A chatty, questions and random comments thread(303 Posts)
There used to be a lovely 'Chat' thread where we could all be silly or just comment/witter on about stuff, and I've not seen it since this place got renamed to 'Chat'. Would it be a good time to have another random chatty thread going? I think there are some newbies having a look around after the thread about calling yourself a feminist, so maybe it would be a nice thing?
So people can ask random questions or make comments without feeling they have to jump right in to an ongoing thread or write an OP, if they don't want to.
Hi, I was wondering whether to put a wave to you in the OP. Sorry, I didn't mean to jump the gun and stop you starting a thread, it just occurred to me it would be nice to be chatty.
And it doesn't sound ridiculous. I think if I'd been asked, I'd always have said I was a feminist but that was probably just a knee-jerk response to have a couple of influential feminist teachers when I was little.
Ahh, so your dad and mum were sort of providing both sides of the argument I guess?
My mum was a SAHM and was terribly unhappy about it, but I think largely because she is so sure that she's doing 'nothing' with her life because she didn't have a 'proper' job. It makes me so sad - and of course, being her child, it sounds very arrogant to say 'but you did do a proper job, you brought me up!' And yet I wish someone would say it to her.
For me the bottom line is, someone somewhere has to care for children, and do the jobs around the house, and all of that. Even if women farm it out to someone and take an employed job, someone else is still going to have to do it for them. And that someone else is often another woman - whose work is still not very well valued. So that just shifts the problem to somone else. IMO what we need instead is for this kind of work to be better valued.
I dunno ... I am all very much guessing as I don't have kids, so I will probably go totally to pieces when I do and will look back at myself pontificating here and think wryly what a twit I sounded.
LRD, my mum had the opposite experience. She was a SAHM for a long time, and then due to a combination of factors, she ended up then going into a career in her late forties (which she did well in). She now says she really regrets it, because she preferred being a SAHM, doing voluntary work with elderly people and so on. She feels she missed out on spending time with her grandchildren because of being at work.
So I feel she has been supportive of the idea that bringing up children is work, which I think is often not included in the concept of feminism that the media portrays.
I was a SAHM when my children were small because my then husband took the view that childcare costs had to come out of my salary, and it wasn't worth going out to work by the time I paid childcare. I only worked in an office, I didn't earn very much and the childcare swallowed all my wages.
Of course it's work. It's actually very important work, because the next generation are the future of our species so being involved in their development and well-being is one of the most invaluable things a person can ever do. It is terribly undervalued becuase people think "anyone can do it" in a way that not eveyone can be a brain surgeon or a top politician. But, actually it is an awful lot harder than you might think if you are doing it properly! Being a good stay at home parent takes intelligence, ingenuity, imagination, resilience and patience.
I hated it. I wasn't terribly good at it because I was bored.
Oh OK lol! Well then it's clearly not for everyone! Have you managed to return to work now?
Yes thank goodness and in a better job than I had before. I think I partly hated it because it wasn't my choice, because I was forced into it?
Yes I see what you mean. I did enjoy it, out of all the jobs I've had it was my favourite, though, of course it was very boring at first - especially when I had my first child and she was around the 18moths phase where they stop sleeping in the day but don't really exactly have a fascinating range of conversational skills but still permanently want your attention. And potty training. I hated that. Was hopeless at it, in fact
That's true. I wonder now how much of my unhappiness was being in a bad marriage that was making me unhappy. And I worry that the children are affected by it. Although they don't seem to be. I was rubbish at potty training too. According to my mother who had us all dry by the time we were 18 months and we never had any accidents either. Yes Mother
joyful - oh, I do tell her! I just wish that more people would tell her, or she'd get the message from society in general.
<waves to mydog and rosebud >
spaniel - that's so tough for your mum. But I agree totally - the media sometimes acts as if this doesn't matter for feminism but it really does.
mydog - crikey, I would be really fed up with that! I mean I know it doesn't make a difference if you're living together really, in terms of whose money it is, but it really does in terms of how you feel, I reckon. I'm looking at jobs and working out when I can TTC at the moment and we're mentally figuring the childcare subtracted from both our salaries, not just mine. But I wouldn't have known to think about it if I'd not been on MN.
I think DH wants to stay home, anyway, but it's all castles in the air atm.
LRDtheFeministDragon - that's it exactly, it made me feel like it was pointless to go to work, whereas if we had split the costs between the two of us at least I would have been earning something. Or it would have felt like I was earning something.
Can I come and join in?
I grew up in a very 'progressive' family where my mum worked ft and my dad stayed at home with us. It has really given me a strong feminist perspective and it always comes as a shock to me when people say things about how unequal men and women still are. It isn't my reality but it is reality for so many women in this country as well as around the world.
I would like some hints and tips as to how to bring my daughters up with a more feminist perspective than I had.
mydog - seriously, don't beat yourself up. I know I'm not a mum but it sounds like your mum is guilt tripping you for very tiny things.
My mother is half of the problem, I think. She's very much not a feminist and she thinks that the woman of the house should be cleaning and ironing. Think Hyacinth Bucket on speed.
I stayed at home because I wanted to, my ex-husband couldn't have done it, he wouldn't have had the stamina! It meant we were always very short of money but I don't think our family income would have been much increased if I had worked outside the home because any wages I would have earned would have been counter-balanced by childcare costs, so essentially, we would both have been paying for it. Later when all the working tax and childcare help came in, it did make me cross that the government would have given us help for a stranger to look after our children but nor for their own mother to look after them! It does still seem strange!
My mum somehow manages to hold the same beliefs, mydog, while simultaneously having the truly disgustingly grotty house (my dad doesn't help). She has eaten meals cooked by her sons and by my DH many times, but still if I'm away from home for a day she will ask 'will [DH'sname] find something to eat alright?'
Erm, yes mum, I think he'll just about survive the night.
rosa - that is the oddest thing, isn't it? It's a kind of logic that says your 'career' is more important than childcare, so we don't mind paying someone to care for your kids and we hope you'll use the time to do something else more important. Annoying.
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