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Old 05-26-2013, 12:22 PM   #471
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Just a few points... I haven't read this entire thread, just bits and pieces, but from my own experiences and thoughts...

I'm a SAHM. I think when a lot of us talk about all the "extra" housework that we do, it isn't to say that WOHM moms aren't also doing childcare or housework or laundry. However, when you spend an additional 40 hours a week at home, it really does add up to more housework. I don't get home at dinner time and the house is the way I left it that morning. Lunch, multiple snacks, multiple outfit changes, and just a whole lot of messes get made in the course of a day. So yes, it's more work on our end in that sense. It doesn't mean that WOHMs don't have to do housework. It's just that you have to realize that the more time at home, the dirtier the house gets. WOHMs obviously still have to do the same routine things. But when kids are out of the house 8 hours a day, and eating snacks and lunches somewhere else, the messes are made somewhere else during those hours.

My husband and I came to conclusion TOGETHER that I would be a stay at home mother. In fact, when we were buying our house a few months before getting married, I reminded him that we needed to budget for when we had children and went down to one income. This wasn't a surprise that hit him upside the head (although sometimes he acts like it, haha). So it would be completely unfair if we separated to make me be responsible for my own finances. I am college educated, but that doesn't mean finding a great job would be easy. Not only that, but during these years my husband has gotten multiple pay raises and promotions. He has not had to worry about how having kids would affect his job. He's never had to take a day off to stay home with a sick child, or leave early to pick a child up from somewhere. He likes knowing I'm home with our kids. There's something to be said for that... I have taken a career hit by staying home while his has taken off in ways that it may or may not have had I been working outside the home.

I'm not complaining about my role, it was my choice and I get teary when I think about if I were to go back to work instead. For me, it just feels like the right thing to do to stay home. But I shouldn't have to struggle to get by should my husband and I divorce, while he enjoys the financial stability he was able to build while I was home with our children. I am still working, I just don't get paid for it. Believe me, I'd love it if I had a nice nest egg to fall back on should we end up separating. That is the scary part of being a SAHM and relying on your husband's income. Even when times are good, you can sometimes be aware that you're a bit "trapped." However, right now it's a risk I'm willing to take, partially because I know that I'm protected should we divorce. We also have life insurance should (god forbid) something tragic happen, so I'd be protected in that sense, too.

I think it's sad that there's so little regard for SAHMs and the work we do. It is important work. No one says day care providers do nothing all day. No one says teachers do nothing all day (okay, well some people seem to think that, but you know what I mean). I think it's important work to educate and support and love our children. I don't think it's a bad thing for a well educated woman to make the choice to be home raising a family instead of focusing on a career.

And this is not to knock any WOHM. They do important work, too. I know that many feel they are BETTER mothers as a result of working outside of the home (not better than SAHMs, I mean better personally than they would be if they were with their kids 24/7). I think they have worries and problems that SAHMs do not have (housework included). I certainly don't have to juggle my schedule as much as they do, or worry about sick days or business travel or any of the other things that they do.

Being a mom is tough work, regardless. We should be supporting each other's choices and roles, even if they're not the choices we'd make. AND we need to stop using our experiences to compare everyone else's experiences. I've heard some WOHMs say things along the lines of, "I stayed home for the first few years and it was so easy, I am so much more stressed out now that I am back to work." But perhaps they had an easy baby who slept through the night and a helpful husband and a small home to take care of and then returned to a very stressful job. You cannot compare that to the experience of a woman whose husband works long hours or is a deployed soldier, and who is home with a colicky baby who wakes up every hour through the night, and who has an anxiety disorder and her house overwhelms her, who then goes back to work at a part time job that is relatively easy. Know what I mean? One woman's experiences are always different than another's, even when they are in the "same" role.

I am a feminist woman. I believe that much of the feminist movement is focused on making our own choices, and not being told we can or cannot do something based on our sex or gender (and I also think it has evolved enough to also include men in that category... a man shouldn't be told he can't stay home with the kids while his spouse works). I also think it's about not being treated as less than men. And that means acknowledging that the work that we do is important, whether it's inside or outside of the home. Women are important, we matter, and the work we do matters.
Wonderful post! Absolutely!!!

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:27 PM   #472
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Originally Posted by wordbox
Just a few points... I haven't read this entire thread, just bits and pieces, but from my own experiences and thoughts...

I'm a SAHM. I think when a lot of us talk about all the "extra" housework that we do, it isn't to say that WOHM moms aren't also doing childcare or housework or laundry. However, when you spend an additional 40 hours a week at home, it really does add up to more housework. I don't get home at dinner time and the house is the way I left it that morning. Lunch, multiple snacks, multiple outfit changes, and just a whole lot of messes get made in the course of a day. So yes, it's more work on our end in that sense. It doesn't mean that WOHMs don't have to do housework. It's just that you have to realize that the more time at home, the dirtier the house gets. WOHMs obviously still have to do the same routine things. But when kids are out of the house 8 hours a day, and eating snacks and lunches somewhere else, the messes are made somewhere else during those hours.

My husband and I came to conclusion TOGETHER that I would be a stay at home mother. In fact, when we were buying our house a few months before getting married, I reminded him that we needed to budget for when we had children and went down to one income. This wasn't a surprise that hit him upside the head (although sometimes he acts like it, haha). So it would be completely unfair if we separated to make me be responsible for my own finances. I am college educated, but that doesn't mean finding a great job would be easy. Not only that, but during these years my husband has gotten multiple pay raises and promotions. He has not had to worry about how having kids would affect his job. He's never had to take a day off to stay home with a sick child, or leave early to pick a child up from somewhere. He likes knowing I'm home with our kids. There's something to be said for that... I have taken a career hit by staying home while his has taken off in ways that it may or may not have had I been working outside the home.

I'm not complaining about my role, it was my choice and I get teary when I think about if I were to go back to work instead. For me, it just feels like the right thing to do to stay home. But I shouldn't have to struggle to get by should my husband and I divorce, while he enjoys the financial stability he was able to build while I was home with our children. I am still working, I just don't get paid for it. Believe me, I'd love it if I had a nice nest egg to fall back on should we end up separating. That is the scary part of being a SAHM and relying on your husband's income. Even when times are good, you can sometimes be aware that you're a bit "trapped." However, right now it's a risk I'm willing to take, partially because I know that I'm protected should we divorce. We also have life insurance should (god forbid) something tragic happen, so I'd be protected in that sense, too.

I think it's sad that there's so little regard for SAHMs and the work we do. It is important work. No one says day care providers do nothing all day. No one says teachers do nothing all day (okay, well some people seem to think that, but you know what I mean). I think it's important work to educate and support and love our children. I don't think it's a bad thing for a well educated woman to make the choice to be home raising a family instead of focusing on a career.

And this is not to knock any WOHM. They do important work, too. I know that many feel they are BETTER mothers as a result of working outside of the home (not better than SAHMs, I mean better personally than they would be if they were with their kids 24/7). I think they have worries and problems that SAHMs do not have (housework included). I certainly don't have to juggle my schedule as much as they do, or worry about sick days or business travel or any of the other things that they do.

Being a mom is tough work, regardless. We should be supporting each other's choices and roles, even if they're not the choices we'd make. AND we need to stop using our experiences to compare everyone else's experiences. I've heard some WOHMs say things along the lines of, "I stayed home for the first few years and it was so easy, I am so much more stressed out now that I am back to work." But perhaps they had an easy baby who slept through the night and a helpful husband and a small home to take care of and then returned to a very stressful job. You cannot compare that to the experience of a woman whose husband works long hours or is a deployed soldier, and who is home with a colicky baby who wakes up every hour through the night, and who has an anxiety disorder and her house overwhelms her, who then goes back to work at a part time job that is relatively easy. Know what I mean? One woman's experiences are always different than another's, even when they are in the "same" role.

I am a feminist woman. I believe that much of the feminist movement is focused on making our own choices, and not being told we can or cannot do something based on our sex or gender (and I also think it has evolved enough to also include men in that category... a man shouldn't be told he can't stay home with the kids while his spouse works). I also think it's about not being treated as less than men. And that means acknowledging that the work that we do is important, whether it's inside or outside of the home. Women are important, we matter, and the work we do matters.
Wow. This should be a sticky! Amen!
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #473
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Ehhhh thanks for the support. I was just sharing perspective. But DS is a harsh place. LOL I have been around the block a few times.

I guess I think of this one family...the woman married a man with a good job and had 5 kids. While they were growing their family the husband was laid off, found work, laid off...as has been typical in the last decade. They lost a house, ruined their credit...but the woman refused to get a job to help with expenses...and grew the family from 3 - 5 kids in that time...he didn't want any more kids, but that's a different debate. The husband kept working to keep them in a house, the lights on, food, etc. I tried to help her get something part time and she refused to take it - and she had her mom home to watch the baby..the others were older.

The husband worked and worked and worked...as much as he could in a struggling economy. Finally due to a inheritance (his mom died) they were becoming more stable and he had a job...and at a dinner out for their anniversary he dropped dead of a heart attack at 44. I am convinced it is the stress of all those years that killed him. She now has nothing because in all those tough years they didn't have insurance or retirement or disability...they had to spend it to keep afloat. The wife ended up having fundraisers to try and keep afloat. She uses her mom's social security...the kids are all school age now. She still doesn't work....a few of the kids have graduated high school. They live at home. I have no idea if they work. We fell out of touch with these people after several bad decisions on their part.

I guess I look at situations like that and I lose respect for people. I know if we were really in a bind I would do everything I could to help my family financially ( work at night and sacrifice sleep if that was the only option). That is my work ethic when it comes to supporting my family.


The rest is just plain sad. As for the part on sacrifice sleep and work nights, I tried 3 times doing that. I have been known to fall asleep standing up if I do not get a minimum of 7-8 hours sleep. Then with my immune system depressed from lack of seep I get sick. Last time I pushed it too hard I had bronchitis.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #474
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Originally Posted by wordbox
Just a few points... I haven't read this entire thread, just bits and pieces, but from my own experiences and thoughts...

I'm a SAHM. I think when a lot of us talk about all the "extra" housework that we do, it isn't to say that WOHM moms aren't also doing childcare or housework or laundry. However, when you spend an additional 40 hours a week at home, it really does add up to more housework. I don't get home at dinner time and the house is the way I left it that morning. Lunch, multiple snacks, multiple outfit changes, and just a whole lot of messes get made in the course of a day. So yes, it's more work on our end in that sense. It doesn't mean that WOHMs don't have to do housework. It's just that you have to realize that the more time at home, the dirtier the house gets. WOHMs obviously still have to do the same routine things. But when kids are out of the house 8 hours a day, and eating snacks and lunches somewhere else, the messes are made somewhere else during those hours.

My husband and I came to conclusion TOGETHER that I would be a stay at home mother. In fact, when we were buying our house a few months before getting married, I reminded him that we needed to budget for when we had children and went down to one income. This wasn't a surprise that hit him upside the head (although sometimes he acts like it, haha). So it would be completely unfair if we separated to make me be responsible for my own finances (at least not for quite awhile). I am college educated, but that doesn't mean finding a great job would be easy. Not only that, but during these years my husband has gotten multiple pay raises and promotions. He has not had to worry about how having kids would affect his job. He's never had to take a day off to stay home with a sick child, or leave early to pick a child up from somewhere. He likes knowing I'm home with our kids. There's something to be said for that... I have taken a career hit by staying home while his has taken off in ways that it may or may not have had I been working outside the home.

I'm not complaining about my role, it was my choice and I get teary when I think about if I were to go back to work instead. For me, it just feels like the right thing to do to stay home. But I shouldn't have to struggle to get by should my husband and I divorce, while he enjoys the financial stability he was able to build while I was home with our children. I am still working, I just don't get paid for it. Believe me, I'd love it if I had a nice nest egg to fall back on should we end up separating. That is the scary part of being a SAHM and relying on your husband's income. Even when times are good, you can sometimes be aware that you're a bit "trapped." However, right now it's a risk I'm willing to take, partially because I know that I'm protected should we divorce. We also have life insurance should (god forbid) something tragic happen, so I'd be protected in that sense, too.

I think it's sad that there's so little regard for SAHMs and the work we do. It is important work. No one says day care providers do nothing all day. No one says teachers do nothing all day (okay, well some people seem to think that, but you know what I mean). I think it's important work to educate and support and love our children. I don't think it's a bad thing for a well educated woman to make the choice to be home raising a family instead of focusing on a career.

And this is not to knock any WOHM. They do important work, too. I know that many feel they are BETTER mothers as a result of working outside of the home (not better than SAHMs, I mean better personally than they would be if they were with their kids 24/7). I think they have worries and problems that SAHMs do not have (housework included). I certainly don't have to juggle my schedule as much as they do, or worry about sick days or business travel or any of the other things that they do.

Being a mom is tough work, regardless. We should be supporting each other's choices and roles, even if they're not the choices we'd make. AND we need to stop using our experiences to compare everyone else's experiences. I've heard some WOHMs say things along the lines of, "I stayed home for the first few years and it was so easy, I am so much more stressed out now that I am back to work." But perhaps they had an easy baby who slept through the night and a helpful husband and a small home to take care of and then returned to a very stressful job. You cannot compare that to the experience of a woman whose husband works long hours or is a deployed soldier, and who is home with a colicky baby who wakes up every hour through the night, and who has an anxiety disorder and her house overwhelms her, who then goes back to work at a part time job that is relatively easy. Know what I mean? One woman's experiences are always different than another's, even when they are in the "same" role.

I am a feminist woman. I believe that much of the feminist movement is focused on making our own choices, and not being told we can or cannot do something based on our sex or gender (and I also think it has evolved enough to also include men in that category... a man shouldn't be told he can't stay home with the kids while his spouse works). I also think it's about not being treated as less than men. And that means acknowledging that the work that we do is important, whether it's inside or outside of the home. Women are important, we matter, and the work we do matters.
Perfectly put. THANK YOU.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #475
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Re: Second Wives Club

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I think it's sad that there's so little regard for SAHMs and the work we do. It is important work. No one says day care providers do nothing all day. No one says teachers do nothing all day (okay, well some people seem to think that, but you know what I mean). I think it's important work to educate and support and love our children. I don't think it's a bad thing for a well educated woman to make the choice to be home raising a family instead of focusing on a career.

And this is not to knock any WOHM. They do important work, too. I know that many feel they are BETTER mothers as a result of working outside of the home (not better than SAHMs, I mean better personally than they would be if they were with their kids 24/7). I think they have worries and problems that SAHMs do not have (housework included). I certainly don't have to juggle my schedule as much as they do, or worry about sick days or business travel or any of the other things that they do.

Being a mom is tough work, regardless. We should be supporting each other's choices and roles, even if they're not the choices we'd make. AND we need to stop using our experiences to compare everyone else's experiences.
Very very well put. If the kids are happy and healthy that's what counts. And let's face it, there are degrees of everything. My experience as a SAHM of an 8 and 2 year old is different than someone's with a 5 and 8 year old or a 2, 3, and 5 year old. We have different abilities, different partners, and it's not a one size fits all solution or apples to apples comparison.

I also find it unfortunate that there is seemingly little regard for stay at home parents (although for what it's worth I know WOHM's get crapped on too for leaving their kids, so you can't win!). It feels like we get told we're lazy, when the reality is that most work very hard and there are very few SAHM's who are there entirely by their choice. Sure, there are a few--my kid's school has some PTA moms who are SAHM's and several of them have nannies, actually :P They don't have to WOH another day in their lives if they don't want to, so for them SAH is entirely at their discretion. I didn't really want to go back to work more than part time after having kids, but I didn't have any choice at all. My salary wouldn't justify daycare costs. I'd like to go back part time now, but again, the math just isn't there. And that's if I could even find a job in my field in this economy.

Plus, there is also the factor of what you want to be doing. If WOH works for you, and you're happy in a career, you'll be a better parent than if you SAH for any reason, whether it be not netting very much after childcare costs or feeling like you "should." Quality of time is important. 8 hours with a stressed burned out parent is not better than 2 hours with a relaxed one. Actually, there have been studies that prove that kids of a SAHM don't get that much more quality time than kids of a WOHM and I believe it. I may be a SAHM but I am not able to devote 100% of my time to playing with/entertaining/waldorf homeschooling/organic gardening/going to the park with my kids. My family wants clean clothes and food to eat so I have to get chores done and cook..
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #476
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Has anyone else here read the book "The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women"? It's a very, very interesting read. Don't let the title of the book throw you off.

The premise of the book is that society tells mothers that they have to be able to do it all. Working mothers are told that they should be able to complete the tasks of a SAHP and "bring home the bacon". SAHMs are told that they should be the perfect mother- the absolute best for their babies, since, after all, they have nothing better to do with their time. In our culture here in attachment parenting, that would be the mom who says everyone should babywear all of the time, child-led weaning, natural home birthing, herbal remedies for everything, no vax, etc etc etc.

But none of that is possible. It's just not physically possible for a WOHM to complete all of the tasks as a SAHP and also WOH. There is not enough time in the day. She is going to HAVE to have help from someone- whether that's her partner, her parents, or society. And it's also not possible for a SAHM to be the perfect mother, attentive to every detail of her child's upbringing. So, as a society there are all of these images everywhere about the "ideal mother", but the ideal mother doesn't exist. As a result, women of all situations- working, stay at home, etc.- feel undervalued because no one is going to be able to live up to the ideal. We all need help. (And that's okay!) I've seen that a lot in this thread. There is no one right or correct way to parent. Some people work out of home, and that works for them. Some people stay at home, and that works for them. Women's work of all kinds needs to be valued. It's valuable to stay at home and it's valuable to work out of the home. If we put our energies towards helping other women in our communities mother- in whatever way they deem fit, whether that's WOH or SAH- our children will benefit.

Anyway, it's a good book if anyone's interested.

It really irritates me when I see women bragging about their own successes and juxtaposing those successes with the "failures" of another parent. That's what I was reacting to earlier in this thread. The "Well I did it this way and so everyone must do it this way, My way is the best way" attitude. No ONE way is the best way. What works for you does not always work for someone else. You may have delayed childbearing until you graduated, but others didn't. You may have graduated with a master's, but others didn't. You may be volunteering to "maintain your employability" (which is a crock, IMO, as the economy is poop), but others don't. That doesn't make them bad people or failures or worthy of scorn or whatever. It just is what it is. I just think some people need to get over themselves. Making yourself feel better at the expense of others isn't productive for anyone.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #477
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Plus, there is also the factor of what you want to be doing. If WOH works for you, and you're happy in a career, you'll be a better parent than if you SAH for any reason, whether it be not netting very much after childcare costs or feeling like you "should." Quality of time is important. 8 hours with a stressed burned out parent is not better than 2 hours with a relaxed one. Actually, there have been studies that prove that kids of a SAHM don't get that much more quality time than kids of a WOHM and I believe it. I may be a SAHM but I am not able to devote 100% of my time to playing with/entertaining/waldorf homeschooling/organic gardening/going to the park with my kids. My family wants clean clothes and food to eat so I have to get chores done and cook..
Exactly!
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:45 PM   #478
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Soonerfan of what earthly good would that do me? They have absolutely no hiring influence. They themselves make barely above minimum wage. You also apparently missed the post where I said I do keep in contact with some of my old coworkers. In fact I think I mentioned loaning one something a few days ago. It won't help me get a job but it does give me an adult to talk to face to face.

I have never, ever worked in an office setting. I have done hospital housekeeping, I have worked fast food for the better part of 15 years, I have done dishes in a nursing home. I have delivered newspapers. I have done detasseling. What do you think I can do to keep up with all of that. How do you propose my fellow housekeepers, crew worker, or newspaper delivery people help me get a job? One of those fast food jobs I almost got promoted. Problem was I had to train on my own time without pay. I couldnt' afford that. Not to mention I had no extra time to come in to do it.

You apparently live on a higher economic level than I have ever lived in. I have taught myself to type to help in future. Right now though all it allows me is to respond to your posts. As for online courses I could try. However, how much will I learn when I often lose track of what I am typing simply because of the demands of my children around me. I am quite sure many of my posts don't make sense. I am trying to type at times one handed. At other times one handed, left handed, nursing, and trying to eat all at the same time. Sometimes my kiddo slaps the keyboard and erases what I was typing.

iTunes UWhat is this?
Can you not extrapolate the information from my post that would be useful to you and generalize my suggestions a bit to better fit your situation? I didn't miss anything in your posts, but if I'm taking the time to type out suggestions on how a sahm could help herself stay aligned or connected to the working world in case some drastic situation forces her back into it, I'm going to try to offer advice that could apply to others who feel they don't have the time or means to do anything.

I strongly disagree that maintaining contacts, even in the fast food area of service, will not help you get hired should you decide to go back to work. I teach high school, and I literally see DOZENS of kids each month get a job at various local places because they have a friend who works there and passes their names along to the shift manager. It makes their application stand out from the pack, and it makes them look good when someone who is already working there puts in a good word.

If you are interested in increasing your opportunities or expanding them beyond your prior experience, my suggestion about reading is still relevant for you. You can learn MS Office from a book if you think one day you'd like to expand your options. You could do some reading on a specific industry so you could speak knowledgeably in an interview. You could just improve your vocabulary, writing skills, resume writing skills, communication skills, etc.

iTunes U are free downloads/classes from iTunes on a variety of subjects.

I am in no way telling you what you should or should not do. But, you keep insisting that there is no possible way that you can do anything that would ease your reentry into the job market right now, and that just isn't true. The amount of typing you do here suggests that you at least have some time available, and you aren't responding in short sentence fragments punctuated by textspeak, so you must have at least some time to think.

If you want to say you don't want to do any of those things, that's cool. It is your choice, and I'm the last to care about the choices others make that don't impact my life. However, I take issue with the insistence of "can't" because it perpetuates a falsehood.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:53 PM   #479
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I know a few stay at home dads here. Either full time our part time.it is great.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:01 PM   #480
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Originally Posted by soonerfan View Post
Can you not extrapolate the information from my post that would be useful to you and generalize my suggestions a bit to better fit your situation? I didn't miss anything in your posts, but if I'm taking the time to type out suggestions on how a sahm could help herself stay aligned or connected to the working world in case some drastic situation forces her back into it, I'm going to try to offer advice that could apply to others who feel they don't have the time or means to do anything.

I strongly disagree that maintaining contacts, even in the fast food area of service, will not help you get hired should you decide to go back to work. I teach high school, and I literally see DOZENS of kids each month get a job at various local places because they have a friend who works there and passes their names along to the shift manager. It makes their application stand out from the pack, and it makes them look good when someone who is already working there puts in a good word.

If you are interested in increasing your opportunities or expanding them beyond your prior experience, my suggestion about reading is still relevant for you. You can learn MS Office from a book if you think one day you'd like to expand your options. You could do some reading on a specific industry so you could speak knowledgeably in an interview. You could just improve your vocabulary, writing skills, resume writing skills, communication skills, etc.

iTunes U are free downloads/classes from iTunes on a variety of subjects.

I am in no way telling you what you should or should not do. But, you keep insisting that there is no possible way that you can do anything that would ease your reentry into the job market right now, and that just isn't true. The amount of typing you do here suggests that you at least have some time available, and you aren't responding in short sentence fragments punctuated by textspeak, so you must have at least some time to think.

If you want to say you don't want to do any of those things, that's cool. It is your choice, and I'm the last to care about the choices others make that don't impact my life. However, I take issue with the insistence of "can't" because it perpetuates a falsehood.
I hate text speak. Don't know how to do it. I do have time to type inbetween inturruptions. However I am generally not expected to retain most of this. That doesn't mean I will retain most of what I am trying to learn with constant interruptions. In fact I rarely can remember what side of an arguement someone on here is on simply because it just doesn't stick. In 2 days I will not know or which side of this you are on or really if you even posted here. On here that just doesn't really matter. Schooling, however, has to stick or it is just a waste of time. Someday, believe it or not, I would absolutely love to go back to school. That day is just not today. When my youngest is older perhaps. Right now though it just isn't possible. Most of those I worked with in fast food have now moved on. It isn't the same as when in school and all are doing the same as you are doing.

As for responding as though it was directed at me, well you did quote me in the part I responded to.
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