I recently wrote a blog post responding to 10 Things to Never Say to a SAHM. A BWF mama shared another top 10 list with me from Redbook, but this time for working mothers. I want to always be as fair as I can, so I though I’d share my first thoughts to this new list.
Here is the top 10 list and my responses:
1. “It must be hard missing all those special moments every day.”
I actually get many special moments with my child. It must be hard missing all those special moments every day for you…since you spend most of it judging me.
2. “I suppose it’s smart that you’re working. You know, in case your husband leaves you some day.”
WTH?! I suppose it’s dumb you aren’t. You know, in case your husband leaves YOU some day.
3. “I’m surprised you went back to work. Your husband seems so successful.”
You shouldn’t assume you know why I am working. Some women LIKE to work outside the home. Gasp!
4. “It’s cute when they call your nanny “Mama.””
Blank stare. Walk away…just walk away. If you just have to say something…”you should hear what I’m teaching them to call you”.
5. “I just love my kids too much to leave them during the day.”
You’re right I don’t love my kids. Did you ever think maybe for our family, I am doing what IS in the best interest of my children?
6. “Did you see Dateline? The one with the hidden camera in the day care?”
Yes! The one where all the children are happily playing, doing fun activities, and learning so many great new things. That was awesome! I am so grateful my kids are in daycare!!!
7. “I could never let someone else raise my children. But that’s just me!”
SMH! Yes, I let others make all the decisions for my children. I have nothing to do with anything…their birth day parties, celebrating milestones, homework, haircuts, what they eat, medical decisions, their friends, teaching them valuable lessons. Heck, I don’t even cuddle, hug or kiss them and forget baths, tucking them in bed, being the first face they see when they wake up or jamming out in the car to great music or talking about their day. Nope, I have nothing to do with my children.
8. “I hated my mom because she was never home after school like everyone else’s mom.”
I am so sorry for your experience. I am grateful that is not our experience as well.
9. “You must feel so guilty.”
For what…? Seriously, for what?! That’s what I thought.
10. “I wish I were as laid-back as you and could just let the housework go.”
Damn, I wish I could just be like you and not care about hurting other people’s feelings.
Obviously all of this is said in a ‘tongue and cheek’ kind of way, although I do find these comments incredibly rude and judgmental. I can relate to both sides. I am a SAHM, but I regularly think about my other passions and actually struggle with wanting to pursue those or SAH. So, I don’t judge either way and I don’t know why others do. We are all mothers, we all adore our children and want what’s best for them. We are all in different situations and each family has to find the ebb and flow that is best for them. So, let’s give each other support and understanding no matter if we stay home, work from home, work outside the home or somewhere in between.
I know children whose mothers work outside of the home aren’t being entirely raised by someone else, but someone else is having a hand in raising them. That’s what my husband and I aren’t okay with for our family. We don’t want a third party having a daily influence in raising our kids. We don’t want someone saying “no” for minor things (rather, “Uh oh, the wall is not for coloring. Here is some paper.”)
This isn’t to say that we don’t want anyone having any influence on our kids ever, just that while they’re this little, we want to be the ones influencing them, showing them how to be treated and how to treat others.
This also isn’t to say that I judge parents whose kids attend daycare, because I don’t.
This is just important enough to both of us that we take the pay cut to be here with them. Both of us. My husband works from home and I do a few of his tasks for him. I know it’s not doable or even desirable for other families, and other families do value the daycare experience. It’s just not right for us.
Just wanted to mention that.
Honestly, I think it’s a break for my kids. I’m a little more strict than many of my friends, and I’m the one going “Don’t do that!” while my daycare provider is VERY good at teaching correction and still allowing the outlet the child is looking for. Also my son (almost three) is getting the most AWESOME experience learning how to relate to and treat others, and they do it very kindly. I think it’s important to find (and value) daycares like this! I don’t know about other moms, but I try to make sure my daycare provider knows exactly how much I value her, because she has taught my kids amazing things, and they have become better children (and people) because of her.
I agree that daycares can provide incredible experiences that I simply can’t do by myself at home. When I had only 1 child, he went to a daycare at about 9 months old. At Christmas when he was a year and a half, you could noticeably see a difference in his being able to interact with distant cousins, compared to the year older cousin that had been at home with grandma the entire time. My child still fondly remembers his daycare provider (different one) from when he was 4, and he is now 11. There can definitely be positive effects with a daycare! And, just so that you know I’m not one-sided, I also believe that if you are able to be home with your child for as much of their first year as possible, do so.
I’ve heard this debate as well before and let me explain my feelings on this.
When I’m selecting care for my children, I am interviewing these people to know that they will care for my children as I do. I have a person who comes to our home, because quite frankly I don’t want them in a center setting (and can’t afford a center). Then me having to rush them around in the morning put stress on everyone which is unnecessary. I also give our care-giver direction often in how I want the children taken care of… something that isn’t always possible in a center.
I find it very judgmental of the SAHM’s who use this particular line (the other people raising their kids line). Especially the ones who send their kids off to school after they’re four or five. Not every SAHM home-schools too. What makes you any better sending them off to public/private or otherwise school all day long just because they’re older? In my opinion it’s essentially the same thing, government paid daycare in the name of education. I agree with the line of thought that we are all mothers, we all love our children and we make our decisions accordingly. And we need to lift each other up and support one another with the assumption that we’re all doing our best. After all, it takes a village doesn’t it?
But even what you said sounds judgmental. People assume that you still work because you DON’T WANT to take a pay cut. Not every woman CAN take a pay cut. Some people don’t have a choice, so even what you wrote, even though you mean it kindly, sounds bad to the working mom who wants to be home.
A big here-here to EVERYTHING you wrote 🙂 (except the working from home part – hubs works in the city, but i stay home all day with them) i want to be there for EVERY moment for EVERY first, for EVERY experience in these precious early years… i wouldn’t miss it for all the second cars, holidays, takeout food, shiny new clothes and dinners out etc… I am happy with our decision to stick with just one, third hand, older car, stick with second hand clothes and toys, eat at home with homec ooked food most times and give holidays (except for day trips with picnics) a miss till the kids are not as reliant on me as they are now… i completely understand that other families make other choices and do what they feel is best for their families and who are we to judge each other? Any of us – the WOHM’s and the WAHM’s we need to stick together and support each other in the common goal of peace love and happiness and stop being bitter and mean to each other like so many women can be 🙂
“i wouldn’t miss it for all the second cars, holidays, takeout food, shiny new clothes and dinners out etc…”
It’s not always about the new, shiny things… we struggle to survive with our bills on two incomes… We live like you stated you do, we have 2 older vehicles, a house that needs repair, hand-me-down clothes and usually dinner at home. I would love to stay at home, even work from home, but it’s difficult to replace my income and health insurance (and no the cost of daycare doesn’t equal those out). We thought about my husband staying home, but 1) we need his income 2) the children might drive him bonkers and 3) he wouldn’t teach them like our caregiver does.
I commend you for making it work since most don’t even try… but please understand it’s not always about new, bigger and better.
Louise Casinelli Ryon
Yes. I work so the mortgage gets paid and not for “luxuries”. We have a 10 year old car and a 6 year old car. The last vacatgion we took was over 3 years ago and it was an inexpensive trip to the Catskills. I miss my son but we are doiing what is best for our family. My husband went through two jobs in three years. Fortunately, it is my company that provides benefits. I also was able to pick up extra hours and make a bit more income. God Provides. It is great that mothers can stay home. I must work and soon hope to work part-time so there is a better balance.
“i wouldn’t miss it for all the second cars, holidays, takeout food, shiny new clothes and dinners out etc…”
Second cars? Holidays? Are you kidding? I work to put food on the table. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way, but judgement taken.
You mentioned not knowing why others judge. Just my personal experience, having been on both sides of the fence, but generally, what a SAHM will tell a working mother to her face, is the same thing that she is using for excuses either to herself, or her significant other, or other family members involved, as to why she makes the decisions that SHE does. And vice versa. It is very easy to take the small leap from making excuses for ourselves to being judgmental of others for what we choose to NOT do. For myself, I prefer to do things MY way, because they ARE my way, recognizing that there is no “right” way. I also choose to not assume that “my way” is the best way for everyone else. Mothers are the same everywhere. When our children are infants/toddlers/adolescents/teens we tell other mothers how “our way” is better. Then when our children are adults, we become the “mothers-in-law” and tell our daughters-in-law how “our way” is better. Anyone else see a pattern emerging? 🙂 I am a very blunt and straightforward person. I have no compunction about telling someone to get their nose out of my business, and keep their opinions to themselves. I also tend to keep MY opinions to myself – unless they are requested. Then of course, like all other mothers, I can and shall wax eloquent. 🙂
Imogen @ Alternative Mama
Love this! Brilliant! In a world in which there seems to be little choice about whether to go back to work or not, this is a welcome break from the judginess. Let’s all just do what’s right for our families and SUPPORT EACH OTHER ffs. I’m a WAHM. It’s the right choice for us. I have to work because we wouldn’t be able to afford to pay our bills otherwise, but working outside of the home isn’t an option because of the cost of childcare.
I love how you show both sides of the story. Thanks Mrs BWF! I have been a SAH mum, working mum and now a WAH mum. None of the three are easier or better. They all have advantages and disadvantages they are just what works for me and my family at different stages of our lives.
I love that you mention all three! My kids go to daycare twice a week while I go to work or school, and then I work at home the other three weekdays and then dad and I are on duty on the weekends. It doesn’t matter if it’s a no-work day, a daycare day or a work-with-the-kids-running-around-screaming day, they are all hard!
Molly- I totally agree with you. But guess what? It is completely, utterly impossible for me to simply stay home with our daughter. It’s not just a little pay cut for us, it’s drastic enough that we can’t survive without an income from me. For now, my daughter goes to work with me or I work when my husband is home. This will be changing very soon, because the attention I give her when trying to work is not quality enough for me to say it’s better than her being in a quality day care, private sitter, or Montessori school (I’m still looking). My husband and I also feel that if I’m always working when he’s home or vice versa, then we are missing out on too much time as a family unit, and she’s missing too many critical examples of how a healthy relationship looks and acts. You will never understand the guilt that accompanies a decision like this until you have been there, and I say this as someone who stayed home for most of my daughter’s first year. The thought of leaving her with someone else made me physically ill for a long time, and surrounded as I am by SAHMs, I felt as though I was failing. I now know better, and am so happy and fulfilled in my job. But there is still that feeling of being judged, more so for me than when I stayed home.
Imogen @ Alternative Mama
Chelsea, I’m so glad you said this!! I’m a WAHM (freelance writer and blogger) and I really hate how much time it takes away from my kids. I could probably earn more money in less time if i were to work away from the home. Yeah, this way I’m home with the kids but I’m rarely present.
Sorry for the ramble, I tend to just let things fall out of my head (lol). I just appreciate your comment and your insight and honesty of saying that sometimes it IS better for the kid and for the family unit for a mother to work outside of the home.
I love your comment, too. I was dreading sending my kids to daycare when we first started almost a year ago. I interviewed provider after provider, and finally found one I really liked, but was still so nervous. And those first few weeks I had to MAKE myself wait to go pick them up…. I just wanted to run and get them. Now I see how much of a benefit it is – I get more work done, can spend more time with my husband and my kids that is QUALITY time, they get to socialize a couple days a week and learn how to interact, and everyone is happy.
Thanks January! 🙂
I’m a mom who dreamed from the time I was a little girl of being a SAHM and homeschooling (unschooling, really) my kids. Unfortunately, I can’t do that, unless I was going to go on social assistance, which I don’t want to do.
For me, it’s really hard to “fit in”. I find my parenting practices and values quite different from most other WOHMs, yet I don’t feel included in most groups of SAHMs, because I am labelled a WOHM. So it’s really hard.
Thankfully, my older child loves school, but I still feel like it’s wrong that I’m not the one teaching him all the time. I know in the next 10 years or so, I’m going to struggle a lot with the whole homework issue, since I think there is way too much, and would rather he be learning from life, and ME, as much as possible.
I am VERY lucky that my mom watches my kids for me while I work. Honestly, I think I would rather go on welfare than have my kids in daycare for such a large amount of time. That’s just me…it’s not that I hate daycares, I just wouldn’t feel the same about non-family members caring for my children so much. Especially when I had to go back to work when my younger son was just under 6 months old. There’s no way I could have taken him to daycare so young.
Molly, I’m a single mom, and I work. But even if I was married and could afford to SAH, I think I would have to work. Not for money, but for my own sanity. I love my son, but I also love that he gets to be around other kids, and other adults influence him. I think it’s absurd to assume that only you as a parent have hand in raising your child. There is no such thing as having a “3rd” party raising our children. I think no matter how much we try, others influence our children early on; other parents, children, family members, siblings, etc… They all have a hand in raising our children. I think as a single parent I have unique perspective, because I had little choice but to admit early on that I needed help from others. I accepted my “village” a long time ago and never looked back. I know my son will benefit greatly from it.
I work out of the home because I HAVE to. I make the majority of the income and I also carry the health insurance. It breaks my heart that I can’t be home with my daughter everyday and that there are things that I don’t get to see “first.” But I do get to see them even if it’s a few hours later. As much as I would like to be the first to see them I still get to see them and when I walk through the door at my sitter’s house I see my daughter’s eyes light up because she knows that I’M mom and she can’t wait to go home with ME. 🙂 It does bother me that there is someone aside from my husband and I who have an influence on our daughter’s behavior but I’ve been very vocal about what I want for my daughter and was very particular in who I chose to watch her. She has gone to the same sitter since she was 7 weeks old and we’ve NEVER had an issue. She is extremely well adjusted, social, smart and sweet. All moms go through most of the same things and we all need to stick together and be supportive of one another.
@Melissa, I LOVE these sentiments thank you. This is exactly how we felt as well. I have the health insurance and higher pay. My husband wouldn’t do as well with the children at home as myself or even our sitter. Not that he isn’t wonderful with our children, he just wouldn’t do as much developmentally with them. But his income is also necessary so that’s not even an option.
Thank you so much for this post! I think being a SAHM is the hardest job there is – it’s just never a job I’ve wanted. I love the work I do for a nonprofit I believe it and I feel like I’m a better mom because I work. My husband works nights so he’s with my son during the days when I’m away. I work 4 ten hour days so I have Friday – Sunday to just be a mom. Sure it’s hard but we make it work! Thanks again!
Most of the comments above seem to assume a choice is to be made. I would have happily been a SAHM, but circumstances lead to me being the sole provider for my two children and I HAVE NO CHOICE. I have very few luxuries. Hell sometimes, I don’t even have necessities. But my kids always do. And my kids know that I am the one who is looking out for them, and always have their best interests in mind. They are both well-adjusted, socially able, well-mannered children who have been in daycare and public school since they were young. They have a great range of friends, and are not fearful of speaking up for themselves, taking care of themselves and know when (and how) to ask a safe adult for help when they need it. They are also able to entertain themselves without a TV or electronic device for long periods of time, because I have coached them on being happy with their own company. While I wish I had more time to spend with them, and had more money to spend on them, the situation is what it is, and we make the best of it, as a family. Stay at home, work out of the home, work away from home. If you’re a mom, you’re a mom. Circumstances are different for every family, and the choices we would prefer are not always available to us, no matter how much we want them.
I didn’t used to understand why women do what they do. After meeting many women in different situations (some single or with very unsupportive husbands) I have realized that I have no right to judge them for their choices. Most of us are doing the very best we can and already have the burden of our choices on our shoulders. I think women deal with guilt no matter their situation and more than anything deserve to be loved and accepted and cared about. If they feel in their heart they are making the wrong choice then that is up to them to decide and the rest of us should give just them the love and support they need. They are ones who live their life. Who needs someone making rude comments when there is already enough stress in the world? We need more unity and less judgement. The world attacks good women today and especially mothers and why not work to bring them peace and understanding?
Hum, well I am not sure about the at home mom vs the working mom I do think ALL MOMS are hard on themselves. Trait of a good mom I think. We all make choices, but maybe some of our mom’s should have taught us to not say anything if you can’t say something nice. 😀 That being said I have done every crazy schedule you can do as a mom, at home, at work, wacky hours to match husbands hours, blah blah blah….you get the idea. I think the worst is rotating schedules with your spouse. Yup for sure the worse. I would love to know what other moms think that have rotated shifts with the husband. Terrible isn’t it?! 😉 Enjoy being a mom. Enjoy your moments. Worry about your self. Keep your mouth shut when you should. The world is an independent and subjective place. Your view doesn’t not apply to everyone’s situations.
i LOVE both the SAH and Working mom posts. we all just need to get along and quite being idiots to each other! being rude is just plain rude! i think i hear a chorus of “why cant we be friends?! why cant we be friends?!” lol i loved your responses…oh if we all just thought before we spoke!:D
I think there is a place to judge a practice versus judging the individuals involved. It is very difficult for us to discuss an issue in principle without taking offense or resorting to our own personal stories. As a society, are we benefited from institutionalizing a huge portion of our young children? Are children harmed by being directly supervised by their own parents and extended family all day? Is the type of socialization that occurs in an environment with a high ratio of children to caregivers the best type? We all have a right to judge the practice of institutionalizing children because those children will grow up to be the leaders of our nation, to the be spouses of our grown children, to be the police officers and nurses and teachers of the future. We have the RIGHT to comment on whether that is ultimately going to make us a better society or not. Just because it isn’t harmful to a particular child, or just because a particularly family that is uber-committed to good parenting can make it work does not mean that the practice of mothers working outside the home and having others acting as the primary care givers is a good practice on the whole. Every mother has the right to make that decision for her own child, but she doesn’t have the right to insist that others not make a judgment on the effect her decision will have on everyone else.
I absolutely agree our children should come first. That raising them in loving, attentive homes is extremely important not only for them, but for our society and nation. However, being or having a SAHM vs a working mom does not guarantee a better society. How the home is, how the parents treat their children, how other around them treat them (family, friends, nanny, day care, school and teachers) makes a difference. There are many more factors to consider in what you are talking about, not just working mom vs stay at home mom. I don’t think it’s fair to generalize that women working and children in different day care settings will cause our society to be one way and if moms stay home it will be another way. It’s the KIND of mother a child has that is the most important in my opinion.
I agree with Mrs BWF… if you have an unhappy mother who is staying home because she thinks that’s what’s “best for society” what good is that doing her child? And if a mom staying home is going to cause them to not have the basic necessities such as a home that causes even more damage. I work with many families and children who have been homeless the child’s entire life. The insecurity and delays these children have are astronomical. I am very grateful for many women I know who work and have children including PICU nurses, police officers and even the owners of my favorite coffee shops.
I think whatever a mother WANTS to do-whether it be stay home, work outside the home, it should be her choice and all the more power to her. What I find frustrating is that america has such a crappy maternity leave policy and a lot of women don’t have that choice.
Here’s the irony in judging others about their parenting choices. Whatever you give your children, you take something valuable away. If you provide everything they ever wanted, you deprive them of knowing the value of those things. I love to give my kids things, but I valued things more when I was growing up because we didn’t have a lot, and I appreciated every little treat. My kids don’t. Does that mean it’s wrong of me to provide more for them? Hmmm… If you stay home with your kids, you could argue that you are depriving them of the socialization they’d get at daycare. If you go to work, you could argue that the kids are not seeing enough of their parents. I think it is very individual. My child does not do as well being home with me all day. We both go stir crazy. She enjoys her friends at daycare, and whether it is a strength or failing (I honestly don’t know!), I just can’t be a full-time mom. So I’m grateful that my kiddo seems to love daycare so much. I need to be doing other things. But I do sometimes feel envious of women who are happy staying home with the kids and being homemakers. I’d love it if I were more orderly and more domestic. I’m not being judgmental or condescending when I say that. Ultimately, we have to accept our strengths and acknowledge that everything in life is a trade-off. I am grateful for the SAHM who decided to open a daycare to be able to afford to stay at home with her kids. She has taken wonderful care of my child for the past 3 years and prepared her well to head off to kindergarten in the Fall. We are still under the cultural spell that we can raise our children without any outside influence or help – or that we “should” be able to do so. It’s not true. I appreciate that it really does take a village… and regardless of the hours racked up in each location, this child’s upbringing in me and my husband’s focus, not anyone else’s. That’s what makes us parents, not what kind of work we do or how many hours we log with our children each day.
Hi, I take care of little ones in a daycare.
I take VERY GOOD care of them; I change many diapers a day, I gently wipe noses, I wash hands and faces, prepare warm bottles for them and I do all this stuff so that they are well cared for. These working Moms are paying me part of their hard earned salary for a reason and it’s no one’s business to question or criticize a Mom’s decision to work. You usually don’t know the whole story. When a mother is worried to leave her child at first, I tell her (AND IT’S MY BELIEF) that I’m just keeping them in a holding pattern until you come back. And when they come back after a long day, and see their child happy and running to them, I tell them ‘it’s because you are their favorite person!’
And y’know what else? All Moms are working Moms. *sigh*
So true!! Thanks for being a great and sensitive caregiver!
Awww Tamar that’s really special. As a working mother myself, I know how hard it is for me to leave the kids (even though it’s my own sister who watches them!). It’s really a kind thing for you to tell the moms that you are just keeping the children in a holding pattern until the mom comes back, and let them know that they’re still the child’s favorite person. On behalf of all the working Mamas out there…thank you!!
Thank you for being so fair in your postings. It helps to feel as if us WM have a strong support system also.
I have to share my most recently received comment…”Well if you stayed at home maybe your child would want to be around you more.” (Inside thought: “Well, since I don’t stay at home, my child has learned to become an independent thinker and problem solver at the age of 1 and who in their right mind would want that.”)
i bust my butt to work,breastfeed,do house work ect i have 4 kids under 5,i am exhausted but i do it all for my kids,to give them the best i can,good school,big bday parties ect…thank u very much for posting this as people shuld stop judging!my partner is a baker,not a great income so i dnt have a choice.itz extreamly hard to work with a large young family but if i ddnt i would b judged for having a large family just to get welfare benifits,either way i cant win.
What a great post! The “war” between working (and WAH) moms and SAH moms has no reason to be. We all work hard in different ways, and we all make the choices that are the best for our families. Having been on both sides of the fence (I’ve been a WAHM for a while, with my own business helping other moms, WAH and SAH both, find their own balance in this exercise – dailymastery.com if you are interested), I know how hard it is to be a SAHM, and I know how challenging it is to be a working mom. My only wish is that women would stop judging each other or themselves, and let go of the guilt of doing what feels like the best option for their children/family. This would make life vastly easier.
Honestly- I have to soften my heart on this one because, I really think the husband should man up & provide so that the mother can be home. It’s a HUGE sacrifice, and too many dudes these days abdicate their role and allow a strong woman to take over & have to fuss with being the bread winner. Single moms are obviously exempt from this concept. I know there should be a sense of solidarity amongst women, and I need to aim for that- but I strongly believe that being a SAHM is
crucial. I say that, and my kids make me bonkers at times 😉 but, I want them to be shaped by my husband & I through the sovereignty of the Lord- and not feel any remorse or guilt for leaving them. They will be in school one day and I will have some occupational outlet from 9-3 🙂
Why hello, 1950! Nice to see you again!
Agree with the need to avoid being judgmental! My 2mo daughter is my first and I truly don’t think I can judge other women’s choices now that I know how incredibly difficult a decision it is. All mothers have their children’s best interests at heart, but there isn’t always a clear cut “best-for-the-child” choice. That’s just how life is. Given how much I love my daughter and what a difficult decision it is for me to make how could I possibly criticize another woman for having decided the other way. (BTW, am currently on leave until my LO is about 4 1/2 months and still not sure what our choice will be.)
Up until recently, I was a full time student (read: 24-29 credits per semester). Now that I’ve graduated, I’m at home with my 2 year-old full time until I begin my new career. And I’m counting the minutes until I can get back to work. Maybe that makes me a horrible mother, but I have found my calling in life and it’s not to be a SAHM. Believe me, I’ve learned a whole new respect for SAHMs since I’ve been home, but this is not the life for me. I love my daughter and she’s a ball of energy and learning new things every minute, but I’m am being 100% honest when I say that she is better off in day care. It has nothing do do with my husband “manning up” to provide for his family – he does that just fine, thanks, and backed me fully when I decided to quit my job pre-kid and go back to school. And he supports me emotionally and financially now as I start my own business. I think being a strong female role model for my daughter that teaches her that she can be anything she wants – be it engineer, doctor, artist, writer, or SAHM – is the best thing I can be.
Sometimes people just say dumb things, don’t take it so personally.
I went back to work 7 weeks after my daughter was born. Worked until she was 3. When I was laid off, we made a lot of sacrifices so I could stay home. Went down to 1 car, stopped going out, got cheaper cable and phone service, etc. After my son was born, I loved being home with them, but Ill be the first to admit that at times I feel trapped. Its hard! Being a sahm is no walk in the park. I have to sometimes send them to my moms just to have a minutes peace! Its horrible to want a vacation from your kids, but I love being with them, and seeing them play and grow. Its a totally diff experience from one child to the next.
I have since gone back to school, and will soon start my nursing career, and I will really miss them, but each family has its own dynamic, and has to decide for itself.
I know that several Stay at home Moms get down on Working Mothers. It sucks, but that is how things are- people are judgmental. Not all of them, but it happens. I have accepted that.
Who I really feel for, is my husband. My husband will be a Stay at Home Dad when I go back to work after my maternity leave is over. You think it is hard being judged as a Working Mother, try being on the blunt end of the judgement as a Stay at Home Dad. Yes, it is a double standard, but people are really condescending to Stay at Home Fathers. (We are even getting it from our own family.) “A Mother should stay at home, but it is wrong for a Father to stay at home.”
I have read comments about Stay at Home Dads from women who honestly think either the man can’t handle it or they are going to (or even want to) abuse their children. I was sickened by some of these beliefs.
It is a two edged sword on the Stay at Home/Working Parent front.
Oh, that’s a new one LOL! But so true!
There are a couple of stay-at-home dad’s at my son’s pre-school. Well, one of them is a part-time SAH dad. He and his wife both work at the university here, but his schedule is more flexible than hers, so he has opted to be the “available” parent most days.) Another has been a SAH dad for 3 years now because his wife works for a large hospital, makes excellent money, and has great family benefits, etc. He said that it was a very hard choice for her to make, but he would have to work THREE jobs to provide what she can putting in less than 40 hours a week. Thay decided, as a family, that she would make the sacrifice to return to work part of the time rather than him having to work SO much that they would never see him at all.
But I know, without a doubt, that many people’s first thoughts upon seeing these two dads at playgroups around town has been “Why is HE at home with the kids? Can’t hold a job, or what?” Alot of people don’t even consider that it might have been a calculaed choice……
So working moms would love to be a stay at home min but do not have an option not to work. In our economy many women are having to work full time just to make ends meet or to obtain good medical insurance for their children. This is the case for my husband and my self. We both have a college degree and a professional job, but our special needs child’s expensive medical care is covered better by my job. Thus, I must work full time so her basic medical needs are met. It is very hard for me when I am judged by SAH moms who say they could never leave their child three days a week to work. Apparently these are mom’s who have never walked a day in my shoes. Having to work day after day in the same room where I watched my son die and where my daughter became disabled, knowing that by continuing to work she will have a better life and may someday walk well. So SAH mom’s please do not judge working Mom’s. Instead uplift them because these mom’s go ALL the things that SAH moms do and still manage to hold a full time job.
As far as the father abusing the child.. of course that is ridiculous.. however part of the reason I left the father of my daughter was because of his insitance that spanking is sometimes the only way to teach a child.. I think that it is more likely for a man to exact physical punishment, just by nature, but of course that is a generalization and is not always true (thank goddess).
As far as stay at home, vs work outside the home… I’m a SAH, evolving into a WAH and I believe it is the best thing for me and my daughter. If I feel stir crazy, we go for a hike (I live in the mountains), and we go and visit her friends often so she gets plenty of interaction. I have such deep gratitude for being able to stay home with my daughter and say thank you in my prayers every day…
A lot of countries in Europe have 3 years maternity leave, this being based in the fact that up until 3, children benefit most from having one dependable caregiver.. grandma, auntie, mom, dad, doesn’t matter, as long as it is somebody they are comfortable with.. In tribal cultures, the old take care of the young I understand what Theresa is saying and personally I agree.. but I also agree that if a woman is not happy as a SAH, whether out of boredom or lack of funds, she should not be one! A child will benefit MOST from having a parent that is happy!
But, hello 1950? That’s just not true… Try all of history. I don’t know how many men in tribal cultures you see hunting with a baby strapped onto their back 😉
I am so glad that someone mentioned a SAH dad!!! I was once a SAHM for two years. It was not my passion. 8 years later, I have a new baby and completly different circumatances. For me, it was so much easier to be a SAHM. Now, I work full time, my husband has recently started a part time job and I catch grief regularly about him not working ft. Issues have arose in our life that has made it where I am the bread winner (which I love. I LOVE what I do. ICU/ER nurse, btw) and yet still only have to work 3 nights a week. I don’t feel like I miss out on anything other than nursing my baby to sleep. I had to go back to work when he was less than 4 weeks old. Now that, that made me sad. Moms should never have to leave a baby that soon. But, I didn’t have a choice. Anyway, my hubby’s soft, laid back personality makes it so much better for our kids to be at home with him. I wish moms would not feel bad for going back to work. Be proud of what you can provide for your family and the skill that you can provide for others in society. I am very fullfilled, at home and work.
I can relate to your situation, Working Mom. My husband makes a much better SAH parent than I do. It’s just in his nature to be more patient and laid-back, while my personality makes me a darn productive employee. I guess we’re just playing to our strengths!