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Old 05-26-2012, 06:11 PM
 
5,581 posts, read 8,301,151 times
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Wow - a two day old thread and already 4 pages! I guess you can say this is a topic many either relate to or have a lot of opinions about? I have to admit: I didn't read every reply before posting. I apologize.

OP - I'm a sahm of a high schooler (just turned 17) and a middle schooler (will turn 13 this year). I get asked about working a lot, too. By everyone - cashiers at the grocery store, hubby's work buddies, neighbors, teachers, you know what I mean. Even my own mother, whom I don't talk to very often, will blurt out, "Do you have a job yet?" every time she calls. Each time she does that, I tell her I'm focusing on my family right now.

It's nobody's business, but your family - meaning husband and children - of course, what you choose to do with your life.

I think people, in trying to make conversation with others, often either turn to kids or work for conversation starters or topics. People tend to identify with either their jobs, or by the fact that they have become a parent. (And people who have chosen not to have kids often identify by that choice as well, and refer to parents as "breeders" and themselves as "childfree" but I digress! ) Work or parenting are things just about all adults do, so to most people they seem like safe bets to talk about, they offer a potential common ground.

Lately I have been planning on going back to school, so my response to people when they bring up working outside the home has been, "I'm focusing on my family and on school right now." But prior to the school thing, I simply said I was focusing on my family. I leave it at that. If they are curious, and want to know more, then I answer them honestly whatever they want to know (within reason), but often, you'll get a response like, "You are very fortunate" or "I have to work..." like they don't have a choice, or something to that effect. Whether they are passing judgement or not, who cares. It's their deal. Just like when I pass judgement on others, it is my deal and not theirs. (Because nobody is perfect. I try hard to accept people as they are and not pass judgement, but I don't always succeed in doing that.)

 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:12 PM
 
Location: here
17,028 posts, read 14,549,044 times
Reputation: 13926
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I don't think kids do bad things just because they come home at 3:30. I think if they're inclined to do bad things, they'll do them at 3:30 if they come home at 3:30 but won't if they aren't inclined and if they are inclined, even if mom is home at 3:30, I think they'll figure out how to do what they want to do if they have to sneak out the window in the middle of the night. I don't think we have a causal relationship here.

I do suspect that lower SES (linked with higher rates of drug usage and teen pregnancies) kids would be more likely to be latch key kids. I think this is coincidence. Correlation does not equal causation.

One cannot assume that because mom works the child is unsupervised and one cannot assume a child who is unsupervised is going to do bad things. My more supervised child is the one I struggle with. I hardly pay attention to her sister who runs the neighborhood. I don't have to.

I do think there is something to keeping kids busy though. Marching band and sports have done wonders for dd. I'm still worried for her and will be for a few years to come but these things help way more than my being home when she comes home from school.
Yes, we all know you have one daughter you don't trust at all, and 1 daughter you don't pay attention to. We also all know how important the almighty SES is to you. We all know you seem to feel the need to use any chance you get to justify working. I am not trying to debate whether or not teens left unsupervised in the afternoon get into more trouble. Again, I was only pointing out that mimomx3's experience with what time teens get home is not representative of everyone or everywhere. No one is assuming that all kids left alone will get into trouble. But the more free time they have w/o a parent around, the more time they have to get into trouble. That's just common sense.

My only real point is that not all kids do extracurriculars. One can not correctly say that "teens don't get home from school until 7pm."

ETA I just re-read mimomx3's post I was originally referring to, and I see that her experience is at a private prep school. Now it is even more obviously not representative of average teens at an average school. not even in the upper-middle SES suburb where I live.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:27 PM
 
5,581 posts, read 8,301,151 times
Reputation: 5641
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
I wish more families would give up the unnecessary toys and crap they think they NEED and let one parent really tend to the home, hearth, and children.
In an ideal world, sure.

But this world is not ideal. It is unsettling for a lot of women to be completely financially dependent upon their husbands. And a lot of husbands are not comfortable allowing their wives to be the sole breadwinner. And life is full of turbulence.

It can feel like too big a risk to not work, for either parent, especially if you yourself were raised in a single-parent home growing up, and all your life you saw how hard that is.

For example, it is very hard to trust men when you had a father, like mine, who abandoned you at an early age, leaving you to live in poverty with a struggling stressed-out single mother. I sometimes cannot believe I have allowed myself to totally, completely, rely on my husband financially. But I have. It's the choice we made. Of course, early on in our marriage, many years ago, we both worked. I earned a higher income than he did at that time. And there was a summer when he was laid-off that I worked and supported us while he looked for work. We have done it in many different ways. I have been a sahm now for over 10 years, and so far this has been the best way for our family.

I don't think it's right to expect women to stay home, or fathers for that matter, but I also don't think it's right to expect them to work, either. They should be free to decide, along with their partners/husbands/wives, what is right for the family. And what is right now, might not be what is right for the family in the future. Life is always changing.

I think families deserve more compassion.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Texas
28,120 posts, read 24,152,739 times
Reputation: 33759
Well, if you have trust issues and a precarious marriage, lots of things are 'pie-in-the-sky.'

No one is saying the woman can't be the breadwinner, either.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:39 PM
 
8,241 posts, read 10,571,190 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
All I was trying to say is that not ALL kids have after school activities EVERY day all school year long. That's all. Most teens I know are pretty busy, but I also see quite a few walking home after school, around 3:30-4:00. Even the ones who are in sports have off seasons.
My kids are busy pretty much all year, and when they're home, I'm home. Working or not, we have a responsibility to parent our kids until they're 18 (at least...).
 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:41 PM
 
8,241 posts, read 10,571,190 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
Yes, we all know you have one daughter you don't trust at all, and 1 daughter you don't pay attention to. We also all know how important the almighty SES is to you. We all know you seem to feel the need to use any chance you get to justify working. I am not trying to debate whether or not teens left unsupervised in the afternoon get into more trouble. Again, I was only pointing out that mimomx3's experience with what time teens get home is not representative of everyone or everywhere. No one is assuming that all kids left alone will get into trouble. But the more free time they have w/o a parent around, the more time they have to get into trouble. That's just common sense.

My only real point is that not all kids do extracurriculars. One can not correctly say that "teens don't get home from school until 7pm."

ETA I just re-read mimomx3's post I was originally referring to, and I see that her experience is at a private prep school. Now it is even more obviously not representative of average teens at an average school. not even in the upper-middle SES suburb where I live.
What can I say? It's my reality.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:49 PM
 
9,325 posts, read 5,666,429 times
Reputation: 9343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
Yes, we all know you have one daughter you don't trust at all, and 1 daughter you don't pay attention to. We also all know how important the almighty SES is to you. We all know you seem to feel the need to use any chance you get to justify working. I am not trying to debate whether or not teens left unsupervised in the afternoon get into more trouble. Again, I was only pointing out that mimomx3's experience with what time teens get home is not representative of everyone or everywhere. No one is assuming that all kids left alone will get into trouble. But the more free time they have w/o a parent around, the more time they have to get into trouble. That's just common sense.

My only real point is that not all kids do extracurriculars. One can not correctly say that "teens don't get home from school until 7pm."

ETA I just re-read mimomx3's post I was originally referring to, and I see that her experience is at a private prep school. Now it is even more obviously not representative of average teens at an average school. not even in the upper-middle SES suburb where I live.
How Many Youth Participate In Sports In The U.s.? | LIVESTRONG.COM

The majority of teens participate in sports that typically have after school practices. Neary 70% of girls and 75% of boys. So add to that the ones who are participating in non-athletic after school activities like clubs and you can see that most teens are supervised after school regardless of employment status of parents.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:57 PM
 
22,229 posts, read 13,039,982 times
Reputation: 23821
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
What can I say? It's my reality.
My reality is watching bunches of high school kids ride the bus home from school every afternoon at 3:30ish. (The route goes down the road in back of our property.) I'd estimate that every bus is 1/2 full in the afternoon.

Upper middle class to flat-out wealthy SES. Public school. I'd make the guess that most are latch-key.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 07:01 PM
 
8,241 posts, read 10,571,190 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
My reality is watching bunches of high school kids ride the bus home from school every afternoon at 3:30ish. (The route goes down the road in back of our property.) I'd estimate that every bus is 1/2 full in the afternoon.

Upper middle class to flat-out wealthy SES. Public school.
Well, like I said before, I hope every parent is exercising their duty to supervise their kids under the age of 18. WOHM, SAHP, WP, whatever their work status.
 
Old 05-26-2012, 07:07 PM
 
22,229 posts, read 13,039,982 times
Reputation: 23821
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
Well, like I said before, I hope every parent is exercising their duty to supervise their kids under the age of 18. WOHM, SAHP, WP, whatever their work status.
As do I.

But there is such a thing as raising a responsible teenager. Not all teenagers need to have a parent at home after school.

(In my day we came home and turned on Dark Shadows or a local music show that came on at the same time. I'm guessing there wasn't a lot of delinquency during that hour. )
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