Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother Superior

I was sitting on the porch last night, talking to a friend of mine when he said, "Your friend doesn't work?" meaning my best friend Vicki, the one I'm staying with.

I said, "No."

"Her husband pays for everything?"

"Yeah," incredulous that he was even thinking it should be any other way.

"She has two little kids, so she stays home with them."

"Well, I have a kid and my wife works."

"Hmm. Well, I don't really know how they do things in your part of the woods, but this is how I see it; the man's job is to work. Period. They make the money, they support the family, they take care of whatever needs to be done outside of the home in a monetary capacity. The women; they take care of the house, do the laundry, make sure their man has a meal on the table when he gets home from work, takes care of the kids, pays the bills that he needs her to pay, runs to the bank, goes to the post office, picks up the drycleaning, and does whatever else needs to be done to run that house and take care of those children and him. Oh, and she gives him as much sex as he wants or needs. That is her job."

I don't understand why so many people don't comprehend this setup. It's a no brainer. I am a firm believer and in full support of this arrangement. I have done it, sans the kids, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Your job is to take care of me and my job is to take care of you. I will show interest in your interests, not because I like to, but because I love you and want to. I will make sure you have clean underwear and socks, a good meal, a clean house, good sex, etc.

I guess I'm a little traditional in this respect, but I have a very definitive idea of how the roles in a relationship should be and on many of them, I am not very flexible. One of these ideas is the role of mother.

Mothers should not work. They should be mothering. They should be there when the kids leave for school and there when they get home. They should be available for school plays, field trips, ballet practice and Boy Scouts. The mother is the lifeblood of the family. Those children are formed by her love, care, attention and guidance. This is much too important of a task to leave to anyone else.

I don't know what it's like to come from a family where the mother worked outside of the home. Mine did not. My cousins did not. My Aunts and Grandmother and female family friends did not. It was not part of my upbringing or my culture to have a Mom who worked. It was unheard of.

So, I can't relate so much to people that do. People who put their kids in day care to go make the same amount of money it's going to take to pay for that day care. I can't dictate what others should do, although I often love to, but I will never work if I have children. It's not negotiable.

I agree wholeheartedly with Vicki on this one; it's never gonna happen. It is the man's job to take care of his family by working, no matter what it takes. It is my job to take care of him and our children.

You do your job and I'll do mine. And for all the mothers out there who are superior; I salute you.


Anonymous said...

These figures don't lie. Couples work today. That has changed since 1950.

And it is only getting harder for couples to stay together with only one person working. The good ole days of the single person that works are going to be gone in ten years completely at the rate we are going. The stress on the one person that works is just to high these days.

Anonymous said...

This is more recent. 71% of women are getting their degrees today versus 43% in 1970. The fact is that today that traditional idea of the man working is just too hard on the man because of the cost of living. It results in a failure of the relationship because of financial reasons. Living in America today is free idealogically, but not financially.

Anonymous said...

I COMPLETELY DISAGREE Fran.... people aren't getting divorced because only one person is working... People are getting divorced because of INSTANT GRATIFICATION... people are CONSUMED with the all mighty dollar and keeping up with the Jones' AT ALL COSTS. They give ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING to their children, and don't expect ANYTHING in return. They buy everything NEW and totally LOADED. THey buy everything on credit and give no heed to what it will cost them in the end. People don't save and wait until they can pay cash for things, they buy buy buy.
They lie to cover up how far in debt they are to their spouses and they sink deeper and deeper in debt because banks and companies keep extending more credit.
There are still MILLIONS of families who live on one income and do just nicely --and are no where NEAR divorce.


Anonymous said...

oh... and thank you,girl, for your awesome words about mothers.
People get divorced because people are too selfish to work together.
I love your statement "I'll take care of you, and you take care of me". Perfect.

Anonymous said...

You make a good point Lammy and I agree with your statement about people and credit cards. People do waste a lot of money for the wrong reasons and people do try to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. Every situation is different.

Not everyone has credit cards. I don't work for the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. I should word my reply differently then. How about this? Because so many women are becoming educated, they are filling more office cubes and manager's offices than ever before. Doing the jobs that only men were allowed to do 60 years ago is now a possibility for women. However, because the cost of living near society or a city, lets say, in the suburbs is so high, people have to work harder to pay the high fees associated with that type of lifestyle.

Sure I agree that millions of people live on a one person income, but those are not normal situations. If you are one of them then more power to you! You are envied by many. Most people living in a house where one person works out of three, the others being a spouse and child, don't have enough money to do anything but get from paycheck to paycheck regardless of whether it is a man or a woman.

For most of their lives. Lets two people own a farm outright with no mortgage and have 4 kids and are bringing in enough money by one person to sustain food, travel, entertainment, communications, and medical care. That doesn't leave a lot left over. Lets say those same people have animals to eat, and a farm on which they raise crops to eat.

That leaves more money because of less expense on simple food, but out of the hundreds of millions of Americans people such as these make up a very small percentage. Not a criticism of your reply Lammy, but just explaining myself further. Take care and I love reading this post! You guys in here travel everywhere! I love it! Where to next?

The Daily Rant said...

I agree with Lammy about people getting divorced because they are too selfish to work together. If money issues were the reason all of these people get divorced, they every poor person out there would have broken marriages and that's just not the case.

People today like the easy way out...of everything. Pregnant? Get an abortion. Pissed at your wife? Leave. Don't want to work things out with your boyfriend? Find another one. It's the instant gratification thing all the time.

If you live WITHIN YOUR MEANS and don't try to keep up with the Jones' or people on TV or Hollywood or your neighbor with the brand new SUV (who is probably making payments through the nose anyway just to "look" good) than you would be able to survive.

I'm all about having nice things and living a good life, with friends and family and food and fun, etc. but if you can't afford to raise kids - don't have any more. If you can't afford to drive that SUV, don't.

The demise of the family has nothing to do with not having enough money - it has to do with not making a commitment to the life you chose and not supporting the significant other in your relationship and not pulling your end of the weight. It's easy to do things as a team, with each task broken down into smaller, more manageable ones.

This arrangement is one of the easier ones: The man works outside of the home and the woman works inside the home.

You take care of me and I take care of you.

Stress? Please. With all of the modern day conveniences, it's ridiculous to not think we have it easier than our mothers and grandmothers - who raised several children on meager salaries and most of whom were NOT divorced.

Anonymous said...

Not enough jobs for men because of women??? HOGWASH.

Normal is subjective.
(seriously, farm life???)
If you really are Fran Tarkenton, then I can see where you get your view of "reality". Celebrities aren't allowed to comment on "normal" living.

I'm not saying we are perfect. We've made our share of mistakes.
But we work hard to make it work.

It's all about priorities.

People stand around scratching their heads, wondering why this generation of kids/teens growing up are so selfish and in trouble so often... wonder why children are committing adult crimes.... they point their fingers at the education system, the teachers, the judicial system, the welfare system, the president, the internet preditors/content, the law enforcement system, the health care providers ...and on and on... RARELY, if ever, pointing at themselves.

I say WAY TO GO to women who want to stay home and provide a good life for their children. I applaud women who haven't even had children yet, but already prioritize. I applaud men who are willing to support their families and I applaud those people who try hard to live within their means.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better girlfriend!
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord woman, controversy just springs up! I wish I could stay home and be with Andreus all day...ok I know that would drive me crazy but I would like to give it a try...know of any rich guys who are willing to take care of me and my son?
My mom worked all the time. In all honesty I don't think she had the "stay at home mom" gene. I think we turned out ok but I truely think we would have turned out even better if we had her home. Instead we had "nannies" grandomother is more my mother than my own mother since she took care of me.How sad is that?!
I truely belive that a child benifits more with a stay at home mom...too bad it's an "ancient" practice.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I think it is narrow-minded and judgemental to believe that every mother who works chooses to do so. Every situation is different and not everyone has the luxury of staying at home with their kids as has been suggested. And it is also suggested that it is greed that makes women want to go out and work if they do so when they have children. What about mothers who do not have a husband to support them? Or a "significat other" of any type? What then? What are your suggestions to those women? If the father of their child is dead, sick, or just a poor choice? Should those women then just go live on Welfare? They should not work?

If a young woman makes a mistake and gets pregnant at a young age by some loser guy? Abortion? You are negative concerning abortion, so if the woman does not believe in abortion she should do what? Give it up for adoption rather than work hard to keep her child and raise her child herself? Because people such as lammyann sit in judgement on her? That she is ruining her child because she chosen to keep it and work hard to raise it herself?

Yeah, I have a lot of respect for mothers who have the option to stay home with their children and raise them. I do not look down on them, I do not judge them. But I expect the same in return. Don't judge me for doing what I had to do in order to keep my children with me - their mother. I love my children more than anything in the world and suggesting that because I have to work to keep a roof over their heads and food in their mouths makes me a greedy person is very uneducated statement.

Statements such as the ones made by lammyann are all encompasing - judging all by the actions of some. I did not read anywhere in here any type of concession that it does have to be done in some situations. Narrow minded and judgemental.

< BIGOT - One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. >

Every mom who stays at home has a wonderful opportunity and I think they are wonderful people. But every mom does not have that option.

People are different and have different situations - people need to open their eyes and see what is really happening in the world.

Anonymous said...

But you also didn't specify "married women" - you said "mothers." And "mothers not working" was the focus of your post.

The Daily Rant said...

OK, let's start again....from the BEGINNING of the post.

Did you NOT read the part where my friend on the phone questioned me about my friend not working and her husband paying for everything?

I told him she has kids, so she stays home with them and he said "Well, I have a kid and my wife works."

At that point, I tell him what I think, which is, once again:



Mary B. said...

THANK YOU!! I loved your post, agreed with everything. YES, there are always exceptions to every rule, but not as many as most people would like to think. I live in CA, near SF -- VERY expensive to live here. There was an article in the SF Chronicle about how people were being forced to quit their jobs because the cost of childcare (especially summer camps, etc.) was too high! Well isn't that a shame?! And you know what they're doing? Moving out of the Bay Area specifically so they can afford to go back to work and send their children to day care!!

I haven't worked since I had kids; that's the choice my husband and I made. Yes, he works hard (he's at work now still, at 11:30 p.m.!), and yes, our income is probably higher than some people, but I would give up a LOT to raise my kids. As you said, we LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS!

Anonymous said...

Yikes..I missed the rest of these posts.
I have never been called a bigot in my entire life. Wow.
Talk about judgement.
The whole discussion was about husbands and wives working-- not about single mothers working.
Of course, you have to work.. that's a given. And there's nothing you can do about that one.