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View Full Version : Did God make some moms . . . ?


mommylove
02-26-2008, 11:06 AM
Did God make some moms to like their kids more than others?

I ask because on another (non-parenting) board that I frequent, the question comes up periodically whether the poster should be a SAHM or go to work. Most of the women are super pro-work & state that work makes them whole or that they could not handle being with their kid(s) all day. I can't relate, so I'm curious if God made some women to embrace the whole package & others to want kids, but not want to be with them very much. :shrug


ETA: I'm not slamming working moms at ALL! I was just curious if it's a God-thing, or a society-thing. Does that make sense? I respect that there's not a one-size-fits-all way for families to live. So please no one get offended or read more into what I'm asking.

Beauty4Ashes
02-26-2008, 11:49 AM
I'm kind of curious about this as well. I drove ds1 to school today and there were a couple of mothers with new babies; one was checking out the nursery--she was supposed to go back to work very soon and needed to look into child care for her 6 week old. It just seemed so weird. I felt like I must be strange because ds1 didn't even start school until he was nearly 3.5 years and that was only because he needed speech therapy. Otherwise I would have waited until he was 4-5 years old. I think sometimes that I am doing better as a mother to ds2 because ds1 *is* in school now, and when school is out, I do go a little stir crazy. The mothers that I have encountered at ds1's school are mostly working mothers and their attitude seems different than the sahm's, more like their dc are hard to handle or something. IDK.

allisonintx
02-26-2008, 11:57 AM
Here's my view.

We are social creatures living in a society that values independence above EVERYTHING, and views the need for community as weakness. Work community is allowed. Home community is private and therefor not allowed. The reason that the working women are so much happier on nearly all surveys (and they nearly universally are) is because they are allowed a community.

WanderingJuniper
02-26-2008, 04:02 PM
:think Thinking on this for the moment.

LeeDee
02-26-2008, 04:12 PM
I think its a society.culture thing and not a God thing.

Have you seen Ricky Lake's The Business of Being Born? It talks about the cocktail of love hormones we release when giving birth naturally, and how medical interventions are causing women not to release this cocktail. I don't think that's why some women are desperate to go back to work, but I do think its one of many symptoms of how we're becoming less dependent on the natural parenting processes which God designed to create a bond and attatchment with our children. I think we no longer look to our instincts when it comes to raising kids, we wait to hear how our Ped tells us to do it. I think there are just many many societal issues which are separating us from a God given mother/child bond.

i'm not trying to suggest it's wrong for a mother to work! Not at all. But like you said, sometimes the attitude is "I WANT to go back to work as soon as possible for some adult time" rather than working out of necessity, and it is that attitude that I feel is symptomatic of a loss of attatchment.

DoulaClara
02-26-2008, 04:19 PM
:think Bouncing off the love hormone cocktail idea, women who were birthed in a very actively managed setting are reaching the age of motherhood and having babies of their own. If that does play a role, I wonder how many generations of that can continue to cascade down through progeny. The oxytocin and bonding is a two-way street, and if women who are birthing today did not recieve certain stimulus that they needed, they may not have the automatic instinct to do the same for their offspring- not that all actively managed births result in women who have this issue!

allisonintx
02-26-2008, 04:43 PM
I was actually just on a soapbox about this last night w/ dh, because of that stupid new show where they put the mom in her "dream job" to "show her what her life would be like if she had made different choices"
:rolleyes2
:banghead

Rabbit
02-26-2008, 04:46 PM
Here's my view.

We are social creatures living in a society that values independence above EVERYTHING, and views the need for community as weakness. Work community is allowed. Home community is private and therefor not allowed. The reason that the working women are so much happier on nearly all surveys (and they nearly universally are) is because they are allowed a community.


:yes2 Having a job cuts away the loneliness, and imposes a meaningful routine and structure to every day.

Beauty4Ashes
02-26-2008, 04:54 PM
:think Bouncing off the love hormone cocktail idea, women who were birthed in a very actively managed setting are reaching the age of motherhood and having babies of their own. If that does play a role, I wonder how many generations of that can continue to cascade down through progeny. The oxytocin and bonding is a two-way street, and if women who are birthing today did not recieve certain stimulus that they needed, they may not have the automatic instinct to do the same for their offspring- not that all actively managed births result in women who have this issue!


I hope that won't be the case with my older two. Their births were unfortunately quite managed, but I've worked hard to be attached to them (bf'ing, co-sleeping, lots of long walks with them, etc.).

Rabbit
02-26-2008, 05:05 PM
:think Bouncing off the love hormone cocktail idea, women who were birthed in a very actively managed setting are reaching the age of motherhood and having babies of their own. If that does play a role, I wonder how many generations of that can continue to cascade down through progeny. The oxytocin and bonding is a two-way street, and if women who are birthing today did not recieve certain stimulus that they needed, they may not have the automatic instinct to do the same for their offspring- not that all actively managed births result in women who have this issue!


I hope that won't be the case with my older two. Their births were unfortunately quite managed, but I've worked hard to be attached to them (bf'ing, co-sleeping, lots of long walks with them, etc.).


I don't think that's something that cascades. Otherwise, adoptive mothers who have never given birth would never be able to bond with and nurture their adopted children. Love and nurturing responses are so much more than post birth hormones.

Firebird Rising
02-26-2008, 05:16 PM
Here's my view.

We are social creatures living in a society that values independence above EVERYTHING, and views the need for community as weakness. Work community is allowed. Home community is private and therefor not allowed. The reason that the working women are so much happier on nearly all surveys (and they nearly universally are) is because they are allowed a community.


This is TOTALLY brilliant. It more and more structures in my mind how we need to create these intentional communities of women that need that fellowship after their child is born. Being fulfilled as a mother is really something I struggle with because there's not a lot of affirmation in my life right now, not from DH, not from my parents, not from friends. In fact, today, I was just visualizing that as a need I need to express to DH as we talk about our needs tonight at counseling. With a new baby coming, I need to know that I'm doing a good job, I need feedback on both my choices and my instincts.

I desperately miss my job sometimes because I had structured evaluations, I had people that were always around me, I had ups and downs that were beyond my control. It's very hard to feel fulfilled sometimes with a two-year-old in the house. For some reason, it's also harder since DH is home all the time, as a student. We're ALWAYS home together and it's really weird sometimes.

Jen D.

Iveyrock
02-26-2008, 06:31 PM
Here's my view.

We are social creatures living in a society that values independence above EVERYTHING, and views the need for community as weakness. Work community is allowed. Home community is private and therefor not allowed. The reason that the working women are so much happier on nearly all surveys (and they nearly universally are) is because they are allowed a community.


This is TOTALLY brilliant. It more and more structures in my mind how we need to create these intentional communities of women that need that fellowship after their child is born. Being fulfilled as a mother is really something I struggle with because there's not a lot of affirmation in my life right now, not from DH, not from my parents, not from friends. In fact, today, I was just visualizing that as a need I need to express to DH as we talk about our needs tonight at counseling. With a new baby coming, I need to know that I'm doing a good job, I need feedback on both my choices and my instincts.

I desperately miss my job sometimes because I had structured evaluations, I had people that were always around me, I had ups and downs that were beyond my control. It's very hard to feel fulfilled sometimes with a two-year-old in the house. For some reason, it's also harder since DH is home all the time, as a student. We're ALWAYS home together and it's really weird sometimes.

Jen D.

:nak2 and along with the lack of feed back, there is rarely a sense of completion. Almost everything we do either gets undone right away (dishes), or takes a lifetime to see the end result (raising kids)

CapeTownMommy
02-28-2008, 01:31 AM
Well I'm one of THOSE moms. When I was pregnant with dd, I sooooo wished I could be a SAHM (I'm more or less the sole breadwinner though, because dh's business makes no money at the moment, so it wasn't an option). Once she was about 2 months old I was climbing up the walls - I really really really needed adult conversation, I could NOT do babycare all day long. Interestingly, though, I told my dh just last night that I now (dd is 16 months now) feel I could stay home and care for her - mostly because she now communicates, but I couldn't deal with the non-communicative-except-for-crying bit.

Anyway, I think it's a society thing because in an ideal world, I would have had access to adult conversation even if I was a SAHM - with family members or other SAHMs in my environment who I could connect with. Don't get me wrong, I'd be perfectly happy to chat about baby stuff all day, but I needed to talk to someone! But where I am, I don't know a single SAHM. We live in a security complex (46 houses) and it's only the retired couples who are home in the day, not a single SAHM. My mom works full time, as does all my other family members in our city.

I wish it were possible for me to be with my children while they're small, but finances won't allow it, and if they did, the societal structure that we live in doesn't allow me to fulfill my emotional needs. I don't know if that makes sense at all, but it's why I'm working.

DoulaClara
02-28-2008, 08:38 AM
:think Bouncing off the love hormone cocktail idea, women who were birthed in a very actively managed setting are reaching the age of motherhood and having babies of their own. If that does play a role, I wonder how many generations of that can continue to cascade down through progeny. The oxytocin and bonding is a two-way street, and if women who are birthing today did not recieve certain stimulus that they needed, they may not have the automatic instinct to do the same for their offspring- not that all actively managed births result in women who have this issue!


I hope that won't be the case with my older two. Their births were unfortunately quite managed, but I've worked hard to be attached to them (bf'ing, co-sleeping, lots of long walks with them, etc.).


;) That's why I said, "IF that were ture....THEN..." So much more plays a role in human behavior. I heard a quote once on some morning news talk show that went- "Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger." My mom's birth was heavily managed, and she was a great mom to me, who upon birthing me, lost me for about 8 hours into the mysterious depths of the military hospital where she was stationed. She still has no idea why they took me, or where I went. And, I consider myself a really nurturing mom! :smile

I think it's sort of a slippery slope kind of thinking when people start to quantify affection and love based on time spent. I am happy to be at home with Gianna. I have a SIL who works 2-3 days outside of the home, and my nephew goes to preschool/ childcare. She is a nurturing, wonderful mom with great instincts, and she really just was not happy at home with him all day. It is hard to sort ones own thoughts from what has been drilled into our brains by the media and the current culture.

othersomethings
03-04-2008, 04:04 PM
I think besides the hormones released during natural birth, that a lot of it has to do with breastfeeding, and The hormones involved in THAT that God designed to bond us to our babies. When mothers choose to bottle feed, they sacrifice more than they realize.

jewelmcjem
03-04-2008, 08:57 PM
But where I am, I don't know a single SAHM. We live in a security complex (46 houses) and it's only the retired couples who are home in the day, not a single SAHM. My mom works full time, as does all my other family members in our city.

I wish it were possible for me to be with my children while they're small, but finances won't allow it, and if they did, the societal structure that we live in doesn't allow me to fulfill my emotional needs. I don't know if that makes sense at all, but it's why I'm working.


Do you think there might be some wise, older women there who are also lonely and feeling trapped in their homes, albeit at a vastly different stage of life than you are? There may be a woman there who can minister to you as you minister to her, and even become a second grandparent type figure to your children. Just a thought. Our cultural emphasis on keeping kids of ages together in school sometimes blinds us to the friendships and mentors we can find with those who are in totally different stages of life than we are.

CapeTownMommy
03-04-2008, 10:50 PM
But where I am, I don't know a single SAHM. We live in a security complex (46 houses) and it's only the retired couples who are home in the day, not a single SAHM. My mom works full time, as does all my other family members in our city.

I wish it were possible for me to be with my children while they're small, but finances won't allow it, and if they did, the societal structure that we live in doesn't allow me to fulfill my emotional needs. I don't know if that makes sense at all, but it's why I'm working.


Do you think there might be some wise, older women there who are also lonely and feeling trapped in their homes, albeit at a vastly different stage of life than you are? There may be a woman there who can minister to you as you minister to her, and even become a second grandparent type figure to your children. Just a thought. Our cultural emphasis on keeping kids of ages together in school sometimes blinds us to the friendships and mentors we can find with those who are in totally different stages of life than we are.


I'm sure it's possible. The two elderly women who live in our complex don't fit the bill (I'm not going into why because it will feel like gossip, but I don't get along with either of them at all) but I'm sure it could happen. That won't help me become a SAHM because I'm basically the sole breadwinner now, but it is a valid point.

Rabbit
03-05-2008, 04:42 AM
But where I am, I don't know a single SAHM. We live in a security complex (46 houses) and it's only the retired couples who are home in the day, not a single SAHM. My mom works full time, as does all my other family members in our city.

I wish it were possible for me to be with my children while they're small, but finances won't allow it, and if they did, the societal structure that we live in doesn't allow me to fulfill my emotional needs. I don't know if that makes sense at all, but it's why I'm working.


Do you think there might be some wise, older women there who are also lonely and feeling trapped in their homes, albeit at a vastly different stage of life than you are? There may be a woman there who can minister to you as you minister to her, and even become a second grandparent type figure to your children. Just a thought. Our cultural emphasis on keeping kids of ages together in school sometimes blinds us to the friendships and mentors we can find with those who are in totally different stages of life than we are.


As a teenager in the summer, I'd go to quilting circles because it gave me something good to do, and the women there are always excited to have younger people want to learn. As soon as my babes are done yanking things off tables and carrying on like heathens, ie are not toddlers, I'll be looking for more.

GrowingInGrace
03-05-2008, 08:34 AM
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but my .02.

I didn't go to college and to work for the reason to be social. Marriage was a possibility, but the thought of children were a far distant and remote possibility. Growing up, I always envisioned myself in meaningful career where I could be dependent solely on myself. I loved biology, so I went to college and got a biotech degree.

Fast forward to when I was 31 - I had three good jobs in 12 years, and children were still a vague, distant possibility. One that I gave really no serious thought to. And then just when I was in my dream job, I got pregnant. It wasn't planned. Dh got laid off when I was 6 months pg, and we just closed on our modest 26 year old home (so we weren't buying more than our means). I went back to work after the 3 month maternity leave. On the one hand, I had to, and on the other hand, I needed to (more on that later), though at the same time I cried for 3 days leaving my baby behind that first week of work. I thought surely she would miss me so much. She was more adapting to the situation than I was.

I was so conflicted...I loved my job, but I deeply loved my baby, I had to work to support our family, and I also couldn't take my baby's fussiness and constantly alert, extreme need for stimulation (she was an active alert baby since birth). I was deeply unprepared for a baby that didn't sleep much, for extreme low milk supply and weight gain issues that made me terrified and helpless (and I think I was partly suffering from some serious sleep deprivation and was close to ppd), and so work became a haven for me, even though I felt bad leaving her every day.

Then when dd1 was 11 months old, I found out I was pg with dd2. I still worked. I worked because by then, I was okay with leaving dd in the hands of dh (he was a very good SAHD), then MIL when dh got a job, and I really still loved my job, because the money was good, and I was intellectually stimulated by work - by the work itself and by the incredible minds of the people around me.

But by the time dd2 was 9 months old, I couldn't combine the work/mom thing anymore. I was chronically tired when I came home from work (after being gone for 11 hours), but had to take care of children. The nights dh worked the afternoon or midnight shift, I was all alone caring for them and getting them to bed and still find time to pump milk (the measly amount I could get). I was exhausted in the mornings, I was habitually late for work and got into trouble with my lab director. I had paid for a monthly train pass, yet ended up having to drive in anyway and pay for parking because I'd miss the train. I decided I couldn't do it any more, no matter how much I loved my job.

I decided to quit with the support of my dh. I was going to use the time to get to know my children, to be the perfect housewife and mother, since I totally failed at combining the work/family thing. I was a definite shock to my system after the novelty wore off. I had two very active and alert little ones to take care of. There was no intellectual stimulation going on, and isolation quickly set in, though I did start going to some story times at the local Borders bookstore. I got bored very quickly. Then to my surprise, 3 months after I quit my job, I got pg again - and ironically, it was the day dh was supposed to have a VASECTOMY that we conceived her. But this time I didn't have work to distract me from the pregnancy related complaints. I realized how much I came to appreciate having work to take my mind off the long 9 months of waiting, growing uncomfortably big, etc.

It was a really hard time for me emotionally and physically. I was constantly checking out mentally, distancing myself from my other two and just trying to get through the day. It didn't get much better after dd 3 came along, because then I was dealing with 3 children under 3.5. I managed, but it was really hard. I was completely overwhelmed. I was again probably close to a ppd situation, though I was doing my best to manage it. But dh still had the rotating shift work, and the weeks he worked midnights, I'd lose a lot of sleep because I'd be afraid to go to bed for fear the house would catch fire or someone would break in. Dd3 sometimes wouldn't go to sleep for the night until 11 some nights, and I had to drop dd2's naps during the day, because she wouldn't go to sleep herself until 10 pm. It was pretty terrible for a while.

I questioned the reasons why I had babies one right after another. I questioned the reasons why I wasn't more accepting of what God gave me. I cried lots and felt like I was not the right woman for the job all the time. I questioned why God gave me these babies so quickly and yet took away all my energy and ability to cope.

By the time dd3 was 2.5 (so this is only about 6 months ago), things were finally under control. I wasn't in that terrible place and more and dh got a new job, so he's been home by 5 every night. Things were stable with me, but I was finally coming out of the fog enough to realize I missed being in a working environment and that my brain had seriously atrophied. I read as much as I could about what other women felt about the issue - from die hard feminists to traditional Christian women, I even poised the question to other professional women that walked away from work for a season, and how they felt about it - and came away with even more confusion. What was I really missing from my life? What did a job give me that I felt I needed to get back into? Money? Appreciation? Self-esteem? Intellectual stimulation? Social Interaction? Well, it did give all that, but I realized the most important of those things for me was the intellectual stimulation and self esteem. Because for me, those two are strongly tied together. If I feel I'm not using my intellectual gifts, I feel badly about myself and all the hard work I did to get where I wanted to be at work.

And it has been incredibly difficult to come to terms with the loss of the work identity that I had. What I did for a living was so important to me because I did good things at work. I wasn't just a cashier, I was performing diagnostic tests in the forensic lab, and then in the genetics lab. I felt like I was directly contributing to society. I was good at my job and I was respected for my efforts.

At home, there is little recognition for hard efforts. And wrt housekeeping, the fruits of your labor are short lived because of young children coming round behind you undoing your hard work, or in my case, I spend a lot of time pursuing my intellectual growth or gathering up ideas for my kids enrichment, I frequently let the housework go. And so when no good effort on your part lasts very long, it's very hard to be joyous about it. At least at work, if you completed a task, you had a definite sense of achievement and can be very satisfied.

As for now, I'm finding the intellectual stimulation I need (so far). I've started thinking I wanted to create a part time homeschooling effort with my children, and I also started blogging to keep on task with my goals. I just joined a Mothers and More group (after months of dragging my heels on it), and also volunteered to be the leader for a monthly children's book club.

I have some ambitious plans, but have decided that ultimately even more important than doing something meaningful in society, I want to do something meaningful at home. Not with housework of course, but with my children. I want to help develop my children's gifts. Each one of them has an area they tend to shine in, and I realize that if I went back to work will seriously inhibit what I want to do to nurture their gifts.

So as it is now, at least until my dd3 is in K, I will be okay with being at home. I now have at least some short term goals. I still have the desire to go back to work at some point, but I'm not feeling the urgency to go back right now that I did even a few months ago.

At any rate, that is my long and convoluted story. I have to save a copy of this for myself, because I like having the reminder of where I came from and how far I've come to be able to not just accept, but embrace my time here at home. In fact, I'm going to print it up and stick it in the personal section of my home management binder, so I can remember why I am doing what I'm doing.

jewelmcjem
03-05-2008, 08:38 AM
I'm sure it's possible. The two elderly women who live in our complex don't fit the bill (I'm not going into why because it will feel like gossip, but I don't get along with either of them at all) but I'm sure it could happen. That won't help me become a SAHM because I'm basically the sole breadwinner now, but it is a valid point.


ITU, I was just addressing that particular need you had mentioned, the need for community. Having grown up with a bipolar dad who couldn't keep a job to save his life and a mom who worked 4-5 p/t jobs at any given time, I truly understand. My mother often looks at my SAHM, homeschooling self sadly, telling herself she should have homeschooled us. She did what she had to do to feed and clothe us, what better mom is that? You are doing what your family needs for this season. I would never tell a mama she was less-than b/c she works, ever.

Allison
03-05-2008, 09:53 AM
I do not think God intended for mothers to stay at home with their children all day long, every day.

I think God intended for mothers to be with their children and to have family around to help them care for their children.

I think God intended for us to care for our children AND work. I do not believe that any mother's only purpose is to be a mother. I believe we all have other purposes as well.

The problem is our society that tells us that babies and work can't mix.

The problem is isolation from family or "village" who can help us care for our children.

So do some women need work to complete them? Yes, those who are in tune to that part of themselves do. In a perfect world we'd all have our babies and children along as we did whatever it was that God put us on earth to do.

simplegirl
03-05-2008, 11:16 AM
I do not think God intended for mothers to stay at home with their children all day long, every day.

I think God intended for mothers to be with their children and to have family around to help them care for their children.

I think God intended for us to care for our children AND work. I do not believe that any mother's only purpose is to be a mother. I believe we all have other purposes as well.

The problem is our society that tells us that babies and work can't mix.

The problem is isolation from family or "village" who can help us care for our children.

So do some women need work to complete them? Yes, those who are in tune to that part of themselves do. In a perfect world we'd all have our babies and children along as we did whatever it was that God put us on earth to do.


I like that and agree with that. I am saddened that our family units aren't put together so closely as they once were.

Elora
03-05-2008, 11:32 AM
My work job is easier and less stressful than being a stay at home mom. I have no doubt that some women WANT to work jobs outside the home (away from their children) because it's the easier of the 2 options.

I'm sorry but as stressful as "working" a job outside the home, I don't buy that it's more stressful than being a diligent SAHM. ESPECIALLY if you homeschool. I think there are VERY few jobs that hard. I work with accountants, attorneys, actuaries, investment advisors, day traders in various positions from partners to CEOs...jobs that people think are "oh so stressful" and whine about...but I think it's only because they don't have the first clue what being a diligent full time parent actually entails. There is no job in which one should ever be more invested or involved.

bananacake
03-05-2008, 11:47 AM
I do not think God intended for mothers to stay at home with their children all day long, every day.

I think God intended for mothers to be with their children and to have family around to help them care for their children.

I think God intended for us to care for our children AND work. I do not believe that any mother's only purpose is to be a mother. I believe we all have other purposes as well.

The problem is our society that tells us that babies and work can't mix.

The problem is isolation from family or "village" who can help us care for our children.

So do some women need work to complete them? Yes, those who are in tune to that part of themselves do. In a perfect world we'd all have our babies and children along as we did whatever it was that God put us on earth to do.


Great observation :think

Blestw/manyLuvs
03-06-2008, 09:43 AM
I believe it is both a society thing and an ego thing. Remember in scripture where the older women were told to exhort the younger women in loving their husbands and being chaste workers at home?
SAHM w/ our kids can be hard, nerve racking, and often times thankless and isolating. I remember when I was working outside the home I got a lot of attention and compliments all day long. I got to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, and I got a lot of interaction w/ other adults. I miss it sometimes. Though I am ever thankful for the opportunity I have to sah and raise my children.
It also hurts when I do get out of the house and someone askes "What do you do?" and I watch their eyes glaze over when I tell them. Cause no matter how much lip service talk show hosts pay to the value of sah mothers, most people seem to think we must be boring dumb hicks to choose to stay home w/ our kids. Like that's all we can do, rather than the most important job there is.
But what do I care what people think? My ego is showing. lol
I'm working on concentrating on what God and I think, rather than on what other flawed humans want to believe.
Just my .02,
:heart

DoulaClara
03-06-2008, 10:35 AM
:yes Wow, yes! I guess I never realized what a junkie I was for positive reinforcement until I stopped teaching to SAH!

I do feel that women were meant to do work that could be done with kids. Honestly, with an aide in the classroom, I bet I could wear Gianna and teach! I'm sure that'll happen when pigs fly.

GrowingInGrace
03-06-2008, 12:41 PM
:yes Wow, yes! I guess I never realized what a junkie I was for positive reinforcement until I stopped teaching to SAH!

I do feel that women were meant to do work that could be done with kids. Honestly, with an aide in the classroom, I bet I could wear Gianna and teach! I'm sure that'll happen when pigs fly.


Think how much your children would learn if they were around learning experiences all day. I would never be able to take my children into a clinical lab setting, though my one colleague used to bring his son into his research lab all the time. Consequently, his son actually chose to go into science when he grew up.

Allison
03-06-2008, 01:06 PM
See, the last two post are what I'm talking about. In my perfect world I could be out volunteering or doing whatever I do with my children along.

I understand that there are some jobs that really don't mix with children, but many do and children just aren't allowed because it would slow productivity. I understand time is money, but money is not everything. (If it was, I certainly wouldn't be sahm'ing right now! LOL)

Abibigail
03-07-2008, 04:47 PM
I do not think God intended for mothers to stay at home with their children all day long, every day.

I think God intended for mothers to be with their children and to have family around to help them care for their children.

I think God intended for us to care for our children AND work. I do not believe that any mother's only purpose is to be a mother. I believe we all have other purposes as well.

The problem is our society that tells us that babies and work can't mix.

The problem is isolation from family or "village" who can help us care for our children.

So do some women need work to complete them? Yes, those who are in tune to that part of themselves do. In a perfect world we'd all have our babies and children along as we did whatever it was that God put us on earth to do.


This makes sense. I read a book written by a woman who had served in the Peace Corps working with a midwife in Malay. In the book, she talked about how the midwife also would educate women in the village about childcare, pregnancy, nutrition, etc., from her workplace, with her baby in a sling. She just didn't take her baby to births.

In our society there is a huge emphasis placed on What *I* Want. For many women, their families just aren't a priority. For some women, their children are almost like an accessory they picked up on their road to personal fulfillment. The goal for many women isn't to be the best mother they can be; instead they focus on themselves and fit their kids in around their personal wants and needs. That's how (I think) you get some women who identify themselves as Moms that Work and others who call themselves Working Women with Children.

A sidenote: I work f/t, and I'd love to be home with dd... I don't think there's anything wrong with working!

galaxsi
03-07-2008, 07:39 PM
IMHO I think there are a few reasons:
* some working moms have to work, it's their way of justifying it
*some moms are truly afraid to be SAHM
* an older first time maternal age increases the likelieness of a very successful and fulfilling career that would be harder to leave
* moms who are the breadwinner, or insurance carrier
* rise of single parents who must work to support their children
* PPD or PSTD inhibit them from being able to stay at home all the time
* lack of bonding (BFing, Co-sleeping etc)
* lack of support
that's my 2 cents, sorry if I repeated anyone's posts I just skimmed through.
I am a working mother, part-time, and I do it for quite a few of the above reasons. Although as I mature as a mother it gets easier and easier to let go of more responsibilities at work. ;)

jojola
03-08-2008, 06:31 AM
I read this in the morning, mulled over it during the day, and now I'm back to put in my two cents...

There were a lot of interesting answers, and I am wondering if there may be one more reason some moms are very happy to be at home full-time, and some, including me, struggle with it.

I've been a stay-at-home mom since my oldest was born 7 years ago, and I find it very very hard. I am very social by nature, and loved to attend parties, church functions, bible studies, go out for lunch, socialize at work, you name it! With the arrival of my oldest, that all ground to a halt and I have been a very lonely and socially hungry person since. That's not to say that I don't get to go to activities, but they're kid-inclusive activities, and due to my oldest's special needs, I don't get to do much more than make sure he's behaving in a socially appropriate way when we're there (ie, not hitting or hurting other children.) I have chosen to homeschool because that's best for my boy, and I think it's been a very good decision, but that's isolated me even more, as homeschooling is not common where I live, and almost all moms I know are now without their children during the day, wanting to do adult activities. I drool when I hear of coffee mornings and craft groups and quilting parties!

Even before my children came, my husband was baffled and sometimes hurt by my need to be with other adults - he took it as a sign that his company wasn't "enough". His "social pie" is complete spending time with me. He has no friends that he spends time with outside of work, and we don't have any friends we spend time with as a couple, and he's perfectly happy. I've explained to him as best I could that I love his company, but it alone doesn't fulfil my social need. I now feel the same way about my children! I love being with them, but it's not enough. I don't have to work to fulfill that, but most jobs I've been in have done that incidentally. I am glad I made the choices I did, but to say that it's completely satisfying would be untrue.

I'm glad to be at home, and I know the minute my kids are away from me during the day I'll miss them, but oh I'll be glad to have friendships be active and intense again!

peacefullone
03-08-2008, 07:34 AM
Have you seen Ricky Lake's The Business of Being Born? It talks about the cocktail of love hormones we release when giving birth naturally, and how medical interventions are causing women not to release this cocktail. I don't think that's why some women are desperate to go back to work, but I do think its one of many symptoms of how we're becoming less dependent on the natural parenting processes which God designed to create a bond and attatchment with our children. I think we no longer look to our instincts when it comes to raising kids, we wait to hear how our Ped tells us to do it. I think there are just many many societal issues which are separating us from a God given mother/child bond.


Niecey, I really like what you wrote here :yes

GrowingInGrace
03-08-2008, 11:02 AM
Have you seen Ricky Lake's The Business of Being Born? It talks about the cocktail of love hormones we release when giving birth naturally, and how medical interventions are causing women not to release this cocktail. I don't think that's why some women are desperate to go back to work, but I do think its one of many symptoms of how we're becoming less dependent on the natural parenting processes which God designed to create a bond and attatchment with our children. I think we no longer look to our instincts when it comes to raising kids, we wait to hear how our Ped tells us to do it. I think there are just many many societal issues which are separating us from a God given mother/child bond.


Niecey, I really like what you wrote here :yes


Not necessarily true. I had 2 natural childbirths, one medicated. By the time I had my third and she was old enough to not need me as much (around 2.5 years), I desperately wanted to go back to work for the intellectual stimulation. I've fixed that a bit by starting to do some independent study and also blog the activities I do with my kids. At least it keeps the boredom at bay.

illinoismommy
03-08-2008, 11:13 AM
I think besides the hormones released during natural birth, that a lot of it has to do with breastfeeding, and The hormones involved in THAT that God designed to bond us to our babies. When mothers choose to bottle feed, they sacrifice more than they realize.


Did I miss how this fits into this thread? :lol :hunh

illinoismommy
03-08-2008, 11:18 AM
I believe it is both a society thing and an ego thing. Remember in scripture where the older women were told to exhort the younger women in loving their husbands and being chaste workers at home?
SAHM w/ our kids can be hard, nerve racking, and often times thankless and isolating. I remember when I was working outside the home I got a lot of attention and compliments all day long. I got to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, and I got a lot of interaction w/ other adults. I miss it sometimes. Though I am ever thankful for the opportunity I have to sah and raise my children.
It also hurts when I do get out of the house and someone askes "What do you do?" and I watch their eyes glaze over when I tell them. Cause no matter how much lip service talk show hosts pay to the value of sah mothers, most people seem to think we must be boring dumb hicks to choose to stay home w/ our kids. Like that's all we can do, rather than the most important job there is.
But what do I care what people think? My ego is showing. lol
I'm working on concentrating on what God and I think, rather than on what other flawed humans want to believe.
Just my .02,
:heart


:yes I do miss the part of working where I was "important"

April G
03-08-2008, 11:36 AM
I have lived and loved both sides of the coin. I was a SAHM with M until he was 2.5 years old, then he went to preschool full time and I went back to work full time. I loved being a SAHM. I am a very social person, and met other moms or friends 2-4 times a week for visits and playdates. Sometimes they came to my house, or we met at the mall to walk (I was living in the deep south, USA and walking outdoors in the summer is a death wish), or I'd go over to another mom's place for a potluck lunch and playdate. I rarely just stayed home, so the "stay at home" part wasn't entirely applicable in the equation. I LOVED being available to nurse on demand, we didn't have to have a sleep schedule... we both slept when we were tired, or were up if we weren't... I bonded deeply with my son...

When he was 2.5 he self weaned, and started sleeping in his own bed. Coincidentally I was in a situation financially where I had to go back to work, but I've always loved working,so it wasn't too much of a hardship for me. I do experience pangs of mama guilt at times when M is struggling with a situation at preschool, or is sick and can't take anymore time off work, or just plain doesn't want me to leave when I drop him off... but we work through it, and it's going well so far (over 2 years now). I love the community I get from work, I love the pay cheque and financial security, I love the activities and learning opportunities my son is getting that i know I would probably not be as motivated to provide if I was home with him all day...

If I have another child, it will probably work a bit differently. In Canada I get one year paid maternity leave, so I would definitely take the year, but I don't know if I would take any extra time. I have a great job, and I need to be able to return to work... My fiance is an amazing father to my son, and I have a feeling he would probably take a year off after me to be a stay at home dad... :shrug Hard to say...

What I do know is that my desire to be home with my son or working outside of the home has nothing to do with enjoying or not enjoying time with him... :shrug

reneandbaby
03-08-2008, 11:48 AM
Here's my view.

We are social creatures living in a society that values independence above EVERYTHING, and views the need for community as weakness. Work community is allowed. Home community is private and therefor not allowed. The reason that the working women are so much happier on nearly all surveys (and they nearly universally are) is because they are allowed a community.


I TOTALLY agree with this, especially for me.

Being a SAHM to three kids in 2.5 years in Virginia was incredibly, incredibly, incredibly isolating to me. I was miserable and lonely. GCM was basically my only real social outlet and it was all online. I went four long years without having any real, meaningful, consistent social interaction with other people besides my husband, and he was gone frequently for weeks at a time due to the military. I would DREAM about work sometimes, even though I knew I really wanted to be at home with my children.


Moving to CO Springs, there is finally *real* tangible community here. I CAN go out and socialize with other people. I know that if a disaster were to somehow strike, there are several people who would pitch in and help. And conversely, it gives ME a chance to give in return. I take an immense pleasure and satisfaction out of relationships and community, and I am extremely satisfied being home with my children now that I am no longer isolated. In fact, Thomas can leave now (and he frequently does) and it doesn't bother me NEARLY as much as it used to, because I am not relying on him to be my entire social, communal outlet.

Blueberrybabies
03-08-2008, 12:59 PM
I think the lack of community and support for SAHMs does have something to do with it. But mom's personality is also a factor. Prior to having kids, I was very intellectual/academics oriented, and so I often feel so bored just interacting with my kids. I think some moms are more into with babies, or toddlers, and some do better with older kids. I suspect I'll feel more fulfilled and successful parenting older kids. (At least I hope so! :smile) I can see how someone who's not a baby person, as it were, would really be itching to do something else.

:shrug I have a hard time imagining leaving my kids to work full time, yet I'm really struggling with being home with them and really enjoying it and feeling fulfilled.

GrowingInGrace
03-08-2008, 02:36 PM
I think the lack of community and support for SAHMs does have something to do with it. But mom's personality is also a factor. Prior to having kids, I was very intellectual/academics oriented, and so I often feel so bored just interacting with my kids. I think some moms are more into with babies, or toddlers, and some do better with older kids. I suspect I'll feel more fulfilled and successful parenting older kids. (At least I hope so! :smile) I can see how someone who's not a baby person, as it were, would really be itching to do something else.

:shrug I have a hard time imagining leaving my kids to work full time, yet I'm really struggling with being home with them and really enjoying it and feeling fulfilled.


Yep, I know exactly what you mean, and especially when you are a mom of closely spaced children. I had 3 under 3.5, so I can really imagine what you are going through.

I truly felt I've been half asleep for the past 4 years, and I'm only now beginning to wake up again.

sienna
03-17-2008, 07:53 PM
I think i can shed some light on some of this......

I used to wonder the same thing. but then again, i hated my job (as a lawyer) and was only working because i had to. I couldn't understand for the life of me why all these rich women, themselves married to lawyers, woudln't at least work PART TIME and give their kids more than a passing glance. These women would leave their houses at 7 am and return at 6:30 pm (or later) and many were doing this voluntarily. i don't know why you would have a child and then voluntarily (almost) never see them.

but now i am persuing my passion of lactation support, and frankly, alot of the time would rather be out discussing lactation with adults than stuck and home with my kids. alot of the time. and i actually use the word STUCK some of the time. i never thought i could ever feel that way even some of the time. I am finding myself having to deliberately refocus myself on the fact that i belong at home wtih my children while they need me, regardless of what i would rather be doing. they must be my first priority. i am a steward of these gifts G-d has given me.

so my theory is that firstly you can only really understand why some women choose to work (when money isn't an issue, obviously) if you have some kind of work that you absolutely love love love and which lights you on fire. that isn't the case for everyone, obviously. secondly, i think that different people have different value systems and that effects how you rank your priorities. also, some people do better at self denial/self sacrifice/self discipline than others. some people truly have more to give to their kids because they have given to themselves first....

i used to be really judgmental about this, now, not so much.

i compare it to this - i totally value homeschooling at the BEST option for kids. i am just not prepared to do it. maybe i am not even 'able' to do it in that sense. it just isn't for me, even though i could do it (am a sahm, have a law degree, etc.) and i agree it is the best way to education your kids. maybe i'm selfish, maybe i'm realistic. i don't know.

LovingMy3
03-25-2008, 08:51 AM
I'm not sure that God "makes" anyone exactly any one way because we have free will. BUT I do think that some women have a need to work and some do not. My sister LIKES to go to work and I'll be honest that she does seem to have a better relationship with her DS now than she did when she was a SAHM. I have several friends that are the same way. I, on the other hand, cannot imagine going to work. I would miss the kids every minute and wonder what I was missing with them. I'm not sure why some Mommies like to work and some like to be home.....