Oprah's Motherhood Poll

As part of Oprah Winfrey's recent, memorable segment, My Baby or My Job: Why Elizabeth Vargas Stepped Down, the show conducted a poll of 15,000 working and stay-at-home moms. Respondents' annual income levels ranged from "less than $20,000" to "over $100,000." The survey results, although not surprising, were fascinating; it is always interesting to see people's feelings in black and white.

More than 80 percent of both working and at-home moms feel that stay-at-home moms do not get the respect they deserve. (I do not think moms, period, get the respect they deserve.)

Nearly 100 percent of both groups describe their children as happy. (If true, this makes me wonder how therapists are going to make a living 20 years from now.)

Sixty-six percent of working moms would quit to stay home with their kids if they could; only 36 percent of stay-at-home moms wish they worked. (This surprised me, given my own biases.)

Fifty-six percent of stay-at-home moms feel judged by family, friends or other moms. Only 43 percent of working women do. (Surprise here. Have the media attacks on working moms resulted in thicker skins? Are stay-at-home moms more defensive about their choices?)

The majority of both groups described their moods as "hectic, but content." (Exactly as I would describe mine.)

Do your own answers to Oprah's survey questions mirror her results? What do you think of the survey?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  February 12, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
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"Nearly 100 percent of both groups describe their children as happy. (If true, this makes me wonder how therapists are going to make a living 20 years from now.) "

Simple, they are NOT happy - fodder for the therapist.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 7:06 AM

I don't feel anyone judges my decision to work except on this blog. I have never heard anyone outside of the internet care what choices I make for my family. I quit in a skinny minute, if I could afford to SAHM and DH agreed. If nothing else, it is difficult to handle the logisitics of working and raising children. It has gotten a lot better in the last generation. But it is still difficult to manage 2 hour delays, snow days, early dissimal on Mondays, summer vacations, and teacher work days. It is never easy to deal with sick leave and doctors appointments. My DD was sick last month while DH was on a business trip. I had to take 2 1/2 days off and the office nearly had a cow. Some days I really wonder if it is worth it. But DH is paranoid about retirement and college savings. It seems surreal but I literally work outside the home for long term savings goals.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 7:13 AM

I'm curious as to what the breakdown is of the 15,000 respondents. I know they represent both SAHMs and working moms, but I didn't see any breakdown of how many SAHMs v. working moms replied.

I was also surprised by some of the results - especially that 66% would choose to stay at home if they could.

Posted by: londonmom | February 12, 2007 7:33 AM

SAHM I can figure out, but what the heck are DH and DD? Little help...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 7:47 AM

I just can't even go there with this discussion again! Why don't we talk about something a little less divisive, like religion! foamgnome gave some suggestions for great topics last week and here we are again with the SAHM, WOHM discussion. Anyone want to talk about Harvard's new president and terrific that is?

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 7:48 AM

I think that 66% reflects more of a curiosity about what it would be like to be a stay at home mom AND a discontent with whatever job the mom is currently working at. I stayed at home for almost two years and I know that it is better for my family and myself that I am back at work, but there is still that feeling occasionally that I'd just like a break from working for a couple months. Get caught up on household projects going back to the gym, etc. I think if those 66% reallly had the opportunity to get out, they would in time find that the stay at home lifestyle isn't a perfect fit for them either. PArt time is the Holy Grail, but so few careers are open to it.

I'm not at all surprized that current stay at home moms do not generally want to go to work outside the home. they are doing what works for them and it is generally much easier to change your mind and get a job than it is to stop working and stay at home-- that is certainly true financially, but also true from a time management perspective, too.

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 7:50 AM

It's interesting that 45% of the SAHM feel they get the help they need from their spouse, vs. only 39% of the working moms. Also, that 28% of working moms say they get little or no help from their spouse.

Without getting into the SAHD discussion . . . I've chosen to stay home, in part, because we can do more as a family. My husband has a crazy work schedule. I can make sure that the kids are around and we can sit for a meal or reading time, or whatever, when he is home (and awake, he works 3rd shift). I can also make sure that I'm available when he's around.

He spends far more time with our kids and helping around the house than any of my working friends spouses. Maybe I just got lucky.

I think the pressure of busy families' schedules, especially dual income, prevents a lot of spouses from supporting each other. Both end up exhausted and neglected.

Posted by: HappyMom | February 12, 2007 7:54 AM

It appears that a large percentage of the working moms don't make a very large income. (The income breakdown for two-income families with a working mom and one-income families with a stay at home mom is very similar, which leads me to think many of the working moms may either be single moms or the working poor.) Presumably if you have to work to put food on the table, you either (a.) do not care what other people think or (b.) do not have time to worry about it. Thus, 'feeling judged' is presumably less of an issue when no one could reasonably call you 'selfish' for working.

Posted by: Armchair Mom | February 12, 2007 7:56 AM

"Fifty-six percent of stay-at-home moms feel judged by family, friends or other moms. Only 43 percent of working women do. (Surprise here. Have the media attacks on working moms resulted in thicker skins? Are stay-at-home moms more defensive about their choices?)"

Leslie, it looks like you've got your bias blinders on. Perhaps the results turned out like they did because there isn't really all that much judgment of working moms.

For the record, I should state that I've never felt judged for my decisions. In fact, the circles in which I travel seem to be relatively judgment-free zones. I continue to think that a lot of these issues just aren't as big a deal in real life as they are portrayed here.

And Anon, DH and DD mean Dear Husband and Dear Daughter, respectively.

Posted by: NewSAHM | February 12, 2007 8:00 AM

DH=darling husband
DD=darling daughter
DS=darling son
DW=darling wife.

I thought the income break downs were interesting too. If you look at the SAHMs income breakdown, their husbands clearly make more $$ on average to the WOHMs spouses. So women are working because they need the $$$. Given their spouses made more $$, a think a large % would choose not to work.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 8:01 AM

----I stayed at home for almost two years and I know that it is better for my family and myself that I am back at work, but there is still that feeling occasionally that I'd just like a break from working for a couple months. Get caught up on household projects going back to the gym, etc.----

What you've described sounds like a vacation, not like the life of any of the SAHMs that I know. Is that what your lifestyle was like - mostly leisure - when you were a SAHM? Where were the kids?

Posted by: MBA Mom | February 12, 2007 8:03 AM

"Fifty-six percent of stay-at-home moms feel judged by family, friends or other moms. Only 43 percent of working women do. (Surprise here..." How could that be a surprise? SAHMs have slowly become ridiculed and devalued by society: either they are controlled by their husbands, too stupid for employment, or so totally lacking self-esteem that they can not do anything else. That's the impression I've been given over the past few years, years I've spent as a WAHM. Many times I've been treated with absolute disdain by a woman until she finds out I work from home, then suddenly, I'm worth speaking to.

The honest truth is that we, women, are devaluing ourselves by perpetuating the SAHM - WOHM war. Men of any value, treat all mothers with the same respect, not so with women. It's hit or miss there. We need to be allies, let go of the "better mothering" rivalry and help one another out.

I think you missed the real points of interest in this poll. For the most part, the answers from SAHMs and WOHMs were very similar. The questions that had the largest variations may explain some of the animosity Moms feel:

"Are you angry or disappointed about having to choose between work and your children?"
Only 25% of SAHMs said Yes to this poll, while 55% of WOHMs said Yes.

"Do you secretly feel like you are cheating or failing your children?" Again there was a nearly 20 point difference between the groups' answers, with more working Moms feeling that they are cheating/failing their children.

What a terrible time in our society when woman HAS to put her job before her family despite her wishes and concerns. What a terrible time in our society when, in the name of feminism, we have painted ourselves into a financial corner and taken away our real freedom of choice: to choose whether to stay home or to work.

Let's let it go, sisters. Let's give each other respect, regardless of our choices. After all, isn't that what our foremothers fought for?

Posted by: Dani | February 12, 2007 8:10 AM

Go Dani!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 8:13 AM

Dani wrote * What a terrible time in our society when, in the name of feminism, we have painted ourselves into a financial corner and taken away our real freedom of choice: to choose whether to stay home or to work. * While I understand what you are trying to say here, please remember that this issue is not just about choices. Almost every working mom I know has no choice, not because they *painted themselves into a financial corner*, but because there is no partner involved. In my case, I lost my husband several years ago, and it is really hard to read when others constantly talk about how they chose to stay at home so they could be a better mom. I wish I could too, but, I have no *choice*.

Posted by: jj | February 12, 2007 8:20 AM

Not surprised by the results - these are self-selecting women who have time to watch Oprah or read Oprah's magazine. I would expect results to invert if you polled the female readers of Time/Newsweek/etc. or another group of women who would probably be identified as more than half-time workers.

Posted by: ANT | February 12, 2007 8:28 AM

S.A.H.M. have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for a government school education. I find it very telling when wild life will stay with their young longer than people will stay with theirs. The desire to acquire wealth over loving your child will only result in poverty of the soul.

Posted by: Free per me | February 12, 2007 8:29 AM

It's hard to have a choice between working and not working when the mother is the only breadwinner in the house. All too often that is the case, for whatever reason.

Posted by: John | February 12, 2007 8:30 AM

Oh, brother, Free. What a load. Even thoug I stay at home, I don't think my kid is any better or worse than the children she hangs out with, many of whose moms work (granted that they're all only 14 months old, but still). Moreover, where is it written that all kids with SAHMs are homeschooled or in private school?

Posted by: NewSAHM | February 12, 2007 8:33 AM

Posted by: Free per me | February 12, 2007 08:29 AM

Are you this judgemental about everything? Sad life you must have.

Posted by: DC lurker | February 12, 2007 8:35 AM

"S.A.H.M. have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for a government school education."

Interesting. Most of the teen parents in my neighborhood have SAHMs.

The home schooled kids are socially ackward, incredibly naive, and easily manipulated (might explain the out of wedlock births).

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 8:38 AM

Why are we even talking about this poll? The respondents were all self-selected (they went to the website and answered the questions.) They are not representative of the population so there is no reason to think that this poll provides us with any useful info about "how moms think."

Leslie, how about finding a _real_ poll to discuss? I too am getting frustrated with the topics on this blog. Please, use this space to get some more substantive discussions going.

Posted by: randdommom | February 12, 2007 8:39 AM

jj, it appears that I misworded my last paragraph, I did not mean to imply that women have painted themselves into a financial corner individually, rather that as a society we've come to the point where the middle class is disappearing and along with it goes our opportunity to choose whether we work or not. I was once a working single mother, now, I'm a married working mother. I am blessed to be able to work from home, were I to lose the job I currently have, I would be forced to find employment outside the home, not because we have made any attempt to live above our means, but because one income would be insufficient to provide for the needs (not wants) of my family.

The real tragedy, as I was trying to say in my first post, is that modern feminism talks constantly about "choice" but it has mostly become an argument about abortion which truly doesn't affect every life AND which is probably a moot argument as I doubt that there is much chance that our current laws will change. The choice we SHOULD be screaming about is the choice to work. Women should have the opportunity for education and employment equal to men, but our soiety should also value children and families enough to ensure that parents can provide the very best care; whether that's by a parent staying home or by using a quality daycare. Women shouldn't have to work in order to live a middle class existence: but many do because wages for average jobs are so pathetic. Women shouldn't have to put their children in low quality daycare because they need/want to work: but many do because a good daycare program can cost so much as to make the mother's paycheck worthless.

We should be fighting for choices that matter to so many of us everyday rather than arguing about the value of work vs the value of staying home, or the established laws about abortion that really have no bearing on whether women will abort or not.

Posted by: Dani | February 12, 2007 8:41 AM

Is it just me or does anybody else find the HTML link for this discussion a little "disconcerting". The link ends with "draft_my_baby_or_my_job.html"

Gosh, I'm hoping my job gets drafted and not my baby. :)

Posted by: Is it just me | February 12, 2007 8:44 AM

Does anyone on here really care about what your neighbor, co-worker, sister in law, etc, really thinks about you working or staying at home? I do not care. I do not care. I really do not care. I hear crap all the time when I go back to visit family and friends, and here I sit at my computer making money to help take care of my family without even a little guilt.

Oh and well behaved kids come from well behaved parents, who make them listen, talk to them about right and wrong, and care enough to put them first whether they work or stay home.

Posted by: scarry | February 12, 2007 8:48 AM

I'm childless by choice and that's how I will stay. I guess I never reallly relate to this "child or job" discussion; if you need to eat and live, you will work, kid or no kid. And there's always a way to make it happen; my mother ALWAYS worked, as did my father. I went to daycare/aftercare and school; when I was old enough, I stayed home during the summers, had a babysitter or after a while, got a job. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I see other black women making this happen every day, so I'm not clear on why it's such a "balancing act." I'm glad I'll never know.

On "better behaved" children: I believe that SAHM beget children who can't wash their own clothes and are completely ill-adjusted to life in the real world. As a teen, I RELISHED the times when my parents weren't home after school. I would've cringed to have my mother home mopping floors or doing whatever mythical things SAHM do all day (which somehow still manage to get done in non SAHM homes...). I also would've had less respect for her since I believe all adults should be able to pay their own way with their own money.

How can someone tell me, their child, what to do when they get an allowance from my dad just like me? Why do we still encourage women to "stay at home" and not men? And whathappens to someones brain when they just sit at home? It's obvious I'm opposed and I didn't mean to open upthat can. But that's just my schpiel.

Posted by: Nicoa | February 12, 2007 8:54 AM

PS- I believe among black women at least, you're far more likely to be judged for staying at home than for not staying at home. Minority women haven't had the luxury of choosing to work and thus there's a cultural expectation toward working. Ref. bell hooks for more discourse on that!

Posted by: Nicoa | February 12, 2007 8:56 AM

"Women shouldn't have to work in order to live a middle class existence" WHAT???? Sounds like you're on the Anna Nicole Smith model here....

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 8:57 AM

Nicoa

Just so you know, you are probably going to get it on here today. :)

Posted by: scarry | February 12, 2007 9:00 AM

A couple of thoughts:

- A poll that includes self-selection and provides no background numbers [what was the breakdown of SAHMs vs WOHMs] has limited accuracy.

- The income level difference may very well be the most striking number. With two incomes, the WOHMs have an income breakdown that mirrors the SAHMs. Absent the WOHM income, the drop is considerable and does not look anything like the SAHM distribution. [This gives some backing to the 91% of WOHMs who claim that financial reasons are a significant concern in their decision.]

Absent any hard numbers or correlation questions, it's hard to give much weight to any of the other differences.

Posted by: A Dad | February 12, 2007 9:10 AM

Why are we even talking about this poll? The respondents were all self-selected (they went to the website and answered the questions.) They are not representative of the population so there is no reason to think that this poll provides us with any useful info about "how moms think."

Leslie, how about finding a _real_ poll to discuss? I too am getting frustrated with the topics on this blog. Please, use this space to get some more substantive discussions going.

Posted by: randdommom | February 12, 2007 08:39 AM


I agree - I don't think this survey is representative, you had to go to the Oprah website to take it - what does that say? Knowing some people that "Live their lives by Oprah" I would say - nothing. Such a select audience.

Would Leslie publish a poll taken by The Heritage Foundation or Tammy Bruce's website? I doubt it. She picked this survey because it suits her needs, not because of any real statistical significance.

Posted by: cmac | February 12, 2007 9:15 AM

I have a 20 month old son and I work. I found it interesting that WOHMs did not feel judged. I have definitely been treated badly and made to feel bad about my decision to work. I am a 30 year old govt attorney. I have had a 60 something year old govt attorney at my office (who never had kids) ask me how many "firsts" I've missed since I came back to work. "Did you miss his first steps, yet? How many firsts have you missed?" All this was said with a smile and a pretense of actually caring how my child was doing. I've also had two 30 something women tell me that they would never consider working once they had children, and that if you do WOH, your child will start calling the daycare provider/nanny "Mommy." It's interesting, they said that to me when I was pregnant, and now each has a child. One continues to work while the other has quit working to stay home fulltime.

I work because as foamgnome said, "It seems surreal but I literally work outside the home for long term savings goals." There's that, and if we are ever going to afford a mortgage here in DC, I have to work for the next couple of years at least. I know if we won the lottery I would quit my job in a heartbeat, but then, I don't really like my job... I might feel differently if I really enjoyed what I was doing, but this job pays really well and is strictly 40 hours a week with a lot of flexibility.

Posted by: Emmy | February 12, 2007 9:17 AM

"S.A.H.M. have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for a government school education." I think the vast majority of research does not support this, I point you to work over the last year in the literature, including Developmental Psychology. Besides, your anology to animals is not apt, as many species use 'village' care for their young, where older members of the pack are entrusted with care of the young as the younger mothers have other tasks.

I think the media does perpetuate this conflict between SAHM and working mothers. I'm lucky enough to have friends who stay at home, who work, who work from home, and find everyone to be incredibly supportive. My husband and I are lucky enough to work very close to our home, so we spend a lot of time with our kids and not commuting.

The fact is that, with house prices and college tuition increasing much quicker than inflation, most families cannot afford to have a parent at home. We all make sacrifices for this - my husband and I make less money at jobs close to home, many of my friends work inconvenient hours to spend time with their kids, my SAHM/D friends are for the most part delaying their careers or fulfilment to raise the kids (generally a financial decision as they can't make more than daycare costs). None of us drive SUVs or have many extras. And we all love being parents. Isn't that what it's all about?

Posted by: Ann Arbor | February 12, 2007 9:22 AM

"The desire to acquire wealth over loving your child will only result in poverty of the soul."

Free per me, what about single parents? If I were to stay at home, I'd quickly be confused with a welfare mom, because, yes, that's exactly where I'd be. So, I work to keep my child out of poverty and acquire wealth so that I may feed, house, and clothe my child. I think, with the Lord's help, our souls will be fine.

Nicoa:
I understand where you are coming from as far as Black mothers are concerned. There have been and currently are no working mothers in my extended family and its been like this for generations.

Before I had my son, I felt like you re: pulling your weight and being self sufficient. Often, the women in our community want the girls to be able to carry their own weight because of the historical uncertainty of the husbands employment (or often his presence).

I know that there is a trend towards SAHMs in the more affluent Black community and I think that's great that we Black women are taking advantage of the option. My only issue with your comment is that SAHMs usually biuld a network with other parents, working or otherwise, to have adult conversation. So I doubt their minds are turning to mush.

Posted by: Cali ESQ | February 12, 2007 9:22 AM

Nicoa:

There are many effective models of marriage. In our family, my wife and I are interdependent -- we both have specializations that enable us to function as more than the sum of our individual talents. For us, her decision to be a SAHM has meant that we can live a lifestyle and provide our children an environment that we desire.

Her 'mythical duties' at the moment include organizing the elementary school science fair [she is up at the school now] -- last year there were over 300 children in a school of 500 that participated.

With respect to teaching children independence and fostering good behavior, I would submit that SAHMs have historically been able to do that and they continue to do that today. Again, there is no one 'right' approach that is limited to SAHMs or WOHMs.

In general, there was a time when I thought I had all of the answers on parenting much like you -- and then I had kids and began to understand the depth of my ignorance.


Posted by: A Dad | February 12, 2007 9:24 AM

"I believe that SAHM beget children who can't wash their own clothes and are completely ill-adjusted to life in the real world."

Oh please, that's as silly as

"Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for a government school education."

and both you posters should go ask a few of the people you respect and admire in your lives how many hours their parents each worked and see what kind of a correlation there is. I'm guessing not much.

But comments like these show why polls like the Oprah poll continue to get interest and attention - to produce these artificial wars.

When really I agree with Dani on many of her points. I personally like to view income as HOUSEHOLD income and I do think that the price of housing, specifically (and the way housing is tied to good public schools, or not) creates hard economic choices and issues for FAMILIES.

I personally think the ideal model is that PARENTS, not women, vary their participation in the workforce over the lives of their children to meet the needs of their particular family.

In my family right now my husband is career-building and works crazy, crazy hours, so I work part time so that our total family hours are not all shot to hell. Later we hope to reverse it. But that is possible for us in part because we got into the real estate market early and had our son late.

Posted by: Shandra | February 12, 2007 9:25 AM

It's interesting, but, as many others have pointed out, it means esentially nothing. Self-selected = not valid, even if the number of women who completed the poll is huge. In any case, the actual percentages are meaningless and should not be extrapolated to a larger population.

Here is how you *could* use the results, assumuing you had the data to do statistical tests: You could determine if stay-at-home or working moms who visited Oprah's Web site and took this poll were more likely to agree with X or Y. That might still be something worth talking about, but we need to be clear that is all we could say based on this.

As someone who does survey research, I'm disappointed that neither Oprah nor Leslie included this kind of disclaimer.

Posted by: VAMom | February 12, 2007 9:27 AM

So, my argument that one wage should be sufficient to maintain a family as middle class somehow makes me similar to a dead former Playboy bunny? How interesting.

Do you take offense that I said, "women shouldn't have to work", let's make it more PC for you and say, "Salaries should be sufficient in average jobs so that a two parent household could provide for all of its needs from a single source of income." Is that better?


"How can someone tell me, their child, what to do when they get an allowance from my dad just like me? Why do we still encourage women to "stay at home" and not men? And whathappens to someones brain when they just sit at home?"

A child's respect for their parent should never hinge on whether or not that parent is employed. What an outrageous idea, truly. Should a parent who loses a job then be disrespected by his/her children until he/she bring home proof of income? Ridiculous.

In general, I think that most of the time the woman in a male and female led household is better equipped to stay home with the children. It is not anti-feminist to say that most women are better at caring for children than most men. It is not a hard and fast rule, and it doesn't mean that men are incapable of caring for their children. It does; however, recognize that there are differences between men and women that can be generalized. Just as men are biologically created to be better at seeing a moving target and women are biologically created to be better at differentiating between several non-moving items (thus, many husbands routinely ask their wives, "where's the butter?" as they stand in front of the open refrigerator) so too women are generally better caretakers for the young than men.

Well, just sitting at home doing nothing absolutely would damage someone's brain... and probably lead to too much viewing of Jerry Springer and thus more damage, what a vicious cycle. However, being a stay at home parent is not something that involves a lot of sitting around with one's thumb up one's nose. Being a stay at home parent is equivalent to being a teacher or daycare provider, you know, the people who get paid to care for other people's children so those people can work. I suppose that those who choose to teach toddlers or provide daycare are also likely to have problems with their brains at some point?


Alas, every stereotype about women who choose to stay home with their children will be perpetuated: they're stupid, they're lazy, they have nothing to offer society. Every stereotype about women who choose to work will be perpetuated: they're selfish, they're greedy, their children misbehave. How incredibly stupid to argue about this, how incredibly wasteful. We don't need misogynists to keep us down, we'll just continue tearing at one another.

Posted by: Dani | February 12, 2007 9:30 AM

ps I completely agree with those who question why fathers do not get this pressure. In fact, my husband questions it at well. He feels he gets zero support for paternity leave, picking up sick kids, or any parental responsibilities, and he is responsible for 50% - he does drop off, and we alternate picking up sick kids. Perhaps the media should focus on paternal rights for a while. He would like that.

Posted by: Ann Arbor | February 12, 2007 9:31 AM

OK, re: 'Salaries should be sufficient in average jobs so that a two parent household could provide for all of its needs from a single source of income.' Why is that? Why should a household with all its children in school NOT require 2 incomes? I don't get it....

Posted by: longtime lurker | February 12, 2007 9:39 AM

to HappyMom: "I think the pressure of busy families' schedules, especially dual income, prevents a lot of spouses from supporting each other. Both end up exhausted and neglected."

While I think this is probably true of some families, I've actually encountered the exact opposite in my life. My friends who are SAHMs tend to have sole responsibility for the kids, house, family, vacations, etc. That is their "job" - and a hard one at that. Their husbands are the "breadwinners" and tend to feel less inclined to do chores, housework, read to the kids, etc.

w/r/t my friends where both parents work, both parents tend to take equal responsbility for the kids, house, family, etc. No one parent bears the full brunt of anything - financially or otherwise. I've found in these families the dad is actually a lot more involved in the kids' lives.

Just my 2 cents...

Posted by: londonmom | February 12, 2007 9:41 AM

"Salaries should be sufficient in average jobs so that a two parent household could provide for all of its needs from a single source of income."

AKA the family wage. So, will people be paid this wage once they have children? Does it mean that childless people will be required to do the same job for less money? Will single people earn less than married people? Will a man who supports his wife earn more in the same job as a woman whose husband also works?

Posted by: Lizzie | February 12, 2007 9:42 AM

I'm hoping that the poster "Nicoa" is really what's referred to as a "troll"; that is, someone posting outrageous comments deliberately designed to draw responses. However, there's one comment I have to address:
_______________
How can someone tell me, their child, what to do when they get an allowance from my dad just like me?
________________

I really, really hope that you didn't feel that way about your parents - that your mother's worth was only connected to her pay.

In our own marriage, my wife has worked outside of the home full-time; she's worked part-time; and she's been a SAHM. It depended on the situation. I have never judged her based on the income she brought to the family, I can guarantee you that we would never, ever, ever tolerate our children having that attitude - in fact we spent signficant time teaching them the opposite.

While this budget model doesn't work for all couples, from the beginning of our marriage there has been no "his money" and "her money". It's all "our money". Some goes to retirement, some to college funds, some to other savings, some to bills, etc. And yes we each get an amount each month to spend however we want.

In no way was the money my wife got when she was an SAHM an "allowance" - it was just part of the overall budget. If you really want to categorize it, you could call it her pay for the work she did with the kids, the house, errands etc. It was no more an allowance than what I get from the company that employs me.

I guess that's related to the way I was brought up. Dad was a career Army NCO; Mom was a teacher. The only times she didn't work outside the house at all were when Dad was away; e.g., the 14 months in Vietnam in 66-67. She chose not to work because she felt it was more important to be home at that time. However, I will absolutely guarantee you that my respect for her and opinion of her did not diminish at all because she wasn't contributing money to family income. Not then, and certainly not in hindsight.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 9:43 AM

Leslie, Are you honestly suprised about the results??

Are you suprised that most women want to be home and raise their kids?

And you are shocked that more SAHMs are criticized than working moms? There's nothing new there, either!

I was a SAHM for 3 yrs and just recently went back to work. I got much more flack for being home than I do for working. The same "You're wasting your life" kind of thought. Like I was less of a person because I chose to stay home with my child.

This horse has been beat to death, but being a SAHM doesn't mean you lose every brain cell you were born with.

Also, why couldn't you just let it go when you mentioned that SAHMs don't get the respect they deserve?? Why did you make a little side comment on how all moms don't get the respect they deserve. We know that- but just give the SAHMs a bone every once in awhile!

I work now (and I do enjoy it) but I would rather be home w/ my daughter. That is more important to me and means more to me than any job I could ever have (yes, that would include President of the US or Nobel Prize Winner) It just means more to me. But financially we just can't do it right now.

There is nothing wrong with women staying home. We don't put the women's movement back- we're raising our kids! SAHMs DO deserve more respect. I actually refuse to consider having a 2nd child because I'm not able to stay home again.

I'm not shocked by these poll results at all.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | February 12, 2007 9:47 AM

To Dani,
That stuff about men and women being biologically different, and therefore women being generally better at parenting young children, is directly from the Mars/Venus pop psychology of John Gray. I recently stumbled upon something that I wish I'd seen much earlier - a wonderful piece-by-piece rebuttal of Gray's work called Rebuttal from Uranus (I bet you'd pull it up if you Googled this). And then the excellent followup essays at http://web2.airmail.net/ktrig246/out_of_cave/index.html. These really strengthed my opinion that his stuff is utter bunk written by a man (with fake college degrees) who wants to keep our patriarchal society in high gear. I think I'm becoming a true feminist!

To Ann Arbor: I also agree that men's rights to be equal parents are not discussed enough. A SAHM means that her partner can't be (unless they are both so rich no one has to work) - but two reduced hours parents can both be equally involved. I wish you could send me a Zingerman's #13 for lunch - I was born and raised in A2 and I miss it!

Posted by: equal | February 12, 2007 9:48 AM

I have to argue one point. In the past, families tended to live on one income but the living on one income was really different. People were not responsible for the majority of their retirement. People got pensions or worked till they died. 401Ks and TSPs did not exist. Also college was not as common. Parents were not, on average, saving for their children's education. The rich sent their kids to college but the bulk of the middle class did not. You could also make a middle class salary without a college degree. So I think the need for one income to support the entire family is a lot different then it was 30 years ago. In DC and other parts of the country, real estate has gone bonkers. I think it will level itself out in 10 years. But right now, to even own a 3 bedroom townhouse you need to slap down 400K+. That is out of reach to a lot of families. Or do an hour and half commute. I think the whole economy is changing and it is hard to get a grasp on it. I think a lot of condemnation occurs because it does not take 2 professional incomes to maintain middle class life. It probably takes 1 1/2 to adequately save for college and retirement. So the other half is spent on padding savings and luxuries. So it leaves this impression that people are working for the extras. Dual income hhlds, on average, is not working for the extras. But since we got a little more disposable income, we spend it.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 9:52 AM

"AKA the family wage. So, will people be paid this wage once they have children? Does it mean that childless people will be required to do the same job for less money? Will single people earn less than married people? Will a man who supports his wife earn more in the same job as a woman whose husband also works?"

Absolutely not, pay should not fluctuate depending on the number of dependents one has. Pay should depend on the job, not the family, my point is that most jobs don't pay enough as most wages have not increased at the same rate as the cost-of-living.

It wasn't that long ago that the vast majority of families lived on one income, now it's becoming nigh unto impossible to do so.

Posted by: Dani | February 12, 2007 9:55 AM

I wish we had some info on sources and methods for this. Is this a random sample or did Oprah watchers voluntarily fill out the poll? What's the SAHM:Work out of home mom ratio? Geographic distribution? Urban, rural, suburban disribution?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 10:02 AM

Oprah is on at 4pm eastern time. Earlier as you go west. How many working parents (mothers) actually watch the show?

Posted by: DC lurker | February 12, 2007 10:05 AM

I actually caught this show because DD was home sick that day. She was taking a nap and I was able to catch the show. It was actually a decent show. It was hard because they could not go into depth in any of the women's lives because it was only an hour show. I actually liked the show that proceeded the next day. DD was sick for 2 1/2 days. It was interviews with 30 year old women. It was really interesting to hear about how different women live their life.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:08 AM

DC lurker:

From my (limited) experience in broadcasting, I think they try to put Oprah on at 4 p.m. in all markets and since its not a live show that's possible. But you would be surprised how many people tape/DVR/TIVO Oprah or stay up to watch the rebroadcast at 2 a.m. (in the D.C. market). I'm not sure why but to each his/her own.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 10:14 AM

"Perhaps the results turned out like they did because there isn't really all that much judgment of working moms."

vs.

"S.A.H.M. have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for a government school education. I find it very telling when wild life will stay with their young longer than people will stay with theirs. The desire to acquire wealth over loving your child will only result in poverty of the soul."

Puh-leeze. Working moms are judged as often and as much as stay-at-home-moms. For some reason, women can't seem to respect each other's choices and seek validation for their own by shooting down others'.

And I do think this topic is a dead horse. Foamgnome had some great topics for discussion last week; Leslie, are you paying attention? Or do we have to hijack?

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 10:17 AM

I occasionally watch Oprah as I am home from work by 4 (early in early out) but none of my friends or neighbors are ever home until after 6. I shouldn't be watching tv - I should be at the gym! Why is it so hard to go the gym in the winter? The summer was easy but now I just can't muster the energy to go back out once I am home.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 10:23 AM

I'm on the West Coast and Oprah is on at 4:00 here too. (Not that it matters, just pointing out that it's not always "earlier as you go west.")

The poll is sort of interesting, but I don't put much basis in any of the answers because I'm pretty sure it was an online poll - which means it's skewed towards the beliefs of regular Internet users *and* it was completed by women who watch Oprah - which means it's not representative of all working and SAH moms.

jj - "In my case, I lost my husband several years ago, and it is really hard to read when others constantly talk about how they chose to stay at home so they could be a better mom. I wish I could too, but, I have no *choice*."

I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband. But I urge you to not take it personally when some women say they have made a choice to stay at home. Even though many women don't have a choice, many do - and why shouldn't they be able to give that as their reason when they're asked "what do you do? Why don't you work?" Sure, some women brag about having a choice - but I would say that the vast majority aren't.

I didn't have a choice in and after my first marriage, and while I wished I did have one, I didn't resent those who did. Or at least I tried not to, because really, their choices had nothing to do with me.

Posted by: momof4 | February 12, 2007 10:25 AM

This again? I used to enjoy reading this blog, conflict and all, but I am starting to think the entire concept has run its course.

Can I really narrow down entire range of balance issues to: breastfeeding vs. bottlfeeding, working vs. stay-at-home moms, and a few random tangents that spark minor debate until about noon?

I'll check back periodically, but I think "On Balance" is missing some great issues proposed by readers in favor of the same-old, same-old.

And Oprah is so far removed from the lives of normal people that I don't put much stock in her advice or studies.

Posted by: catmommy | February 12, 2007 10:25 AM

MBA Mom-- sorry I wasn't clearer.

While I was a SAHM, the only time I ever left my child with someone else was when I went to the gym, which I tried to do every weekday. The gym had a wonderful and inexpensive babysitting room that my child enjoyed visiting. it wasn't a vacation at all because whatever I did had to involve my child when he was awake (i.e., hours spent everyday at the local park or at the afore mentioned gym)-- or had to be done at home while he was asleep. I think of a vacation as an opportunity to break out of your routine and being a SAHM was DEFINATELY a routine. Needing to stay close to home for the two or three naps per day doesn't permit a lot of freedom. During naptime I could read whatever I wanted though, which I LOVED-- plus I watched TV shows like Sopranos and West Wing that I never had time for before. And still don't, now that I'm back at work. And I did household projects like refinishing the basement and planting a garden. All that stuff, plus spending that much more time with my child is what I occasionally miss. But, considering that I earn six figures, I feel like I can a lot more good overall for myself and my family and the community at large though by staying at work now, but I just wish there were a few more hours in the day. that just wasn't a big isse as a SAHM. Teh big issue as a SAHM was the feeling that I could give more to the community by going back to work since my child seemed more content with professional caregivers and around lots o fother kids than he did with me. So why not go back to work? he's happier and I'm givign back more to society than I could as a SAHM. Other SAHMs are better at childraising and volunteering and/or their children have different needs so just because I'm back at work shouldn't be taken as any indication that I think SAH is a less valid option.

Hope this is more clear.

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 10:26 AM

"I personally like to view income as HOUSEHOLD income and I do think that the price of housing, specifically (and the way housing is tied to good public schools, or not) creates hard economic choices and issues for FAMILIES.

I personally think the ideal model is that PARENTS, not women, vary their participation in the workforce over the lives of their children to meet the needs of their particular family."

Posted by: Shandra | February 12, 2007 09:25 AM

Excellent perspective Shandra - three cheers!


"S.A.H.M. have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for a government school education. I find it very telling when wild life will stay with their young longer than people will stay with theirs. The desire to acquire wealth over loving your child will only result in poverty of the soul."

Posted by: Free per me | February 12, 2007 08:29 AM


Free per me, your comments on the well-behaved children of SAHM may apply to your own children but certainly not to many others. When my own twins went from public school to a small private school in the seventh grade, I received only positive feedback from both teachers and parents as to what nice kids they are and how quickly and well they fit in with everyone else. One parent commented early on that my son and daughter fit in so well it looked as though they'd been there for years rather than just a few short weeks.

As to your acquiring wealth and settling for a government school education statements -- one of the reasons that my kids are now back in public school is that to continue to afford the tuition at the private school I would have to work more!!! And I can't ask my husband to work more as he passed away several years ago. So working part time, as I do, is a very good situation. Second reason for public school is that I was often bothered by the lack of ethnic, racial and, also, economic diversity at the private school which had a large cadre of very wealthy families. I think that these demographics might certainly cause children to further buy into the idea that having money -- acquiring wealth!! -- is paramount to a happy existence. God knows, it's enough work battling media images on that front already.

So, my sympathies to you, Free per me, that your own children are not able to be nice and adapt nicely to a variety of situations. But do keep in mind, please, that what may be true for you and yours is not necessarily true for other families, parents and children.

Posted by: lindab | February 12, 2007 10:30 AM

Wow. Now I understand why so many mothers, in general, are up in arms about my choice to remain child-free. Re: Nicoa's shpiel... thanks girl. Ya made the rest of us look bad.

Ladies, while I can't understand making the decision to be a SAHM, to each his own. I hear people ridicule these women as if this staying home business is all walks in the park and what not. I'm not saying I don't thinking working women probably have to put in more hours... I'm sure they do judging by that whole spouse help section... but why the lack of support for each other by each other.

Jealousy, perhaps? Judging from the vehement distaste each group appears to have for the other, I can only assume everyone occasionally wishes their decision could have gone the other way.

Anyway... I'm proud of all of the women in the world managing to do a decent job raising children. It's something I KNOW I can't do... so more power to you, whether you're hanging out with them at home or entrusting the times you can't be there to someone else.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 10:31 AM

I've found all of these comments so interesting, because everyone has failed to consider the moms [alot of whom are black] who are the breadwinners in their families.

For these moms, like myself, we have no choice to be a SAHM so the conversation is moot from the start.

I make over $20K more than my husband as do alot of my friends [some make double what their husbands make] and this is a problem in the black community because more black women are receiving higher education [masters/law degrees] where our males are barely getting college degrees.

So keep in mind that there's a large segment of society where the man isn't the primary provider and in these cases, it's paramount that not only the mom work but the dad as well!

Posted by: Mom making the bucks | February 12, 2007 10:32 AM

While I was a SAHM, the only time I ever left my child with someone else was when I went to the gym, which I tried to do every weekday.

The "only" time you ever left him was "every weekday?" Wow, what a poor overworked SAHM you were.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 10:33 AM

"I've found all of these comments so interesting, because everyone has failed to consider the moms [alot of whom are black] who are the breadwinners in their families."

Sing it. I'm white, but I earn almost double what my husband does.

I asked him once if he'd be interested in quitting work after we have kids and he looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

Posted by: Lizzie | February 12, 2007 10:36 AM

"Would Leslie publish a poll taken by The Heritage Foundation or Tammy Bruce's website? I doubt it. She picked this survey because it suits her needs, not because of any real statistical significance."

Why is it necessary to impute motives to Leslie's choice of topic? To say that "she picked this topic because it suits her needs" is speculative at best; you can't know why someone else does something unless they tell you.

Perhaps Leslie shared her reasons with this poster?

And, to those of you who keep griping about the topics on this blog, why not bite the bullet and write a guest blog? That way, you can introduce any topic you want, discuss how you deal with the issue, and get real-life responses.

Beats the heck out of complaining day in and day out.

Posted by: pittypat | February 12, 2007 10:38 AM

I used to make almost double to DH. Now we both make about 50% of the income. That is why it would be hard for either of us to quit our jobs.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:38 AM

Pittypat: I just sent Leslie a submission for a guest blog. I am putting for warning to the grammar and the spelling police. It may not be well written.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:39 AM

I, too, am about to be the primary breadwinner in my marriage by a margin of 50% (assuming I pass the bar exam, knock on wood). We don't have children yet, but if we do, there just isn't any way I could be a SAHM.

I also don't see my husband as wanting to be a SAHD -- he gets restless at home for an hour or two (as do I).

Point is, a lot of women just don't have a choice about working.

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 10:39 AM

I'd love to write a guest blog, but I have the distinct impression a submission from a childless person would not make it past the in-box.

I read the blog to learn from others, but it has pretty much stopped being educational, and is now more for amusement purposes.

Posted by: catmommy | February 12, 2007 10:43 AM

If you could pick an optimal number of days to work per week, how many would it be - 0, 2 or 3, 4, or full time?

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 10:45 AM

Catmommy: I think we have had a guest blogger who was childless. I think you should write one. It would be interesting to hear your side of the story.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:45 AM

MoxieMom -- Patience please! Foamgnome's topic suggestions were terrific. but it takes some time to come up with entries that address the issues in a meaningful way. I am working on them! And I DID want to write about Drew Gilpin Faust but feared get bashed about being elitist (AGAIN). Any advice?

Free -- My vote is that WMs have more polite, respectful, independent kids. The brattiest, most spoiled kids I know (except for my own) have SAHMs who baby them. Of course this is a terrible generality but I just had to counter your terrible generality with one of my own.

And for those Oprah bashers who claim only SAHMs watch...how naive! I know lots of working moms (and dads) who use tivo or comcast on demand to watch Oprah every night. Also some folks use a late lunch hour to watch in the cafeteria at work.

Posted by: Leslie | February 12, 2007 10:46 AM

How about 1?

An optimal work schedule for me would be half time, but 3 days a week 6.5 hours a day to correspond with when my kids are in school, but still have days off to volunteer (both in the schools and out.)

Posted by: to s | February 12, 2007 10:48 AM

Why do you think the 36% of SAHMs who say they want to go back to work don't do so? I understand why the working moms who want to quit don't--they need the money. Is it that the SAHM's can't get jobs that pay enough to cover child care? Their husbands won't "let" them? This seems odd to me--these are women that seem to have choices.

Posted by: Arlmom | February 12, 2007 10:48 AM

Patience please! Foamgnome's topic suggestions were terrific. but it takes some time to come up with entries that address the issues in a meaningful way.

Isn't that the truth. Leslie may read my submission and laugh. Scrap it and try to find a real writer to write the blog. I guess that is why I majored in math.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:49 AM

My ideal would be no commute, 6.5 hours a day 4 days a week.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:50 AM

maybe the men with the SAHMs make so much more because they can focus on their career because everything at home is taken care of?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 10:50 AM

foamgnome --

Great! Can't wait to read your guest blog.

catmommy --

Go ahead and submit a guest blog. I'm betting that it would get published, as there are many childfree people on this blog who read it for a variety of reasons -- some actually having to do with balancing work life and home life.

Posted by: pittypat | February 12, 2007 10:51 AM

maybe the men with the SAHMs make so much more because they can focus on their career because everything at home is taken care of?

That is part of it. But part of it is that some fields only pay a certain amount. No matter how much time and attention you give a job a high school teacher is not going to make 300K.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 10:52 AM

Why is it oprah "bashing" to suggest that her audience is mostly SAHMs? I think people were pointing out that the data for this "poll" is self-selecting and probably made up of a majority of people who have time to watch it. Jeez.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 10:52 AM

"Is it that the SAHM's can't get jobs that pay enough to cover child care? Their husbands won't "let" them?"

My experience with this issue is when I was younger, my mom quit work to be a SAHM. She intended to do it until I started school but didn't end up going back until I was 12 or 13. This was because our financial professional said it would actually cost more for her to work, taking into account extra travel expenses, wear-and-tear on the cars, before- and after-school care, work wardrobe, and being in a different tax bracket, etc. And she is in a professional career!

She decided not to go back until 1) I was old enough to fend for myself after school, and 2) the marriage was on the rocks and she needed to make sure she could provide for herself and me after the divorce (albeit in a different lifestyle than that to which we were accustomed).

Anyway, sometimes working actually costs money taking into account all of the relevant factors.

Posted by: catmommy | February 12, 2007 10:54 AM

Cow Girl, It tickles me that you explain putting 6 figures into your pocket is "giving back to the community".

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 10:54 AM

Off topic to Father of 4: My condolences -- I was offline with my own family issues last week. Leukemia is a cause near and dear to my heart -- I run in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's marathon training program (Team in Training).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 10:58 AM

We as women really need to stop judging one another. I will be having my first child in June. Unfortunately, I won't have the choice to stay at home much longer than the 3 months to which I am entitled under the FMLA. Why won't I have the choice?
Because not having a college fund for my child is not an option. Because living paycheck to paycheck on DH's salary is not an option. Because moving out of my house (which is already rather small) into a condo or apartment is not an option. Because trading in my car (which is already very, very modest at best) is also not an option. My DH and I are a team and we need both salaries. It's not that I love my job (in fact, I'd quit today if I could afford it; maybe things would be different if I loved my job). If you decide to or can afford to stay at home, good for you; I won't judge you and please don't judge me.

Posted by: 5-1/2 Mos. Pregnant | February 12, 2007 11:00 AM

Father of 4 - just so you know, Cow Girl is actually Cal (is in short for California) Girl. Your translation software does some funny things sometimes!

Posted by: momof4 | February 12, 2007 11:04 AM

I too am the breadwinner for our family and have finally come to see how ridiculous it is to feel any guilt about that.

lawgirl - good luck on the bar!!

And finally, I cannot believe that we're reduced to arguing that how well behaved a child is depends on whether the mother works or not. That type of attack on each other strikes me as an insidious way of undermining each other as well as perpetuating the idea that childrearing is all about the mom and the dad has nothing to do with it. It's like that ridiculous study that looked at the correlation in dual income families between a mother's working hours and childhood obesity, but not the father's hours or even the combined hours. Why are we so comfortable pinning everything on the mother's decisions or actions? I don't understand how so many women who talk about equal responsibility can just let that sort of thing go, and if I were a father, I would be even more irritated to have my role written out of the picture.

How a child turns out depends on the parents' choices, their style, and a lot on the children themselves, and I sincerely doubt there any consistent or significant correlation between whether the mother works and how well-behaved the child is.

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 11:05 AM

maybe the men with the SAHMs make so much more because they can focus on their career because everything at home is taken care of?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 11:05 AM

"Free -- My vote is that WMs have more polite, respectful, independent kids. The brattiest, most spoiled kids I know (except for my own) have SAHMs who baby them. Of course this is a terrible generality but I just had to counter your terrible generality with one of my own."

One might hope that you would exercise a little more restraint before tossing 'terrible generalities' of your own.

The most polite, respectful, independent children I know have parents who have strived to foster those traits - regardless of whether both parents were employed or not.

Posted by: A Dad | February 12, 2007 11:06 AM

If you could pick an optimal number of days to work per week, how many would it be - 0, 2 or 3, 4, or full time?

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 10:45 AM

If I could pick an optimatl number of days to work per week? My husband and I would ideally be the idle rich, work 0 days per week, and do nothing but travel with our kids, take a private tutor along on our travels, do community service projects, each write the great American novel, and maintain our excellent health for the next 40 years.

Alas, back to the real world, in which eating and sleeping with a roof over our heads is highly favored . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 11:06 AM

Sorry if this is a duplicate post - the connection got hung up and I can't tell if it posted:

I too am the breadwinner for our family and have finally come to see how ridiculous it is to feel any guilt about that.

lawgirl - good luck on the bar!!

And finally, I cannot believe that we're reduced to arguing that how well behaved a child is depends on whether the mother works or not. That type of attack on each other strikes me as an insidious way of undermining each other as well as perpetuating the idea that childrearing is all about the mom and the dad has nothing to do with it. It's like that ridiculous study that looked at the correlation in dual income families between a mother's working hours and childhood obesity, but not the father's hours or even the combined hours. Why are we so comfortable pinning everything on the mother's decisions or actions? I don't understand how so many women who talk about equal responsibility can just let that sort of thing go, and if I were a father, I would be even more irritated to have my role written out of the picture.

How a child turns out depends on the parents' choices, their style, and a lot on the children themselves, and I sincerely doubt there any consistent or significant correlation between whether the mother works and how well-behaved the child is.

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 11:07 AM

I just wanted to pipe in to say that my DH is a WOHM dad - I'm currently a SAHM - and he is amazingly helpful around the house and with the baby! I guess londonmom's friends must just have really bad taste in men if they're that unwilling to help their wives ;)

Posted by: StudentMom | February 12, 2007 11:18 AM

And I DID want to write about Drew Gilpin Faust but feared get bashed about being elitist (AGAIN). Any advice?


Leslie - I don't understand how writing about Drew Gilpin Faust would get you bashed for being elitist. But then I haven't been reading this blog for very long - two to three weeks - long enough though for this SAHM vs WOHM thing to already have gotten very old! Drew Gilpin Faust would have been my choice for today's topic, though any day in the near future would work especially since she has not yet publicly commented on her appointment.

Another idea for you, one that I touched on in an earlier posting -- exploding the myth that mommies for all eternity have spent the bulk of their time during their children's formative years tending to their children's needs. I would maintain that average mothers (the wealthy have always had special privileges) thoughout history, although they may not have been working "outside of the home", did not spend the bulk of their time and engergy tending to their children. This concept did not emerge until our society became industrialized and women were freed from the great burdens of "woman's work", that is, lots and lots of manual labor necessary for both survival and living decently. And during that time children, even very young children, were very often cared for persons other than mom - older siblings, grandparents, and hired help. In fact, I would further maintain that by today's standards many children were in fact quite neglected as little individuals in order that the family as a unit could survive. So why all the angst and/or condemnation about leaving baby in the care of responsible and competent (and very often loving) others in order to work?

Posted by: lindab | February 12, 2007 11:19 AM

Father of four,

I feel very lucky to have the job that I do. The money does not go into my pocket. It goes to charitable causes and to pay for physical therapy and other adaptive needs for my disability. I feel I owe society a great debt and this is a way for me to give back. I think it is more effective than staying at home and not earning any income.

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 11:19 AM

I wonder what type of insights a lesbian brings into such surveys, interesting. But, girls with cloning and effective male contraception just around the corner, you all better go out and get a job if you want to eat and put a roof over your head like real men do.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 11:19 AM

Father of four, one other thing. As a breastfeeding SAHM, I VERY often felt like all my child was interested in with me was . . . well . . . making me feel like a cow. constantly nursing! I feel like I get way more done in my life without the constantly wailing and tugging on my shirt! So-- no offense taken! You are more right than you perhaps intended!

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 11:24 AM

"I'd love to write a guest blog, but I have the distinct impression a submission from a childless person would not make it past the in-box.

I read the blog to learn from others, but it has pretty much stopped being educational, and is now more for amusement purposes."

I've thought exactly the same thing many times.

Good luck on the bar, lawgirl! Let me know how it goes. When I start practicing, I won't be the "primary" breadwinner (it will be a roughly equal contribution), but my earning capacity allows him to eschew the corporate ladder so we can have more balance at home. He'll be the one picking the kids up from school and coaching baseball, and I'll be the one working 12-hour days. Will it work for us? We'll see...

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 11:24 AM

One more thought Leslie, once the myth is exploded and the mommy wars are deflated, then and only then does balance become the issue. Because regardless of the history, raising children and doing what needs to be done in order for the family to be well, yes, it is a balancing act.

Posted by: lindab | February 12, 2007 11:29 AM

>>I would maintain that average mothers (the wealthy have always had special privileges) thoughout history, although they may not have been working "outside of the home", did not spend the bulk of their time and engergy tending to their children.>>

Yes! Thank you. Running a house was a LOT more work two or three generations ago--just the cooking and washing would take a lot longer, not to mention other house/farm chores. Entertaining or educating little ones was not how our foremothers spent their days. My grandfather spent his infancy tied to a cradleboard and worn by his mother while she worked in the fields. I hardly think he would have been worse off being in a modern day care while she worked in an office.

Posted by: to lindab | February 12, 2007 11:30 AM

I saw the same thing "a dad" and other posters did, which is the stunning difference in what the families would earn if the working moms's did not work and that the two groups were roughly equal in income distribution when the working moms work. It seems a stay at home spouse is a luxury, driven by ability to afford it. As you dig into this more, you find the "Leave it to Beaver" post World War II era, for example, was a period of extraordinary prosperity in America. I suspect how most families form, work, and raise children is more a function of economic circumstance than anything else. Taking a guess, I suspect even the social attitudes toward women working are really driven by economics. During the 1930's Depression, for example, there weren't enough jobs for the men. Seems logical that social conventions would form to limit the pool of the unemployed competing for jobs. Of course I am oversimplifying to keep my post brief - just wanted to share some food for thought.

Posted by: m-ti-bear | February 12, 2007 11:30 AM

Has it occured to anyone that maybe Leslie is intentionally stoking the flames to gather material for her next book. Leslie may be a WOHM, but she sure doesn't seem to work very hard.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 11:30 AM

Megan:

"Why are we so comfortable pinning everything on the mother's decisions or actions? I don't understand how so many women who talk about equal responsibility can just let that sort of thing go, and if I were a father, I would be even more irritated to have my role written out of the picture."

As a father, I agree completely. The amazing thing to me sometimes is how different I see the discussion on this board in comparison to the parents in my neighborhood. In addition to SAHMs and SAHDs, we have WAHMs and WAHDs [as well as various interesting part-time options]. In each case, families have developed a teaming relationship between husband and wife that plays to their respective strengths.

Posted by: A Dad | February 12, 2007 11:30 AM

Why don't they ask if working mothers get the respect they deserve?

Posted by: Annie | February 12, 2007 11:39 AM

How the children turn out is a Red Herring. I am with "Megan" and her comment - "How a child turns out depends on the parents' choices, their style, and a lot on the children themselves, and I sincerely doubt there any consistent or significant correlation between whether the mother works and how well-behaved the child is" I would add that how the children turn out is the responsbility of all of us together. Despite our differences, we adults need to present a united front to the kids, work together, and support not undermine each other and their teachers.

Posted by: mi-ti-bear | February 12, 2007 11:44 AM

"I suspect how most families form, work, and raise children is more a function of economic circumstance than anything else."


True, but I also believe that many working women derive a great deal of satisfaction and reward (besides monetary) from their jobs. It's just that darn 40 hour work week that's so hard to take.

Posted by: lindab | February 12, 2007 11:45 AM

Product of WM, off topic, my most gracious office mate spent her weekend training for a 100 mile bicycle ride at lake Tahoe on June 3 for the Leukemia and Lythoma Society. You bet I'm putting in a donation for this worthy cause.

Cal Girl, Apologies for botching your posting name. I chuckled when I first heard breastmilk called "moo juice". Disabled too, huh? You have my attention.

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 11:46 AM

Why don't they ask if working mothers get the respect they deserve?

_____________________

Do fathers get the respect they deserve?

What respect do they deserve?
From who should they get this respect?

Seriously. Anytime someone talks about not getting deserved respect, I have to ask these questions to set the context.

It's very easy to ask "do X get the respect they deserve?" for any value of "X" and say that the answer is "no, of course not".

But what's the aim of asking the question?

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 11:48 AM

If I had my choice, I'd pick a 4 work week. Nothing I do requires me to be in the office daily, but there is plenty around the house that doesn't get done because I'm in the office. BTW, my office is really not flexible re: personal time, errands, etc., and I have to make certain that all 8 of my hours a day are billable. Another option I'd be open to is a 7hr day or 35 hr work week. Leaving an hour early make all the difference some days.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 11:55 AM

If I could pick an optimatl number of days to work per week? My husband and I would ideally be the idle rich, work 0 days per week, and do nothing but travel with our kids, take a private tutor along on our travels, do community service projects, each write the great American novel, and maintain our excellent health for the next 40 years.

Alas, back to the real world, in which eating and sleeping with a roof over our heads is highly favored . . .

Posted by: | February 12, 2007 11:06 AM

Best posting today!

Posted by: lindab | February 12, 2007 12:00 PM

"Do fathers get the respect they deserve?"

Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 12:02 PM

m_ti-bear says, "It seems a stay at home spouse is a luxury, driven by ability to afford it."

I'd add that being able to afford to have one spouse stay at home involves more factors than grabbing a calculator and looking at each spouse's salary. It's about aggregate debt and savings, as well. In addition to each couple's combined and separate earnings, the factors that determine whether parents can afford to have one spouse stay at home, in the area in which I live, are:

1. whether parents paid for college educations for one or both spouses, e.g., no education debt,

2. whether parents assisted or provided a house downpayment, e.g., lower mortgage payment and equity in the home which permits parents to weather emergencies because they have an asset which may support a home equity loan, and

3. whether, for several years prior to childbirth, one or both spouses were out in the workforce in professional or high-paying jobs that allowed one or both spouses to accumulate assets including a house or substantial 401(k).

If each member of a couple owns a townhome/condo/whatever and they enter the marriage with limited if any consumer debt, their options will be very different at the same salaries than the options my husband and I have. We both have education debt, a fair amount of consumer debt related to childcare while incurring education debt, and few assets. (We even paid for our wedding.) In contrast, every other family in our immediate neighborhood (9 family sample) had college provided for them plus initial house downpayments and, essentially, started off fresh with kids and assets in the form of home equity and retirement plans. This isn't a pity party. We are very aware that our financial struggles are nothing compared to the majority of working parents. But it is frustrating when a few SAH parents estimate what they think we earn, and deduce that we must be working for frivilous cars and vacations and not because we'd like to be able to repair the hole in our living room ceiling before we retire, and keep the education loan monsters away from the door.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 12:03 PM

Drug addicts will readily site the pathetic reasons for not getting off drugs. Although they know it's destroying their minds and bodies, they continue to rationalize their continued abuse of the drugs in order to pacify their conscience.

Those who choose to subject their kids to a government education employ this same type of rational. They dare not face the reality of the effects on their own children because of the choices they've made. They just refuse to deal with the far reaching consequences their choices will have on their children. It's easier to say "I have to work" or "we can't afford it". This has been proven to be false in all but the most drastic of cases.

The real reason most won't do what is necessary to get their children into a quality private school, is that it would mean giving up the SUV, cable TV and eating out 3 times a week.

Face it folks, it's time to face reality. Your children deserve better! Stop trusting the gov't to do what you should be doing; providing your child with the best education money can buy. And that excludes a gov't education!!

Face it folks, is there anything government does well? Admit it, deep down inside, you KNOW what you're doing by giving your child over to the gov't. to educate is paramount to child abuse.

Posted by: Free per me | February 12, 2007 12:08 PM

Slightly off topic, but are there any single, working, moms out there that have encountered problems dating someone that makes less? My friend and I have this problem, and I doubt we are alone. I'd be foolish to assume these issues don't arise in marriage, but my guess is that at some point the couple discusses this and comes to some happy medium. If not, please enlighten me.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 12:08 PM

"It's just that darn 40 hour work week that's so hard to take."

Amen to that, lindab! In answer to the earlier question about how many days would be ideal, I'd work a five hour day, four days a week, and I'd be doing something only slightly different than what I'm doing now. I enjoy the intellectual stimulation I get from my work (though I'd rather apply it to topics that are more important to me than what I work on now), so I think even when (not if!) I do win powerball I would still want to work that schedule. Also, I think my son has really thrived in part-time daycare - he gets great social interaction, he learns a lot, so I feel good about having something like that in his life. But I'd also take lots of vacations, though!

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 12:10 PM

To add to NC lawyer's comments - single people without children are not automatically free to spend spend spend. I too have a mortgage (and no second income to fall back on) and home repairs, car repairs, etc to take care of plus a mother who depends on me for a small amount of money every month to make ends meet. People have actually asked me what I spend my money on since I don't have children.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:11 PM

At least my "gov't education" taught me the difference between "paramount" and "tantamount"

Posted by: To Free Per Me | February 12, 2007 12:11 PM

At least my crappy government education taught me the difference between "paramount" and "tantamount."

Posted by: To Free Per Me | February 12, 2007 12:12 PM

At least my crappy government education taught me the difference between "paramount" and "tantamount."

Posted by: To Free Per Me | February 12, 2007 12:12 PM

Free per me is really trying to get us riled up today - let's not give him/her the satisfaction as he/she seems to be a very unhappy and bitter person.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:14 PM

"Do fathers get the respect they deserve?"

Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect.

_________________________________

Wow, doesn't sound like any house I know of.

This morning, I got up, fixed breakfast, took care of two loads of laundry, started getting the kids up (high school bus comes by at 6:35), fixed school lunches, emptied the dishwasher, walked and fed the dog, made sure homework was done and backpacks were ready, checked work and personal e-mail, prepped dinner (got the meat marinating, checked to see what I need to pick up at the store, etc.) and then came into work. (And yes my wife, although she gets up a half-hour after me, was equally busy.)

After work, it'll be fixing dinner (roast pork loin, pasta, veggies and salad), taking the middle daughter to her softball clinic, doing some organizational work for the softball program I help run, making sure all the homework is done and helping where needed, probably a couple more loads of laundry (with 4 kids we do a lot!), taking care of the dog and then figuring out if school will be cancelled tomorrow because of the weather.

(And again, my wife will be equally busy, running one child to a tutor, volunteer meeting at church and then one at school, helping the 5-th grader with some things, etc.)

(It's a lot easier now than it used to be. With 3 teenagers and a 5-th grader they can do a lot of the basic cleaning; picking up after themselves, vacuuming, dishes, etc. Just threaten their driving privileges; it gets done very, very quickly. :-)

Bragging? No, we're pretty typical of the folks we know. I guess somewhere there might be fathers who come home from work and think that since they've won the bread they can goof off and watch TV all night, but I don't know any of them.

(I could summarize the routine of my brother, who's the single father of two teen-age daughters, but that would be overkill.)

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 12:17 PM

"At least my crappy government education taught me the difference between paramount and tantamount."

Yeah, and between "rationale" and "rational"!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 12:20 PM

"are there any single, working, moms out there that have encountered problems dating someone that makes less?"

I've dated men who made more money than I, but because of debt and child support payments, their disposable incomes were far less than mine.

Since I'm not looking for a long term relationship, it hasn't really been a problem.

Posted by: DZ | February 12, 2007 12:21 PM

"Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect."

This pure horseradish, but that aside . . .

No one "deserves" respect for cleaning up his or her own cave. Contrary to everything you've heard from Paid Service Ads on the networks the last 20 years, you actually have to do something, accomplish something, provide service to someone, overcome something, which is worthy of respect in order to merit the respect of even one more person on the planet. Simply existing, picking up your own clothes off the floor, cleaning out your own gutters, and feeding your children does not merit respect. It's just what you do. Sheesh, some people want respect for breathing.

and KLB, I've heard many people ask childless folks what they do with all that extra time they have - you know, since they have no kids for whom to care. It's a testament to your restraint that you all don't just haul off and smack the ignorant, although these are probably the same people that question foamgnome's friends about why they have 5 children. (I though you were going to be on vacation this week - am I confused again?)

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 12:25 PM

How about this for a quick survey? What does a man/father really want when he gets home from work? Someone who meets him at the door with slippers, smoking jacket and a martini? Remember when the mother would feed the kids early and get them out of the way before dad got home? Fathers didn't really spend much time with the kids then - seen and not heard you know.
I bet most men would prefer an equal partner even if she told him to make his own drink.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:25 PM

I meant to say earlier that I agreed with foamgnome about working more for the future than for today. A defined benefit pension is virtually a thing of the past because they are huge financial drains on companies. (See General Motors, Ford, etc). Dual income couples work so they can retire, help their kids with college etc.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 12:26 PM

NC lawyer,
I don't leave for the Bahamas until Thursday - thanks.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:27 PM

I think I would take a Fairfax County Public education over just about any private education in the country. Of course, Free per me could be in a state with very poor public education & in that case I would probably look at private schools.

The statistic I thought was interesting was the SAHMs 'Is it possible to give 100% to motherhood and career?" 71% said yes.
I wonder how the women who said yes formed their opinions as they are SAHMs & presumably not in the workforce.

Posted by: pink plate | February 12, 2007 12:27 PM

I am in the 36% of SAHM's who would like to work but for our family right now it is not practical. My husband works crazy hours, travels on a moments notice and makes 3 times as much money as I could working full time.

I have a college degree and I worked in a profession that is in high demand (nursing). However it would require three twelve hour shifts per week, every other weekend and every other holiday (in the hospital). I know I could work in some other setting, one of the reasons I chose nursing was for the flexibility, but two weeks ago I had sick kids and my husband was out of town. I spent two full weeks at home with kids and taking them to doctors, pharmacy runs, going and getting homework from school, and trying to keep life going--if I had a job on top of this I would now be completely crazy. Not to mention it wouldn't have been fair to the job me calling in to work for my sick kids for two solid weeks. So for right now I don't work.

Posted by: magnificent7mom | February 12, 2007 12:27 PM

Bahamas KLB SS MD!You can give us all the Anna Nicole scoop when you return!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 12:28 PM

I am going to re-name this blog..... Working and Stay at home moms, and those who love to discuss them!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 12:30 PM

Moxiemom,
I will keep my eyes and ears open.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:32 PM

moxiemom,

I would agreed with you that it just couldn't get any worse than another rehash of SAHM/WOHM until we had the ANS column Friday.

perhaps someone will introduce a tangent that will result in a turn for the more interesting. a girl can hope.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 12:36 PM

""are there any single, working, moms out there that have encountered problems dating someone that makes less?"

I've dated men who made more money than I, but because of debt and child support payments, their disposable incomes were far less than mine.

Since I'm not looking for a long term relationship, it hasn't really been a problem."

First of all, would you explain what you mean when you are asking about encountering problems. What kind of problems? The woman can't handle the man making less or the man can't handle the woman making more?

For DZ who doesn't see it as a problem since she isn't looking for a long term relationship - would it be a problem in a longterm relationship?

For all the talk on this blog about equal opportunity in careers and equal partnerships for couples when both work, that doesn't extend to the paycheck apparently. It's OK for a woman to make less, but not a man.

In my marriage, everything is ours, there is no yours and mine. Therefore, it doesn't matter who makes more or less.

Posted by: xyz | February 12, 2007 12:37 PM

It is going to snow and sleet, etc here in DC starting today. What can't you be without in a storm?
I vote for margaritas and quesadillas (along with coffee of course).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:38 PM

"I think I would take a Fairfax County Public education over just about any private education in the country. "

Ditto on Howard County just up north. I have relatives in other states with kids in private schools and their educational opportunities are much less than those our kids receive in Howard County.

Posted by: A Dad | February 12, 2007 12:39 PM

Army Brat

Why don't your kids make their own lunches, do their own laundry, etc.?

I didn't check backpacks or homework after my kids could learn to read.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 12:40 PM

I take exception to the anti-public-education person - "the government" doesn't educate kids, individual teachers educate kids. Sure, the government provides the buildings and pays the salaries (less than they deserve!) and sets a framework, but it's individual teachers who do the (hard and dedicated)work and turn out, for the most part, perfectly fine, sufficiently educated individuals. Not all schools are perfect, but I would bet that the average public school does just as good a job as the average private school. Individuals vary, but you can't make a sweeping generalization that they're always better and the public school system in general is in no way "child abuse."

Posted by: SPC | February 12, 2007 12:41 PM

KLB - you mean you don't have hours and hours to roll around in all your money?
:-)

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 12:43 PM

It is a balmy -16c (3f ish) here today with about 6inches of snow (snow followed frozen rain) and 3 more to come... gotta love winter...

I'm thinking of cutting my hours down a bit because it is just to crazy - my other is in grad school plus working full time and keeping up with everything is exhausting! So, maybe 3-4 days will be alright?

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 12:43 PM

Missicat,
Sorry, no rolling here. In fact, somedays I can barely turn over :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:45 PM

"you actually have to do something, accomplish something, provide service to someone, overcome something, which is worthy of respect in order to merit the respect of even one more person on the planet. Simply existing, picking up your own clothes off the floor, cleaning out your own gutters, and feeding your children does not merit respect. It's just what you do. Sheesh, some people want respect for breathing."

I think you're dead wrong here, NC lawyer.

People can deserve respect for "being," if they're an inspiration to others. People can deserve respect for the way in which they do something menial or ordinary. People can deserve respect for having deeply felt beliefs that they don't surrender.

People can deserve respect for all kinds of qualities and characteristics that don't involve striving, pushing, overcoming, getting, making, earning, taking.

Your statement reflects all the sad emptiness of our accomplishment-driven society, in which we must "prove" our "worth" on a "quantifiable" scale in order to "merit" respect.

Since when did respect become the grand prize in a meritocracy?

Posted by: pittypat | February 12, 2007 12:46 PM

What does a man want when he comes home? Probably what a working woman wants; someone to listen to him/her discuss the day's events, eat dinner with, help around the house, and perhaps a bit of romance later on. That's not so difficult, is it?

Posted by: John | February 12, 2007 12:46 PM

126 generally angry, attacking or conflicting answers. Isn't it interesting?

Posted by: merzydoats | February 12, 2007 12:46 PM

KLB - have fun in the Bahamas, hopefully all the snow/ice will be gone before you leave. Are they still predicting gloom and doom?

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 12:47 PM

"Not all schools are perfect, but I would bet that the average public school does just as good a job as the average private school."

SPC, Your other points are well-taken, but this comment is simply naive. Look at the scores and the college admittances of any 10 private and public high schools, and you'll see the difference.

Free per me is a nutcase, but if we are going to engage with him or her on this topic, let's keep it real.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 12:48 PM

Missicat,
From the front page of Wash Post:

The threat exists, according to Accu-Weather meteorologist John Gresiak, of an ice storm intense enough to bring down power lines in some areas. Much of the area was under a winter storm watch through Wednesday.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 12:49 PM

xyz, "In my marriage, everything is ours"

That might explain why, out of 1500 square feet of floor space, I can't even claim 2 for myself.

When coming home from work, can I just sit down in the Master's chair without having to find something to do with the Walmart bag full of crap?

And hey, just throwing this out there... If I just bought a new dishwasher and stove for my wife last week, do I still have to get her a Valentine's gift?

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 12:49 PM

What can't you be without in a storm?

Cable TV for the kids and my dh for me oh, and frozen pizza and Utz cheese curls!


Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 12:50 PM

I would beg to argue the difference in private school test scores and public is simply that private schools are self selecting. They can choose who to admit and who not to admit. That being said, I think Fairfax and many of the other school districts in this area of the country are awesome. No school is going to make an ordinary kid into some kind of genius. But most schools do the best that they can with what they got. And to be honest, I would not even consider pulling DD out of the Fairfax public school system. I have been very impressed with their work so far. Only complaint is they have 2 hour delays when it is simply raining. Why do they delay school for rain?

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 12:52 PM

If I just bought a new dishwasher and stove for my wife last week, do I still have to get her a Valentine's gift?

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 12:49 PM

Fo4 - depends. Are they fancy dishwasher and stove? How do you treat her everyday? My dh is so lovely to me everyday that I don't want or need anything for Valentine's day. Save the $100 and I'll go get new tie backs for the drapes.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 12:52 PM

New topic suggestion: Hate or love valentine's day?

Personally, I hate it and so does my other. Yet another canned holiday so we feel obligated to do something special (i.e., spend money) when we should be doing those things year round. Although, dear abby's column today is a nice approach.
Just my two bits.

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 12:55 PM

Dani, I like the overall tone of your post, but I think it goes even deeper than women not respecting each other. We all need to stop judging each other. Women are not the only bad guys. Men judge men, and the sexes judge each other. We are all judged on clothes, income, education, weight, hair, house, yard, kids... you name it. Our society is very judgemental. We just have to ignore it and make friends with people who don't judge us (or who at least don't say it to our faces).

RE: What can't you be without in a storm? My dogs, beer, my husband, and cards (in that order).

Posted by: Meesh | February 12, 2007 12:56 PM

"If I just bought a new dishwasher and stove for my wife last week, do I still have to get her a Valentine's gift?"

Father of 4

You are still an A-hole. The dishwasher & stove are for the FAMILY or HOUSE, not your wife!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 12:56 PM

"I just bought a new dishwasher and stove for my wife last week"

Why are you saying that you bought them for her? Do you eat in your home? If so, no matter who does the cooking and/or cleaning up, the stove and dishwasher are for everyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 12:56 PM

OK, this is a better topic. I love to get V-Day gifts. It makes me feel special. I do not like to get a dozen roses because they charge way too much and they die anyway. I, on the other hand, have a really hard time picking out gifts for DH. He never wants anything. Do you guys get gifts for your kids too? I do. DD is getting two V-DAy kids books, a V-DAy DVD, chocolate, and bitty baby V-Day outfit. I love to shop for my kid.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 12:57 PM

"I would beg to argue the difference in private school test scores and public is simply that private schools are self selecting. They can choose who to admit and who not to admit."

The point is not why there's a difference it's that there IS a difference. It's one thing to say, we're committed to public schools and they work great for our children. It's another to say, there's no difference in the quality of the education, or the average public school does just as good a job as the average private school. The first is rational. The second is the statement of an ostrich.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 1:00 PM

I'm from Philly and a rabid Eagles fan (if you know Philly- there's no other kind of fan!) so my initial reaction was "WWHHHAAATTT???" But as I read on, I found how wonderful it is that he's taking time out of his career to be there for his family at a tough time. Maybe he could've been there more while they were growing up, but it's never too late to start!

I thought an example of a father sacrificing job stability is a good one today!


PHILADELPHIA - Eagles coach Andy Reid will leave the team for a month to deal with family issues, a decision that comes less than two weeks after two sons got into separate legal trouble on the same day.



The team said the leave of absence will last through mid-March. Eagles president Joe Banner was to discuss the matter at an afternoon news conference.

Reid is also the team's head of football operations. If he does not rejoin the Eagles until the middle of next month, he will miss the NFL scouting combine and the start of free agency. NFL teams may begin voluntary offseason workouts March 19. Reid will be back for the NFL draft April 28-29.

Garrett Reid, 23, tested positive for heroin after he caused a traffic accident Jan. 30, police said. No charges have been filed, but prosecutors are looking at the case. Police have said he could be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.

Britt Reid, 21, was arraigned on drug and weapons charges. He is accused of pointing a handgun at another driver following a dispute and faces a felony charge of carrying a firearm without a license as well as misdemeanor charges of lying to authorities, simple assault, making terroristic threats and possession of a controlled substance.

Posted by: PHILLY FAN | February 12, 2007 1:01 PM

You are still an A-hole. The dishwasher & stove are for the FAMILY or HOUSE, not your wife!

I dunno about anyone else - but I would totally consider replacing my washer/dryer with the lovely colored front loading set I saw a Sears the other day a real gift. If you had told the 25 year old me that I would some day be longing for a washer/dryer I woulda said you were crazy. Hahah, how things change.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:02 PM

Re Valentine's Day -- it's the eternal battle because my other half says it's my day and I say it's his (happens to be his birthday, not a fact he relishes). Since I hate dining out on a holiday we usually end up making a meal together. We do cards for all family members and usually a little trinket for my cousin's twin 5 year olds.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 1:02 PM

s, we're the same with Valentine's Day. No gifts. But it does give us an excuse to go out to dinner or order take out.

Product of a Working Mother, I also did the TNT marathon (okay, so I walked the half marathon). I couldn't do it again though because I don't know that many people who would want to contribute again! Also, of the $4,000 I raised, I bet that over $1,000 went to my plane ticket to Alaska and hotel room. Oh well, I guess most of the money went to research.

Posted by: Meesh | February 12, 2007 1:03 PM

The only thing I like about VD (hee hee couldn't help myself) is the sugar cookies my mom makes in the shape of hearts with pink frosting - just the right amount of crispy and chewy... yummy!

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 1:04 PM

Unofficial Poll: How many of you (moms and dads) tape/TIVO Oprah for later watching like Leslie and her friends? See quote from Leslie below:

"And for those Oprah bashers who claim only SAHMs watch...how naive! I know lots of working moms (and dads) who use tivo or comcast on demand to watch Oprah every night. Also some folks use a late lunch hour to watch in the cafeteria at work"

I find this so hard to believe and think this shows the divide between Leslie and her "Wharton Business School" chums and the general blog public. I may be completely wrong, but I do not know ONE person that tapes Oprah. Sometimes people catch when they are home - I have even watched it occasionally - but to make a concerted effort to see what Oprah is talking about on her daytime TV show? "The World According to Oprah." YIKES!

Posted by: CMAC | February 12, 2007 1:05 PM

The point is it is not the quality of the school as much as the quality of the student itself. The difference in test scores is a reflection of the kind of kids that go there. Not anything the school is doing that is different then the public school. Besides there are private schools and there are private schools. Local said Catholic school (or whatever) is not even comparable to Exter.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 1:06 PM

What can't you be without in a storm?

Cable TV for the kids and my dh for me oh, and frozen pizza and Utz cheese curls!


Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 12:50 PM

Don't forget the red wine!

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 1:06 PM

To Moxiemom: LOL on appliance envy. Mine all are perfectly functional yet I still look at the ads every week. I knew I was a grownup when I was buying gutters for my house!

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 1:06 PM

Father of four, I regret mentioning my disability. I hate drawing attention to it. People always end up treating me differently and it was really nice to be treated just like everyone else. Fascinating to see people actually attack me for spending time at the gym! no one has ever said that I should spend less time there! But I guess non-disabled parents are criticized for going. how odd that playing the "disability card" seems to mean it is OK for me to go to the gym, but "normal" parents are second-guessed for going to the gym. It never occured to me that i would be castigated for going to the gym, but evidently that is the type of thing "normal" parents are criticized for doing.

Because it was so nice to have a place where I could "pass" as non-disabled, this will be my last posting as Cal Girl. Do ever regret "coming clean"? I know people mean well, but it really bothers me that they treat you (and me) so differently just because of one aspect of our lives is a different than their life. So I'll slip into another persona-- and everyone will just have to wonder when they read a post-- could it be that this poster is disabled? how does that change my reaction to their post? why?

Hope this sharpens people's emphathy towards EVERYONE.

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 1:07 PM

Maybe he should have taken time off before they were 23 and 21. They didn't become herion addicts yesterday and I'm pretty sure that he wasn't around a lot when they were growing up. I'm so over priveliged kids who have every advantage and throw it all away.

Posted by: to PHILLY FAN | February 12, 2007 1:07 PM

If it makes you feel better, moxiemom, we have that pretty Sears front-loading unit... and the washer has been broken for 3 weeks. It's still covered under warranty but somehow we still had to pay $59 for the service call, and then they didn't have the part (we told them which part we needed when we called the week before, but they ignored us).

Grr. Sears "service." As if life weren't complicated enough.

Posted by: Neighbor | February 12, 2007 1:08 PM

Hey CMAC,
I will confess to taping the occasional Oprah. I only tape it when she is discussing a subject that interests me. I did tape the recent episode Leslie is discussing today. I only know about what's on Oprah though because I tape GH everyday, which comes on right before (I've watched it since I was 12...)

Posted by: Emmy | February 12, 2007 1:08 PM

Don't forget the red wine!

Posted by: Missicat

Missicat - you have clearly pick up on the fact that I am a very, very, classy gal. Cheese curls and wine - mmmmmmm

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:09 PM

CMAC, I tape Oprah. Typically delete most, but there are certain topics I enjoy and still watch. Got hooked when I was WAH with an infant 1600 miles west of here and the workday started @ 6 AM and ended @ 3-4 PM.

My sister-in-law also religiously watches Oprah (don't tell her I delete most of the episodes, though, or she'll never speak to me again). :-)

Posted by: Laura | February 12, 2007 1:10 PM

New Topic answer:

I hate Valentine's Day. If anyone is looking for a good alternative:

My dh and I each give each other a surprise "Valentine's Day" at some point in the year- but it CAN'T be V-day. It's a nice way to let the other know we're thinking of them and want to do something nice for them, but not on a prescribed day. We started to do this because we were always broke on VDay when we were younger (after the holidays and such).

So last year i got a surprise spa weekend in June and I got him surprise football tix/sports bar night in October.

It's wonderful to be able to plan something he'll love that doesn't include chocolates, flowers, cheesy lingerie, and overbooked dinner reservations.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | February 12, 2007 1:10 PM

I don't know anyone who records Oprah to watch later. If WOHM moms are as busy as they write here then I bet most are too busy with dinner, homework, laundry, etc to watch an hour of Oprah. I can hardly keep up with the once a week Desperate Housewives :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:11 PM

"I may be completely wrong, but I do not know ONE person that tapes Oprah."

I don't know anyone who watches OR tapes Oprah. You can get the gist of her shows on her website and the Message Board comments are a hoot. Her target audience seems to be fat, uneducated, conservative white women.

Hard to understand what's the appeal of this former cocaine user & other woman. She sure is stuck on herself.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 1:11 PM

To Fo4: My hubby tried to get my a fridge for Valentine's one year. I told him unless there was some carats in the veggie bin then don't even try it. ;-)

My household needs during an ice/snow storm: pizza, cookies, juice, and our own little areas (hooked up to a tv/dvd/vcr)once cabin fever sets in.

I wouldn't mind some real snowfall.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Posted by: 2xmami | February 12, 2007 1:11 PM

I knew I was a grownup when I was buying gutters for my house!

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother

Glad to know I'm not alone. BTW - what kind of gutters did you get????

There's also the fact that our pot of money is our pot of money - so if DH buys a diamond necklace for me, then there are things that we will both have to forego to offset that purchase. We are lucky that we both want the same things too.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:11 PM

'Not surprised by the results - these are self-selecting women who have time to watch Oprah or read Oprah's magazine.'

right the survey is not statistically valid. in other words, it is crap. I did statistical analysis for a living. Just ignore stuff like this, Leslie has proven before that she doesn't understand statistical research and results.

I'm pretty sure that Father of 4 was joking about the dishwasher and stove. Lighten up or go away please.

Posted by: experienced mom | February 12, 2007 1:12 PM

I knew I was an adult after I bought my first house and spent the evening at a friend's house talking about toilets.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:15 PM

emmy - I used to watch soap operas and Oprah in HS and College. I only have one friend that still watches soap operas and she named all her kids after characters on her favorite one - which I think is kinda weird.

There is very little I will tape. Occasionally I will tape LOST if I am going to miss it or my husband wants to watch it later. Also, I just don't put that much stock in what Oprah has to say.

I was just curious though. Seemed bizarre to me.

Posted by: cmac | February 12, 2007 1:15 PM

Cheese curls and wine - mmmmmmm


Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 01:09 PM

Red wine goes with anything! Doesn't it??

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 1:15 PM

SAHMbacktowork: I love that idea! I may have to steal it. For awhile, we were doing a kinky underwear day on the weekend preceding VD but I'm not sure why that stopped :)

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 1:17 PM

The question of whether "fathers get the respect they deserve" is interesting. It is not clear to me that most men (not all!) care so much about getting respect as fathers -- they care more about the respect they get as workers.

Further, I would suggest that men get credit for "good fathering" for helping out with kids -- but there is no expectation that they will do as much as most mothers are expected to do (and do).

Reading this blog is tiring -- there are so many single parents today and such a problem with shrinking incomes for the less-educated (anything less than college) that the debate over women "choosing" to work or stay home is little more than a distraction from other pressing social issues. MOST women who work do so because circumstances dictate that they must (they might also like to work, but that does not change the fact that they have to work).

It might be interesting to look at a topic like the challenges faced by single working moms -- I think there are many on this blog who could gain some insights from women who don't have an adult partner with whom to share financial and child-raising responsiblities. There is very little discussion of this group, in spite of the fact that this group is very large.

Posted by: DEB | February 12, 2007 1:17 PM

Red wine goes with anything! Doesn't it??

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 01:15 PM


YUP - we should do the ad campaign for the Red Wine council. Red Wine - it goes with anything (switch screen to a lady eating prime rib and another lady eating Doritos) we could really make something of this.

How about Red Wine - it helps the time pass! (swithc to screen of a mother surrounded by screaming kids) or maybe it should say Red Wine - it dulls the senses.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:20 PM

Okay, better topic--Valentine's Day! (Thanks, s!) I LOVE IT. Even when I was single. Red is my favorite color, and there was just such warmth in the air. Why wouldn't you love a day that celebrates LOVE?! Even when I wasn't in love, I could still appreciate the sentiment. And everything is red, from the heart-shaped candy boxes, to lingerie, to balloons and flowers. Occasionally, I'll get together with friends and celebrate just being around people I love, albeit not romantically, and have just as good a time as if I were with my boyfriend. We're cross-country, so we won't celebrate Valentine's together this year, but he did give me several gifts (though he said he wasn't going to). And they were NOT something crappy like a dishwasher. He got me workout gear, Saw I, II and II DVDs, and an iPod video. Stuff I actually liked and would use.

I was at a loss about what to get him (seriously, the man has everything), so I'm flying out to visit him as a present, and I gave him a custom-framed print of his favorite painting. Not nearly as much as what he gave me, but he said he's never been given a Valentine gift before. I found that odd. Don't women give gifts to their men on Valentine's Day? Do you give gifts to your husbands? I mean, I know every kiss begins with "Kay" and all, but surely there has to be a Valentine's market for men's gifts. Knowing how well women like to shop!

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 1:20 PM

"Red Wine - what gets you through the day!"

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 1:22 PM

Father of four - i meant to write "do YOU ever regret 'coming clean'?"

OK, this really is my last posting as Cal Girl.

Cali Esq., you can rest easy that no one will ever confuse the two of us again!

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 1:22 PM

CMAC,
I tape pretty much everything I watch. It's so much easier to be able to pause it or stop and go back to it later. We have DVR, so it's very easy. Everyone makes fun of me for watching a soap, but I don't care. It's entertaining to me. I certainly wouldn't name my kids after characters or anything, but when you've watched as long as I have, it's hard to give up. We'll see once I have one or two more kids though. It's easy to watch a soap at night when your kid goes to bed at 8:00 every night.

Posted by: Emmy | February 12, 2007 1:23 PM

Don't watch and don't tape Oprah.

Public School: it depends on the school district & the state doesn't it? So I don't agree with the general statement that private schools are better. Compared to the public education and the private educations I had growing up in Texas, FCPS schools are just plain awsome. How many private schools have 2 -3 student orchestras for instance? My DC are getting a high calibre education and one that I don't think could be matched by many private schools. & as foamgnome pointed out private schools are self-selecting.

Posted by: Pink plate | February 12, 2007 1:23 PM

Red Wine - the more I drink, the better you look!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:25 PM

Moxiemom,
Have you seen the commercials for the Lifetime figurines? I love the one that says Merlot and email don't mix.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:25 PM

moxiemom: I had half pipe gutters with no downspouts that I replaced with "normal" kind , downspouts and the gutter guard thing. Haven't had to clean them since :-)

KLB: LOL on the toilet stories. Mine involves how a leaky toilet begat a bathroom gutting.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 1:25 PM

"There's also the fact that our pot of money is our pot of money - so if DH buys a diamond necklace for me, then there are things that we will both have to forego to offset that purchase."

My hubby often buys me extravagant gifts (at least on our current budget), which means we have to cut corners in other areas. Sometimes I resent this, but realize he is trying to be nice.

Any advice on how to death with this? Should I talk to him him about it, in which case his feelings will be hurt and I'll never get a nice gift again, or let it go, as our financial situation will soon be improved?

Posted by: catmommy | February 12, 2007 1:26 PM

Red wine drinkers have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for white wine or non-alcoholic beverages.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 1:26 PM

Red Wine - the more I drink - *clunk* zzzzz

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 1:26 PM

Must as I do like red wine I confess my preference is champagne or margaritas.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:27 PM

I don't mind those that truly love the holiday. What bugs me is when people have an expectation - he must get me something to prove that he loves me. That sort of thing is really, really sad and pathetic! It defeats the whole point.

Flying out to see him is so sweet! I know my other always appreciates gestures like that over tangible items. He'd rather go somewhere and do something than open a present.

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 1:27 PM

Foamgnome: "Not anything the school is doing that is different then the public school. "

This is really not true for some private schools. My father was a private school teacher and administrator, and there are many things that private schools sometimes do very differently. Lower teacher-student ratios allow for a much more intensive focus on the individual student's work; the schools do not have to conform to state curriculums and can therefore focus more on experiential education or cover material that is different from public schools; a private school may have resources to offer a wider array of subjects, more advanced classes, and more arts and extracurriculurs.

As you said, there is enormous variety in private schools and not all of them do offer any real difference, but many do. I am not trying to be critical of public education - it is hugely important and public schools can provide a top-notch education. My child will attend public schools. But the reality is that some of the (very expensive) private schools the have resources and flexibility that make for a very different educational experience.

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 1:28 PM

I don't know your husband, but I'm pretty blunt about it. Don't get me any new gifts, what I'd really like is some new hardwood floors. Hopefully, he truly wants you to be happy and wants to get you something that you want. If so, then he can see the win/win in flooring. You are happy and he gets to enjoy the new floors too. Our anniversary gift to each other one year, was hardwood in the family. Not romantic, but I enjoy it every day. Good luck!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:29 PM

Red wine drinkers have much happier and well behaved children. Their children are generally more respectful and more mature for their ages then those whose parents settle for white wine or non-alcoholic beverages.

Posted by: | February 12, 2007 01:26 PM


lol!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 1:29 PM

Cal girl, sorry to hear you're leaving the board. I always enjoyed your posts and I will miss them. :-(

Re: taping Oprah. I've never watched her show (exception: she had Jon Secada on once back in the '90s and I was a fan, so I watched his performance), and I don't generally tape shows. I don't have a TiVo (I don't even have cable--what would be the point?!). I used to just suck it up and miss the shows if I happened to not be around when they came on and hope I'd catch a rerun later, but then ABC started putting episodes online the next day, which I use occasionally. But a talk show? I wouldn't expend the energy it takes to press "record" for Maury Povich, but you can bet, if I'm home sick, I'm going to watch his paternity shows.

Yes, it's sick, I know. ::hangs head in shame::

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 1:29 PM

Maury Povich, but you can bet, if I'm home sick, I'm going to watch his paternity shows.

Yes, it's sick, I know. ::hangs head in shame::

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 01:29 PM

Mona, me too (shhh, don't tell anyone)

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:31 PM

pittypat, your response to NC Lawyer and your reference to our "accomplishment-driven society" got me thinking.

As a child, no one was more accomplishment driven than I. I got excellent grades, played sports, volunteered, and worked. My parents rewarded my accomplishments. I was always a people-pleaser. As an adult, I still like to work and volunteer because both contribute to a sense of accomplishment.

So if you asked me if I was going to be a SAHM, I would say no way! So much of who I am is tied to working and accomplishing. I was taught that work was what made the world go 'round. Why else would people go to school? We raise our children to work (if you disagree, imagine your children living with you in their 40s). I know for a fact that my mom didn't raise me to stay at home. She raised me with the ability to be independent. And I have to admit that if she told me that she didn't work, I would be a little disappointed.

But I don't work 80-hour weeks, and I'm not in a field that requires me to give up my life. In other words, I'm not a workaholic. I also don't spend all my money on luxuries. We don't have a luxury car or belong to a country club. We can barely afford to order dinner twice a month!

So am I contributing to an "accomplishment-driven socitey?"

Posted by: Meesh | February 12, 2007 1:31 PM

Megan, the argument was the average private school versus the average public school. There are certainly private schools that do things that inherently make learning more condusive (sp?). Again, you can always buy something above and beyond what is being offered by the tax dollar. But to say on average, it is simply not true. Also if you read some of the stats, even some of the better private schools compared to top performing public schools, only show an increase of about 50 points on the SAT. Figure per point, what that costs you? There is something to be said about cost efficiency of private versus public schools.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 1:34 PM

Guilty pleasures:
High maintenance 90210 and The Real Housewives of Orange County

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:35 PM

To 11:30 gutless anonymous poster: I just make it look easy.

Posted by: Leslie | February 12, 2007 1:38 PM

XYZ, I meant the man can't handle the woman making more. I assumed that in a (healthy) marraige, it wouldn't matter, as in your case ($$$ is ours, not mine & yours), but dating is something different.

Which leads me to V-Day. Hate is a strong word, but I trule distain V-day. This may be because I can count on one hand all the good V-days I've had through my 30+ years. This year is a little better because I'm helping my son do his v-day cards for his daycare classmates. I got him a v-day gift (stuffed animal w/heart). It puts the day in a different perspective. However, Feb 15 is still one of my favorite days of the year.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 1:38 PM

Cal Girl, after I mentioned my disability, I was in fact, quite relieved. I have no regrets. Some people treat me like a normal human being, others, a freak of nature. And, as I'm sure you've noticed, I don't get a free pass on this blog for nuttin. However, now that most know that I'm blind, I can be the person that I am and don't have to pretend that I'm "normal", because I'm not.

So, Cal Girl, I like you just as you are, and I don't want you to be anybody different.

I vote that you stay as Cal Girl!

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 1:40 PM

XYZ, I meant the man can't handle the woman making more. I assumed that in a (healthy) marraige, it wouldn't matter, as in your case ($$$ is ours, not mine & yours), but dating is something different.

Which leads me to V-Day. Hate is a strong word, but I truly distain V-day. This may be because I can count on one hand all the good V-days I've had in my 30+ years. This year is a little better because I'm helping my son do his v-day cards for his daycare classmates. I got him a v-day gift (stuffed animal w/heart). It puts the day in a different perspective. However, Feb 15 is still one of my favorite days of the year.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 1:40 PM

Sorry for the dual posts. Tech problems.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 1:41 PM

On requirements for snow storm: mushroom-barley soup; popcorn; logs.

On VD: It's one of the big guilt holidays, perpetrated by the chocolate/flower/diamond industries. "Buy her something expensive to show how much you love her." Hate it.

On Oprah: Has waaaaay to much power and influence. It's great that she gives lots of $$ to charitable causes, but I'd be able to admire her if she did it quietly instead of broadcasting her philanthropy. (She ought read RAMBAM'S LADDER by Julie Salamon.) Also, it creeps me out that she has to be on the front of her magazine every issue.

Posted by: pittypat | February 12, 2007 1:41 PM

"As you said, there is enormous variety in private schools and not all of them do offer any real difference, but many do."

The variance in quality at private and public schools is probably very similar. I would stack the opportunities [and results] of a public magnet school such as Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax against any of the most exclusive private schools in the country. Likewise, here in Howard County I would compare the top public high schools like Centennial and River Hill against any private school in the state.

In areas in which public education is not well supported, it is clear that private schools may offer a significant improvement -- but in areas in which public education is well supported it is amazing the strides that public education can make.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 1:41 PM

What does a man want when he comes home? Probably what a working woman wants; someone to listen to him/her discuss the day's events, eat dinner with, help around the house, and perhaps a bit of romance later on. That's not so difficult, is it?

_______________________

Works for me.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 1:42 PM

I think Deb's comment "MOST women who work do so because circumstances dictate that they must (they might also like to work, but that does not change the fact that they have to work)." succinctly captures the bottom line in this whole discussion and as suggested by OPRAH's imperfect survey. However, I would change Deb's comment to read "MOST PEOPLE"

Posted by: mi-ti-bear | February 12, 2007 1:42 PM

foamgnome, I gotcha now, sorry about that - I was skimming and hadn't caught the full discussion obviously. I totally agree with you about the averages - there are some truly bad and lots of mediocre private schools, and some truly exceptional public schools - it really depends on where you are. And what you value too - there are lot of things that may not be reflected in test scores but are important to parents anyway.

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 1:42 PM

Cal Girl,
You could always change your name to Cow Girl! Honestly, don't change as it is nice to have continuity and know who we are talking to.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:43 PM

Cali Esq, discounted candy day?

Feb. 15, day after Easter, Nov. 1, Dec. 26... yummm...

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 1:44 PM

"We are all judged on clothes, income, education, weight, hair, house, yard, kids... you name it."

We are all judged by some people, but not all of us judge others, thank god. I have better things to do than worry about what my neighbor drives or what my co-workers wears. I barely care about this stuff myself!

Posted by: LoriB | February 12, 2007 1:45 PM

I like Cow Girl - has a certain pastoral ring to it. :-)

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 1:46 PM

I like Cow Girl - has a certain pastoral ring to it. :-)

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 01:46 PM

Just wondering if I might suggest something a little more sophisticated - Bovine Babe! That is if we haven't moooved on to something else. HAHA

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 1:48 PM

I agree that Cal girl should stay with same name. I have loads of respect for people who live with disabilities. I don't think I treat them differently (at least that is what my dad says) but I definitely have admiration for them. Kinda the same way, at the other end of the spectrum, I admire people who can do an ironman in 8 hours. Seriously, what is up with that!

Posted by: s | February 12, 2007 1:50 PM

"What does a man want when he comes home? "

Scotch.

Single Malt.

Just a touch of tap water to open it up.

Everything else is negotiable.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 1:51 PM

From Anon at 1:41

The variance in quality at private and public schools is probably very similar. I would stack the opportunities [and results] of a public magnet school such as Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax against any of the most exclusive private schools in the country. Likewise, here in Howard County I would compare the top public high schools like Centennial and River Hill against any private school in the state.
____________________________

Hey! Hey! Hey! Mt. Hebron rules, River Hill drools! :-)

On a serious note, I don't agree that you can generalize between public and private schools; they're too different. We have our three daughters in public schools and one in a Catholic, all-boys high school. The reason is that we picked the best situation for each child. We love the Howard County public schools - moved here from PG County for the schools, among other reasons - and Hebron's great. It's overcrowded, though (not as much since MRHS opened, but still...). The girls' personalities are all open, outgoing, and they succeed very well in the public schools. Our son is much quieter and willing to float along; in the public middle schools he underachieved because with 35-40 students in each class the teacher just doesn't have the time to dedicate to individual students. So we found him a high school that has about 15-20 students per class and we can talk to the teachers every day - it makes a huge difference to his grades. (And he helped a lot by getting an academic scholarship.)

I'm predisposed toward public schools because my mother was a teacher in public schools; my sister still is one; I went to either military dependent schools or the-public-school-next-to-the-Army-post all my life and I'm generally pleased with the education I got. My wife was educated in Catholic schools all her life and was predisposed to them, but she's been more than pleased with the public schools here. (Okay, the sewage leak in Mt. Hebron during midterm exams was pretty gross, but the schoom meeting re that issue is tonight.)

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 1:51 PM

"Cali Esq, discounted candy day?

Feb. 15, day after Easter, Nov. 1, Dec. 26... yummm...

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 01:44 PM"

Mona, I am so with you there - discounted candy days RULE!! I haven't taken advantage of one in a while, but it was like a sport when I was in college. Especially after Valentines day, since few of my friends were ever in relationships and so that was the only way we celebrated. Well, that and one year while we were all sitting around morosely at the cafeteria and someone bet someone else that they couldn't fit an entire muffin in their mouth (the cafeteria muffins were enormous). That sparked the Valentines Day Muffin Stuffin contest, which was pretty fun for the next two years.

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 1:51 PM

Megan,
"That sparked the Valentines Day Muffin Stuffin contest" as opposed to a Stud Muffin contest?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:53 PM

Pittypat says<

"Your statement reflects all the sad emptiness of our accomplishment-driven society, in which we must "prove" our "worth" on a "quantifiable" scale in order to "merit" respect."

pitty, I seem to be your latest personal target on the board. I'm not going to lose any sleep over that, since most of the posters on the board are able to engage, agree, and disagree over topics and issues without feeling the need to make everything personal, and many more have delightful senses of humor. I suspect you're still annoyed about postings I made on Friday with which you disagree. I don't respect every human who ever lived or died on the basis of their mere humanity. On the other hand, since you've chosen to read something into my original statement that wasn't there, my initial post was in response to an anonymous poster at 12:02 said,

"Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect."

You're correct that I disagree with the proposition that working women deserve respect on the mere basis of working and coming home to additional tasks. I also found the 12:02 post to be profoundly and incorrectly sexist. So sue me.

There may be many things those of us who work outside the home do, and are, that merit respect but it's not about accomplishments any more than it is about cooking dinner or throwing a load of laundry in Father of 4's newest appliance. It's about character, choices, values or doing for others, in my personal opinion. I respect Mother Teresa, scarry, Fred, Texas Dad of 2, Father of 4, cmac, KLB, and many, many other persons on and off this board because of various statements they've made about what is and isn't important to them, sacrifices, attempts to do the right thing. We do not agree on all topics all the time or even half the time. I choose to be a bit more discriminating with my respect but it certainly doesn't have diddly to do with meritocracy or accomplishments or earnings or the presence of female genitalia.

My mother in law raised 8 kids. That merits my respect. I hope to do as good as job with my two, and along the way earn their respect by my choices, conduct and heart. Others have different values and make different choices and we all go rolling along just fine.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 1:55 PM

KLB:

Guilty pleasures:
High maintenance 90210 and The Real Housewives of Orange County

_____________________

Topic for Leslie for next week: compare and contrast Jeana Tomasino Keough to Anna Nicole Smith. :-)

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 1:56 PM

KLB, lol, I guess I just part of the right crowd!!

"And as for this post: "What does a man want when he comes home? "

Scotch.

Single Malt.

Just a touch of tap water to open it up.

Everything else is negotiable."

Count this woman in on that one! That reminds me I need to swing by the liquor store today...

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 1:57 PM

I feel so cheap when I buy my wife roses for Valentine's day. It's like throwing money at it, and takes the minimum effort.
And when I get the flowers from a florist, and ask how much they cost, I swear I hear a snootie little snort from the girl that works behind the counter. As if, if I have to ask how much they cost, it ain't love.

But, after asking, the price goes down $2 a rose because they don't automatically charge you the arrangement fee for putting them in a box.

One last thing before I go to the gym. Girls, to be perfectly blunt, the only thing special your husband wants on Valentine's Day is sex.

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 1:58 PM

... and a nap.

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 1:59 PM

Army Brat - I think I love you!
Hey, aren't you a guy? What does your wife think about you watching the show (or does she watch with you?)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 1:59 PM

Alpine spiced wine:

INGREDIENTS
1 bottle full-bodied red wine
3 tbsp. honey
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. cardamom seeds
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 sliced orange
1 sliced lemon
1/2 cup sugar

In a saucepan, combine 1 bottle full-bodied red wine, 3 tbsp. honey, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tbsp. cardamom seeds, 1 tbsp. black peppercorns, 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced lemon and 1/2 cup sugar. Simmer 15 minutes. Pour into a mug garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 2:00 PM

Of course all mothers are going to describe their children as 'happy.' If they said otherwise it would reflect on themselves. (Another loaded question is 'Have you stopped beating your wife?') Why didn't the pollsters ask the kids? You'd certainly get different answers then.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:02 PM

KLB:

Guilty pleasures:
High maintenance 90210 and The Real Housewives of Orange County

Hey, who is super glad Jo took the job and left that loser Slade at home with his Hummer?

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 2:05 PM

So am I contributing to an "accomplishment-driven socitey?"

Posted by: Meesh | February 12, 2007 01:31 PM

and Meesh, yes :>)

you're contributing to a society in which different communities value different accomplishments, i.e., you find your community niche and stick with it. dontchathink?

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 2:05 PM

"Count this woman in on that one! That reminds me I need to swing by the liquor store today..."

Recommend Aberlour A'Bunadh for when you want to indulge yourself.

At a dinner party one of my wife's friends indicated her preference for single malt scotch. When another woman asked what they cost, my wife's friend just looked at her and shook her head and said "You don't ask what it costs -- it's scotch -- it's like the electric bill -- you just pay it."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:06 PM

This is amazing - I thought I was the only person watching. Slade is such a control freak. Jo could have "had it all" but she chooses to work rather than stay home and dress in a French maid's costume for him. I almost gagged when he threw out the line "I love her enough to let her go". Like she couldn't make that decision for herself.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:13 PM

I love the OC Housewives! But I don't like Jo and Slade. He's looking for the perfect Barbie wife and she is way too immature. Why in the world would you get engaged to man so much older than you with 2 kids when you can't stand kids?

I love Jeanna though. She definately spoils her kids and buys whatever she wants but she also is a major real estate mogul and can support her famlies lifestyle very comfortably (and probably several other families :)

Posted by: Housewives Fan | February 12, 2007 2:13 PM

This is amazing - I thought I was the only person watching. Slade is such a control freak. Jo could have "had it all" but she chooses to work rather than stay home and dress in a French maid's costume for him. I almost gagged when he threw out the line "I love her enough to let her go". Like she couldn't make that decision for herself.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:14 PM

"One last thing before I go to the gym. Girls, to be perfectly blunt, the only thing special your husband wants on Valentine's Day is sex."

Preferably with the cute young intern at the office...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:14 PM

I bought some heart shaped pasta at Costco - does that count as a special V-day dinner?

Posted by: cmac | February 12, 2007 2:16 PM

"When another woman asked what they cost, my wife's friend just looked at her and shook her head and said "You don't ask what it costs -- it's scotch -- it's like the electric bill -- you just pay it." "

That is awesome, that's exactly how it is. Aberlour is lovely. My usual favorites are Talisker and Lagavulin, but lately we've been trying to restrain ourselves and buying cheaper stuff, but it really just isn't the same. I'd rather buy the good stuff and just not drink as much.

In the immortal words of Ron Burgandy: "Scotch, scotch, scotch. I love scotch. Into my belly." I'm trying to get my mom to make me a cross-stitch sampler with that on it for the office...

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 2:16 PM

And how long do you think Lauri's engagement/marriage will last? Can you spell gold digger?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:16 PM

Meesh- the following questions popped into my head from your post on how your self worth is connected to your accomplishments and success outside of the home. It got me thinking, if you were a garbage man or a maid, would that still ring true?

What's more important- rather, how should we judge ourselves? Is it from our work or on the personal relationships we have?

I understand what you're saying completely, but if you, or anyone, had a different station in life, would you still think of yourself in those terms?

I also have to respectfully disagree with your statement concerning education and staying at home. What's the point of education if you're staying at home with kids? The point is to LEARN- to read, count, add, subtract, learn how the world works through science and social studies so that you may use it for both yourself and to teach your children.

Education is NEVER a waste. Just opening your mind to new ideas and growing from that is worth it.

Again, Meesh, I understand where you're coming from, but think there's a different way to calculate self worth.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | February 12, 2007 2:19 PM

To Cal girl: This board affords a level playing field, where our messages are judged on their content, style, tone and typing and spelling skills. So feel free to keep your name as far as I'm concerned -- that is, assuming you have some connection to California ;-)

(Apologies if this posts more than once. I'm having problems getting my message to "take," so could Leslie please remove any duplicates? Thanks).

Posted by: catlady | February 12, 2007 2:19 PM

Off topic on several topics!

"I knew I was an adult after I bought my first house and spent the evening at a friend's house talking about toilets.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 01:15 PM "

My AF daughter wanted to cell phone a photo of her toilet, it was broken and I did not have a camera phone. So she emailed it to me and I instructed her how to fix it from 600 miles away.

I think I told you that Freida and I spent our 30th anniversary looking at stuff at a home improvement store!

Gee, if any of you want new wood floor, new appliances and rooms remodeled, just do what I did...

I know of men who tape soap operas to watch at night but they would never admit to it. I am sure that the same is true for Oprah.

Little bro forgot to give baby bro the Prudon't diploma this past weekend so I will not have it anytime soon.

to NC Lawyer, you are correct in saying that some people should be accorded respect for just breathing. You are right, you have to DO something to engender respect.

BTW, that is 3 generations of CSS

Grandfather: Purdue
Father: U. of Illinois
Son: a CSS in a southern state below Tupelo.

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 2:19 PM

Army Brat:
"On a serious note, I don't agree that you can generalize between public and private schools; they're too different. We have our three daughters in public schools and one in a Catholic, all-boys high school. The reason is that we picked the best situation for each child. We love the Howard County public schools - moved here from PG County for the schools, among other reasons - and Hebron's great."

[Sorry -- forgot to sign my last post]

I think we are in basic agreement -- I was probably too sloppy in my choice of words -- what I really meant to state was that the initial post impugning the educational opportunities of public education was off-base.

Each child is different and as a parent it is great to be able to have choices that enable you to best satisfy that child's needs.

[FYI -- my kids are in elementary now but will eventually be over at Wilde Lake -- like you we have been extremely pleased with the Howard County Public Schools.]


Posted by: A Dad | February 12, 2007 2:21 PM

Mona & Megan:

Thank you so much for reminding me about discount candy!!! There is a silver lining for that dark, dank, forboding cloud that looms over Wednesday! I've got to remember to hit my local CVS. I've got my eye on the Dove chocolate as I type...

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 2:22 PM

Fred,
I don't think that losing a home in a hurricane is the best way to get new flooring and appliances but thanks for the advice:-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:22 PM

Thanks, KLB (blush!)

Hey, aren't you a guy? What does your wife think about you watching the show (or does she watch with you?)

Uhh, yeah, my wife thinks I'm a guy. And I've only watched parts of a couple of episodes. (She doesn't watch it at all; she's more a fan of Desperate Housewifes where's it all acknowledged to be fiction.) It's almost like watching a train wreck - you can't really believe there are people like this voluntarily putting themselves on the air.
I was channel-surfing one time and passed Bravo! when it was on. It happened to be the episode where Ms. Keough was showing off her real estate empire. She explained how and why she bought each house, and which child would get which house, when.

I figured I had to check that story out. Google, Wikipedia, IMDB and some other sources showed most of it to be true. Although I still think a lot of that is scripted for the show, I was certainly impressed by her knowledge of SoCal real estate!

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 2:22 PM

The talk of Columbia schools brings back the memories: Wilde Lake High as an 8th and 9th grader, the opening of Oakland Mills High when I was a 10th grader....How we all absolutely hated Mt. Hebron and Howard High. Or rather, how Mt. Hebron and Howard high kids hated us Columbia folk...and purely because their parents hated the idea of Columbia. It was all a 70s thing.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 2:22 PM

I bought some heart shaped pasta at Costco - does that count as a special V-day dinner?

Posted by: cmac | February 12, 2007 2:25 PM

more 70s recollection:

and all married mothers were at home. Only single mothers worked then. I don't believe anyone asked either group if they liked it or not. It wasn't a matter of liking, it was just life.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 2:25 PM

I'll be curious to see if Lori makes it down the aisle. I do hope that everyone in this world finds happiness but I find it sad that she is putting so much faith into this man that she has known for 6 months. With the "poverty" :) that she fell into from her last divorce, you would think that she would continue to work in order to be able to support herself. Plastic surgery is great - but it only works for so long.

I had to laugh the other week when the other blonde woman (I'm forgetting her name now, but the one who sells insurance) was going on about how sex before marriage is wrong in the bible and then they show her whopping it up and drinking on the lake. Isn't greed, vanity, and drinking all wrong in the bible too :) But I guess its ok since she is a 40+ adult but she doesn't want her 18 year old daughter to be like her.

Posted by: Housewives Fan | February 12, 2007 2:27 PM

One last thing before I go to the gym. Girls, to be perfectly blunt, the only thing special your husband wants on Valentine's Day is sex."

Preferably with the cute young intern at the office...

If this is what your husband/boy friend or whatever you call your male in you life wants, you better sharpen your skills!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:28 PM

"BTW, that is 3 generations of CSS

Grandfather: Purdue
Father: U. of Illinois
Son: a CSS in a southern state below Tupelo."

Fred, who says one can't overcome the disadvantages of birth, LOL? My husband's and my siblings were the first of each family to attain undergraduate degrees. At least your son has better weather.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 2:30 PM

Army Brat,
She may have had a head start on others in the real estate market since her husband made so much money - she probably had the connections. She may be smart but I find her shallow and the children to be spoiled brats. Shane is a bully.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:30 PM

"That is awesome, that's exactly how it is. Aberlour is lovely. My usual favorites are Talisker and Lagavulin, but lately we've been trying to restrain ourselves and buying cheaper stuff, but it really just isn't the same. I'd rather buy the good stuff and just not drink as much."

Great choices as well [if you like Lagavulin make sure you try Caol Ila -- I used to get Lagavulin when I wanted my Islay fix, but have found Caol Ila much more enjoyable]. If you have to go with a Blend, try Dewar's with a hint of Drambuie.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:30 PM

Army Brat, I am also in your position on the public/private schools thing. I'm a public school kid myself and chose our current home in large part because of the public school. But now my daughter is absolutely thriving in Montessori school --went for preschool and absolutely blossomed, so we've kept her here for kindergarten.

The big difference seems to be that the Montessori approach is set up for the kids to work in small groups at their own pace, on whatever they feel like working on that day. For Little Miss Independent, that degree of independence is like pure oxygen to her, so she stays focused and enthused (and well-behaved!). The local elementary school, on the other hand, is designed for all the kids to progress together -- we were told our daughter could do extra "worksheets" if she was too far ahead of her class. Didn't like that too much -- plus the girl can be a real challenge when she gets bored, which is not something I really want to see in her or subject a teacher to.

So here I am, after "knowing" that my kids would be public school kids, now leaning towards private school because of the fit with her personality and needs. I just feel lucky to be in a position to be able to afford to choose whichever we think is best for our kids -- a choice my mom never had. And luckily, so far it looks like my son will be more temperamentally suited to public schools (fingers crossed). :-)

Posted by: Laura | February 12, 2007 2:31 PM

"What does a man want when he comes home? "

Scotch.

Single Malt.

True in our house! My husband got a bottle of Scotch for his birthday and it was a blended Whiskey (?) Scotch and he was so annoyed.

Posted by: CMAC | February 12, 2007 2:31 PM

Army Brat,
She may have had a head start on others in the real estate market since her husband made so much money - she probably had the connections. She may be smart but I find her shallow and the children to be spoiled brats. Shane is a bully.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:31 PM

more 70s recollection:

and all married mothers were at home. Only single mothers worked then. I don't believe anyone asked either group if they liked it or not. It wasn't a matter of liking, it was just life.

-----------------------------------------

Is this tongue in cheek? Not too many female engineers I realize, but you seem to missing family businesses, service workers, etc...

Posted by: joke? | February 12, 2007 2:31 PM

"Fred,
I don't think that losing a home in a hurricane is the best way to get new flooring and appliances but thanks for the advice:-)"

Maybe not the best way but it was just yesterday that Freida was saying how much she liked her new kitchen with the new oven, dishwasher...

And that the washer and dryer are out of the kitchen and in their own laundry room with the ice maker!

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 2:32 PM

"That is awesome, that's exactly how it is. Aberlour is lovely. My usual favorites are Talisker and Lagavulin, but lately we've been trying to restrain ourselves and buying cheaper stuff, but it really just isn't the same. I'd rather buy the good stuff and just not drink as much."

Great choices as well [if you like Lagavulin make sure you try Caol Ila -- I used to get Lagavulin when I wanted my Islay fix, but have found Caol Ila much more enjoyable]. If you have to go with a Blend, try Dewar's with a hint of Drambuie.


Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:32 PM

What single women have to do:
Pay all bills (mortgage, insurance, car, car maintenance, car insurance, utilities, food, clothes, medical) without a second paycheck. We also have to pay for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts out of that single paycheck when married couples live on two incomes.
Deal with contractors who do work on the house.
Deal with auto mechanics who work on our cars.
Deal with broken appliances -- to fix or to replace? Either way you have to be home for the repairman or deliverymen.
Ask for a ride to the medical center when we have a procedure that requires us to be knocked out, like an endoscopy or outpatient surgery. We don't have a spouse who can drive us to or from the med center. I had to ask a friend for a ride and paid him with a gift certificate to a nice restaurant.
Take a day off from work to be there for the contractors, for estimates, for deliveries, for repairmen, for car repairs. We don't get FMLA like wussies with children get.
Spend the weekends doing errands, pick up cleaning, take the pets to the vet, get car fixed, do grocery shopping, do laundry, clean house, work in the yard if we have one. Just because we don't have children doesn't mean we have tons of free time.
Catch up with family birthdays, holidays, funeral visits alone as well as any charity work we're involved in.
The next person who says 'You're single, you don't have anything to do' gets a belt in the chops.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:32 PM

I have to get on the bourbon band wagon. Used to be Jack Daniels but a patient got me into Crown Royal - yummy on a cold night (or while you are shoveling snow).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:33 PM

"You've chosen to read something into my original statement that wasn't there..."

NC,

If that's the case, then can you explain what this statement means:

"Contrary to everything you've heard from Paid Service Ads on the networks the last 20 years, you actually have to do something, accomplish something, provide service to someone, overcome something, which is worthy of respect in order to merit the respect of even one more person on the planet."

I have to admit, I took it at face value: you have to do something to merit respect. If you were being humorous or if there was some alternative meaning, I missed it. I'd be grateful if you'd explain.

As to personal targets, by your definition, you're targeting me, as well, because I disagree with you. Isn't that a little bit ridiculous?

Friday's blog was an awful lot like a school playground -- fights, jealousies, alliances, a whole lot of nah-nah, boo-boo. And all because some people were appalled at the idea of showing compassion to someone whose morals they didn't approve of.

For me, respect has little to do with accomplishments and everything to do with the inherent worth and dignity of every living being. People have my respect until they do something to lose it.

Posted by: pittypat | February 12, 2007 2:33 PM

To CMAC: "heart shaped pasta" -- definitely Valentine's Day!

Posted by: catlady | February 12, 2007 2:35 PM

from dotted:


more 70s recollection:

and all married mothers were at home. Only single mothers worked then. I don't believe anyone asked either group if they liked it or not. It wasn't a matter of liking, it was just life.

_________________

I clearly lived in the wrong place - or maybe the right one! I was in high school in the mid '70s (graduated in 77). In the small town in Louisiana in which I then lived, all of the married moms except two worked, essentially because they had to for financial reasons. There was one guy who it seemed like owned half the Parish (he was also the Judge and his father the mayor of one of the towns; figure that) whose wife didn't work. And there was another mom who was disabled in a car wreck; she didn't work. I think everybody else worked.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 2:35 PM

"BTW, that is 3 generations of CSS

Grandfather: Purdue
Father: U. of Illinois
Son: a CSS in a southern state below Tupelo."

That is my grandfather that went to Purdon't.
DD went to that private U.of T. Fredia went to a private college also.

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 2:36 PM

As a working mother and single parent, I can only be grateful for the SAHMs who keep things running smoothly in my children's schools. While I often wish I had the time to help plan PTA events, fundraisers, or other activities for kids, I realistically cannot. A good, solid community runs best with a mix of people filling a mix of functions: it is foolish to endlessly debate the working mom/stay-at-home mom question. Our communities are best off when we have both -- all women (and men) can be role-models and important contributors!

Posted by: suburbia39 | February 12, 2007 2:37 PM

Swapping opinions on what I can cheetos for the brain TV (which I heartily indulge in) and scotch beats Oprah's silly survey any day. I find myself drawn to Real Housewives now that OC is being cancelled. It's like watching a train wreck ...

Re public/private: my parents only once regretted not going private -- we had a 6 month stint in Norfolk VA and I road a bus to a big overcrowded middle school where the curriculum in Jan/Feb was a repeat of what I did in Sept/Oct in my previous school. It was also the first year they moved 6th graders to middle school and due to some kids repeating grades some of the students were up to 4 years older than me. But I survived...

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 2:38 PM

just want to point out that I never have pretended to be something other than i am. I just never mentioned my disability before. I'm sorry that people will lose the continuity of "Cal Girl", but being unknown for my disability was liberating and educational. Father of Four, maybe people don't pull their punches with you, but I know people are so much nicer and more reasonalbe with me in real life than they are on this blog, and i have to wonder if part of it is because i get a pass in real life ("don't be mean to the disabled girl!") that I wasn't getting here on the blog. I get the unvarnished, brutal truth here. i think people sugar coat sometimes with me in the "real world".

If people had known about my disability, would anyone have attacted me for trying to go to the gym as often as possible? No way! but they did, and now i know that that is something that "normal" SAHMs would be criticized for. Who knew? i didn't and now i do and i wonder what other things I will learn if I maintain anonymity of disability in this blog. For the most part, the criticisms directed at me have been well deserved, or at least interesting to me. But I fear that resource of honesty will dry up if i continue on as Cal Girl.

Posted by: Cal Girl | February 12, 2007 2:39 PM

Army Brat

Are you from Chalemette or Erath?

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 2:40 PM

Laura - we too chose Montessori for our kids and are continuing it at the elementary level because of the same things you cited. We truly LOVE the method. Good luck

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 2:42 PM

Ladies, if you are having wine with your cheese curls, then technically, you are having "cuisine." Can't get with Oprah or Valentine's Day. Agree that O has too much pull -- why are so many under her spell -- plus I agree with the poster who said it is creepy that she is on the cover of her own mag every month. Only thing good about the over-manufactured and over-marketed VD is those little Necco hearts...

Posted by: tar heel gal | February 12, 2007 2:43 PM

Cal Girl,
Stop your whining (feel better now? :-)
I can only speak for myself but I TRY to disagree with civility and without an eye to a disability. I don't think I have pulled any punches with Father of 4.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:44 PM

Cal Girl,
Stop your whining (feel better now? :-)
I can only speak for myself but I TRY to disagree with civility and without an eye to a disability. I don't think I have pulled any punches with Father of 4.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:46 PM

Off topic to KLB: For bourbon go with Maker's Mark or if you're splurging Basil Hayden.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 2:47 PM

Where's happy hour tonight????

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 2:48 PM

"I can only be grateful for the SAHMs who keep things running smoothly in my children's schools."

Right, give those useless parasites something to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 2:48 PM

Sorry for the duplicate posts - the Post makes me do it.

I have had Makers Mark and love it. I have never heard of Basil hayden. Where is it made?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:49 PM

little Necco hearts...

Posted by: tar heel gal | February 12, 2007 02:43 PM


LOVE THEM!

Also regular chocolate NECCO waffers!

And Swedish Fish - even though they are not V-day specific either.

Posted by: cmac | February 12, 2007 2:50 PM

Where's happy hour tonight????

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Happy Hour will be late tonite as I have to shop for my trip. I am dog-free as my Charley is in WV with friends until I get back. :-(

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 2:51 PM

the comments re: 70s recollection were true of Columbia/Howard County Maryland. I wasn't joking. Of course, your milage may vary.

Most fathers were middle class in various positions usually commuting somewhere else. There were some family owned business, but the mothers were home. I didn't say I agreed with what that group did, by the way. I merely describe a slice of life.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 2:53 PM

Army Brat

Are you from Chalemette or Erath?


Other side of the lake - Slidell and then Pearl River. (My sister is still teaching in Slidell; she hopes to be fully out of her FEMA trailer any day now.)

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 2:54 PM

OK, I have not been in Slidell since this am. I work in the CBD in N.O.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 2:56 PM

Cal Girl, et al.

I would never judge a mother for going to the gym every day one way or the other. Even for the fully able-bodied, I tend to think being in good shape and healthy would make one a better parent. Plus, exercise helps clear one's head and relieve stress. And with all of the obese children, it is probably helpful to expose your child to exercise early on in life.


I think the "brutal truth" you received today on this blog was just one person being snarky. Please don't read too much into it.

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 2:56 PM

I have NO respect for Oprah because I personally feel that she is very full of herself and dictates what should be gospel, so I am not paying any attention to this so-called poll. Leslie, great job for picking another biased topic. Most of us on this board are average mothers trying to do the right things for our families--why don't you try coming down to our level for once? AND try picking topics that most of us can relate to. This is beginning to look like you're tooting your own horn, honey.

Posted by: Utopia | February 12, 2007 2:58 PM

Army Brat,

OK, I have not been in Slidell since this a.m. I work in the CBD of N.O.

We elected not to have a FEMA trailer, we lived in Ala while reparing the house.

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 3:00 PM

KLB:

She may have had a head start on others in the real estate market since her husband made so much money - she probably had the connections. She may be smart but I find her shallow and the children to be spoiled brats. Shane is a bully.

___________

I think I agree with all of that. I'm not sure when she and Matt Keough married, so she may have started on the real estate career prior to marriage. (She claims to have invested all of her money from modeling and acting in real estate.)

I don't know of any kid on that show who isn't a brat. They make the kids on Two-a-days look like angels. (I watch Two-a-Days because I played high school football at a southern high school. Other than the fact that we always lost, that show dredges up some real memories. I love how the folks in Birmingham are shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that the football coach cusses in the locker room and on the practice field.)

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 3:00 PM

To KLB SS MD: Just think of it as your giving Charley a vacation, too! With any luck he'll enjoy the change of scene, yet still be thrilled to greet you next time you see him.

Posted by: catlady | February 12, 2007 3:01 PM

What single women have to do:
Pay all bills (mortgage, insurance, car, car maintenance, car insurance, utilities, food, clothes, medical) without a second paycheck. We also have to pay for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts out of that single paycheck when married couples live on two incomes.
Deal with contractors who do work on the house.
Deal with auto mechanics who work on our cars.
Deal with broken appliances -- to fix or to replace? Either way you have to be home for the repairman or deliverymen.
Ask for a ride to the medical center when we have a procedure that requires us to be knocked out, like an endoscopy or outpatient surgery. We don't have a spouse who can drive us to or from the med center. I had to ask a friend for a ride and paid him with a gift certificate to a nice restaurant.
Take a day off from work to be there for the contractors, for estimates, for deliveries, for repairmen, for car repairs. We don't get FMLA like wussies with children get.
Spend the weekends doing errands, pick up cleaning, take the pets to the vet, get car fixed, do grocery shopping, do laundry, clean house, work in the yard if we have one. Just because we don't have children doesn't mean we have tons of free time.
Catch up with family birthdays, holidays, funeral visits alone as well as any charity work we're involved in.
The next person who says 'You're single, you don't have anything to do' gets a belt in the chops.


Posted by: | February 12, 2007 02:32 PM

Are you kidding??? If you're not- then BOO HOO!!!

Then get married- gosh!

I had to do all of those things pre marriage and kids- believe me- if you're complaining now, I'd hate to be around the day you have kids! What you have to do is EASY.

Posted by: oh, boo hoo | February 12, 2007 3:03 PM

The only thing Oprah has done that I think is worthwhile is start her reading club. Reading enriches us all, and she started out picking some very good books. However, she soon took a turn in the other direction by picking out self-help books filled with psycho-babble and affiliating Dr. Phil, who IMHO is a complete hack.

But the general idea was good -- to get people reading instead of being glued to the TV.

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 3:04 PM

catlady,
You are right - he has 3 acres of fenced in land and two sheep to play with (not to mention the three cats and dalmation).
My only worry is that the boys are not so good about closing the gate! I fear I will worry the whole time.

KLB SS MD out for shopping.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 3:04 PM

"You are right, you have to DO something to engender respect."

Why? Why can't a person just be treated with respect for being a human being?

To the busy anonymous single person: fine, you don't have any free time. But I would guess that all of us with children thought we were busy before, too. Add "care for three children under age 10" onto your list and see what happens.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:05 PM

When I'm a mother, I plan on keeping my gym habits as they are now. I'll have to juggle a bit more, but I defy anyone to criticize a person for staying healthy and in shape. What is wrong with people? Going to the gym is a GOOD THING. And like lawgirl said, will make one healthier and more health-conscious, therefore a better parent.

Little Necco hearts....oh man. Safeway had them on sale about a month ago. I ate three large bags over the course of three weeks. I now officially never want to see Necco hearts again...until next year. And I think I will be paying my dentist's car payment this month....

Posted by: Mona | February 12, 2007 3:06 PM

I'm so lucky that my husband's beverage of choice is cheap ol' Budweiser. and now that a good bottle of red wine (or good enough for me) goes for about $7, we continue to be each other's ideal, inexpensive Valentines date. Oh, and both beverages go nicely with Cheetos or Utz cheese curls, depending on one's preference.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 3:06 PM

"Take a day off from work to be there for the contractors, for estimates, for deliveries, for repairmen, for car repairs. We don't get FMLA like wussies with children get."

Since when do parents use FMLA to be home for the delivery/repairmen/etc.? And since when is FMLA only for parents?

Posted by: Read the law | February 12, 2007 3:08 PM

Fred,

Well, my wife will be down there soon (Weather permitting). She's leaving Thursday night to spend a week with my sister for Mardi Gras - a "girls' week out" if I can be permitted a possibly-sexist term.

(Our 20th anniversary is this summer. I always hear complaints that in all that time I've never taken her to Mardi Gras. So this year's birthday present for her is a ticket down there. She says it's not really what she wanted; she wanted the two of us to go together and stay at the Monteleone. But somebody's got to get the kids to school, get them fed, etc. Maybe in a few years it'll be the Monteleone for us, but this year she gets to see what Mardi Gras is all about with a "native" for a tour guide. She's really, really happy about it.)

Posted by: Army Brat | February 12, 2007 3:10 PM

Pay all bills (mortgage, insurance, car, car maintenance, car insurance, utilities, food, clothes, medical) without a second paycheck. We also have to pay for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts out of that single paycheck when married couples live on two incomes.

Yeah, but married people have to buy gifts for the inlaws. Even if MIL gives you a sage green sweater three years in a row, we still have to buy her something in return. I would take buying gifts for my family on one page any day to buying gifts for the inlaws.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 3:10 PM

I'm sitting here and reviewing my family background.

Four generations of two-parent incomes in my direct family tree (I do not know who did what in Europe). There are two aunts and two cousins who stay at home.

I don't know what all the fuss is about, actually.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:13 PM

Add "care for three children under age 10" onto your list and see what happens.

Totally not fair. Whatever challenges you have in your life are the challenges you face. There is nothing worse than having an infant and having some dope say "wait until you have two". There is always someone who has it worse and has to work harder - that doesn't mean she can't complain. If we make it a rule that only the worst off amongst us can complain then we'd have no blog. Give her a break.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 3:13 PM

It's better to be single than sorry. How many of your married dames would trade places with a single person if you have a chance?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:15 PM

moxiemom - it was simply a comparison between a typical single mom and the anonymous single poster. She said she was sick of people saying she didn't do anything since she didn't have children, and listed everything she does do. My point was that single mothers do all that she does AND take care of children. Similar to the working mom who says to the stay at home mom Oh yeah? I do all that you do PLUS I work all day.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:18 PM

It's better to be single than sorry. How many of your married dames would trade places with a single person if you have a chance?

I'm working on making it happen even as we speak. Plus I will have sole custody of the kids, due to spouse being severely mentally ill and incompetent. Yep, meets the legal definition too.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:19 PM

"I know people are so much nicer and more reasonalbe with me in real life than they are on this blog, and i have to wonder if part of it is because i get a pass in real life"

Of course you get a pass in real life. And, there are more than a few disabled posters on this blog who chose not to identify themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:20 PM

"Similar to the working mom who says to the stay at home mom Oh yeah? I do all that you do PLUS I work all day."

I understand the point, I'm saying its not cool to knock her situation. I'm sure a single mom would look at someone with a spouse and say "yeah, try it on your own". If it is hard for her, then it is hard for her even if you and I would perceive it as a walk in the park.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 3:21 PM

I wouldn't trade places with anyone I know. It isn't that I have it good, but rather, I have it the way my choices support. And yes, I'm married with kids.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 3:23 PM

If you have 3 kids under 10, or any age for that matter, there should be a partner to help with caring for those kids. You're not doing all this alone, are you? Isn't that what you militant feminists are all about? Making the spouse share in household duties?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:26 PM

"There is always someone who has it worse and has to work harder - that doesn't mean she can't complain."

That is the truth. I remember life before children and how I thought I never had any time. Funny how I find the time now that I add a 3yo to everthing I used to do. However I don't critize my single, child-free friends who manage their households, finances, etc., alone. Life is challenging, regardless of obligations. If its not, I think you've got to be living on someone elses dime.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 3:26 PM

"Why can't a person just be treated with respect for being a human being?"

Because all human beings aren't respectable. Some of them are beneath contempt. How people should be treated is separate from what one thinks of those same people inside. Treating persons with respect --particularly strangers -- is the hallmark of civility. Whether or not one respects that person is entirely different.

Do you respect:

deadbeat dads?
Guys who father 14 children and fail to marry any of the moms or support or develop a relationship with any of the children?
the man who, last week, bashed his 2 year old's head against a piece of furniture then took her unconscious body out into below-freezing temperatures and left her to die?
pedophiles?
Hitler?
hypocritical priests/ministers?
the second wife who engaged in an adulterous affair with your husband for several years before he left and married her?
moms who offer their children up to pedophiles for a dalliance in exchange for money/drugs, etc.
parents who have no time for their children because they're too busy with their own drama?
[insert your own example of contemptible behavior].

just saying'. Not looking to beat a dead horse.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 3:27 PM

Ah, yes, the "hardship olympics". I agree with Cali Esq - we all have our challenges...

Posted by: Missicat | February 12, 2007 3:28 PM

I'm gonna go with you NC Lawyer - my folks always told me that respect was earned not given. Sure you can respect the value of human life, but that doesn't mean you have to respect the individual. I try to treat everyone respectfully regardless - karma.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 3:30 PM

Those bemoaning the plight of the single mom: Well then why did you marry the idiot in the first place? Or why did you get knocked up by a guy you knew would never stick around? Why did you choose to have kids with little income and no family support?

Come on- before we go into how "hard" people have it- then you should probably think about what YOU did to contribute to the problem.

Time for some personal responsibility people!!

Posted by: to single mothers | February 12, 2007 3:30 PM

"Well, my wife will be down there soon (Weather permitting). She's leaving Thursday night to spend a week with my sister for Mardi Gras - a "girls' week out" if I can be permitted a possibly-sexist term."

I have been on the balcony of the Royal Senesta during Mardi Gras. A dream come true! Before anyone jumps on me about that, I was with some women and the revelers were equal opportunity--if you catch what I mean. Baby bro is comning down without the Purdue diploma but I will be staying home on Tuesday.


Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 3:31 PM

"I would take buying gifts for my family on one page any day to buying gifts for the inlaws."

I'm with you there, foamgnome! I told DH he had to buy presents for his family this holiday, and for his father's 70th. He never got around to it, though he claims he still will. Somehow it reflects badly on me, though. In my experience this seems to be something that wives are supposed to do, even for the in-laws.

Posted by: Neighbor | February 12, 2007 3:34 PM

Fred, hope we dont' see Frieda in "Wives Gone Wild" - tell her to look out for that Francis fellow.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 3:34 PM

"Sure you can respect the value of human life, but that doesn't mean you have to respect the individual. I try to treat everyone respectfully regardless - karma."

Well said moxiemom.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 3:34 PM

to the anonymous 3:26 poster who assumes there is a partner if there are kids - ever hear of death, divorce(in this case the amount of help can be anywhere from excellent to non-existent) and desertion?

Though I agree with Moxiemom we all can feel overwhelmed, etc., you are making it harder on yourself by assuming others have it easier. We can be sympathetic to "I am having one of those days (weeks, months)", but not "Feel sorry for me because you have a partner & I don't"

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | February 12, 2007 3:36 PM

"Fred, hope we dont' see Frieda in "Wives Gone Wild" - tell her to look out for that Francis fellow."

Is it that Francis guy or Frances guy, you never can tell when you get closer to Esplande Ave.

Fredia spent 5 years going to college in New Orleans so she has seen it.

"Wives Gone Wild" too funny!

Best description that I have ever heard about M.G.

A man from Wyoming or S.D. or some place like that said,

"I have seen more in public in one day than I have seen in private in 30 years."

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 3:40 PM

Is it that Francis guy or Frances guy, you never can tell when you get closer to Esplande Ave.

lol - remember when guys were named Francis and Leslie and Carroll?

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 3:43 PM

"Time for some personal responsibility people!!"

What are "personal responsibility people"?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:44 PM

Hey - I agree with the poster's detail on what a single parent needs to do in comparison to married parents. I find it so amusing when a SAHM says how difficult her life is taking care of her children, and not getting any help her husband... whatever!! If I got to stay at home I'd have dinner on the table everynight by the time he got home, and a cold beer ready. Work 50 hours a week, taking care of your home and child (really being focused on them) on your own... just for a week.

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 3:44 PM

"Because all human beings aren't respectable."

yep, this is the truth! My parents taught me that respect is given and not earned and that is what I am teaching my daughter.

On the in law thing. I stopped buying for them. My SIL and BIL never even sent my daughter a birthday or Chirstmas card, so I decided that I am not buying gifts for their kids this year. If my husband wants to do it he can, but I am not. He said he isn't going to do it either, so I guess they aren't getting anything from us. If they ask me why should I tell them?

Posted by: scarry | February 12, 2007 3:47 PM

Well To Single Moms,

I guess its all how you describe personal responsibility. Is it responsible for a 28 y/o lawyer to have a child out of wedlock, unplanned mind you....

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 3:48 PM

yep, this is the truth! My parents taught me that respect is given and not earned and that is what I am teaching my daughter.

oops sorry, trying to do to many things at once.

Respect is earned and not given.

Posted by: scarry | February 12, 2007 3:48 PM

I don't buy for my in-laws. It's up to my husband to deal with his family; if he can't remember his family's birthdays and anniversaries, you can rest assured it isn't MY priority either.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:52 PM

Hey - I agree with the poster's detail on what a single parent needs to do in comparison to married parents. I find it so amusing when a SAHM says how difficult her life is taking care of her children, and not getting any help her husband... whatever!! If I got to stay at home I'd have dinner on the table everynight by the time he got home, and a cold beer ready. Work 50 hours a week, taking care of your home and child (really being focused on them) on your own... just for a week.

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 03:44 PM

Yea, I've tried it. I've also tried taking care of my house, my job, my child, AND my marriage. It takes work to keep up a marriage! Spouses/partners aren't around just to do chores- it's a relationship that takes care and love. My life is almost easier w/o my hubby because I do't have to worry about ANOTHER person's life and feelings and needs.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:52 PM

"And hey, just throwing this out there... If I just bought a new dishwasher and stove for my wife last week, do I still have to get her a Valentine's gift?"

Yes, indeedy. But not necessarily chocolate or jewelry (although the latter doesn't hurt). My condolences to you and your family, by the way, late as I am.

As for the poll, I feel like I'm respected for the most part as a working, single mom. But my own curiosity concerns mothers, WOH or SAH, of disabled children, and how these mothers are viewed and how they feel about their roles. Do they feel respected, isolated, or something else? I'd like to see a poll about that.


Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | February 12, 2007 3:52 PM

To Cal Esq - is it responsible for a 28 year old lawyer to have an abortion if she is fully capable of raising a child?

I was 28 single and found myself pregant and kept the child - my best decision ever. I knew that one day I wanted children and could never eliminate my child due to bad timing...

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 3:53 PM

My life is almost easier w/o my hubby because I do't have to worry about ANOTHER person's life and feelings and needs.

Well, get rid of him!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:53 PM

I'd get rid of the man/woman in my life that makes it more difficult and not easier... what is the point? Having an additional person to worry about takes effort, but that person should also be taking care of your needs as well. Perhaps a week is not enough time to realize the life of a single mom - because it is more like a vacation... who knows, but I do know that SAHM's have a cake life!

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 3:56 PM

Scarry, I would tell them the truth. I don't think there is anything wrong with saying something, since DD did not receive a birthday/Christmas gift, I took this to mean you no longer want to exchange. If your interested in exchanging in the future, please feel free to let me know. End it like that. I think they would be so embarrassed, they won't say a word.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 3:57 PM

Cali Esq-

I don't know- do you have family support? Are you going to b*tch and complain about how hard you have it?

Of course it's irresponsible- it was unplanned and you're single. So you weren't careful enough.

Listen, I'm not in the camp that believes one needs to be married to have a kid- just that you think about the consequences before acting. If you don't have someone to support you and help, yes, that's irresponsible.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 3:58 PM

Those bemoaning the plight of the single mom: Well then why did you marry the idiot in the first place? Or why did you get knocked up by a guy you knew would never stick around? Why did you choose to have kids with little income and no family support?

Come on- before we go into how "hard" people have it- then you should probably think about what YOU did to contribute to the problem.

Time for some personal responsibility people!!

Posted by: to single mothers | February 12, 2007 03:30 PM

My sister thought about what she could do to make the world a better place and she adopted two children, neither of whom were infants. They were living in overcrowded orphanages and had been since birth. She has less income than she would if she had a spouse or partner because she is self-employed and chooses to make less and have more time with the kids -- a decision I believe most of us applaud. She has family support in the form of moral support and a certain amount of financial support. But there's support. and there's "take a night off, honey. I'll play with the girls while you relax or go to the gym or have a night out with your friends."

so just what is it that you, to single mothers, have done in your entire life to make the world a better place?

I respect my sister. Can't say the same for you based on this posting.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 3:59 PM

To Single Mom:

Small world because the same thing happened to me. I always wanted babies and figured it would be hard due to timing, but not unreasonable. Yes its been hard, but I have a wonderful child who is more than worth it. I'm glad you are with me on this. My post was directed to "to single mothers | February 12, 2007 03:30 PM" who seems to think that somehow we are less than responsible for making the choice we made.

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 4:01 PM

who knows, but I do know that SAHM's have a cake life!

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 03:56 PM


I'm going to agree that comparatively to a single mom, I have a cake life. Does that mean I never have cause to feel frustrated and overwhelmed? Compared to a single mom in El Salvador you have a cake life. Its all relative and while we all certainly need to keep things in perspective - we need to remember that things can be hard for anyone and everyone.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 4:02 PM

single mom- you admitted outright that you would stay home in a second and serve your husband. Hmm...guess you want to be a lazy SAHM? Don't be so quick to look down your nose at SAHMs when in reality it's what YOU want to be.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 4:02 PM

Scarry,
I sortof agree with foamgnome. Though I wouldn't use 'since you didn't, I won't' kind of lines. I would say something unqualified like 'I thought we weren't anymore' without any explanations. If they ask for more information, then I guess I would go with what foamgnome say. However, wouldn't you feel bad if they *did* mail something and you just didn't get it?

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 4:02 PM

Dotted: even better put. I have a couple of those dead beat relatives too. Oh they send a gift, in May!

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 4:05 PM

4:02 - the grass is always greener on the other side. I'd probably die of boredom after a few months of being a SAHM. I was saying that I'd not complain about not working, nor be demanding about equally sharing the workload in the house and with the kids if I did not have to contribute to the family. The husband would leave to house to earn money for the home and food, and I would take care of the kids,home, etc... seems only way to fairly divide the work. I think some SAHMs feel entitled to a break when hubby comes home from working all day

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 4:05 PM

I don't believe single mom was looking down her nose at SAHMs, but rather she was saying she's envious of them because of how easy they have it. Two totally different things.

Posted by: to 4:02 | February 12, 2007 4:06 PM

I agree with moxiemom -- it is all relative. I don't compare any hardships I may have to other moms' hardships. I'm too tired to, for one thing. Really, it doesn't improve my situation to compare. I just try my darndest to be empathetic and to not feel sorry for myself. While someone may have it better, someone else has it worse than you.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | February 12, 2007 4:07 PM

"Of course it's irresponsible- it was unplanned and you're single. So you weren't careful enough."

So, anon @ 3:58, how careful is a person supposed to be? If you take all reasonable precautions (birth control, etc.) and still end up with child, what then? You fault people for getting pregnant out of wedlock, then fault people for marrying in these circumstances. So what, in your wise opinion, is a "responsible" person to do in such a situation?

Posted by: Cali Esq | February 12, 2007 4:08 PM

Geez, if producing children turns you people into such viscious *itches, maybe most of you should have stayed childless. It's a free country. Just because someone doesn't agree with your point of view you don't have to pounce and rip them to shreds. Obviously a lot of PMSing today. It's people like you that give other women a bad name.

Posted by: Just Lurkin' Today | February 12, 2007 4:09 PM

foamgnome:
I have a dear friend who is always about 6 months late with presents. She and I were sitting at a bar 25 years ago and the notion of receiving a surprise present struck us both as the best kind. So between the two of us: it is always better-way-late-than-never.
And since my DH is out of town this week, valentines will be some surprise date in the future.

I like surprises!

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 4:10 PM

Big brother is infamous for cheap and late gifts. When your adult brother gives you a bag of rubber bands for Christmas 6 months after Christmas, you got to wonder. I often wonder if he does his holiday shopping at the supply cabinet at work. I have to admit when he got married, real gifts were forth coming. Still 6 months late but at least they are better then the free bag of rubber bands.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 12, 2007 4:12 PM

I don't compare any hardships I may have to other moms' hardships.

I'M TOO TIRED TO, FOR ONE THING.

Really, it doesn't improve my situation to compare. I just try my darndest to be empathetic and to not feel sorry for myself. While someone may have it better, someone else has it worse than you.


Posted by: interesting | February 12, 2007 4:13 PM

If you really don't think there's anything irresponsible about your actions, then there is nothing I can say to change that. Deep down- single moms get defensive because they know they've made mistakes.

I don't have the energy for this. Yes, I make a difference in this world- by taking care of myself and my family and my job and my community. And not getting knocked up by questionable men....yes, that's snarky.

Posted by: to single mothers | February 12, 2007 4:14 PM

I am too busy as well to compare my life to others, but there is always that "what in the world are you complaining about" reflex with someone complains to you about something that you'd give your right arm to be in the same situation... As a previous poster suggested, there are single mothers around the world that have it tougher than I do, but I am not complaining to them... maybe I need a nap - I read that it is good for your heart.

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 4:16 PM

I think some SAHMs feel entitled to a break when hubby comes home from working all day

Posted by: | February 12, 2007 04:05 PM

I don't necessarily feel entitled to a break, but I get one because my dh is excited to see his kids after not seeing them all day and can't wait to play with them. My "break" is cleaning up dinner without anyone else around. I love how annoyed people are with the SAHM life when they clearly have no idea what goes on.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 4:16 PM

Cali esq- ok, so let's say birth control fails 2% of the time- I hear that excuse from EVERY single mother I've ever met. I find it VERY hard to believe that every single one of them had a bc failure. You just happen to be the 1% on the pill who got pregnant? The 2% using condoms? Or did the "pull out" method fail you? lol

Just admit the REAL reasons and make it easier on us all.

Posted by: Birth control failure rates | February 12, 2007 4:18 PM

Never made that excuse myself... I picked the wrong guy to be with (let my hormones doe the talking), and did not press hard enough for utilization of a condom. I made two mistakes, but am glad that I did not make a thrd by not keeping the child. We all have our stories, also some single parents were once married to the person of their dreams and the marriage failed - are you going to fault them as well for being irresponsible? Please, lets repect the decisions that people make in life.

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 4:22 PM

"Respect is earned and not given."

I'll be the 5th or 6th to agree.

And Moxiemom: "My "break" is cleaning up dinner without anyone else around"

Amen sister. You take what you can get and enjoy the little things in life! I'd rather clean the dishes then coordiate getting showered/bathed, dressed, teethbrushed, in bed - the dishes don't argue with me.

Posted by: CMAC | February 12, 2007 4:28 PM

I've been reading (only) this blog for about a month now, and I've been astonished at what I hear every day.

You people are some of the harshest critics I've ever encountered.

You find fault with everything anybody says. You beat up on each other for perceived moral lapses. You judge each other while vigorously insisting you don't judge people. You put people down for their choices without ever asking how or why those choices were made.

As a group, you're mean, insensitive, inflexible, incurious, and needlessly sarcastic. You're also obsessed with alcohol.

Do you really like being this way? Making yourselves feel better at the expense of others less able to defend themselves?

You are a bunch of wealthy, pampered, overeducated, snobbish, whining creeps. And those of you who aren't get tarred with the "pull-yourself-up-and-do-better" brush.

Posted by: Observergirl | February 12, 2007 4:32 PM

CMAC - sometimes I'll even put on a little music and have a post dinner sing along with myself. It is the little things. I deplore baths -I'm so so very grateful that dh doesn't! I love story time and saying goodnight. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 4:32 PM

"Dotted: even better put. I have a couple of those dead beat relatives too. Oh they send a gift, in May!"

Once again you are complaining about gifts. First, it was that they weren't giving the type of gift you wanted (college money for child), and now it is the timing of the gifts.

Remember, it is up to the giver. You shouldn't be doing anything more than saying thank you. I can't believe that you are calling relatives deadbeats.

BTW, I consider my in-laws just as much extended family as my extended family that I was born to. My husband is not good with dates and anniversaries and birthdays. I would not fail to acknowledge these events because I think my husband should be the one to do it. his family are also my childrens grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

Posted by: to foamgnome | February 12, 2007 4:33 PM

Observergirl - if you don't like the party and you don't like the guests - Why do you stay?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 4:34 PM

to oberservergirl - indeed we are, and are proud of it.

Also - if i had to give up one part of the parenting role it would be getting out of the house in the morning - it is like pulling teeth!!!

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 4:36 PM

Observergirl
ummmm....while some of what you say does indeed happen, there are also incredible episodes of support, respectful disagreement, careful rewordings of what we meant to say the first time, etc. etc. I see people here discovering what others do in similar and in differing circumstances. I see people here talking about choices they made that helped them to regain balance (some usual examples are going back to work, deciding to stay at home, work at home, leaving DC, etc. etc.)
And the alcohol talk, well you shouldn't take all that so seriously.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 4:38 PM

"Observergirl - if you don't like the party and you don't like the guests - Why do you stay?"

I've been hoping to see different posters from the regulars who always seem to be at each others throats. But I don't think that'll happen.

So, I am going to take off.

Try being nicer to each other.

Posted by: Observergirl | February 12, 2007 4:38 PM

Observergirl, don't you think you might be an eensy, teensy little bit harsh on us?

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 12, 2007 4:40 PM

I had a professor in undergrad who thought the world would be a lot better place if there was a 100 percent effective, 100 perfect safe method of birth control (please don't jump on me about abstinence because that's not where I'm headed). Then cities could put the formula into the public water supply. Then, whoever wanted to get pregnant could take an "antidote" to the birth control until she conceived.

Sounds nice. :) Too bad nothing is 100 percent effective and 100 percent safe. I spent all three years of law school hoping and praying my BC wouldn't fail. I even set an alarm on my phone so I wouldn't forget to take my pill at the same time everyday. Paranoid? Sure.

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 4:40 PM

Also - if i had to give up one part of the parenting role it would be getting out of the house in the morning - it is like pulling teeth!!!

Agree single mom - every morning in my house is like groundhog day. Its like they have never put on a coat and gotten into a car before.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 4:40 PM

"As a group, you're mean, insensitive, inflexible, incurious, and needlessly sarcastic. You're also obsessed with alcohol.

Do you really like being this way? Making yourselves feel better at the expense of others less able to defend themselves?

You are a bunch of wealthy, pampered, overeducated, snobbish, whining creeps. And those of you who aren't get tarred with the "pull-yourself-up-and-do-better" brush."

Observer girl, well now, are you feeling better? actually, we're obsessed with sandwiches and cheetos, but only those with a sense of humor ready carefully enough to pick up on it. and the wealthy part is laughable. why don't you and Just Lurkin' Today go have a drink somewhere and forget all about balance.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 4:42 PM

Observergirl - awwww - you just described Thanksgiving at the In-laws, makes me feel warm inside.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 4:42 PM

Speaking of Cheetos, I wonder if Lays would respond to a petition signed my many people to have baked cheetos sold in more stores - I can only find them in the uber large grocery stores in the distant fringes of the suburbs...

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 4:45 PM

This blog has increasingly become a place where people are basically comparing their lives with someone else's in a vain attempt to separate and elevate themselves (by diminishing another's actions/lifestyle). By comparing a WOHM to say a SAHM, are you not just giving yourselves a built-in excuse (absolving yourselves from some deep-seated guilt that you are not the "best parent" you wished you were)? Rather, this blog can be place where we can focus on how we could be growing rather than worry about the voids/advantages in another's life. Before you magnetically divert to finding fault and flaw with others, ask yourself this empowering question: "What does this say about ME?"

Posted by: another observer | February 12, 2007 4:49 PM

Observergirl, it took you a whole month of reading to find something you objected to enough to submit a comment? What about today's aggregate postings drove you over the edge?

if you are "astonished" at what you reading here, it makes me wonder how old you are. I found high school to be significantly more harsh than anything that's been said here for the last couple of months (give or take a troll).

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 4:49 PM

Speaking of Cheetos, I wonder if Lays would respond to a petition signed my many people to have baked cheetos sold in more stores - I can only find them in the uber large grocery stores in the distant fringes of the suburbs...

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 04:45 PM

I don't know which is more troubling - that you would start a petition or that you stalk baked cheetos as a ...cheetah, might stalk prey?? totally kidding. I make special trips for my whole wheat tortillas. When we lived in Indiana, dh would bring Utz cheese curls home on the plane for me - bags of them because they don't sell them there. Have a good evening everyone.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 12, 2007 4:50 PM

My "break" is cleaning up dinner without anyone else around.


And what about the breaks you've been taking all day long to blog while your kids are at school?

Don't be such a martyr.

Posted by: to moxiemom | February 12, 2007 4:58 PM

now that I'm feeling empowered by another observer, I must admit I'm with single mom on the Lays Baked Cheetos petition. I secretly admit that I can get by on Utz cheese curls if the alternative means driving more than 2 miles.

please, oh please, Leslie, I beg of you a topic that is gender-neutral tomorrow AND doesn't involve celebrities.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 4:59 PM

Yeah - but the anna nicole case just got more interesting - frozen sperm from a dead rich guy, the long term affair with a prince that wanted to adopt her but may have fathered her child? A gender neutral balance topic may be - how does one balance life and sports during march madness?

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 5:01 PM

Okay, Father of 4 what was the illness story and Cal Girl, what's your disability?

For the single moms -- if there was a "man" -- what about child support? There's a good topic. I know at least three people that had children out of wedlock. One never hears from the father (sperm donor as she calls him), the second has court mandated payments to force the guy to pay on time (he's now married to someone else and having his second child with the wife), and the third is having baby number two, and still isn't married to the guy. Maybe that's why I stay single and childless! Ha!!

Posted by: Trying to catch up... | February 12, 2007 5:03 PM

And what about the breaks you've been taking all day long to blog while your kids are at school?

Don't be such a martyr.

Posted by: to moxiemom | February 12, 2007 04:58 PM

this is the kind of nastiness for which there is no excuse. Don't you have a dog to kick or something, to moxiemom?

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 5:04 PM

NC lawyer -- ah but you forget tomorrow is guest blog day -- where we will pick apart the person's grammar, their choices, yawn that it's a snooze or some combination of the above.

Can I hope for a V-day miracle for the Blue Devils? That might make a lovely present...

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 5:04 PM

....Another observation: Along with comparing each other's lives, you also like to attack Leslie for every blog topic, though you repeatively comment on it and engage each other. So when you're not busy mocking, scornful, or sneering each other, you make Leslie an easy target ---blamed for inciting "wars" which you freely partake in.

Posted by: another observer | February 12, 2007 5:05 PM

A gender neutral balance topic may be - how does one balance life and sports during march madness?

single mom, I like the way you think!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 5:05 PM

Child support is definitely a whole other topic ... I don't get any and never have - the "good" side of this (if you can call it that) is that father really has no rights - not something I want to use as a weapon, but was useful for example when I wanted to change my son's last name to mine.

Actually, I don't even remember what the topic was today, but as usual, the posts from the usual culprits have made me SO hungry :)

Posted by: TakomaMom | February 12, 2007 5:09 PM

To trying to catch up - I receive court mandated child support - the father acted like was trying to steal money from him by doing this... he wanted me to walk away. We share legal custody of the child but he has only visited with her once... such is life. At least I am not married to the manipulative deadbeat!

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 5:09 PM

Another observer, what you describe happens on many a blog or message board. I suppose it can be maddening at times, but mostly it just makes me laugh. Except for the trolls who come in, make their stabs and zip out again. That's some mean shiggity right there.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | February 12, 2007 5:12 PM

another observer:
Actually, I find it is the anonymous posters who incite and participate in wars. Those with names disagree-and vehemently at times, but I believe things rarely get truly snarky between those with names. Oh, there are snarky comments, but I've seen just as many apologies.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 5:12 PM

I agree with the sports/march madness balance, on just so many angles. Who will watch the kids during the respective 'big games?' :)

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 5:14 PM

"sperm from a dead rich guy"

I knew that one day I'd read something of value on this blog! I hadn't heard this new development in the ANS story.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 5:16 PM

Can I hope for a V-day miracle for the Blue Devils? That might make a lovely present...

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 12, 2007 05:04 PM

Product of a Working Mother, we can hope, although I am rather despondent after this weekend. I'm used to my number 1 team (Virginia) losing, but not my number 2 team (Duke). 4 in a row? Who'd have thought it was possible.

TakomaMom - please ignore the ignorant, anti-single-mom sniping (it was ridiculous today and all the work of a single troll) and have a single-malt scotch on us, LOL.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 5:18 PM

If Anna Nicole were going to get knocked up with her dead husband's baby, the time to do it would have been immediately upon his passing. The time frame would probably be too close to determine whether the child was conceived before or after his death, and having an heir might have helped her get more of his money!

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 5:19 PM

yeh there was a manuscript found that ANS froze sperm from her husband Marshall, and I think that it is her sister that says she may have used it to get preggers. there are also photos of ANS up close with the Bahaman minister that gives resident visas. So, I complain that I am busy but know so much about gossip - well, at least I do not watch TV (can use that 5+ per day the average american views for less savory hobbies).

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 5:19 PM

to lawgirl - check out the wash post.com celebretology from this morning - she froze the sperm before he died and has saved it (per the gossip of course).

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 5:21 PM

Here's a single mom issue -- whether to forgo pursuing child support based on principle (i.e., the guy's a jerk and you don't want him around, or he might threaten to seek custody if you seek child support, etc.). On one hand, it may make life easier, but on the other, do you owe it to your child and single moms everywhere to make sure the dad is paying his fair share?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 5:21 PM

"to lawgirl - check out the wash post.com celebretology from this morning - she froze the sperm before he died and has saved it (per the gossip of course)."

I know, but I think to take under a will or intestacy, an heir has to be conceived at the time of death, or be born within 10 months of death. Thus, I don't think her being pregnant with his baby would help her now, but it might have closer to his death. If I'm remembering my wills and trusts wrong, please feel free to correct me!

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 5:24 PM

I had the same issue - but he was threatening to take the child (seek custody, but he lives overseas) if I pursued child support. Perhaps now I can life w/o it, but then I did not have a choice - funny things is that I asked him to pay for 100% of her support for one year (while I finished grad school) and I'd walk away from all future claims... he did not sign the papers and is not locked into 21 years. Though, he does everything possible to make things difficult for us to flex his muscles on his legal custody, I feel it is important to make the point. A couple people also pointed out to me that the money is not for me, it is for my child - so when I do not need it for child care it will all go into her college savings account.

An issue as well is that often the father has more money resources than the single mother to be, and in our courts this means more power. DNA donor was touting that he could keep this in court for a long time, and I could never afford to challenge him...

Posted by: single mom | February 12, 2007 5:27 PM

Anon at 5:21, my answer to that is to remember that the child's best interest always comes first. So the child support is for the child, and jerk or not (barring something like abuse, pedophilia, etc.), the single parent needs to pursue the child support so the child gets his or her fair share. Child support is a whole 'nother can of worms.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | February 12, 2007 5:30 PM

I agree with the sports/march madness balance, on just so many angles. Who will watch the kids during the respective 'big games?' :)

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 05:14 PM

dotted, I'm in the process of indoctrinating -- um -- educating both kids about ACC ball so they're easy to watch (on either side of me). They both get to stay up late on Wednesday nights if it's a game that matters. (now you know why we left DC - here, our kids are no more tired than everyone else's on the day after the Duke/UNC game). We carry them up to bed if they fall asleep during overtime. If they get bored watching basketball, they can go to the garage and discuss woodworking with their dad. Ha!

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 5:32 PM

BACK TO ORIGINAL TOPIC ALERT!

Does Oprah even have kids?

Posted by: lawgirl | February 12, 2007 5:38 PM

Back to the original discussion :-)
The anguish I felt about putting my four month old son in day care was second only to what I felt when my grandmother passed away. In fact, after checking out the day care that he eventually went to (and it was a very good one), I was so emotionally messed up that I drove the car through the back garage wall. I suspect that for most mothers who leave babies in the care of people who are essentially strangers (not extended family as in the days of old), the decision is never made lightly. Whether it is in-built or societal, I believe it is harder for a mother to leave her baby than for a dad to do so. Mothering is one of the strongest instincts humans have and I do not think that culture/society can water that down. So whenever women decide to leave their babies in the care of others, there is usually a reason that sometimes makes sense only to the mother. Sometimes its very hard for a mother to share that reason with anyone. The fact is that she does not have to. I agree with lindab: in all history, (most) women have always worked but usually on home business like about the house or enabling the family trade or on a farm. The difference is that she had the support of extended family to take care of the children and that made a world of difference: having a trusted person versus a stranger, albeit a stranger with recommendations.
My point is that each age brings its own troubles (and joys) and we just adapt. Even the mother who decides to stay at home in today's world is making a difficult choice. Lets not make the choice all the more difficult by giving it moral (right/wrong) connotations.

Posted by: rahel | February 12, 2007 5:38 PM

"I'm in the process of indoctrinating -- um -- educating both kids about (college basketball)."

Hey, NC Lawyer, that's called QUALITY TIME :-)))

Posted by: catlady | February 12, 2007 5:38 PM

Thanks, NC Lawyer - though really, I've been a single mom forever so I've heard it all (the age factor certainly didn't do me any favors) - I usually don't respond. It is easy for people to say "you shouldn't have had a kid because you weren't a, b, c, d or e and blah blah blah" - and I am most certainly not defensive about it - of course it's a mistake for 16 year old girls to get pregnant. But exactly what do these people who are so eager to point out my mistake think I should be doing about it right here, right now? Do they think people should be punished for out-of-wedlock pregnancies? Thrown in jail? Their babies taken away and raised in orphanages? I don't mind if people feel that way - it can be an interesting viewpoint - but simply saying, "you shouldn't have been so irresponsible" is, well, I don't know, pointless.

As for single malt scotch, well ... I think I'll settle for a Budweiser with your husband!

Posted by: TakomaMom | February 12, 2007 5:50 PM

"You people are some of the harshest critics I've ever encountered.

You find fault with everything anybody says..."

Hey, we did not jump over porn star from last Friday! Just wanted to know more!

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 5:52 PM

There was a porn star on Friday?? Did I miss something interesting?

Posted by: TakomaMom | February 12, 2007 5:57 PM

"Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect."

I totally agree!!!!

Separately, love the heart-shaped pasta idea for Valentine's Day.

Posted by: Leslie | February 12, 2007 5:59 PM

"Observer girl, well now, are you feeling better? actually, we're obsessed with sandwiches and cheetos, but only those with a sense of humor ready carefully enough to pick up on it. and the wealthy part is laughable. why don't you and Just Lurkin' Today go have a drink somewhere and forget all about balance.."

NC Lawyer, this sounds like one of your posts. CRS again?

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:00 PM

There was a porn star on Friday?? Did I miss something interesting?"

Actually, yes. The poster spoke of how she stared in 3 porns, took drugs and otherwise led a dissipated life for a few years. She has since graduated from college (No word if it were a CSS) and has a stable and productive life.

This was towards the end of the blog and she posted anon. Really an interesting read on how she came to turn her life around.

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:04 PM

""Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect."

I totally agree!!!!"

You know, I've been trying to avoid being snarky about this, but do you really think that a woman who puts up with her husband not doing anything to help around the house deserves respect just because she puts up with it? Isn't that situation a little bit of a two-way street?

I'm not saying the women in that situation deserver disrespect either, I just don't think it's a choice that should be cause for additional respect. One (and only one) of my good friends has a husband like that and I just see that as something she's chosen to accept and deal with.

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 6:06 PM

The porn's star's first post was

"Posted by: | February 9, 2007 03:20 PM"
so start there.


BTW, Fredia once helped a Bourbon street stripper with BF.

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:07 PM

Nah, Fred, I can't take credit for that one. I must have had a soul-mate that had more time than me today. We all have our triggers, but the "you're not nice so I"m leaving" posters typically isn't one of mind.

I'm also far too busy worrying about TakomaMom having a beer with my husband, and whether Duke wins on Wednesday to bemoan the departure of a poster we never had the pleasure of knowing.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 6:08 PM

Sounds like some people need a nap today (observer). For you people south (Fred, NC lawyer for two I can think of) it is now snowing here in DC. I knew this would happen as I have a plane to catch at 7am on Thurs. Please cross your fingers for me as this is my first real vacation in years. The last 5 years all my time has been spent going back and forth to CT to take care of my ailing father and then to his funeral and house emptying.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:09 PM

And it is pinot noir for this alkie tonight.
And you guys have like totally missed the boat on the cheese snacks - CHEESE DOODLES are the best but are very hard to find around here. They are really cheesy and nice and greasy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:12 PM

Do fathers get the respect they deserve?"

Unlike most WOHMs, most working men don't work all day and then come home and do all the things a SAHM has to do. WOHMs generally have to do this and, hence, deserve respect.

Posted by: | February 12, 2007 12:02 PM

So I guess that means Dad's don't deserve any respect?

Posted by: Another Dad | February 12, 2007 6:13 PM

KLB SS MD,

Yea, I actually took a jacket to work today and wore it when I went out to Canal Street.
Had to take it off, it was too warm. The streetcars are back in partial service now.

AF dau is suppose to spend 3 days in the field at Ft. Dix starting today. I got the forecast from her last night.

NC L.

Duke winning is important--hubbies seem always to come home somehow!

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:14 PM

Fred,
Bite me!
I will be getting the last laugh if I actually make it to the Bahamas. What shall I drink for you? I am taking requests. If I have one for you, one for NC lawyer, etc then I am not drinking for myself (can we spell rationalization?)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:16 PM

Did any of you guys write to father of 4's email address? I did and hope some of you will too.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:20 PM

KLB - wow - your comment is another good perspective-bringer (I am hoping the grammar police have left for the day). I do hope your vacation is fabulous and that, when you return, you find all sorts of creative ways to tie vacation-related posts to the topic of the day.

(if you or Fred missed Texas Dad of 2's late post on the "just say no" blog, you might want to go back and read it. Another post that made me conclude that, whatever I've dealt with, it doesn't compare to the burdens and challenges many others address daily, and with far more grace and courage than I would bring to bear.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 12, 2007 6:21 PM

KLB SS MD,

On the few occasions I have a drink, I have a Manhattan. Not really a drink for the tropics! I am trying to remember the beer from that way, Red Stripe? Carta Blanca? Have a beer or a dozen for me!

I will just have to contend with Mardi Gras while you are in the tropics.

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:23 PM

NC lawyer,
I am confused - what about my post brings perspective (drink preferences?).

Fred,
I must confess I almost cried earlier today when you told the story of your daughter and her toilet. I always called my dad about everything in my house and he always knew what to do. I really miss that. I hope your daughter appreciates what she has. I am not sure I did until he was gone.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:25 PM

Fred,
That is my uncle's favorite drink - Manhattan. I hope you enjoy Mardi Gras. One of the docs I work with is from New Orleans and trained there at least part of the time at Charity. Boy does he have some stories.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:27 PM

klb-I don't remember if you like fruity drinks, but there are all the standard rum concoctions. I recommend trying some...errrr, have one for me that is.

And I haven't written to that email address. too much right here.

Posted by: dotted | February 12, 2007 6:29 PM

Dotted,
One fruity rum drink for you - check! I guess I will have to start making a list.
I just thought it would be fun to have both.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:30 PM

Joke time!

A gentleman goes into a bar one day. He has never been there before. He says that he is only going to have one drink but orders 3 and then drinks them one at a time. The next day, he comes into the bar and does the same. After a week or so, the bartender asks him politely if he saying he is only having one, why does he order and drink 3?

Oh, he explains, it is one for me, one for my brother overseas and one for my cousin who is also overseas.

This goes on for a while so everyone is use to him ordering 3 drinks.

One day, he comes into the bar and orders only 2 drinks.

The bar is startled. Did your brother die? Did your cousin die?

No, the man replies. Just because I gave up drinking for lent, doesn't mean my brother and cousin have!

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:32 PM

Thanks Fred - needed the laugh.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:33 PM

KLB - when I was in Belize ages ago, we would have rum and fresh coconut water (the liquid in a fresh green coconut, which is different from cocounut milk, which is made by processing the pulp) and it was FANTASTIC!! Look for one of those for me!

Posted by: Megan | February 12, 2007 6:34 PM

Megan,
You are #3 on the list. Sounds good.
Now, what shall I have on day 2?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:36 PM

KLB SS MD

When did your dad die? Very recently?

My dad died 3 years agos. It took me about 2years to stop thinking, "let me call dad and see what he thinks about that?"

About 6 months after my sainted mom died, I was in some store and almost bought something that I knew that she would like!

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 6:44 PM

Fred,
My dad died in Aug of 2005 - about 1.5 years ago. He was ill for quite a while. He lived in the house he grew up in having bought his brother out after my grandparents died. He had emphysema and was on oxygen for the last 4-5 years of his life. He went into the hospital on 28 Mar of 2005 for a "routine" cardiac catheterization and had a cardiac arrest. They got him back but he never went home again. He went from the hospital to a nursing home in CT (terrible place). After a couple of months there we moved him here to MD so he could be near me. He made it a month.
I am constantly haunted by the last 5 months of life as he was a mere shell of his former self.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 6:49 PM

KLB SS MD

Yea, my dad had Alzheimer's the last 15 months or so. Not very fun, although my brother & sis in law took care of him. I was the executor of the estate, yet another fun job!

Posted by: Fred | February 12, 2007 7:03 PM

To KLB SS MD: Try something with passion-fruit juice -- yummm!

I'm so sorry to hear of your and Fred's comparatively recent losses of your fathers. After 10 years I still miss my dad, and would love to be able to phone him up and ask him his opinions, and tell him what I've been doing since he died (it's totally G-rated, but would amaze him!).

Posted by: catlady | February 12, 2007 8:22 PM

Our dads would be proud of us I believe. They are watching and know.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 12, 2007 8:56 PM

OK. Can we now turn to a discussion of some interesting women who've found balance AND have succeeded without totally screwing up first? Here's a list to start:

Janet Hanson -- 85 broads
Drew Gilpin Faust
Nancy Pelosi
Shirley Ann Jackson

Just a thought. I'm a bit tired of strippers, bunnies, and women who sleep their way to a certain level of comfort. How about working hard and then having some incredible options?

Yawn...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2007 9:07 PM

9:07-

You're an ignorant *ss.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2007 9:49 AM

"Fifty-six percent of stay-at-home moms feel judged by family, friends or other moms. Only 43 percent of working women do. (Surprise here. Have the media attacks on working moms resulted in thicker skins? Are stay-at-home moms more defensive about their choices?)"

Could it be that family, friends and other moms are more judgemental about stay-at-home moms? I get tired of the assumptions that stay-at-home moms have a reason to be defensive.

Posted by: vinegar | February 13, 2007 8:29 PM

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