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Old June 2nd, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Default Working Moms Had it Right All Along!

I always knew that working moms could raise a family, have a great career, and be happy and fulfilled. I grew up around working women in my family. My aunt was in charge of quality control at a major candy company (what a country!).

But back in the late 60s when I got married, working moms were still looked at with a fair amount of disdain in this country. True, here in Washington it was somewhat different, because this area is a mecca for accomplished, talented people of both sexes and working couples have never been generally thought of as out of step. But it was very different back then in the country as a whole.

It never occurred to Terry to give up her career when we had kids, and it never occurred to me to ask her to do that. But as late as the 90s it was common to hear the advice ladies in newspapers and on talk radio cluck-clucking about how children of working couples get short-changed. Total baloney.

In our family and in our environment were accustomed to kids who achieved and succeeded. They were, and still are, all around us. . .on our block, in our neighborhood, in our schools. And many of them came from two-earner families. Setting high expectations was what pretty much everybody did.

Now, if we needed it, comes the most comprehensive data on the subject I've seen. A study from the Pew Research Center released Wednesday tells us that today almost 2/3 of married mothers are employed and women are the sole or main breadwinners in 40% of households.

"Sure," you say. "That's just a sign of the economic times. Women have to work because their families can't make ends meet on one income." So you'd think they'd be miserable, right? After all, by that logic they're working essentially against their will.

But here's the surprise, at least to those who assume that dual-earners are a bad idea:

The Pew study finds that at all income levels, stay-at-home mothers report more sadness, anger, and episodes of diagnosed depression than their employed counterparts. And the benefits of employment mount over a lifetime. A recent multiyear study by the sociologists Adrianne Frech and Sarah Damaske found that women who worked full time following the birth of their first child had better mental and physical health at age 40 than women who had not worked for pay.

The study goes on to give the lie to lots of old bromides, like the one that says the kids will be prone to failure if both parents work.

It's an interesting and long overdue piece of work, worth looking at.

Meanwhile, you go girls. . .er, ladies!
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:04 AM
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My Mother worked. It was different in the late sixties and the seventies because they just didn't have the infrastructure for it back then (day care was hard to find). I didn't suffer much as one of five kids and two working parents. The worst part was that we were the girls who brought *gasp* store bought cookies when it was our turn at Girl Scouts. The stay-at-home Moms would actually say rude things right in front of us kids (my younger sister and myself).
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:17 AM
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When my wife graduated college many years ago the norm was to be a houewife .There were no female CEO's of businesses ,very few politicians ,etc. My wife became a Social Worker initially then went on to another career . She worked until 2008 .
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Many ask, when kids run wild, and do terrible things, what went wrong.

People working in school systems wonder why, when parents can't be found, when needed for the support of the education of their kids.

There are a few facts that needs no stinking poll.

Children need someone to oversea their growth. Some have parents, who have the time for them, some have sitters, to help raise them, and some are left to raise themselves.

The reason there were very few daycares in the 60's was for the most part, the women of this country had one job. Not an easy job, but one job, where from morning to night, they saw to the raising of their children.

It was an honorable job, and very much appreciated.

One day a bunch of women who didn't have children, came along and shamed stay at home mom's, and made them to feel like second class citizens.

About the same time, men started losing their worth.

Suddenly women had two jobs. One was to care for the children, and the other was an outside one. They cried at night, because doing two jobs was more than anyone was able to do, without help. Soon daycares were formed. Paying someone else to raise your children, made more sense.

One of the problems with this was when a parent was needed in a classroom, or to volunteer to help, they were no longer there.

Parents started thinking that the school system was suppose to raise the children. There was little time for homework, and just talking.

TV also took on a new role. Instead of entertainment, they became babysitters.

It was easier for rich people, because help in the home was easy.

For those who were not rich, they depended on the kindness of neighbors, friends and relatives to raise their kids.

I do agree that stay at home mom's are many times sad, lonely, and depressed, but why is that so? Is it because society determined they must be stupid, uneducated, or lazy, if they only had the child raising job?

I was watching a TV show the other day. The woman was asked what she did for a living. She actually dropped her head, and whispered, "I'm a stay at home mom."

I challenge you to go back as far as you want, and look at the times horrible things have happened, and how of those events were concocted in a child's bedroom.

Start if you want, with Columbine. Those boys built bombs, and had illegal guns under their beds. They gave out signs of troubles for months, if not years. Who was there to see the signs?

Does anyone think that if that household had a stay at home mom, the bombs would have been there?

For those who say their parents worked, and they turned out okay, please be sure to give credit for the others that helped raise you.

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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:24 PM
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There are a few facts that needs no stinking poll.
In other words, "I know the facts, don't bother me with the facts."

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Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
The reason there were very few daycares in the 60's was for the most part, the women of this country had one job. The raising of their children.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did women not want jobs outside the home, or did society make it somewhat unacceptable?

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It was an honorable job, and very much appreciated.
Of course it was.

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One day a bunch of women who didn't have children, came along and shamed stay at home mom's, and made them to feel like second class citizens.
Not at all. What happened was that a bunch of women (and men), some of whom had children and some of whom didn't, came along and pointed out that the alternative to staying home was and should be acceptable. You obviously heard that message differently. In the communication world we often talk about the message sent and the message received. If you felt shamed by the women's movement, that's on you.

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About the same time, men started losing their worth.
WE DID??? Why was I not informed?

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It was easier for rich people, because help in the home was easy.
Since I suspect you aimed that one at me because you think I'm rich, I'll just say that we never had one millisecond of help in the home. We did use a daycare facility until the kids were old enough for preschool.

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I was watching a TV show the other day. The woman was asked what she did for a living. She actually dropped her head, and whispered, "I'm a stay at home mom."
And this is society's fault? Why should the fact that working moms are no longer stigmatized bother anybody who doesn't work? Again, that lady's problem (if any) is that lady's problem.

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I challenge you to go back as far as you want, and look at the times horrible things have happened, and how of those events were concocted in a child's bedroom. Start if you want, with Columbine. Those boys built bombs, and had illegal guns under their beds. They gave out signs of troubles for months, if not years. Who was there to see the signs? Does anyone think that if that household had a stay at home mom, the bombs would have been there?
Nice anecdote. Got any data? As I recall, the shooter's mom in Newtown was not employed outside the home and was receiving $400,000 a year in alimony. So if I'm remembering right, we're even on anecdotes. Let's see your research to support your claim.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:37 PM
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How do you break up the sentences like that? It's cool.

I am not old enough to have been ashamed.

I have no idea if you are rich or not. Although I went to the beach last year, and you went to the Middle East, and locations far and wide.

I love your ability to get on your high horse. Do you get much rain up there?
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 02:31 PM
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[B][SIZE=3]
The reason there were very few daycares in the 60's was for the most part, the women of this country had one job. Not an easy job, but one job, where from morning to night, they saw to the raising of their children.

It was an honorable job, and very much appreciated.

One day a bunch of women who didn't have children, came along and shamed stay at home mom's, and made them to feel like second class citizens.

About the same time, men started losing their worth.

Suddenly women had two jobs. One was to care for the children, and the other was an outside one. They cried at night, because doing two jobs was more than anyone was able to do, without help. Soon daycares were formed. Paying someone else to raise your children, made more sense.

One of the problems with this was when a parent was needed in a classroom, or to volunteer to help, they were no longer there.

Parents started thinking that the school system was suppose to raise the children. There was little time for homework, and just talking.



I do agree that stay at home mom's are many times sad, lonely, and depressed, but why is that so? Is it because society determined they must be stupid, uneducated, or lazy, if they only had the child raising job?

I was watching a TV show the other day. The woman was asked what she did for a living. She actually dropped her head, and whispered, "I'm a stay at home mom."

I challenge you to go back as far as you want, and look at the times horrible things have happened, and how of those events were concocted in a child's bedroom.

For those who say their parents worked, and they turned out okay, please be sure to give credit for the others that helped raise you.
Luanne,

I will say that some of these things are true in some families and I blame both parents when this happens.

However, I strongly disagree on a number of your points. It was not "society" that looked down on stay at home Mom's it was a few of the "I can have it all" people who gave that image but it was the stay at home Moms that felt ashamed by what they did. This attitude has completely changed in the last fifteen years. Almost everyone I know and have known in and out of the workplace has great respect for the stay at home Mom who raises their children.

The other thing that bothers me is the "Men Losing Their Worth" statement. I have no idea what you mean by this. However, if both parents are working the husband better pull his fair share in maintaining the house and raising the children. If hubby won't, but still expects dinner on the table at six, the house spotless and the kids taken care of by Mom while she holds down a full time job then hubby better wake up or Mom should throw the SOB out. If women lay sleepless and feel helpless because they can't handle both then they better get their partner to pull his fair share or get the hell out. Why not. He's nothing more than a warm body in bed at night. Many women do need to "grow a pair". Make him pay child support and fulfill his financial obligation to the family if he refuses to help with the day to day responsibilities.

If Dad is pitching in and cleaning the house, cooking dinners and dressing the kids for school, Mom should not go overboard if he misses some baseboard dust when vacuuming, cooks a frozen dinner instead of a fresh one and has Billy wear a green shirt with blue pants. He is trying and he'll get better over time.

Nothing irritates me more than a man who "brags" that he hasn't touched the vacuum cleaner, doesn't know how to operate the washing machine and has never went to his kid's school to meet the teacher or volunteer.

I was VERY busy with my career when the kids were in school but I always made time for PTA conferences, quarterly teachers meetings and I made many a cupcake and cookies for school functions. Plus, I spent a lot of nights working with my son to pass English Literature, History and working with my daughter on checking homework, listening to her problems because Missy was being mean to her or how she couldn't stand a teacher.

If a marriage isn't a true partnership where the duties are divided then it isn't much of a marriage and a woman has only herself to blame. The husband is worthless but if all he has to do is go to work and then come home, drink beer and watch sports then it's a good deal for him. The law has to be laid down that either the responsibilities are divided or he is history and his wallet is what will hurt the most.

My mother worked. My father was severely injured and disabled in a farm accident. We had to sell the farm and move to the "big city". My mother enrolled in college at 47. This was almost unheard of in 1967 and she completed her education and became a Registered Dietitian. My father did stay at home with us but for a number of years could not do much other than be there for us. My brothers and I had chores and we cleaned, dusted and did some cooking. We also learned how to change oil on cars, tune them up and do basic repairs. In later years my father regained partial use of his legs and took over most of the household duties. From the time we left the farm and throughout the rest of her career my Mom was the primary bread winner. My father who was always a tough "macho" man never lost those qualities but he could sew curtains, clean floors, make quilts and worked on cars and, with help, build their retirement home. I learned that to be "tough and manly" you have to do more than just bring home a paycheck, drink beer and mow the lawn.

So if someone feels demeaned by being a Stay At Home Mom that is their problem and if they have a husband and he isn't pulling his share than he isn't much of a husband and women can do better without him.

Take care,
Mike
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Last edited by Mike M; June 19th, 2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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Many ask, when kids run wild, and do terrible things, what went wrong.
to be honest, i see a lot of kids raised by stay-at-home-moms (SAHM) who have run much more wild and amuck than my kid (both my husband and i have full-time careers; i'm in the office and he's a firefighter).

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People working in school systems wonder why, when parents can't be found, when needed for the support of the education of their kids.
actually, while is hard because i work full time in a demanding job, i come home and am very involved with my child's education, sticking close to what is going on at school and communcating with her teachers frequently throughout the year. after she goes to bed, i log on to my computer and do a bit more work because i work out a schedule where i can get to work early and then be there for my kid after school.

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Children need someone to oversea their growth. Some have parents, who have the time for them, some have sitters, to help raise them, and some are left to raise themselves.
yes - that is true. but how that is created in a child's life - how a child is surrounded by various support types through parents, caregivers, family and friends is a unique set-up as every child is different, every parent is different and every family dynamic is different.

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[B][SIZE=3]The reason there were very few daycares in the 60's was for the most part, the women of this country had one job. Not an easy job, but one job, where from morning to night, they saw to the raising of their children.
and at one point, women were not allowed to vote. times change - we may not always like it, but it's more about adaptation, which is something we need to teach our children in order for them to survive and make it out in this world.

leading my example is one of the best lessons i can teach my child - that i can be a supportive, loving spouse/mother and fullfil my career choice. not to mention, we've had a lot of financial upsets (lay-offs, recession, economy) so a double-income family is required at this point.

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It was an honorable job, and very much appreciated.
yes, i agree that it still is. as is the role of a career mom, too. and stay-at-home-dads are equally an honourable job.

as for career-moms, we are still taking on the role of an honorable job as parents - just in a different way with different challenges.

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One day a bunch of women who didn't have children, came along and shamed stay at home mom's, and made them to feel like second class citizens.
the bra-burning feminists went too extreme the other way. but they do not represent even the majority of career-mothers in the present.

in turn, however, i can say that us career-moms are pointed at as well. similar to the attitude you have described towards career-moms. we are seen as cold, unloving, selfish, irresponsible.

i chose career-MOMS because often you read stay-at-home-MOMS and career-MOTHERS. the play on words show the type of stereotypes unfairly placed on both sides of the camp.

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About the same time, men started losing their worth.
sorry - i don't think i follow you here and think i might be missing something. maybe you can explain what you meant here?

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[B][SIZE=3]Suddenly women had two jobs. One was to care for the children, and the other was an outside one. They cried at night, because doing two jobs was more than anyone was able to do, without help. Soon daycares were formed. Paying someone else to raise your children, made more sense.
i find it always amusing that just because people turn to daycare/preschool, they are seen as giving up their children for others to raise. on the contrary, many responsible career parents still are at the forefront when it comes to raising their child and how their child is to be brought up.

it takes some special creative parenting to know how to increase quality time but it can be done.

but if we want to get technical, western civilization is very different when it comes to the socio-cultural studies in anthropolgy regarding parenting. as still seen in parts of the world. children were never raised just by the parents. parents always had a pretty impressive structure in the village or big/extended families (often both) to help raise each other's children.

there was always support. always help. parents were never as alone as they are now when it comes to raising their children.

i would say that this day in age and in the western civilization, we are actually quite unique when compared to parts of the world and history.

to add, i am actually one of just two amongst several close girlfriends who is a career-mom. seeing my SAHM friends, they also have help during the week through drop off classes, neighbours, parents/family to give them a break as well as that time to run errands or go to appointments.

parenting is not easy and it's quite healthy and normal to have support and help.

using daycare while we work does not equate to giving up our child for some one else to raise. i've never felt myself lack that responsibility. it is as strong as my fellow SAHMs.


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Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
One of the problems with this was when a parent was needed in a classroom, or to volunteer to help, they were no longer there.

Parents started thinking that the school system was suppose to raise the children. There was little time for homework, and just talking.

TV also took on a new role. Instead of entertainment, they became babysitters.

It was easier for rich people, because help in the home was easy.
there might have been an initial time where most of this seemed true (to only some extent). as with much of history, we swing from one extreme to another before landing somewhere in the middle where things are more balanced.

but i think it is more important to talk about the here and now if we are going to go forward with this discussion. much of what you have mentioned above is, on a whole, somewhat dated.

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For those who were not rich, they depended on the kindness of neighbors, friends and relatives to raise their kids.
as mentioned before, to be fair, this was more the norm anyway, before all this mommy war began, if we look far enough back to our ancestors, in certain parts of the world and especially in pre-literate societies with village-like lifestyle.

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Start if you want, with Columbine. Those boys built bombs, and had illegal guns under their beds. They gave out signs of troubles for months, if not years. Who was there to see the signs?
Does anyone think that if that household had a stay at home mom, the bombs would have been there?
For those who say their parents worked, and they turned out okay, please be sure to give credit for the others that helped raise you.
you can have SAHMs who are equally neglectful. and i'm sure if we dig into history we can find a counter-example to your columbine one.

my final point is this.

neither SAHMs or career-moms are what i would determine to be right or wrong choices.

i believe that this is a personal choice and both types of women can be great at being parents. there are different challenges but the main part is that they commit to their child (and hopefully be in a working team-type relationship with their spouse).

i have seen SAHMs be like helicopter moms - which lead to their children having issues such as unhealthy attachment and dependency issues. i have also seen SAHMs at playgrounds ignoring their children as their children bully others.

then i have seem amazing SAHMs do awesome jobs at raising their children. they balance their lives out with drop in programs both involving the SAHMs and those where they leave their children for a couple of hours with the councelors to teach independence. and they arrange for playdates so that their children grow up with good social skills.

on the other side of the camp, i'm sure there are career moms who aren't there for their kids. i personally do not know any, but i'm sure those types of parents are out there.

i have also seen career-moms commit to being there for their kids when it counts.

the word 'family' needn't stop at blood relations. or just the parents. to me, my kid has godparents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, family friends... i invite and welcome all these people to help be a part of that 'raising her' factor.

there are good parents and those who probably shouldn't be parents at all. and that has nothing to do with whether or not one chooses to stay at home or have a career. it's about committing to the paths we take and how we commit to those challenges in order to try to be the best parents we can be.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 09:40 PM
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I was in no way talking about all parents that work. Many times parents have to work.

I was talking about those who are so busy the children suffer.

I am sorry if I offended anyone.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 09:52 PM
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I was in no way talking about all parents that work. Many times parents have to work.

I was talking about those who are so busy the children suffer.

I am sorry if I offended anyone.
well, i personally wasn't offended. just discussing and debating!

i don't disagree with all your points. but still feel that children will suffer from those who do not parent - regardless if they are working or stay at home. but overall kids are resilient enough to adapt if given the chance.

so long as they are getting quality time and love. it can work either way. cheers!
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Old June 18th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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for anyone interested, here's a book that i had started to read a long time ago. key word being 'started' here. from what i remember, it is a very good book but the sarcastic overtones from the authors spoiled some of the very good points made. they were probably trying to make a sociological study less dull but to be honest, i wish they just stuck with the plain-jane tone of a sociological study.

The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women

the most interesting parts where how media played on what the perfect mom should be. at the time where working moms were on a rise, they depicted ads of the SAHM being perfect. almost angel like. at the same time, there was the overly sensationalized cover of daycare horror stories in the news.

and this is the part where my mind is a little hazy but the authors compared this period to where there was a move to try to stop the trend of women going back to work - but not based at all on the effects of how the children were raised. there were no appropriate study. nor could there be as such sociological studies requires a significant period of time (i.e. following these children through years of development).

media has always been a tool used to sway the public opinion. often, it is during a time where political leaders are trying to cover up something. this part of the book totally reminds me of the thatcher era combating the popularity of the black panthers movement. using media to sensationalize crime and driving the public to divide and fight amongst themselves (upper/middle v.s. lower class; as well as using racism of the people to further divide ethnic groups). but looking back to this time, crime was actually on a low.

i apologize if the above is not 100% accurate. it's been almost 20 years since i studied this in my sociology of pop culture and social media.

anyway - so this is why i am in support of stopping this mommy-war. in essence, it is creating this 'supermom' that we are pressured to uphold. as a working mom, i definitely feel this. just from the school system alone, but of other mothers especially. the mommy war hurts both SAHM and career moms alike. there is no winner with this war.

just a lot of ill-conceived perception of how we should behave, causing pressure, anxiety and depression. ultimately, this will pass on to our children - if not directly but at the least indirectly.

on a fun note, if you have not checked out darla shine's The Happy Housewife, it's pretty hilarious! but sadly, she leads a group of very serious SAHMs. and some of these fanatics are at the opposite extreme of working moms to the point where they feel they are the end all and be all of proper mothering. it's scary. almost like a cult.
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