Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ruffled feathers

The wonderful Sage has once again written something that's ruffled my feathers. He and I disagree on as many things as we agree upon and we're always able to have a healthy debate and remain blog friends. And that's what it's all about folks.

Before I start with the bulk of the post I want to say that I appreciate all Moms/Dads be them stay at home or working. Now on with the post.

I was over at the lovely Another Suburban Mom's blog (ASM from here on out) reading this post. It's her response to an answer Sage gave to a question asked by a reader over at the Hot Dads blog.

The reader asked the Hot Dads the following question:
"I often hear men say (or write in their dating profiles) that they want an independent career-oriented woman. I’m one of those women in some ways, but I’m also a mom, naturally nurturing AND I kinda like taking care of a man and being domestic on some level too. Do you think most men really value the warmth that women can bring to a home/relationship? Or have we socially arrived at a place where we need to be partners – equals – on the career front in order to be equal on the homefront?"

Sage responded with:
"I think that roles should be defined in full up front. Not that you shouldn't help each other but someone is responsible for somethings and the partner responsible for others. There is no possible way I could raise my kids as good as the bride can. So we let her do most of that! If the roles are pre defined then everything seems much easier and in my observations works out better. The folks who just go willy nilly and do the 50/50 thing never seem to work.
It also seems to me that some groups chose to downplay the role of the mother. The movements here in the US seem to pressure women to be the soccer mom and the career mom. These things are driven by other women. Odd really. My thoughts are that the number 1 and absolutely most important job is parenting. I don't care what anyone says one parent available for the children 24/7 turns out better kids. Most people choose luxury of dual paychecks over better raised children. So I come down on the side of the kids first. There is no intelligent person that will say that having 2 cars and a pool and nice house is better than being there for your kids. We will never make that decision. We don't have toys but our kids know where our priorities are."

There are so many issues I have with this comment and I don't know where to start. I guess the first thing is the blanket statement, "..having one parent available for the children 24/7 turns out better kids." I disagree with this for so many reasons. As I commented on ASM's blog, it takes a certain kind of woman to be a good stay at home mom. Not all women are cut out for that. Does that mean these women who aren't cut out to be SAHMs shouldn't have children? Absolutely not. Some women need to have an identity other than "mom". They need to have interaction with other grown ups (not just other moms) throughout the day. Even the happiest SAHM will tell you that.

Besides that, I've read several studies that show conflicting results (happier kids at day cares/happier kids at home). That leads me to believe that it really just depends on the kid and the parents. (again with my theory that all women are not cut out to be stay at home moms)

One person commented on ASM's post, "The fact is happy parents make happy kids." This is so true.

I've spent almost half of Ethan's life being a single mom. I'm glad that I've never taken a long period of time off of work to be a SAHM because once shit went sour between my ex-husband and I, I didn't have to start all over with my pay scale and seniority.

Another thing about Sage's comment that bothers me is to suggest that a working mother places work as a higher priority than being a mom. That's absolute bullshit. My son is and always will be my #1 priority in life. Just as I commented on ASM's post; Who leaves work when the school calls? Mom. Who takes the day off when you wake up with a sick kid? Mom. I've gone on every single field trip Ethan's had. I've chaperoned every single thing that I could when the school's asked for chaperones.

My son knows he can depend on me to be there for him any time he needs me. Period. I don't need to be a SAHM for him to know that. I don't need to be a SAHM for my son to be my #1 priority. Shit, I went to college to get a degree so I could earn a good living so I could financially support him by myself. Sure there have been tight times, but he's always had a roof over his head, clothes on his back, food in his mouth and my unconditional love. The necessities.

The next issue I have with Sage's comment is this part, "Most people choose luxury of dual paychecks over better raised children." When the hell did dual paychecks automatically become a luxury? When I was married dual paychecks were a necessity. I know this for a fact because when my ex-husband lost his job, we had to lose our (small) house (without a pool) because we couldn't afford to live in it on my income alone. Before losing the house we had our electricity and water both turned off several time, but I guess they're luxuries too? Sure there are some families who live with dual paychecks being a luxury. But making the blanket statement that people who have the "luxury" of having dual paychecks are all living in nice houses with pools, well that's just down right ignorant.

This post is really all over the place and I apologize for that. I've never claimed to be a good writer. And let's face it, you guys probably come here just to laugh at my grammatical errors anyhow. So, if you want to read a well written post that includes the additional things I want to say, go to ASM's post I linked above. She's said everything I'm thinking, only better.

But I do have one question for you, Sage. If the wife stayed home to take care of the kids while the husband worked and they couldn't afford it so they got government assistance, would that be ok in your book? I know how you are about paying for other people's living.

In other news, in just a few short hours we're going on VACATION!! WOO HOO!! It's a nice mini beach trip, just the two of us. Oh, but I guess that makes me a horrible parent for going on vacation without my son, doesn't it? Either way, it's a well needed vacation for both myself and Joe. And I can't fucking wait!

I hope everyone's having a nice week.

Deep Throat of the Day: Me Sage. You wife. You cook. *grunt* You clean. You breed. *grunt grunt* You take care of babies. Sage work. *grunt* Watch out, Sage. Next thing you know, they'll be calling you up to be in the Geico commercials. HAHAHAHAHA I crack myself the fuck up sometimes!


The Lily said...

Just a few small points: [FWIW Imma single, childless (yes i have no real dog in this fight) woman], 1. I think it's a little judgemental of Sage to say "luxury" of dual paychecks. Unfortunately, dual incomes are *sometimes* what it takes to get by in the world.

2. I think I would agree better with what he is saying if he said at least one parent 24/7. As with paychecks sometimes

3. On division of labor? I can't fault him there. 50/50 is vague at best. but neither does it have to be divided by sex. SHE can mow the lawn; HE can do the dishes (or whatever, I'm a self-professed laundry whore, but I don't do Ironing).

Just my tree-fitty.

Hubman said...

Very well said, April!

[and no, I didn't take your comment on my wife's post personally! LOL...]

Jim McKee said...

I do not necessarily agree w/ everything you said (most of it, I do), but for most people I know, having a SAHM (or SAHD) is not an option financially.

Besides, once all the children are in all-day school, what's the point of a SAHM anyway?

(BTW, an aside... back when I was married, I spent a couple of months as a SAHD when I got laid off... and that house was ROCKING! I took way better care of it than my then-wife. Hell, I made chicken & dumplings from scratch. BOO-YAH!!)

Maine said...

There's a lot of value in having kids go to daycare too. Maybe they "learn" slower, but they get socialized earlier and develop coping skills.

There is no possible way I could raise my kids as good as the bride can.

Yes, you can. It just takes patience.

Randi said...

I don't know... I think if you have the LUXURY of being a SAHM and WANT to do so, then great. But I think it's good for kids to see both their folks going to work. It's a reality that the majority of folks NEED a dual income just to get by and chances are those kids will be in the same position as their folks one day.

April said...

Lilly: I interpreted his 50/50 comment to mean that he didn't think that worked. He has written on another blog that he and his wife have a contract. She is to do all of the cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the kids. He works and brings home the money. That works for him and that's great. But that's not for everyone. And for him to suggest that because people do it the other way, having both parents working, it won't work...well I just think that's very closed minded.

Hubman: I'm glad you didn't and I didn't think you would. You're just the shit like that.

Jim: You go with your bad self making chicken and dumplings from scratch!! I'm not knocking anyone for being a stay at home parent. If you can do it, GREAT! I certainly applaud you. As for what you don't agree with, I'm not sure if this is the part or not, but when I read the post over again, the part I'd change is where I said "Mom" goes to pick up the child when school calls or Mom stays home when the child is sick. I more so should've said ME because I was thinking more of myself than other moms. Basically I was trying to make the point that I do make my son my main priority even though I'm a working mother.

Maine: I was going to tackle that same statement, but I couldn't think of a nice way to say what I was thinking, so I left it alone. But you're 100% correct, in my opinion.

Randi: I agree with you completely. I bet most SAHM's would agree that they're fortunate to be in the situation where they're able to stay home and live on one income. Unfortunately, that's not the norm. And another thing that pissed me off and I didn't mention was the suggestion that if people are bringing in dual paychecks to have luxury things, they're not there for their kids. What kind of shit is that???

Kira said...

I was a SAHM for five years with a jackass husband. Then I left and became a single working mom for many years...and now I'm a working mom with a working dad who is also a fabulous husband/father figure. And let me tell you, the kids are doing better NOW than ever they did when I was a SAHM with a jackass. I just don't think blanket statements can work in any situation. Kids are different. Parents are different. Monetary income is different. And even the culture can be different, all things considered. Regardless of whether or not both parents work, however, the kids seem to do well as long as they feel unconditional love from their folks.

Oh, and now it looks like I'm going to have the LUXURY this coming year to go part-time while Alex remains full-time so I can spend more time with my kids. THAT is the real freakin' luxury! Time! It'd be cool if I could be a SAHM again, but heck--that is not a LUXURY we can afford. Not that I'm complaining. Life is pretty damn good for all of us right now :D

Anonymous said...

hi... just dropping by!

Anonymous said...

Well I think I was uch misinterpreted. I of course will respond to your post as well as ASM's and the comments on the HD post.

It does tickle to me no end tho I didn't even post my stance and would have never thought anyone would disagree?!?!?!?!