Wednesday, November 16, 2005

To work or not to work...

A bitch would like to comment on a story that ran on the Today Show a few days ago.

Someone did another study on mothers staying at home for the chil’ren and how many women are choosing to do so.

Fine.

The Today Show ran a segment that mentioned the economic reasons mothers stay home, the emotional decision to go back to work post childbirth and the benefits of staying at home.

Okay.

Now a bitch has a few things to say about this topic. No, my ass doesn’t have chil’ren and no my ass isn’t faced with this issue personally. However, a bitch is fucking tired of this shit!

Every six months or so one of these studies comes out and all the mothers my ass knows freak out or get smug. Some of the studies say staying at home is better for the chil’ren and some say that a child can benefit from daycare. All of them freak parents the fuck out.

A bitch believes strongly that each situation has to be dealt with individually.

For example, my mother stayed at home when we were chil’ren. My brother is the oldest and it was impossible for her to work and take care of a hyperactive autistic child. She volunteered at area organizations and even worked part time, but she didn’t return to the full time scene while we were at home.

Some may say that was a blessing. This bitch has to keep it real…my mother is insane and having her at home being insane wasn’t any fucking blessing!

Now, my ass has friends who had working mothers and they had a great childhood. Some of my friends had stay at home mothers and they had pretty good childhoods too. But it’s a case-by-case deal and there are no guarantees.

All you have to do is look at the typical overscheduled stressed out middle class suburban kid. Jesus, those chil’ren are begging for their mothers to go back to work!

And what ever happened to fathers staying at home? Shit, my ass only knows one and he lives in Sweden!

Oh and the guilt! It’s awful to observe. Several of my friends are working mothers who have literally cried over the decision to put their child in daycare!

For the record, the option of staying at home is fucking new. My ancestors used to crank out a baby and return to the fields the next day…or so my ass has been told. In the history of our country, women have always worked. We have not been paid an equal wage, but we've fucking worked since day one. Staying at home is a job...trust. Women work. The issue here is whether to work outside of the home or not. The notion that entire generations were raised in neglectful homes because of it is bullshit.

Either way, kids did okay or they didn't because of a whole lot of factors.

As the child of a stay at home mother, my ass often wished my mother had returned to work. She was alone and troubled. She poured herself into our lives because we were her everything. And when we matured she resisted that…it was like emotional downsizing. Not all stay at home mothers behave that way. Like my ass said…this is an individual decision.

Families thrive when the individuals that make them up are fulfilled. Chil’ren benefit when their parents are active, engaged and happy. Trust my ass on this shit. So, if working makes you happy and you are able to swing some decent daycare then go with Gawd and fucking work. And if you are more fulfilled at home…stay at home!

This isn’t and should be made into a judgment thing. This bitch sees fucked up kids from both sides of the argument.

Shit…

14 comments:

AOB said...

super fucking post....

Josie Z said...

AMEN, sister. It's a choice you make and live with. So live it to the fullest and quit worrying about the choice you've already made!

Chris said...

Non-Judgement Day- that's what I'm waiting for...

PissedOffPencil said...

And, being the father you refer to, I can only say that this was an excellent post.

For some reason, (inhereted guilt?) mothers always seem to worry what others might say about their motherhood skills, wether they work or not.

Fuck it! Every family must do what feels best for them. There are children who lived with their stay-at-home-mother and got fucked up... There are children who spent most of their time at day care centers and got fucked up.

And of course, the other way around too.

I've seen children who have grown up with abusive parents and they still turned out okay. I've seen children who got everything a human ever could wish for and still ended up in jail.

Parents who feel good inside stand a better chance of raising okay kids. Where the kids spend most of their day doesn't really matter.

Maidink said...

I work; therefore, I have a child in daycare. Thank the Lord Geo and I make enough cash to put Dink in one of the areas better private daycares. I know that is not an option for everyone so I feel blessed and lucky.

I know of some moms that stay home because working would have been pointless (paycheck not equaling daycare cost). I feel for those moms because they want to work outside the home but the US economy is stacked against them.

Then there are the moms who are such loudmouth pains in the backsides with their "I'm a stay at home mommy because I believe in God, family values, Rick Santorum, and Scooter". It's THOSE friggin stay at homers that annoy the bejesus out of me. Nothing says those kids will be well adjusted and wholesome.

Case in point - the 18 year old guy who shot and killed his 14 year old girlfriend's parents. He shot daddy in the back of the head (how cowardly) and mommy in the front point blank. Both of those kids were home-schooled with stay at home moms. Now he's looking at the needle of death and she ... well, no one knows what's gonna happen to her. Point was they were products of a "Christian" family-valued out the butt, Bush supporting family. And they will never feel freedom again.

Like you said Shark, it's case by case.

cats said...

i've done both and i have both kinds of feelings. fact is i tried to do what was best for me and the kids. it was good for me to be home when i was able and good for me to go back to work when i was ready.

and now... my wonderful hubby works part-time so that he can be home for the kids, clean the house, and shop for food. and he is wonderful at it. i actually dread the day he gets a full-time job and i have to help with a bigger share of the dishes.

so... now you know two stay-at-home daddys.

Qivan said...

Bitch is a wise, and sensible woman. I dine out every year for life, but lately the Aids people in Vancouver are pissing me off with the way funds are be allocated. I'm a stay at home Mom, when it's the kids turn to stay with us, and yes the call me MOM, whenever I get too bossy with them.

Sabre said...

I did the stay at home thing, and it was a hard choice. There were a million factors, and everything was very carefully weighed out, but in the end it came down to me believing that what I was doing was best for my kids.

I think what pisses me off is that most people think that the choice they make is the choice everyone should make. The choice I made can't be for everyone else, it was mine and mine alone.

Like Maidink, I get annoyed with the self righteous bitches who claim they are staying home for God and country blah blah. But on the other side of the coin are the women who look down on the stay-at-homers as if we had nothing of value to offer society.

The point is, it's a very personal choice. If you can afford to stay at home, or like me, learn to live without a lot of things, awesome. If you choose to work outside of the home, awesome. Whatever you do, do it for yourself and for your children, not because society said so. Because, see, society also said to buy a house you can't afford, drive an SVU that is too big to park, pay a plastic surgeon for designer genitalia, learn to pole dance for "personal power", diet till you are rail thin, take 637 pills a day, and hate everyone who isn't just like you.

thatfarmgirl said...

I hear ya' on the insane mother who should have gone to work instead of staying home and raising one neurotic son, one helpless daughter and one she-ain't-perfect-but-she'll-do daughter. But I digress.

Susan D. said...

Found your blog thru the Salon shout-out & have to say I really love your stuff. This post is right on the money, and very insightful! My husband stays at home with our daughter. Heck, he never liked working that much anyway, but I love my career and my job, so that worked out well anyway. Why don't more daddies stay home? Why is this such an uncommon concept? But seriously, I make a professional salary, and even so, we can hardly afford for him to stay home. How in heck's name do families manage when neither parent makes enough scratch to outweigh the cost of a week in daycare? And that's in 2-parent families - consider the "choices" available to a single mom! (I will now resist the urge to treat your topic as a lead-in to a rant on the economic inequities of life in America, much as I'd love to...)

bev said...

You know which kids are happiest? Kids with (relatively sane*) parents who love them and who are involved in the kid's lives. That has nothing to do with working, not working, wealth, poverty, whatever.

I feel similarly about schools. A kid with an involved parent can succeed in almost any school - public or private. (Disclaimer, I send my kids to somewhat urban public schools, so the above might be pre-middle school parental denial.)

*My momma was of the INsane stay at home or work part time variety who thought I was kind of a burden to her because she'd have to get out of the house a couple of days a week to do things I wanted to do. So that didn't really work for me.

Mr. Brian said...

My grandmother had 14 children, 1 of which was stillborn and 1 of which died as a toddler to some disease. Her first husband was killed in an accident at his job, the second husband died shortly after the last baby was born (some consider this a blessing). She bought 65+ acres on a survivor check from her first husband, she never turned away a stranger, and always made sure there was food over her children's head. She lived a hard life, leaving this earth at the ripe old age of 62 in 1960.

I sit in awe and listen to the tales my parents tell about their childhoods and how hard it was.

We as a collective society are a "give me" generation.

I'm with you on this one. All these "studies" and "debates" are mundane at best.

And being a stay-at-home parent is not the easiest job in the world, either.

Great post.

Sedie said...

Excellent post, as usual.

I want to stay at home because I believe it would be best for me and my baby. I Will be working!

Won't it be nice when people realize they can live for themselves without threat of judgement for the choices they've made that were right for them? My brother was a stay at home dad for several years after he got laid off from work (in Missouri) during the internet bubble burst. His wife worked and they did great! I admire him for not worrying about what anyone thought or said and doing what was best for his family.

May we all have the strength to make the right choices for ourselves and our chil'ren!

EverydaySuperGoddess said...

Well said, ABB. Thank you.