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SAHM and working mums

(5 Posts)
WantsToBeFree Sun 13-Jan-13 12:43:01

Let me first be clear that I have nothing but respect for both SAHM and working mums-motherhood is challenging and rewarding no matter what path you choose.

I'm sure I'm not the first one though, to be frustrated with the assumption that if a parent has to stay home, it must be the mother. I'm also sick and tired of bogus, sexist "research" that keeps claiming how children of working mums grow up to be poorly adjusted and unloved (WTF?!)

There are so many things about this debate which frustrate me! Firstly, why isn't anyone researching the impact of full time working Dads on children? Why isn't anyone wondering or alleging that working dads have poorly adjusted kids? I'm bemused at how that isn't even considered a possibility.

Secondly, there is so much hypocrisy surrounding these arguments. In favour of women staying home, they're quick to talk about how much more special the mother-child bond is. However, when it comes to custody arrangements and the debate that rages around them, they're equally quick to talk about how it's unfair that women are given custody more often and how having given birth doesn't make you a better parent. I mean, really?? Which way do you want it?

I'm sick of people shaming working mothers and I'm sick of cultural and societal expectations that assume "good mothers" must be 100% sacrificing.

I find it scary how many young women my age (I'm 24) are falling for this patriarchal nonsense. I have a colleague around my age who gave up her PHD and her career to have a baby because 1. she believed abortion was a crime and 2. that working mothers end up with inferior children. To be clear, I have nothing against those choices- whether opting not to abort or choosing to be a SAHM. I'm just saddened by the reasons behind that choice and the realisation that even today women feel like they gave to sacrifice their happiness and if they don't, they feel guilt and shame.

AnnieLobeseder Sun 13-Jan-13 12:51:48

Well, this isn't really about SAHMs and WOHMs, is it? It's just about lack of respect for women's choices, whatever they may be. If you think working mums are demonised, I'm assuming you've never been on any of the SAHM vs WOHM threads on MN where SAHMs are frequently framed in terms of slave and prostitute, and told they are "letting the side down". It's pathetic.

You're right that the burden of choice tends to fall on women. BUT, I would put forward that there may very well be plenty of men who would love to SAH while their wife goes out to work, but feel societal pressure not it - men need to be strong provider and they would be emasculating themselves.

This is why feminism is so essential. We want equality. Not just for women to be equal to men, but also for men to be equal to women, if that makes any sense. For it to be equally valid for women to hold a position as CEO of a major corporation as for a man to SAH, with no-one batting an eyelid at either. The patriarchy stereotypes both sides, with only the power-hungry alpha male-types winning out the deal.

WantsToBeFree Sun 13-Jan-13 14:56:44

Annie, that was so well put! I agree completely.

WantsToBeFree Wed 16-Jan-13 11:31:25

So today I was interaction with some girls from a top Buisness School, all of whom are postgraduates. I asked what their long term future plans were.

Majority of them said that they would become SAHM after having children within the coming 4-5 years.

I'm conflicted on this. There is no question that it is their choice to do so.
But I'm wondering why it's always women who are required to make this choice? Why doesn't having children affect a man'd life and career as drastically? Why do majority of men assume that their wives will sacrifice their careers to be SAHM?
Why don't I see men on a campus wondering how to juggle parenthood and careers?
I'm also wondering whether this is always a choice or just something that some women feel they have to do?

I said that I would hire a nanny as and when I had kids so that I could go back to work full time. I can't even describe the judgemental looks that came my way.

WantsToBeFree Wed 16-Jan-13 11:32:51

Excuse typos.

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