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Old 08-06-2014, 07:48 AM
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,708,331 times
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Originally Posted by Lucidkitty View Post
They also had more kids at home who were expected to pitch in as well, so it sort of balances out some. I'm not saying that women back then didn't engage in more house work. However, the view that they were essentially house slaves without an ounce of free time isn't all that accurate either.
The same can be said for today's SAHM. She has 1/4th the work and if the kids help, she has less than 1/4th the work of our grandmothers. Somehow I doubt kids chores detracted much from the 87 hours of work my grandmother claimed to have done BEFORE changing the first diaper and wiping the first snotty nose (her words). She claimed that she did 87 hours of work running her household and she had it easy because she didn't live on a farm where she would have had farm chores. My grandmother didn't have help because she had all sons and sons didn't do housework back then. Even if she'd had daughters, we're still talking a lot more work than today done by both mother and child. Today there is very little work left in the home. I'm glad of that.

I once asked my grandmother what her favorite labor saving device was and her answer took me back. It was Indoor plumbing. It's easy to forget how much work was in the home years ago because we don't do it. We don't mend socks, wash clothes by hand, wax our floors, iron everything, cook on non stick cookware, stock an "ice box", walk to market daily, if we grow a garden it's for fun, ditto for canning which was necessary in grandma's time, we don't haul the rugs out hang them over a line and beat them, if we bake from scratch it's for fun....the list goes on and on and on....

Grandma once told me the only difference between today's full time working mom and her is that today someone actually watches the kids. She claims they were mostly ignored in her day by moms who were too busy running a household but there was a kind of neighborhood watch. Kids knew if they stepped out of line someone would tell mom and mom would tell dad. All that has really changed is the location of moms work and that we actually give someone the job of watching the kids. Kids today are much more supervised than kids of yesteryear. Even back in the 60's moms just sent us out to play. I remember walking to the park which was a quarter mile away when I was 6 and no one batted an eye. Today my mother would be arrested for child endangerment. I can still hear mom yelling behind me "Be home when the street lights come on".

Times have changed. Some for the better. I think not having to work like our grandmother's at home is a great things but some for the worse. I think hovering over our children is stifling. They are regimented and directed all the time. Then they show up to school and expect to be entertained because all their lives they've had someone playing with them or playing cruise director. Honestly, today's moms have too much time on their hands for the good of their children.

If grandma was doing 87 hours of work running her household, she was pretty much a house slave. However, I once asked her what her favorite time of the year was and she said the dead of winter. I asked her why. She said it was because there was nothing extra to do. In the spring there was spring cleaning and the garden to plant, in the summer there was the garden to tend and canning to do, in the fall she'd take the bus out to the farms and carry home fruits and vegetables to can that she didn't grow, then she had Christmas gifts to make...Come January, there was nothing extra. That was her me time.

Even if grandma's kids did half the chores, she still had a full time job before child care. Today if the kids do none of the chores, mom has a very part time job. I love washers and dryers, permanent press fabrics, dishwashers, refrigerator/freezers, super markets, cars, canned good from the store, bread I don't have to bake, disposable diapers, my blender (great for making baby food), the list goes on and on. I know I have it very easy compared to grandma.

ETA: This is all good. Today moms have so much more time for themselves, for jobs, for educations, just for enjoying life. While they have more time for their kids, I'm not sure the kids really needed it or that they are benefitting from it. Kids seem to do fine if they are simply kept safe and allowed to use their imaginations. I know we did as kids.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 08-06-2014 at 08:08 AM..
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Berrie143 View Post
So far, this has been a very hard summer for me. I am a SAHM with 2 children under the age of 5 and it has been HARD- and not only for me but for my husband, too. I am with our kids all day, every day, and throughout the night when they want me. I don't have a babysitter with the exception of my MIL and that's sporadic at best. I have told myself and my husband that I need to find us a reliable babysitter but I'm having a VERY hard time trusting someone who isn't part of our family to watch our children. So, I don't get any relief from our kids and my patience is wearing thin. I have a list of crafts that we're going through (I made a lemonade stand with them the other day, great Pinterest project) but it's hard to keep both of them entertained all day, every day. I only allow them to watch an hour of TV per day so that's out. They are just so used to being with me and they follow me all around the house getting under my feet while I'm trying to clean, do laundry, cook, etc. It's driving me nuts! Keeping the house in order is important to me, it makes me feel better and more efficient but it also is a ton of work while taking care of 2 small kids who need constant attention, touch, listening, etc.

I feel guilty for even thinking about taking time to myself and the times that I have gone out without them I end up rushing back so I don't "burden" the person watching them, and that includes my DH. Which brings me to another point: my husband began a new job last month and it's been a big adjustment for the 2 of us. He's up a lot earlier most of the time and goes to bed a lot earlier, too. He's one of those people who HAS to sleep as much as he can or else he can't function, so he's in bed by 8:30 pretty much every night and up at anywhere from 3:30-5AM. I totally understand his need to sleep in order to do his job and do it well (he takes a lot of pride in his work and strives to be the best) but his schedule has cut out any alone time that we have together as a couple. Our kids are in bed by 8-8:30, so, as you can guess, by the time we get them down for the night, my DH heads to bed himself and we haven't had any time alone.

I am overwhelmed and pissed off and just a bunch of "blah". What should I do?
Why aren't they in preschool for two or three days a week? It's not too expensive, and it's good for them. It usually only last a couple of hours at that age, but it's still a break. You can also get some cheap, trustworthy help by not leaving the house when the babysitter comes. I used to have a young teen from down the block come in for just a few hours once a week so I could get a little break and clean the house or do some work at my computer. I didn't have to trust her that much since I wasn't actually going somewhere.
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