Is it hard to be a traditional woman in today's world?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by nodak3, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The post about the guys got me thinking. Most of my life I have lived the very traditional (by American culture of the 30's-60's) thing. I was a sahm, only working parttime and that only after the kids were grown, dh retired, and the job was one there was no one else in the village to do but needed doing badly. I love wearing skirts, but also love wearing jeans. I hunt, fish, and can do what needs to be done. Dh can cook and clean. However, we GENERALLY follow the old traditional guidelines. We've enjoyed it thoroughly.

    However, through the years I have been called a brainless wonder for staying home, accused of being on "marital welfare", told I must have a lazy gene, etc. Yeah, right, let them come and manage the canning and the freezing and the educating the kids and the housework, do the quilting and crocheting and cooking from scratch for everything. We will see who is lazy then. We found that we were miles ahead financially living this way--dh retired at 51, not on disability, from manual labor. Guess I did contribute something by actually homemaking, huh.

    So I ask you this: do you think it is hard to be a traditional female in today's world?
     
  2. dhaley

    dhaley Rebel Chick

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    I find it is extremely hard. I want so badly to be a traditional wife but my hubby has decided that he wants me to be a modern wife. He said "get a job or I go my own way"!

    Mind you we have a place to live that is rent free, and only have to pay for electric, phone/internet, and car insurance.

    I want to be a sahm for my kids. So I guess I am getting a divorce.
     

  3. Dutchie

    Dutchie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it is very hard. Many women (and some man) believe that the women's lib movement and its achievements means that women now HAVE to work outside the home and make a career.

    As far as I am concerned, women's lib is all about giving a woman the "power" to choose instead of having to do what has traditionally been expected from her.

    You are doing exactly that. You chose to be a sahm and be a full partner in the marriage and family by working your duff off at home raising the family, providing healthy and wholesome food by not only preparing it but also growing/raising and preserving it.

    Anybody who would call you a brainless wonder on marital welfare ought to take a long, good look in the mirror.
     
  4. Dutchie

    Dutchie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah .... that would be my choice. Be true to yourself.
     
  5. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    To me being a "traditional" wife does not necessarily preclude working outside the home. I consider myself to be a totally traditional wife even though I have had many jobs.

    The concept to me, is more of a mind-set. Putting your husband and family first. Taking care of the home. Cooking the meals, washing the clothes, vacuuming the floors. etc., that kind of thing. And most importantly, to my mind is treating your husband with love, honor and respect putting all other "relationships" of whatever kind aside and always being first and foremost a wife (and in some cases a mother).

    Conversely, simply being a stay at home wife (or mother), does not mean you are acting in a traditional role. If you expect your husband to come home from working all day and "help" with the housework.

    donsgal
     
  6. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    I think that the problem is economic, at least in part. Our culture explicitly devalues any work that you can't put a dollar sign on - so if you benefit your family through unpaid labor, thrift and producing, rather than consuming, your work doesn't fit into any of the categories our culture recognizes as meaningful, and thus, doesn't count.

    Personally, I think this is just a part of a larger issue - that is, we have allowed money to take the place of G-d, and a whole lot of things - including personal worth, family life, etc... are determined by how much they make, or cost, or by economic calculations, rather than moral ones, or how much they make us happy. This is a really big problem in our society. We need to put money back in its proper place - as a tool, not the reason for everything we do.

    Sharon
     
  7. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

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    Whee, you know some rude folks!
    I agree with what Dutchie said.
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    One of my biggest peeves is how women tear at each other. I truly HATE it!!!!!
     
  9. Dutchie

    Dutchie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, you'd think we'd be supportive of eachother.

    I don't quite "get" that either ......
     
  10. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I think being a stay at home wife and mom is hard in a lot of ways. When my kids were small, we figured out that it was cheaper for us to have me home than it was for me to work, what with a second car, work clothes, and childcare. So I happily stayed home. I cleaned, cooked, and while we were overseas, I homeschooled.

    But I was lonely. There were no other women anywhere near me that stayed home. No chatting over the back fence while the neighbor and I hung laundry...the neighbor was at work. I didn't have the socialization I could have gotten at a job. All I saw was my family, day in and day out. The women I did know would be getting home from their jobs about the same time as hubby, and it was dinner, and homework, and kids to bed, and no time to visit then, either.

    Weekends were family time, so once again, no other people in my life. And there was no internet to make up for things.

    So, aside from the hard manual labor that it can be, and the snide comments that have to be dealt with or handled in some fashion, there are other aspects to staying home and trying to be traditional. And it's all hard.

    Meg
     
  11. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

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    In my neck of the woods, the economy is the reason most of us women are working. Unfortunately, here, a man can not earn enough to pay the rent or house payment, let along utilities or anything else, if he is not working for a union of some sort. House prices are sky high - most mortgage payments are over $1000 (my youngest son pays $1300 mo). Utilities keep going up...along with taxes. Deschutes Co. has the highest cost of living in OR. As a single older woman, if my house were not already paid for, I could not survive on my own. Studio apts. run for $450+ a month here even!!! I would hate to be a young woman in today's world - esp. if I wanted to live a tradional "wife/mother at home" role. My older son is married to a young lady of that mind - they have one little girl - and currently they are living with ME. My son has a good job - is an independent driver for HDL - but no union wages, insurance etc. They pay me $200 mo. and buy their own food and pay their own bills etc. But with his van payment, insurance and upkeep on two vehicles, gas and expenses for his job, medical bills (his wife has been ill) and prescriptions etc. The money goes real fast. I feel lucky that I have the room for them or they would be living out of their vehicles like the "working poor" that is shown on tv news all the time. Something has to change!!!
     
  12. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it is one of the hardest jobs there is. My kids don't appreciate it, although my husband does. My daughter is totally against being a sahm when she gets married and has kids. She thinks her husband will do all that. Ha! There is also a great deal of satisfaction that goes along with it.
     
  13. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    There are definitely challenges. Isolation from other women is not only physical - but emotional too. I don't have any female family nearby either. Maybe it is the culteral climate where I live? Finding a female role model with experience accomplishing the goals I am striving towards is just not available here.

    I've learned to take bits and pieces - instead of looking for the 'whole' picture. Some of my friends do the home-raised food bit, others do the homeschooling bit, or are working on the frugal lifestyle, others have the spiritual bit. I'm still looking for someone who has raised a bunch of boys, though!

    HT has filled my own need to have adult conversation with those who share some of the things I care about. I don't need someone to be exactly the same as me - but I don't want to be put down, patted on the head, or looked at in sympathy because I didn't 'live up' to expectations, or am 'wasting' my brain. I've been on the receiving end of both sides - not traditional enough (religious beliefs) and too traditional (SAHM, homeschooler, raise food/garden, believe in disciplining) trapped at home without a job so I am lazy or haven't lived up to my potential. Or the whole, 'it's such a shame' you didn't (finish school, or blah, blah, blah). I just assume when they also tell me how wonderful my boys are - that it was a worthwhile decision, since they didn't get that way by magic! :rolleyes:

    Meanwhile, as my kids are growing up I will continue to self-educate. I'm not standing still! I read voraciously. I've written articles that have been published. I volunteer from time to time. I helped my husband start a business. I'll eventually go back to school. My boys won't be small forever. I'll just have 'two' jobs, and the one without pay will always come first.

    Niki
     
  14. rkintn

    rkintn mean people suck

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    As a divorced former sahm, it is gonna be hard to be a sahm after a divorce. Why not offer to get a job working from home? I can give you a couple of leads on legit work at home opportunities if you are interested just PM me. I work from home, drive a school bus and receive child support but it is still a struggle although I am here for my kids way more than most parents are but it is a tough row to hoe.
     
  15. City_Girl

    City_Girl Active Member

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    This thread touched a nerve, string, whatever.... I have been married for 5 years. I have a MS degree in Engineering. I worked for several years, but my heart was not in it after my ds was born. We decided to become a one income household. We made many sacrifices, including living in a town home with no yard, to pull it off. My SIL wants to do this eventually, but is scared to death because she thinks she will be bored. She believes these people who tell her she isn't living up to her potential.

    I don't feel like I am a leach on society. I contribute to it by way of my children. I can be active in local politics. I learn so much. I DO so much. My children are wonderful, well behaved, smart, and I get to see it all. As for no dollar signs.... Just because I don't have a paycheck to pay taxes on doesn't mean that I don't contribute significantly to our family's income. Every penny I save at the grocery store is an additional cent added to our income, tax free. You can't beat that. It absolutely amazes my DH just how far I can stretch the food budget and how well we eat. I have a wonderful food storage that has come in handy multiple occasions last week durring the blizzard out here. I love being a "traditional" woman. I love cooking. I love sewing and creating. I love raising my kids. I think of it as a Doctorate in Child development. I love being avaliable to my family when they need someone (my brothers are in town at school), and teaching my SILs how to cook. Life is not a desk in a cubicle. But I feel like I am going on and on at the moment.

    Someday I will earn a paycheck and pay taxes again, but for now, I love my job.
     
  16. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    Since I am anything but the traditional woman, I can't give my personal experience here. But I'd think that in today's world where women are still underdogs and scrambling to get to the top of the heap still, that being a traditional woman might be scoffed at. Simply due to economic terms of "how can you afford that?"

    Me? I have complete and utter respect for any traditional woman. I know as well as you do that you probably work HARDER than I do on any given day. Note that I'm no slouch and usually on weekends put in at least 12 hours of work per day.

    I bet you traditional women all love what you do and I hope you cherish those hours you get to spend watching your kids grow up and/or making your dream come true on a daily basis! :baby04:

    And, I would never EVER hold it against anyone who did not have a college degree or career because they gave it up to be traditional. Those things are nice, but they don't MAKE a person who they are. :angel:
     
  17. largentdepoche

    largentdepoche Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, it's hard to be a traditional woman.

    I do say this though, traditional isn't the 1950's housewife vacuuming in high heels. Back in Pioneer times, a woman would take care of the livestock and hunt while her husband was away in town or looking for work. Women have always had to juggle both sides of the game.

    I'll just say that, my views will probably get a flame war started and I don't want that lol.

    Kat
     
  18. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been a traditional homemaker and wife all my life and I don't really care what society or other people think about it.
     
  19. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    Even in small towns it's hard. Women who work look at me and wonder what's wrong with me. I'm a college educated woman who gave up a viable career in business AND a career in music to be a wife and mother. I was BORN for this!! Nothing else I ever did my whole life gave me the same satisfaction I get when I see a stack of clean folded laundry on the sofa. When my DH never has to ask for something to be washed or done because I have already done it. A traditional woman reveres her husband, her children and her home. Therein lies her pride and her glory on earth. Nobody said it would be easy. I parrot the peace corps when I call it The toughest job you'll ever love. Having been in both positions, I prefer to be at home, where I know who my children are with, where they are, what they are doing or eating and how they are behaving. Not to say that they are perfect, they are far from it. But not as bad as if I were gone all day and they were left to their own devices. And talk about your job security!! There will always be a husband and home to care for, no matter where we go. There will always be animals and gardens to manage. I can't be fired or downsized. I don't get pay raises, but the benefits are amazing.
     
  20. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I've done it and now I too, am divorced (lack of appreciation from the ex, also) and working. I have six kids, five of them boys.

    Even though I work my tail off now, I worked much harder as a SAHM. I cannot believe that I actually felt guilty and swallowed all the baloney about how hard HE worked and how easy I had it! Between ages 16 and 31, the manual labor and sheer abuse that my body went through has taken a severe toll and now I can hardly work at a grocery store some days. The insult of doing all that and not even getting a pat on the head for it..... I homeschooled the kids, took care of the livestock (large herd of dairy goats), grew all our veggies (tilling the beds entirely by hand and hauling heaping garden carts full of of wet manure to the garden), cooked everything from scratch, etc etc....and if we spent $40 a week on groceries, he complained. Most of what we ate came from the land, except for rice, beans, wheat, and such.

    I don't think I would do it again, not because I don't like doing "at home" things, but because I would probably kill the next man who suggested laziness.