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Thanks and Thoughts February 17, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.
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Thanks so much to everybody who commented on yesterday’s post. It helps to know you’re not alone, that other mothers are struggling just like you are. And letting their kids watch TV. Several of you mentioned Sesame Street, which I am all for, except it’s an hour long and neither of my boys could ever sit still that long. But it would be cool if Kaitlyn started speaking Spanish (what’s Spanish for “feed me now and make it snappy”?) so maybe in a few years. Also, guess what’s out on DVD? The Electric Company! I looooooved that show when I was a kid! I remember in second grade, which was 197_ (never mind), our class would get to watch it at recess on rainy days. I still remember the song that taught the pronounciation of T-I-O-N: “T-I-O-N Shun shun shun shun!”

++++++++++++++++++++

And now, a thought I had that doesn’t really have anything to do with TV, but is more my take on a post I read about stay-at-home-moms.

Some people might be “jealous” of stay-at-home-moms, but I think the real heroes are moms who work full time. In fact, I think most of my readers are working moms, who actually work TWO full time jobs, one at an office and another when they get home. ‘Cause let’s face it, no matter how great your husband is, you don’t just shut off when you get home, right? You still have to help with dinner, dishes, homework, baths, pajamas, stories, tucking into bed. Except you do it after a full day at the office, possibly even with mean bosses that suck. I’m so lucky that my “boss” is a 3 month old who never corrects my spelling or lets other people take credit for my work.

Except that even the meanest bosses and coworkers don’t snuggle up to you and then spit up old, chunky formula on your shoulder. Hopefully.

Edited to add: I realize as I re-read this that the sentence “most of my readers are working moms” is an exaggeration, and in no way is intended to hurt the feelings of any of my readers who aren’t working, or aren’t moms. This blog is for everyone! Sorry for sticking my foot in my mouth there.

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Comments»

1. Nancy - February 17, 2006

I can’t WAIT to get the Electric Company. J doesn’t remember it, but trying to explain is futile — now he’ll be able to see it!

I think it’s nice that many (sadly, not all) stay-at-home-moms and working moms understand and appreciate the challenges faced by the other group. I am extremely admiring of moms that can stay home and be *the* caregiver for one, two, or more kids all day, every day, without much of a break. Yeah, the workplace stuff is frustrating, but to me raising children is The Most Important Job, and the annoyances are just noise. Well, except for Frederique….

You are MY hero. šŸ˜‰

2. Elizabeth - February 17, 2006

Aww, shucks! Thanks Nancy šŸ˜‰

3. Fraulein N - February 17, 2006

I’m not a mom (or working half the time, heh) but I enjoy your stories about child-rearing.

4. Dawn - February 17, 2006

I looved the Electric Company. With Morgan Freeman in his bad ass ‘fro and denim suit?

Perfection!

5. Mrs. Harridan - February 17, 2006

Hey! You got your book cover to display!

Nice work. šŸ™‚

6. Nixie Knox - February 17, 2006

The Electric Company on DVD? I am SO getting that! Women everywhere, moms or not, in the outside world or at home, work their asses off – the weight of the world is on us, man. I just don’t get all the animosity – can’t we all just get along and unite as sisters?

7. Tigerlily - February 17, 2006

I second Fraulein N. I am not a Mom but I love to read your stories!

8. Mightymouse Mommy - February 18, 2006

Having done both, be an at home mom and a working mom, I can say hands down being a SAHM is actually harder. It’s harder on a few levels. The first being that most people don’t consider it “a real job.” But here are some other things to consider about SAHMs

1.) We don’t get sick days or paid vacation days. If we’re sick, tough. We still have to get up at the crack of dawn to feed the baby, get the children off to school, etc.

2.) “Working” mothers don’t have to worry that they could possibly be completely screwing up their “boss” by letting them watch Miffy and Friends.

3.) SAHM’s never get a promotion or a raise, they don’t even get an office Christmas party.

4.) When you “retire” from being a SAHM, you get empty nest syndrome, not a nice watch and a pension.

5.) There’s no benefits package, no 401K. And unfortunately nothing to put on a resume. If, God forbid, your husband leaves you, then you’re stuck working 2 jobs for minimum wage to make ends meet.

6.) You don’t have a boss that comes and stands next to you saying “Mom? Mom? Mom?? Moooom? Mom? Moooom? Hey Mom!” while you’re (insert on the phone, making dinner, having a conversation with your S.O., GOING TO THE BATHROOM) when you work in an office.

7.) You don’t ever have to clean up your boss’s vomit or wipe his/her ass when you work in an office. Or if you do you need a different job.

8.) Your job doesn’t end at 5 either. You, also, have dinner to make, dishes to do, homework, baths, pj’s, etc. And more often than not a SAHM is left to do these things alone because she “doesn’t have a job.”

I could go on, but I think by now I’ve made my point. I actually think being a SAHM is harder than a “working mom” – even that phrase should exemplify the sentiment that the public at large STILL has for SAHMS. At home I’m chasing my 14 month old all day until my older one gets home and then I’m arguing with him until my husband gets home (gotta love teenagers.) Wiping up vomit, snot, and poo. The most intellectual conversation I have is “Can you say KI TEE? Aww, you love the ki tee don’t you? Say Ki tee, Peanut, Ki teeee.” The older one has come to regard me much in the same way you regard a comfy foot stool.

That being said, there are also some MAJOR rewards to being a SAHM. Knowing that you know your child better than anyone else on the whole planet, knowing that what your child learns is something you’re responsible for and knowing what influences your child. And the best one – a “boss’s” smile will NEVER, EVER feel half as good as your child’s.

9. Belinda - February 19, 2006

I *AM* jealous of full-time SAHMs. I totally admit it. And not for a minute because I think it would be “easier” than going to work, but because I could at least be alleviated of maybe SOME guilt? Then again, I’d probably feel guilty that I was lowering our standard of living by not bringing in a salary…or that pesky health insurance. Dang.

But I am SO getting The Electric Company! I was reading the newspaper at age 4, and my mother swears it has to have been good ol’ TEC that taught me.

10. mama_tulip - February 19, 2006

You know what “The Electric Company” reminds me of? The Edison Twins. I loved that show!

11. mama_tulip - February 19, 2006

Oh, and totally off-topic, but you’re reading three books at once? I have always been impressed with people who can read multiple books at the same time. I am not one of those people; I can barely concentrate on one as it is.

You go with your books and your cool sidebar. šŸ™‚

12. Beth - February 19, 2006

I can’t even begin to tell you how psyched I am to hear about The Electric Company!!!

Ugh. It’s funny. I’m starting to think that the guilt isn’t SAHM or working-mom based, but mommy based. WTF, seriously. Aren’t we all just trying to do the best job we can? Yeah, sometimes I sit my kids in front of the TV. I scream at them. I have on occasion given them donuts and soda just so they would shut up. But they’re happy and healthy and I am so sick of feeling bad about my parenting.

Why do we beat ourselves up over this? Because I do, too.

13. Mightymouse Mommy - February 20, 2006

I’m actually reading a book that talks about just that, Beth. We know what’s best for our kids and always beating ourselves up because we’re not up to the “politically correct” standards ends up just hurting our kids in the end – as does being a push over. The book makes a ton of sense to me so far.

Kath – I actually almost always am reading 3 – 4 books at a time, usually of different genres because sometimes I want a some fiction/mystery/horror, I’m a huge non-fiction freak, and I usually am reading at least 1 self improvement book by which I mean a book where I learn something that makes me healthier, learn to do something that I hadn’t known how to do before, etc. That way I can read what I’m in the mood for at any given time. The problem with that is that it takes me 3 times longer to read any one book than if I just concentrated on one at a time lol.

Oh and sis, before I forget, don’t lend that copy of Forever Odd out, it was my Christmas present from Lou and I worry it’d hurt his feelings if I ended up not knowing where it was at least. šŸ™‚

14. stan & rose - February 20, 2006

Hello there din (daughter-in-law)
could you send along youse-guys current email addresses? Do yu have new phone #’s?
swgephart@aep.com

15. Beth - February 20, 2006

ooh – look! scientific justification that TV is not bad for kids!!

http://www.slate.com/id/2136372/nav/tap1/?GT1=7838

mightymousemommy – could you email me the title of the book? i’d love to read it!!

16. Mother GooseMouse - February 21, 2006

Dude! The Electric Company? On DVD? Time to get out my wish list again!

Thanks for the working mom compliments. As I said in my own post, I think it is very much a personal choice and I don’t have the right to judge what other people deem best for their families. I’m a very fortunate working mom whose husband is extremely engaged with our girls – not just playing, but caring for them in every way that a mother would (and a father should) – in addition to working and taking care of the house. I know that’s not always the case, and it certainly does make it harder when fathers rely on mothers to shoulder much of the household burden, including child care.


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