Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

You can choose to be anything...

Except a stay-at-home mom!

Okay, I'll admit something. Housework is tedious. Dishes, laundry, vacuum, sweep, repeat. I've heard it called "cyclical," and that's all well and good, but in the short term it's repetitive. None of it is intrinsically rewarding unless you're obsessive-compulsive. I don't get that much pleasure out of a load of sparkling dishes or clean rug. What *I* like is my children having something clean to play on or eat from. So yeah, that much of being a stay-at-home mom is not fully using my capacity. It is mind-numbing drudgery.
But aren't all jobs rife with it? My husband works in an office. Do you think he likes filling out all the paperwork? Rachel's godfather works for one of the Big 3. More than once I've talked with his wife, her godmother, and Daddy is returning from out-of-state, multi-day travel. For whom is that fun? Or is the fun in waiting to see where the ax falls this quarter?

I don't understand the rest of her diatribe, though. What kind of careers are these women walking away from? Are they all six-figure cancer-curing doctors? How many are CEO's at corporations, making life-altering decisions on a global scale? Do I fall into her category, with my international bachelor's degree and start on a master's?
Reality check for Ms. Hirshman: I taught French and Spanish to young adolescents in a suburb in flyover country. Why is taking care of someone else's children an approved choice while taking care of my own is a betrayal?

I also plan and prepare roughly 2/3 of the meals at our house (Daddy gets breakfast most days). Now, if that's not moral, is managing a restaurant? Why would planning and preparing meals for strangers be a good decision but doing it for my nearest and dearest is bad?

Okay, if all children were perpetually two (instead of just some, and I'm not referring to Down's syndrome), I can see where one would get brain-rot. If they never advanced beyond "MINE!", "GIMME!", and "MORE!" they would try the patience of the pope. But they don't. They grow and change and learn things. It's exciting to watch.

I'll admit another thing, since I'm truth-telling. One of the reasons we're homeschooling is to fend off brain rot in me. I get all of the joys of teaching without the negatives. I get to plan what we cover next, figure out how best to present the material, check for understanding, see the light click on over her head. I have to know where we're going next, be prepared to advance, develop new ways to show...
I don't have to deal with 150 report cards or progress reports every 5 weeks. I don't see weekly athletic eligibility rosters. Parent-teacher conferences are over in a snap. I never have to adjust my schedule for fire drills, lockdowns, or assemblies. Forget reading 50 error-riddled, two-paragraph essays on an 8th grader's ideal house or family. Or spending hours checking tests when I'd rather be doing anything (including washing dishes).

Then again, maybe I've been brainwashed into thinking how my children are raised matters.

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At 12:04 PM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

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At 12:06 PM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

Her point seems to be; if a woman is intelligent and able to work she has a moral obligation to work so that all will see that women are dependable, thus bolstering women into the all coveted equality they deserve.

She is essentially arguing for equal pay for women by telling all women that they have to work for a paycheck and very hard at that.
If you don't like working and love staying home or feel a deep burning, for whatever reason, to stay home you aren't allowed as it is morrally wrong. You have to work and you have to do it for pay because it's morally right.

She is infatuated with money so much that her entire argument translates to slavery for pay. "You HAVE to do it but we'll pay you so that makes it alright."
Religious or not religious, what is moral about that?

What we really need to take into account is our public service as well as our own children. What is morally reprehensible in our volunteer work? Think of all the things you voluteer for that are not compensated with money. Our churches, civic groups, homeless shelters are work. We take in foster children, feed neighbor kids etc... Let’s not forget that many mothers also educate their children. The fact that they are our own is irrelevant.

The lives we touch and mold outside our home are rewarding and full of moral fortitude even without the almighty paycheck.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Barb, sfo said...

I hate to think how many people told me I was wasting my degree to stay home and be a mom, when I was pregnant with Big Brother.

It still hurts that people whose friendship I valueD would speak to me that way, or think of me that way.

It's not all scrubbing toilets, folks! It's about what you do, and the love you bring to it.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Zach said...

Yeah, her argument makes sense only if you're working from the assumption that value and worth are only conferred by the exchange of cold, hard cash.

So her real problem is that with all you amateurs giving it away for free, it's tough for the professional girls.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

LOL Well said Zach


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