Is there a real difference?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Is there a real difference?
172
Mon, 07-27-2009 - 3:56pm
Is there a SAHM "type" and a WOHM "type" of woman, or is the choice more dependent on circumstances? If you are one or the other, are there circumstances you could imagine switching roles, or are you "programmed" to be one or the other? If you are "programmed" who or what do you think is reponsible for your programming?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 12:07pm

<<No, what I mean is that there are different kinds and levels of ambitions for different times.>>


I get that part and totally agree with you...but what I was

PumpkinAngel

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 12:07pm

On your first point no real disagreement, as already stated.

I am not sure what you mean by your second point.

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 12:58pm

When I answered her question, I was speaking purely about career ambitions in the corporate sense, which is what I thought she meant. I was more ambitious in a traditional corporate sense in my 20s than I am now. I have different career ambitions now that I am in academia. They are are less corporate and I devote less time to them--a different kind and level--but they are still ambitions.

I wasn't saying that I am less ambitious overall--just that I have different channels and levels for that ambition than I did when I was in a different place in my life. There are some ways in which I am less ambitious (career-wise, I suppose, since I work only pt), but that is because I want time to pursue other ambitions that are more important to me at this time in my life. I disagree with the idea that someone who chooses to sah is less ambitious--unless one is using the term ambition in a very narrow sense of corporate-type career goals.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 12:59pm

Thank you for clarifying, I did not get that at all from your post before.


PumpkinAngel

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 1:11pm
What I mean is that if you start saying that one kind of volunteering (working at the food bank, say) "counts," but another kind (Jr League) doesn't, it's kind of a slippery slope. What about jobs that don't require much education or training--do those count as ambitious? What about other outlets (say somebody who spends all her free time auditioning for and doing weekend theater or the guy whose ambition is to climb Mt. Everest)? Focusing on whether someone has a job seems like a very narrow (and not terribly accurate) way to look at ambition.
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 1:14pm
I am too lazy to go back, but the way I remember it I only said that I thought it would be easier to SAH if you were not very ambitious. I did not say that all SAHMs were unambitious. In fact I think it is quite rare to be without some kind of worldly ambition and I do think that frustration of ambition is a common challenge for people who SAH.
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 1:18pm
I did not focus it narrowly on having a job. I picked the JL as an example, because where I lived it was mainly a way for people to socialize. I am sure a few women took it seriously and that it could work perfectly well as an outlet for ambition. However, the vast majority of the women I knew treated it as a recurring tea party.
Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 1:35pm

I can't think of any sahms I know who have chosen to sah but are pining over frustrated ambition. Perhaps that goes back to my original point. There are different things for different times in many people's lives. I wasn't frustrated about not working when I sah (or about having less time for personal ambitions) because I knew it was a temporary thing. Kids don't stay little for long, and few women sah for good these days.

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 1:50pm

I don't know that much about JL, but around here, it's a fundraising organization. It's definitely not my cup of tea, but they're still doing something useful even with all the socializing.

But again, plenty of people have jobs that don't require much education or experience or that don't provide any immediate social good. And there are lots of personal outlets that are channels for ambition (like my dinner theater and mountain climbing examples) that don't have any particular social good.

If you're looking at ambition in a narrow sense, I can see why you think someone who doesn't have much ambition would have an easier time sah. However, with that view, a lot of wohms don't have much ambition either.

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Fri, 07-31-2009 - 2:38am
One is not connected to the other though. Of course plenty of WOHMs do not have much ambition either. That does not change the first hypothesis, however, that such women would have an easier time being SAH than women who are more driven.

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