"SAHM jobs" vs. SAH full-time - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 89 Old 11-16-2004, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this doesn't sound judgemental because I am just being honest about something that has been bothering me... (a whole new level of SAHM guilt)

One of my SAHM friends (my only one in the area), just got what she calls a "SAHM job" doing home parties. She was talking about how much extra $$$ they'll have to spend (they aren't in need). She was planning who would care for her young toddler while she was gone. They are rather AP, so I was extra suprised. They are buying a super cool vechical for her DH.

My gut-reaction was 'another one bites the dust.' (Is that wrong?) I just feel like it is becoming less acceptable to just SAH. Now if you SAH, you are also susposed to sell tupperwear/do daycare/be continuing your education/etc- anything as long as it's something in addition to SAH all day!

It doesn't help that I always have people (even ones that barely know me) ask me to do daycare for them once they hear what my job is. It feels like are implying that I do nothing all day- I could flip burgers or clean tolites and they wouldn't ask me, but since I *just* apparently sit around and babysit my DC all day, I should bring in some $$$ afterall, and raise their DC too. They always are so suprised/confused when I don't jump at the chance!

Okay, so there is my vent. There isn't anything wrong with a "SAH job" (expessially if you need one), but there also is Nothing Wrong With Only SAH!!!
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#2 of 89 Old 11-16-2004, 09:39 PM
 
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I have a similar problem when I compare myself to other people, even if they're WOHMs with more money instead of WAHMS. I tell myself that I would rather live my simple lifestyle than have such a consumer-oriented lifestyle, and really I would. But it's hard to see that, sometimes. I would love to be able to go to the mall and drop a couple hundred dollars on clothes. Then again, I simply cannot see myself doing that even if I had the $$ to spend. I like a simple lifestyle, and I guess there are some "things" that I like to have, but not to the degree that others seem to need them. Yes, a newer car would be great, but ours works just fine, and I know I would tire of making the payments. Perspective, perspective...

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#3 of 89 Old 11-16-2004, 09:52 PM
 
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Faith-I am a SAHM that needs to provide daycare inorder to supplement our small income. That said...I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with focusing on being SAH FT. I also think there are many reasons that one might do something in addition to SAH and it's not fair to judge that imo. Of course I get the impression that you feel like maybe you are judged for not taking on something additional to SAH. Do any of you feel like sometimes you can't win no matter what decision you make? I know I do. I just hope that in light of all of our decisions that we first consider how it will affect our dc and work to make it the best situation possible for them.
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#4 of 89 Old 11-16-2004, 10:06 PM
 
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I have gone back and forth myself. When ds was 15 months old, I got a PT job at Starbucks almost exclusively to get out at night, talk to other adults, listen to nice music, and deal with people who didn't kick, scream, cry or bite me when they didn't get their way It was fun, although harder work than I thought, and I lasted there about ten months.

I sold Pampered Chef for about six months this year, again to get the brain in motion and bring in a few extra pennies.

To tell the truth, I tend to look down my nose at mothers who say that working (usually FT) makes them a better mom -- but I have to say that so far cycling between FT SAHM and short-term PT jobs has worked for me.

Most of the SAHMs I know do just that, BTW (stay-home and nothing else)-- they think I am the weird one (or the money grubber )
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#5 of 89 Old 11-16-2004, 11:29 PM
 
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I agree it is not socially acceptable to "just stay at home." I homeschool and somewhere in the back of my mind part of the reason is so I'm not "just staying at home." My sister has her kids in school and she is always involved in this or that and taking on too many responsibilities and for her too it is so she's not "just staying at home."

You're expectd to do "something else" these days, whether its stimulating your kids' brain with the latest thingy designed by brain development experts or forming great friendships with other SAHMs or taking DC to this activity or that activity. I call them cruiseship moms. (I hope that doesn't offend anyone!) But when my sister tells me that she feels she should be doing this class or that group, or that she should have her kids put on a play or learn about fractions by making bread, I tell her, Mothers are not cruisehip directors. Just be a mom, you're fine, and let the kids enertain themselves.
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#6 of 89 Old 11-16-2004, 11:45 PM
 
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I don't think all SAHMs should be expected to have side jobs, that seems silly. I see why a lot have them and need them, but that's another matter. We employ one SAHM to do data entry for us -- she earns a very good hourly rate while her child naps. They could probably make it without it, but it's nice to have extra. We have children the same age and we asked if she would babysit ours for about 4 hours a week (we were across the street neighbors at the time). She said no, she wanted to be free with her daughter. When asking her I certainly didn't do so because I thought she should take the job, but asked because it could have been a good fit with the two children. So I guess what I am saying here is that my motives in asking her were not to demean her decision, I just thought she might want the job. Had she been flipping burgers, I probably wouldn't have given a thought to asking her.

BTW, we're very AP and I now have help with child care for 25 hours a week. A good friend of our family is on a sabbatical from other work and is living with us and caring for Frederick. He has his own private teacher really -- she spends no more than 2 hours with him at a stretch and takes him around the house doing all kinds of fun things. She is gifted with children. And he really needs a whole lot of stimulation in a day -- more than I could ever give him on my own. So for us, this is working better for him than if I were not working. (My husband and I both work out of our home which makes all of this managable.) My point here is that AP and childcare are not necessarily incompatible either, though I do see that we have a very unusual situation and are extremely fortunate to have this person here.

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#7 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 01:35 AM
 
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It seems that people think that because I stay home, I would want to do home daycare too. I don't, I'm not intrested. SOme probably think we could use the money and while it would be nice, I kind of side with Tana. I'm content with what we have (most days I think we have too much, lol!). I'm busy enough with my own kids and trying to keep up the house let alone care for someone else's. I'm happy with how things are.
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#8 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 03:03 AM
 
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Maybe the mom wants the social outlet with a bit of financial benefit from party profits. Money might not be an object to them as a family, but maybe she wants a bit of her "own" money for herself, kwim?

I have a dear friend who has been home for the better part of the last 14 years. She has liked it, enjoyed it, and is very content being a sahm. Yet, she felt a bit unsettled with this, because she couldn't understand why she didn't feel compelled to do anything else. She was no stepford wife, and no desperate housewife. Why aren't women "allowed" to be content in making hearth and home their focus? I cant understand that. Its not fair.
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#9 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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I was 'just' a SAHM after ds1 was born until he was about 15 mos or so. Then we figured we just needed more money, so I was going to do home daycare. Went through almost the whole state certification process when my old job called back and said they had a huge project and would I like to come back as a temp for a couple of months. I said yes, I loved my old job and MIL would watch the kids, and I could pick my own hours. So I worked about 20 hrs a week, making $15/hr for 3 mos. During this time, I realized how much I missed adult conversation and how much I DIDN'T want to do daycare. I mean, if my kids were too much sometimes, how could I bring in extra kids, KWIM? I knew Iwould have to WOHM eventually, when kids were back in school, so I decided rather than take a part time job now, I will reenroll in school to become a teacher. I've been in school now for a year and half and will graduate in a year and a half.

Ds2 came along in the middle of this and it has been rough while pg and after delivery, but I've managed. Do I think people who are 'just' SAHM are slacking, no, of course not. Do I think WOHM are abandoning their kids, no, of course not. I do what I need to do and is comfortable for my family and I assume everyone else is doing the same. I really don't think there is a right or wrong answer and the SAHMs who choose to do home parties have many reasons for wanting to do this- money, social interaction, etc. (I'm also a very PT Mary Kay rep).

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#10 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith
I just feel like it is becoming less acceptable to just SAH. Now if you SAH, you are also susposed to sell tupperwear/do daycare/be continuing your education/etc- anything as long as it's something in addition to SAH all day!

There isn't anything wrong with a "SAH job" (expessially if you need one), but there also is Nothing Wrong With Only SAH!!!
I agree with you that working as an at home mother does not get the respect that it so absolutely deserves. How wonderful would it be if all mothers banded together to make mothering (whether you work outside the home or not) be a valued job?

However, I cannot stop noting the prevalence on this board of moms who are at home saying that moms who work outside the home are having someone else
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith
raise their dc
No one except for my husband and me raises our daughter and until we are all able to accept that I am going to mercilessly point it out. Because I take pride in supporting sahms, wahms, wohms, and every other variation of parenting and I really wish that more people would join up. The "I'm better than they are" crap that is spouted by mothers

Quote:
Originally Posted by pageta
I tell myself that I would rather live my simple lifestyle than have such a consumer-oriented lifestyle...Perspective, perspective
gets really old.

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif

 
 
 
 

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#11 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 12:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
Maybe the mom wants the social outlet with a bit of financial benefit from party profits. Money might not be an object to them as a family, but maybe she wants a bit of her "own" money for herself, kwim?
Great point! I am in school 3/4 time and though I don't make one red cent to contribute to our household expenses I do feel that I am a much better mother because of it.

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif

 
 
 
 

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#12 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 12:50 PM
 
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I do work some, but I still consider myself a SAHM. I provide childcare at my UU church. I am talking like 8 hours every other week tops. Ds goes with me to play with the other kids. For him it is like a playdate and for me it is a little bit of extra cash which allows me to afford Christmas presents, and cloth diapers. Money is really tight, and I never could have cd'd ds if I didn't do this. I also sell stuff on ebay, but that really takes no time at all and it is mostly ds's outgrown clothes and toys. I do that at naptime, and after he goes to bed or while he has his special Daddy time in the evenings. Some people may say that I am not a full time SAHM but I feel like I am. I am always with ds, he is never with a baby sitter unless it is with my mom on the occasional times Dh and I want to go to a movie and dinner.
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#13 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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HEAR, HEAR Nicole77 and sweetbaby3! No parent - SAH, WAH, WOH, or otherwise - should have to justify his/her choices to anyone.
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#14 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by owen&mama
HEAR, HEAR Nicole77 and sweetbaby3! No parent - SAH, WAH, WOH, or otherwise - should have to justify his/her choices to anyone.


"Mothering" will never get the respect it deserves until all mothers learn to respect one another. It's a plain and simple fact.

Laura
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#15 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 01:37 PM
 
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I totally hear you that it seems people generally expect that if you are a stay at home mom that you should be doing something else as well. It's frustrating and annoying. I often hear "so what are you going to do in addition to staying home?" ummmmm, grocery shop, take care of the kids, do the housework.... etc., etc.

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#16 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 02:30 PM
 
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hi, i'm a SAHM and when people ask what do I do all day, I can't help laughing. I think we are more ready to be defensive more than anything when we hear this question, but I think many people actually ask this question out of curiousity. If we pause before we answer, we might realize that people are genuinely interested in what we do and how we are able to accomplish it. SAH is not for everyone. It is hard work. I'm not saying people can't handle it, or that it is harder or better than work non-SAH parents do, it is DIFFERENT. It is another job that people do day to day. It has it's own stresses, ups and downs, management issues and communication breakdowns, just like any other job. I must say that it takes a lot more patience, spontaneity, flexiblity, creativity, endurance, and planning than any other job I've had. Some friends were actually concerned that I was SAH because they thought it wouldn't be good for me, since I'm so outgoing and was good at my job, and because we live in this small town where we don't know anyone. "what are you going to do all by yourself out in podunkville...?" (Then again, none of my friends have any kids, so they don't understand what it entails.) I'm not by myself. Hello? I have a kid. Some fmaily members didn't even think I'd last as a SAHM or that I could bf for more than three months. Well, it's been 8 mos so far and we're still going strong. So, what do I do all day? Who am I now that I have a child? I'm an athlete (running after ds before he gets into something, picking him up, putting him down, taking walks), I'm an entertainer (read books, sing, play guitar, dance, make goofy faces and voices), I'm a chef (cooking up pureed variations) as well as a milk maid , I'm a first repsonder (comforting my ds when he falls down and bumps his head), I'm a teacher and a student (everything is a learning experience now, for both of us), I'm so many things that I never knew I could be, oh yeah, I'm a Mom too.
I'm PROUD to be a SAHM. SAHMs of the world UNITE... ha, ha. I totally agree that people expect you to be more, but I think it's because they don't expect that it would be satisfying in and of itself. We have to let them know it is.
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#17 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 05:22 PM
 
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I feel very centered as a SAHM, but due to financial considerations I'm starting working PT in January. I feel a lot of apprehension and a great sense of loss about having to give up the balance and "rightness" that I feel right now in order to go work. I feel very unsupported for my feelings that just concentrating on my family is right for me: When I share my feelings with my DH or others IRL, I feel like they think I'm just being a whiny brat for wanting to stay home with my toddler.
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#18 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 06:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith
It doesn't help that I always have people (even ones that barely know me) ask me to do daycare for them once they hear what my job is. It feels like are implying that I do nothing all day- I could flip burgers or clean tolites and they wouldn't ask me, but since I *just* apparently sit around and babysit my DC all day, I should bring in some $$$ afterall, and raise their DC too. They always are so suprised/confused when I don't jump at the chance!
That could be me writing! I had a guy at church that attended DH & I's baptism class that we teach. We ran into he and his DW and their new DD. They had no childcare set up yet for when DW was going back to work next week (huh?) He said could I watch his newborn since I already was at home?! : I guess as mil said, I could in a way be flattered but she also agreed, he has no clue what is involved in raising kids at home.
I also had a lady behind the counter at Casual Corner say to me "What a LUXURY to be staying home" I answered "No, its a choice DH and I made long before we started our family. The Luxury is having our daughter."

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#19 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 06:50 PM
 
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ahh...another reason why I love you ladies....
Just when I'm having a thought in my head that I'm having a hard time putting into words, one of you goddesses articulates it sooo well!
Quote:
It doesn't help that I always have people (even ones that barely know me) ask me to do daycare for them once they hear what my job is. It feels like are implying that I do nothing all day- I could flip burgers or clean tolites and they wouldn't ask me, but since I *just* apparently sit around and babysit my DC all day, I should bring in some $$$ afterall, and raise their DC too. They always are so suprised/confused when I don't jump at the chance!
I tried to get this point across in a post but failed...
I agree totally!
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#20 of 89 Old 11-17-2004, 07:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meli65
To tell the truth, I tend to look down my nose at mothers who say that working (usually FT) makes them a better mom -- but I have to say that so far cycling between FT SAHM and short-term PT jobs has worked for me.
Why not just focus on the part that works for you, instead of "looking down your nose" at what's "wrong" with other women's choices? This endless cycle of judgment does no one any good....
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#21 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 04:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawap


"Mothering" will never get the respect it deserves until all mothers learn to respect one another. It's a plain and simple fact.

Laura
I'm getting that tattooed on my forehead.

DS 12 DS 9 DD 6
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#22 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 05:44 AM
 
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Never understand why this is an issue. Really.

I didn't intend to be a "WAHM" so that I could say I have a job, improve my self-esteem or any other reason.

I started working at home because when I left the outside-workforce to have babies, we could no longer afford to buy food. Plain and simple. Not enough money, once we got past our montly 'nut,' for food. DH is well employed, BTW. Just that we live in an expensive city, and when I was in the workforce, I made a lot more money than him.



And WAH-work is in the middle of the night so as not to interfere with my daytime mama-work. So what does that make me? Does "WAHM" mean child-care issues?

And who cares? What's it anyone's business?

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#23 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 10:14 AM
 
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I don't think that anyone has a problem with mom's who get jobs becasue they need them, or even because they want them. The issue is that some moms feel they HAVE to get a job just to seem like they're doing something, when raising children is enough to keep you plenty busy. We shouldn't have to get a job to make people not think we're lazy. If we feel happy and fulfilled "just" being SAHMs, that should be plenty.
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#24 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giarose
hi, i'm a SAHM and when people ask what do I do all day, I can't help laughing. I think we are more ready to be defensive more than anything when we hear this question, but I think many people actually ask this question out of curiousity.
Before I had my son, I couldn't imagine what could possibly keep me occupied all day. The thought of staying home with a child was so far beyond my reality that I couldn't even envision what it would look like, you know?

I've generally found that when people ask me this, they sincerely want to know what my day looks like. And after I tell them, they usually express awe and tell me that they don't know how I do it.

Since I've been in law school, I've been very (pleasantly) surprised by people's reactions. Going in, I halfway expected to be looked down upon by these young, upwardly-mobile, career-minded people for choosing to be home with my son during the day. Instead, they usually just shake their heads and say they don't know how I do it. - they compare their school/work responsibilities to mine and openly acknowledge that they have the easier lot.

I think people are beginning to realize more and more exactly how much work is involved with taking care of children and a house. Of course, there are still the random yahoos out there - probably higher concentrations of them in some areas - who think that women sit around and eat bon-bons all day. Around here it seems as though they're a dying breed.
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#25 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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Okay, here is an alternative perspective on this. I recently started working two hours a week teaching gymnastics to girls (5-6 & 7-9). I love gymnastics, I enjoy spending time with older kids and really like that we get a free membership/free classes to the facility (my older son takes swimming lessons there and my little guy does a mommy and me gym class) I know a number of women who sah ft and don't do any sidework for $$$. Totally fine with me, I could care less and totally respect their decision to not work for $$$. However, a few of them have hinted that they just couldn't leave their kids to work two hours a week....which would be fine but sort of rubs me wrong since they do a monthly mom's night out and take aerobics a couple of times a week and one does a weekly bible study during the day and puts both of her kids in the church daycare. (My little guy is with his dad during my classes and my big guy takes his swimming lessons at the sametime)

It sort of bugs me that my activity is somehow seen as less appropriate, more selfish, and less "mom" like since I get paid for it (which at $25 a week seems bizarre as well - it certainly isn't funding any trips to the mall or new SUVs)

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Barney & Ben "Daddy, maybe you can be a teacher like mommy when you grow-up"
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#26 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 03:30 PM
 
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My close friend who had two kids about ten years ago could not wait to go back to work. So when I had my ds she assumed I would go back to work (I was a career minded fanatic). So she was shocked when I resigned.

She kept asking me how my day is and how I am coping. I really think she kept thinking I would quit and go back to the workforce. She has given up since my ds will be one yr old in a couple of weeks.

I don't feel the need to get a side job, nor do I look down on anyone that does. But like everything in life, you will always get some bad apples. However, when my kids are ready to start pre-school, etc, I am thinking of going p/t. 8-16hrs a week. I would also work the night shift, so my ds would stay with daddy.

Whatever works for each individual. I always imagine this is my last day alive. Am I happy with the decisions I have made? So far...yes!!!!
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#27 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 03:40 PM
 
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It's her and her families buisness and perogitive. There is no exclusive SAH club that have rules that say you cannot do anything that may or may not fulfill your own needs as a human being if you are a SAHP.
I don't get that this is an issue for you?

Why does everything have to be SO black and white? Life is colorful! Live it!
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#28 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Nicole77
However, I cannot stop noting the prevalence on this board of moms who are at home saying that moms who work outside the home are having someone else

"raise their DC"

No one except for my husband and me raises our daughter and until we are all able to accept that I am going to mercilessly point it out.

This is OT from what I was saying (that it is okay to only SAH), but I wanted to respond...

I completely disagree! If I SAH everyday from 9-5 with my DC, what am I doing? Raising them, of course. If I also have my neighbors two kids here during that time (cooking for them, listening to them, answering their big & little questions, reading to them, discplining them, helping them go potty, etc...), what am I doing? I call it helping raise them. I might even be doing *more* of it than their own parents are, by the time they get here to pick them up at six and have them in bed by nine. If I am just baby-sitting them, then I am just baby-sitting my own DC as well- and I can tell you that is not what SAHMs are doing all day.

I really feel strongly about this. I used to work in a daycare and spend 45 hours a week, day in and day out with these sweet little DC. I saw most of them way more than their own moms did. I kissed their boo-boos, held them, sung them to sleep.... *These two-year-olds were being raised, no matter who was there doing it!* Children are beng raised 24/7, and don't stop just because their mom isn't around.

No one denys the effect teachers/peers/family have on a child. I also do not deny the effect a person has who spends a significant ammount of time with them, even if they are paid help.
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#29 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by charmarty
It's her and her families buisness and perogitive. There is no exclusive SAH club that have rules that say you cannot do anything that may or may not fulfill your own needs as a human being if you are a SAHP.
I don't get that this is an issue for you?

Why does everything have to be SO black and white? Life is colorful! Live it!

I think you missed my point. I am living my life, not sure what that is supposed to mean..?

All my OP was about was that IT IS OKAY to ONLY SAH!!!
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#30 of 89 Old 11-18-2004, 10:15 PM
 
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Maybe you are fulfilled doing what you do, and hey that's great! But perhaps she has needs that have to be fulfilled by other means other than being a SAHM.


"another one bites the dust...."
I don't get that.


What I meant by" life is colorful, live it..." Every person is different and that means different things to different people. You live your life the best way that siuts you and your family, and also let her live hers. Looks to me like she is living hers too.....
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