Postives of Being a Working Mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Postives of Being a Working Mom
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Sat, 04-19-2003 - 11:07am
We hear all the time about the positives of having a stay at home mom, I just want to get a plug in there for us working parents who are showing our children that men can do more than provide and women can do more that nurture. They can do both. And do both very well.

Personally I take great pride in setting an example for my girls that a woman can achieve anything she sets her mind to. And that she has to power to balance her life without sacrificing family or her personal dreams. You can have it all. And there doesn't have to be a price. And if there has been a price you have overcome it and turned it around to work in your families best interest.

Please share your positive experiences as a working mom. And how being a provider as well as a nurturer has positively impacted your family.

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Avatar for cyndiluwho
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 11:22am
Well, Thursday is take your child to work day and both of my girls are just clammoring to go to work with me. So far, the positives have been really in the realm of being able to afford to expose my kids to enriching activities like their Yamaha music classes and me not going out of my mind staring at the same walls 24 x 7,but I'm starting to see effects elsewhere as well. My oldest dd started to go down the "girls aren't good at math" path. I reminded her that her mother is an engineer and engineers are good at math and pointed out that half her genes came from me. She thought about it for a few minutes and proceeded to do her math. She doesn't try to tell me girls can't do math anymore. She knows better because she has a mom who is very good at math. One thing I like about being a WM is that I do show my dd that gender doesn't determine what you do.

We're also seeing benefits of a more involved dad here especially since since I started back to school. Working full time and going to school means dh has no choice but to pick up the slack and I'm seeing his relationship with the girls just bloom. Dh would be a totally hands off dad if I SAH. He has no choice but to be a hands on dad with me WOH. He's been soloing with the kids for a couple of hours in the morning all along but I'm amazed at how much positive impact the two nights a week I'm in school are having here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 12:13pm
Well, the first positive that comes to mind is financial. Obviously, the income I bring in by WOH benefits the kids and the family. Because I work we have a pool, we have significant savings (dh has a hefty retirement plan, I have a 401K and the kids have college funds), they each have their own bedroom, dd gets gymnastics lessons, we get to take a vacation every year, etc. So, obviously there are financial postives of a WOHM.

Secondly, there are emotional benefits. I'm a more stable person when I WOH. And that *has* to benefit my kids. They have a happy, contented, fulfilled mom.

Thirdly, as you mentioned, there is a positive female role model. Of course SAHMs can be positive female role models. A WOHM is simply a different kind of role model.

Fourth, each individual job probably has its benefits to the kids/family. Last fall I got to take dd to see the Moscow Ballet perform the Nutcracker. $100 seats for FREE! Next week I get to take the kids to a Children's Festival that I'm working. And we have an employee outing once a year that's great free fun for hte whole family. And those are just the ones I can think of at this moment. There are many more.

Anyhoo ...that's my two cents this morning.

Hollie

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 12:37pm
Ah ha! I see the light! The past couple of days I've been wondering where your view on housework/parenting equality/WOHD not doing anything but kids is coming from. Part of why I was debating it so heavily was that your view was such a foreign concept to me. i couldn't wrap my brain around it and couldn't figure out where you were coming from. Now I do.

"Dh would be a totally hands off dad if I SAH. He has no choice but to be a hands on dad with me WOH. "

So, essentially, if you were a SAHM, you would almost be forced to make him do no chores in teh evenings/weekends to force him to spend handson time with the kids. (And I don't mean *force* in a negative way ... just couldn't find a better word.) If you SAH, you would have to take some measures to make him be a more hands on dad. And a good way of doing that wouuld be to eliminate anything else that he would feel the need to do, souch as housework.

So, I can see why you're so adamant that a WP do no household chores and the SAHP do them all.

But, we go back to one of the same old things we always do on this board. Your experiences are not the same as everyone else's. Shoot, they're probably not the same as anyone else's.

When I SAH, dh was just as involved of a parent as he is now. He is hands on then; he is hands on now. He helped with houseowrk then; he helps with housework now. And, when I SAH, I obviously did more housework than I do now. But he really didn't do much less then than now. (overall, less gets done now. He does about the same as he always has; I do much less. So, much less simply gets done on a regular basis.) He is a very active, involved parent, whether I SAH or not. Whether he does housework or not. If he feels he needs to spend time with dd instead of doing a load of dishes, he does it. Does that mean I do the dishes instead of him? Nope. Usually means they don't get done. Dh's time spent "choring" doesn't change the amount of time spent with the kids.

Obviously, if you SAH, you'd have to relieve your dh of any household duties so that he could be an involved, hands on parent and to preserve an equitable parenting balance. But when I SAH, I didn't have to do that. Can't you see that *my* family *can* be equitable wihout being just like yours?

Avatar for cyndiluwho
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 12:43pm
WHEN I was a SAHM, I never trie do MAKE dh do chores. That was my job. Yes, dh was pretty hands off when I was a SAHM and I was a SAHM to two ss's from his firs marriage!! I think that both parties working can go a long way towards equalizing parenting. I could care less who does more housework or wage earning (I happen to do more of both around here) but parenting needs to be divided for the kids sakes. I cannot see asking someone to divide what time they have at home in the evening between housework and the kids when I've had all day to get the housework done. By the time dh got home, the only things left were to put dinner on and do the dishes. Then I was done for the day. Seems silly to me to argue that the WP should do the housework when you're home all day to get it done and what the WP needs to do is spend time with the kids not the vaccuum cleaner. Chores don't care who does them but kids do care who cares for them and they know it if dad doesn't do much. There's no way I could ask dh to take away from the time he had to spend with the kids in the evenings for chores that I had all day to do. IMO, the chores were my job when I was home and dh's job was going out and earning a living. I see no issue in trading off who does what except in the child care dept. There you trade off as little as possible.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 12:54pm
But no one is saying a SAHM should *make* her dh do chores. I never had to *make* dh do some when I was a SAH. He just did. He saw it as part of his responsibility. I did the majority of them because I was home more to do them. But he did some too. And it didn't have a bit of effect on the equality of our parenting.

"I cannot see asking someone to divide what time they have at home in the evening between housework and the kids when I've had all day to get the housework done. "

It doesn't have to be kids or housework. It *can* be both. Dh would often do a load of dishes after the kids went to bed. Or pay the bills. Or whatever.

"Seems silly to me to argue that the WP should do the housework when you're home all day to get it done and what the WP needs to do is spend time with the kids not the vaccuum cleaner. "

But there are lots of things you *can't* do at home during the day. You can't clean up from supper if supper hasn't happened yet. And dh can spend time with the vacuum cleaner AND the kids. Its called "after the kids go to bed".

"There's no way I could ask dh to take away from the time he had to spend with the kids in the evenings for chores that I had all day to do. "

But *sometimes* if a SAH did *all* the chores, she'd have much less time with the kids too.

"but parenting needs to be divided for the kids sakes"

I agree with you. But, that can be done, even if the WP does a load of dishes or vacuums the living room.

Anyhoo, I"m done with this. Dh and I are headed out with the kids for the city's Easter Egg Hunt, so I won't be around.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 2:03pm
WHY is it necessary at all?? That's what I don't get. There's no reason a WP should be coming home to housework when there's been someone there all day to do it. Why is housework his responsiblity but wage earning not yours? Why the double standard? Mom can't manage the housework and the kids when she has all day but dad can do both after he gets home??? Sorry, I don't get this at all. If kids and housework go hand in hand and you can do both at the same time then why can't mom get it done while she cares for the kids in the 9 hours at home she had that dad doesn't? Funny how mom can't do it but dad can and we call it QUALITY time. Sorry, not buying what you're selling. I'm not saying that things don't happen that result in mom needing help but that shouldn't be something that is routine given how much more time mom has to get things done. Housework doesn't take all day by a long shot.
Avatar for 1969jets
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 2:41pm
For us it has allowed dh to achieve his goal of becoming an attorney without disrupting our lives financially. I had a good job which allowed dh to take a lower paying job when he first graduated from law school. If I had not been working it would have been difficult for us to manage that. In addition we incurred much less debt during the course of his studies.

I don't think my kids understand that yet, they are to young. But we will make sure that they understand how we worked together so that we could be where we wanted to be without sacrificing financial security.

Jenna

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Registered: 03-30-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 3:06pm
Good for you. Seeing the big picture and keeping long term goals in perspective ensures a secure financial future. Sounds like your willingness to sacrifice early on will result in a great payback for your family.

I stepped back from my career for a year and I was amazed at how quickly you can lose your footing in your career. Staying home was easier on me but ultimately I knew it would prove harder on my family in the long run. The longer you stay in your field the higher salary you can command as well as flexibility. Plus, I simply didn't like depending on one person for my livlihood. I feel so much better being able to be support myself and my children with or without my husband. It's good to know our bond is one of preference not financial dependence.

My contribution to the financial bottom line has resulted in less stress for my family. My husband's stress level has gone down since he no longer shoulders the entire financial burden and my stress level has gone done because I know I'm helping secure our present and our future. My children who are now getting old enough to understand basic economics have a newfound understanding and appreciation for why I work. Besides there will come a day when the kids are older and you have nothing but time on your hands and then what? Most careers just can't be picked up after a 10 year sabatical. At least those that pay well. And I don't plan on recreating myself at 40. At least not in the employment sector.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 3:41pm
I agree, I am a sahm right now and I get almost everything done during the day plus have time to take my kids to the mall or park a lot of the time. I enjoy planning my own day and I realize my dh can't have that same freedom. If I have a really bad day because I am sick, or the kids are sick, or something strange happens and the house work is not finished when he gets home, I do it when he is home and playing with the kids. Housework goes by real fast when the kids are out from under my feet and sometimes dad being home to entertain and distract them away from me is easiest. It helps that my dh isn't an ogre about housework and if he comes home and it looks like a cereal factory blew up on the carpet or whatever he isn't one to say anything to me about it. He knows that I was probably just waiting for him to get home and take the kids out on the lawn. He also pitches in on the weekends because heck, he isn't working on the weekends so he figures I shouldn't have to either, or we should at least do the same. Of course I only have 2 kids. If I had 4 maybe it would be really hard to get the housework done, who knows. But because I worked before having kids I know what it feels like to work all day and come home and not want to do anything else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 3:50pm
ITA, that was a big part of why I took over the majority of household work when I became a SAHM, I remembered how much I hated to do it and work also.

Of course now that I am WOH again I am back to doing both again but the kids are old enough that it is more of a joint effort. The kids were off from school Thursday and FRiday and when I got home from work on Thursday the house was just about cleaned. All I did was vacuum.

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