Author Topic: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?  (Read 48017 times)

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channa17

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2011, 06:20:12 AM »
Ah, The Mommy Wars. Completely ridiculous because they're all wrapped up in subjective opinions, preferences and conveniently ignoring the different personalities and circumstances involved. While I never want to be a SAHM, I completely respect any parent - male or female - who chooses to do so. In our modern age, it is a reasonable inference that staying home was a choice, and it makes sense for them. And kudos to that. Not everyone has the financial reality to be able to do that.

Judgement comes from all sides, towards all sides: you hear SAHPs making derisory comments about mothers who choose to work, but interestingly, not fathers (as Gloria Steinem famously said - "how come nobody ever asks a man about the difficulty of balancing a career and a family?"), and working mothers who snort at SAHPs. You get people who make fun of couples who choose to have kids and couples with kids who condescendingly "feel sorry" for couples who don't. Then there are the happy singles vs. the Smug Marrieds.

It's all too darned much!

I personally am happy to be married, but we've chosen not to settle down (at least not yet, if ever), definitely not have kids (we have approx. 5-10 years to change our minds and I just don't see it happening) and I love my career. I despise housework and don't particularly like kids and all they entail, at least not for long periods. You'd be amazed - wait, no you wouldn't! - at how much judgement I get for all of this, and at how little judgement my husband gets. No fair. Borderline sexist. As though he's fine and yet my life is somehow incomplete without kids and I will be happy to change poopy diapers, mop floors and volunteer at the science fair and holiday bazaar once it's my own kid.

Yeah...no.

I have deep respect for parents who do take joy and pride in that stuff. Absolutely. So it's sad to see them getting judged for it. But we women who don't want kids and love our jobs get judgement too and it's not fair to any of us.

So, as wives and mothers and colleagues and husbands and friends and relatives, I hope we'll all just STOP.

(I mean the collective humanity "we" - you guys are doin' great).

irish1

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2011, 11:19:42 AM »
I agree so strongly with people who say those people who aren't happy with their own lives judge and criticise. If it's not that you feel bad about yourself, and seeing my lifestyle reminds you of why you feel bad about yourself, then why would you bring it up? Women as a group really need to start standing up for ourselves and each other, and give up the guilt!

My brother and his wife just moved to London, he has a very good job with an excellent salary. She has just finished college and is job hunting slowly. There aren't many jobs in her field and neither of them see the point in her rushing to get a job she doesn't enjoy with a low wage when they can easily both live on what he earns. But her parents are badgering her to get a job soon. I think she has some sort of policy like 'Every day you tell me to get job is one month more that I won't bother looking'  :D

DangerMouth

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2011, 11:56:12 AM »
I'm 60.  I'm trying to be retired.

I work between 24 and 40 hours a week.  

However, most of them are hours of my choosing.  I'm only obligated to 24 of them in two shifts.

I love being home and just hanging out.

When my husband was normal I worked 24 hours a week.  After I was divorced I worked 40-70 hours a week to pay off debts that mostly he incurred.  (no pity here just stating facts)

I had an excellent support system since my parents lived a mile and a half down the road and I worked a night shift and early morning shift.  (not possible for a lot of people).  My daughter was a hard working *******, my son a dancing in the daisies ******* but I tried to be home for them every afternoon.  Sleeping in between.

Not an easy way to do things and not my choice.  They are both adults now, and have turned out pretty well.  

Every parent should just do the best they can for as long as they can.  One never knows while they are living it if they are making the best decisions.  I look back now and think I did pretty good but at the time most of it was "touch and go."

It's making me nuts that I can't figure out what ******* is supposed to stand for.

:D

Piratelvr1121

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #63 on: March 20, 2011, 01:58:01 PM »
What drives me crazy is when people say "Well what do you DO all day? You must have time to do X or Y if you have time to sit around the house all day!  Why don't you get a part time job?"

Well I've tried in the past to get a part time job so I could work during the hours my boys are in school, with very little luck.  People say "Well work for the school!" Well, you know, no offense to kids, but if I'm going to work out of the house while my boys are in school, I'd rather work with adults, not around kids. 

Now volunteering I wouldn't mind doing.  It seems like volunteering you can be more flexible! :)
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magician5

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2011, 06:39:13 AM »
Years ago, early in my marriage, another resident in the apartment building was a 20-something young lady ... bright, pretty, capable, great personality. And almost due to give birth to her first.

ASSUMING, like the young idiot I was (I am now an old idiot) that in this fast-paced, high-rent urban area, that she'd have the kid and get back to work in a while, I asked how long she planned to take off from work when the baby came. She said that she had no job and didn't plan to.

I puzzled over this for a few days, thinking "but doesn't everybody put their kid in daycare and get back to the 9-to-5?" Around here, in my circle, just about everyone did.

I brought up the topic when I encountered her again, and she said that the role of SAHM was something she had always wanted, and she was thrilled to be getting her lifelong wish.

I puzzled another day or two, and it suddenly dawned on me ... NOT EVERYBODY WANTS THE SAME LIFE I WANT, AND THAT'S PERFECTLY O.K. Believe it or not, I was so mired in my own way of thinking that it simply hadn't occurred to me that other people had other wishes, and they were entitled to them.
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Larrabee

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2011, 08:26:53 AM »
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 08:30:17 AM by Larrabee »

sweetgirl

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2011, 09:23:27 AM »
You are entitled to your opinion, but I would disagree.

There is alot of paid employement that people do that could fit under that description aswell, bar the paycheque part, that requires less work or responsibility. Plus with all due respect, every family and marriage is different and cannot be defined by those standards. Whether it be due to the family dynamic,religion,relationship etc;...every family works differently. A stay at home wife in some households very well could get paid for the work they do in the home that week, or have to adhere to their husband/child/in laws wants and needs in fear of retaliation,faith or even self respect and gratification.

As for bosses and clients...well I think any mum/mom will tell you that they deal with hierachy at some point during the day or week. It may not be paid employement, and its something that for the most part we LOVE doing. But sometimes it is a job. Not all the time. But sometimes.

Giggity

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #67 on: March 26, 2011, 09:29:39 AM »
Larrabee, I agree with your theory. Also, I admire you for being brave enough to put it out here.

The differences between what I do as a salaried worker and what my sister did as a stay-at-home mother (when she did) are legion, and far more numerous than the similarities. Parenting doesn't have an HR manual, an IT staff, insurance benefits, or a carpool. Also, I get to stop work at 5:30 each day.

I understand the point of the "parenting is a job" comparison; I just don't agree fully with it AS a comparison. I agree with it, to a point, but the differences bust it for me.

All this, of course, is not to denigrate stay-at-homers. I wish I could. The Duke boys are clearly out of control and in dire need of parental guidance. (Actually, come to think of it, their most spectacular badnesses occurred when Gentleman Friend went back to work outside.)
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ACBNYC

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #68 on: March 26, 2011, 09:36:47 AM »
I see your point, Larrabee, but I also think there are differences between the words "job" and "employment." I have both a babysitter and a housekeeper; they get paid, I employ them and they do their jobs. There is no HR manual or corporate structure for these positions, although they can be fired.

If I choose to stop working and stay at home, the jobs they were getting paid to do fall to me. I don't see how watching/raising my child and cleaning my house cease being "jobs" simply because I am now doing them and not getting paid.

SAHM isn't employment, but it is a job. One I wish I could have sometimes.  :)

Larrabee

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2011, 06:29:01 PM »
Larrabee, I agree with your theory. Also, I admire you for being brave enough to put it out here.

The differences between what I do as a salaried worker and what my sister did as a stay-at-home mother (when she did) are legion, and far more numerous than the similarities. Parenting doesn't have an HR manual, an IT staff, insurance benefits, or a carpool. Also, I get to stop work at 5:30 each day.

I understand the point of the "parenting is a job" comparison; I just don't agree fully with it AS a comparison. I agree with it, to a point, but the differences bust it for me.

All this, of course, is not to denigrate stay-at-homers. I wish I could. The Duke boys are clearly out of control and in dire need of parental guidance. (Actually, come to think of it, their most spectacular badnesses occurred when Gentleman Friend went back to work outside.)




Of course, this is not my intention at all, my SIL is also a SAHM for the next few years at least and I couldn't and wouldn't want to do what she does.  I work really hard in a physically tiring and emotionally draining job but when my shift is over I can come home and watch repeats of Jericho with my feet up and a tub of Ben and Jerrys, her work is never done!  If I'm too ill to stay on my feet all day I can call in sick and stay in bed, she has to take care of the babies however terrible she feels.

There are many many many differences between having a job and being a SAHM, but I think at the most basic it boils down to if you don't get paid and you can't get fired, its not a job.  This isn't a value judgement, I just like to use the right terms for things!

Larrabee

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2011, 06:30:56 PM »
I see your point, Larrabee, but I also think there are differences between the words "job" and "employment." I have both a babysitter and a housekeeper; they get paid, I employ them and they do their jobs. There is no HR manual or corporate structure for these positions, although they can be fired.

If I choose to stop working and stay at home, the jobs they were getting paid to do fall to me. I don't see how watching/raising my child and cleaning my house cease being "jobs" simply because I am now doing them and not getting paid.

SAHM isn't employment, but it is a job. One I wish I could have sometimes.  :)

Well, because you're willing to take on that role without being paid, because they're your children.  Would you be a SAHM for children unrelated to you for no money?  

They 'they can be fired' bit is key too.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 07:06:18 PM by Larrabee »

irish1

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2011, 06:39:48 PM »
Well, maybe because many parents have no choice but to work unpaid in the home, we don't count it as a job? I know that technically, it's not a job because you don't get paid and you can be fired. I also think that this contributes to its low societal status. There's a common enough argument that if a parent chooses not to take a job outside the home, the government should pay them a wage similar to what they would get in the workforce. I wish this could be brought in! Larrabee I understand that your point was just a question of semantics, but for many people who make the same argument, it's a value judgement and this isn't fair.

wolfie

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #72 on: March 26, 2011, 06:53:29 PM »
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!

Plus it is a job that every parent has. If you are going to say that taking care of your kids is a job then you have to concede that people who have kids and work outside the home have TWO jobs.

Larrabee

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2011, 07:05:49 PM »
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!

Plus it is a job that every parent has. If you are going to say that taking care of your kids is a job then you have to concede that people who have kids and work outside the home have TWO jobs.

That too!  Although more once they are old enough to be at school during the day rather than paid daycare.

If home maker is a job, then pretty much everybody has that job too, we all have to keep our homes clean, cook, pay bills etc. even if we also have a paid job.  Unless you're lucky enough to be the husband of a SAHW I suppose.

wolfie

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Re: What's wrong with being a SAHM/Housewife?
« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2011, 07:17:25 PM »
Look, I am completely on board with people choosing to stay home or go out to work or work at home or work part time or whatever they want to do, not my business at all, if it works for you great.

But...

Housewife/SAHM etc. is not a job and I don't think it should be described that way.  I'm sorry but we have a pretty clear definition of what a job is and 'home maker' as wheeitsme described it, just doesn't fit.  

You don't get a paycheque, you don't have to put in a set number of hours at set times, you don't have a hierarchy of bosses to answer to or corporate policies to adhere to, you aren't answerable to customers or clients, you aren't at risk of being fired or demoted or having your hours cut, you don't have deadlines to meet in order to keep your job, you don't face disciplinary proceedings if you make mistakes.  

Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities and it can be a very important role and involves a lot of hard work, but its not a job, its not employment.  To me the desire to call it that just seems like another justification, an attempt to validate the choice by putting it on a par with the other choice.  Well, its different, its no better or worse than a job but it ain't a job!

Plus it is a job that every parent has. If you are going to say that taking care of your kids is a job then you have to concede that people who have kids and work outside the home have TWO jobs.

That too!  Although more once they are old enough to be at school during the day rather than paid daycare.

If home maker is a job, then pretty much everybody has that job too, we all have to keep our homes clean, cook, pay bills etc. even if we also have a paid job.  Unless you're lucky enough to be the husband of a SAHW I suppose.

I agree - years ago there was advice for sprucing up your resume after you had been out of the workforce for a while by adding "household engineer". I don't know if that worked so well for people trying it but I know it wouldn't have impressed me if I saw it.