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to think we will never reach an agreement re:SAHM/WOHM?

(45 Posts)
DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Mon 25-Jul-11 22:22:03

Totally disregarding the fact that fathers rarely face this pressure, is there any argument that can get us all to agree on what is for the best? I think probably not as even I cannot make up my own mind! I have been reading so many threads recently pushing both sides and cannot help but think that we are all a bit right and a bit wrong. I would go so far as to say I totally disagree that a SAHM is always the ideal, eg is a SAHM who never plays with, talks to or interacts with her child as useful as a CM who does all the above? Esp if the CM has a long-standing relationship with the child and cares about them and their development? OTOH, is it any use giving a child a strong female role model who works in an important profession if quality childcare is not in place and child grows up feeling second best? (I realise these are extremes of the spectrum, just arguing what I have seen raised as points recently)

Surely if a child is cared for by someone who is interested in their wellbeing and social and emotional development, it does not really matter if it is a parent/GP/other family member/CM/Nursery worker/etc. Also, for people who think SAHM is always the ideal, is there a hierachy of appropriate care, eg mum, then dad, then a GP, then nanny and so on?

I can argue both sides but so frequently find myself angry with people arguing one side or another, even though I can find good points for both SAHM and WOHM. AIBU to think we will never agree? and that you are all now going to start shouting at me

SoupDragon Mon 25-Jul-11 22:24:06

i honestly couldn't care less what anyone else does provided they don't get all sanctimonious and judgemental about what I do.

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 22:24:46

No but YABU to say I can argue both sides but so frequently find myself angry with people arguing one side or another When you've just opened up the age old debate again Lol

SoupDragon Mon 25-Jul-11 22:26:42

Regarding "what is the best" You have to accept that what is best for one family is not best for another.

Why does everything has to be "one size fits all"?

marriedinwhite Mon 25-Jul-11 22:28:04

There isn't a yawn emoticon so nipping to kitchen to pour a nip of limoncello - can we have a limoncello emoticon please?

LynetteScavo Mon 25-Jul-11 22:29:59


There is no universal right answer.

Just like some think it's best to raise children with near the sea side, while others wouldn't swap the educational art galleries of the city for anything.

It's best if there is a compromise, and children can experience both, I think.

A parent and child who spends almost every second together until the child's 18 birthday (I know 2 HE families where this has happened) is equally bonkerz (IMO) as the parent who doesn't see their child from Sunday evening until Saturday morning for 48 weeks of the year.

Can you tell I work part time? wink

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Mon 25-Jul-11 22:31:48

worra I meant I get annoyed with specific lines of argument, not with the argument itself. Although you are right, it has been done to death, I just can't really understand how there are still people with such rigid beliefs that one is always better than the other without taking circumstances into account.
<frustrated emoticon>
<limoncello emoticon>
<feels-much-better-now emoticon>

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 22:34:23

It's like anything to do with kids really...Child care/BF/FF/disposable nappies/towelling nappies/baby walkers etc....

The list is endless and I just wish people would concentrate on what they feel is right for their own families and butt out of other people's lives grin

NormanTebbit Mon 25-Jul-11 22:35:29

It's a ridiculous argument to have. Most people will be one or the other at some point.

The threads are far more interesting when people are being honest, warts and all, about their situation. But this seldom happens because everyone tries to win as if this validates their life

InFlames Mon 25-Jul-11 22:35:53

My family my choice.

Couldn't give a stuff what anyone elsedoes unless they're abusing their children TBH. Same goes for....
BLW/jars of purée
co-sleeping / baby in own room at 3 hours old
Dummy / no dummy
Disposables / cloth nappies

Etc etc ....

I think I have just developed a teeny crush on soupdragon for saying it better than me :-)

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Mon 25-Jul-11 22:36:22

I totally agree, but neither of us can really mean it if we are on here! grin
<butting in shamelessly to other people's lives emoticon>

InFlames Mon 25-Jul-11 22:37:49

Maybe worraliberty too... Too much wine

Hassled Mon 25-Jul-11 22:40:24

marriedinwhite - I'll have a Limoncello while you're there, please. As long as you keep it in the freezer.

I've been a WOHM and it was bloody hard. Kids (now adult) seem to have emerged intact.
I've been a SAHM and it was bloody hard. Kids (much younger) seem to be fine.
Both times I felt permanently guilty - I was either working too much or not working enough to justify my existence. What we should be discussing is why women are cursed with guilt.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Jul-11 22:42:59

I think we will reach agreement if we admit that both SAH and WOH has is pluses and minuses. Nothing is 100% perfect (unless you have a lot of money and then have real freedom of choice).

It all goes tits up on here when you get people saying that their choice is the one everybody should make.

Portofino Mon 25-Jul-11 22:45:30

I like the thought of a Limoncello emoticon, but otherwise don't believe the SAHM/WOHM has any argument. Most people do what they have/want to do. I guess I don't agree when "a mother" says she is the best person to look after her child, as the child honestly won't care if it is a "father" or a "grandparent" or one of them god damned "strangers". Quality and continuoty of care is what is important.

bubblesincoffee Mon 25-Jul-11 22:50:28

As every family, every Mother, and every set of circumstances is different, there will never be one right answer.

It is a non arguement for that reason.

hester Mon 25-Jul-11 22:51:19

I think the real divide is between those who think this is a real debate, and those who watch on in bafflement.

I could take an opposing opinion to an empty paper bag, but I have never felt I have a 'side' with this one. My best friends at the school gate are SAHMs, and funnily enough we've never felt the need to have our own little Mommy War. We discuss plenty of the sub-issues: childcare, financial in/dependence, parental roles, how much time a woman should decently devote to 'homemaking', career options, time management, what babies need at different stages of development, our own stress and exhaustion. But a crude, reductive SAHM vs WOHM? Never.

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Mon 25-Jul-11 23:01:44

hester good point, I have been a SAHM and a part-time WOHM and have never noticed any friends turning their backs on me when my position changed. In fact, I don't know anyone in RL who is only friends with people who made the same decision as them in this instance. But sometimes I see posters on here who I think are so decisive that their way is the only way that they would find it hard to be friends with people who had made a different choice to them, or are they just being more honest on here and in RL keep their views to themselves? I can't imagine that anyone who thinks that leaving their child to go to work full time when baby is 4mo is verging on abuse would be able to be friends with anyone who had ever done this. Does this mean that there really are people out there who can only be civil to people who have made the same parenting choices? Or is this a good thing, does it mean you are firm in your beliefs and care too much about your children to accept a different view on what is acceptable?

Niecie Mon 25-Jul-11 23:01:55

I have a bit of a soft spot for SAHM/WOHM threads as it was one of those that was my first real introduction to MN. A bit of a baptism of fire really! I don't do them any more because they tend to be the same old, same old but I don't think they will ever go away.

It has been done to death but the fact that it is still an on-going is partly a symptom of the work/SAHM issue being a perennial question for all parents, something that has to be considered all the time until your children reach adulthood. It is also partly because there are plenty of new parents, or at least new parents to MN who have never had to argue their corner before. They have just been doing what they think is right for their family and then they discover MN and realise that they are being judged for it and want to defend themselves, not realising that as long as their family is fine it doesn't matter in the slightest that somebody else doesn't agree with their approach. Also, there is lots of research still being done on all this so it is not surprising that the issues resurface with each 'new' piece of research.

But really, all the on-going arguments, whether they are BF/FF, SAHM/WOHM, etc, etc, are what MN is all about. If there was resolution of the issues or if every body just thought live and let live, what the hell would we all talk about!!? grin

VirtualWitch Tue 26-Jul-11 01:27:13

Personally, I think its better, whatever you choose to do, to at least have developed the ability to have a career and got a decent education while you have no children and/or family responsibilities. Or obtain one later if you missed out. That way, at least you have proven to yourself that you can do it.

SonicMiddleAge Tue 26-Jul-11 06:15:50

YABU to think we need an "agreement". I don't need anyone (other than dh) to agree our familiy structure (both full time work). My SIL for example needs no-one but her dh to to agree she's a SAHM. All five children in question appear to be pretty ok as it happens.

ilovedora27 Tue 26-Jul-11 06:33:04

It doesnt really matter but I would say the best of both worlds is best. If you work part time you get to be around your friends at work all day, always have someone to talk to, get to keep your work on cv. This is especially good if you are planning on going in to a job where you need the current work experience of the job that your in, which is what I am doing at the mo.

Also often withworking part time you have loads of time with your children, pick up and drop them off at school when they start, and get the best of both worlds.

Morloth Tue 26-Jul-11 07:26:28

There isn't any 'best', that is why there can be no agreement.

Wallissimpson Tue 26-Jul-11 07:35:09

ilovedora, see, that is why this is such a non argument! To me, working part time would be the absolute worst of both worlds! grin

We all do what we feel is right and stuff what others think!

Whatmeworry Tue 26-Jul-11 07:55:09

I know that being a SAHM with pre-school kids is harder than working, and that it's the reverse when they are at school because that's what I did grin

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