Does SAH create demanding children?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Does SAH create demanding children?
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Wed, 03-26-2003 - 8:03am
I am reading The Mask of Motherhood and although I am not in total agreement of her theories and discussions, I thought they would be interesting in the context of this board.

One of her discussions focuses around the idea that now that mothers have more time/less household demands coupled with the parenting child-centered philosphies that the children have become more demanding of our time and attention.

Of course this discussion can take place regardless of employment status, but as the author seemed to be a SAHP, she clearly points to this as part of the reason we have "selfish brats".

SUS

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 11:10am
Honestly, I think those are examples of filling the void. There is no judgement attached to that, but having to bake the bread/churn the butter for dinner is much different than "having to return the movies".

She discussed the relatively new idea that every cry from a newborn MEANS something and that it is mom's job to interpret it vs the "old wives tale" that sometimes babies just cry because they need to cry. Even Brazelton somewhat supports this notion when he discusses sensory overload that can lead to a form of colic, the crying doesn't mean the baby needs something from mom, the baby is just letting off steam. We now have the time to figure out (or kill ourselves trying) every nuance. In times when it took all day to wring out and hang the washing, mom would do her best to meet the baby's need and then get on with her day. I know I am not explaining this exactly correctly and I think it is an interesting discussion, can I make everyone on the board read the book? It is not Proust length or anything ;-)

SUS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 11:32am
I think I am the SAH who thrift shops relentlessly that you are talking about!

I thrift as a SAHM as part of WAH. When I find good treasure, I resell it on ebay to make a quick few dollars. Some weeks I do extremely well for my time put in! And yes, I am the one my friends and family call to know where to get a bargain. I am not a coupon clipper, I am a treasure hunter. Though it can be considered a hobby, because I enjoy it, I can make really good money with it too! My kids enjoy doing this with me too - just yesterday at the first glimpse of spring in the air, my dd4 shouted from the back of the van "YARD SALE MOMMY!" - just someone cleaning out the garage.. LOL. I owned/operated a children's clothing resale shop for about a year, and actually closed the doors as soon as I found out I could do the same at home with ebay, which was more comfy for the kids, as I had been taking them to work with me.

So yes, you could say that I unnecessarily fill my time with *fluff* to put stress on myself, but I dont feel this way. Last year I made more money doing this than I could have WOH PT. In the winter months, I only dedicate 2-4 days a month thrifting.. one day a week I swing by the post office or UPS to send out packages. In the summer, I do as much as I can - generally 2 mornings per week is for yard saling - and more trips to the post office, etc. My kids really have a great time - and sometimes get some unconventional toys out of it.. for example, my dd has a box full of old formal dresses and costume jewelry that she uses for dress up. And my ds3, found a neato Capsela set that I would have never thought about heading to the specialty store to buy for him.

Although I will admit that I have a new hobby - antiquing - and I rather do spend a lot of time with my special treasure in re-decorating the house every once in a while!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 11:48am
I think it's parenting style that makes children demanding and bratty....work status doesn't have much to do with it....each can contribute to it...but again...it's only because of the way a parent chooses to parent in each situation.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 1:27pm
ITA! n/t

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 1:57pm
Oh I have yet to read the responses however I can tell you very unscientifically that my older DS who went to daycare was "easier" and less demanding than my youngest DS who is with me ALL the time, with the exception of the 7 hours I attend class. Little DS is not as demanding of his father, who works out side the home. Hmmmmm???

SOooooooooo I do not know, I would need to have about 20 more children of my own to even do a good statistical test and that "ain't" happening.

However this is a question I have pondered on my own!

Mar

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 4:58am
I STRONGLY DISAGREE with the notion that WP's create demanding children by trying to "Make up" time. I sincerely doubt that my spending more time with my children during the 6 hours a day on work days is going to have more impact on them being demanding than someone else spending all day with theirs. However, it is a fact that our children live in child centered homes and attend child centered dc's. SAH is now FOR THE KIDS as opposed to done because you just had so much work to do you couldn't keep up if you worked as it was in my grandmothers day (circa 1940's). I think that SAHP's who center their lives around their children can create demanding children. I think that WP's who center their lives around their children and use child centered dc's can create demanding children. But I do think that WP's are less likely to be overly child centered. It can be done though.
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 6:00am
It's human nature to complain about what everybody else is complaining about. Misery loves company, right? If you look at any newspaper, magazine, TV, etc., it's all about how "busy" everybody is. There's almost a message that your life must be really empty, if it isn't as full as the media says it should be.

I absolutely agree: some people fill the void, just so they can say they are as busy as they think other people are.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 6:37am
Though I will admit at times SAH can feel a little on the 'isolated' side, I find your reasoning near insulting.

To say that SAHMs flock to activites to make themselves miserable - what?? How about, depsite popular belief, SAHMs are just moms who sometimes have interests other than being at home all the time! I assume that you WOHMs all have outside friends/interests/hobbies that you pursue even though you have less time to pursue them in. Most SAHMs just have the luxury of incorporating theirs into the life at will - a freedom, a 'perk' along the lines of the 'perk' that some WOHMs can afford a housecleaner and good DCP.

Pre-motherhood, we all had interests/hobbies/friends that filled our spare time, did we not? Is it not a safe assumption to say that we are all in this for the children, whether we contribute to the financial stability of our families or not?

This board is funny. In one breath the general consensus is that SAHMs are trapped in a self-fulfilling martydom, and in the other, they are critized for enjoying their life at home. Your WOH that makes you a better mom for 'sanity' reasons is not that much different than a SAH endlessly filling her scrapbooks for fun. I am able to include my children in all my acitivities if they wish to. That seems to be the only difference here.

And for the media, the commercials, shame on them for making it seem as though a mom who has a little time to herself is a bad thing.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 7:33am
Excuse me, but I was referring to people in general. The media creates images that indicate that all the beautiful people have these fabulously busy, chaotic lives, and if you (general you) don't have every minute scheduled, you aren't one of the beautiful people. SAHM's and WOHM's alike. My personal pet peeve is the magazines that indicate that some mythical *everybody else* is whipping every holiday into a frenzy of fantastic food and fun, so if you aren't killing yourself to create all these *perfect holiday memories* (sarcasm intended), then you are just laying down on the job.

I didn't say that SAHM's flock to activities. That was your interpretation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:48am
I am so sorry if I read to far into your post. Sorry about that-

Regarding the *Martha Stewart* image that is portrayed of women, yes, I agree with you on that. Not really a SAH/WOH issue. It seems more a woman's issue. I feel that some women are very comfortable with tradition, but for the most part, I think we all just 'get through' the holidays and feel relieved when they finally end :) Martha raises the expectations - and makes tons of money doing it!

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