I Love My Kids, But Being A Mother Is Not Enough For Me

shutterstock_120584731It’s perfectly okay if you are a stay-at-home mom and find motherhood to be the most fulfilling job on earth. It’s also just as okay if you don’t. If you tried to stay at home and couldn’t handle it, or if you didn’t want to stay at home and went back to work, you are still okay.

I read a recent post titled Being a Mother Really Is Enough. I love this blogger’s sentiment because I can totally understand what it feels like not to be satisfied in your own situation, in your own skin. I’m still working on being happy with myself no matter what I do or how I do it. I’m not very good at it. But I’m also not happy being a full-time mom, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The original blogger encourages mothers everywhere by saying:

I am a mother.

And I am enough.

And so are you.

I am enough when I choose to sit in quiet and drink my coffee instead of preparing breakfast.

I am enough when I leave the clothes in the washer well beyond the essential 24-hour period.

I am enough when I let their outgrown clothes pile up like a mountain out of neglect and, perhaps, out of resistance to the idea that those clothes no longer fit my babies.

To be honest, I am a little bit jealous about the security with which she appears to write. I wish that I could feel great about myself doing absolutely nothing, but I often use work to validate myself. I wish that I could cut myself some slack and not worry about chores, but I’m constantly grading myself in my head and hoping that I live up to my own personal expectations at the end of the day. I’m sure that’s exactly what this blogger is talking about, and I embrace what she’s saying.

I tried to be a part-time stay-at-home mom when my first son was born, and I hated it. The thing was, I felt restless and anxious in my own skin, and I didn’t know what to do with my baby all day long. I actually googled: What do you do with a baby all day?

It wasn’t until I started working again and decided that I wanted to work full-time from home that I felt better and somewhat balanced. Yes, life is still incredibly stressful and hectic with an entire family under one roof while working at home, but for me, just being a mother wasn’t enough. And that’s okay.

I agree with what this blogger is saying. I believe each and every person should feel valuable for who they are at their core, period. Like I said, I believe this, but I’m still a work in progress. I also believe that I personally could not find fulfillment as a full-time stay-at-home mom, and that’s okay too. I love to work because it fulfills me. I choose to work because I don’t enjoy caring for my kids all day long, and that is enough.

(Image: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • Valerie

      So much this. I was very restless and depressed the years I stayed at home. Despite being in several mom groups and having a lot of friends I still felt isolated and lonely. Going back to work was the best thing for my whole family. I’m an anxious person by nature but much less so if I’m working and constantly busy.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        This is just an excuse to be a neglectful mom!

        Now go make your kids a sammich!

        **runs away!!!!!

      • Valerie

        Stifler, I think we need you on Troll Patrol. See below.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Hey, you know how everyone thinks I’m just Beth trolling M’ish?

        http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/49912600.jpg

      • Valerie

        Oooooo. The plot thickens.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        OOOH, what if SAHM really is “One Of Us”?

        Someone who’s had a vendetta against Beth? Hm… Someone who might be jealous of your relationship with Beth? HMMMMM

      • Kendra

        I’ve only seen ONE person that I can think of who posts that kind of dribble, and I don’t think even she would say those things.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Why you hate Kay-Sue so much? >:(

      • Kendra

        Don’t you dare! I love Kay-Sue. She’s my favorite. I think we allll know who I was referring to.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        ;D I know, I was just trying to get you in trouble.

        **runs away!!!!!

      • Kendra

        I don’t think anyone else can get in trouble on this thread. No one will top the anger that has been instilled by SAHM.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Are you telling me I can get away with being a bad troll now?

        YES!

        (remember, blame Kendra)

      • Kendra

        I’m just saying….if there were ever “good odds”, I would say they are now. Someone could probably come on and be like “fuck all of you” and we’d be like “meh, whatever”.

      • Valerie

        They should be jealous. Me and Beth have a wonderful relationship full of sunshine, rainbows, puppies, and All the Good Things. I would be jealous of us too.
        #theyhatin

      • Bethany Ramos

        #forever

      • Megan Zander

        I actually just Lol’ed. Thanks. Needed that.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Lol!!!

    • Kendra

      I definitely agree with this. I wish I could stay home, because I think my life would be a thousand times easier, or better, if I did. I don’t think there is anything wrong with moms who feel fulfilled with just staying home, as I’m sure I would if I could. And I also don’t think there is anything with moms who don’t feel fulfilled through that. We all have different things that drive us, and at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to make us individual. My only thing is that I wish everyone had the ability to make a choice about it. I think being forced into one or the other makes it that much more difficult to accept/enjoy.

      • Guest

        This is exactly true. I think it sucks that some people would prefer to work but have to stay home or prefer to stay home but have to work. It just sucks in general when you can’t do what you want and especially when money has to make your decisions for you.

    • Ursi

      Growing up I was extremely lucky to see the best of both these options work out for two important female figures in my family.

      There was my mother, who, much as she was obsessed with being a mom, HAD to work because her job was her calling and she loved it so much and wanted to keep busy. Even if she’d been financially able to she could never have quit. Then there was one of my aunts, bright, educated, career-oriented, who chose to stop working and stay at home to raise her children and found a great deal of fulfillment in that.

      It was completely natural to them that they had made different choices and neither was better than the other and both were okay with it. There was never a question of one being more correct when I was growing up.

      I wish everyone young girl could grow up with such a positive view towards the choice being personal and unencumbered by grander notions of absolute right or wrong.

    • SunnyD847

      This is why I hate the “Mommy Wars.” Everyone’s experience is different and trying to force others to make the same choices as you, or to acknowledge your choice as superior, is just wrong.

    • B

      I have to say that it is slightly obnoxious to assume that because you are a stay at home mom it’s because motherhood is enough. I’m going to be a stay at home mom soon, and I’m looking forward to being with my child all day, but also having the time to spend on my other interests outside of work/motherhood that fulfill me. Whether you work or stay at home I think it’s important to have your own interests and hobbies and take some time to pursue them.

    • Gina

      As someone who was a SAHM for 12 years, I have to say that I appreciate this viewpoint. As odd as it may sound, I’d never really thought of it being about where I got my fulfillment. I can identify with the orginal blogger, it’s true. Sometimes things don’t get done when I want them to be. Things aren’t as ‘perfect’ as I’d like. I’ve certanly forgotten laundry in the washer a time or two. Would I say I was fulfilled 100% by my at home duties? No. Not always. But there were times when I couldn’t have been happier. I had a job last year that left me feeling like I was neglecting my job as a mom. But I know now that it just wasn’t as validating as being at home. Now that I’ve had a different job that IS rewarding and validating, I don’t feel guilty. I’ve found that sweet spot where I can balance the mom job and work without feeling guilty. Staying at home wasn’t about me wanting to be super mommy or being all consumed by ‘mommyhood’. That’s not me at all. It was about not being able to afford childcare or wanting to spend time with my kids or just not really feeling like the job I was leaving was more validating than my job as mom. There is no judgement in that at all. It was about me and my children. I can completely appreciate that there are moms who find great reward and validation in their work. I have a friend who took every chance to take a dig at me for not being as hardworking as she is. I always felt hurt even though I could tell she didn’t mean it that way. I see now that she needed to get her validation elsewhere. She was judging herself in her at home mom job in the short time she did it more than she was judging me.

      • Bethany Ramos

        We are all judging ourselves!!

    • jane

      I get the idea here, but I think that the focus is wrong. Whether one stays at home or works, the focus is on external validation (what you do) for feeling fulfilled. The problem with that is that it leaves so many women (the vast majority, in fact) completely in the lurch. What about women who want to go to work but can’t afford daycare? Or women who want to stay home but can’t afford that? Or women who can’t find a job? Or have kids in the first place?

      Being comfortable and happy as a person requires having a faith in yourself that goes beyond those external circumstances. In my case, I am very very lucky to have a job I truly enjoy and kids I really like being with. Would it be my ideal to stay home with my kids? Absolutely not (I would be bored out of my mind). And yet, I hope that I would have the confidence in myself and know that I am enough of a person to be at peace with whatever life throws at me.

      Being enough is never about doing the dishes or having the perfect job or how you take care of your kids. It’s about recognizing your essential humanity and saying that _in spite_ of where ever I come down on the “mommy wars,” I am worth something.

    • Allie

      I think you are completely missing the point. The original blogger is talking about dumping the guilt, and enjoying coffee by herself instead of making breakfast, etc. She is “enough of a mother” even if she has coffee instead of making breakfast. The original blogger is writing about not being a superhero, martyr mom, everything for kids first nothing for herself. Could apply to a home mom or a working mom. What she does is enough and no one can tell her otherwise. (Or actually, she’s declaring it so because obviously others are telling her otherwise, but you get my point.)

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

      I enjoy staying at home. I enjoyed working. I’d like to find a balance between the two, as I don’t want to say “I’m bored out of my mind”….but I’m kind of bored out of my mind. My kid is pretty independent, and aside from a bit of maintenance every day, the house stays fairly neat. It’s the easiest gig I’ve ever had, honestly.

      I appreciate the blogger’s sentiment, but I don’t think that it’s comprehensive enough. I don’t know how I would reword it exactly, but I think it would be something along the lines of, “It’s okay to just be happy, regardless of what other people say about what makes you feel that way.”

    • Guest

      Personally, I’m looking forward to being a SAHP to be able to do more “me” stuff in general. I remember when I worked less and different hours I could hit the gym in the afternoon and workout as long as I liked. I could take time to clean my house and keep it clean. I took time to plan my shopping and meals. I took time to improve my house and decorate. I took time to read. I took time to watch regular shows (besides just GoT with my husband). As much as I’m looking forward to baby and hanging with my kid and (when they’re older esp) doing kid stuff I also look forward to doing me stuff. I want my kid to see what being a healthy happy adult looks like.

    • SAHM

      So sick of this.

      Why don’t you ask yourself what is “enough” for your kids?
      Maybe your kid would rather be with mommy than with a daycare worker.
      Maybe your kid doesn’t like being shuffled out of the house every single day, to play with kids who sometimes hit or bite or push. With no one around to protect your kid because a daycare worker can only do and see so much.

      Too many women put their own needs and wants ahead of their kids.
      I think raising a happy, secure child who feels totally loved by mom is “enough.”

      If I handed my kid over to someone else every day, there is no way I could feel good about myself (as a human being or a mother).

      Why can’t you just take time off while the kids are young and be secure in the knowledge that you can go back to writing or editing when they kids are in school? Be there for them now, when they really need you. When they are too young to understand why they can’t be with mom each day.

      Or – here’s a novel concept. Work in the evenings (your kids go to bed at 7 pm, right?) or on weekends. That way you can still earn some money, get some fulfillment outside of the home, but you are the one raising your kids.

      To be honest, judging from all of your other posts, it sounds like you just don’t like being a mother very much. You constantly complain about your kids and about doing mommy-things. Even when your children are sick – you gripe about how it is inconvenient for you – rather than feeling sorry for your kids.

      I do not get that impression at all from Maria’s writings. She seems to truly love being a mom (even though she enjoys work too).

      I think you need to re-evaluate what you share here…because one day your kids may read it and get the same impression.

      • hbombdiggity

        …..and boom goes the dynamite….

      • calichick

        Ask yourself this – would you rather see your mom less and have her be happy or see your mom all the time and have her be miserable? I had a mom who tried the SAHM thing when she was not the SAH type and I still have issues to this day due to that. I was made to feel like I had ruined her life, even though I had been planned, and I tried to be the best at everything to make her feel she had not wasted her life. But nothing was ever good enough for her.

        I keep kidding I will not go to back to work after my year sabbatical but I know I will. And my daughter will see me less but she will have a mom who feels fulfilled and will spend all her time with her having her grow as she wants to, not feeling she has to compensate for what I gave up because being a SAHM would make me incredibly miserable over the long run. It is not who I am.

      • SAHM

        I think I would rather the mom try to figure out why she can’t be happy being with her children.

        I get that it is crazy. I get that it can be boring and overwhelming all at the same time. I get that it is harder than going to work.

        But why did you have a kid in the first place?

        So that a daycare worker could be with your kid day in and day out (during nearly all of your kid’s waking hours).

        If you need to feel fulfilled in some way outside of the home – then why can’t working evenings or weekends be an option? Wouldn’t that be the best of both worlds? You get to be there when your kid is awake and conscious. And you get to work when your kid is asleep or with dad. And we are not talking the next thirty years either.

        There will be plenty of opportunity for you to work full-time when your kids in school full-time (and no longer in the baby or toddler stage – also known as the formative years…for a reason).

      • Bethany Ramos

        This is my last defense, but if you would like to take a moment to judge other people’s lives… My kids have two parents working under one roof that literally spend every hour with them, except when they are at daycare for four hours in the morning. Not many people have that. You just need to stop.

      • Ursi

        So what do you say to fathers that work full time?

        Are they shirking their responsibilities towards their children?

        Are they bad parents because they had a kid and now they’re going to work?

      • Spongeworthy

        Well that’s different because…because…penis. Duh. It’s science.

      • Valerie

        So much science.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        FTR, ladies looooooooove my science

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        Penis science has always been my favorite subject.

      • Spongeworthy

        I loved it so much I got a masters ;)

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        I want to finish my doctorate, I think. Doctor of Penis Science has a real ring to it, doesn’t it?

      • Spongeworthy

        Imagine signing your correspondence! Kay_Sue, DPS.

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        Glorious!!! :)

      • Spongeworthy

        So professional.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Do you need a Lab Assistant?

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        Unfortunately that position (and a variety of others) is already filled!

        …sorry. Couldn’t resist. :P

      • Valerie

        There is no reasoning with the ignorant and unreasonable. She needs to go back in her Martyr Judgemental Bitch cave and never come back.

      • Megan Zander

        What’s the square footage of a bitch cave I wonder?

      • Valerie

        Hers needs to be extra big to be able to fit her giant head full of bullshit notions about how a “good mother” should be.

      • VA Teacher

        This is a very good point.

      • Valerie

        Oh, and not that I owe you my fucking life story, but being “suicidal” is not the only reason I went back to work. My husband was working 2 jobs to pick up the slack of my missing income and it was really putting a strain on us as a family. So yeah, I think my kids having their father around more and their parents in a good marriage instead of working 7 days a week and never being together was a plus. So is having a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.
        And yeah, let’s work split shifts, that’s a very good idea! Worked out fucking great for my parents. They almost divorced because their marriage was miserable- in order to “be there for the kids”, they never saw each other and all thru my childhood, I got to watch them fight and aruge! That was a really healthy environment for a child to grow up in.
        Seriously, you need to go away.

      • Spongeworthy

        I was going to say the same thing, but I’d rather reply to you than that whackadoodle. Why is it preferable to have mom and dad working completely opposite, never seeing or spending time together? That’s super fun for everyone. Why spend quality time with your partner? Think of the children!!!

      • Valerie

        Yup. My parents are wonderful people but they were very young when they had us and didn’t want us in daycare so they worked complete opposite shifts (they both work in medicine so it was very easy to do) and had to leave each other notes about us because they had literally no time to talk. I can remember being in the hospital parking garage in the car with my dad waiting for my mom to come out so she could take us home and he could work. It was awful. My mom worked weekends and holidays too- I remember crying that she was gone on Christmas morning MANY times. So yeah, the alternate shifts thing is not all fucking sunshine.

      • Kendra

        My parents had the three of us in daycare *GASP* or with a babysitter, even grandparents (SHAMEFUL). I’m quite certain I have suffered zero emotional damage from this. I don’t know how I could have possibly come out of such a dire situation a fully functional adult. And yet….my sisters managed to turn out alright too. Strange…

      • Spongeworthy

        Clearly you are a unicorn.

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        I wish…

      • Spongeworthy

        Same. My mom is a nurse and worked nights for a few years before we were old enough to get ourselves to the bus stop and let ourselves in the house after school. It worked, but my mom has talked about how it was tough to balance. My husband works some weekends, so we only have about 4 days a month where we are both “off”, but we still have mornings and nights.

      • Kendra

        Hey, CRAZY, I had a kid because I wanted a kid! Nothing about “I want to have a kid” is equal to “we can afford to live on one income”. Maybe YOU should take some time to think that daycare can be quite beneficial for kids. My daughter loves being there. The kids are her friends. She is learning all kinds of things including social interaction that she sure as shit wouldn’t be learning if I were home. She’s loved and she damn well knows it. If you think kids who go to daycare sit around at daycare thinking “why doesn’t my mummy love me?” you are FUCKING DELUSIONAL.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        No kidding! My son LOVES daycare and he really has bonded to his provider. And he’s so jazzed to see me when I pick him up. And the kids at daycare socially re-enforce self-feeding. And he’s socializing all day, which he loves because he’s a real people person.
        Daycare is really filling in a lot of gaps that I didn’t excel at, all while I go to bring so I can help put food in his tummy and a roof over our heads.
        No one person was meant to raise a child all day. It’s totally communal because we’re a social species. This lady has some true emotional problems. It must be exhausting to be this judgemental of other people :( I’m feeling strained just thinking about it.

      • calichick

        Let’s see…because my husband is military. So I guess that means I now have to stay home at all times because when he is deployed, I am the only parent around because god forbid I am separated from my kid for more than 5 minutes, Oh noes, she’ll need therapy forever!!!!

        And some of us worked our asses off for a great career and sacrificed for years and taking 5 years off until she is in school would equal career death for me. I would have to start all over again. Not happening.

        BTW, who died and made you overlord of how women should live their lives? Hmm…NO ONE. And you posting on here means that you are neglecting your kids. Get back to work and stop spending time away from them, you horrible mother!

      • Ursi

        Don’t you think some children are proud to have parents that use their skills to earn a living? Don’t you think children can be happy to see their parents in a fulfilling career?

        I sure was. I would have liked to see my mother have a social life too but she martyred that for parenthood. More fool her.

        It’s good for children to have parents who are happy with their choices.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I don’t have any need to argue in most cases, but don’t EVER question my mothering. I love my kids a ridiculous amount and am devoted to them. I work my ass off every day so that they won’t feel like a financial burden, as I did when I was a child, if you had read THAT post.

        I don’t normally sink to a low level and argue with ridiculous people, but you need to take some time and question what made you attack another person as a parent. I am a wonderful mother, and my kids are very happy. I am so proud of myself and of them. I hope you can deal with whatever is making you unhappy.

      • SAHM

        You do realize that there are plenty of poor or low-income parents who never make their children feel like a financial burden. It is possible.

        Rather than worrying so much about making your children feel like a financial burden, be concerned about whether you make your children feel like an emotional burden.

        Seriously. Read through your own writings. You are always complaining about your kids. No one could read your writings and get the impression that you truly enjoy being a mother.

        I’m sorry about that. I really am. But your kids are young and you have time to turn that around (if you can admit it and try to better the situation).

      • Bethany Ramos

        I’m going to be completely honest with you. What you are saying really, really hurts me because I have never been emotionally close to either of my parents. I know you don’t know me in real life, and I know I am a snarky blogger, but I also know that I continually put myself out there again and again – and I’m doing it right now.

        There is no possible way my children feel like an emotional burden because that truly is my life’s goal to be emotionally close to them. Not sure why I am explaining this to you, but I want to get it off my chest. I don’t think anyone will really ever know how much I think about how my children feel and perceive me as a mother. It’s literally all I think about. I’m in therapy for it.

        Honestly, I don’t know what else to say. I am very hurt by this.

      • Valerie

        She is a useless bitch. Please ignore her.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Demmit, only if she didn’t use an anonymous post. I’d troll the shit out of her >:(

      • Valerie

        Beth is really sad now. So basically, I am sitting at my desk feeling impotent and full of rage.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Argh, what do I always say about trolls? The more you engage and take it personally, they win.

        Just don’t feed. Who cares about some anonymous idiot’s opinion? The more you respond, the more you affirm their idiotic beliefs.

      • Valerie

        You are right. It just hits a mom very hard when her mommy-ing is called into question. Even if its a troll. It is a very personal attack and tough to ignore completely.

      • Kendra

        Don’t be sad! Everyone else knows this chick is insane. She is insulting much more than just Bethany. She’s insulting every single working mother on the planet. That’s a whole lot of people that are going to tell you that this chick is bonkers. And I’d be willing to bet at least 90% of SAHM would agree too!

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Yea, seriously, Beth has nothing to be sad at.

        After reading some of SAHM’s drivels, I rather be raised by a mom like Beth than SAHM any day.

      • Valerie

        You are awesome.

      • Kendra

        As are you :)

      • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

        She also insulted amazing fathers, too, because apparently their bond is supposed to be inferior to mothers’….

      • SAHM

        I am sorry that you are hurt by it. I know that you have quite a few issues you are still dealing with concerning your own childhood and upbringing – and I am sorry for that.

        But I honestly do think that when you write a piece – you should take a minute and reflect on how your children might feel if they should read the piece ten or twenty years down the road. The internet is forever.

        You often say something like, “I love my kids, but…” and then you complain about them for the rest of the piece. How would your kid feel reading that one day?

        Most moms, when their kids are sick, feel sorry for their kids. It is absolutely brutal to watch your little one suffer in pain, or wonder whether they will be alright. And yes, it is incredibly hard on the mom.

        But you seem to focus on how it is inconvenient to you, rather than focusing on their feelings and discomfort.

        I realize you probably hate me for pointing all of this out and that’s fine. I don’t need you to like me.

        But I also think you want to spare your kids from the same feelings you experienced growing up.

        All I’m saying is think about what you write on the Internet.

      • Bethany Ramos

        DUDE this is my job!!!!! This is not a documentary. You have no clue how I treat my kids every moment, and I am also keeping it real. I snuggle for hours when my kids are sick and stay up all night, but no one will read a blog about that.

        No apologies at all from me. My kids will be proud to see that I am always myself, all of the time.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Beth, you have more important things to do than to justify yourself to some anonymous idiot on the internets

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you :)

      • CMP414

        That poster was ridiculous and totally out of line. Don’t let them get to you.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you <3

      • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

        All the love to you, Bethany :) <3

      • Bethany Ramos

        Love you!

      • Kande

        I was going to write this exact same thing! I sincerely doubt your kids will judge you by your posts any more than actors kids judge them based on how they parent in movies, or everyone evers kids judge them based on their facebook status posts! Snapshots in time do no portray who we are as parents. Of course the argument could be made that we are who we present ourselves to be – but unless we know the person so know that to be true, its only an assumption; and becomes one that is a lot less likely when said person is depicting themself in a media format rather than through private online outlets. And as you pointed out, your kids will judge you on the time you spend with them, not on random internet posts. Which they very likely won’t read, ever, at least until they are a parent (and can then relate) as what kid ever says “My Mom writes things on the internet! I am going to go read All Her Things! I am going to friend my Mom on facebook so I can see her posts, which are way more interesting than anything my friends have to say! Hey wait, she said she would rather work than be home 24 hours a say! That is SO SHOCKING to me, because as a teen I would MUCH rather be with my parents All The Time than my friends! Wtf Mom?!”

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you!!

      • Ursi

        I hope to all that is holy that you are just a weirdo getting your kicks off because if this kind of manipulative concern-trolling goes on in your own life I worry about your family.

      • Valerie

        Her family hates her. I can basically guarantee it.

      • candyvines

        Your last sentence – read it.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        If I do that, I would probably have like… 16 posts

      • candyvines

        Ha!

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        Read it. Take it to heart. Don’t let go of it.

        And the congregation said: Amen.

      • CMJ

        You’re the worst.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        Booooo!

      • whiteroses

        You do realize that your kids will one day grow up, right? And that by then they really need to have some concept of how they can navigate in the world?

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        I was going to do this on Twitter instead of putting it out here, but it’s too long. Sorry.

        Beth, my mom worked my entire life. The only time she stayed home was when she could not find work when I was really small.

        Do you know what I think of her today?

        She’s brilliant, she’s beautiful, she’s amazing. She’s my best friend and my biggest fan. We’ve had our ups and downs, but you know what I’ve always admired about her? Her passion and commitment to her job. It’s often thankless, it requires long hours, it has politicians constantly picking at its bones. She worked for nearly fifteen years in a school district where teacher didn’t usually make it more than one. She threw herself into helping kids that no one else cared about, and that everyone had given up on, because she had a burning passion to do something with her life.

        Being a mother would NEVER have been enough for her. NEVER.

        And you know what? I’m totally and completely okay with that. I grew up in daycare. I was enrolled at 18 months. I attended until I started school. When I wasn’t at daycare, after I started school, I spent my afternoons either in her classroom while she planned and prepared or at my dad’s office, with nothing to do but pass the time. I resent nothing. I’m proud of both of my parents, and my mom in particular.

        My mom never made me feel like an emotional burden. She was always there for me. I have no doubt, even just knowing you in this context, that you will have the same success emotionally with your kids. If you make that a priority, they will always know it. You’ll have rocky times, and ups and downs, because that’s how kids are…but in the end, that connection will be there, and it will mean the absolute world to them.

        Please don’t let useless bitches (to borrow Valerie’s terms) make you feel like less.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you so much! xoxox

      • TngldBlue

        Don’t let it hurt you. This commenter is obviously one of those mothers with the deluded thinking that emotional security is about time clocked, complaints pushed down, and smiles given. Anyone with an ounce of life experience knows that is a fallacy.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thanks so much :)

      • Tinyfaeri

        What Valerie said. And I’d add that I haven’t ever gotten the feeling that you are anything but close to your kids and love them very much. I don’t know you in real life, but I’m sure you’re a good mom who loves her children very much. Don’t let a sanctimonious, self-righteous bitch who wants to ruin someone’s day ruin yours.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I really appreciate it!!

      • Alexandra Quinlan

        Oh please don’t be hurt by these stupid comments! It is so apparent from your writing that you are utterly devoted to your kids and that you love them so very much. Stay strong Bethany!

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you :)

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        My mom was a social service worker and she was damn good at it. Even now, 15 years after her death, I hear from the people she helped or those she worked with about what a gem she was. I was so proud of her. I saw her only a couple hours each day (and on weekends I was with my dad).
        I adored my mother. We were bonded. And her emotional availability was not based on total hours spent together but how those hours were spent. Her work mattered, we mattered, and neither we nor work alone would have been enough for her. And we drove her crazy too and she complained because she was human.
        Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re great. Good mothers aren’t inherently just the ones who devote their lives to the cause.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thanks so much!!

      • LiLi

        Bethany hon, I love your posts and how honest you are. Don’t let this bitch get you down. <3

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you!!

      • whiteroses

        Bethany, you need to understand that those of us who “know” you (as much as we can since we’re a community of commenters) know damn well what kind of mom you are, and that’s a damn good one.
        In the words of the Sex Pistols: Never mind the bollocks.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you so much! I really feel like I know you guys too, and I know we have a community of great mothers.

      • Ursi

        THANK GOD for the random judgement of the internet. Without people like you trying to help us to better ourselves with questionable morality and uncertain aims, I don’t even know what we’d be doing with our lives.

      • Spongeworthy

        Lolololol! Did you hear that Bethany? YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO TURN IT AROUND!!
        Please excuse me, I just rolled my eyes so hard I gave myself a nosebleed.

      • Lorraine

        So we can’t ever complain or we are terrible parents? I am a SAHM, I do most often love what I do, but some days I am going out of my mind and sure as hell I do complain sometimes. We are human for Christ sake. You never have a bad day?

      • jordana

        Psycho empty nest syndrome waiting to happen…good luck with that…hope you don’t judge your kids the way you so readily judge strangers on the internet yeesh. Way to bash people for honesty…wouldn’t want to live in your ideal world.

      • Lee

        You must be reading different posts by Bethany than I do. I have never gotten the impression that she is anything but an honest, loving mother.

      • http://batman-news.com Bunny Lou

        So you spend an awfully long time bitching at Bethany. Why don’t you spend more of that time with your kid? Your child is feeling seperated from you when you’re on the computer insteadof paying attention to them, and they’re going to resent you for it, according to your own logic.

      • Valerie

        Here’s a novel concept, fuck off kindly. You are a raging piece of shit. Bethany is an absolutely amazing mother and I am so positive it is because she is not a fucking martyr staying home “for the kid’s sake”. Are you kidding?? You think the definition of a good mother is one who sacrifices herself and her mental health for her kids? Yeah, that is a super thing to show my kids- me being a shell of my usual self, contemplating ways to end my life because I am so low and sad and beside myself with anxiety. That sounds like the perfect sacrifice to make. You fucking idiot.

        Do you think it would have been preferable to my husband and children if I had slit my wrists in the bathtub or overdosed on something? Because I deeply feel I would have been headed in that direction had I not decided to return to work. I DO NOT feel the need to defend myself to you and that is not the point of this response but just think before you fucking speak, ok?

      • Bethany Ramos

        Very well said. <3

      • Valerie

        I love you. Anyone who insults you will hear it from me. I mean honestly, go back in your troll hole.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I love you too :)

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Nobody loves me :(

      • Bethany Ramos

        Love you!

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Suckers, so easy getting pity posts from you chickys

        **runs away!!!!!!

      • Ursi

        I love your trolling!

      • Valerie

        awww, we totes love you!!

      • SAHM

        If being with your own children makes you suicidal, okay. Go to work then. Clearly that is preferable to taking your own life.

        But you do realize that for many moms being at home is not so terrible that they think about offing themselves.

        It may not be glamorous or sunshine and rainbows all of the time. But they do it because most kids want mom around.

        I would rather deny my kid the latest Wii game or iPhone than deny them a mother.

      • Valerie

        Ok, bitch. Now you’ve done it. You can read into what I said however you want- MY KIDS don’t make me suicidal. Being at home all day with few adults to speak to and feeling low and havign too much time to think of all the things that give me anxiety makes me suicidal. Jesus Christ, seriously, disappear. You will find no friends here.

      • SAHM

        “Do you think it would have been preferable to my husband and children if I had slit my wrists in the bathtub or overdosed on something? Because I deeply feel I would have been headed in that direction had I not decided to return to work.” – your words. Not mine.

        You do realize that a SAHM can actually leave the house and go and do things, right? You don’t have to be cooped up all day, every day. You can go for a walk, go to the park, enjoy the community center, attend Mommy and Me classes (where you can socialize with other moms).

        Maybe some moms just need to re-think the way they are doing it, rather than giving up entirely and going back to work.

      • Valerie

        I am no longer explaining myself to you because you are a complete and total asshole. I feel sorry for your children, truly.
        And maybe some moms are judgemental douchebags who should stick their heads in the toilet and flush! I am done with you.

      • VA Teacher

        You’re not a very good person. I’m not going to argue with you, but I do hope when you grow a bit, you look back and are ashamed at how judgmental and bitter you are currently behaving. I think a bit of emotional growth will do wonders for you as a person. Good luck! :)

      • AP

        “attend Mommy and Me classes (where you can socialize with other moms)”

        Why would anyone want to socialize with people like you? Yuck.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Unreal — your judgement knows no bounds.

      • Valerie

        Thank you. <3

      • Valerie

        She reminds me of Kirsten Dunst’s character on Mona Lisa Smile. You know, the one who tries to make all of her friend’s lives miserable because she thinks they should be the way she is. And it turns out, she is the miserable one in her situation. Unhappy people feel the need to deride others and their choices. I think we all need to stop jumping down her throat and do a fucking Kumbaya circle or something. She clearly needs positive vibes of some sort!

      • Bethany Ramos

        Yes, we also love you, SAHM. :)

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        I’m absolutely indifferent about her.

      • Valerie

        And why do I get this deep down feeling that you must sit around your house hating yourself and resenting your children? Women who are TRULY happy SAH don’t feel the need to project this horrible judgement on other moms. They go about their business and be happy in their lives. Only miserable people feel the need to attack others like you are doing right now. Maybe its time for some introspection. So you can figure out why you are such a rod-up-your-ass miserable bitch! You are welcome in advance for that advice! <3 Kisses!

      • Aldonza

        It seems as thought you are taking someone wanting to work as an attack on your decision to stay at home. As women, we need to focus on helping and supporting each other so that we can do and be whatever we want to be, a SAHM or a working Mom or child free. You’ve made your choices and you’re content and it’s what is right for her and her family. Beth has made her own choices, different from yours, and that’s what’s best for her and her family. Judging each other and throwing insults is in no way productive or going to help anyone’s situation.

      • Brittany Anne

        So much this. Good moms don’t sacrifice their entire lives for their children. This is what my mom did with her children, and I honestly don’t even know how to have a relationship with her now that I’m an adult and don’t need her to take care of me all the time. And she doesn’t know how to interact with her kids who are adults and don’t need her constant care and attention anymore. It’s actually kind of a problem. I wish more than anything that, when I was a kid, my mother had gotten validation from something, anything, besides just her children. Sometimes my brothers and I feel solely responsible for my mother’s happiness, and that’s just not healthy.

      • AP

        My MIL was that kind of mom, too. Her sons are now grown and living across the country due to work. She has a hard time with life and recently nagged us to move to her remote town to have grandchildren because she can’t fill the void of her boys growing up.

      • STFUyouPOS

        How do you have this much time to be an asshole online? Where are your children you awful awful mother?!?? Ignoring them for the internet? Shame on you. Shame!

        In all seriousness though, I do think your children will most likely grow up to be awful people or they’ll be normal(ish) and resent you based off the shitty attitude you display here. Good luck to them..they’re going to need it.

      • Kendra

        You know what? I want to be so fucking angry and scream about this right now, because frankly, I’m sick of imbeciles like yourself flaunting about their superb lifestyle choices. unfortunately, I can see that you are so fucking out of touch that it would do me no good to try to even bother to make you see why you are being an ass. I will suggest that you learn to keep your judgmental Judy shoes in the closet from now on. You don’t know anyone’s life well enough to try to dictate what decisions should or shouldn’t be made for them. And don’t even get me started on moms like myself who don’t even get a choice in the matter.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis
      • Valerie

        So many pies!

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Pies make her happy

      • candyvines

        I think it’s butter.

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        Here’s a truly novel concept: get a life outside of your kids. Because the way you’re marry ring yourself and patting yourself on the back for all the sacrifices you’ve made, I have no doubt you’ll make your kids painfully aware of how much you gave up so they could have enough of you and your special Mommy Powers of Protection (TM). And when they’re old enough to fully understand the choices you made–all on their behalf, natch–they’re going to do the only smart thing and go to college as far away from you as possible and limit contact to the bare minimum necessary. There’s also a good chance your smothering is going to help convince them that having a relationship or family of their own will be too suffocating, so they’ll spend their adult lives making a point of not giving you grandchildren. So since I’m joining you in the land of assumptions (heavy emphasis on the “ass”), I’m assuming you’d be doing your kids a big favor by getting a job. A day job. The kind that you’d have to leave them in a stranger’s care for.

      • SAHM

        I have never once told my kids how much I gave up to be with them, nor would they ever get that impression (at least not while they are children). When they are older, I am sure they will eventually learn that I had a life and a career before I became a mother.

        They only know that I am with them because I am their mother and mothers should be with their children.

        They think it’s weird when they see a bunch of kids at the park with the daycare worker. They feel sad when a little kid gets hurt and cries for his mommy….but there is no mom there to make him feel better.

        Now that they are in school, they don’t understand why other moms aren’t there at pick-up time. They wonder why so many of their classmates have to be stuck in after-care (and they hear their classmates complain about it, as do I).

        They also ask why other mommies don’t volunteer for class trips or help out in the classroom. They love when I visit the school or supervise field trips. They also hear the other kids ask their teacher why their mommy never comes.

        Again, I don’t care what you think about me.
        I care what my kids think about me.

        And you should too.

      • candyvines

        Go away, alien.

      • Kendra

        Do you know what I think of my mom? I think she is incredible, superwoman, even. She has always had a full time job, even when we were little (shameful right?). Our house maintained a spotless clean that I’ve seen no one able to replicate. We had healthy, homemade meals every single night. We did homework together, and she did our bathes, read us stories, and made us breakfast in the morning. She is amazing. She is an inspiration to me. I have no idea how she managed all that she did with the three daughters she raised to be incredible, smart, and independent women. And this woman told me something when I went back to work that I think would do you some good to hear. “It won’t be easy, and it doesn’t really get much easier. But it’s not about the quantity of time you spend with them, it’s about the quality.”

      • CMP414

        My mom never worked but guess what that did not make her a good mom. In fact, she really was not and still isnt and she is now a grandma. Staying home does not make a good mom necessaril and does not carry any guarantee you will be close to your kids as adults. My friends had moms who always worked full time and they were and are super close.

      • Valerie

        My mom worked full time and it hardly even occured to me to be upset about it. She was so unquestionably dedicated to us and never missed any of our events/games/concerts.

      • Kendra

        When I drop my kid off at daycare, she can’t wait to get away from me. She almost has to be forced to come back and give me a hug and say bye. This is the best evidence I could ever have that she’s not feeling lonely and heartbroken about it. She’s just like “yeah, see ya mom, my friends are here, so…..get lost!”

      • Valerie

        Yeah, my kids give no fucks at daycare drop-off. Ben is literally smothered by his friends when he arrives- they are hugging him and laughing and he’s so happy he barely knows I’m there. It’s awesome. Claire gets to her morning before-school program (WHICH IS THE WORST according to SAHM and her kid’s sad-sack friends) and has breakfast with her friends, plays chess (she is amazing at it), card games, reads with the older girls, makes bracelets, writes letters to people- whatever. A blast, basically. Oh wait. She’s sad. So very sad. An opressed and sad sad child who nevvvver sees her mommy and constantly wonders where she is.
        Bwahahahaha.

      • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

        I remember being actually kind of excited when my mom travelled for work. A) because she always brought back cool stuff for me, and B) how many people can say that their mom has been all over the caribbean, hong kong, the channel islands, and various other places for work?

      • Aldonza

        Parents traveling was the best! If it was one of them, it meant more casual meals and fun food and then presents! If it was both of them it meant either staying with my Aunt or our neighbors, both of whom had different and cool stuff in their house! It was an adventure!

      • CMP414

        My mom was always miserable. Maybe part of that was staying home and part of it was her own issues ( of which she has many). In fact, when my sister and I were “bad” she would threaten to get a job to serve us right. Looking back I totally wish she would have. I’m home with my kid more than any of my friends who have to work but it doesn’t make me a better mom. I’m a good mom because I bring other qualities to my family.

      • TngldBlue

        Sounds to me like you’re the one making this a huge deal for your children and teaching them to pity others because they are different. What a terrific lesson.

      • SAHM

        Never taught my kids any such thing.

        Do you really think I would say such things in front of their teacher (a working mom)?

        My kids just hear what their classmates say and they bring it up to me afterwards. They will say that so-and-so is really sad because she wants her mom to come on a field trip, and she never does.

        Riddle me this, TngldBlue. Don’t working moms get vacation days? Can’t they take one single, solitary vacation day and show up for a field trip to make their kid happy? Heck…they would probably only need a half day for most field trips.

        But the working moms I know would rather pull their hair out than supervise a group of kids on a trip – even if it would make their child’s face light up.

        Same reason that they decided to go back to work.

      • TngldBlue

        And I’m sure your answer to them is some sort of variation on the lectures you’re giving all us less stellar moms here right?

        I don’t know if other mother’s get vacation days. I’ve never thought about it because it is none of my damn business. But what I do know is that this is a big world full of people with lives and families and worries and ideas that are not exactly the same as mine so I would never, ever pretend that I know what is best for someone else and then judge them as less than because they choose a different path.

      • Valerie

        Uhhh I’m sorry, but who said all working moms don’t take days off to be with their kids? You really are a special piece of shit, aren’t you? I am at every single event my children’s class allows parents to attend. I have been on the “room mom” committee both years my daughter has been in elementary school and I have a very regular dialogue with her teachers. She is also in the Gifted program, has tons of friends and never once in her life has she expressed a moment’s sadness that her POOR MOMMY has to work. I have plenty of time off and my bosses are parents too so they understand. I also have lunch with my daughter in her cafeteria regularly. I know this might be hard for your incredibly narrow-minded brain to grasp but just like it IS possible to be social and get out of the house as a SAHM it is also possible to be incredibly involved with your children’s lives even if you work. You really are deluded, aren’t you?

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Holy SHIT, that troll’s still here? LOL

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        She’s trollin’ hard, yo. It takes real commitment.

      • Kendra

        I’m starting to think she isn’t a troll, but an actual, real individual who leads a very sad, sad life.

      • Valerie

        Yeah, either its an inside job- a regular poster posting as a guest or its a long-time lurker. She knows too much to be a drive-by bitch.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        A mystery’s afoot!

        Quickly to the Mystery Machine!

      • Ursi

        I suspect so but I am hoping against hope it’s not the case because if she has girls, this is the advice she’ll be laying down in 20-odd years.

      • Tina

        Yeah I started reading and I was torn whether it was someone trolling and laughing maniacally at their computer at the rage they are causing or some pathetic, sad woman who actually believes the stuff she writes. But I’ve also come to the conclusion it’s probably the latter.

      • Valerie

        And as long as I am on a roll, I should mention that I devote most weeknights to attending and helping to coach my kid’s baseball games as well as helping with homework, giving baths, reading to them, playing Barbies- whatever they need. They have never for one moment questioned my dedication to them. They love their teachers, they love me, they love their father. They are literally the happiest kids I know and people tell me all the time how polite, well-behaved, hilarious and smart they are. So however it happened, I am proud and know that my husband and I must have done a lot right. I truly cannot imagine how they could have somehow been any more awesome and secure and confident by me staying at home. They are the best kids in the world. It sounds like you aren’t sure of the same with the way you feel the need to cut down other mothers and how they are raising their children. So basically, I rock, you suck. Ennnnd scene.

      • SA

        I’m sorry but you’re an idiot. I take off days to spend with my daughter as do all the other woman I work with. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for field trips, sometimes for personal reasons. I love taking time off to spend with my kid…taking off a Friday in just over a week to make a weekend longer…woohooo!

      • Aldonza

        Wow, things really have changed. When I was a kid NO ONE wanted their parents to be the field trip chaperons…

      • My2bits

        Wait…you don’t find it acceptable to say these things around your child’s teacher, but to anyone on the internet who happens to read what you say, you have no problem being a sanctimonious jerk.

      • AP

        I want to know why it’s heartbreaking to tell a kid that “Mommy can’t whatever because Mommy has work,” but no one flinches if someone says, “Sorry buddy, Daddy’s at work now.”

        If Daddy being at work is not emotionally shattering, then Mommy being at work won’t be either.

      • SAHM

        Because the bond between mom and baby or mom and toddler is different than the bond between child and father. It just is.

        The only time the bond is the same is in cases where the mom really is emotionally unavailable to her children. Then the kids tend to be closer to their fathers.

      • cabinfever

        Your view of how central you are to your children’s well-being is a little disturbing. Best of luck to them.

      • SAHM

        I am because they are little. As they get older, they will need me less and less. And that’s perfectly fine and as it should be.

        But they will have the memories of me being there with them and for them. We have an incredibly strong bond (as I have with my own mother – who also “sacrificed” her own career to be with her children.). She wouldn’t call it a sacrifice though. Just what a mom ought to do when she decides to have a kid.

        If your career is more important than your child, then don’t have kids yet.

        No kid should play second fiddle to mom’s ambition.
        And mom’s ambition should be to raise a happy, healthy child….not to score a bigger office or sell the most life insurance policies.

      • Kendra

        Yes, because two year olds and babies retain memories…

      • cabinfever

        All we know about those first few years is what our parents tell us. Apparently my mom had a few weeks of mat leave with me, then went back to work. If she told me she’d stayed home for 3 years with me, I’d believe that too.

      • Kendra

        I mean, obviously, SAHM’s children are going to hold fond memories of her AND ONLY HER holding them when they were but tiny newborns. It defies science and all, but I’m sure that’s what will happen.

      • Aldonza

        Haha very true. My parents worked out of the house most of my life (although my Dad traveled a lot). Do I have memories of them being at home with me as a toddler?…Nope! My cousin had to stay with us for the first eight years of her life since her parents divorced when she was a baby and my Aunt had no choice but to work. Most of my memories from very young have to do with playing with her…

      • Kendra

        And BTW, you still haven’t answered what moms are supposed to do when they cannot afford to sacrifice their career to stay home like all the perfect moms do. I don’t give two fucks about my career, but I do care about my house, which I’d like to keep, so I have to work. What about me? Am I expected to put off having children until my husband lands himself a more lucrative position? Which will take him 10 years because his parents didn’t give him the guidance he needed to go into college and get his own education?

      • guest

        Because, ZOMG, no mom could EVER have a happy, healthy child while actually succeeding in a career! (Also: boy you have no clue what ambition means to a lot of careers. My ambition is to further human knowledge. I don’t give a shit about the size of my office.)

        You are so incredibly entertaining. I feel kind of sorry if you have a daughter, though; hope she eventually learns she can be her own person (once she gets out from under your welcome-to-the-1950s view of parenthood.) Actually, I feel sorry if you have a son too, since apparently you’ll be teaching him that he can’t actually bond with his child as much simply because he’s a guy. Damn, I should get a time machine and tell my dad that being a stay-at-home dad was totally doomed for him because he was a guy. I’m sure finding out that some self-proclaimed expert on the internet says so will be very important to him.

      • MaestraPetiroja

        Your arguments are archaic bull straight out of the 1950s, and I truly, TRULY feel for your children. They are going to revolt against you in the biggest way when they are older, and you will have no one to turn to when that happens. Sad for you, sad for your kids. But at least you had your smug little moment in the sun on the internet.

      • Guest

        Hey SAHM, you are a judgmental, condescending piece of shit! You’ve made your point, piss off already!

      • whiteroses

        My mom worked part time for a lot of reasons, the most important of which was that, had my father died in combat, she wanted to still be able to support us. Funny thing- she’s one of my best friends now.

      • Ursi

        Lady, I’ve enjoyed this board for a long time and I love talking to mothers and hearing about their lives, but your hurtful guilt crusade and raging sexism really bring out the long-buried militantly childfree emotions of my early 20s.

        People like you want to send us back to the 50s and keep us there.

        Bad breeder. Bad.

      • SAHM

        Sorry. I forgot that it is now trendy to let other people raise our kids.

        Carry on.

      • guest

        Uh, until relatively recently in human history, it has ALWAYS been the case that other people helped raise our children. Extended families have been the norm for most of history; children weren’t generally only raised by the mother and father.

      • Valerie

        It’s so trendy. Almost as trendy as my Coach bags and my Golden iphone and my trips to Turks and Caicos and all of the amazing stuff I do because I work and I am FULL of money. Just…ALL the money.

      • Stifler Plays Tennis

        Coach? Ppsshh that’s for poor people now.

        #givenchymanpurse

      • Valerie

        For real? Picture or it never happened.

      • CMJ

        #celinealltheway

      • calichick

        You do realize people have been raising each other’s kids since the dawn of civilization? It was very common in many societies to have the older women who were unable to do much physical labor look after the children while their mothers gathered or farmed. , and it still is in many third world countries. This “stay at home mom” concept is a first world invention.

      • SAHM

        Yes. And children were looked after by grandma.

        Not some stranger you found off the Internet.

      • Kendra

        Given there was no internet at the dawn of civilization, I would say that’s actually probably the first thing that you said that might have a SMIDGE of truth to it.

      • Sarah

        Not that you give a fuck about facts and reality, but children are much more likely to be abused (sexually, physically, emotionally) by family members than by paid childcare workers.

      • Valerie

        You know soooo much. Let me guess- you have a PhD in Judgemental Cunt Studies?

      • candyvines

        Does your husband know that you think his relationship with his children is inferior to yours?

      • Kande

        Completely disagree. A mom is not “emotionally unavailable” for a baby to share an equal bond with their father (or any other involved adult in their life, such as grandparents) – in fact, I would argue the complete opposite. You need to have a Mom who is emotionally PRESENT. Who is able to value the involvement of other adults in her baby’s life, particularly the father. Who is able to set aside her emotional need to be the only one who could possibly care for her baby, and instead be open to other adults caring for and bonding with the baby – because growing up and knowing that there are a multitude of adults who have bonded with and love them is emotionally best for the CHILD. A mom who realizes that she can share her baby and share the love is not emotionally unavailable in the slightest – she is emotionally evolved as has realized that more adults loving her child doesn’t mean less love of the child for her.

      • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

        Thank you, and I totally agree. Just reading that comment about a bond between a child and a father is only the same as a bond between a child and mother is when the mother is emotionally unavailable is really fucking offensive and I was too angry to think of a response.

        I have zero resentment that my mom works and *gasp* travels for work for up to 3 weeks at a time. She did all through out my childhood. I have NEVER felt like she was emotionally unavailable because she would take days off of work to come help with my classes, she would read to me at night, she would come cheer me on at martial arts tournaments and even joined herself. My relationship with each of my parents (who are still together and will have been happily married for 37 years this winter) might be a little different, but the bond is equally as strong. I also had the amazing chance to be close with my only grandparent, since my grandma looked after me while my parents were at work. My mom is an amazing woman and I love her all the more for the fact that she was smart enough to realize that she needed to work for her own mental health and that my father is 100% capable of bonding with and taking care of his child (me). I have never felt unloved and I feel sorry for this person’s very narrow world view.

      • whiteroses

        This. My son is currently on an overnight with his grandparents. I needed a break to actually get shit done that I wouldn’t be able to do with a 2 year old in tow— plus I have a graduation party to attend tonight. He gets to go to the beach and be with his grandparents, who he dearly loves. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a win-win.

      • Gangle

        Bull. Shit. The bond between child and father is just as important. I am very close to my dad. Not because my mum wasn’t emotionally available. Because he is my dad. Really, how do you come up with this crap?

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        My daughter has an amazing bond with both of us, as she gets time with each of us alone. I never got to have that bond with my dad as a child, and I’m thrilled my daughter can.

        Oh, and he’s every bit as capable of taking care of her as I am. I resent the implication that a father cannot care for his children as well as a mother.

      • JenH1986

        I think you just know shitty people. Or people who don’t get unlimited vacation. My mother would and she made sure she attended one field trip and on party a year for each of us. But remember given the economy not all employers are giving vacation days left and right. Mayber mom saves her days to spend a week with the kids in summer or because she needs to stay home when kids are sick. Or maybe her parents are sick and she needs days for that. You are judging the hell out of a whole group of people when you know nothing about their situation.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Who do you think all your children’s teachers are? A bunch of childless women? All men? (Somehow I doubt that you would allow your kids in a man’s classroom.) Seriously, if your kids are in school, they’re being taught by working moms. Do you think the teacher leading the field trip (you know, the one these kids are supposedly asking why their moms don’t volunteer at school) is a bad mom? Because I can guarantee that your kids’ teacher doesn’t get to volunteer in her own child’s classroom. I know because I’m a teacher. And a pseudo-mom to 120 kids. But go ahead and tell me I’m a bad mom too because I have a job.

      • cabinfever

        My daughter asked me this morning when she could go back to daycare and be with her friends. “I miss my friends”, she said.
        She’s been home with me for the past year while I’ve been on mat leave with the baby. We’ve had a good time, but we’re both ready to go back out into the world.

        You do not have the prescription for happiness – kids’ or parents’.

      • SAHM

        That is really sad. You do know that you can arrange playdates for your daughter with her former daycare friends, don’t you?

        There is really no reason that she should be deprived of seeing her friends for a year just because you are a stay-at-home mom now.

        Or let her make new friends. Get out and do things.

        I know it’s called SAHM but it not meant to be taken so literally.

      • cabinfever

        You’re ridiculous.

      • Sarah

        lol RIGHT? I don’t know if my eyes will ever roll back into my head

      • Megan Zander

        There seem to be a lot of working moms and men chiming in her, so I’d like to comment as a fellow stay at home mom. You are out of line and owe her an apology. If this is the way your raising your kids, to be judgmental of other people, than maybe they’d be better off in daycare.

        I gave up a successful career as a divorce attorney to be a full time SAHM, and I love every second of it. But that doesn’t mean my life needs to revolve around my kids or that saying I like mental stimulation from whatever source, be it writing, knitting, reading, etc, makes me less of a parent. Beth is good at her job, her writing is honest and designed to elicit a conversation about a topic and never once have I read anything from her that for a single second made me question her love for her children. She has a child with allergies and spends hours at a time creating meals for him that he can eat without suffering. So if that’s bad parenting, sign me up. Please enjoy your weekend knowing that all your comments have done nothing more than unite a bunch of us in seeing how narrow minded you are and that you’ve single handedly driven up the clicks on this article which will only serve to further Beth’s awesome writing career. And besides, why are you spending all this time commenting here anyway, shouldn’t you be with your kids Supermom?

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        As a fellow SAHM, I approve this comment. I approve this comment so hard.

      • Megan Zander

        Oh thanks, because it was the product of the rage shakes, so I wasn’t sure how coherent it would be.

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        Wonderfully coherent, although certain people seem unable to understand it still. *shakes head*

      • Megan Zander

        I know, Le sigh, but I just don’t have any Fucks let to give.

      • Sara610
      • Megan Zander

        Amazing! I need to learn how do do this!

      • Sara610

        Clearly, you should not learn how from me. :)

      • Sara610

        Huh…..I wonder why it showed up twice? Weird.

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        The point was *that* important. ;)

      • cabinfever

        It was perfection.

      • Megan Zander

        Well now that’s just going to go to my head.

      • SAHM

        Congrats on giving up a successful and lucrative career to stay home (and not stay home) with your kid.

        At the end of the day, your baby or toddler does not care how important your job was or what a fabulous lawyer, doctor, teacher, or bank teller you were. They just don’t.

        At one or two years of age, they can’t wrap their head around that and they just know that they want to be with mom. It’s a basic survival instinct, which working moms try very hard to diminish.

        I am sure you will have plenty of time to resume your career when your child is older and does not need you as much. Or you may choose to use your background in law to begin a new career. And when your child is older, he or she can and will appreciate the contribution you make to society through your legal work.

        But at least you were there for your child when she or he needed you the most. The bond that is developed in the early years is so important and can never be replicated via pieces of time here and there.

      • candyvines

        Also at two years of age children don’t understand why they have to wear shoes outside or why they can’t eat cookies for breakfast. Ultimately isn’t the goal to raise strong, independent adults? You raise your children to leave. Every person is different, which you seem unable to understand. Some will do better with a SAHP, some with a working mother – but the results won’t be clear for at least a couple of decades. Please stop presuming you know what is best for every child.

      • Tina

        Oh my god get a grip. My mom was a SAHM for years until my youngest brother went to kindergarten (more out of necessity) and my boyfriend’s mom was a single parent who worked full-time to keep herself and her two kids afloat. Total opposite situations yet now we’re both adults in our twenties who only know they had caring, loving, mothers who did the best they could and we love and cherish them very much. I like to believe both of us turned out to be good, hardworking people and that wasn’t because one mother stayed at home while the other worked.

        And “at the end of the day”, what I do remember vividly as a twelve year old was the painful struggle my mom went through while trying to get back into the workforce, even with a degree and a previous work life, after more than a decade of being at home. I remember hearing her crying to my dad about another job application rejection yet again when she thought I was asleep. Just because she was “there for me” earlier in my life and for both my brothers doesn’t mean it made going through that any less easy for her or us kids. It’s not all puppies and rainbows even if you decide that staying at home while your kids are young is right for you.

        You’re downright deplorable, you know that?

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        Preeeetttyyyy sure she didn’t want your approval.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Xoxoxo

      • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

        Imma let you finish, but first I have to say, as a former “daycare child” with a working mom:

        You are a dumbass. And I don’t usually resort to name-calling…

      • Sarah
      • guest

        I feel totally loved by my mom, and she worked. She was also a complete inspiration to me growing up, as she was a trailblazer – first female director of her company, first female vice president. She made me realize how much I could accomplish with my life, which she would not have done had she given up her career. Yes, there were times I wished I saw her more; it just made the time together more precious. But I think there will always be times when you wish you saw people more, whether they are your mom, dad, best friend, grandparents, or whomever.

        As for why people don’t “just take time off while the kids are young,” not all careers are set up that way – as an academic, once I’m tenured, I’m certainly not going to give it up to stay at home, since the chances of my finding another tenured job will be relatively slim. Furthermore, not everyone wants to – I think it is entirely possible to realize that there are other important things in life besides an infant. You don’t have to give up yourself when you get married, nor do you have to give up yourself when you have a child. Yes, balancing everything can be difficult, but it’s hardly impossible.

        (The “work on the weekends/evenings” thing seems odd to me – I’m not sure when women are supposed to sleep if they are at home all day with the kid and working all night. Weekends might be more possible, but that’s not much in the way of time at work and few careers will be sustained simply by working 2 days a week. Hence that is likely impractical for someone who wishes to put their hard-earned skills and interests to good use.)

        And as for why people would have a child if they don’t want to stay home…there are biological realities of being female that make having a child later more difficult. It might be more possible late in one’s career to choose to stay home, but that may not be an option. So people may have children at a point that is biologically viable, even if they are still establishing themselves at work. And that’s perfectly fine.

        What you seem to lack is perspective: the fact that something works for you does not make it the One True Way for everyone.

      • Kendra

        Don’t worry, she’s makes up for what she lacks with bitchy entitlism.

      • Sara610

        Seriously, don’t even bother with this woman. She came on here spouting the same entitled, self-righteous, incredibly ignorant BS a week or two ago and what ensued was an hours-long shit storm of terrible reading comprehension, personal insults and sticking her fingers in her ears and going “NANANANANA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” any time someone whose life she was making false assumptions about chimed in to say that she was completely and totally wrong and either misunderstanding or purposely misrepresenting what they had said..

        It’s just not worth it. There are a lot of people out there who, although you may disagree, are capable of intelligent, rational conversation. SAHM is not one of those people.

      • Sara610

        Hey, welcome back! You didn’t feel you got your point across adequately in the comment thread from Julia’s article last week?

      • JenH1986

        Are you reading the same posts I did? In almost every post she mentions how much she loves her kids. She writes on a mom blog for Christ’s sake. The point of this was that “mom” isn’t her only identity. She isn’t ok, doesn’t feel fulfilled as being “so and so’s mom”. She gets her fulfillment out of being a mother, wife, writer, editor, friend, daughter etc.

      • K.

        This is a response for you; it’s also a response for Bethany (if she reads it; I’m a little late to the party) because what you’re saying is incredibly hurtful and narrow-minded.

        If you believe, as I do, that taking care of a child full-time is a demanding, important, and complex job, then I think it stands to reason that not every woman (or man) out there is cut out for it. It requires a certain temperament and not everyone has it. What complicates it further is that we often don’t KNOW whether we have that temperament or not until we meet our own kids, who also have their own personalities and temperaments that may or may not match our own. I’m sure that parenting and homemaking are jobs that everyone *can* do in that I’m sure that there are certain jobs out there that most people can perform the duties of, but that’s different from finding a profession that is fulfilling (if you have that luxury at all).

        It is for this reason that I firmly believe good moms are happy moms, and not everyone finds fulfillment taking care of their kids full-time; others find MORE fulfillment in some sort of career outside of the home. Why would you think it’s better for a child to stay home with a mother who doesn’t like staying home than being cared for by a nanny or daycare worker who chose their professions because they love kids and they have invested themselves in early-childhood development? If a SAHM isn’t finding fulfillment and happiness in her work, then if she continues to do it, it’s unlikely she’ll ever reach some sort of epiphany of “Hey! I really DO like this! This is fantastic!” She’ll be more likely to resent her own children. And that’s not good for any child.

        I don’t know what your social circle is like, but in mine, I know many adults who were raised in all kinds of homes–nuclear families with SAHMs; nuclear families with career moms; divorced and blended families; adoptive and foster-care families; latch-key kids; kids raised by their grandparents–and we’re all functioning adults and despite the diversity of the ways in which we were raised, pretty much all of us would say we had great childhoods and wonderful parents. In other words, the fallacy of the “mommy wars” is that it’s in some way about the kids. It’s not. The kids will be alight either way; it’s about the moms and what’s alright with the moms.

        You said two things that caught my eye:
        “Too many women put their own needs and wants ahead of their kids.
        I think raising a happy, secure child who feels totally loved by mom is “enough.
        If I handed my kid over to someone else every day, there is no way I could feel good about myself (as a human being or a mother).”

        To your first point, selfishness is not contingent upon staying at home or having a career, and I know you really, really want to believe that because YOU made the choice to stay home and you’d like to validate your choice, but I promise you–I’ve known plenty of career women AND children who were raised by career women and there is no question that they love their children and that their children feel that love. I ALSO have known plenty of SAHMs–we’ll call them Upper East Side Mommies–who stay home alright, but they seem to think of their children as accessories. Trust me, selfishness is a basic character flaw, not a vocational calling, and it exists in all spheres–home-sphere and work-sphere alike.

        Your second point basically proves what I’m saying: YOU could not feel good about yourself as a human being or a mother if YOU didn’t assume full-time care of your child. And it’s wonderful that you realize that, and for you, being a SAHM is probably perfect for who you are. But–and take a little time to let this sink in–not everyone is you and therefore, (take a little breath here) your perspective does not deserve privilege beyond everyone else’s and your judgment is out of line. It’s WAY out of line because you’re taking on Bethany, of all people, so let’s just call a spade a spade and refer to it as stupidity, shall we?

        I’ve got news for you: everyone else can raise children who are just as lovely as I’m sure yours are, because they do it in a way that harmonizes with who THEY are. I may not be your kind of person but I think on paper at least, I’m pretty awesome–I’m a college grad, I volunteer for charity, I have a solid marriage and a happy kid and a nice dog, I’m a homeowner and a landlord, I’m a HS teacher, I’m on a cool fellowship right now for my own research, and I’m a decent golfer and always seem to win at “Cards Against Humanity.” My mother was a career woman who loved her job as an attorney (she STILL is an attorney fighting for people with disabilities), and she was a amazing mom. So really, if you want to condemn career women as sub-par, then instead of coming on here and slapping Bethany across the face–a person who you don’t know and have absolutely no idea about her children, and who has way, way more class than you–you should be taking on the children of career women to prove your theory. Go ahead and take ME on–or any number of the people I know way more spectacular than me, many of whom are frequent contributors to this site–and I promise you, you’ll lose.

        But you go ahead and continue lobbing dookies from your snowglobe about how wonderful you are and how lucky your kids are to be living in that shit-filled snowglobe with you.

        (Sorry Bethany, for the ridiculously long rant. I should get a t-shirt: “Assholes make me write essays.”)

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you so much!! I love everything you had to say :)

      • Kitsune

        I’m a little late to the party but I just wanted tell you not to listen to the crazy lady from 1950. I love how honest you are in your writing because it helps me stabilize myself in my own parenting. I had a pretty abusive and neglectful childhood and that sometimes leaves me paralyzed with worry about the job I’m doing. You and the generally great community here help give me confidence I’m normal and doing well. It’s obvious how much you love your children and are a great mother to anyone with reading comprehension skills.

      • Bethany Ramos

        That really means a lot to me, and I’m so glad you’re part of the community. Thank you!

      • K.

        Meant every long-winded word :)

      • Kel

        I would hate myself if you were my mother.

        If I knew that my mother had no other purpose in life than me? An identity that didn’t exist without me?

        Kill me.

      • jordana

        Wow judgey mcjudgerson…have you ever read any studies about daycare? An overwhelming majority of them are showing that daycare is not harmful and is even constructive for children…get educated before you attack. Oh and BTW, it’s 2014, Donna Reed.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you :)

      • http://batman-news.com Greta Young

        What. The. Almighty. Fuck.

        Here’s a novel concept: What’s good for mom’s sanity and self-respect is good for her kids. Period.

        Kudos to Bethany, and for all the writers on this site for that matter, who paint motherhood in an honest light. For not tying up 100% of their personal identities in their various mom-duties. For sharing their heartfelt and thought-provoking opinions and experiences with others, who may be able to draw strength from what they write, look introspectively at their own live’s priorities, learn new parenting techniques, know that they are not alone, or just enjoy a much-needed laugh.

        Kids need to be clothed and fed, with a safe place to live, with attentive and loving caregivers. I’m not sure what fantasy world you live in, but the reality of life is that women are increasingly the breadwinners or sole income-earners in the family, and currently hold that role in 4 out fo 10 American households. Since 1979, the increase in working women has contributed to $1.7 trillion in economic growth when adjusted for inflation. Are you seriously advocating that every working woman should just waltz on out of the workforce and go on welfare just to “be at home” during their children’s formative years? Wow. Just wow.

        Precisely BECAUSE my child’s needs (see above) come first, she goes to daycare every day. She freaking loves it there. She understands the concept, at the age two, of “mommy go to work, I go to school!” She also understands that “mommies and daddies always come back.” Through it all, she still knows who I am and loves the shit out of me. And her dad. And her teachers. And her friends. And my boss. And her Nana and Grandpa and Auntie living out of state. And her neighbor kid friends. And her great uncle. And her babysitters. And I have no doubt she understands I love her back, just like I’m sure Bethany’s kids undoubtedly do too.

        Re: going back to work — Many employers will not even consider applicants with 6+ months of unemployment history. Is it fair? Nope. But that’s the way things work when there is a massive pool of qualified applicants at your fingertips. Not to mention, we live in a rapidly evolving world. Without staying up-to-date on current industry trends and new systems/technologies, it is very challenging to remain marketable in any career field. So simply resuming one’s prior job after several years out of the workforce is a lot more difficult than you make it out to be.

        If that’s not enough, let’s not forget Formerly-Working Mom’s lost retirement contributions, the forfeited college tuition savings, the missed mortgage or rent payments, the reposessed vehicle, the resulting crippling damage to her credit score, the lack of medical insurance and consequent health risks/financial burdens, or not having enough social security credits to carry her into old age thus making her a burden on the very children she was claiming to be supporting and protecting all those years.

        P.S. There are kids who bite and push and hit no matter what setting they’re in: home, school, park playground, restaurants, anywhere. Crazy, I know, but our world has people in it that don’t always play nice. Part of being a good parent is giving our children the opportunity to interact with others (of all temperments) so they can learn communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills, which will benefit them far into adulthood. Every bite is an opportunity to facilitate a meaningful conversation with children about their feelings, reacting to those feelings, forgiveness, and how to treat others.

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        Well, you’re just a wretched woman, aren’t you? How’s this for you? I work full time during the day while my daughter’s daddy (gasp) stays home and then I am hone in the evenings while he goes to work. I was stay at home for four months and felt like I lost a large part of my identity as the bigger wage earner of the household. Now I have that back, and while I would love to stay home a little more I know that my daughter will appreciate the one on one time with EACH of her parents.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you!!

      • Justme

        I hate jumping into discussions so late, but you know…I’ve been working.

        What kind of evil personal ambition would take me away from the magical bonding with my daughter that ONLY occurs with stay-at-home moms?

        Only the exact kind of ambition you spoke of in a different thread – the ambition to raise happy, healthy children.

        Because I teach middle school math and Algebra. I also used to coach volleyball and I am currently co-sponsor for Student Council. I get great fulfillment out of watching children grow from scrawny 6th graders into independent, capable, and creative 8th graders.

        And yes, my daughter has gone to an in-home day-care since she was five months old and Ms. Rebecca is her “mom away from mom.”

        But what if I (and all the other wonderful, experienced teachers I know) had all left the teaching field when we had children? You would be stuck with a bunch of freshly graduated, energetic (but terribly naive) teachers educating your children. Experienced teachers are the best teachers and if we all stayed home to raise our kids, like you’re suggesting, the education system would be in a worse state than it already is. (Not that I’m dogging new teachers, I’ve just found that we tend to get better with age, just like wine. Ha!)

        My mother worked as a Catholic youth minister throughout my school-age years and before that, she was a pre-school teacher. Did I resent my mother working so much when I was in middle school? Meh, sometimes I suppose, but at the same time, I KNEW the great work she was doing. I was proud that my mom was so well-respected by my peers and I have no doubt that the lives she touched is far greater than she will ever know. She inspired me to have a giving heart and not just WISH I could help change the world and shape the future, but instead to go out there and DO something about it.

        So I teach and I love ALL my kids – the one I birthed and the hundreds I did not. I believe showing my daughter my passion for education, and my unwavering dedication in the students under my care each year will serve her FAR greater than if I were to stay home with her.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Awesome!

      • Justme

        I hope that didn’t sound like bragging, I just think that if ALL moms stayed home to raise children, we would be missing out on some AWESOME people doing great things in the world.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        No, it was just right. I tried to say something like that too somewhere above about teachers but yours was more epic. I agree about the part about your Ms. Rebecca home day care as well. My kids have Missy, and she taught me so much about what little kids could do that I wouldn’t have known otherwise (b/c I work with middle schoolers). Totally agree with your comment.

      • Justme

        Ms. Rebecca and I have had many discussions about how we couldn’t do each other’s jobs. I couldn’t wrangle pre-schoolers and toddlers all day and she couldn’t deal with middle school attitude. :)

      • brebay

        Quit trying so hard to justify your own misery! You are a cancer of gloom.

    • Spongeworthy

      I think everyone, parent or not, has to figure out their version of “enough”. For me, it came when I switched careers from one that was very hard-driving and time consuming to one that was still challenging but gave me much better work-life balance. It was when I was newly pregnant and I knew that while I wanted to work, I didn’t want to work 60-70 hrs a week. I do like working and get validation from it, but I didn’t want it to define me. Nor do I want being a mom to define me. So finding a balance was crucial. I think it also helped that I was in my thirties when all this happened so generally in a place where I gave less of a shit what others thought :)

    • TngldBlue

      I remember googling “games to play with a baby”. I think about that now and crack up-not sure if I expected baby poker or crosswords but I was obviously looking for greater entertainment than batting a ring of plastic keys around. Anyway, I really think it’s about not holding ourselves to an impossible standard of perfection and not expecting validation to come from outside, being confident and happy with our choices whatever path our life has taken. And just like with anything else of value, that takes work and effort, especially when we are in a different place than we would’ve liked or hoped for.

      • Sarah

        I was a nanny before I had a baby and I was STILL completely unprepared for how mind-numbing and dull being a sahm can be.

      • TngldBlue

        So so damn dull. I’m not sure what I expected but I wasn’t prepared for reality at all!

      • SA

        HA! I googled that a bunch too! Even being a working-mom the weekends and nights could feel so dull when they are so young!

      • K.

        You should see my Facebook posts from when I was a SAHM. They are the rantings of a lunatic. Seriously.

        I don’t think I was ever as crazy as the folks who appear on STFU, Parents and I don’t excuse the folks who make it onto STFU…but I get why they got there.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        Oh, I know, I know… and I was so disappointed with the results because those games were hellass boring. Now I’m taking my guy to the park and wheeeee! Things have gotten interesting! It’s a great way to hang out after you pick a toddler up from daycare.

    • Harriet Meadow

      Last winter break I was not teaching or working on my dissertation (I had just turned in a draft of my latest chapter to my adviser and was waiting for her feedback), so it was just me and the baby all day. Let me tell you, my house was freaking spotless and my dogs were exhausted from their repeated long walks, because I was BORED. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid, but I needed some non-kid time, something to challenge me intellectually, SOMETHING. I told my husband I could never be a stay-at-home mom, but I think I could as long as I was tutoring or writing or something.

    • CMP414

      I’ve been a part time working mom for the past 2 years since my daughter was born. I have loved it because I have felt like I had the best of both worlds. Well now I am 6 months pregnant and my department at work did not get it’s contract renewed. I’m about to become a full-time SAHM and part of me is dreading it. I’m worried the days will just run into each other not to mention missing the extra $

    • AP

      Leaving wet clothes in the laundry for over 24 hours is gross. They’ll get all moldy and mildewy and you’ll never get the smell out. Yuck.

      It’s extra-gross if you live in an apartment with a shared laundry room. I have a neighbor who leaves laundry for three or four days and then writes hostile notes to people who dare move it, because clearly everyone else can rewear their underpants for four days while we patiently wait for Princess Laundry Pile to get up the motivation to take that stuff out of the washer.

      • brebay

        Depends on where you live! When I lived in Colorado and Wyoming, all you’d get is a pile of dry, wrinkled clothes. The only place I ever heard the word “mildew” growing up was when we went to my grandparents in Florida!

    • Elisa Probert

      I have no plans to be a stay at home mom once I have kids. I will probably try to go down to part time, would be nice to have an occasional weekend off to spend with the family.

      But, in my job as a hospital/nursing home cook, I feel like I’m actually helping people…maybe it’s small things, making eggs over medium for a gentleman in his last days, even though it’s not something that’s ever on our menu. Those little small things mean SO much to those patients. It means they smile one more time before passing, and that is important to me. At this point in my life, I identify as a cook. It’s who I am as much as what I do for a living. I want to share my love for cooking with as many people as possible, and staying home would not allow me to do that.

      My mom stayed at home, and homeschooled my siblings ans I from 4th grade on. She had NO friends, no outside interests besides a few handcrafts that she never worked on. She, and by extension, we kids, were never happy, never content. There is such a thing as TOO MUCH togetherness. You HAVE to know who you are and she never explored any side of herself besides “mom.” Now she’s trying to get my 28 year old sister, who still lives with her, on disability for her back pain so she can stay home. My 32 year old sister is on disability for extreme social issues. Neither of them have any plans to ever move out. This makes mom happy, because who is she if they move out?

      You should have heard the reaction when I moved out…Mom was house-sitting for my brother, who lives in Texas, when I up and moved while she was gone. I was 33, and you’d have though I was a 15 year old runaway. (it’s okay for boys to leave home if they’re going into the Army)

      I’m surprised I can even sort of have a conversation with humans.

    • Sara610

      Granted, I only got a chance to skim it, but I didn’t read the blog post in question as a “SAHM vs. non-SAHM” thing. I just read it as “all mothers are good enough, even if they do this long laundry list of things that aren’t perfect”. Did I miss something in the blog post, or did I totally miss the point of Bethany’s article? I’m not being snarky, genuinely asking. I feel like the person in the move theater who sits there while everyone laughs at the joke wondering what I missed.

      • Kendra

        No, this was actually a nice, uplifting article saying that you can be either one and be a good mom. It’s just that SOME people came up here and started throwing daggers and that’s where we are now.

    • SA

      I think I would be best as a part-time working mom. I would love more time with kid, but at the same time I need an outlet. Time away helps give perspective and the time I do have away from my daughter during the days helps me look at a tantrum situation differently, gives me a bit more patience, and causes me to really take advantage of the time we do have.

      Also, a big part in me NOT staying at home (if I even had the choice, which I don’t) is that I need other things from my job besides the money. The retirement benefits, the opportunity to get an early start on college savings, insurance, etc. In 3 years my kid will be in school anyway and it is would be a lot harder for me to get my foot back in the door. And finally I do need an identity outside of her. I will always be her mom, but she is taking steps everyday towards independence and needing me less and less. If she is everything that I have where am I in 10, 15, 20 years?

    • MaestraPetiroja

      I so agree! I love my baby, but I am so looking forward to going back to work! I’ll have been at home with her for 9 months when I do go back, and as much as I’ll miss her during the day, I’m happy knowing that she will be in a loving and enriching environment with other children and excellent care givers. I’m excited for her new experiences, and I’m excited to be a well-educated, hardworking role model for my daughter. (Not that SAHMs aren’t well-educated, but I worked my ass off to get several credentials and a Master’s degree, and I’m thrilled to put them to good use).

    • Veiled_In_Dance

      Not everyone who stays home is doing it for their own fulfillment. It isn’t always a choice made because “it will make me the most happy!” It is sometimes a choice made because you believe it’s in the best interests of your child/children, and come hell or high water, whether you love it or not, you are going to do it. I think we place too much emphasis as a society on pursuing our own happiness and fulfillment. Not everything has to be sunshine and lollipops in order to be a good or important thing for us to do. I think it’s important for everyone, whether they’re a parent who works outside the home or inside it (because stay-home parents ARE working parents!), to take care of their mental and emotional health by making sure they have time to do the things they love. Everyone needs that. But when it comes to making the choice to stay home or work or balance the two, what’s best for the kids should be the most important factor no matter what you decide – personal fulfillment is a lot less important than making sure your kids are where they need to be.

      • SAHM

        Thank you.

        Finally another mom who truly thinks about what matters most to her children. Their needs, their wants, their desires.

        Women have twenty or more years to focus on their own desires….and another thirty or more years to focus on themselves again once their kids are older.

        Can we not just stop being so selfish even for a few years?

        Bethany – your posts often come across as whining and complaining about things with very little gratitude shown for what you do have. (Again, I never get that feeling from Maria…even though she is a working mom…she does not seem to resent her children like you do). So I am not criticizing every working mom. Just pointing out that your posts come across very differently from some of the other writers on Mommyish. Try to focus on the positive (at least some of the time).

        You have a husband. Many women don’t.

        You have two healthy kids. Many women don’t.

        Money might be tight, but it seems like you are able to feed your kids without resorting to a food bank. Many women can’t say the same.

        Every time you start to feel sorry for yourself and focus on the things you don’t have – please try to think about all of the things that you do have.

        You will have a more positive outlook overall. Your husband and kids will be happier too.

      • Veiled_In_Dance

        You think her posts are whiny, but what about yours? Yours come across as very harsh and judgmental. I used to be you, y’know. Condemning working moms for working. Telling people they must not love their kids if they’re happy to dump them on someone else to raise. Yep, I was you. But it’s not okay to do that to other moms. You don’t know everything that goes into a mother’s decision to work or to stay home. The intent of my post was IN NO WAY to judge other moms for their choices – it was simply to point out that it’s good for us to make these decisions based primarily on what our kids want and need rather than on what we want and what will make us happy or fulfill us. Happiness and fulfillment are illusory – we think they are things we can grasp and hold and touch, and that if we just buy this thing/get that job/date that man, everything will fall into place and we will be fulfilled and happy all the time. Life doesn’t work that way though. Happiness is a choice we make to be thankful and to see the positive things in life, no matter where you are in life. Do I have everything I could possibly want in my life right now? Nope. Am I happy, though? Yes, because I choose to be. I don’t make happiness my goal. I embrace it as it comes and I choose to make it happen when and where I can, but it’s not the “be all, end all” in life, not for me and not for any of us. It can’t be.

        Anyway, stop judging people. Your attitude will only drag you down and make you a miserable, unpleasant person that other people will not want to be with (unless they are equally miserable and judgmental!). You talk about positives – well, sister, take your own advice and be positive too.

      • SAHM

        I speak on behalf of the babies and toddlers who cannot speak for themselves.

        No baby wants to be separated from his or her mother.

        Older kids who are okay with going to daycare only feel that way because it is all they know. And perhaps because being around a mom who does not want to be with her children has to be rather sad and upsetting.

        People here have said that it does not matter who raises the kid because no one can remember those first few years.

        Well, those first few years shape you as a person.
        They are the reason some people are anxious or have panic attacks or trust issues for the rest of their lives.

        You may not have clear memories of when you were a toddler, but don’t ever for a second discount the importance of those first few years.

        You are who you are today because of your formative years.
        They matter.

        What does not matter is if you participate 40, 45 or 50 years in the work force. You can still be an amazing blogger or editor or teacher or whatever and take a few years off.

      • M.

        Actually, you know what appears to cause panic, anxiety, and depression? Hovering around your children 24-7 and never letting them build the confidence that comes with independence. Google “helicopter parents anxiety depression” and you’ll find thousands of articles on the subject. Yes, the formative years matter…even toddlers need to know that they’ll be ok without you.

      • Sara610

        “People here have aside that it does not matter who raises the kid because no one can remember those first few years”.

        Actually, no one has said that and the quote above tells me that you either have horrible reading-comprehension skills or you’re purposely misrepresenting what’s been said in order bolster your own weak arguments. What people have said is that going to DAY CARE or having a nanny for the first few years is not detrimental in itself. Parents who send their children to day care or have a nanny are still raising them, and no one has suggested that it “doesn’t matter” who raises them. (Obviously, you have make sure it’s a good day care/nanny, but that applies to SAH parents too. A bad SAHM is just as damaging, if not more so, than a bad day care or nanny, because she never goes away.)

        I can’t believe I’m even bothering to engage with you on this again, but this is what is so frustrating about trying to “argue” this issue with you. You don’t make your points based on what others have actually said; you set up straw-man arguments based on twisting or misrepresenting what others say because you think it suits your point. That’s neither productive nor honest, so if you can’t argue the issues in an intelligent, rational way and stick to what other people have actually said, just stop it.

      • break_time

        Not all jobs will allow you to take a few years off, particularly those reliant on newer technology, or on particular governance models, or on funding from corporations or governments. What you say sounds nice (albeit self-righteous) in theory, but in practice it is dangerously naive.

      • whiteroses

        Kids also need to know that they can not only survive but thrive without their parents. I want my son to know that he can make his own way in the world.

      • Korine

        Oh you’re hysterical. So so wrong. But you made me laugh :)

      • Sara610

        I think you make a very important distinction here. I work full-time outside the home, and our daughter goes to an awesome day care that she loves, and working outside the home makes me a better wife and mom because I’m happier and I feel fulfilled–and someone who’s unhappy and resentful isn’t going to be able to give her best self to the world.

        But if we didn’t have access to awesome childcare and the choice of working full-time meant we would have to leave our daughter in a place that was dangerous, harmful or where she wasn’t engaged in activities that would be good for her development? Or if working outside the home meant that I was going to be the exhausted, resentful person who takes out her resentment on her family and complete strangers? Assuming that we could afford it and it was a choice, I would stay home in a heartbeat.

        Working outside the home happens to be what makes me happy AND what’s best for my family. So at this point, it’s not a choice. But if I did have to choose between what makes me happy OR what is truly good for my daughter–not satisfying her moment-to-moment whims, but issues related to her actual well-being and safety–of course I would choose the latter. I think most parents would. The only problem is when you start telling people (and you didn’t do this, but some others have) that THEY MUST DO XYZ or they’re damaging and hurting their children. The world doesn’t work in such black-and-white terms.

    • Izak Friend

      Taking care of sick old people lacks variety and stimulation, too. Maybe your problem has to do with,putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own; the cardinal sin of the Greed Is Good era.

    • SAHM

      This will be my final post on this thread. Several of you take issue with my interpretation of Bethany’s writing. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

      “THE THOUGHT OF THE FAMILY BED MAKES ME WANT TO PUNCH MY KID IN THE HEAD” – Bethany Ramos

      “I WENT SO HARD ON SLEEP TRAINING UNTIL I BROKE MY CHILDREN’S SPIRITS” – Bethany Ramos

      “I AM NOT SORRY THAT I LOVE MYSELF MORE THAN MY KIDS” – Bethany Ramos

      “I LIKE TO GAMBLE SO I’D TOTALLY TRUST AN INTERNET BABYSITTER WITH MY CHILDREN’S LIVES” – Bethany Ramos

      “I WOULD CLAW MY EYES OUT IN BOREDOM IF I WAS A SAHM” – Bethany Ramos

      “THE DAYCARE IS DOING AN EVEN BETTER JOB AT RAISING HIM THAN I AM….HALF THE TIME, I DON’T EVEN BOTHER TEACHING HIM IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS BECAUSE I FIGURE HIS DAYCARE WILL DO IT FOR ME” – Bethany Ramos

      Now I don’t know whether Bethany is simply writing for clicks, or if she honestly feels this way.

      What I do know for sure is that if my mom wrote such things about me I would be incredibly hurt, whether I read them when I was ten or fifty. Thankfully, my mom would never say such hurtful things.

      • candyvines

        These all look like headlines, which the writers do not write. I’m not crazy about click-bait headlines either, but come on, it’s hyperbole. Besides, while you were incredibly rude to Bethany, what is most offensive here is your inability to accept that there is more than one right way to parent. Good riddance.

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        It’s called snark. I love my kids but joke about tossing them out the nearest window when they’re obnoxious. I am a sarcastic woman who was raised by an even more sarcastic woman who would say similar things and I love her for it. I never once doubted her devotion to me, as I’m sure Bethany’s kids don’t doubt her devotion to them.

      • Ursi

        There’s this thing called hyperbole… you should look it up.

      • brebay

        In all seriousness, have you suffered a brain injury that prevents you from understanding the concepts of humor, sarcasm, satire or general light-heartedness? You should get that checked.

      • brebay
      • Bethany Ramos

        LOL!

      • Bethany Ramos

        This is my favorite post talking about how much I truly love the post-baby days. There are many more, but you clearly can’t understand humor. This is also how I talk in real life.

        http://www.mommyish.com/2014/03/21/single-life/

        You really need to let this go.

      • Valerie

        Beth, you don’t understand!! She is so busy being the worlds best martyr that she has all this time to post on the internet about it…..oh, wait…..

      • Valerie

        You are a very good person, Beth. I hope SAHM can learn from your example. Love you. <3

      • Bethany Ramos

        Love you!

      • Melissa

        The thing is, those of us who actually know Bethany (her friends, family, KIDS), and are not simply making assumptions about her based on some snarky humor in her writing, love her for her honesty and ability to say just what we’re all thinking but don’t have the courage to say out loud. Why do you think she has so many loyal fans on mommyish? We also know she is a fantastic mom whose kids and husband adore her. The safe assumption to make about any parent is that we all love our kids more than just about anything or anyone, but we vent about them sometimes because it helps us stay sane. Most of us love our spouses “’til death do us part” too, but we bitch about them from time to time for the same reason. Same goes for others in our lives–bosses, parents, relatives. To assume a complete stranger is a bad parent because of some humorous comments in articles and then to call her that in a public forum? To assume she’s harming or ever would harm her children in any way, shape, or form? That makes you seem unbelievably ignorant and needlessly cruel, and I hope you save your judgement and superiority for trolling the internet and never inflict this cruelty on those close to you.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you so much!! Really appreciate this.

      • Melissa

        Anytime!! Wasn’t sure if this person was even worth acknowledging, but had to say something. Love you, sister! :-)

      • Bethany Ramos

        Love you too, sister!!

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