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Old 05-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #461
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I think that's the way it SHOULD be. Unfortunately, all I've experienced is crying about how sahms set the movement back 50 years, blah blah.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #462
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Re: Second Wives Club

Why wouldn't the "original" feminists have seen this coming? The point of feminism isn't to get everyone with a vagina in the work force. It's about choices.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #463
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The mommy wars. The insistence of the mindset that a woman needs financial options/ back up plan/ career before children etc. Pretty much everything covered in this thread, I know my grandma didn't get crap for staying at home and she had 8 kids, my grandpa worked one job. They just made it work because thats what their priorities were.
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Feminism: women should be able to do whatever they want with their lives! As long as that is being powerful career women.

Drives me nuts.
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Why wouldn't the "original" feminists have seen this coming? The point of feminism isn't to get everyone with a vagina in the work force. It's about choices.
Yes Holly!! Feminism is about choices. The kind of feminist that EmmaGM are lamenting is not one I've ever met. Most people I know identify more strongly with where they are in life. So, I agree that there are working women who look down on SAHMs but they are not necessarily feminists.

As a feminist I will stand behind a woman who makes choices I HATE because it is her right to make those choices. I do agree that a SAHM who puts all her eggs in one basket (the SAHM basket) is running a big risk, but if it is your CHOICE then it is okay with me. If it isn't your choice, as is with me right now, then feminism still has to fight to get to a point of equality where my husband would be able to work fewer hours and/or more flexible hours so that I can get out and to my thing too. The next frontier, in fact, is to try and get the workforce to admit that men can be and want to be caretakers too and that they might need careers breaks as women do without being penalized. If fact, women still are penalized for their career breaks, so it has to be addressed for BOTH genders.

The very fact that women have choices, can earn money, purchase and/or inherit property and the be able to keep keep it after marriage is what feminism is all about.

I really get hot under the collar when the WOHM and SAHM fight ends with mud slinging towards feminists.

ETA: Our big dream is for me to get a degree once we can afford for me to go to school, then get a job that pays as well (or maybe better) than DHs so that he can stop working for a while and be home when DDs gets out of school in the afternoons. He will also try to get a business off the ground at that time. That is feminism to me at its most pure. When both partners value their time, caring, teaching and earning potential as equal. (Or at least, are honest about where each partner's strengths are and work with what they have.)
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:28 AM   #464
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Yes Holly!! Feminism is about choices. The kind of feminist that EmmaGM are lamenting is not one I've ever met. Most people I know identify more strongly with where they are in life. So, I agree that there are working women who look down on SAHMs but they are not necessarily feminists.

As a feminist I will stand behind a woman who makes choices I HATE because it is her right to make those choices. I do agree that a SAHM who puts all her eggs in one basket (the SAHM basket) is running a big risk, but if it is your CHOICE then it is okay with me. If it isn't your choice, as is with me right now, then feminism still has to fight to get to a point of equality where my husband would be able to work fewer hours and/or more flexible hours so that I can get out and to my thing too. The next frontier, in fact, is to try and get the workforce to admit that men can be and want to be caretakers too and that they might need careers breaks as women do without being penalized. If fact, women still are penalized for their career breaks, so it has to be addressed for BOTH genders.

The very fact that women have choices, can earn money, purchase and/or inherit property and the be able to keep keep it after marriage is what feminism is all about.

I really get hot under the collar when the WOHM and SAHM fight ends with mud slinging towards feminists.
Absolutely! If we really are trying to reach a place where gender roles are neutral (and goodness knows we have a long way to go), men HAVE to be seen as potential SAH caretakers- and that work has to be valued. Men are equally capable of staying at home to parent. The role of who stays home/who works should be interchangeable in society. And when there are men who choose to stay at home and be homemakers and "full-time" stay at home parents, and the woman is the one who is career building and ends up making top dollar at the expense of the husband's career, women should have to pay men alimony. It just so happens that the vast majority of the time, right now in our society, that's not the way it happens. Most of the time it's the men who ends up the top wage earners. BUt hopefully with equal pay for equal work, the push towards a gender role neutral society, more and more men will be in a position to be entitled to alimony themselves.

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Old 05-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #465
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Why wouldn't the "original" feminists have seen this coming? The point of feminism isn't to get everyone with a vagina in the work force. It's about choices.
I think it's the French second wave ones...
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:34 AM   #466
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I think it's the French second wave ones...
You mean like the Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem generation? I guess I just never got that impression that they thought all women should be in the workforce...
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #467
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Re: Second Wives Club

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, 11:49 AM   #468
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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.

I applaud you. Good points. And where are men? They are not held to two standards consistently. They are held only to the "bring home the bacon" standard. So, maybe we should make a dual standard for them to attain to as well and see where that debate goes.

I'm going to look for this book.

ETA: And your last paragraph also makes sense. I do think the "marketability" thing is a crock as you say. I volunteered in my field and still can't find a job because, guess what! All that volunteering people took away the market for paying ESL instructors in my area. So, my attempt to stay marketable actually ended up cheating myself out of a job!
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:14 PM   #469
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Re: Second Wives Club

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Mama I think you are not understanding at all. I have already discussed with my husband what I might be able to do to improve my ability to get a job. The assumption from one poster though was that all people regardless can do something right now. No not all of us can. Not right now. Others have decided they do not need to. That is their choice. Only they can decide if it is a bad decision for them and their familiis. Really to tell us all we have to do is to volunteer and do lunch with co workers is a comment totally out of touch with the day to day reality of life for so many.
You could do something right now, if you wanted to. You could email old coworkers regularly or stop by with kids to say hi a few times a year. You could take a free class via iTunes U or one of the Ivies that have them--they have many general and specific courses for things that can help you in a job or just life (resume, writing, communication, etc). You could get a book at the library to stay updated on the latest office programs. And so many other things. Would it be hard? Yes, but it could take less time that surfing ds. I finished my last three courses for my masters degree while my husband was in law school (gone up to 12 hours a day), had a toddler at home, and a baby at home. You can always do something.
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?
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:19 PM   #470
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Re: Second Wives Club

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.
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