AddThis script

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I didn't see that

Many of the topics I write about are inspired by comments that I received on previous posts. This is a round up of some of the insightful and thought-provoking comments posted here recently.


Kateri on getting pregnant with No. 2, after not wanting to get pregnant: "I went through a period, right after Naomi started to sleep well, of *not* wanting to get pregnant again for a *long time*. But here I am, barely pregnant, and looking forward very much to another baby. Who knew?"

Angry Pregnant Lawyer on the pressure to get pregnant: "Friends of ours who already have one had recently confided that they had just stopped trying to have no. 2. They said trying to get pregnant again was really stressing them out, and they realized that they were really only trying because they felt pressure from everyone else (friends, family, physicians) to have a second. They came to the conclusion that they liked being a family of two parents, one kid, and they are much less stressed right now. Which is not to say they won't change their minds later on and decide to try again, but I think they'll only do so when they know they really want to have another."


Manababies on going back to work, NOT: "When I was still a mom-of-one, I often went back and forth... should I go back to work? If so, when? My husband used to ask me that question constantly. After my son came along he stopped asking because it really is too much to think about, especially with all the little things we Mommies have going on in our heads. And the only time I can stop and think is when the kids are in bed. At that point I can't even begin to raise that 'going back to work' issue. Ugh, such a tough thing!"

Kristen on the balance between working and being at home: "Three days a week, I'm at the office being a WOHM. Four days a week, I'm home playing with the children being a SAHM...I kinda like being in the middle...But one day a few weeks ago, I had these two things said to me on the very same day:

1) I don't know how you can let other people raise your kids.
2) How could you waste your career potential by staying at your part time job so long? Don't you want promotions and advancement?

So, you really can't win!"

The BIG debate

Rosemary on at-home mome versus working moms: "Neither working nor staying home are easy -- they both have their advantages and disadvantages, and everyone has to make the decision that works best or is most financially feasible for them...Why can't women acknowledge that what works for one may not work for another? If you work, terrific. If you stay home, well, thats terrific too...Staying home with kids just is not easy nor particularly comfortable, particularly for someone used to the working world. And working when you have very young children isn't easy either -- juggling day care, illness, jobs, stress -- ugh. It can be a nightmare. But both sides also have their rewards. And whether one stays home or goes to work is a personal decision that the rest of us shouldn't be so quick to judge. What happened to women supporting one another? Is that just a myth? Whatever I choose to do, it will be the decision that I feel is best for me, and for my family. I would hope that other women would understand that, and not jump so quickly to judge."

Anonymous wrote that we should celebrate and not debate: "In the DC area, there is a "DC Urban Moms" list. There was a "mommy war" debate about a month or so ago. It became very ugly and personal. I think each side is very defensive and insecure about their choices that they feel the need to validate their choices by criticizing the other side. We should "celebrate" the fact that we have a choice...We should focus our attention to the bigger issues like having a national maternity leave program and quality childcare."


Anonymous wrote that a two-year gap too small: "I truly don't understand the rush to have another child... Unless someone is pushing the fertility clock...I think the 2 year spacing that is sooo ingrained in our culture is too close in age. Esp. now that research shows how important the first three years are."

The simple life

Bethany on life before kids: "Hang in there sister... hang in there. Every mom (admit it girls!) has the same feelings of wanting the *simplier life* back...Just remember one thing--those *simplier* times are glorified as all happy and stress free (remember college? I thought it was tough... ROTFL, boy, did *I* have it wrong). We have selectively forgotten the stress and trauma."

Can't do it all

Chip on fostering independence: "I've never understood the parenting philosophy that kids need 100% undivided attention 24-7, it doesn't seem healthy for parents or kids (and sets us up for feelings of failure because it's also not possible!)...That said, I do think there's value in just being in the same room or nearby as the kids develop their self-play capacities, while we're doing other things, and not concentrating our attention on the kids but just puttering around, washing dishes, opening mail, whatever."

1 comment:

  1. I think my biggest problem is that I worry too much about what family thinks, my husband's family in particular. They are very BIG supporters of stay at home moms, and I shudder to think what they would have said if I had gone back to work. AND, might I add, they really, truly believe that childcare is the woman's job. They were all in shock to see my husband taking on some of my duties, like changing diapers and washing dishes.

    Now that we're househunting and looking for a neighborhood to settle in for the long haul, I can totally understand why women would go back to work even if they don't necessarily have to financially. Other than the mental stimulation which can fade away if you get really wrapped up in mothering, there's that drive to provide the very best for your children - best schools, best neighborhoods, etc. It frustrates me to no end that we have financial limitations due to my staying at home. While it's true that being at home is a great thing for the kids, and I feel so fortunate to be able to witness every little milestone and tooth sprouting, I wish I could still make that financial contribution. My husband's family doesn't understand that we live in a completely different time. While they may see it as greed and our desire to surround ourselves with material things, they don't quite understand that it's not about that at all. Ballet lessons, piano lessons, extra-curricular/after school activities cost quite a bit of money, not to mention college - eek, that's a whole other realm that I'm afraid to think about. Not that I am one of those moms who is obsessed with getting her kids involved in everything. But I'd hate to think they can't because of financial reasons.

    So yes indeed, it's such a tough subject. There doesn't really seem to be an ideal situation. I know I can be happy in the "here and now" but I'm always wondering and striving for what's better. Isn't that why some of us went to college and pursued our careers? That drive probably never goes away, and in my situation it makes me antsy.