For moms who have been both...

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2004
For moms who have been both...
898
Thu, 07-01-2010 - 10:33pm

SAH and WOH


Which has proven to be more difficult?


I was reading a post below and someone stated that staying home was more difficult.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 10:06am
I think it's possible to have an idea, but not to know. I had a pretty good sense of what it might mean before I SAH. I had been a mom for 7 years at that point, though always WOH. But there were plenty of surprises too. Like I had no idea that rather than looking forward to the weekends, I'd be dreading them, that Monday would be my new Friday, and that vacations wouldn't feel like vacations to me anymore, they'd be more like taking my SAHM job on the road. I didn't know I'd be just as stressed, I didn't realize how much more housework there is when you are home all day, and I couldn't have predicted how it would change they dynamic between my spouse and I or my perceptions of myself.

Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' -Kahlil Gibran



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Ten Rules for Being Human


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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 10:12am

Yes and no. Would you say that a person who has never had children has a fairly good grasp of what it is like to be a parent? I think it is similar. Some people have a better grasp than others. Some have no clue.

I *thought* I knew what it was going to be like before I became a mother, but the actual experience has been quite a bit different. I *thought* I knew what it was to be a sahp, but my experience has been different- and it has changed as my children have aged. Staying at home with toddlers is much different than sah with elementary school aged children and I expect it will be different when we are fully in the teen years. (ODS is technically 13, but he is somewhat delayed on the teen things.) I woh when my children were young- and I expect I don't really know what it is like to woh at the age my children are now- as I haven't done it. I have an idea, but I can't fully understand it until I have BTDTGTTS.

I think experiencing the death of a parent is similar. I haven't had the experience (although we had a near miss last year) and I don't really know how I will react. I know how I think I will react,... I do know that different people react differently.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 10:18am
I agree with that, there would be a huge shift in my dynamic with my husband if he were the only one earning money or had been for most of our marriage. But I also think that understanding/empathizing with other people's situations involves so much more than the SAHM/WOHM dichotomy. My sister and I are both WOHMs, but we have such different life circumstances (for one thing she is a SINGLE mom) that there is hardly any overlap. A SAHM with one child, an au pair and many social obligatiions because her husband is the CEO of a large organization has very different life circumstances than the SAHM mother of four who struggles to make ends meet on her DHs teacher's salary.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 10:29am

I agree you can understand and empathize without knowing what it's like, and I agree that even two people who SAH or two people who WOH might have very different experiences.

I think the trick is in assuming you *don't know* what it's like. That way you are more apt to listen and truly try to understand which can then lead to real empathy, rather than assuming you do know already, and therefore just base your opinions on your (possibly off base) assumptions, not really understanding and having false empathy.

Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' -Kahlil Gibran



Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket
Photobucket



Ten Rules for Being Human


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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:00am

Isn't part of empathy putting yourself into someone else's shoes? Imagining how you would react in certain situation?

Listening carefully and trying to understand is important no matter who you are talking to-- whether that person SAH or WOH. I agree with Bordwithu. I think I could imagine myself in the shoes of a SAH parent living in my neighborhood more easily than I could a WOH parent living where Tryingtoquit does.

For the purposes of this debate, it seems anytime a WOH parent says how they think something would or wouldn't be if they SAH, a SAH parent comes along and says "You have no idea what it's like to be a SAH parent." I just don't think that's true. I think I do have a pretty good sense what my life would be like if I SAH.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:13am

No. My point is that when something becomes a routine, you stop asking yourself that question. You stop even thinking about it. Like breathing. Or is that just me?

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:22am

and perhaps it's different living it than to watch it?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:23am

You think all sahms have been working moms at some point?


PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:24am

Love the last paragraph.


PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:26am

I'll leave it....

PumpkinAngel

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