where I'm at.  My partner and I are on equal footing because they're his kids too.  We work together to get things done.  I'm the one that works and he stays home, yet I come home and pitch in immediately.  I couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

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#85 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post
 

I'm confused, do ya'll really think WOHP have it easier?  Less stress?  None of the same problems as any of the stay at homes have?

No, I don't think that.  If I thought that, I'd have gone back to work right after I had a baby.  It's much easier to successfully breastfeed, I feel, if you don't have to return to work right away.

What I am taking away from all of this is not the who has it easier, because I know I have it easier than a lot of people, probably the majority of people in the world.  I know that the parents in Syria have it harder than most of the rest of us.  I don't see the benefit in having the who has it harder argument, because, frankly, I don't want to have it harder.  But then that comes down to the question of understanding that you have a privilege.  I was privileged to be able to stay home with my children.  I've known people who were privileged enough not to have to, to have a rewarding career to return to.  Then I've know people who would have loved to have stayed home with their children, but they couldn't.  I didn't make enough at my job that I could justify paying for a babysitter.  It made sense for me to quit.  I didn't have what I would consider a career.  I knew another mom who decided to take an extended leave from her job, like for a year or so...actually, I think she tried to resign, but after a few months, she realized she was done being at home.  Her job really valued her and they gave her even more money to come back.  She was very happy with that.  I never had a job like that.  Many of the people I've known have worked right up until the day they go into labor, and then go back after a few weeks.  One poor mama I knew returned to work 2 days after giving birth.  She had no choice.

I think it's good to understand your privilege and that you have things in the world others don't, while others have things you don't.  It's always going to be this way, but understanding it can help us not to be as critical of others.

The thing that resonated with me when I saw the original post was the idea that I have encountered, that some people insist on proclaiming which is that women shouldn't stay home with their children, that you can be a full time mother and a full time employee, and do both well, but if you stay home with your children, you are just wasting your time, you are lazy, you are not living up to your full potential.  As if, somehow, during the time you are alone with your children, they require nothing of you, you both just turn off your switches and get stored in a closet while the others are at work.

Sure you can be a full time mother and work full time, because you are always a mother; but the caring and raising of children is something that always has to be done, no matter who is doing it. There is a benefit to children, I feel, in having experiences with other adults as caretakers, but those people are doing some of the work and you have a different experience when you are doing all the mental and physical work of caring for a child during a significant portion of your day.  If you have to pay for childcare or for school, you realize that good childrearing has a cost.  Someone is doing that work even if it's not the parents.

Of course, the other thing I used to see before I had kids was, "You don't have kids, so you obviously have plenty of time."  And now that my kids are in school and I've taken on a lot more volunteer activities I hear, "I can't do that, I work fulltime! You'll have to do it."  It still feels the same way, people are telling me my time isn't valuable because I don't have a life as they see it.  I will say, though, that if I do get a job, I will stop doing the other things people expect of me because I won't have time.  I feel like it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, but I really need to have a paycheck now.

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#86 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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Viola I successfully breastfed two kids while being full time military.  It can be done.  Though you end up spending a lot of time hooked up to a breast pump.  What I want to get across is that I don't think either one is harder than the other and yes they are really two different ways of life.  The I do all that and have a job is probably based on guilt.  Wanting to feel like they're giving their children as much of them as possible but still keeping up with their other responsibilities.  And the stay at homes may feel looked down upon.  Nobody is walking out of this 100% there will be something to make it harder.

 

As far as staying home ruining your worth... it only ruins your worth in the work place.  It doesn't ruin your worth in life or your family.

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#87 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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I'm not sure if this has already been discussed (skipped a couple of pages), but I also wonder if there is a generational difference in the focus of the SAHM, as well as just a shift in general in mothering practices. Here's what I mean: my mom was a SAHM, most moms were in the 1960's. There were a few working moms in our neighborhood but SAHM was the prevalent thing. So my mom didn't spend her day with me. She didn't entertain me or try to enrich me or take me on play dates. We were expected to 'go out and play.' We found our friends and played. I'm not sure exactly what my mom did ALL day, but I think she cleaned a bit in the morning, watched soap operas in the afternoon (sometimes while ironing), and eventually she made dinner, cleaned up, etc. In the summer we went to the beach all morning, did swimming lessons, then ditto on the afternoon. 

 

When women began entering the workforce in great numbers, suddenly the balance shifted. SAHM's became the minority, due to economics, and a lot of other societal factors (increase in divorce rate, equal pay for equal work, etc.) And women did begin to believe in themselves more. When that happened, the moms who could SAHM showed a greater focus on the kids, leaning toward homeschooling, enrichment, etc. Not so much "go out and play." I am not judging any of these things, I am just reflecting on societal changes and forces. A hypothesis that I have heard spoken of is that SAHM suddenly felt more of a need to justify their staying home by doing more to improve their kids lives. It was natural to get defensive when so many other moms were working, and natural to claim that they were taking the high road, and doing  better for their kids. I have had these conversations with my siblings and with many other women. 

 

I just get perplexed about why women can't just accept differences in each other's paths--why the comparing always has to go on...... 

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#88 of 90 Old 09-04-2013, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Viola View Post

 

The thing that resonated with me when I saw the original post was the idea that I have encountered, that some people insist on proclaiming which is that women shouldn't stay home with their children, that you can be a full time mother and a full time employee, and do both well, but if you stay home with your children, you are just wasting your time, you are lazy, you are not living up to your full potential.  As if, somehow, during the time you are alone with your children, they require nothing of you, you both just turn off your switches and get stored in a closet while the others are at work.

 

Yes, Viola.  This is exactly the attitude that I'm talking about and why I started the thread.   

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#89 of 90 Old 09-06-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauren View Post . A hypothesis that I have heard spoken of is that SAHM suddenly felt more of a need to justify their staying home by doing more to improve their kids lives. It was natural to get defensive when so many other moms were working, and natural to claim that they were taking the high road, and doing  better for their kids. I have had these conversations with my siblings and with many other women. 

 

I just get perplexed about why women can't just accept differences in each other's paths--why the comparing always has to go on...... 

 Interesting hypothesis although I havent personally  observed that pattern. I dont think SAHMS today want  or need to justify themselves. I dont.  If i had a back yard, i would be that hands off SAHM. But i like to be present. 

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#90 of 90 Old 09-14-2013, 08:04 PM
 
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I've almost always worked part time and sometimes even fulltime or 2-3 jobs at once with kids. I did get the opportunity to stay at home full time and homeschool for a year or so but am currently WOH PT but aiming to get make home full time again so I've done all the ends of this spectrum depending on what I needed at the time. Everyone's situation is different and we each do what's best for our own families, in my case constantly changing to suit what we need at the current time lol. It is hard to be a WOH mom and still have to do everything I would even if I stayed at home. It's harder on me than some moms since DH works off so I get the single mama fun 3 weeks out of the month with him not here at all to help me. My job is also a job where I'm the only one at work and that's fine when it's slow and I can kind of relax at work but if it's not slow there isn't a break at all. I don't have scheduled 'breaks' or lunch break at work with that time to decompress. I choose to involve my kids in activities for them so that adds more to my plate. Thing is though it's all a choice. We each do what we need to and what we can. I do work AND still do all the things I'd do at home but here's the deal... as a WOHM even part time I do more convenient meals and use a dryer. Just two things that if I stayed home would mostly end. I'd be making even more from scratch and line drying more so I could save money thus making more 'work' for me. It's a trade off.


Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
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