Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm back and I'm fired up!

Have any of you read this article about a book called the "Feminine Mistake"?  Here is a link to the article, Feature- Feminine Mistake is a Hard Sell on Financial Autonomy - AOL Coaches .  I want to warn you, if you are a stay-at-home mother (like myself) you will probably find this very, very offensive.
Apparently, this woman's theory is that stay at home mothers do more damage to themselves and their children than working mothers because we are not financially independent.  O-kaaaay...cute little theory there and I'm sure it will create a lot of media hype and sell lots of books for her.  Thereby making her more money (by attacking us stay-at-home mommies).
Oh, I don't argue the point that working mom's have more financial autonomy than I do.  I don't deny that if my ol' man were to up and leave tomorrow that I wouldn't be in a bit of a bind.  However, in these first 3 years of my child's life, the most important years according to professionals, I was right where I needed to be for my child.  Right here at home.  I'm not dissing mothers that work because they need to or chose to.  That is their decision and they have every right to make that decision without being attacked for it.  We all make our decisions based on what we believe is right for us and our own families.
Me?  I love being a MOMMY.  I love spending time with my children.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not Polly Anna, there were days when I wished my children were in boarding school, lol.  However, my greatest gift in life was the blessing of my children and my greatest responsibility in life is my children.  Not my finances.
Let me take this opportunity to counter some of the article.  First, "Leslie Bennetts, who writes about celebrities for Vanity Fair, uses a dizzying array of statistics to back up her thesis: Women should make work a top priority with the lifelong goal of self-sufficiency."
I'm not going to argue that self-sufficiency isn't important.  It is.  However, I find it more important to do what is best for MY FAMILY, and for us that is me staying at home to raise my children.  If I were to go out and work I would probably barely make enough to pay for child care.  Why entrust the care and personal growth of my children to perfect strangers just to make enough money for that service?  Why put my children in a possible position of danger (
Click here: Police: Biggest child molestation case ever ) just to maintain my financial autonomy?  No matter how much I pay someone to care for my child they will never be able to raise my child in the same manner as I would.  My child would grow up with the influence someone else's  beliefs (moral, political and religious).  NO!  My top priority is, and should be, my CHILDREN!
Then there is this..."No matter what the reason, justification or circumstances, it's simply too risky to count on anyone else to support you over the long haul," she asserts.  Yes, it is risky to depend on someone else, but then life itself is just one big risk after another, isn't it?  If you don't want to take any risk and protect yourself fully, lock yourself in a bunker lady!
So let's look at the numbers, if the possible risk or divorce is 50% (Divorce Rates - Divorce Statistics Collection) and the risk of my child being molested or neglected at day care is (I don't know the possible percentages, so lets just low ball it) 1%...I'd still take the risk and keep my children at home and raise them myself.  I'd rather take the risk of being financially dependent on someone else and perhaps having to start from the very beginning financially rather than put my child in possible danger.
"This prescription for life isn't just an economic necessity, Bennetts argues. It also makes for longer lives, healthier marriages and balanced children."
Perhaps for her.  Maybe she if happy being a part of the work force and away from her children all day, in which case that would make for a longer life and happier marriage.  Perhaps she isn't a very maternal woman, in which case I'm sure that her children would be perfectly happy being raised by someone else.  Maybe she got lucky and was able to find a responsible and knowledgeable person to raise her children, in which case they might be balanced and happy when they grow up.
Me?  I would be absolutely miserable working outside of my home.  I would be thinking of nothing but my child and what kind of care she was receiving.  I would be panic stricken all day long until I was able to pick my child up.  Yes, I have some major fears, perhaps even paranoia, about someone else caring for my child.  However, I can guarantee you that I would be in a perpetual state of worry all day long, until I picked up my child, and that I would not live a longer life.  If anything, the constant state of worry would probably shorten my life span. 
It certainly wouldn't make me a very happy woman, living a life I don't want to live.  And let me tell you, if Momma ain't happy ain't nobody gonna be happy.  How will that make MY marriage happier?  It WON'T!  That will make my marriage end in divorce.  Geez, thanks for the advice and divorce Bennett.
How could some stranger possibly raise my child to be a more balanced adult than her own mother?  Yes, I have fears, perhaps abnormal although I don't think so if you listen to the news, about other people caring for my child.  However, I don't think that because I love my children and would happily rather give up for financial autonomy for them makes me a bad person.  It makes me loving, caring and protective.  Everything that a child deserves.
"In one case, a high-society woman recounts how she used to flit around the globe on expensive vacations when she was married. After her divorce, she has been reduced to cleaning houses to make ends meet."
Excuse Me?!  What the hell?  "High-society" woman?  What about the average American women?  Oh, I'm sorry...okay everyone pity party for the poor "high-society" woman who probably never even knew what a washing machine was before, who now has to clean houses to make ends meet instead of taking expensive vacations.  Poor thing...sheesh!  Perhaps rather than taking those "expensive" vacations, she should have been putting that money into a savings account! 
Come on, get serious here!  Do I really believe that little story?  If this woman really existed, she would have hired a lawyer who would have gotten here the money she needed to live until she was able to get an appropriate job.  Sounds more like a little fairy tale to me than a true story.
"Bennetts...does not allow for the possibility that some traditional marriages work and work well."  Sounds like one very bitter, angry, perhaps jealous woman.  Jealous of what?  Of those of us who have a traditional marriage that works well and of those of us who are able to stay home and raise our kids rather than sending them to some stranger to raise for us.
As I said, I think she probably wrote a book on a subject that will get a lot of media attention and perhaps that alone will double her sales.  I also have to wonder about the "dizzying array of statistics".  I have to wonder how many of those statistics have been twisted and bent to back up her theory.  I also have to wonder how many happy stay at home mothers she interviewed.  Or did she just use statistics and women who supported her theory, rather than looking at both sides of the coin.   Yeah, I don't know how much stock I put in this theory from a woman who usually writes fluff "about celebrities for Vanity Fair".
Wow, can you imagine how it must feel to be her husband?  She must harbor a lot of bitterness and anger towards men.  Yeah, sounds like it would be a real joy for a man to lie down with her at night.  NOT!   
I hope you go to read the entire article and come back to give me your thoughts.  As I said, I have no problem with women who choose to work, whether it be because the have to financially or because they prefer to.  I just don't want to be attacked and told that what I choose to do with my life and children is wrong.  I don't see where being a fluff writer for Vanity magazine gives her the authority or knowledge to advise women about what is best for them and their children.
This post is entirely my own opinion.  Thanks for reading it.
Have a great day.
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manda2177 said...

Hi...I read the article yesterday too, and was incredible miffed.  But we have to remember, those women who are not maternal, who really should never have had children in the first place, those women need to justify their choice to be away from their children.  They need to justify to the extent that they are RIGHT, and that they are doing the BEST thing for their kids....when in reality we know that they are just making the selfish choice in life.  Pursuing THEIR own dreams and 'financial' desires.  Kudos Mommy!  Congrats for making the best choice possible for your kids.

And EEEWWWW! to that child molestation story.  It made me sick to my stomach.  Just disgusting.
P.S. Check out my 3/29/07 blog about an American Baby article I read. (Or just click on the link) You might find it interesting!

Way to go Mommy!!!!!

manda2177 said...

Hi..sorry for 2 comments but I was wondering, how do you get your beautiful signature at the bottom?  I would LOVE that!!!!  Can you share????


chatngirl32 said...

Welcome back!..........Tami

valeriegaglia said...

I have been stewing all day about this book! And I've spent most of the day googliiing every angle on it!  Thank you for writing exactly what I was feeling! I sooo needed that today.

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