Friday, January 18, 2008

"If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way."

So, I've been doing some "deep thinking" lately. And when thoughts like this one swirl about in my brain, my only release is to Google (I love that this has become a verb) the topic and find out the latest that's going around the internet. I do this for 2 reasons: to inform myself, and to see how closely my perspective on an issue matches (or doesn't) with the reigning side of the debate.

The topic I'm pondering at the moment is the great debate (yes! there is one!) between stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) vs. work-out-of-home moms (WOHMs) vs. work-at-home moms (WAHMs). Need proof this is an issue? Take a look at this article and this one.

Essentially, it boils down to this: women are targeting each other over the decision to stay home or not. Maybe it's not always conspicuous targeting - being women, it's probably more subtle and covert - but my hunch is that it might be worse among those of us who learn or believe that being a mother is one of our major and most important roles in life. Maybe Mormon Mommy Wars have talked this one to death, maybe not. I don't know. All I know is that the above articles are old-ish and this is a matter of concern to me NOW. Why? I don't know that either. I've even looked at the Church website several times for information, which is good and gets more to the heart of it. Yet, the debate rages on. Maybe. It does, doesn't it?

One of these articles is just some asinine woman's take on womanhood/motherhood and that women have a responsibility to not expect it all. She says that if women want to be "career women" they should limit themselves to one child in order to achieve the optimum outcome. Yeah, I'm not feeling the love, either.

The other article posits that women should make their choice and feel settled in it - get away from crushing self-doubt and second-guessing and just feel confident in the decision they have made, whichever it is. If women could do this, says this article, they would STOP targeting each other and target the REAL villain: employers and the way they think about the archaic system of work. Now, this sounds more like it - let's haul out our shovels and pitchforks and go after the monster that is Corporate America, ladies! Except, this doesn't really get to the heart of it for me, either. This article was written in 2000. We're going on a decade later, and I'm still left wondering what the real issues are.

I'm still trying to find out, but while I'm looking and pondering, I thought I'd put this out there for an open-ended discussion. What is your experience, rationale, understanding, and anything-else-you-want-to-talk-about?

[Title quote is from "The Untouchables"]


Jonathan & Katherine Earl said...

You reminded me of something that really annoys me which is parents that view public assistance as a means to have more children. I realize that some people need help to get back on their feet, however, I know people that have pre-meditatedly thought out having children and use public funds to take care of needs for the next child. How irresponsible! For people that use public assistance as a means for living rather than only trying to get on their feet financially, I say to them, "Get off my back leach."

Sorry! This really doesn't have to do with the different types of Moms, except that, if a mother want's to stay at home and have more children, she should be responsible and not plan to make other people, like the public, pay for it.

Jen said...

I am really curious to see where some of your comments go!
You know I am a SAHM fan. If at all possible I say it is the best way to raise your kiddos. But every family is different, what works for us might not work for somebody else.

Caroline said...

I'm a SAHM. And I love it, most of the time. But I also work part-time as a stylist. I'm able to work from my home, which is nice, and choose my own hours, which is AWESOME. And I get to be "me" instead of "mom-me" It's just a really nice release for me.

I love my kids, and love that I get to take care of them and provide for them. But I also love having something that is just mine, that I don't have to share.

What is really boils down to is you. Maybe try if for a few weeks. See how if goes. You might really enjoy just being at home. yes, it can get monotonous. But I think the pros outweigh the cons, bigtime.

If you do decide to work, I think you should really invest in some stellar childcare. Children are a direct result of their environment and a good provider is VERY important....

hayngrl101 said...

Can you have your cake and eat it, too?

I think we can. I went to grad school thinking it would directly benefit my children (which I believe it has). Now, I work part-time and am home part-time. DH is home with the kids while I'm out doing my thang. It totally works for us because we don't have child care expenses, but more importantly, I don't fret about the care my kids are getting while I am putting my nose to the grindstone.

trina said...

i say whatever works... i knew i had to stay home at first and was happy with that but then felt that it was not what i wanted to do forever so began my education and now that the kids have their independence i can comfortably go back to work... well it's only 3 days a week but the money also provides more opporitunities for us and them! oh, and ditto to those moneysuckers!!

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