Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mothering.........

Some mothers must work outside the home.  Nobody can even doubt that a little.  Many couples need the added income.   I don't happen to like it that mothers can't be home raising their kids, giving them confidence, character, etc., but, who really does?....and that's the new world, isn't it.  I also don't think it's always necessity which keeps moms from home,  but that's another topic for another day.  Maybe.

What prompted me to blog this today is I just heard a mother of a six month old and 3 yr old ask a mother of a 2 year old and four year old .."You're at home?  What do you DO ALL DAY?"

I thought "you have a six month old and a 3 yr old and can ask another mother what she DOES all day?"

Have we devalued raising children, or has pressure to look successful as a business woman brought those words to the young mom's lips?  I'd like to get a discussion going on this.............

***
in the meantime, I have a meeting I have to dash to and when I get home, Elmer's Brother and his adorable wife are coming in from Arizona and we're going out for dinner!   I wish you could ALL join us!
z

36 comments:

Jen said...

I think that what prompts moms to ask questions like "What do you DO all day" is the isolation and loneliness that many "at home" moms face. She may not have been asking for a list of actual activities, rather, "How do you find fulfillment as an 'at home' mom?"

I say this because I asked myself this very question.

But yes, Z, our society has degraded motherhood (especially 'stay at home moms') in an enourmous way.

Craig and Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

I just read your post again.

Think about this.

What gets more praise in our society?
The woman who earns her Masters degree and appears totally "independent", or the one who is at home reading board books and filling sippy cups for the little ones.

It's a difficult issue to come to terms with, especially when we aren't taught that it's so noble to fill those sippy cups.

But I swear, with each passing year, I long to read to them more and more...

tha malcontent said...

Elmer's Brother and his adorable wife are coming in from Arizona and we're going out for dinner! I wish you could ALL join us!

Everybody Enjoy!

Craig and Heather said...

Elmer's Brother and his adorable wife are coming in from Arizona and we're going out for dinner!


:)

Hope you all have a wonderful time!

Craig and Heather said...

Have we devalued raising children, or has pressure to look successful as a business woman brought those words to the young mom's lips?

You bet it's been devalued. And I think both of your above statements are true.

Children, in general, have come to be viewed in our culture as a liability instead of a blessing because parenthood requires that parents actually make personal sacrifices that often compete with our materialistic tastes.

I was talking on the phone to a friend the other day and she, as one of eight children, mentioned that her stay at home mom once listed among her profession's qualifications "nurse, housekeeper, educator...etc"

Not all women are called to be mothers, but shame on us as a society for dishonoring those who have been.

Thought I'd better amend my original comment as I don't want to appear to exclude mothers who, due to circumstances beyond their control, MUST work even though their hearts are with their children.

It would be wonderful if Americans had a higher view of motherhood and developed a habit of helping out financially struggling neighbors so moms who want to stay at home are able to do so.

Heather

highboy said...

Society has made the degrees and monetary gain the picture of success and hard work, when in reality, the mother who stays home taking care of kids should get a Medal Of Honor. Its easy to go to college and advance your education, get a good job, and pat yourself on the back. Its much harder to raise a living human being, feed them, nurture them, shape and mold them.

sue said...

Z - My daughter has four children ( ages 11-3). Sometimes when she has company coming she rushes around and worries about how the house looks.

I always tell her - You are raising four children. How can you expect to do much more.

I'm always proud of her that she devotes all of her attention to them. Even when we are on the phone and I am telling my most heartfelt problems, she is always interrupting our conversation to deal with the kids. Although it's frustrating, I am glad that she does that.

Z - Have a wonderful time tonight. I'll be gone until next Wednesday.

Leticia said...

It's a shame that mom's can't be home raising their children, I fought tooth and nail with my husband to stay home with my 2-month-old baby. I lost. I had to drop off my precious baby in a daycare, and they literally had to pry him out of my arms as I cried.

I bless and praise any mother that stays home raising their children. We could learn a lot from the Amish families, who place family first.

Money is necessary, but is it really worth letting someone else raise your child? And think of all the precious things that a mother missed while she is at work?

Z, to this day, I still get all choked up that I didn't fight harder with my husband. I will regret it for the rest of my life.

*sigh*

Motherhood is the most the most important job in the world.

Ducky's here said...

I spent a good part of yesterday morning changing diapers and filling sippy cups for Caleigh the Tornado.

Jen has to be correct. The question is cynical.

Z said...

Jen, exactly right about 'more praise' for having a Master's Degree...we HAVE devalued raising children and that's a very scary thing.
As we've let our kids down with schools which are failing them, some mothers are failing their children, too....
Some Moms can arrange work schedules so they're gone when Dad is there and that's the ideal if someone has to work, but mostly....I worry greatly about Western Societies..they're having less and less children and the children they have are suffering.
When we consider the children are America's future, that's a very frightening combination.
I think Moms should have fulfillment...and that fulfillment doesn't always come from our kids, that is FOR SURE, but part of it should because it's such an important job, and the other from whatever good stuff they can get from the outside;whether it's reading or whatever...
Somehow, my mother raised a bunch of kids and didn't work and stayed interesting to Dad...they belonged to a lot of church and other organizations and were out a lot together at mtgs, etc.

There is no easy 'cure' for the problem of children and working or nonworking MOms........I just wish NONworking Moms were championed and honored as much as they should be.

Heather, that would be wonderful, no doubt about it..if people could work together in raising children.
I always think grandparent-aged people ought to be used in our schools, or after school, for tutoring, etc....it would give so much to the child and the older person.

Sue, your daughter sounds like a very involved mother and that's so great! Have a good time away.

Highboy, good to see you..yes, a Medal of Honor, for sure!

Leticia, one of my sisters had the same pressure to work for finances and it was as tough on her as it is you. SO MANY mothers would rather be home with their children so the comment I heard today stunned me even that much more!

Z said...

Ducky, I'm trying to picture you doing that! I wasn't sure what a Sippy CUp was until I figured it out!

You mean the question that I heard asked was cynical, right? I agree. Really sad statement about some mothers.

Chuck said...

My wife stayed home with our kids. Financially it has been difficult but the rewards to our kids is immeasurable. If it can be done, I think it is a great idea.

Craig and Heather said...

I spent a good part of yesterday morning changing diapers and filling sippy cups for Caleigh the Tornado.

:D



Leticia's comment is heartbreaking.

Craig and Heather said...

Z
I always think grandparent-aged people ought to be used in our schools, or after school, for tutoring, etc....it would give so much to the child and the older person.

It would probably go a long way toward helping to instill respect for elders, too.

H

Anonymous said...

I stayed home as did other moms then. I never felt lonely or isolated.

I found it fulfilling to raise my children, and thank God, I didn't have to rely on someone else to do it. What did I do all day? Is she kidding?

We did without a lot of "things", but, children aren't things, and to me, they needed me there, more than I needed my own new car, and a multitude of "extras".

They needed me to pay attention to their education and their school experience, what they were learning, and how they were doing.
Who was teaching them at school.

They needed me to care for them when they got hurt, or were sick, or to take them to extra curricular activities, etc.

In short, they needed me when they needed me. Quality time is being there when they need you, even when they don't realize it. It doesn't begin at 6:00PM.

When the women's movement was in full swing, I heard it all. Stupid questions like the one from the mother in Z's post.

Or, "shouldn't you be helping your husband?" My answer, "I am, I'm raising his children".

Finally after a few years of insults and feigned dismay from other women, I settled on one answer, and that was, "my family is my career".

I never would have caved to pressure from people who needed affirmation of what they were doing.

Frankly, I didn't care about what they thought, I believed in what I was doing.

To answer Z's question, If looking like, or being a successful business woman, is more important than raising one's own children, the answer lies in the question.

For that woman, raising her children has been devalued IMO.

If she has no choice because she's a single mother, or divorced, her children, at a certain age will understand.

We all make our own choices. The question I have is, do your children have a choice? No. IMO, they are devalued in today's society.

School has become the parent, and as far as I can tell, it's doing a lousy job. Schools don't love our children, they're caretakers.

Even teachers who love children can't replace their parents.

Pris
PS, Z, have a great dinner, and please tell Elbro and his wife, Mr. Pris and I said hello.

Jen said...

I think that the question comes from a place of not realizing how precious her short time with her children is. PLUS, not yet knowing WHO she is (as a mother and in addition-to), and feeling quite lost.

Sadly, we've pitted "working moms" against "stay at home moms" and nobody wins.

Z said...

Pris, that all sounds so normal to me, so needed and so what my mother did...

Chuck "I think it's a great idea" ...it's a timeworn idea that moms have forgotten about OR SOMETHING!

Jen, the time goes by quickly, from what I hear from mother-friends....If a dad's interested in the children's day, etc., it seems like sharing the experiences and sharing his experiences from work are who she is for those years...

Jen said...

Z, being that SAHM might be "who" she is, for some women.

But, if doing that out of societal obligation makes a woman bitter, it may make her a "worse" mother. I think a more balanced mother is a better mother.

Even here, if we bash women who choose to work outside the home, we're putting unrealistic expectations on motherhood. HOw many moms end up abusing their children (either physically or emotionally) b/c they are completely miserable as a SAHM and have no other outlet? Wouldn't it be better that they spend some time apart from the kids, become a more balanced woman, and in turn a more positive mother?

Our society expects motherhood perfection. It's a myth.

JINGOIST said...

Question:
--Have we devalued raising children, or has pressure to look successful as a business woman brought those words to the young mom's lips?--

Answer: All of the above. The militant feminist movement has objectified woman to a greater extent than a male chauvenist EVER could, while diminishing their roles as mothers and nurturers.

I raised my daughter pretty much by myself for a number of years, so I can say this with 100% certainty. Being a mother and a nurturer comes naturally for most girls. Carmen (and her little friends) did things with her dolls and our pets that seemingly required no prompting. It was second nature.

God has seen fit to equip us for different missions--like it or not. Modern feminism has turned common sense and Natural Law on it's head. No surprise ther it's a creature of the political left.

frogburger said...

Moms are the most important parent to a child.

Can't type much as I have a cast :(

Beth said...

I think when two people are planning on getting married, they should know each other's ideas about having kids and about whether one parent will stay at home with the kids. If you both don't agree on these things, then don't marry that person because they won't change their mind.

Luckily, the man I married agreed that if God blessed us with children that one of us would be a stay-at-home parent, and it did turn out to be me until my children were in school all day. Now I work part-time, mostly when they are at school.

Speedy G said...

Free feminism from the exploitation of capital!

After all, wage levels are all a matter of supply and demand. ;-)

beamish said...

As a masculinist, I don't think men get enough credit for inventing the microwave ovens, the dishwashers, and the laundry washing machines that made feminism possible.

::ducking and running::

Just kidding, ladies.

My mom was a stay at home mom, mostly, all through my childhood.

I say if it's financially feasible... do it!

sue said...

Z - I'm sure you had a great time tonight.

Could you at least tell us what you had to eat?!

JINGOIST said...

I agree Beamish. My mom was a housewife, and a great mother.

To my wife's credit, she's a CFO and a great stepmom.

Z said...

en, i'm sorry if I appear to be bashing working moms..it's really not my intention.
And I do believe happier, more fulfilled moms are better moms.....I guess I find it sad that, these days, that's not the common situation; maybe it's because we're exposed to so much and women are free to be anything they want to be these days.
All I"ll say more to what I"ve said so far is that children deserve as much time with their mom as they can get. I don't think anybody'd argue with that.
Thanks for your input, it's very valuable to me.xxx makes me think because, knowing you and your agile, bright mind, I do see how you need 'more'...
Pris has every bit the amazing mind you and other ladies here have, so it's highly interesting to me that you have differing input; but Pris has also told us how hard she worked with PTA families to better their schools, etc etc.......I guess it's just a question of the kinds of extra-child types of interests a mom has and if they're available to her where she lives, etc etc..
It's a big subject, isn't it.

Jingo, I think you're so right about modern feminism.....and I applaud you for having raised Carmen so much on your own.

Beth, perfect working situation and God bless you both for having gone into your marriage with well defined tenets which you both lived up to.

THanks guys, for your input...

Sue, we just went to a local coffee shop because it was so early when they got here ....they'd already left for their hotel, about 45 min away, by 7:30...Elbro and I had steak sandwiches and Mrs. Elbro had a fettucine ALfredo with chicken and sundried tomatoes! We also shared a portion of ONION RINGS :-) We had a wonderful time...spent about 3 hours together and it was super to hear about their 2 1/2 week vacation...I don't think they'd mind me saying they're seeing fun spots in LA these next coming days and then taking a couple of weeks doing some great stuff! ..REALLY getting away from it all..they're a wonderful couple.

Jen said...

Z, I was just pointing out our tendency as a group to uplift one group over another. I am in total agreement that the more time spent with a happy mom is a GOOD THING! I think that a true feminist will champion a woman's decision to do whatever she wants, including staying at home to raise the kids. My generation saw pressure to work outside the home. That's just as oppressive as being told that you cannot accomplish your goals.
:-)

Slightly off-topic, but I watched a woman named Rebecca Traister on CSPAN the other night, and she discussed her reaction to watching Sarah Palin on stage with McCain during the '08 campaign. (Traister is a feminist author.) She had some interesting things to say regarding Palin and motherhood.
"Less than a year later a candidate for vice president of the United states concluded her appearance in a national debate by reaching for her newborn baby. Whatever else there is to say about Sarah Palin or the reasons that her youngest son was on stage that night, that maternal reach was a roaring first in presidential politics."


Well...she was much kinder in the interview. :-)

Anonymous said...

Z, yes it is a big subject, and thank you for your kind words.

Jen, it doesn't matter who get's more praise in our society. It's your life, not society's.

We can't weigh our value based on the whims of society, it's enough to be appreciated by those you love. At least that's how I see it.

Pris

Jen said...

Z, yes it is a big subject, and thank you for your kind words.

Jen, it doesn't matter who get's more praise in our society. It's your life, not society's.

We can't weigh our value based on the whims of society, it's enough to be appreciated by those you love. At least that's how I see it.

Pris
-----------

Can I ditto Pris?
It is a HUGE issue, but so good to discuss. I feel like I'm scattered all over this issue, and it's very big in my life right now.

Thank you, Z. Love you.

Pris, thank you, too. I always appreciate your words of wisdom.

sue said...

Z - Anyway, that sounds great. The important thing is that you had the time together. Glad you enjoyed yourself and that they have a wonderful vacation.

See you in a week.

sue said...

Z - Concerning motherhood - the best possible scenario is for the mother to stay home with the children. That can't be wrong.

But...some people need the extra money, and I know that some women like to be out of the house and working. In cases like that, maybe it is better for them to do so if they can get good child care or, preferably a relative.

Z said...

Sue, I think a relative is preferable if available, too.
Have a great week..

Anonymous said...

Jen, I appreciate your openness, and how you seek the right answers for yourself.

I can tell you what my Dad used to tell me. "Be true to yourself, you'll figure things out".

I wish you all the best.

Pris

Leticia said...

Thanks, Z.

Z said...

Leticia, God bless you and yours, sweetheart.xx