The Worst Things to Say

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

Last week, I wrote about some of the more frustrating questions and accusations that I had to field as a parent. The Wall Street Journal's Juggle Blog took up the topic a couple of days later, coming up with some of the most common doozies that they've heard.

But we're only scratching the surface. I'd like to present the top four worst questions for go-to-work and at-home parents, and I hope you all will top these with your own in the comments section.

The four worst things to say to an at-home parent:

  • Don't you miss adult interaction? (Compared to what? Sitting in a cubicle hammering away at a keyboard for 8 hours a day?)

  • Do you think you're being a good role model for your kids? (Yup. I'm happy. And I'm sure seeing a happy parent is every bit as important for role modeling as a breadwinner parent.)

  • What will you do when your kids go back to school? (Excuse me? Does the role of parent somehow disappear at age 5?)

  • Have you thought about part-time work? Or volunteering? Or school? (Maybe, maybe not. But it may be that I'm actually content with the choice to stay home.)
  • The four worst things to say to a go-to-work parent:

  • Did you know that daycare will mess your kid up? (Not unless there's some bombshell data that I'm unaware of.)

  • I guess you have to work, right? (Nope. Some of us actually enjoy what we do at work. And then we go home and enjoy that, too.)

  • Your husband/wife must stay home with the kids, right? (Maybe, maybe not. Does it matter? Should my care arrangements somehow impact my work assignments?)

  • Will you be babysitting this weekend? (No, when I'm with the kids, it's called parenting.)
  • Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

    By Brian Reid |  November 1, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
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    Comments

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    Yes, these are more rude, intrusive, myob questions, that merit the same responses detailed in last week's blog.

    Posted by: chemguy1157 | November 1, 2007 7:35 AM

    Worse thing ever said to me? Hey, there is a guy named Quint looking for your!

    Posted by: nonamehere | November 1, 2007 8:04 AM

    Should be, "Hey, there is a guy named Quint looking for you!"

    Posted by: nonamehere | November 1, 2007 8:05 AM

    Said to a work outside the home mom: "I'd NEVER let someone else raise my kids!" Funny how nobody has ever accused my husband of the same thing.

    Posted by: ronnie0201 | November 1, 2007 8:19 AM

    Pet Peeve of mine:

    The worst thing to say to a SAHM is:
    "Would you like to watch my child
    afterschool/all summer long/on snowdays and school holidays? I'm sure you'd like to make a little money." (Yes, I quit my prestigious job to stay home with my children because deep down I've always harbored a desire to change other people's kids poopy diapers. For seven dollars an hour.)

    I'm still amazed how every issue of Working Mother magazine manages to give working moms the great advice to think of their whole neighborhood as "a potential source of childcare."

    I am not "a potential source of childcare." I am the mother of my children. Period.

    Posted by: justlurking | November 1, 2007 8:22 AM

    These are my favorite questions to ask the stay at homers:

    1. How is the country club life treating you?
    2. Got any juicey gossip from the PTA crowd?
    3. Anything good on Oprah lately?
    4. When are you throwing your next party?

    Why I get invited to so many parties I haven't a clue. I suspect the reaction from the question has more to do with the tone in which it's asked rather than the content. People with a sense of humor liked to be teased and challanged.

    Posted by: DandyLion | November 1, 2007 8:38 AM

    Oh, and I forgot to mention this. I help my wife out with some the household chores, and I spend a lot of time getting stuck babysitting my kids. Hahaha!

    Posted by: DandyLion | November 1, 2007 8:46 AM

    Sorry, SAHPs, but if you're a SAHP and your kids are in school, that's pretty cushy, don't you think? And at that point, aren't you more of a, ahem, "domestic god/goddess" than a SAHP? It's virtually inconceivable for those of us struggling to get by that you could have 6 hours during a day to not work and not take care of the kids. Are you still a parent during those times? Of course, but your kids are in school. In my world, I'd be busting my hump to find PT work to build back the savings we went through while only one parent worked. It may be a stupid question, but your response was stupid, too.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 8:56 AM

    The worst thing I hear is "It's hard to work and be a parent, isn't it?" It's the worst because it's true and reminds me how much I miss my daughter during the day.

    I think I'm over this blog. It's so whiny.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 9:00 AM

    It seems to me that all "worst" questions are not created equal.

    For example, someone who asks...Did you know that daycare will mess your kid up?...is displaying their own ignorance, fears or prejudices and/or trying to be mean.

    However, for other questions...What will you do when your kids go back to school?...understanding who is asking, when and why and the questioner's level of sincerity is really important. Sometimes it's a good question. Sometimes it's a "worst" question. But it all depends on context and sincerity.

    Posted by: cm9887 | November 1, 2007 9:14 AM

    atb: but there are always plenty of things to do in a household - and it *is* pretty nice for the WOHP to have someone else to do it. It's really NOT that easy to find part time work that pays anything worth a darn.

    And, while I was at home, I had the ability to save tons of money because I was cooking A LOT - we weren't going out to dinner - I was cooking from scratch, so it was healthier (well, most of the time) - and it was saving money over some other stuff we might have bought.

    And I was able to shop sales/etc for anything we needed rather than going: oh, it's cold outside, does DS have a coat for this year? No, well, then I guess we'll have to spend a fortune on one now. I was able to shop more frugally and plan it a little better (same with dinner - now it's WAY more likely that we say: okay, let's order in pizza!).

    So, I think that was worth a whole bunch, even if I wasn't bringing home a paycheck.

    And, where can I find a babysitter for $7? in my neighborhood, I can't get away with less than $12, sometimes people charge $18-20. This isn't your mom's babysitter anymore...

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 9:15 AM

    "And I was able to shop sales/etc for anything we needed rather than going: oh, it's cold outside, does DS have a coat for this year?"

    DUH!!!!!!!

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 9:20 AM

    That's just rude. I was trying to point out, in a semi humorous way, how when you have two working parents, life is much more hectic and there is never enough time to do all that needs to be done.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 9:29 AM

    "And I was able to shop sales/etc for anything we needed rather than going: oh, it's cold outside, does DS have a coat for this year?"

    DUH!!!!!!!

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 09:20 AM

    Chitty: Are you a parent? Because often times, kids can fit into coats or clothing for more then one year. So altmom may have been waiting to see if last years coat still fit her kid. I know my kid still fits into hers from last year. I held on to it from last year and tried it on in September-October to see if it will still fit. But you wouldn't know much earlier then October because kids have growth spurts and in some areas of the country the time to buy a coat is prior to the time it is actually getting cold. And in some areas of the country they still sell seasonal appropriate clothing.

    Posted by: foamgnome | November 1, 2007 9:34 AM

    or I didn't have time to go to that consignment sale cause I was working...

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 9:38 AM

    atlmom- The previous you has been replaced by the internet and peapod. I'm still not convinced I could be productive for 6 hours a day with no kids to take care of. I thought I would die at the end of my maternity leave. The house was clean, the groceries bought, dinner made, laundry done, errands run, all with a newborn, and there were still HOURS left in the day. If we can get all of that done now, in a total of maybe 6 man hours a week... I'm just sayin'. Unless you're rendering fat and making soap and sewing all the kids' clothes and canning, you don't need 30 hours a week to run a household.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 9:46 AM

    Can't speak for the WOHPs but as a SAHM, I can honestly say, I am not bothered by any of those questions. Guess what? We do miss adult interaction when they are tiny and we do talk about what we will do when they go to school. No my job isn't over when they go to school, but a big block of time does open up and I certainly would like to do someting meaningful and productive with it. Bottom line, whatever you are doing, own it and don't read too much into what people say.

    Posted by: moxiemom1 | November 1, 2007 9:47 AM

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 09:29 AM

    atlmom, don't feel bad -- my son doesn't even have a winter coat yet this year. :-)

    Posted by: laura33 | November 1, 2007 9:48 AM

    Worst thing said to DW during her SAHM time:

    "Aren't you lucky that your husband can support you and you don't have to work?"
    (And it was said many, many times, as my father used to say "lots of people are plumb eat up with the ignorance.")

    This was/is very offensive to both of us, because it implies that we didn't sit down and carefully map out the plans and make sure that we could do this. It implies we're not equal partners in this family thing.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 9:52 AM

    Nah, it's WAY less expensive to get a season's worth of clothes at a consignment sale (I've spent $40 for a season's worth of clothes - and I always overbuy). The internet is MORE EXPENSIVE. Even when you buy used.
    peapod - don't have it here in GA. too bad, too - but AGAIN - it's MORE EXPENSIVE.

    And yes, I made bread from scratch, soup from scratch, spaghetti sauce from scratch, veggie burgers from scratch, etc. Much healthier. :)

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 9:53 AM

    Moxiemom, are you really THAT self-confident and completely sure of and happy with your choices all the time?

    I honestly just want to know. I've just never met anybody in real life who's like that.

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 9:55 AM

    atb2: "Sorry, SAHPs, but if you're a SAHP and your kids are in school, that's pretty cushy, don't you think? And at that point, aren't you more of a, ahem, "domestic god/goddess" than a SAHP?"

    Not saying I disagree with you, but let's do the math.

    Most school systems are in session around 180 days a year. (Maryland public schools are in 178 days; the Baltimore-area Catholic schools seem to run around 174. Whatever; we'll use 180 because it's a round number.)

    Okay, 180 days times 6 hours a day is 1,080 hours a year when the kids are in school. That assumes there are no half-days; your child never misses a day sick, etc. (It also assumes that all kids are in school for the same hours. Last year, the high school ran 7:15 - 2:15; the elementary school was 9:15 - 3:45. So the last kid left the house shortly after 9; the first one got home shortly after 2:15. Less than 5.5 hours apart, but whatever.)

    So, let's use round numbers and assume you're at home, alone, with all kids in school, around 1,000 hours per year.

    Federal Government standards say a full work year has 2,087 hours of work, so you're talking roughly half-time available with no kids.

    Now, yes, I'd be going crazy with that much time, but I think someone who wanted to could do what atlmom did and fill the time pretty quickly. It's not any more "cushy" than you want it to be.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 10:02 AM

    I have NEVER met any man who throws such a defensive hissy fit like Brian seems to. Perhaps BRIANNA would be a better fit. Grow a pair Brian.

    Posted by: pATRICK | November 1, 2007 10:13 AM

    "atb2: "Sorry, SAHPs, but if you're a SAHP and your kids are in school, that's pretty cushy, don't you think? And at that point, aren't you more of a, ahem, "domestic god/goddess" than a SAHP?""

    Well, at times. But you have to remember that kids are out of school like 4+ months out of the year. If you work FT, that still leaves you scrambling (and paying) for childcare during summers, vacations, teacher workdays, snowdays, and sick days. This is one reason why lots of sahps end up going back to work in the schools- so they can have the same schedule as their kids.

    Anyway, I have no problems having a cushy life - that concept isn't troublesome to me at all :). Excuse me while I go eat another kit-kat.

    Posted by: floof | November 1, 2007 10:22 AM

    my sister has kids in school - and she and her DH work full time. They have a FULL TIME nanny cause my sister wants to be covered when the kids are sick, out of school, have a few days between school and camp. The nanny does laundry, but does not cook. or shop.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:23 AM

    One big reason people ask about the kids going to school at age 5 is that the role of a parent changes SIGNIFICANTLY after full-time care ends and school begins. Every mother on my block popping anxiety pills over "yellow waxy build-up" told me that story again and again and again and again. The role of parent doesn't go away, but the kids don't need you anymore and you're left with 6 hours of an empty house every day. My mother lasted 3 years after my sister started school before she "lost it" and had to get a job outside the house. People really are not cut out to spend 6 hours in the house alone obsessing over their kids as was the case in the 1960s and 1970s. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It's a perfectly legitimate question to avoid mental illness.

    Also it's totally rude for a blogger to mock people spending 8 hours in front of a keyboard, please.

    Posted by: bbcrock | November 1, 2007 10:26 AM

    floof: did you steal that from your kid's halloween loot? Shame on you!

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:26 AM

    my sister has kids in school - and she and her DH work full time. They have a FULL TIME nanny cause my sister wants to be covered when the kids are sick, out of school, have a few days between school and camp. The nanny does laundry, but does not cook. or shop.

    Seems inefficient to me.

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 10:27 AM

    who in their right mind would sit in their house for 6 hours? I mean, really. There are volunteer opportunities, groceries, clothes, target trips, classes to take, etc etc.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:29 AM

    stickynote: my bro in law thinks the same thing. But she won't budge. Especially since they live next door to the jewish community center and it provides all sorts of after school activities and also week long 'camps' for when they are out of school. and since my nephew is now 11. he can't really take care of the 7 YO, but still.
    My mom was NEVER home when we got home from school - my older sisters were. She was a SAHM (altho rarely 'staying at home') never got a job, etc. but didn't really get home til 5 or later.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:31 AM

    Another thing that I hate is when SAHPs on the PTA act like they can run the joint when I end up being more productive since I have only one hour at lunch to do the flyers, website, plan meetings, etc. That means I do one version and it's done, not three that someone else is supposed to "review." They had some stupid 1960s-era phone tree which was a total waste of time that I converted to automated email that takes 5 seconds to read on a blackberry. Stop trying to fill your time with useless tasks people. If you worked efficiently then you'd... have nothing left to do all day. ;-)

    Posted by: bbcrock | November 1, 2007 10:32 AM

    bb crock - self-satisfied much?

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 10:34 AM

    oh, and ya know, bro in law works for himself and she has a zillion days of vacation (has been with company for over 20 years). So ya know, she could take a day off here or there to um, spend with her kids.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:35 AM

    bb crock - self-satisfied much?

    It IS true, though, in my experience, too. Whenever my kids' classes had stay-at-home people run the PTA, things tended to end up much bigger deals than when working people ran it. I mean, you can discuss potential teachers' gifts for 15 minutes, then buy something, or you can have an involved stakeholder-including process that takes 2 weeks and 20 e-mails.

    It's just that you tend to be more efficient when you have less time.

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 10:38 AM

    atlmom1234, maybe that full-time nanny is a prestige thing? Or your sister is really risk adverse and likes to have continuous back-up?

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 10:39 AM

    ArmyBrat

    "bb crock - self-satisfied much?"

    You are biased - you sleep with a former SAHP.

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 10:40 AM

    Peapod costs $6.95 to deliver, but you gain 1-2 hours by not driving or shopping. My hours are worth more than that. If that extra $14 a month is going to kill you, PT work may be smart. And to make everything homemade may be cheaper for supplies, but, again, my going rate is greater than $5 an hour.

    There are no less than 4 massive city-wide consigment sales in DC, and they're on Saturdays.

    Look, I don't care if you stay at home, but it is a little silly to act as if the work you do can only be done if you have 30 child-free hours a week. I, personally, wouldn't be happy with my husband staying at home while the kids were in school. Rather than spend time making bread, we can buy a loaf for $2 and he can work. PT work is hard to find, but not in his field.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 10:43 AM

    "You are biased - you sleep with a former SAHP."

    Every chance I get. :-)

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 10:47 AM

    of course, people make stupid comments. But guess what...I don't remember any of them. Why bother remembering stupidity? Remembering stupidity is also known as making trouble, navel gazing, or self-absorption.

    atb - I have to agree with you. Way way too whiny.

    How about this: remember constructive criticism and forget destructive criticism (aka stupid comments)...

    Posted by: dotted_1 | November 1, 2007 10:48 AM

    atb: we have dozens and dozens of consignment sales in Atlanta. Each weekend, usually only spring fall, but that's changing since there are so many of them.
    I was just saying that there are other reasons to stay home - stress is a factor too. My DH recently indicated that it was great when I was home and he didn't have to worry about shopping or buying ANYTHING for the kids or go grocery shopping or worry about who has to stay home with the plumber. I did 100% of that when I stayed home. There is plenty to do when running a household. And when one doesn't have to worry about that AT ALL, then they can be more productive at work. At least that's what my DH says.

    Sticky: yes, I think she likes telling people she has a FT nanny.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:48 AM

    "Whenever my kids' classes had stay-at-home people run the PTA, things tended to end up much bigger deals than when working people ran it. "

    I agree and it's not just the PTA. It's also the Block Club, the Altar & Rosary Society, the Meals on Wheels, and the Pets on Wheels. These meetings can go on FOREVER. I skip most meetings and read the minutes. The endless discussion of petty details and the "long good byes" (see you at tennis tomorrow!), who has time for this nonsense but people who don't work!

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 10:50 AM

    "Don't you miss adult interaction? (Compared to what? Sitting in a cubicle hammering away at a keyboard for 8 hours a day?)."

    Love it!!

    Actually, as a working mom who would love to stay home or work part-time, I thought a lot of these comebacks were great.

    "Sorry, SAHPs, but if you're a SAHP and your kids are in school, that's pretty cushy, don't you think? And at that point, aren't you more of a, ahem, 'domestic god/goddess' than a SAHP?"

    I'm not an SAHM at the moment, but my mom stayed home until my brother and I were out of high school, and I thought this comment was way off-base. Personally, I would not want to just stay home that long. My ideal situation would be to stay home full-time until my youngest child was in kindergarten, and then either go back to work part-time or have a home business while my kids were at school. I would still want to be home when they got home from school. That being said, there's certainly nothing wrong with being solely an SAHP for that long. My mom was a girl scout and boy scout leader, a religious education teacher, and involved with the PTA. She *never* watched soaps or Oprah during the day.

    And of course there's always tons of housework and errands to be done. I could easily spend a couple more days a week just "getting stuff done." As it is, we're always behind on housework.

    Posted by: traveler2 | November 1, 2007 10:50 AM

    atlmom- I TOTALLY agree with that, but it doesn't have to eat up 30 hours a week, or even 15 hours a week. I wish I had Wednesdays off. There would be no need to do anything beyond minor stuff at night and on weekends if I had 1 8 hour day.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 10:52 AM

    are other reasons to stay home - stress is a factor too.

    Completely agree! There are a lot of intangible benefits of staying home - the major reason I decided to go part-time after becoming a parent. Not only can you get a lot of household stuff done when you're home & the kids are in school - it also lowers everybody's stress level and provides sanity. Yes, I occasionally sit around for 1 hour or so, being "unproductive", before my oldest comes home from school, but that puts me in a better mood for the rest of the day, and I have more energy for evening tantrums, the dinner rush, refusals to go to bed, etc.

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 10:52 AM

    And, ATB:

    WE DON"T HAVE PEAPOD IN GEORGIA.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 10:52 AM

    "I was just saying that there are other reasons to stay home - stress is a factor too. My DH recently indicated that it was great when I was home and he didn't have to worry about shopping or buying ANYTHING for the kids or go grocery shopping or worry about who has to stay home with the plumber. I did 100% of that when I stayed home. There is plenty to do when running a household. And when one doesn't have to worry about that AT ALL, then they can be more productive at work. At least that's what my DH says."

    Amen - I would love to have that situation. As it is we have to make all those calls from work and take off work for the plumber or whatever because so many of these places don't schedule stuff for weekends. It would be soooo much easier and less complicated if one of us could stay home.

    Posted by: traveler2 | November 1, 2007 10:53 AM

    "It would be soooo much easier and less complicated if one of us could stay home."

    Dunno. The overweight SAHMs in my neighborhod talk mostly about Oprah, Dr. Phil, their book clubs, and poop. Lots and lots of poop. Don't know how much of that I could stand. No wonder men cheat.

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 10:59 AM

    I am a working mother but when I stay home I am so much more busier than when I am at work. My mother used to say that work at home is never done. What you do when your kids are in school depends 100% on what kind of kids you have and what kind of a household you want to keep. I love to have a pleasant non cluttered, lived in house look where the toys are put away, dishes are clean, and no crumbs underneath your feet when you walk. When my kids finally leave for school in the morning, it can take a hour just to clean up. I also have a messy husband. I am not too obsessed with cleanliness but if I have 1 hour to read, I will pick up all the toys and clothes before actually sitting down with a book. It's just the way I am. I am teaching my kids to pick up after themselves but it is a long process as you all know.

    Posted by: nonamemom | November 1, 2007 10:59 AM

    "I thought I would die at the end of my maternity leave. The house was clean, the groceries bought, dinner made, laundry done, errands run, all with a newborn, and there were still HOURS left in the day."

    You must have had an astoundingly mellow newborn. Or one who really does sleep 20 hours a day like they're supposed to. I was absolutely dreading returning to work after maternity leave. Or maybe I just have ADD or something (only half kidding...)

    Posted by: traveler2 | November 1, 2007 11:01 AM

    I was responding to the fact that you said it was expensive. I have no idea what the grocery delivery options are where you live.

    And, have you noticed, people want to work PT, not SAH FT, when their kids are in school? People think they're disagreeing with me, but they're not.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 11:03 AM

    "The house was clean, the groceries bought, dinner made, laundry done, errands run, all with a newborn, and there were still HOURS left in the day.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 09:46 AM


    Forget the "what do you do with that 30 hours a week" business. My jaw is still residing on my desk -top as I read the above comment about maternity. Whose house is immaculate during maternity leave? I barely got a shower each day, and has zero time to return calls. Every moment our children napped, we had chores or tasks to handle. I mean, the cars still needed an oil-change; the lawn still had to be mowed; we had thank-you notes out the ying-yang to write because of the volume of presents from thoughtful friends, family and colleagues. We had a baptism for our daughter, for which 30 out of town relatives visited and which involved 4 days worth of meals for the masses.

    atb - you're either the most incredibly organized woman in the world -- and you may well be -- , need only 3 hours of sleep a day to function, have a very, very small residence, had a mother, sister or MIL visit during your maternity leave and handle a lot of household maintenance (the laundy alone with a newborn is more than a load a day of onesies, blankets, whatever), or have forgotten what life with a newborn is like.

    Posted by: MN | November 1, 2007 11:05 AM

    RE: "Don't you miss adult interaction?"

    When I ask that question I'm not passing snarky judgment ... I sincerely wonder about the answer.

    I enjoy my job and the people here. I do use a computer for work (and blog-reading), but it's hardly 8-hours-in-a-cubicle. I have pleasant, intelligent, interesting interactions with people whom I consider friends, and I am intellectually challenged every day.

    If I gave that up and stayed in a house with an infant/toddler all day, with no other adults to talk to and nothing but crying or toddler babble to hear, I'd be bats**t crazy within a week.

    My SAHM/SAHD friends are mostly other heavily educated professionals who have spent their lives up until now in fast-paced, active professional settings. I am genuinely curious how they manage to survive that kind of mental downshift. I know I couldn't do it.

    Posted by: mccxxiii | November 1, 2007 11:09 AM

    And, have you noticed, people want to work PT, not SAH FT, when their kids are in school? People think they're disagreeing with me, but they're not.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 11:03 AM

    I'm not sure what your point is, but I know many spouses who don't want to work PT because it's not worth the disruption in their lives and the inconvenience to their FT-working spouses. The benefits of having one person home meeting the plumber, handling all of the kid-related doctor's appointments, picking sick children up early from school or on snow-days, parent-teacher conferences, homework-support, travel to sports and music lessons, dry-cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. are negatively impacted by loading part-time hours onto that person. Then, on top of that, the SAH spouse may not be available for business travel. It's not worth it.

    Of course, there's another contingent of SAH parents who say they want part-time work when they don't, because they don't want to see you roll your eyes and ask what they do all day long when the kids are in school. It's akin to the tactic many 17 year-olds take when they respond to nosy friends of their parents that they intend to be pre-med majors because if they say, "English Major", they'll get the eye-roll of criticism.

    Posted by: MN | November 1, 2007 11:13 AM

    "I agree and it's not just the PTA. It's also the Block Club, the Altar & Rosary Society, the Meals on Wheels, and the Pets on Wheels. These meetings can go on FOREVER. I skip most meetings and read the minutes. The endless discussion of petty details and the "long good byes" (see you at tennis tomorrow!), who has time for this nonsense but people who don't work!"

    chitty, you've described a great many workplaces, too, unfortunately. If work wasn't full of meetings that went on forever, with endless discussion of petty details and "long good byes" (see you at the HR committee meeting tomorrow), Scott Adams would be poor and programming for Crocker National Bank, instead of being rich and famous for "Dilbert".

    I try to avoid workplaces like that, but when a client can't live without 8-hour conference calls at least once per week, you just have to deal with it.

    (Here's a hint - if I'm posting "a lot" on any given day, I'm usually tied up in some complete-waste-of-time, mind-numbing conference call or meeting. :-)

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 11:16 AM

    "Dunno. The overweight SAHMs in my neighborhod talk mostly about Oprah, Dr. Phil, their book clubs, and poop. Lots and lots of poop. Don't know how much of that I could stand. No wonder men cheat."

    Well, if I were an SAHM I wouldn't hang with that crowd. I would go nuts talking about Dr. Phil and poop. I would join the mother's group at my church, where they talk about theology and other cool stuff. I would read and write during naptimes and as much as my kids allowed. I would never, ever, ever turn on the TV during the day. I would get all the housework and errands done during the week so we could relax and have fun as a family on weekends. I would volunteer as much as I could. I would exercise more, pray more, find cool new recipes to try. I might start my own literary magazine or a home business if I could manage it with young children, two things I've been wanting to do for awhile. Work just leaves me too drained and stressed for a lot of these things.

    Obviously, kids are a lot of work, and being an SAHM wouldn't necessarily give me *that* much more time to do these things, but that would be ok, since they're only little for a short time. Once they were in school I would go back to work PT and would probably have more time to pursue these other interests.

    Posted by: traveler2 | November 1, 2007 11:18 AM

    Moxiemom, are you really THAT self-confident and completely sure of and happy with your choices all the time?

    I honestly just want to know. I've just never met anybody in real life who's like that.

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 09:55 AM

    Honestly, I am now, but wasn't always. Things changed when I hit my 30s. I just got more confident and happy with who I am. I realized that I decide how I feel about my life and myself and no one else. It was terribly liberating. I really decided that whatever I was doing, I was going to own it. Own the choice, own the results good or bad. I've found that attitude to be very empowering.

    That said, I will give you some background. I had a job and career that I liked, not something I loved so it was easy to leave. We are lucky enough that financially it is not a struggle for me to be at home. My husband truly enjoys his job and values what I do at home. Finally, I think that I am suited for it. I've said before that our arrangement allows everyone in my family to have everything they need and most of what they want. So, on most days, what's not to like? But hey, talk to me in 20 years, I may have some different opinions then.

    Posted by: moxiemom1 | November 1, 2007 11:19 AM

    MN- I wasn't entertaining out of town guests, for one. My husband handled the yard and oil, etc. My mom and MIL stayed with me for the first 2 weeks. Most of the thank you cards were done after the baby shower. I didn't return phone calls or emails for about 4 weeks. I showered during her first nap. I wore yoga pants, no make-up, and a pony tail most of the time. The baby was pretty easy. I got 8 hours a night, though she woke up 2-3 times to nurse. My house is small. There was only ONE baby. I didn't have laundry issues. When I needed TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE I went grocery shopping. I think the main thing is that everyone I know works. I was the only one with free-time during the day. It was lonely and boring. I'm a majorly manic multi-tasker, incapable of slowing down. Working full time and trying to keep up the house and meals taught me how to do it efficiently, and that didn't change when I was home. YMMV, but not the vomit thing.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 11:21 AM

    atb: there are no delivery options in Georgia - just when I used to call DH as he was leaving from work and ask him to pick a few things up.

    The only delivery option went bankrupt years ago. that's what happens when you can't deliver alcoholic beverages.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 11:37 AM

    (Here's a hint - if I'm posting "a lot" on any given day, I'm usually tied up in some complete-waste-of-time, mind-numbing conference call or meeting. :-)

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 11:16 AM

    LOL - same here.

    atb - everyone I know works, too, and none of us tell the story you tell. That's what I notice it. I am uber organized at home, because I have to be, but it's the 8 hours of sleep per night that must be the difference. I knowingly let certain things go and changed standards. You don't sound as though you did. The house is not as I want it to be in terms of cleanliness, repair, or improvements, and hasn't been for 12 years, LOL. It would take every bit of that 9 to 3 time to have our household and lives in good working order, but we're never going to have that and I've made peace with it.

    My hat is off to those like Moxiemom who have achieved peace differently.

    Posted by: MN | November 1, 2007 11:41 AM

    Really, my stress levels did go down when I went back to work - cause, as MN indicated, I didn't feel the stress to have a perfect household all the time (and the money didn't hurt). I wasn't stressing over what was needed, nor was I needing to be perfect anymore (having an amazing nanny helped, as well).
    But that's for me. For my mom, she never went back to work (unless you count getting half price cruises cause she taught bridge for a total of 6 hours on a 2 wk cruise 'working'). She was fine with it, my dad was fine with it, who cares what anyone else thought.

    Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 1, 2007 11:44 AM

    MN - see the thing is you are comfortable with your scene and I'm comforatble with mine. Its always been apparent that you are happy with your life and choices. It manifests itself in your good nature.

    That's about all it takes. Make the best choices you can make, make peace with the stuff you can't do or have exactly as you would and keep moving forward. BTW, my house isn't as I would have it in terms of cleanliness, repair or improvements either.

    Posted by: moxiemom1 | November 1, 2007 11:45 AM

    MN - I think you hit the nail on the head again - to achieve some kind of inner peace. I love moxiemom because she radiates peace...not that something might not change, but I just know she'll deal with it.

    Snarky comments like "I don't know what sahm do all day" are really an indication of the speaker's immaturity more than anything else.

    Work isn't all it is cracked up to be either - unless you're customer facing - then it is just a pain..LOL!

    Posted by: dotted_1 | November 1, 2007 11:48 AM

    Recently, another paper ran a story about the transition from the word "housewife" to "SAHP". in decades past, it was understood that a housewife's major duty was to the house: cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc.

    it's interesting that nowadays hardly anyone uses the term anymore. SAHPs aren't there for the house; they're there to nurture and teach and parent their kids. SO if the kids are in school, the SAHP is seen as being without a mission.

    we don't have kids, but we bought a townhouse that needed major renovation. So when we moved here, I delayed job-hunting for several months so I could renovate the house. I was actually a housewife during that time, since we have no kids. My housework involved demolition and tiling and carpentry and plumbing and painting, but I also made time for the laundry and cooking and cleaning.

    And, honestly, my DH and I were both gloriously happy during this time. He was able to focus on his work and I focused on mine. On weeknights, we got to have dinner together and relax and talk about our respective days. On the weekends, we'd work together on the renovations that required more than one person. The point is that having one person at home provides benefits for both people, whether or not kids are even involved. Now, when you add kids, the total workload increases, which means it helps even more to have one person at home.

    Posted by: newslinks1 | November 1, 2007 11:50 AM

    So much judging.

    When I start heading in that direction, I try to remember that everyone's got a story, and that I can't know what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. I remain baffled as to why anyone feels compelled to get into it with someone over their choices. Maybe I'm clueless, maybe I'm indifferent. I do a lot of counseling of employees in my job and it has taught me one thing if nothing else: you never know what is really going on with someone. Just when I think an employee's become a slacker, she'll reveal to me that her husband has terminal cancer, or that they're separating, or that her child is failing in school or getting into trouble. I'll speak with a valued super star one day only to learn how much he really hates working here because he wants to work different hours and his boss won't allow it. You really never know. I'm not a very religious person, but I am reminded of "judge not, lest ye be judged".

    Posted by: WorkingMomX | November 1, 2007 11:55 AM

    I need help on this one -- what does 'YMMV' stand for?

    Posted by: Corvette1975 | November 1, 2007 11:59 AM

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't find the "do you miss adult interaction" question that offensive. Probably because every stay-at-home parent I know has told me themselves that they miss it. (granted, it is a small sample)

    Posted by: cjbriggs | November 1, 2007 12:04 PM

    Corvette1975: your mileage may vary.

    BTW I have to remind myself that these annoying questions don't have to reflect on how I look back at my childhood... when dealing with people who were raised by SAHMs, comments from said SAHMs, etc. My family made the best decisions at the time for THEM and I came out the other end well-adjusted and happy.

    ~Product of a Working Mother.

    Posted by: tntkate | November 1, 2007 12:12 PM

    "My family made the best decisions at the time for THEM and I came out the other end well-adjusted and happy."

    "came out the other end"

    LMAO!

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 12:16 PM

    I don't get either type of questions, but I certainly get all sorts of stupid, judgmental questions as a single mom: "Don't you think you should marry again so you can provide a father for your child?" (Sure, point me to Daddies-R-Us, and I'll get hitched next weekend! Daddies are absolutely replaceable, just like my tires!).

    Moxie, I went through a similar transition in my 30s, but it coincided with my divorce. I am much happier and self-confident now at 42 than I was at 32.

    Chitty, you are the blog's PG-13 version of Chris Rock--you hit home some of those uncomfortable truths ("no wonder men cheat."). I get propositioned by just as many married men as I do single men. Like I want any part of that kind of drama! It's beyond my understanding what married men believe they have to offer single women. If they were all that, their wives would be having sex with them and they wouldn't be trying to hook up with other women...an unsatisfied wife is not exactly a glowing recommendation.

    Posted by: pepperjade | November 1, 2007 12:17 PM

    It may be variety they seek, Pepperjade...

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 12:19 PM

    Moxie, I went through a similar transition in my 30s, but it coincided with my divorce. I am much happier and self-confident now at 42 than I was at 32.

    Great news pepperjade! I'm glad to have something besides the continued southerly migration of my breasts to look forward to! Self-confidence (or maybe just not giving a damn) truly is one of the gifts of getting older.

    Posted by: moxiemom1 | November 1, 2007 12:23 PM

    "It may be variety they seek, Pepperjade..."

    Yes, they're tired of hitting that same old thang, week after week, year after year.

    Single women put out A LOT to married men. I can't blame married men for trying.

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 12:24 PM

    It may be variety they seek, Pepperjade...

    Posted by: StickyNote | November 1, 2007 12:19 PM

    That's fine if they are swingers (though I have no interest there, either!). At least if it's an "open" marriage/relationship, it's honest. Each couple should set its own parameters. But when one spouse adheres to the marriage vows and the other does not...it rarely has a happy ending, and I don't want to be part of someone else's unhappiness. Bad karma.

    Posted by: pepperjade | November 1, 2007 12:28 PM

    oh chitty - you just went over the line. can't blame married men for trying???? What are you saying - men only think below the belt? Only those I'm not interested in thank you... I'm beginning to think you don't like men at all....

    Posted by: dotted_1 | November 1, 2007 12:30 PM

    This company WorkLifeBalance.com is executing a study to understand the global state of work-life balance.

    If you want to take their survey, you could win free work-life balance training. It takes about 2 minutes.

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=PkToSVPFUtahUtbwqIR3IA_3d_3d

    Posted by: amanda.bird | November 1, 2007 12:30 PM

    I don't blame them, Chitty, but I usually do say something like, "Oh, I am dating a former cop. He's taking me out to the shooting range to teach me to aim properly." It usually stops the married would-be Romeos in their tracks.

    Posted by: pepperjade | November 1, 2007 12:37 PM

    This company WorkLifeBalance.com is executing a study to understand the global state of work-life balance.

    If you want to take their survey, you could win free work-life balance training. It takes about 2 minutes.

    Posted by: amanda.bird | November 1, 2007 12:30 PM

    Jeez. Louise. Not even a free gift card to Pottery Barn? They're going to have to do better than have you post this item on this blog if they want to generate some participation, LOL.

    pepperjade - I suspect that 50% of the one's hitting you hit on ALL women. They are merely playing the odds all salesman with an inferior product play. More lead generation = more sales. The other 50% are lazy skunks who don't want to fear someone's husband tracking them down and beating them to a pulp. Either way - so unappealing. But there's a woman out there for each of them who is convinced he'll leave his spouse, and treat her differently, because she's hotter, more interesting and better in bed than his spouse. Poor fool, LOL.

    Posted by: MN | November 1, 2007 12:43 PM

    "If I gave that up and stayed in a house with an infant/toddler all day, with no other adults to talk to and nothing but crying or toddler babble to hear, I'd be bats**t crazy within a week."

    Well sure, who wouldn't? But does any SAHP actually stay in the house with the kids all day? None that I know do. I can't remember the last time DD and I spent more than 2 consecutive waking hours at home during the day. We go to the park, the gym, the library, Kindermusik, friends' homes, and for walks. There are always other adults around to talk to.

    I'm not going to lie -- I do think I have it pretty easy as a SAHM. I get to spend a lot of time having fun, either playing with my daughter or hanging out with friends while the kids play. Housework is largely confined to the hour or so a day while DD naps. And while I am very much looking forward to returning to work, I'm also enjoying the heck out of the time I have now.

    Posted by: newsahm | November 1, 2007 12:47 PM

    Oh- as for missing adult interaction- I just tell people the truth... I was a programmer before I quit my job, and the 2-year olds I hang out with now have much better social skills than my old co-workers. Mostly what I miss from work was a) my paycheck and b) going out to lunch.

    Oh, and as for sahm's dragging out pointless conversations in meetings- I think that has more to do with the personalities involved than anything else. Shoot, my husband comes home from work at least 3 times a week saying "I spent 3 hours in a meeting today that should have taken 20 minutes."

    Posted by: floof | November 1, 2007 12:58 PM

    newsahm- Thank you for your honesty! These wolves are going to tear you up for claiming it's not hard work all day. Now, just imagine if you had 6 hours without your child!

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 12:59 PM

    bb crock - self-satisfied much?
    ----

    only in your own mind.

    I strive to do more productive work every day. Do you? Every day I don't own my own corporation is a day lost buddy.

    Posted by: bbcrock | November 1, 2007 1:00 PM

    "Oh, and as for sahm's dragging out pointless conversations in meetings- I think that has more to do with the personalities involved than anything else. "

    Yes, but I am getting paid to listen to the clients' pointless conversations.

    The sahms are just taking up space and time.

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 1:01 PM

    Posted by: MN | November 1, 2007 12:43 PM

    Yep, they're hound dogs. Perhaps they need a newspaper to the nose.

    Posted by: pepperjade | November 1, 2007 1:03 PM

    bb crock "I strive to do more productive work every day. Do you? Every day I don't own my own corporation is a day lost buddy."

    Well, let's see. In your first post today you stated that it's rude to mock people who spend 8 hours in front of a keyboard - right after you had mocked SAHP's who don't go back to work when the kids enter school.

    Your second post was all about how you're far more productive at PTA, etc. tasks than SAHPs because since you only have one hour to do it you do it once and do it right, while they waste time. Hmm, that's a nice, sweeping generalization. I'll grant that SOME SAHPs are inefficient, but I'd hardly put them all in that category.

    And I pointed out that there are lots of folks in the work world who waste just as much (or far more) time with pointless meetings, multiple review cycles, etc. (At least as chitty points out I do get paid to tolerate that waste of my time at work.)

    So, that led to my "self-satisfied?" crack. You seem to be pretty hard over on "your way or the highway".

    Re: striving to more productive work every day - yep, I sure try to. Life's too short to waste that kind of time. But on the other hand, sometime's it's unavoidable. When the guy who's paying the bills is having a panic fit about the project status and wants to spend all day on a conference call, you humor him and participate, because (a) he does pay the bills; and (b) 85% of the time the job he wants you to do is fun, technically very challenging, and provides a lot of psychic rewards. The meetings go with the territory.

    Re: owning your own corporation: if that's what you want to do, go for it. Good luck. It's not for everybody. Been there, done that - for 18 months. It's not a time I remember with fondness. I spent WAAAY too much time on paperwork, bookkeeping, business development, writing reports, etc. No time to do the fun technical work. I'm an engineer, I'd much rather do the technical work and let somebody else worry about the garbage that comes with being CEO. But if that's what you want, hey, more power to you.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 1:19 PM

    I think the same type of person that enjoys the thrill of a fast-paced job is going to want to keep the same kind of busyiness going if they end up staying home to parent. So some people are busy all day (yes even with 6 hours of no kids) and some people can just kick back, and enjoy the time. The only time I get critical of stay at home spouses is when they start complaining about their household not having enough money. And if their kids are school age, why can't they go back to work? It's not their husband's sole responsibility to earn more money, they too could contribute. But if you can afford it, and if husband and wife can continue as equals, I think that's excellent.

    My problem is...a lot of women stay home because it's cheaper for them to do so. This saddens me. When the kids are young, sure. But when kids are in school full time and it still makes financial sense for Mom to stay home? Great if she wants to, but sad to me that Mom makes less than part-time or after-school daycare. Obviously not true in all cases, but when it's true in so many it's a sad day...

    Posted by: _Miles | November 1, 2007 1:24 PM

    Chitty - re: cheating married men. It seems you are assuming that the fat SAHMs are married to someone who is not their equivalent. In my experience, most marrieds are a matched set. The fat and lazy are generally married to a fat and lazy guy and vice versa. Certainly not true for everyone, but to act as if there are Brad Pitts out there trapped in marriage to fat SAHMs is not really true either. Frankly when I see programs on cheaters I'm amazed that anyone would sleep with either party.

    Posted by: moxiemom1 | November 1, 2007 1:31 PM

    Maybe my sense of humor is a bit warped, but so much of this is funny to me. DH never gets asked any of those SAHP questions. He's spending today, while our sons are at school, pursuing solutions to a discriminatory situation at older son's high school. Same as he's been doing since the school year started, although this whole week has been *extremely* unpleasant and distressing.

    Another family, with a daughter in the same situation as our son, had filed a Federal discrimination suit, and after the district settled, they went public so that the pressure would stay on the district to fix the problem. Monday's Oakland Tribune ran a front-page article about their family's situation, and included some quotes from DH about our son.

    The teacher/class at the heart of the dispute is enormously popular in the district, so when students and parents saw the article they went on the warpath. Some of the on-line comments in response to the article were very disturbing, and border on threatening. We're concerned for the safety of our son and the other students in his program, and DH has been making sure that both school staff and the district administration are well aware of the possibility of retaliation and don't shirk their duty to insure all students' safety.

    What does DH do all day with the kids in school? Keeps the school district on track, because the state administration doesn't do the job without parents staying on the case.

    Posted by: sue | November 1, 2007 1:34 PM

    "The fat and lazy are generally married to a fat and lazy guy and vice versa. "

    The Thought for Today.

    Posted by: chittybangbang | November 1, 2007 1:37 PM

    sue - wow! Interesting article. The thought that really struck me was "this teacher has just never been taught how to deal with/teach that type of student." That's not necessarily her fault; more the school system's. On the other hand (and this may be unfair to her), the article makes it sound like she's not interested in learning, either.

    Good luck to you, DH and the kids. Sounds like you may need it.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 1:48 PM

    ArmyBrat - what kind of engineer? Just curious...

    Posted by: _Miles | November 1, 2007 1:57 PM

    Sue, very interesting article. Many of the behaviors they describe the 16 year old girl as having aren't ones I'd necessarily associate with Asperger's, so it has been quite eye opening to me. Thanks.

    Posted by: _Miles | November 1, 2007 2:13 PM

    newsahm- Thank you for your honesty! These wolves are going to tear you up for claiming it's not hard work all day. Now, just imagine if you had 6 hours without your child!

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 12:59 PM

    LOL, it's "honesty" as long as it agrees with your point of view? That's an interesting way to view the world. Now, just imagine if you had a mind broad enought to encompass opposing points of view. The mind boggles.

    Posted by: anonfornow | November 1, 2007 2:21 PM

    Well, let's see. In your first post today you stated that it's rude to mock people who spend 8 hours in front of a keyboard - right after you had mocked SAHP's who don't go back to work when the kids enter school.
    -----

    My point exactly- you're so defensive that you saw my comments as "mocking." This is your problem, please don't make it mine! I'm sorry you feel so defensive and I'm sorry Rebeldad does too! But to suggest that after age 5 the kids need the same level of care as age 3 has been proven wrong by generations of housewives and I lived through that awakening once.

    Posted by: bbcrock | November 1, 2007 2:32 PM

    Just so you know, not ALL SAHM's are fat and lazy. We go to a YMCA where you log in your member number and all the various activities you do, and then each month they post the top 10 people by number of hours of cardio, number of classes attended and so forth -- and at appears there are a great many SAHM's spending up to 3 and 4 hours a day at the gym working out. (Not that I'm one of them, but I thought it was interesting . . .)

    Posted by: justlurking | November 1, 2007 2:36 PM

    "don't you miss adult interaction?"

    I always thought I would, and true I work 30 hours a week, and half of those in an office. But, when I am with my 14 month old she really is all absorbing and makes me fully happy.

    I second the idea of getting the family weekend back by doing the errands and chores during the work week.

    Posted by: lovea51 | November 1, 2007 2:40 PM

    "an unsatisfied wife is not exactly a glowing recommendation."

    pepperjade, I'm SO with you on that. If a married man hit on me, that in and of itself would mean immediate disqualification. The available explanations seem to be: (a) he can't keep his wife happy; (b) when things get tough, he cuts and runs; and/or (c) he just really likes variety. All of which are most excellent examples of "not exactly what I want in a potential partner."

    Posted by: laura33 | November 1, 2007 2:49 PM

    bb crock - self-satisfied much?
    ----

    only in your own mind.

    I strive to do more productive work every day. Do you? Every day I don't own my own corporation is a day lost buddy.

    Posted by: bbcrock | November 1, 2007 01:00 PM

    Not to be snarky...but doesn't seem that you're living your mantra if you're posting here now does it...or is blogging part of the productivity somehow?

    Posted by: _Miles | November 1, 2007 3:01 PM

    (c) he just really likes variety. All of which are most excellent examples of "not exactly what I want in a potential partner."


    UMM,that man is not looking for a soulmate, but a quickie and the women who responds are too IMO.

    Posted by: pATRICK | November 1, 2007 3:06 PM

    UMM,that man is not looking for a soulmate, but a quickie and the women who responds are too IMO.

    Posted by: pATRICK | November 1, 2007 03:06 PM

    If he wants a quickie, he should stop attempting to explain his infidelity by bad-mouthing his spouse. It's much more of a turn-on when you don't talk about people who aren't in the room.

    Posted by: anonfornow | November 1, 2007 3:53 PM

    Posted by: anonfornow | November 1, 2007 03:53 PM

    I would agree, maybe he is just a nimrod ;)

    Posted by: pATRICK | November 1, 2007 4:03 PM

    Hey hey hey, there, pATRICK - are you trying to make fun of the might Watersmeet Nimrods with that insult? Saying that they're all just out for quickies? :-)

    (Sorry, couldn't help myself. Google "Watersmeet Nimrods" for the full story. A Nimrod in Biblical terms is "a mighty hunter before the Lord". So the school in Watersmeet, MI - in the UP - picked that as their mascots. My FIL is originally from Ontanogon; he told me about it.)

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 4:13 PM

    _Miles, computer network engineering. Mostly designing various networks; typically systems integrating 3G cell phone networks (WCDMA, CDMA2000) with 802.11 and wired networks. Had a hand in writing a lot of the standards and specifications; now I just figure out how to make 'em work.

    Will also break into 'em if the money's right. :-)

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 1, 2007 4:15 PM

    "(Sorry, couldn't help myself. Google "Watersmeet Nimrods" for the full story. A Nimrod in Biblical terms is "a mighty hunter before the Lord". So the school in Watersmeet, MI - in the UP - picked that as their mascots. My FIL is originally from Ontanogon; he told me about it.)"

    Life is much funnier than anything we could make up............

    Posted by: pATRICK | November 1, 2007 4:26 PM

    Thanks to ArmyBrat and _Miles for making an effort to go find that article, and for your words of support.

    ArmyBrat, you exactly described the situation with the teacher, at least as the affected families see it.

    The girl can be challenging (I really like her, myself, and both my boys love spending time with her, too), and it's very easy to mistake her behavior for deliberate acting out and rudeness, unless one has taken the time to learn about Aspergers Syndrome. But no other general education teacher has had the problems the drama teacher complained of, because no other teacher was unreceptive when the inclusion teacher approached them at the beginning of each school year about her students in their classes.

    The inclusion teacher is amazingly dedicated to her/our students, and really, really effective. If the drama teacher had ever asked, she'd have had whatever she needed to make the class work for herself and the student(s). If the inclusion teacher couldn't make it happen (because she is an employee of the school district and her powers are limited), the parents would have rallied around and gotten her extra classroom support, worked out behavior plans, or whatever was needed. We've done it before when one of our kids encountered problems.

    I do think that the drama teacher is now being forced to learn about our students, and the laws and rights of the disabled. The principal is brand new to the job, and is getting her education now too, I think. But it's sad that the state takeover of our district has left us parents with little recourse except lawsuits, and left teachers without guidance on special education law, and left a teacher hanging out to dry because they failed to supervise her or correct her mistakes.

    DH called this morning to tell me about the latest phone call from the inclusion teacher - she'd been approached by the drama teacher, and drama teacher's focus was on making sure the whole mess didn't effect older son's experience in the class. It's a very small light, but I'm going to see it as the distant end of this long dark tunnel, right up until I have to jump out of the way of that on-rushing train. (grin)

    Again, thanks for your kindness and consideration. It is very, very appreciated.

    Posted by: sue | November 1, 2007 4:30 PM

    ... and at appears there are a great many SAHM's spending up to 3 and 4 hours a day at the gym working out...

    Posted by: justlurking | November 1, 2007 02:36 PM

    I would love to have that much time to work out, esp. in the middle of the day...I can barely manage 3-4 hours a week, and that's only if I can roll out by 6 am

    Posted by: kate07 | November 1, 2007 4:38 PM

    Um, no. Knowing that there are people on this board who will STRONGLY disagree with her, she still put it out there. It's a lot easier to be honest when everyone agrees with what you say.

    -------------------------------------------

    newsahm- Thank you for your honesty! These wolves are going to tear you up for claiming it's not hard work all day. Now, just imagine if you had 6 hours without your child!

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 12:59 PM

    LOL, it's "honesty" as long as it agrees with your point of view? That's an interesting way to view the world. Now, just imagine if you had a mind broad enought to encompass opposing points of view. The mind boggles.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 5:18 PM

    opposing points of view: playing all day with your beloved child and spending an hour cleaning, knowing you have it good vs. claiming how hard it is. To quote chitty: "you choose to be happy." And with that, bite me, you bunch of whiny crybabies. Choose to be miserable for all I care. I think I finally understand where chitty is coming from...

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 5:38 PM

    Dang, atb, the only one whining on this blog is you, LOL. You should take your own advice, choose to be happy and stop whining and fighting about how other people spend their time.

    Posted by: nobodyknowhow | November 1, 2007 5:59 PM

    Great list. Yes, "MYOB" really is the correct reply to all that nonsense. I

    Posted by: kctipton | November 1, 2007 7:29 PM

    And with that, bite me, you bunch of whiny crybabies. Choose to be miserable for all I care.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2007 05:38 PM

    I suppose that ranting at strangers on a blog with a disproportionate amount of personal venom simply because they don't agree with your condescending know-it-all attitude is better than going home and kicking the dog, but speaking of a whiny crybaby - atb, look in the mirror.

    Posted by: anonfornow | November 2, 2007 8:50 AM

    Do they make pacifiers big enough for adults? Anonfornow needs one. She'll be curled up in the fetal position by the end of today since she hasn't been able to get the house clean in the 30 hours she's had at her disposal this week.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 2, 2007 10:20 AM

    atb, if anyone would know the market for pacifiers it would be you. I work full-time and recognize that life is too short to belittle women who've made different choices. You might recognize it, too, if you live long enough, but I doubt you'll ever reach the point where you will be someone people seek out at a party. Good luck with that last-worditis disease. I hear there's no cure other than humility.

    Posted by: anonfornow | November 2, 2007 10:28 AM

    Then, I'll go ahead and take the last work, if you can stand it. You're I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I defense is very original.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 2, 2007 10:35 AM

    Bummer. Lame grammatical error took the air out of that sail.

    Posted by: atb2 | November 2, 2007 10:55 AM

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