Author Topic: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her  (Read 17701 times)

Offline delalluvia

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Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« on: March 05, 2011, 09:58:17 pm »
Ten years ago, when her sons were 5 and 3, Rizzuto received a fellowship to spend six months in Japan, researching a book about the survivors of Hiroshima. Four months in, when her children came to visit, she had an epiphany: She didn't want to be a full-time mother anymore. When she returned to New York, she ended her 20-year marriage and chose not to be her kids' custodial parent.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/the-opposite-of-a-tiger-mother-leaving-your-children-behind-2460982/;_ylt=AmtAIgVHo7oSsQxv40hgyxN8bqU5?pg=1143#comments

If you read the comments, you will see that the double-standard is alive and well.  Women who have kids are mothers, first, foremost and always and should subjugate their lives to their kids.  Period.

Any attempts to lead your own life after you have kids will be met with contempt and derision.

How 1st century some people's attitudes still are.

pnwDUDE

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 03:29:02 am »
Ten years ago, when her sons were 5 and 3, Rizzuto received a fellowship to spend six months in Japan, researching a book about the survivors of Hiroshima. Four months in, when her children came to visit, she had an epiphany: She didn't want to be a full-time mother anymore. When she returned to New York, she ended her 20-year marriage and chose not to be her kids' custodial parent.

It's not that she didn't want to be a full-time mother. She didn't want to be a mother, period. You should re name the subject of this thread to SELF CENTERED WOMAN THROWS AWAY HER CHILDREN.

Quote
Any attempts to lead your own life after you have kids will be met with contempt and derision.
This has nothing to do with having a fulfilled life after children. It is about abandoning and wanting nothing to do with your children. Sorry, but there is responsibility in being a mother or father. This womans attitude reminds me of a woman named Diane Downs--she 'abandoned' her kids so she could have a life............ Sick.

Brad


Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 04:49:21 am »
It's not that she didn't want to be a full-time mother. She didn't want to be a mother, period. You should re name the subject of this thread to SELF CENTERED WOMAN THROWS AWAY HER CHILDREN.
This has nothing to do with having a fulfilled life after children. It is about abandoning and wanting nothing to do with your children. Sorry, but there is responsibility in being a mother or father. This womans attitude reminds me of a woman named Diane Downs--she 'abandoned' her kids so she could have a life............ Sick.

Brad



Nice one, Brad  ::)

Offline Shasta542

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 10:39:48 am »
I have taught children whose mother has left them totally to the father. Even when the father is the better parent, involved, etc., they have ALWAYS been more troubled, more affected, more prone to acting out--than the ones whose father left them with the mother. It may be a double standard, but IMO, it's worse for a mother to do that. I agree with you, Brad.
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Marge_Innavera

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 12:23:29 pm »
If you read the comments, you will see that the double-standard is alive and well.  Women who have kids are mothers, first, foremost and always and should subjugate their lives to their kids.  Period.

Any attempts to lead your own life after you have kids will be met with contempt and derision.

How 1st century some people's attitudes still are.

No kidding.  And you don't have to go any further than this thread to see some ripe examples.

I suspect the kids will be okay, as long as they're not homeschooled.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 12:24:41 pm »
Nice one, Brad  ::)

Yeah, the quote you posted just warmed the cockles of my ole pink heart.    ;)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 12:53:18 pm »
Mothering as a subject is such a minefield!!
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 01:04:05 pm »
Personally my opinion is if you have decided to be a parent, and then decide later actually I don't want to do this, well I don't think its acceptable for either a man or woman to do this.

You made a decision, you should stand by that decision.

Of course, where there is a divorce and the parents can't live together thats a different scenario because this is the best thing for the kids to have 2 happy parents to look after them, and evidently it normally ends up that one parent takes up more of the caring role than the other.

Do I think it should always be the woman? No, I think individual circumstances are much more important to consider.
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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 01:43:23 pm »
Personally my opinion is if you have decided to be a parent, and then decide later actually I don't want to do this, well I don't think its acceptable for either a man or woman to do this.

You made a decision, you should stand by that decision.

Of course, where there is a divorce and the parents can't live together thats a different scenario because this is the best thing for the kids to have 2 happy parents to look after them, and evidently it normally ends up that one parent takes up more of the caring role than the other.

Do I think it should always be the woman? No, I think individual circumstances are much more important to consider.


Completely agreed.
Individual circumstances are much more important than gender roles. But somehow this is very hard to understand for many people.

Strangely, I have never seen such outrage from the moral high horse about successful business-men, travelling continents 48 weeks a year. They may well see much less of their children than the woman in the article, they may well be much less involved in their childrens' daily life - but hey, they do have a penis, so it's ok. Double standard, as Della already said in the OP.


Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 02:54:15 pm »
Personally my opinion is if you have decided to be a parent, and then decide later actually I don't want to do this, well I don't think its acceptable for either a man or woman to do this.

You made a decision, you should stand by that decision.

Of course, where there is a divorce and the parents can't live together thats a different scenario because this is the best thing for the kids to have 2 happy parents to look after them, and evidently it normally ends up that one parent takes up more of the caring role than the other.

Do I think it should always be the woman? No, I think individual circumstances are much more important to consider.

People make decisions that are bad all the time.  We usually give them some options.

Notice she didn't make the decision until AFTER she had them.  I'm sure beforehand she'd swallowed whole the myth that having children would make her feel like a 'real woman' whole and fulfilled.  It didn't.

Now what are her options?

According to many of the posters on that article and here as well, she's just stuck.  She has NO choices and so she needs to put on a fake happy face and just go through the motions for another decade or so.

Really?  Do you think she'll be able to keep up that facade of a happy, good mother?

Do you think her kids and family won't notice?

Unlikely.  Sooner or later she will take it out on her husband, her children and those around her.

Now MEN seem to have options.  If they have kids and then decide they're not really into them, they can disappear to work, to the golf course, into themselves and be emotionally absent and distant and then of course, to divorce because family life wasn't for them.  So long as they pick up the check, the criticism for them seems to be extremely light and absent.

But mothers will be vilified if they don't fit into the mold of how society thinks mothers should be, despite the fact that women are PEOPLE first and not all the same.

I thought women's rights were all about getting society to realize women were people.  Apparently some still think women should be forced into gender roles and not have any choices.

Not me and not this woman and not quite a few working moms I've talked to over the years who had to whisper to me their dislike of mothering and their enjoyment of work.  They had to whisper.  I think that's what's "sick".


Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2011, 04:16:24 pm »
It´s a good thing that women dare to be more honest about motherhood. There is this notion that motherhood just comes naturally to all women, and this is far from the truth. I think many women have doubts and it´s a good thing if they come to know they are not alone.


Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2011, 05:02:01 pm »
Yes, I read that she didn't make the decision until after she had them. But this isn't buying a car or a house. This is a human being. Anyone having a child know that this is a long haul decision and should be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Whether they suddenly realise too late its not their ideal lifestyle or not.

And I'm talking both men and women and here.

I've read Katherine's great article elsewhere on the foum and I see her point. But what I'm saying is that you can't (well some do, my BIL is a prime example - he hasn't seen or been in contact with his kids in 3 years and he lives 6 miles away, so maybe I should say you shouldn't) suddenly decide that it isn't for you and not be any more involved. It's not like turning a tap off when it comes to kids.

People make decisions that are bad all the time.  We usually give them some options.

Notice she didn't make the decision until AFTER she had them.  I'm sure beforehand she'd swallowed whole the myth that having children would make her feel like a 'real woman' whole and fulfilled.  It didn't.

Now what are her options?

According to many of the posters on that article and here as well, she's just stuck.  She has NO choices and so she needs to put on a fake happy face and just go through the motions for another decade or so.

Really?  Do you think she'll be able to keep up that facade of a happy, good mother?

Do you think her kids and family won't notice?

Unlikely.  Sooner or later she will take it out on her husband, her children and those around her.

Now MEN seem to have options.  If they have kids and then decide they're not really into them, they can disappear to work, to the golf course, into themselves and be emotionally absent and distant and then of course, to divorce because family life wasn't for them.  So long as they pick up the check, the criticism for them seems to be extremely light and absent.

But mothers will be vilified if they don't fit into the mold of how society thinks mothers should be, despite the fact that women are PEOPLE first and not all the same.

I thought women's rights were all about getting society to realize women were people.  Apparently some still think women should be forced into gender roles and not have any choices.

Not me and not this woman and not quite a few working moms I've talked to over the years who had to whisper to me their dislike of mothering and their enjoyment of work.  They had to whisper.  I think that's what's "sick".


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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2011, 05:50:18 pm »
Personally my opinion is if you have decided to be a parent, and then decide later actually I don't want to do this, well I don't think its acceptable for either a man or woman to do this.

You made a decision, you should stand by that decision.

Of course, where there is a divorce and the parents can't live together thats a different scenario because this is the best thing for the kids to have 2 happy parents to look after them, and evidently it normally ends up that one parent takes up more of the caring role than the other.

Do I think it should always be the woman? No, I think individual circumstances are much more important to consider.

I agree with you, Kelda.  Once you bring a child into the world, you can't play Bartleby the Scrivener and decide "I'd prefer not to" be a parent.

Interesting, but IIRC, some people also thought Ennis should have ditched his daughters to be with Jack. But maybe my memory is confused.  8)

Wouldn't be the first time.  :-\

Edit: Comment re: Ennis revised.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2011, 05:58:57 pm »
Strangely, I have never seen such outrage from the moral high horse about successful business-men, travelling continents 48 weeks a year. They may well see much less of their children than the woman in the article, they may well be much less involved in their childrens' daily life - but hey, they do have a penis, so it's ok. Double standard, as Della already said in the OP.

Here's a quote from the original article that IMO sums it up:

Quote
The idea that a mother could love her children and still choose to leave them to pursue her own goals is the antithesis of being a 'Tiger Mother'—Amy Chua ignited a fiery debate with the release of her book about being a perfection-demanding Eastern-style parent, omnipresent in her daughters' lives. It also goes against our culture's definition of motherhood. But it shines a light on a glaring double standard: When a man chooses not to be a full-time parent, it's acceptable—or, at least, accepted. But when a woman decides to do so, it's abandonment.

The matter of pop-culture fads in raising human beings, e.g., the "Tiger Mother" (presumably in the same category as "Mama Grizzly") is another subject.  I'm not sure a 'tiger' or 'helocopter' mom would be that much an improvement over an absent one..

« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 11:46:07 am by Marge_Innavera »

Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2011, 06:10:21 pm »
If you read the comments, you will see that the double-standard is alive and well.  Women who have kids are mothers, first, foremost and always and should subjugate their lives to their kids.  Period.

I agree with you that such is an extreme viewpoint. At the same time I will say that any parent--man or woman--must put their children at the top of the priority list.

Any attempts to lead your own life after you have kids will be met with contempt and derision.

One is free to lead one's life. Once one has children, they become part of one's life. If one is leading one's life in a way that does not include the interests of one's children, then one has earned the contempt and derision of one's peers
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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Offline Shasta542

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2011, 06:15:32 pm »
I don't think that mothers or fathers should be subjugated to their children. They had them and it's their responsibility to teach them and to raise them to be good citizens for the world. Leaving them merely to pursue their own desires, whether mom or dad, does a disservice to the children and to the world.  Otherwise, use birth control.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2011, 06:27:09 pm »
I don't think that mothers or fathers should be subjugated to their children.

I had to look that up! :laugh:
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Offline Shasta542

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2011, 07:20:48 pm »
I had to look that up! :laugh:

 ;D

Happens to me all the time!
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Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2011, 07:41:48 pm »
I could never decide not to be a mother to my daughter.  I'm not judging that poor woman, but when I became a parent I resolved to but my child first and vowed to be there for her always.  I've never understood how a parent, male or female, could just walk away.

Offline Shasta542

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2011, 08:20:17 pm »
I could never decide not to be a mother to my daughter.  I'm not judging that poor woman, but when I became a parent I resolved to but my child first and vowed to be there for her always.  I've never understood how a parent, male or female, could just walk away.


:)  You are a great and loving mother! With a wonderful and lucky daughter.  :-*  :-*
"Gettin' tired of your dumbass missin'!"

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Offline louisev

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2011, 08:32:27 pm »
Social research has shown that losing contact with one parent after divorce is detrimental to children of any age  -- which is part of why even in cases of child abuse, the non-custodial parents are more and more being granted visitation because it is better for the children.  The problem is not that a woman wished to end her custodial parenthood - but that non-custodial parents who don't maintain an active relationship with their children is detrimental to their healthy development.
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2011, 08:52:38 pm »
:)  You are a great and loving mother! With a wonderful and lucky daughter.  :-*  :-*

Thanks, Sweetie!  I'm just a product of how I was raised.  I'm not saying the woman in the story had terrible role models, but I was raised by a woman who put my brother, my sister and I first in so many ways.  When my parents divorced my mom did little else besides work, sew for us, take us to church and cook meals.  She never dated, nor did she once leave us alone or with relatives - ever.  My dad was also selfless.  One day I was visiting him before he passed and he told me with a smile, "You guys liked a lot of money.  I had to work hard."

For me walking away from my child is not an option.  As Louise observed, children suffer when they're abandoned by either parent.  Being a single parent is hard, very hard, but I'm hanging in there, even though my daughter is now an adult and engaged.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

pnwDUDE

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2011, 08:57:03 pm »
  The problem is not that a woman wished to end her custodial parenthood - but that non-custodial parents who don't maintain an active relationship with their children is detrimental to their healthy development.

Based on what some are saying here, Louise, that's apparantley ok so long as the parent (this woman in the case cited) feels good about herself. They could care less about the development of the children.

Brad

Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2011, 01:15:50 am »
Thanks, Sweetie!  I'm just a product of how I was raised.  I'm not saying the woman in the story had terrible role models, but I was raised by a woman who put my brother, my sister and I first in so many ways.  When my parents divorced my mom did little else besides work, sew for us, take us to church and cook meals.  She never dated, nor did she once leave us alone or with relatives - ever.  My dad was also selfless.  One day I was visiting him before he passed and he told me with a smile, "You guys liked a lot of money.  I had to work hard."

I hear you, but from a child´s perspective I want my parents to be happy. I wouldn´t want my parents to basically give up their lives for me. I want them to live their lives cause seeing the parents happy makes the kids happy too. There is a way to be a parent AND to live your life.

Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2011, 01:18:49 am »
Yes, I read that she didn't make the decision until after she had them. But this isn't buying a car or a house. This is a human being. Anyone having a child know that this is a long haul decision and should be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Whether they suddenly realise too late its not their ideal lifestyle or not.

And I'm talking both men and women and here.
I agree, but I think a point here is that if this had been a man, it had never made the news at all.
People are upset because it is woman.

Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2011, 01:37:18 am »
I agree, but I think a point here is that if this had been a man, it had never made the news at all.
People are upset because it is woman.

That's true. And I think a big part of that is that men ditch the women and kids so often that such a story about a man would read like "cat stuck in tree." Sad comment on what men have become. If society expected more from its men, abandonment would be less common.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2011, 05:50:45 am »
I agree, but I think a point here is that if this had been a man, it had never made the news at all.
People are upset because it is woman.

That's true. And I think a big part of that is that men ditch the women and kids so often that such a story about a man would read like "cat stuck in tree." Sad comment on what men have become. If society expected more from its men, abandonment would be less common.

Yeah, its a an annoying double standard. But I'm not sure that's Del's main point though? Correct me if I'm wrong Del!

 
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Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2011, 12:56:32 pm »
I hear you, but from a child´s perspective I want my parents to be happy. I wouldn´t want my parents to basically give up their lives for me. I want them to live their lives cause seeing the parents happy makes the kids happy too. There is a way to be a parent AND to live your life.

No one is saying you have to give up your life.  My mom put us first, but she had a rich, full life, and still does at the age of 84.  Mothering to the extent of all else does make some people happy.  Besides, the children will grow up and be on their own so fast it'll make your head spin.  Well, most kids will, anyway.  I can remember when my adult daughter was just a babe in arms, and I'll tell you -- I don't know what happened to those years, they went so fast!

One other thing - I hope the kids she decided not to mother will forgive her and be there for her when/if she becomes a widow and unable to care for herself.

Offline louisev

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2011, 02:45:39 pm »
Based on what some are saying here, Louise, that's apparantley ok so long as the parent (this woman in the case cited) feels good about herself. They could care less about the development of the children.

Brad

no, exactly the opposite.  The lack of contact with a noncustodial parent is detrimental:  TO THE CHILDREN.  I would have thought from the context and the way I restated it a couple of times, that this is what is meant.
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2011, 03:32:27 pm »
I had several points, guys.   ;D

One point though:  the woman didn't abandon her children.  She just became the non-custodial parent.  She still sees her kids and is involved.

Quite a few men are in this position.  One of my points as Milo noted directly.  This is so common for men, it doesn't even make news or even blip people's consciences.  But this woman is dragged through the mud by the comment makers for doing the same.  Double standard.

Yes, children are not a car or a house.  But how do you 'try out' kids first, to know if you will or won't be a good parent?  Babysitting?  Not quite the same thing.  And it took her five years to come to her decision.  There is nothing that she could have done to determine whether she would or wouldn't be a good mother.

So while I'm sure plenty of people consider how children will effect their lives, they can't know the reality of it until they actually do do it, then of course, it's too late.

And no one should subjugate their lives for ANYone else.  Sure, kids should be a top priority, but they shouldn't be the be-all, end-all priority.

Offline Lynne

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2011, 04:34:38 pm »
I had several points, guys.   ;D

One point though:  the woman didn't abandon her children.  She just became the non-custodial parent.  She still sees her kids and is involved.

Yes, that's how I read the article as well.  I believe it stated that she has a better/more involved relationship with her children now.

Quote
Quite a few men are in this position.  One of my points as Milo noted directly.  This is so common for men, it doesn't even make news or even blip people's consciences.  But this woman is dragged through the mud by the comment makers for doing the same.  Double standard.

Not a blip unless the man isn't paying child support and sometimes not even then.

Quote
Yes, children are not a car or a house.  But how do you 'try out' kids first, to know if you will or won't be a good parent?  Babysitting?  Not quite the same thing.  And it took her five years to come to her decision.  There is nothing that she could have done to determine whether she would or wouldn't be a good mother.

So while I'm sure plenty of people consider how children will effect their lives, they can't know the reality of it until they actually do do it, then of course, it's too late.

I have several friends who are mothers who now tell me - because I asked bluntly - that although they love their children and do not regret them, there's no way they would do it again.  They are great parents.  They just didn't realize how little time and energy would be left for themselves post-children.  Of two women I'm thinking of specifically - one works outside the home and the other is a stay-at-home mom.  I imagine some of those feelings are related to the extent of the involvement they feel our society dictates they must have to maintain their status as 'good moms'.

When I was growing up, my mother was involved as much as she could be, but I only had a couple of extra-curricular activities that required her presence weekly or for her to drive me...not six days out of seven, which seems to be the norm now.

Quote
And no one should subjugate their lives for ANYone else.  Sure, kids should be a top priority, but they shouldn't be the be-all, end-all priority.

I agree.  Definitely having children is an enormous responsibility that should not be entered into lightly.  But at the same time, it should not become the whole of your existence for a couple of reasons.  I'm mostly speaking from personal experience here - one data point doesn't make a trend - but by-and-large, children emulate their parents, no matter what their parents 'teach' them.  It would have been nice to have parents who also put their own health and personal development on par with that of their children.  Also, children are supposed to grow up and make lives of their own - healthy birds leave the nest.  That's a damned hard thing to do for a young adult when they're looking at a parent - particularly a single parent - who essentially has no life outside of them.

And as for both parents needing to be involved for emotional development, extending even to the child abuser or addict, I'd like to see more studies done.  There's no way my common sense buys that a child is better off maintaining a relationship with a parent who is unfit, especially while that child is still developing emotionally, and maybe not even afterward.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2011, 05:00:13 pm »
For me though it was interesting why she is not the custodial parent. Not because she didn't want to be/couldn't be with her husband but that she didn't want to be with her kids full time. What about her husbands needs and wants outside of being a Dad?

I understand you can't try out parenting. But she's obviously a smart woman.. she's got to ihave n the back of her mind when she deicded to have kids.. "This might not be what I enjoy when I am actually doing it", but she took that decision anyway and for me anyway, that's the point.

She took the decision so she should stand by it in my opinion and do her fair share. For me, I'd be saying the same thing if it was the husband.

But I can see where you gusy are coming from saying that many people wouldn't think like that if it was the husband.

I had several points, guys.   ;D

One point though:  the woman didn't abandon her children.  She just became the non-custodial parent.  She still sees her kids and is involved.

Quite a few men are in this position.  One of my points as Milo noted directly.  This is so common for men, it doesn't even make news or even blip people's consciences.  But this woman is dragged through the mud by the comment makers for doing the same.  Double standard.

Yes, children are not a car or a house.  But how do you 'try out' kids first, to know if you will or won't be a good parent?  Babysitting?  Not quite the same thing.  And it took her five years to come to her decision.  There is nothing that she could have done to determine whether she would or wouldn't be a good mother.

So while I'm sure plenty of people consider how children will effect their lives, they can't know the reality of it until they actually do do it, then of course, it's too late.

And no one should subjugate their lives for ANYone else.  Sure, kids should be a top priority, but they shouldn't be the be-all, end-all priority.
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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2011, 05:20:00 pm »
For me though it was interesting why she is not the custodial parent. Not because she didn't want to be/couldn't be with her husband but that she didn't want to be with her kids full time. What about her husbands needs and wants outside of being a Dad?

I understand you can't try out parenting. But she's obviously a smart woman.. she's got to ihave n the back of her mind when she deicded to have kids.. "This might not be what I enjoy when I am actually doing it", but she took that decision anyway and for me anyway, that's the point.

She took the decision so she should stand by it in my opinion and do her fair share. For me, I'd be saying the same thing if it was the husband.

But I can see where you gusy are coming from saying that many people wouldn't think like that if it was the husband.

Yes, the article didn't really go into any details about why they divorced, so we're left to wonder if that was also because of her career move and change-of-heart, or if there were other marital issues.  I don't think we have enough information to know one way or the other definitely.  Those would have been good questions to ask, including how her husband felt/feels about being left with the children - it could range the gamut from ecstatic to completely used and taken advantage of...
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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2011, 07:31:31 pm »
Yes, the article didn't really go into any details about why they divorced, so we're left to wonder if that was also because of her career move and change-of-heart, or if there were other marital issues.  I don't think we have enough information to know one way or the other definitely.  Those would have been good questions to ask, including how her husband felt/feels about being left with the children - it could range the gamut from ecstatic to completely used and taken advantage of...

The woman hinted that the marriage had not been working for sometime, he was an ex-pilot or something.

Interesting conundrum.  What if neither parent wanted to parent full-time?  That's where this mother would have no choice but to accept joint custody, I suppose.

That friend of mine, a teacher, made mention of a family - mother and father are surgeons - who wanted their daughter to go to a ritzy private school 30 some odd miles from their home.  They apparently were too busy to drive her themselves, so they paid the extra $10s of thousands of dollars to board her at the school.  i.e. not come home unless they had time for her.  And she is only 30 minutes from home.

Offline Marina

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2011, 08:29:48 pm »
I thought this was interesting as well - apparently this woman bought in to the societal pressure that a woman should become a mother, and found out it wasn't for her after all.   I don't fault her; I think the children would benefit more by having a happy mother than one who put her own needs a human being last.   While I don't think it's acceptable by society, men sometimes do abandon their families, and a lot of the time have generally a lesser presence in their childrens' lives.  I do know of a few instances where the husbands "man up" and assume full responsibility for their children, one where the mother couldn't handle having a handicapped child, left the family and her husband assumed the full raising of the child, and did a damn good job from what I hear.

That said, once you have children, you have a big responsibility.   I do think it is true that a lot of people don't realize how big a responsibility it is until they become parents themselves.   A two career couple might be wise to consider what it is they really want in life, because I don't think one can have everything in this life.   That's another false bill of goods that we're sold.    You have to make choices.   It also doesn't always have to fall squarely with the woman, some men are nurturers and some women are not.

Parenthood isn't, and shouldn't be, for everyone.   Just one look at some of the newspaper headlines about abused and neglected children tells us this.
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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2011, 12:25:24 am »
no, exactly the opposite.  The lack of contact with a noncustodial parent is detrimental:  TO THE CHILDREN.  I would have thought from the context and the way I restated it a couple of times, that this is what is meant.

You stated it just fine and I got it. We're in agreement here, take a deep breath........................... ;)

Brad

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2011, 02:21:46 am »
You stated it just fine and I got it. We're in agreement here, take a deep breath........................... ;)

Brad

forgive me if i missed the too-subtle innuendo criticizing 'others here'  -maybe instead of dragging me into your criticism you can just talk directly to the people you disagree with.
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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2011, 02:51:00 am »
I sometimes see women suffering because of their parental commitments.  I don't just mean exhaustion at the end of a long day, but real turmoil because they aren't free to do the other things they want.  I feel really lucky - I want to be a full time mom.  But as I have said many times, it's a good thing I didn't start parenting in my 20s or probably even my 30s - I would have been one of those women chafing.  I was still too selfish.


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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2011, 11:50:58 am »
For me though it was interesting why she is not the custodial parent. Not because she didn't want to be/couldn't be with her husband but that she didn't want to be with her kids full time. What about her husbands needs and wants outside of being a Dad?

Again to Del's point -- if the genders were reversed I doubt we'd be reading any speculation re 'his wife's needs and wants outside of being a Mom'. 

And you rarely hear of men with families whose careers consume their time described as selfish. On the contrary, if they spend any time at all with their kids they're praised for being involved.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2011, 12:06:53 pm »
And you rarely hear of men with families whose careers consume their time described as selfish. On the contrary, if they spend any time at all with their kids they're praised for being involved.

That's true, up to a point. But men who take time off work to care for their kids are also sometimes penalized in the workplace. Women are, too, which is why mothers pay a wage penalty compared to both men and women who don't have kids. But those women are considered bad workers but good mothers. Men who forgo work for kids are sometimes considered bad workers AND bad fathers because they aren't "good providers." So for example, even in companies that offer paternity leave, men are afraid to take it.

Our assumptions regarding gender roles, parenting and work are very screwed up, and both men and women pay the price.




Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2011, 12:38:08 pm »
Again to Del's point -- if the genders were reversed I doubt we'd be reading any speculation re 'his wife's needs and wants outside of being a Mom'. 

And you rarely hear of men with families whose careers consume their time described as selfish. On the contrary, if they spend any time at all with their kids they're praised for being involved.

I already said that..


For me, I'd be saying the same thing if it was the husband.

But I can see where you guys are coming from saying that many people wouldn't think like that if it was the husband.

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2011, 03:36:50 pm »
That's true, up to a point. But men who take time off work to care for their kids are also sometimes penalized in the workplace. Women are, too, which is why mothers pay a wage penalty compared to both men and women who don't have kids. But those women are considered bad workers but good mothers. Men who forgo work for kids are sometimes considered bad workers AND bad fathers because they aren't "good providers." So for example, even in companies that offer paternity leave, men are afraid to take it.

Our assumptions regarding gender roles, parenting and work are very screwed up, and both men and women pay the price.

I do hear that they may be bad providers, but never bad fathers.  Look!  They sacrificed their careers for their kids.  Men always get extra kudos for doing something women have been doing for years.  And as I understand it, in Europe, men don't have any problems at all taking paternity leave.

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2011, 04:14:41 pm »
I do hear that they may be bad providers, but never bad fathers.  Look!  They sacrificed their careers for their kids.  Men always get extra kudos for doing something women have been doing for years.  And as I understand it, in Europe, men don't have any problems at all taking paternity leave.

Certainly in the UK, i wouldn't say that is necessarilly true in the private sector unfortunately.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2011, 04:38:34 pm »
I do hear that they may be bad providers, but never bad fathers.  Look!  They sacrificed their careers for their kids.  Men always get extra kudos for doing something women have been doing for years.  And as I understand it, in Europe, men don't have any problems at all taking paternity leave.

Right. But in many minds, good father = good provider and vice versa.


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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2011, 04:58:25 pm »
I remember my Uncle Charlie - an old-fashioned man - Mom's older brother - very way-of-the-world-savvy and self-educated.  For instance, he read the newspaper every day, but he couldn't read or write in cursive.

Anyhow, he once remarked to my mother when I was about 17 and Billy 14 that he didn't understand why she was pushing so hard for me to get an education when I'd be getting married and having children, and further said that my brother was going to be the one who needed to provide for a family.

(Whether she 'pushed' me harder or not is a subject for debate at a different time - she certainly expected more from me, but I think that was more because I was the oldest and he had more health problems.)

A few years later when I had started the familial support of everyone, including my brother, he apologized in his own way.  He said something to my mom along the lines of how he must have had things backwards and gave her 1/4 carat diamond stud earrings that once belonged to his late wife to give to me.  He died from throat and lung cancer a few months later.

 :(
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Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2011, 07:01:29 pm »
This is an interesting conversation on many levels.

While I do bemoan the fact that in many circles absent fathers get less of a negative reaction than absent mothers, I do understand the historical reasons why. One big reason has to do with the fact that in pre-historic times men had to hunt, which would take them away from their families for relatively long periods of time. Then there were wars for men to fight, and war took/takes men away from family, farm, and business. In the industrial era, men were the primary ones working in the factories, mills, trains, ships, etc.

Society was structured that way to suit the needs of the times. Times have changed, and now women can be called off to fight wars, or hired to work 80-hour weeks. And the truth is that for the West to sustain its economies, we need women out of the house. If women went back to "the kitchen" the world's economies would collapse.

As with so many past advancements in the development of humanity, society's norms and attitudes frequently lag behind. In my mind, there is no difference between a man who chooses to become a non-custodial parent, and a woman who does the same. What matters to me is their motivation and circumstances. I think of some of the Meso-American migrant farm workers I've met over the years. These guys don't want to leave their families behind in backward, dangerous, corrupt countries just so they can labor in the fields of New Jersey of Pennsylvania all day on the summer heat. They do so as a last--and often best--resort. These guys endure the pain of separation from their families, but know that it is temporary, and hope their sacrifices will make better lives for their children.

OTOH, there are young men going to high school just a few blocks from my office who think they have the right to make a baby with a girl, and then let her and her mother take care of that baby. They are going to "live their lives" no matter what.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2011, 08:21:54 pm »
I sometimes see women suffering because of their parental commitments.  I don't just mean exhaustion at the end of a long day, but real turmoil because they aren't free to do the other things they want.  I feel really lucky - I want to be a full time mom.  But as I have said many times, it's a good thing I didn't start parenting in my 20s or probably even my 30s - I would have been one of those women chafing.  I was still too selfish.

I think this question of selfishness is interesting.  This word has come up in a variety of ways here... pertaining to both men and women and also apparently to the decision not to have children.

There are clearly a lot of people who have no interest in having or raising children for a variety of reasons.  And, maybe in some cases the reasons are selfish.  Maybe some people just have no interest in it.  Maybe some people don't feel it's the best idea to perpetuate the human race. Etc.  Or, maybe some people are self-aware enough to know that they wouldn't be a great parent and are, in an unselfish way, not having children to spare a child from being dragged into a situation like that.

But, I think it can also be said that many people who do have children are also doing it for selfish reasons.  Reasons that have little to do with the child itself... They may want an heir.  They may want to pass on their genes (I had a friend in college who was strangely obsessed with this idea), they may want someone to love them (the parents), they may want to have children so that someone will feel compelled to take care of them when they are elderly.  They may have children because they want to feel fulfilled.  And, maybe some people want to have children to further some kind of theological/religiously felf mission.  IMO, none of the things I just listed are centered on the interests of the actual child. There are tons of reasons to have children that are centered on the parent's ego and the parent's personal desired.

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2011, 08:22:23 pm »
This is an interesting conversation on many levels.

While I do bemoan the fact that in many circles absent fathers get less of a negative reaction than absent mothers, I do understand the historical reasons why. One big reason has to do with the fact that in pre-historic times men had to hunt, which would take them away from their families for relatively long periods of time. Then there were wars for men to fight, and war took/takes men away from family, farm, and business. In the industrial era, men were the primary ones working in the factories, mills, trains, ships, etc.

In hunter-gatherer bands, the women were probably just as likely to hunt as the men and hunters probably never wandered far.  What good did a hunt do if the hunters were gone for a 'long time'?  People are hungry and need to be fed now, not months from now.

Actually I think it was the industrial age that did it.  Before, the majority of people lived on farms and in tiny towns.  Daddy went nowhere.  He was right out there in the fields or right out front in the shop - usually right alongside Mommy.  There was no real need to have a gender division of labor.  With the growth of the Industrial Age and women still having next to no rights and only men were in the workplace, women were stuck with the job.  But society soothed them by telling them what a wonderful place up on the pillar being a mother was.  Therefore she was much less inclined to bitch about not having rights, not being able to get a job in the workplace, not being paid the same as a man because she had this rose-colored glasses duty in society to stay at home and raise the children.

Quote
Society was structured that way to suit the needs of the times. Times have changed, and now women can be called off to fight wars, or hired to work 80-hour weeks. And the truth is that for the West to sustain its economies, we need women out of the house. If women went back to "the kitchen" the world's economies would collapse.

Or if women were paid for the work they currently do unpaid.

Quote
What matters to me is their motivation and circumstances. I think of some of the Meso-American migrant farm workers I've met over the years. These guys don't want to leave their families behind in backward, dangerous, corrupt countries just so they can labor in the fields of New Jersey of Pennsylvania all day on the summer heat. They do so as a last--and often best--resort. These guys endure the pain of separation from their families, but know that it is temporary, and hope their sacrifices will make better lives for their children.

You've met different ones than I've met.  My experience has been is that they were young guys hip to hook up with an American woman (of any race/age), preferably get married and if they happened to already have a family back in their home countries, oh, well.  Because eventually they'd dump their American wives and go off.  With a brand new pickup truck in my aunt's case that she bought for her new husband.


Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2011, 08:24:38 pm »
I think this question of selfishness is interesting.  This word has come up in a variety of ways here... pertaining to both men and women and also apparently to the decision not to have children.

There are clearly a lot of people who have no interest in having or raising children for a variety of reasons.  And, maybe in some cases the reasons are selfish.  Maybe some people just have no interest in it.  Maybe some people don't feel it's the best idea to perpetuate the human race. Etc.  Or, maybe some people are self-aware enough to know that they wouldn't be a great parent and are, in an unselfish way, not having children to spare a child from being dragged into a situation like that.

But, I think it can also be said that many people who do have children are also doing it for selfish reasons.  Reasons that have little to do with the child itself... They may want an heir.  They may want to pass on their genes (I had a friend in college who was strangely obsessed with this idea), they may want someone to love them (the parents), they may want to have children so that someone will feel compelled to take care of them when they are elderly.  They may have children because they want to feel fulfilled.  And, maybe some people want to have children to further some kind of theological/religiously felf mission.  IMO, none of the things I just listed are centered on the interests of the actual child. There are tons of reasons to have children that are centered on the parent's ego and the parent's personal desired.

Agree.  The word selfish is so often cast at those who are child-free, but never back at parents because it's assumed parents are 'selfless'.  As you pointed out, a great many are not, not really.  

Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2011, 08:30:20 pm »
Or if women were paid for the work they currently do unpaid.

Are you talking about equal pay for equal work, or somethingm else that I'm not understanding?
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Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2011, 09:08:50 pm »
Are you talking about equal pay for equal work, or somethingm else that I'm not understanding?
I believe she means the work women do at home. Clean, wash etc

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2011, 09:38:11 pm »
I believe she means the work women do at home. Clean, wash etc

Yep.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2011, 10:11:44 pm »
Agree.  The word selfish is so often cast at those who are child-free, but never back at parents because it's assumed parents are 'selfless'.  As you pointed out, a great many are not, not really.  

Thanks Del.  I think it really is an interesting way to look at things... to think of the ways that people decide to have children for selfish reasons and to satisfy their own ideas about how their lives should be... separate from any real consideration for the child.  Like I said in my earlier post, I think a lot of it boils down to ego and a desire to have someone to take care of them when they're elderly.

My Mom is not subtle about putting pressure on me about my choice not to have kids (at least so far) and I'm 35 and a lesbian... so the odds are very slim really.  I've never particularly enjoyed being around kids for extended amounts of time.  Babysitting used to freak me out so I rarely did it at a teenager.  And, in general children just make me nervous. I have no particular personal urge to have a kid.  But, if I had a partner who really wanted a kid, or if she already had a kid... I would be willing to give raising a kid a try for the sake of the relationship.  My desire to have a strong relationship with a partner is 100x stronger than any personal desire to have a child.  I would not press the issue of kids myself in a relationship.  

When my Mom talks about wanting grandkids... it kind of becomes clear to me that that's all about her desires to step into a "grandmother" role that she has pictured in her head.  It's not about me and it's not about the hypothetical kid.  So, it's a form of selfishness IMO... even if it's a relatively benevolent type of selfishness (the pressures it puts on me aside).

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2011, 10:45:33 pm »
I totally agree that "selfish" seems like the wrong word to describe people who don't want to have kids -- whatever their reasons. Even if those reasons have to do with keeping their own interests a top priority. Maybe they want to focus on their careers, maybe they want to come home from work and have time to themselves, maybe they want to be free to go where they want, when they want, unencumbered ... and so on. Those reasons are self-oriented, I guess, but I don't consider them "selfish" in the pejorative sense we usually use that word, meaning "greedy" and "uncharitable."

I think part of the problem is that our culture so frowns on placing a priority on one's own interests that there's no neutral word for that.



I'm speaking here of people who opt not to have kids. People who've already had kids and then decide they don't want them ... well, that becomes trickier. I don't know what the right word is to describe them -- it depends on their individual circumstances -- but they've certainly made a big mistake.

But I haven't read the original article yet. Are we talking about a mother who wants nothing to do with her kids? That's problematic. Or is this a mother who simply doesn't want live-in custody of them -- which is a totally different thing? I've written about mothers in the latter situation. Most of them make the decision for their kids' sake. Some regret it; some don't. But it's very hard on them because they're so harshly judged for something that fathers do all the time.




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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2011, 11:02:36 pm »
Agree.  The word selfish is so often cast at those who are child-free, but never back at parents because it's assumed parents are 'selfless'.  As you pointed out, a great many are not, not really.  

As someone who's childless by choice, I've concluded that some use 'I'm too selfish to be a good parent' because it ends the conversation right there.  It plays into the notion that if someone doesn't have kids, it must be some kind of disfunction.  After a few conversations where you field stinkbombs like "then how do you know you're a woman?" telling people what they want to hear can be a temptation.

And I agree with Katherine's comment that the selfishness can work both ways.  Selfish people who want children, for whatever reasons they may want them, rarely if ever let their own selfishness stand in their way.  If you're essentially selfish, then it's in character to make selfish decisions.  Or to put it from the other perspective, 'I'd love to have children but I'm so selfish I'm making an unselfish decision' wouldn't exactly make sense.

My Mom is not subtle about putting pressure on me about my choice not to have kids

My mom used to ask me what if I found out later in life I'd make the wrong choice. (I'm in my 60s now so she hasn't asked that lately)  The first few times I didn't have an answer but when I thought about it, I concluded that if I did regret it, at least I would be the only one who suffered the consequences.  If it were reversed, having a child and then realizing you'd made a mistake could have a lot of other consequences. 

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2011, 11:10:23 pm »
I already said that..


Thank you for sharing.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2011, 11:17:04 pm »
Yeah, it's what I was trying to say in my earlier post... that there can be and probably are selfish motivations in both scenarios... having children and not having children.  There are infinite individual nuances, but neither one is free from the taint of "selfishness".  But, IMO looking out for one's own personal best interest should not necessarily be met with disdain either (as long as it isn't hurting someone else).

I think this question of selfishness is interesting.  This word has come up in a variety of ways here... pertaining to both men and women and also apparently to the decision not to have children.

There are clearly a lot of people who have no interest in having or raising children for a variety of reasons.  And, maybe in some cases the reasons are selfish.  Maybe some people just have no interest in it.  Maybe some people don't feel it's the best idea to perpetuate the human race. Etc.  Or, maybe some people are self-aware enough to know that they wouldn't be a great parent and are, in an unselfish way, not having children to spare a child from being dragged into a situation like that.

But, I think it can also be said that many people who do have children are also doing it for selfish reasons.  Reasons that have little to do with the child itself... They may want an heir.  They may want to pass on their genes (I had a friend in college who was strangely obsessed with this idea), they may want someone to love them (the parents), they may want to have children so that someone will feel compelled to take care of them when they are elderly.  They may have children because they want to feel fulfilled.  And, maybe some people want to have children to further some kind of theological/religiously felf mission.  IMO, none of the things I just listed are centered on the interests of the actual child. There are tons of reasons to have children that are centered on the parent's ego and the parent's personal desired.


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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2011, 11:18:10 pm »

But I haven't read the original article yet. Are we talking about a mother who wants nothing to do with her kids? That's problematic. Or is this a mother who simply doesn't want live-in custody of them -- which is a totally different thing? I've written about mothers in the latter situation. Most of them make the decision for their kids' sake. Some regret it; some don't. But it's very hard on them because they're so harshly judged for something that fathers do all the time.

Hi crayon.  She just didn't want full custody.  And she did it for her own sake.  She apparently couldn't function as the person she wanted to be if she had to be a full-time mom at the same time.

Quote
And I agree with Katherine's comment that the selfishness can work both ways.  Selfish people who want children, for whatever reasons they may want them, rarely if ever let that stand in their way.  Why should it?  Or to put it another way, 'I'd love to have children but I'm so selfish I'm making an unselfish decision' wouldn't exactly make sense.

I've seen this quite a bit.  I work where I can read reports on families with children who have genetic problems.  These children suffer horribly, will probably die before they're adults and the doctors simply shake their heads - outside from where the parents can see them, of course - and wonder why these people continue to have children even though they know the risks to their offspring.  Because you see, if you cast any kind of aspersion on someone's desire to have children - no matter how misguided their reasons will be - you will likely get verbally stoned by society.

They love children!  It's an inalienable right!  How dare you criticize them for having children?!?!  And the kids suffer and suffer and suffer and I cannot imagine why these parents can't be locked up for child abuse.

People continue to have children even when they cannot feed their children because it's a mark of their manhood or womanhood.  And they'd rather sacrifice the children they have - their lives sometimes - than go against their status in their society.

I find myself thinking that whenever I see those "Save the Children" commercials.  You see this tiny child living in appalling conditions and I wonder why her mother and father even thought to bring a child into their world.

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2011, 11:27:06 pm »
As a female who has raised other people's children, I have had the responsibility of parenthood without the dubious 'benefit' of passing on my mutant diseased genes... I never wanted to have children, and have been treated as some sort of freak for not doing it, that is for sure, regardless of my step-parenthood and foster parenthood - those just don't 'count'.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2011, 11:52:45 pm »
I believe she means the work women do at home. Clean, wash etc


Yep.

But nobody gets  a paycheck for work-product that is consumerd only by themselves and their own families. If that were the case, men would be paid for fixing the roofs of their own homes, caulking their own windows, changing their own oil, etc.

Makes no sense.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #60 on: March 09, 2011, 01:24:13 am »

But nobody gets  a paycheck for work-product that is consumerd only by themselves and their own families. If that were the case, men would be paid for fixing the roofs of their own homes, caulking their own windows, changing their own oil, etc.

Makes no sense.

For better or worse, there have been economists including John Maynard Keynes, who in the past have argued that wives and mothers should be compensated financially for the work they do.  It's a lot of labor that goes unrecognized in economic terms... and that by and large benefits men... since in not paying their wives, they (the husbands) don't have to pay others to do the work that they require to carry out their own lifestyles.

Please note that I'm commenting on this as a lesbian who does not believe in marriage as an institution.  But, it's an interesting argument.



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Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #61 on: March 09, 2011, 05:34:18 am »

My Mom is not subtle about putting pressure on me about my choice not to have kids (at least so far) and I'm 35 and a lesbian... so the odds are very slim really.  

Mothers around the world eh!?

My Mum is itching to have new grandkids. Both my Mum and my sister are ALWAYS making comments about when I'll have kids.. and then my nieces have heard it so often that they ask when they'll have cousins too.. this ramped up further when we moved to a bigger house back in August with three spare bedorroms:

"Wow Kelda - this would be a perfect nursery" "That space beside the front door would sit a pram nicely" etc etc...

So, around that time I told them that every time they mentioned me having kids I would add 3 months to my internal timeframe for thinking about starting to have a family.. that seems to have been fairly successful in warding off the annoying comments, given within the first few weeks I think I had about 3 years added on!!

:laugh: :laugh:

I have to say My sister is the worst and my oldest niece. My Mum has been quite good since my little talk.

I would say that any woman who has thought about the situation and taken the decision not to have kids is not so much selfish as more more self aware. Which is why this case is interesting to me.. I'd be inclined to say the woman in the article is far less self aware.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 10:15:29 am by Kelda »
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #62 on: March 09, 2011, 05:36:31 am »
As someone who's childless by choice, I've concluded that some use 'I'm too selfish to be a good parent' because it ends the conversation right there.

Agreed. I've said that - or the classic line: "I have enough trouble looking after my cat never, mind a child!"
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #63 on: March 09, 2011, 09:44:16 am »
But nobody gets  a paycheck for work-product that is consumerd only by themselves and their own families. If that were the case, men would be paid for fixing the roofs of their own homes, caulking their own windows, changing their own oil, etc.

Makes no sense.

For better or worse, there have been economists including John Maynard Keynes, who in the past have argued that wives and mothers should be compensated financially for the work they do.  It's a lot of labor that goes unrecognized in economic terms... and that by and large benefits men... since in not paying their wives, they (the husbands) don't have to pay others to do the work that they require to carry out their own lifestyles.

Domestic work, especially caring for one's own children, carries benefits beyond one's own family that our culture exploits but does not compensate. For example:

-- Most good jobs require working at least 40 hours a week; some many more than that. In many jobs, the "ideal" employee is one who is available for work whenever necessary, can travel on short notice, etc. This is incompatible with raising children. If one spouse is caring for kids while the other is working a demanding job, then the working partner as well as his/her employers are benefiting from the caregiver's labor.

-- Our schools, among other institutions, rely on unpaid volunteer work performed during daytime hours, usually by people who are also proving unpaid caregiving at home. If those people weren't around, the schools would have to hire people to do those jobs and taxes would increase.

Well, you might argue, why not just not have kids? Then everybody could be available for their jobs 24/7 and there would be no need for schools at all. Of course that's a hypothetical extreme -- people will continue to have children no matter what (outside of some science-fiction scenario). But also, an aging population depends on the availability of younger people: to contribute to Social Security, to innovate, to operate the nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.


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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2011, 09:51:12 am »
Agreed. I've said that - or the classic line: "I have enough trouble looking after my cat never, mind a child!"

Yes; but the "I'm too selfish" schtick gives the listener a nice little glow of totally unearned superiority.

Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #65 on: March 09, 2011, 09:51:44 am »
Agreed. I've said that - or the classic line: "I have enough trouble looking after my cat never, mind a child!"

My line is: I can´t even keep a cactus alive.(which I really can´t)

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2011, 09:54:43 am »
My line is: I can´t even keep a cactus alive.

We've never been asked to babysit -- for which I'm sure are good and sufficient reasons -- but if we ever should be, we'd have to make a full disclosure; i.e., if the house catches fire, we rescue the dogs first.    :laugh:

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #67 on: March 09, 2011, 10:23:06 am »
I've seen this quite a bit.  I work where I can read reports on families with children who have genetic problems.  These children suffer horribly, will probably die before they're adults and the doctors simply shake their heads - outside from where the parents can see them, of course - and wonder why these people continue to have children even though they know the risks to their offspring.  Because you see, if you cast any kind of aspersion on someone's desire to have children - no matter how misguided their reasons will be - you will likely get verbally stoned by society.

That seems kind of extreme, though. I mean, if the doctors are shaking their heads to other people, then presumably those other people aren't stoning them. Maybe the doctors aren't shaking their heads where the parents can see them not out of fear of getting verbally stoned by the parents for having un-PC ideas about procreation, but out of a professional reluctance to blame the families for their patients' health problem. I'm not saying the parents made the right decision. I'm just saying that a doctor saying, essentially, "This is all your fault -- you should never have had kids in the first place" is probably not considered ideal bedside manner.

I don't know anything about these cases. But I would bet that the parents had hoped, however foolishly, to beat the genetic odds. And if they didn't, they're no doubt suffering considerably, too.

Quote
They love children!  It's an inalienable right!  How dare you criticize them for having children?!?!  And the kids suffer and suffer and suffer and I cannot imagine why these parents can't be locked up for child abuse.

People continue to have children even when they cannot feed their children because it's a mark of their manhood or womanhood.  And they'd rather sacrifice the children they have - their lives sometimes - than go against their status in their society.

I find myself thinking that whenever I see those "Save the Children" commercials.  You see this tiny child living in appalling conditions and I wonder why her mother and father even thought to bring a child into their world.

It's interesting to see the kinds of pressures felt by people who don't have children. I really don't think the pressures are that great in my community (and by community, I mean friends, family, coworkers, etc., as well as geographic neighbors). I know lots and lots of people who don't have kids, including straight, married couples (for whom it would have been relatively easy and "expected"), including several close friends, my thrice-married step-mother, and my three female cousins, now in their 50s, who grew up very traditionally on a farm in Iowa and have all been married, two of them for decades. I've never heard of anybody saying anything about these people's non-breeding (not that I'd know about all family conversations, of course).

I myself never felt any pressure, and I had my first child at almost 37. On the contrary, when I told my dad I was pregnant, his first question was, "Are you going to ... have it?" Which even I have to admit seems odd to ask, given that I was married, healthy and financially secure! Maybe he just didn't want me to make the same mistake he did. :laugh:



Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2011, 10:40:55 am »
The other thing about the "selfish" issue is, if a person who doesn't have any kids is selfish, then isn't a person who only has one or two kids at least somewhat selfish, compared to a person who has more than that? Is there some kind of moral obligation to have as many kids as you can, in order to give life to as many other people as possible?

Of course not. In fact, the opposite is far more arguably true now that planetary resources are strained.

Historically, people had kids for "selfish" reasons -- they needed workers around the house/farm/business, and needed someone to care for them in old age. Only in recent times have we shifted our views about parenting, and come to see it (culturally, I mean) as an act of love in which the effort is supposed to go almost entirely in one direction, from parent to kid. Kids should not be required to do more than a few basic chores, and parents should not be a "burden" to their children when they get old.


Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2011, 11:17:08 am »
Domestic work, especially caring for one's own children, carries benefits beyond one's own family that our culture exploits but does not compensate.

So what's next? Do we compensate children for playing nicely together because they grow up to be caring citizens? Since when "should" we pay people to do the right thing?

I understand the corporate, institutional, and social benefits that emerge when there is a population of families where one parent can stay home. At the same time, that parent sees benefits too.

- Employers are compensating stay-home parents. The worker gets paid enough to provide for his/her family, otherwise both parents would need to work. Additionally, most employers who offer health/dental/vision/life insurance have plans that offer family coverage. Beyond that, employers who offer retirement plans create the possibility--in the event of the death of the employee--for the stay-home partner to obtain funds that were generated by both the company and the employee.

- As far as volunteering goes, non-profits (correctly) tell us about the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteer. Volunteering offers (among other things) the opportunity to help one's community, positive human interaction, and networking possibilities. For example, I was looking for additional work back in 2003. David suggested that I volunteer for the Republican candidate because, as he put it, "Republicans either have companies that need employees, or know someone who does," He was right. After one week of volunteering on the phone bank making get-out-the-vote calls, the campaign manager offered me a paid part-time position working in one of the neighborhood offices. That in turn led to a full-time job offer with the marketing firm that was supporting the campaign. As I have heard a United Way leader say, "Volunteering is its own benefit."
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Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2011, 11:26:14 am »
So what's next? Do we compensate children for playing nicely together because they grow up to be caring citizens? Since when "should" we pay people to do the right thing?
The issue has been and still is that mostly women do this work which enables the man to work full time or more. The work they do work is necessary for every family to cope, but it is only the work that men do that is paid. That gives the woman an economical disadvantage.

Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #71 on: March 09, 2011, 11:49:35 am »
For better or worse, there have been economists including John Maynard Keynes, who in the past have argued that wives and mothers should be compensated financially for the work they do.  It's a lot of labor that goes unrecognized in economic terms... and that by and large benefits men... since in not paying their wives, they (the husbands) don't have to pay others to do the work that they require to carry out their own lifestyles.

Yeah. This has been floating around for a while. But as I said, things that men do around the house fall into the same category. Men do things that women would otherwise have to pay someone else to do.
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Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2011, 12:03:07 pm »
My Mom is not subtle about putting pressure on me about my choice not to have kids (at least so far) and I'm 35 and a lesbian... so the odds are very slim really.

My Mum is itching to have new grandkids. Both my Mum and my sister are ALWAYS making comments about when I'll have kids.. and then my nieces have heard it so often that they ask when they'll have cousins too.

And you don't have to be female to get that pressure!

 :laugh:

I have two younger brothers (no sisters) so Mom & Dad expected at least a few grandkids.

Chris (the youngest - 37) is single and liking it that way, no intent to marry any time soon.
Mike (the middle - 40) married a woman who has a daughter from a prior marriage (she's 20), and doens't anticipate any more.

They then started talking about "Chuckie will meet a partner and adopt" and to be honest, adopting a child was something I thought my future would hold.

However, after Brokeback, I look back on all the traveling I've done, and realize I really enjoy being able to pack a bag at a moment's notice and leave for somewhere, no worries of taking care of the needs of kids.

I've already broken this to my parents, and they told me they could see this was happening after I started my trips.

As for the general topic, I always wondered about divorces and that in most cases the women get custody of the kids.  I've often wondered if there were situations where the mother simply wanted to move on with her life, and couldn't because she had the children at that point, while her ex-husband went on to being "single", while she became a "single mother".



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Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2011, 12:37:15 pm »
And you don't have to be female to get that pressure!

You can say that again and mean it!!
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2011, 12:40:15 pm »
So what's next? Do we compensate children for playing nicely together because they grow up to be caring citizens?

That's not "next," it's been happening for generations. We pay taxes, whether we have kids or not, to support schools and community programs that teach children to "play nicely together," among other things, and help them grow up to be knowledgeable, caring citizens.

Quote
- Employers are compensating stay-home parents. The worker gets paid enough to provide for his/her family, otherwise both parents would need to work.

Workers with a stay-at-home partner caring for their kids, at least officially, are not supposed to get paid more than workers who don't have kids, or don't have a stay-at-home partner.

In reality, men with children actually DO, statistically, get paid more, controlling for other factors, than men without children -- perhaps because of unconscious assumptions that these men need the money because "they have families to support." Women with children, meanwhile, get paid less, statistically, than men or women without children -- perhaps because of unconscious assumptions that they'll prioritize the children over work. Either way, though, I don't think most people would consider this a fair arrangement.

Quote
Beyond that, employers who offer retirement plans create the possibility--in the event of the death of the employee--for the stay-home partner to obtain funds that were generated by both the company and the employee.

Some retirement plans end with the employee's death. For this and other reasons, older women in poverty far out number older men.

Quote
- As far as volunteering goes, non-profits (correctly) tell us about the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteer. Volunteering offers (among other things) the opportunity to help one's community, positive human interaction, and networking possibilities.

Paid work offers psychological and networking benefits, too. And yet we pay people to do it.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2011, 12:44:23 pm »
The issue has been and still is that mostly women do this work which enables the man to work full time or more. The work they do work is necessary for every family to cope, but it is only the work that men do that is paid. That gives the woman an economical disadvantage.

Yeah. This has been floating around for a while. But as I said, things that men do around the house fall into the same category. Men do things that women would otherwise have to pay someone else to do.

I'd like to request that we note that "the work women do" and "the work men do" does not always fall into gender-typical categories. Men often care for kids and clean the house. Many women change their own oil and shovel the driveway. Ideally, both male and female partners are at least capable of performing most household labor.


Offline louisev

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #76 on: March 09, 2011, 12:59:28 pm »
I'd like to request that we note that "the work women do" and "the work men do" does not always fall into gender-typical categories. Men often care for kids and clean the house. Many women change their own oil and shovel the driveway. Ideally, both male and female partners are at least capable of performing most household labor.



amen to that!  the term 'women's work' isn't an economic reality anymore, it's simply a sexist cliche reinforcing a stereotype.
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Offline Monika

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #77 on: March 09, 2011, 01:54:41 pm »
amen to that!  the term 'women's work' isn't an economic reality anymore, it's simply a sexist cliche reinforcing a stereotype.
Not so sure about that. Yesterday I read a new report on this - it showed that women in the world still do a very very high percentage of what traditionally is called "women´s work". Gonna se if I can find it again.

Offline milomorris

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #78 on: March 09, 2011, 02:06:01 pm »
That's not "next," it's been happening for generations. We pay taxes, whether we have kids or not, to support schools and community programs that teach children to "play nicely together," among other things, and help them grow up to be knowledgeable, caring citizens.

Supporting an infrastructure that provides children with an opportunity to grow up and become good citizens is not the same as paying the kids to do it. Those that we pay to provide that infrastructure have to meet certain standards. For example, most (if not all) states require public teachers to be certified. So if we want to pay stay-home parents to raise their children properly, they would have to meet some criteria defined by...the STATE. I don't think anyone wants to see that happen.

Workers with a stay-at-home partner caring for their kids, at least officially, are not supposed to get paid more than workers who don't have kids, or don't have a stay-at-home partner.

Even if there is no difference in compensation between the partnered and the un-partnered, some people are able to manage a family on a single income.

While you are right that there is no official difference in the compensation for employees based on the status of their families or partners, when it get's down to the nitty-gritty of negotiating packages, it certainly can come into play. For example, "I'd love to take this job, but I just can't pay for my ailing, elderly aunt's home nurse and my kids' college tuition with what you're offering."

Paid work offers psychological and networking benefits, too. And yet we pay people to do it.

It can be argued that the psychological and networking benefits are different when one is volunteering. Besides, for many people, the stresses created by work far outweigh the psychological benefits. Also, business networking events have been the butt of jokes for quite a while...and from my experience, deservedly so. In my experience, even "organic" networking in the professional world is much more restricted than it is in the non-profit arena. Businesspeople really aren't all that interested in networking with a peer unless there is business value (real or perceived) in doing so. Non-profit folks--especially volunteers--just like to share ideas, contacts, etc. whether it will make them a dollar or not.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #79 on: March 09, 2011, 02:13:57 pm »
Not so sure about that. Yesterday I read a new report on this - it showed that women in the world still do a very very high percentage of what traditionally is called "women´s work". Gonna se if I can find it again.

You needn't provide proof. Women unquestionably do a much higher percentage of domestic work. My only point was, let's not talk about it as though those divisions of labor are etched in stone, without exceptions. Statistics aren't useless, but they aren't everything.

The tipping point for me was when Milo said,

Men do things that women would otherwise have to pay someone else to do.

and I went, "Wait, what?" I do hire people, who so far happen to have been men, to do plumbing and carpentry and car-repair stuff that I can't do myself, because I am kind of lame at it. But for the record, my ex-husband can't do that stuff either. In fact, when we were still married I did most of the minor repairs, snow shoveling, etc., while he did the dishwashing and laundry. And I certainly know women who don't "have to pay someone else" because they DO know how to do that stuff themselves.

Meanwhile, I also hire people, in the form of cooks in takeout restaurants (gender unknown), to do work for me that is traditionally "women's work."


Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: Woman decides full-time mothering isn't for her
« Reply #80 on: March 09, 2011, 02:48:17 pm »
And you don't have to be female to get that pressure!

 :laugh:

I have two younger brothers (no sisters) so Mom & Dad expected at least a few grandkids.

Chris (the youngest - 37) is single and liking it that way, no intent to marry any time soon.
Mike (the middle - 40) married a woman who has a daughter from a prior marriage (she's 20), and doens't anticipate any more.

They then started talking about "Chuckie will meet a partner and adopt" and to be honest, adopting a child was something I thought my future would hold.

However, after Brokeback, I look back on all the traveling I've done, and realize I really enjoy being able to pack a bag at a moment's notice and leave for somewhere, no worries of taking care of the needs of kids.

I've already broken this to my parents, and they told me they could see this was happening after I started my trips.

As for the general topic, I always wondered about divorces and that in most cases the women get custody of the kids.  I've often wondered if there were situations where the mother simply wanted to move on with her life, and couldn't because she had the children at that point, while her ex-husband went on to being "single", while she became a "single mother".



Interesting!  Like K, I was under no real pressure to have kids.  In fact, the opposite was true, if anything was said at all.  I remember being out at a family dinner, celebrating something or other.  One of my aunt's daughters was there with her infant and she was having trouble feeding her and eating herself.  When my cousin excused herself from the table, my aunt looked at me and said, "let this be a lesson for you.  Look, she can't even enjoy a meal out."  I didn't say anything.  The only time someone told me that I would regret my decision not to have kids (my daughter was a surprise!) my mom told me I would be sorry one day.  This is the only pressure I ever got.  In fact, I was lauded that I wasn't in the hospital, huffing and puffing....yeah, someone actually told me this.   :laugh: