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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am part of a local mothers group, and just read the newsletter for the first time. On the first page was an article that rubbed me (an on and off WOHM part-time mom) the wrong way so I rattled off a little response... if anyone is looking for a diversion and has a few minutes to let me know if I am being oversensitive I would love to get your two cents before I decide whether to send it. Thanks for any feedback!

Context:
On the one hand I have been off work the last few months and started to enjoy hanging out with the group, and don't want to be the squeaky wheel, especially since being the squeaky wheel in other mothers groups for other reasons has alienated me. I do feel better just having taken the time to write my response.
The newsletter is from a main group, and I hang with a chapter.
The article is written by someone in my chapter who I have not met.

My Response (includes quotes from the original article which actually focused on ppd);
I have been very appreciative of the support and comraderie I have found through XXX, and I appreciate the volunteer time that is put in to organize it. However, I just read the March newsletter and could not walk away without commenting on XXX's article. Some of the comments seemed to take a very one-sided view of a mother's role, especially in the following lines:

"This is a quote that every mother believes in 'Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.' -- Mildred B. Vermont. All mothers can relate to this."

"Some of us are fortunate to have the means to stay home with our children."

"Staying home is the most demanding, yet most rewarding thing a mother can do for her child."

"As a mother, we try to do what is best for our child no matter what the cost. It seems to be our duty. Mothers are dedicated individuals who give up their own lives to make the difference in the life of a child. "

"When we feel blue or overwhelmed, we should think of the millions of parents who must work everyday to put food on the table. We are so lucky to be able to stay at home and be with our child."

These comments seem to suggest that the role of a working mom is always an obligation rather than a choice, and that the role of motherhood can be measured. Whether to work or stay at home is a very personal choice which varies with each family's circumstance. I don't argue with the author's right to hold the values expressed in the article, and I do agree that new moms transitioning to the stay at home role need support and validation. However, working moms struggling with postpartum depression also need support and validation. An organization that presents itself as "a network of working, stay at home, work out of home and expecting Moms" whose " purpose… is to support one another…" has a responsibility to either focus on more inclusive topics in its newsletter, or introduce biased articles in a thoughtful way that does not exclude the needs and feelings of working mothers in the XXX community. As the group description on the website says, "We all have things to share, different points of view and things we can learn from each other on our journey through Motherhood." With that in mind I think articles presented on the front page of the group newsletter should focus on an individual's perspective rather than generalizing based on an assumption that others in a diverse group hold the same views and life circumstances.

I really do appreciate the time volunteers put in to creating and maintaining this group, and I don't want to make a big deal of this. However, the article struck such a deep and personal chord that I just couldn't not mention it. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider this comment.
 

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I should hope you'll be met with a good deal of respect for your well thought out response.

We work for different reasons - some for the money, some for the social aspects, some for personal fulfillment, some for the good that comes of that they do in their job, some for sanity!

You have to ask yourself, if a mother who stays home with her children spends that time sitting in judgement of those who work, is she really the best role model for her children?

There needs to be balance in all things, and in a measure that works best for each individual's situation.

Good for you!

Frances
 

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Your response is thoughtful, articulate, and inclusive. Nicely done!

"When we feel blue or overwhelmed, we should think of the millions of parents who must work everyday to put food on the table. We are so lucky to be able to stay at home and be with our child."


Ummm...if I *were* a sahm struggling with ppd, I don't think having someone lecture me about how grateful I should be would be all that helpful either.
 

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Jessica--Awesome response! When I feel hesitant to speak up about something, I always try to remember the first rule of group mentality...If you're thinking or feeling a certain way about something that's going on with the group, 9 times out of 10 someone else is thinking the exact same thing! So I hope they publish your response, because I bet a lot of other moms in your group had the same response to that article. Plus, nothing wrong with a little respectful discussion/debate.

Let us know how it goes!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by esylvia View Post
Ummm...if I *were* a sahm struggling with ppd, I don't think having someone lecture me about how grateful I should be would be all that helpful either.
The line you quoted mentions being blue and overwhelmed, neither of which are PPD. You comment implies that Jessica's comment is dismissive of women suffering from a serious disorder. I think that's unfair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think she's commenting on the original article I quoted, not my comments.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by esylvia View Post
Your response is thoughtful, articulate, and inclusive. Nicely done!

"When we feel blue or overwhelmed, we should think of the millions of parents who must work everyday to put food on the table. We are so lucky to be able to stay at home and be with our child."


Ummm...if I *were* a sahm struggling with ppd, I don't think having someone lecture me about how grateful I should be would be all that helpful either.
: I didn't get that quote at all
: Why would anyone put that in a newsletter for an organization that claims to be pro-mom?? I don't see that being helpful to anyone.... if you're a sahm, it says "you don't have anything to complain about" and if you're a wohm who feels blue & overwhelmed, it's pretty much saying "yeah, your life probably sucks"

Good for you for saying something.


I also dislike the idea that "Mothers are dedicated individuals who give up their own lives to make the difference in the life of a child."

I would literally lay down my life in a second to protect my kids, but I am NOT going to "give up my own life" to be a mom.
: As if being an empty shell who lives through my children is a positive thing
 

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UGH! Where to begin?

Since when does working outside the home relegate a woman to part-time mother? No one accuses fathers of being part-time fathers when they work outside the home?

"Mothers are dedicated individuals who give up their own lives to make the difference in the life of a child. "

My personal pet-peeve is that is a very American-Western notion of motherhood (and parenthood for that matter). We view the role of the parents to sacrifice themselves, a long time of hardship to raise children. Meredith's Small's "Our Babies, Ourselves" opened my eyes to alternatives views of parenting. It isn't axiomatic that children require great sacrifice from parents. In some cultures, children are seen as an asset to the family, not a great burden.

"Some of us are fortunate to have the means to stay home with our children."

Honestly, I see it as a privilege that I'm able to work while I have children. It wasn't so long ago that women weren't given the choice to work once they became pregnant. Really, I give thanks for that right and the men and women who made it possible every single DAY. I mean it, I don't always love my job, but damn it's a privilege that I'm able to have it. A lot of people fought very, very hard for that right.

I think the cult of sacrifice and mother-martyrdom needs to be examined here! See Siobhang's reply to the recent poster who was EXCITED to be going to work!

I will quote my favorite poetry at this point that brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

God be with the mother.
As she carried her child,
may she carry her soul.
As her child was born,
may she give birth and life and form to her own, higher truth.
As she nourished and protected her child, may she nourish and protect her inner life and her independence.
For her soul shall be her most painful birth, her most difficult child, ...and the dearest sister to her other children.

- Micheal Leunig (australian philospher/cartoonist extraodinaire)
 
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