Thursday, November 10, 2005

Defining a woman in our society…

It saddens me that in our culture that women are often so self oriented. The women I see around me, those I talk to, often work out of the home, need to get out once a week for dinner and a movie with their significant other, go for lunches on a regular basis with girlfriends, get their nails done, their hair done and all of the other stuff that they seem to find ‘important’… all the stuff that they did before they had children. Yet don’t see the importance of raising their kids completely, don’t see the importance of being a full time mom. They see motherhood and their kids as being a threat to the way that they define themselves. They cling to the identity that they had when childless and don’t want to leave any of that behind. They define themselves as women, as feminists, as working moms, as ‘themselves’…
I really don’t have anything against moms that work out of the home, they have their own reasons I guess and I can’t argue with them because they see it as doing what is right for them. However, I personally can’t understand it….
I can understand that there are some moms that are alone and that need the money and don’t have a choice… I can understand that it is sometimes the mom that makes more money, I can’t understand why the dad wouldn’t stay at home, I can’t understand the ones that say they “need” the money for their second car, the big house, the trips and the plasma screen TV …. I can’t understand how people say that they are the ones raising their kids when their kids are in daycare 5 days a week for 10 hours a day…
I know a few moms that have their kids in daycare full time and see the reality that the daycare has a great influence on their child’s life (negative as well as positive)… the daycare workers are the ones that often see the first steps, hear the first word, kiss booboo’s away, teach and take care of the children… others that I know don’t see the daycare as being anything more then a place that they take their children for a ‘few’ hours and they are the only ones “raising” their kids….
Yes, maybe there are women that really just do love their jobs and want to continue to work and to them I would just have to agree to disagree because I love my job as mother too.

Before I had kids I was in school, working, went out, had fun, got married and had time with my husband to get to know him, I was myself, doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it... When I had kids, I stayed the same yet changed. I became a Mom. I took on a definition to my life that I don’t see as being contradictory to myself but complimentary. Sure I don’t do all of the things that I did before and sure I miss it sometimes but for now, especially while the kids are so young my job is to be a mother and I can be myself while doing that. I understood that I only have a few years to raise my kids, to teach them, to discover them, to make them feel like they are the most important beings on the face of this earth. When they are a bit older, I can do more of the things that I did before (if they still interest me). Raising my children is the most important job that I could ever hold in my life, and they reward me everyday for doing so.
I know that for some women working out of the house is what they equate to being equal to men… I understand the ‘equality’ issue… however, the most common complaints that I have hear about the ‘traditional’ nuclear family has often been how the mom was the one raising the kids while the dad was the one that came home tired and cranky at night and that was seen on weekends… Is this what women really want? To be away from their kids as much as the men in the past?
I don’t see myself as inferior for staying home and raising my kids… there are women that provide childcare as a living… am I inferior to them? No, I am not paid. But I am doing the same thing… I am just doing it for myself instead of paying someone else to do it for me…
I guess I am lucky in the fact that I have a husband that acknowledges that what I do is important and that I work hard. He expects of my to raise my kids, not raise him, he doesn’t expect that the house is spotless but smiles when the kids have drawings or crafts to show him. He is hardworking out and in the home. He sees me as an equal and treats as such.
I think the overall problem with the image of women is the home stems from the image of man being dominant because of it… The problem with this though is that the way to change this view is to change the mentality of the men and doing so can only be done by showing that being a mom is a job like any other and that the other stuff just needs to be equally divided between the mom and the dad…
The other problem is the constant conception that those who actually love to be home with their kids on a full time basis are really lying to themselves and are just trying to be Martyrs are second class citizens and are not 'modern' women etc...

If you really want to work then do so.. I don't think that everyone should and has to be a SAHM... but it doesn't mean that it isn't a valid choice and that it isn't as important a job... but I truly believe that in choosing for both parents to work outside of the home that it also means that you are willing to share and leave the responsibility of raising your kids with someone else....

Afterthought: don't we all think of things the morning after ;)

I think the important thing is that we have to understand that a woman doesn't have to lose herself to become a full time mom...
She doesn't just take on the challenge of taking care of her children but takes on the challenge of redefining herself. Some things are left behind and forgotten and they are often the petty things, leaving the core of who we really are and then we rebuild from there. Past friendships may dwindle and be left behind leaving time and space for another generation of friends that we will keep for a lifetime. It does take a village to raise a child and through the friendship that I have made I am building my village, friends for my kids, other kids that I can kiss booboo’s for, other adults to give and get ideas and support, and share with.

I didn’t lose myself by staying home but redefined and enriched myself.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paxye wrote, "I know a few moms that have their kids in daycare full time and see the reality that the daycare has a great influence on their child’s life…"

Here's a great website I found about the negative influences of daycare upon kids' lives.

11/10/2005 07:12:00 p.m.  
Blogger K said...

You have inspired a reciprocal blog entry! :-)

http://e-lah.blogspot.com/2005/11/sahm-vs-wohm.html

:-)

Kelly

11/10/2005 08:36:00 p.m.  
Blogger Sharon said...

Wow!
This was one of the best truths I have read.:)
It's a shame that so many moms immediately feel they have to justify, explain, or defend WHY they are a SAHM.
I agree so much with your points.
It's got me thinking about an entry, too. :)
Thank you for the affirmation.
Have a great weekend!

11/11/2005 12:05:00 p.m.  
Blogger PSUMommy said...

I used to make excuses for why I stayed at home with my children; I used to feel ashamed in the face of 'accomplished' women with higher degrees than mine and careers. Then I realized that I love being home with my children. So I started changing my response from "I have to stay at home because we can't afford both of us to work in our fields" to "I'm lucky enough to be able to stay at home to raise my babies! What do *you* do?" And I've found, that when I give that response, the reaction is almost always a look of sadness and "Oh, I wish I could stay at home, too..."

A friend of mine that had the worst response ever for why she works: she didn't feel that she was a 'contributing member of society.' The second-worst response: she was 'bored out of her mind' at home.

Great post. I agree entirely. And sorry for such a long response...it just really touched a nerve with me!

11/11/2005 02:41:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Todd Tyrtle said...

Great entry - I agree 100%. I think that much of the problem comes from the fact that in many relationships, the man has also not made any concessions and still does all of the things he did before being a parent - and I'm not just talking about work.

My biggest pet peeve, and I know of several who do it, are parents - even in their 30's, who feel it necessary to still do the nightclub thing practically every weekend. When are you going to grow up and pay attention to your life?

Why do some people even bother having kids if they aren't going to participate, and participate gleefully, in their lives?

11/12/2005 06:49:00 a.m.  
Blogger Sara said...

I also don't understand mothers who try to maintain their pre-motherhood identity by going out, etc. Since becoming parents, my husband and I agree that we don't want to go out without our children. It wouldn't be fun.

I only wish that our society was family-centered, so I didn't get the impression that I'm annoying others by bringing my children to public events. I feel so upset when I see a sign on a business that says no children.

11/16/2005 04:48:00 a.m.  
Blogger K said...

Sara -- you should move to Columbus, Oh! Just about everything here is kid-friendly except the Fanciest Of Dining Establishments, and who needs to spend 30 bucks on a meal anyway! :-)

11/16/2005 07:28:00 a.m.  
Blogger paxye said...

Thanks for your comments everone...
I just can't get around the fact that someone chooses to have kids and then chooses to leave them be raised by someone else in the critical years... What is so awful about taking five years to devote ourselves to our children, they deserve that... I see mothering as the most important job I will ever do in my lifetime...I am shaping a child...putting myself, my values into the next generation...
I really don't want to and could not hand that over to a daycare worker... even if they are the most 'caring and attentive' daycare worker there is because NO ONE will can give kids the attention they need and deserve except for the parents themselves....

11/16/2005 06:56:00 p.m.  
Blogger Melissa said...

Wow, judge much? Sometimes it's nice to look outside the box around YOU and look at other people and their perspectives. It takes a village to raise a child and we were never meant to be isolated like we are now raising baby's.

Just as you don't want to be judged for "attachement parenting" other women don't want to be judged for working.

11/20/2005 12:52:00 a.m.  
Blogger paxye said...

Yes it takes a village to raise a child and that is what I am always searching for....people to be 'my' village to support and help me while I am being a full time mom (and I can do the same for them)....
However... I think that mom and family should be the central part of that village not a babysitter and daycare....
I also think that kids are worth being the most important thing in every parents life (especially in the first few years)... not the second most important after work and on weekends...
Yes.... I may be judging some people but I am also justifying myself and many of those that think along the same lines as me...
This is my Rant and I am allowed to use this place as a way to get MY feelings out, and this is the only place (besides my own home) that am comfortable to do so ...
(read the warning... my blog... my opinion)
If you don't like it... then please be nice and just go along your merry way... and if you feel the need to comment do so in a nice manner....
We needn't agree but a nice comment will always get a nice response and can promote an exchange instead of a duel...

However, please tell me how you justify working... maybe I'll learn something... Do you love your job? Do you want to be away from your kids? Do you think that there is no other way to do it? Do you think that you are not part of society if you don't work for money? Do you just think that kids are better off at daycare? Do you think that being a full time mom is just not for you? Do you need the money? Do you want the second car? What is it about working that is so much better then staying at home... How do you justify your kids being in daycare and away from their parents all day...
I really would like to know...

11/20/2005 02:36:00 p.m.  
Blogger Melissa said...

Well first of all there are so many assumptions in that statement, it boggles my mind. But whatever. I'm a single mom, so I have NO CHOICE. I have to work. I have choosen to work at home but I have the education to be able to do that. Not every woman has that choice or can afford that choice. Or even wants that choice. But even if I was working for that second car, it wouldn't matter. The work for is over 60% women right now. If all of with children, we wouldn't be able to go to the bank, restaurants, stores, anything because they would have any one to run them. When my son get's older, I will hire a babysitter a couple days of the week. Because I need time for refreshing also and deserve it as a human. But I'm going to go ahead and assume someone staying at home might not understand that. And I wouldn't have to justify my kid being at daycare all day if that was my choice. Only I have to be comfortable with it, not anyone else. There's alot more factor's of women wanting to work out the home than wanting a second car. May they want to pay for college, a retirement fund, maybe they have a field that is difficult to get back into. My goal for every woman to feel secure in herself. If she wants to WOH, SAH, whatever, as long as we support each other and not judge and tear each other down for our decisions. I don't judge women who are SAM who never enter the work force. Because it's not my choice to make.
Ok, I'll get off my soap box. This topic really makes my blood boil, especially when people judge other people without really knowing them.

11/21/2005 01:31:00 a.m.  
Blogger paxye said...

See… I see no problem with what you are saying… I can understand most of it….
If you have read some other posts on my blog (or even saw the side bar) your would know that I am starting to work from home (because we need the money) and I also do many hours of volunteer work (breastfeeding counsellor) from home… and “gasp” my older son is in daycare 2 times a week….
What my post was about was the problem that I have with the assumption that Stay at home moms lose their identity because they choose to become full time mothers, the fact that being a full time mom is as important and challenging as any other job and it is gratifying. I myself am moulding my children into the people that they will become.
I really do understand that there are women that need to work but I can’t get my mind around those that choose to work… sure they may have their reasons but that doesn’t mean that I need to understand it, just like there are many that can’t understand why moms would choose their kids over work… I am allowed to have that opinion.
Sure it would be great to have a little extra money to put aside for education or retirement… sure it would be nice to go out to a restaurant even once a month… sure it would be nice to have a few extra’s or even better… not struggling for the things we NEED…. Maybe that is what justifies the decision for others but personally it wouldn’t do it for me….none of those could justify leaving my children all day with a stranger or even family member…. I had my kids so that I could raise them 100% with my husband. We include others in our village but we couldn’t justify handing our kids over to some one else 45+ hours a week…
It makes MY blood boil when people think that mom who chooses to stay home and become full time Moms are just killing their identities, are Martyrs etc… It makes my blood boil when people assume that full time moms are isolated people that don’t ever have any adult conversations… It makes my blood boil when moms that work out of the home 40 hours a week think that the daycare is not having a major part of raising their kids and don’t realize that it can be very negative…
Look… we are not going to agree on this subject and that is OK… We both have barriers and assumptions that we can’t get past…
It is easy to say that we never judge but I have yet to find anyone that really does not… This Blog (and my home) are the only places that I can say what I really want and need to say… I don’t mind if you don’t agree with me…

11/23/2005 07:23:00 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home