QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 10/03/2010, 01:25 PM)
This is all a bit strange to me. In the US, where I'm from originally, it's far more unusual or a woman to be a SAHM or even a WAHM. I worked for a high-powered doctors professional association in DC and, in my dept alone (12 of us) we had three moms with five pregnancies between them, and that was just during my three years there! All the moms worked up until delivery, took 12-16 weeks off (remember, there is NO public care or maternity or childcare in the US, it's all through individual job benefits or self-funded), then came back to work. These are some of the most dedicated mothers I've ever known, too.
Mom #1 - Is in her 40s, gave birth to her (1st being 2 yrs old) 2nd by homebirth when we worked together, arranged with Human Resources to let her work from home 1 day per week, and breast pumped every day for the entire time we worked together. Her eldest didn't sleep through the night until age 2.5 and she STILL came to work and did an amazing job. She's a web designer, a solid worker, and one of the moms I admire most. She raises her kids in a natural, organic, healthy home and loves them more than life. Her husband is also one of the most nurturing/co-parenting types I've ever met.
Mom #2 - In her early 30s, is now pregnant with her 3rd child. Hubby takes the kids to daycare and she hauls her butt to the gym at 430am, comes to work by 6am, leaves by 3pm, and spends the rest of the day playing with her kids, managing her house, and enjoying her family. She is, by far, the most dedicated worker in the office, makes full use of flex-time arrangements and never misses a beat. Her husband should help more, and I've told him that lol. But he does do the morning routine and bathe them at night. She somehow still manages to make 20ft cake trains for her son's bday. She is a Program Analyst.
Mom #3 - In her late 30s...should be put up for sainthood. Her eldest was born with severe medical/devel issues and is wheelchair-confined with only 10% movement, next to zero communication skills, and need for constant supervising, and -never- sleeps through the night. She thinks he's the best thing in the world. Her second child was born with a major heart defect and had surgery at 15 days. He's beautifully healthy now. Their third, a little girl, was born in perfect and gorgeous health. She worked her ass off to maintain work and hospital schedules, lobbied the govt to help her aford in-home nurse care for her son, sleeps next to her eldest every night in case the slightest thing happens to him, and does all of this with a relatively supportive dad, backing her up. She occasionally slacks on the work-front, but who wouldnt?! She is a Publication & Marketing Specialist.
These women and their husbands make it work. Through pregnancy, motherhood, illnesses, hard times...they provide needed money and health benefits for their babies and give every non-work moment to dedicated motherhood, making sure they raise healthy, kind, intelligent children. They also make sure to work for a fabulous company that helps them do it all. I admire them, true...but this is the way it is for millions of women all over the US. Not sure why it's such an oddity here.
Hmmm, all married, all professionals, all educated. If they can do it anyone can?? I would suggest that this kind of story is exactly the kind of middle class feminist ideal that leaves those less well off feeling overlooked and dismissed.
The problem isn't feminism so much as it is class and power. So middle class feminists feel they are doing it tough but they ARE doing it they say, and they look at single mothers, the less well educated/empowered and so on and the 'lower' classes and say well 'get a job'. In America for example there are a huge number of single mothers working for minimum wage without workplace protections and provisions for sick leave, they mostly don't have health care and lets not talk about America's attitude to public health no way, and general workplace flexibility is zilch for such women. They are not in a position to lobby their employer for anything. Life choices oh lets not go there.....contraception...choice etc. So when they have to leave their kids at home by themselves in order to go to work don't we tut tut at them for leaving their children unattended.
Middle class, privileged feminists must be applauded for their efforts until that is, they make the assumption that it is possible for everyone to make the choices they did.
This post has been edited by Mandy12: 14/01/2013, 08:42 AM