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Old 02-18-2016, 10:31 AM
 
Location: South Carolina - The Palmetto State
954 posts, read 1,479,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hml1976 View Post
I feel like the Internet, social networks, blogs, even forums like this one have given us all way too much opportunity for navel gazing. No previous generation sat around examining how busy they were. Perhaps because they were...busy?
Nooooooo!!! Say it's not so!!!!!!
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:36 AM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,756,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
It's entirely possible for WOTH moms to be TERRIFIC moms and for SAHMs to be sorry as mud - and every variation in between. Kids are each so different, homes are all so different, expectations, personalities, intelligence levels, needs all vary so much, etc - it's impossible to really generalize without stereotyping.

What it boils down to is priorities and values - not things or even careers. Our values and priorities are reflected in our every waking moment. Our kids watch every thing we do, whether they're listening to what we say or not. How we live our lives makes it very apparent to them where they stand on our list of priorities.

I think the question all women should ask themselves (all parents, actually, but this thread is about women) is "Am I working (at home or outside the home) for my children and my family, or for myself and my personal goals? Am I working to build that bond with my kids and to help them grow into adults of integrity and character, or am I working to buy more things?"

And remember - no one ever laid on their death bed and thought, "Dang it, I wish I'd worked five more hours a week when the kids were little so we could have gone to Disney World!" or "I wish I'd taken that promotion in Chicago so that I could have enrolled the kids in after school care!" or "Gosh, I wish I'd scrap booked more, or watched more of Good Morning America!" What people always wish they'd had more of was quality time with the people they love. Make sure you don't waste that time, or create a life for yourself and your family that unnecessarily limits that time.
They very well may lay on their death bed and remember that trip to Disney world though. Some of my greatest memories of childhood are trips with my family. Sometimes that second income translates to quality time and good memories.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,036 posts, read 32,728,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
The bold make it appear that it is either or...either a woman is working for her children and family or for her own personal goals which you equate with "buying more things." Can't a woman be doing both? Is it so terrible for a woman to find fulfillment in work which does not involve her children? It certainly is a delicate balance.

For me and my family, in spite of working hard to get an MBA, we decided the kids, the family and I would be
better served if I stayed home. I kept children of others and saw the mess of nerves and anxiety the mothers were and knew I couldn't and didn't want to deal with that. I did start my own businesses after they were teens but found little enjoyment in that. So at the advanced age of 55 adopted 2 more and stayed home with them.

Sure there have been plenty of times I wondered if I would be any happier or richer (whatever that means) if I had pursued my career while the kids were young. But I doubt it.
Of course it can be both,but the point of my post was that it's usually a fine balancing act, and that all women should be very introspective and honest about their life choices in order to avoid careening out of balance and dragging their families along for a very unbalanced ride.

And I didn't equate "working toward personal goals" with "buying more things." What I said was this:

Quote:
"Am I working (at home or outside the home) for my children and my family, or for myself and my personal goals? Am I working to build that bond with my kids and to help them grow into adults of integrity and character, or am I working to buy more things?"
So you see - I didn't equate personal goals with simply buying more things. They CAN be the same thing but of course that's not always the case, anymore than thinking that SAHMs are staying home mainly so they can scrapbook with their friends while the kids are locked out in the backyard.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,036 posts, read 32,728,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
They very well may lay on their death bed and remember that trip to Disney world though. Some of my greatest memories of childhood are trips with my family. Sometimes that second income translates to quality time and good memories.
Sure.

We never went to Disneyworld when I was a kid - and frankly, we never missed it, because it's just not our family's type of thing to do. We did go on trips but you want to know the first memory that pops into my head when I think of "family trips?" Believe it or not, it's of a day - not a weekend, or a week, or a big two week family vacation, but just a day - when my parents took us kids on a road trip through the local countryside, and we found an old abandoned home and we all got out and walked around in it. Then we went to some little country store out in the middle of nowhere and my parents bought us ice cream cones. Now - we had all sorts of elaborate vacations when I was growing up, but that day always floods into my memories when I think about summer days gallivanting with my young, curious, explorer type parents.

My parents may not even remember that day, who knows?

I'm not criticizing working moms, so I'm not going to be forced into that argument. I'm just saying that the balance is hard to find in most families, but when we're seeking it, we need to be sure that what is NOT sacrificed is hands on nurturing and one on one time with our kids. That can take a variety of forms.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:37 AM
 
10,090 posts, read 6,503,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Sure.

We never went to Disneyworld when I was a kid - and frankly, we never missed it, because it's just not our family's type of thing to do. We did go on trips but you want to know the first memory that pops into my head when I think of "family trips?" Believe it or not, it's of a day - not a weekend, or a week, or a big two week family vacation, but just a day - when my parents took us kids on a road trip through the local countryside, and we found an old abandoned home and we all got out and walked around in it. Then we went to some little country store out in the middle of nowhere and my parents bought us ice cream cones. Now - we had all sorts of elaborate vacations when I was growing up, but that day always floods into my memories when I think about summer days gallivanting with my young, curious, explorer type parents.

My parents may not even remember that day, who knows?

I'm not criticizing working moms, so I'm not going to be forced into that argument. I'm just saying that the balance is hard to find in most families, but when we're seeking it, we need to be sure that what is NOT sacrificed is hands on nurturing and one on one time with our kids. That can take a variety of forms.
Even though we have done Disney world, the vacations that seem to stick most with my kids is when we have rented vacation homes (nothing elaborate, just through VRBO) and spent a long weekend relaxing and enjoying a new town.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:44 AM
 
1,891 posts, read 1,134,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevek64 View Post
Plus again, we are asking adults on what works for them, not the infant/young kid on how their quality of life is which I think should be the priority here if we are thinking in context of what's best for the kid. For me if my mom asked me, and I could answer, "what do you want son, to go to daycare all day/most of the days while I work or be home with me"? I know how I would answer in a heartbeat and how I would guess the vast majority of kids would answer, assuming the mother is a fit parent.

My oldest child is in first grade and not an infant anymore, but I have asked her, several times, since she could understand the question, if she wanted me to quit my job and stay home with her, or keep working and keep her in her school (first in her private preschool, and now in her private prep school). Every single time I have asked, she has said she loves her school and wants to go, and wants me to keep working. (And this is not a materially spoiled child by any means, she's not into "stuff", but she loves her school). I would love to stay home with her and her brother because that would be enjoyable for me, but it is not what is best for my children.


I think about this everyday. My son is still 4. Still in daycare/preschool. I want so bad to be home with him, cuddling and playing. Of course, that's exactly what we do all evening every evening and all weekend every weekend, but still I'd love to do it all day too. But that would be for ME. That would be for MY benefit. My son? He loves his preschool, he loves his friends, he loves to learn, he loves to play with his friends. He does not need me during the day, not one iota. So I suck it up and get my butt to work to make sure I can pay for my daughter's awesome prep school and my son's awesome preschool. That's my sacrifice for the good of my children.


Now I fully realize that other families, other children, are different. Other children would benefit more from having mommy all day, and then their mommies have the choice to stay home with their children because that's what's best for them. Because children are different. I have no problem with SAHMs, because they are doing what's best for THEIR children.


But for those of you advocating that the absolute best thing for all children is to just have mom stay home, you're wrong. That's best for some children. Not all. Please get it though your heads that all kids are different, and that all GOOD moms are making the best decisions for their own kids, and those decisions are all going to be DIFFERENT.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,062,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
Even though we have done Disney world, the vacations that seem to stick most with my kids is when we have rented vacation homes (nothing elaborate, just through VRBO) and spent a long weekend relaxing and enjoying a new town.
We went to Disney once. I was 14 so you would think I would remember something, right? Don't remember squat! It's all a blur. Too much in a few days. Even when we got home from Florida, I didn't remember much. My siblings don't remember it at all! If I didn't have my little figurine of Figment I would have never remembered that little purple character.

Now our camping trips to the lake. I have tons of memories of those! Surprisingly, most of those memories are with my grandparents.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,036 posts, read 32,728,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbab5 View Post
My oldest child is in first grade and not an infant anymore, but I have asked her, several times, since she could understand the question, if she wanted me to quit my job and stay home with her, or keep working and keep her in her school (first in her private preschool, and now in her private prep school). Every single time I have asked, she has said she loves her school and wants to go, and wants me to keep working. (And this is not a materially spoiled child by any means, she's not into "stuff", but she loves her school). I would love to stay home with her and her brother because that would be enjoyable for me, but it is not what is best for my children.


I think about this everyday. My son is still 4. Still in daycare/preschool. I want so bad to be home with him, cuddling and playing. Of course, that's exactly what we do all evening every evening and all weekend every weekend, but still I'd love to do it all day too. But that would be for ME. That would be for MY benefit. My son? He loves his preschool, he loves his friends, he loves to learn, he loves to play with his friends. He does not need me during the day, not one iota. So I suck it up and get my butt to work to make sure I can pay for my daughter's awesome prep school and my son's awesome preschool. That's my sacrifice for the good of my children.


Now I fully realize that other families, other children, are different. Other children would benefit more from having mommy all day, and then their mommies have the choice to stay home with their children because that's what's best for them. Because children are different. I have no problem with SAHMs, because they are doing what's best for THEIR children.


But for those of you advocating that the absolute best thing for all children is to just have mom stay home, you're wrong. That's best for some children. Not all. Please get it though your heads that all kids are different, and that all GOOD moms are making the best decisions for their own kids, and those decisions are all going to be DIFFERENT.
I agree.

Both my daughters are SAHMs and also homeschool their kids (they have four kids each). When my younger daughter was in the military, her husband was a SAHD till she got out of the military and he went back to work in the civilian world (he attended college while he was home with the kids and had a 4.0 GPA so that all worked out well for them). So my younger daughter is thrilled to be able to be home with her kids now, and her husband is thrilled to be back in the workforce and supporting his family with a good career.

My oldest daughter is married to an Air Force officer and since they move so often, and to so many exotic places, it works best for her to stay home with the kids. Within the military there is a huge co op and support group of homeschoolers, so the kids get plenty of socialization, classes from other parents, etc.

Yesterday I "kidnapped" one of my younger daughter's school age kids (she has two in grade school) and took her to the local science center and we learned about all sorts of interesting stuff. Since she's learning about matter, we did some hands on science experiments with that. Then I took her home, and her mom and I sat out on the porch in the sun watching the older kids fly kites while we passed the new baby back and forth between us (she got him when he was hungry because she's breastfeeding!).

My older daughter called me the other day telling me about her oldest daughter (13) signing up for beach patrol with a program sponsored by the Navy. Basically she and her group will take measurements, water samples, algae samples, etc to monitor beach conditions. This while my daughter and the other three siblings hang out at the beach nearby. The other kids will collect sea glass and shells for art projects while my daughter reads up on the next lessons on World History.

Both SAHMs drive older vehicles, though both families have two vehicles. Both families do most of their eating at home. Both are into gardening with the kids, natural foods, and cooking together. Both dads are very involved with their kids when they get home, and they can be because by the time they get home, the house is peaceful and all homework and running around is done. Now - they may be eating Hamburger Helper or grilled cheese sandwiches, but they're getting a good meal and good family time together.

This is what works in our family. It may sound less than ideal to other families but it really doesn't matter because what DOES matter is that they parents and the kids are bonding, the kids are learning and growing in a healthy way, and everyone is doing well and doing what works best for them.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:13 PM
 
5,917 posts, read 4,063,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilCookie View Post
I don't know about that.
I find, from my experience and that of many of my friends, that there are some fundamental differences between men and women that affect how helpful the men in the family are with the everyday tasks. Even if they're willing and capable. It's more than doing these tasks; it's the thinking about it and knowing all those little tiny things that need to be done, dozens of them as most women with families know, that men tend to lack. The uniforms, the birthday parties, the playdates, the cards to distant relatives, bake sales and class parties and new shoes and drycleaning and lunches and the specific cereal to buy and and and...There are exceptions of course, I know some such men and they're a rare unicorn...but really, very very few men will actually keep all this in mind and juggle it like the majority of women do - whether they work or not.

My husband technically was willing to split household tasks 50-50 when I worked. But from what I saw before having kids, there was no way i was willing to be a working mom when I had them, barring severe financial necessity. All the things I listed above, i just knew it would all be on me. He could do things, and he did - we split chores when i worked, he could wash dishes, shop, vacuum etc were his. But i'd still need to manage and delegate, and remember everything - give an exact list of what to buy at the store (and if they were out he wouldn't know what to get as replacement); freak out that guests were coming over and the carpet was dirty because it was friday and his "day" when he vacuumed was Saturday - and it wasn't dirty enough for just us but not clean enough for company. All the 'kin keeping'. Things like that. It just wouldn't occur to him to think of it. And lots of men are like that, and even in dual working households these things still fall to the women.
I would say that the definition of "need" is really, really fluid, and the second thing I bolded is something that many men and women would not consider a "need to be done" item. Food shopping? Yes. A birthday card to Uncle Cleetus? Nope. It's the overcategorizing too many things as needs that contributes to the problem.

Plus I could also flip this the other way. Could my wife and I switch roles completely and have her rejoin the workforce immediately at a compensation rate comparable to mine? In 3 months? 6 months? Whereas I know I could and would be just as competent of a stay at home parent within a month or two. Of course that would involve blending in my own ideas of what is a need versus a desire.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:18 PM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,756,384 times
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To be clear, I'm not talking exclusively about Disney world. Could be any vacation that might not be possible without that extra income. Could be competitive soccer club. Could be any number of things that wouldn't be possible on one income.
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