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for being a SAHM

492 replies

2shoeswhoismshadowsnumber1fan · 13/05/2007 10:12

i am a SAHM because
I have a severely disabled child. I have to be on call 24/7 as she also has epilepsy/
Dh is happy for me to be a SAHM and we manage finacially.
apart from respite we have no one to help if she is ill or in the school hoildays.

OP posts:
Judy1234 · 18/05/2007 16:23

I think we have a moral duty to criticse other cultures that are wrong. It's when we stand by and let child brides, female genital mutilation, women not being allowed the vote etc that we actually in effect condone that is done. Some things are just objectively and morally wrong and it doesn't matter if they are part of a culture or not. Many cultures on this planet permit men to beat women. It's normal, historical and natural and indeed even in the bible and the Koran but I would expect most mumsnetters to say it's wrong. Not just that it's wrong in the UK but fine in Africa.

littlelapin · 18/05/2007 16:25

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yellowrose · 18/05/2007 16:38

i don't think the sort of thing you talk about is morally RIGHT. if i did i would not be an active member of Amnesty International or a supporter of UNICEF or a trustee for another charity i shall not name. it depends on what you do about it though, if you simply criticise and do nothing about it it is pointless.

do you feel we also have a MORAL obligation to say the sorts of things you said about the French on the other thread Xenia ? what you said about the French just came across as pure and simple prejudice. saying French men spend all their time taking mistresses for example isn't a FACT it is your stereotype of the French from the papers you read (the Telegraph any one ?)

i read what you say about other cultures, but tend not to take them terribly seriously because they come across as prejudice, not based on any sort of reality i am afraid, sort of a bit like your description OTHER mummies !

Nikki76 · 18/05/2007 19:52


I am a Muslim and I'm really tired of the 'Koran tells men to beat women' issue....the translation of the Koran from Arabic does lose some of its meaning and Islam in no way sanctions the beating of women. It has been interpreted by scholars that this verse means that when a woman has transgressed, then the man may very lightly lay a hand or finger on her as a warning of her behaviour - very similar to laying a hand on someone to get their attention - no more than this.

Also, Islam places much emphasis on mothers -the saying is that Paradise is to be found under the feet of mothers and the status of a mother is much revered in Islam. A breastfeeding mother must be paid by her husband for breastfeeding her child as it recongises the hard work involved in breast feeding. Also, if a woman does work in Islam, she is entitled to keep all of her wages to dispense of as she sees fit. I love that - makes me feel really special as a mum

Judy1234 · 18/05/2007 20:41

I did say the bible too.
I was listneing to a R4 debate on that with a muslim female lawyer and various others on the different translations. They just did one into English and they did change the bit about the beating and that was causing a bit of controversy. I think they changed it into something like chastise or berate rather than the stick issue. Quite a lot of fundamentalist Christians use the bible as authority to beat chidlren. Special paddles of supposedly the right religious thickness are for sale as is the case in some old fashioned Muslim areas too abroad.

But all 6 versions below are hardly saying women can support men and lead nations... it's obviously just as desperately awful as the bible and my own religion is about women simply because it was written by men at that particular point in history. I'm sure what God was trying to tell Muslims and Catholics is that men and women are equal and should have the right to vote, take equal decisions, own their own property etc etc... He probably finds the damage done by men in putting out stupid but perhaps right in their time - ie. a good 1000 years ago, is pretty troubling to him.

"Six translations of Qur'an 4:34:

  1. "Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God has gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God has of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness you have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great!" (Rodwell's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

  2. "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme." (Dawood's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

  3. "Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. As for those from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great." (Pickthall's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

  4. "Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; God is All high, All great." (Arberry's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

  5. "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in their sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. (Shakir's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

  6. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whom part you fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance) for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all). (Ali's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

    Ali's additions of words (in brackets) to the Koran in order to change the obvious meaning, remind us of Jehovah's Witnesses who inserted the word [other] several times in Col 1:16-17, into their New World Translation (sectarian paraphrase). Jehovah's Witnesses inserted the extra word several times in order to soften the plain fact that the passage teaches Jesus is not a creature. Likewise, Ali inserted the word (lightly) to soften what the Koran says. If Allah really wanted the word softly inserted, he should have done it himself. "
Elasticwoman · 18/05/2007 21:53

So how is Christianity as patriarchal as that, Xenia?

Judy1234 · 18/05/2007 22:08

Colossians 3:18-19 reads, "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." Ephesians 5:22-29 (excerpts) says, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church...(25), Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her... husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies..."

I'm sure I can find you a beating bit if I look again. Also probably a different St James version might be even better...

Written to relfect the times and in neither the bible's nor the koran's case in my view representing God's views. Most misrepresented woman (one assumes she's female) on earth.

Judy1234 · 18/05/2007 22:12

This Christian link is sick... ugh... about parents beating children, biblical edict etc. Dreadful stuff. I was looking something about Christian domestic discipline. Of course all this was the norm in England in the 1850s let's not forget. It's just that most of us have moved on with women's rights etc. Thank good ness.

lucyellensmum · 18/05/2007 23:02

nice post nikki - hmmm, the only question is, how much should we charge for BF? yes, you should feel special as a mum, which is why i find this whole thing fecking ridiculous, in being a mother i feel im privaliged to have the best job in the world and i will damned well make the most of it.

I do not think this should be turned into a religeous debate though. Peoples religeons and beliefs are v personal. As are their parenting choices. Its all about respect and allowing others to make their own choices.

mozhe · 18/05/2007 23:46

I've been thinking about it...perhaps it comes down to this, working mothers do a lot more,ie; they get up earlier, don't loaf around drinking coffee/reading magazines,stay up later, just use up every minute of the day...ime SAHMs do things a lot more slowly,and fewer things too,( a bit like retired people..).A few posts back,( or perhaps on another v.similar thread..), a SAHM gave an account of her seemed to consist of going to the park and buying a birthday present.Things that I would cram around a working day.Just a thought...Perhaps that bit of our brains that deals with multi tasking is also much more developed/active..

wrinklytum · 19/05/2007 00:09

Mohze,I think that is a bit controversial and insulting.(Probably your intention?) I am a mother who works part-time and to be honest SOMETIMES my job is a breeze in comparison with childcare,despite the fact my job is fairly stressful and demanding.

Full time and indeed part time mothers do not just sit about drinking coffee!!!I could bore you by listing the activities I have done today whilst caring for two small children(1 and 3).It really annoys me when people demean a mothers' role.I feel that the fact that I am attempting to bring up my children to become well rounded human beings is a full tme job in itself.I have no close relatives to do regular childcare,no cleaner,no nanny.Some of my work is very dull and repetitive,but it does not mean that it lacks worth.I would be sad if I were not there to see my children achieve their developmental milestones,share the joys and frustrations of everyday life with them.They need someone to be a solid foundation within their lives,to watch them grow and eventually to fly the nest and gain independence.I feel they need a constant ie someone who will provide a loving foundation and security and be there for them in their early year and years to come.A loving foundation.So do many mothers.I do not denigrate working mothers,that is their perogative,surely it cuts both ways?

ScottishMummy · 19/05/2007 00:19

mozhe - play nicely you are a wind up merchant u love watching it all kick off ooo behave

mozhe · 19/05/2007 00:20

You wouldn't bore me please DO list the activities...Perhaps it is you who are demeaning motherhood by equating it to a job ? It is not a job, and bears no resemblance to pay, no holidays, you cannot get the sack, weren't interviewed etc...I could go on. Most human adults are parents, just as most are daughters/sons/cousins/brothers and so on..but we don't call those familial ties a job.It is just something relatively well off western societies have ' manufactured '. Are you saying only a ' constant presence '= a loving foundation ? I disagree. I too am there 24/7 for my children and provide,( or strive to...), for their every need, but I manage to work too...and it isn't so is what most of the world's women do after all.

ScottishMummy · 19/05/2007 00:22

mozhe- time for your acuphase

mozhe · 19/05/2007 01:08


ScottishMummy · 19/05/2007 01:13

no problemo - remember your prn i will have a largactil chaser for me too

ooo btw i suggested louis as a name for u

expatinscotland · 19/05/2007 01:17

If I had a son, I'd wanted to call him Luis-Alfredo, but I admit this was because of a character in a Mexican telenovela.

mozhe · 19/05/2007 02:17

We already used Louis, albeit as a middle name....maybe we can recycle it as a first name ? like it loads......are you also a fellow insomniacs expat/scottish ? It's great isn't it ?

Judy1234 · 19/05/2007 07:47

Working parents do the parenting / house bit plus the full time work and yes they do cram more into the day. Obviously depends on the age of the children but some working parents like me will have over the years had to carve out work or domestic admin periods parents at home don't like 10 - 12 midnight used to a regular slot at my desk or at one stage 5am to 7am on Saturday morning. One of the things women who give up work mention is that they can go all those things like put on the washer etc during the day so the evenings are more relaxed.

When we were both working and the children was younger particularly when we didn't have a cleaner the evenings were crammed with the two of us dealing with children, sorting out washing etc. So yes you pack in 3 jobs if 2 parents work full time even if you do have a nanny or nursery in the day. A lot of stay at home parents also do the family admin during the day like paying bills etc and it's not so easy to do those at work.

Obviously I agree with mozhe too about being a parent clearly not being a job and most parents working too now, in the past and around the world. But in a free world if you can afford it you can make your life what you want and I wouldn't want to stop anyone. I can advise them of adverse consequences of certain life choices as is my right but they don't have to take my advice. Many adults choose never to have children, to live alone and to spend all their money on themselves or whatever.

Getting back to the original poster she has a severely disabled child and that is a very different thing from most parents because although I do know people with nannies who are prepared to help whilst the mother works and some people use boarding schools depending on the condition etc if the mother's wage is large enough to pay for that in many cases only the parent can do the care, no one else will and it's not sitting around doing your nails care, it's very hard. I think in those cases it just depends on the disability. If say the mother earned 10x what the father did as I did ultimately with my husband and one of us had to stay home we agreed it would always be him even before we married so he would have done if the children required it. In other cases if it's a disability that can be managed by a nanny and the parents earn enough to pay then of course in some cases it's better to work- mother gets a break, family income increased etc but I'm sure some disabilities are just too severe to find anyone to take them on.

toomuchtodo · 19/05/2007 09:10

some of you might get a chuckle at this!

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.
There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment .

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care (weekend, evening, on a holiday or right when they're about to leave for vacation).

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function (with one day's notice).

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house,
planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

There is only one TV between them, and a remote with dead batteries.

Each father will be required to know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every character on cartoons.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, which they will apply to themselves either while driving or making three lunches.

Each man will have to make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.

Each man must adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep their nails polished and eyebrows groomed.

The men must try to get through each day without snot, spit-up or barf on their clothing.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must try to explain what a tampon is for when the 6-yr old boy finds it in the

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

He will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night without falling asleep, and then feed them, dress them,brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00.

They must leave the home with no food on their face or clothes.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information:
each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name.

Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

They must clean up after their sick children at 2:00 am and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better.

They must have a loving, age appropriate reply to, 'You're not the boss of me'.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man wins only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years...eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

Judy1234 · 19/05/2007 09:21

too, brilliant. Makes even more more sure that I will never understand how any one, male or female, could actively choose to make that their life. Weird but each to their own I suppose. Not surprising most men and women try to outsource as much of that as they can.

toomuchtodo · 19/05/2007 09:46

outsource, ha ha!

wish I could pay someone to do the details but sadly for most mums that isn't the case!

Xenia you'd hate to be me, it describes my life quite well!

still each to their own!

glad you got a chuckle though!

Judy1234 · 19/05/2007 11:30

I know and I really did work to avoid that, all those hours trying to get the best exam results, picking the job that would mean I could afford cleaners and nannies - it was a cunning plan to get the best but not the worst bits of parenthood. Although in 22 years I've probably had a fair bit of the bad bits too

toomuchtodo · 19/05/2007 11:37

we're just different

I feel I've got the best bits too, the time spent is the best bit IMO

Elasticwoman · 19/05/2007 16:58

Thanks for the bible quotations Xenia. I shall be investigating but I suspect that the "submit to your husband" type phrases can be toned down according to translation and putting it in context. (For example, the "eye for an eye" bit in the OT sounds vindictive in our modern times, but in its day meant "take NO MORE than an eye for an eye" etc.

"Husbands love your wives" gives a more balanced feel than the quotations from the Koran that you gave previously.

Of course religious views are personal. So are parenting views, and views on sex, relationships, money etc. All are discussed on MN and if you don't want to take part Lucyellensmum, you don't have to.

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