Cultural Anthropology, ATW 11, Mr. Goings
Cultural Anthropology/ ATW11
Mommy Wars in America
I have been fortunate enough to experience being both the Stay At Home Mother (SAHM) and the Professional Working Fulltime Mother (PWFM). At some point it’s a choice every mother has to make. Statistics show that 48% of mothers with children under the age of 2 and 25% of mothers with children between the ages of 3-6 years old stay at home with their children and 60% of mothers with children over the age 6 works a full time job. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S., Website) Which mom has it better? Which child benefits or flourishes more? What are the rewards, benefits, downsides for each? As a former working mother and current stay at home mother, these are the questions I ask myself still. With an objective eye and with experience in both realms, I will attempt to give insight on the questions us moms all have towards the mom vs. mom wars going on in our society.
Full time Stay At Home Mother (SAHM)
Emotional turmoil of having to leave your children is one of the major factors the stay at home mother has to consider when she makes her decision to stay home. It is her title and she proudly possesses the SAHM acronym made by society for all stay at home mothers. Among many other factors such as; financial situation of the family’s income to debt ratio, the difficulty of finding a daycare facility that has standards up to par that also coincides with the family’s income. Some questions the mother has to ask herself are: “Is it worth working fulltime for?”, “Is it worth it to spend excessive amounts of money for strangers to provide care for her children vs. staying at home to provide the natural sense of personalized love and attention towards her children, which nobody else could ever provide better?” and finally, “Is money really worth the precious moments missed?” Stay at home mothers are prone to getting the rut of society’s acceptance. The scrutiny has evolved many stereotypes. Everyone has a picture in mind of what a typical stay at home mom should be. Sometimes, it’s fairly flattering; the perfect mother who’s always there for her family, home cooks every meal and keeps a perfect house. Other times it’s a picture of a woman being lazy on the couch, watching soap operas, eating and spending her husband’s hard earned money. Most people don’t recognize the challenges your typical stay at home mom deals with.
Stay at home moms perform many necessary duties, have important responsibilities that serve as glue in a family household that keeps it together and running smoothly. Their duties certainly don’t run a 9 to 5 schedule and there is no punch out time. Instead, the mothers who have older school aged children with younger children have to chauffeur her kids to and from school. They are responsible to pick and drop off their child on time. No tardiness is allowed for it’s no fault of the child that the mother is running late. She has to maintain this for 173 days out of the 365 day calendar year. Out of those 173 school days, 11 of them are early dismissals. Elementary aged children go to school from 9 to 3:40pm. Early dismissals are from 9 to 1:30pm. (2010-2011 Arthur Handbook Calendar) Now, think about those facts. That is a demanding task for all moms with older school aged children along with mothering younger siblings. In addition to their chauffeuring duties the stay at home mother has to manage the children to any and all extracurricular activities and events. Mother’s their young children at home, sets practical predictable schedule and routine. Cooks, cleans, plays, toilet trains, feeds three meals a day with snacks, hugs and kisses all day, kisses every boo-boo, fixes every cry. Cleans up uh-oh’s and playdoh’s. They can clean any unknown stain on carpets caused from messy children. SAHM’s are the moms that know Dr. Seuss lines