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  1. #21
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    In another thread I recently described parenting as being very like what's described in this article, since that's what I see all around me in the NYC area, and rather more obsessive than that!

    Bunch of people tore me a new one. Go figure!

    I'm glad there's still SOMEone out there who doesn't think they've just hatched out the first/last kid on earth.

    I stayed single 'cause I could never have lived that life. I'd have been barking mad from boredom in 5 minutes.


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  2. #22
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    Lady Eboshi, I agree I would have gone mad too. That is why I (1) selected a spouse who is fine with sharing the parenting role, and (2) we left DC for the midwest, where insane parenting like that article describes is not the norm. It certainly WAS the norm in our Bethesda neighborhood and I didn't want my kid to grow up like that, or to feel like he was somehow deprived because we were doing something different.



  3. #23
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    I think people took exception to the notion that ALL parents and parenting had to be exactly the same way as the helicopter weirdos in Fairfield County, CT.
    There's a million ways to be a good parent. No one way is the "right way"...only the right way for that family.
    Just as a working mom is not a bad mom, a SAHM is not a servant. Making broad statements like that only shows a narrow bias and the inability to see situations from any side not your own.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    6 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    And SAHMs are lazy leeches who sit on the couch and take long afternoon naps -- again, how insulting.
    I don't know if you're alluding to my post with this (I didn't see any other comment that even remotely resembled it), but if you are you misread it. What I said about moms being able to take a two-hour break while the kiddies are napping doesn't mean I think that all moms actually DO that. But in an office that isn't even an option unless you're looking to get fired.

    And my comment was also a direct response to another poster who seemed to suggest that office-job moms could simply hit "send to voicemail" and keep painting their fingernails or chatting with coworkers or whatever, which, frankly, is also kind of offensive. People in offices often have fires to put out, too. They just don't involve kids.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


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  5. #25
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    Please explain the difference other than psychological between a SAHM and a servant.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Please explain the difference other than psychological between a SAHM and a servant.
    Well, last time I checked servants get paid in cash. So they are more like working moms than SAHMs.


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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Please explain the difference other than psychological between a SAHM and a servant.
    1. A servant has an employer who hires, and can fire, him or her. On a related note, the servant's performance is presumably supervised and judged regularly, if not daily. You can say that a SAHM's performance can be judged by her husband, but you and I both know that's not the same thing. Most SAHMs are not going to be "fired" or divorced by their husbands unless the relationship's in the dumper anyway.
    2. A servant works in someone else's home, not his or her own.
    3. A SAHM is raising her own children, not tending someone else's.
    4. A servant, as I believe you mentioned earlier, probably has to wear some kind of uniform or adhere to some kind of dress code. A SAHM can wear shorts, sweat pants, jeans, whatever.
    5. Being a SAHM is a lifestyle choice. Being a servant is a means of supporting oneself independently. You can choose whether or not to be a SAHM in a way that you cannot choose whether or not to support yourself. Unless you want to be homeless.
    6. A servant cannot take a break by plopping the kids down in front of the TV or putting them down for a nap. And before anyone goes nuts on me for this I am not saying that doing this is BAD THING, or that all SAHM do this to enable their own laziness. But SAHMs generally have that OPTION.
    7. Servants presumably cannot run errands, exercise, grocery shop, pick up dry cleaning or take care of other personal business while they are "on the clock."

    There are probably more, but that seems like enough to answer your question.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


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  8. #28
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    I've pitched in on enough of these threads that it feels very repetitive to say much more.

    Lady Eboshi nobody "ripped you a new one"; I think we pointed out that your description of parenthood that you extended across the majority was not accurate.

    This board has a certain demographic and it really shows sometimes.


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  9. #29
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    Please explain the difference other than psychological between a SAHM and a servant.
    The inability of those in neither position to see any difference.

    A SAHMom: The mom part means that there is a dad. BOTH parents made the children. The children are the full responsibility of both parents. A SAHM or SAHD means that one parent is doing their familial duties by contributing outside income and the other parent is doing their familial duties by raising the children and caring for the home. One duty or job does not nullify the other. Both provide necessities. The children are not the dad's children and the mom becomes a servant raising them for him. By comparing a SAHP to a servant is to say that the only power on the planet is money. And s/he who earns is holds the power.

    In a responsible and mature household, if both parents make the decision for one to stay home and raise children (and usually then also take on caring for the household) then they are making the decision for the outside income to be pooled. They made the decision that the income coming in belongs to both. Many couples, even with both working, pool incomes. Many prefer to keep incomes seperate. Some prefer to pool a percentage of the incomes and keep seperate another percentage for individual discretionary income. None are right or wrong...each depends on that couples' choice.

    And like anything else...it works in some couples and doesn't in others. Hence stating "in responsible and mature" households.

    Nowadays there are many couples who, when they decide to have one stay home, have a plan and contract made up similar to a pre-nup to protect the spouse that stays home.

    Stating that one is a servant due to someone who doesn't agree with this arrangement is immature and frankly silly. I was a SAHM for 10 years. I worked all before that and banked/invested a decent portion. (had a chunk of years horseless, quite easy to save without horses, LOL) I now work from home as my youngest is out of the nest. In the 10 years I was considered a SAHM, I was earning a portion of the outside income with the work I did in and around the house and raising the children. As much as my husband was earning it. Some went towards the children, some went towards the household, some was discretionary and some was saved. Just like anyone else. Had my husband decided to "up and leave" without warning (and there's usually warning signs) I'd have been fine financially. Because we *both* chose that lifestyle.

    Now I can see if one parent decides that and the other is foolish, there could be serious issues for the SAHP. But if someone has never had a mature, responsible relationship and/or children...it's just as foolish to make pronouncements and judgements on something you haven't any experience in. Just like it would be to have had bad relationships or have seen bad relationships and assume everyone else has the same situation and judge them by your own personal past. It's also insulting to the working parent in a SAHP situation to infer that they're all dictators who view the SAHP as a servant.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  10. #30
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    This thread makes me sad. Nobody should be belittled for the choices they make, as long as those choices make the person and their family happy. We bemoan the loss of social values and personal responsibility, we bitch about teachers having to 'raise' kids for parents who don't care, but when a parent chooses to stay home and be the main care giver, we think them worthless. Nice.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    10 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    And yes, history and biology bears out that generally, females are better suited to deal with offspring--that is how we evolved (not least because we're mammals and until very, VERY recently, you wanted an infant fed you were either nursing or you were wealthy enough for a wet nurse).
    I haven't finished the article yet. It pisses me off, so it I can only take 1-2 pages at a time.

    But as a professional historian of evolutionary biology, and someone who has read On the Origin of Species more than once, and followed every major evolutionary argument for the last 150+ years, I'll remind you that this "women were evolved to do... wait for it... exactly what they do now" is specious. There is no logical way to know if this is true. It does, however, support one view of gender or another and that almost always has to do with money and politics. So beware purportedly neutral science weighing in!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    6 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustbreeches View Post
    This thread makes me sad. Nobody should be belittled for the choices they make, as long as those choices make the person and their family happy. We bemoan the loss of social values and personal responsibility, we bitch about teachers having to 'raise' kids for parents who don't care, but when a parent chooses to stay home and be the main care giver, we think them worthless. Nice.
    If you have the means to allow partners in a marriage to choose, that's fine. I do think the ultimate accomplishment of feminism would be to allow women to choose their role, even change that as she deems.

    But let's be clear: This is a problem limited to the affluent. If you can't pay the family bills on one adult's income, everyone has to have jobs.

    Historically. women have not been able to support one another across class lines.... rich women don't get on board with the issues that matter to poor women and perhaps vice versa, though we don't hear a hell of a lot from poor feminists.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  13. #33
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    I like the article alot. I also believe that the purpose of feminism was to give women a choice. You want to go out into the world and work -go for it. You want to stay home and raise your babies -go for it. You don't have to answer to anyone.

    I will tell you from a public health perspective there are some interesting indicators -measures of risk for young people -nobody at home is a big one. Kids making decisions they don't have the skills to make. Another is family sit-down meals. Families that eat together talk to each other. Guess what gets really hard to do on a regular basis when all the adults are working?

    So if any parent says to me -"I am going to quit my job and go home to raise my kids" I will say Amen.

    What makes this hard; the nuclear family is a bill of goods -it is less than ideal for child rearing, and it is brittle. It is less than ideal because too few adults are responsible for care of children, care of each other, and financial support. For example, in Frederick MD when I was living there the median house price was 385K but the median income was 50K. It pretty much guaranteed that two incomes would be required to raise children in a regular house.

    So if you happen to be female and you decide that you're going to stay at home and raise your children and take care of your family you have no explanations to make to me. More power to you, your children and your family will benefit.

    Paul
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  14. #34
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    If you have the means to allow partners in a marriage to choose, that's fine. I do think the ultimate accomplishment of feminism would be to allow women to choose their role, even change that as she deems.
    They do that now.

    But let's be clear: This is a problem limited to the affluent. If you can't pay the family bills on one adult's income, everyone has to have jobs.
    Actually the SAHM stories read and heard about are on affluent families in affluent areas.
    But there are more of them in much less affluent areas.

    There is absolutely no need to be wealthy to afford to a SAHP. That is only required if the parents want to live a certain level of lifestyle in certain expensive areas.

    There is absolutely no need for all the excess we deem necessary today. But if you do want all of it and live in an area with a high cost of living then you will probably require a double income if one of the incomes isn't hefty.

    I know a couple farriers with SAHMs at home, a grocer, bunch of dairy farmers, a couple system analysts (with SAHDs), police officers, plumber, etc. Decent incomes but hardly considered affluent. Especially in CT. They have budgets and stick to them. They prefer their lifestyle for themselves.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Please explain the difference other than psychological between a SAHM and a servant.
    She gets paid more. Look, this is a job for the comparatively wealthy. Her standard of living is higher than the one I'd think of when you say "servant." You mean 19th/early 20th-century Britain, all Gosford Park or Remains of the Day style?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #36
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    MistyBlue, I completely agree with you that you do not have to be wealthy to be a SAHP. You do have to have skills, however. Unfortunately, the kinds of classes that teach these skills (home economics, FFA, etc) are going out of style, or are the first on the block when the budget needs to be cut. So unless you are lucky enough to have learned this from your own parents or guardians, you have a heck of a learning curve ahead of you.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  17. #37
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    OP, you have a very jaded view of the stay at home wife/mom. Taking your opinion out a little farther: an employed wife/mother is STILL the unpaid slave of the husband because most women do the bulk of the housework and child care. The only difference that she has a second job which pays her money.

    I never considered myself unpaid. My husband had a talent for going out and making money...not a lot, but enough. He paid all the bills AND recreation. I mean, after all, his was the only money coming in. He was generous to a fault. This is what he did FOR our family.

    My contribution was that I made it EASY for him to go to work. I cared for our home, the children, made sure he had clean clothes to wear, made sure there were healthy meals for everyone, made his breakfast and lunch (he always brown bagged it). These were the things I did FOR our family.

    I always felt I was a very important part of making it all work smoothly. I NEVER saw myself as a second-class citizen or an unpaid slave. I saw myself as a vibrant, creative woman who happily spent my days doing whatever I wanted to do...including going trail riding with the kids after school. And sitting down to cookies and milk after school. That interim between the school bus and going out to play provided the kids and me with an intimate time to talk about the day, school, kids, plans, hopes, dreams. I wouldn't have missed that 30 minutes for all the world. I was able to be intune to them and notice when things were off; to question them gently to understand whether there were serious problems going on or just kid stuff. I think that is missing for today's kids. There's nobody to talk to or to listen to them. It's no wonder they behave the way they do.

    I wouldn't have missed having that time at home for all the money in the world, awards, promotions or anything.

    Remember the next time you go to work...you're just a slave to your employer. The only you get in return for your effort is money.


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  18. #38
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    I don't think you have to be wealthy to be a SAHM, either. And there are many, many middle class, working class and poverty-level families doing that.

    In fact, for many folks the arrival of a second kid and paying daycare for two babes forces the decision to have one parent become the SAHMan/Woman.

    Reading the article though, I don't think the discussion involves the families who are doing this due to economic necessity. The question is whether or not women with graduate degrees and careers should have the option to pour themselves into the SAHM role.

    Of course they should, but man, oh, man these people are the uber-parents. What a narrow and silly conversation about feminism if it's going to revolve around the legitimacy of a woman who crochets animal ear hats for her kids and blogs about parenting in addition to doing it. IMO, that's not a fight worth fighting... especially since it leaves the huge disparity between men and women in pay, stereotypes and career advancement and "also ran" issue. That one arguably does more to hurt women of all tax brackets than does, say, the loss of legitimacy for the woman who makes sure her kids eat only homemade baby food.

    In addition the "women are just like men" rather than "separate but equal" is a result of continued gender bias. Who said the man was the standard of comparison in the first place? So when the author writes, "Why can't be be girls rather than girls trying to be boys?" she's feeling the limitation of making men the standard version of "human." Oh, and by the way, what kind of female idiot with a husband and children wants to be a 'girl'? She's a woman and should aspire to be if she wants to help her own cause.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    She gets paid more. Look, this is a job for the comparatively wealthy. Her standard of living is higher than the one I'd think of when you say "servant." You mean 19th/early 20th-century Britain, all Gosford Park or Remains of the Day style?
    Well, I was going to say that the working hours are also much longer and sex is usually not included in the normal servant job description.

    Actually, I was thinking more of the servants in The Help, which are the ones with which I am personally familiar. I agree that this is a job (SAHM) for the comparatively wealthy. It's also very new in the history of the world. The disappearance of a large class of people "in service" is very recent--within the last century, maybe even the last half century. Traditionally the mark of wealth was servants. The job duties that stay at home parents perform have traditionally been transferred to servants as soon as wealth allows.

    I should also point out that in other cultures, family units are multi-generational, with elders, workers, and children all in the same household. We don't have that any longer, and it's a tremendous loss to our society and our children.

    I've just finished reading Pedro Martinez by Oscar Lewis again. It's eye-opening about the life of women in a pre-industrial, lower class setting. The world in the article is not normal.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  20. #40
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    Mistyblue, you nailed it right. Our income determined our lifestyle. We put 2 kids thru college without student loans and DH never made more than $75k a year.

    We didn't have toys or lavish vacations; no mani or pedi (the horses got those regularly ;-) . We ate at home and took lunches to work. Didn't have cable. Weren't any cell phones. We set up house keeping in 1966 on $6k a year. Banked all my pay so we never got used to having it. That gave us a down payment for a house.


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