PDA

View Full Version : gender roles, having it all, blah blah blah......



fox in socks
02-07-2014, 09:31 PM
so i've noticed this trend---women who spend a shit ton of money on an education, only to give birth a couple years post grad or so and be done with whatever career path they started on to be a stay-at-home mom. Obviously this isn't 100% the case, and maybe a unique experience, but I work with a bunch of 20-30 something women with masters or clinical doctorate degrees who go this route. I just don't get it. Also, it is never that I see the males with the same degrees choosing the same path. Obviously, the woman has to do the incubating and the birthing......It's interesting, despite the progress of equality and choices for women etc. etc., that so many still fall into traditional roles.

Anyway, validate me. have you noticed this in your world?

emanate
02-07-2014, 11:11 PM
I recently saw this exact scenario happen. I admit I was a bit flabbergasted when I heard the news. We went through the same grad program so I know she spent some serious coinage and did a shit-ton of work to get that degree, not to mention the energy she put into building her career after she graduated. I'm happy that she seems happy, but feel like we don't have much in common at this point in our lives.

On the flip side, a different friend of mine has said that she loves her kids more than anything, but couldn't fathom NOT working because staying at home all time would drive her bonkers. I feel that, even though I have no kids! Doing any one thing for too long makes me antsy, including being cooped up inside my own home.

JayPeaches
02-08-2014, 12:32 AM
Here's what some pretty southern girls do:

1. Get an undergraduate degree from an SEC school
2. Find a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep
3. Meet and marry a doctor
4. Have a baby, quit job

I'm serious. I know at least a dozen women I went to high school with that followed this exact pattern. It's uncanny! And plenty of other women follow a similar trajectory - get degree, get married, have babies and quit working. I DON'T GET IT.

Kala
02-08-2014, 01:01 AM
A couple of my ex's while married had wives with MBA's who quit working once the babies started coming. But keep in mind they were only able to do so and (relatively) maintain their standard of living because the husband made $$$. I've no idea whether their intent was to find a man who made good dough, get married, get pregnant and then quit working OR if they enjoyed their career and felt their degree was important but had a change of heart once they became pregnant/gave birth.

On the flip side, I know there are some well educated stay-at-home dads with the wife bringing in the bacon, but that is much less common.

toriMODE
02-08-2014, 03:26 AM
Yes, I was thinking about this lately. A girl I went to high school and college with. She got a degree in Accounting, graduated college, worked maybe 3 years, and then was married, had 5 kids, and now stays at home, and does things like Pampered Chef, and restores furniture and sells it. I always thought she would be a career woman regardless if she had kids.

Lágnætti
02-08-2014, 10:18 AM
I've seen a bit of this: get job, dislike it, make a deal of disliking it, announce pregnancy two or three months later (basically when it's still in the 'late period' range), fuck off on sick leave for several months more, have kid, take standard six months paid maternity leave, extend it to a year (we all know you;re going to do this), grudgingly come back for three or four months and then rinse and repeat. THEN quit to stay home after year of maternity leave, making sure to come back for a whole week or whatever so the don't have to pay the government back the leave money as per law. Oh, and when you're in work, exploiting pregnancy to the full for time off and endless doctor's appointment, make sure you're a vile, unapproachable hormonal bitch to other employees and certainly to anyone who needs leave for anything OTHER than pregnancy purposes. They're clearly faking their dying parents or arthritis or whatever. Only your sperm infection is important and real.

Infuriates me, in part because it makes women in their mid-thirties/early forties (the desperado breeding years) look like fucking awful employment prospects. Glad I'm about to age out of this because I'm certain it affects how many employers look at any woman in this age range. You'll never, ever be told you didn't get a job because they're fed up of women basically doing a whole three months work out of three years employment, but it sure as hell happens.

My other thought for this get a degree, quit and spend years doing fuck all demographic - wouldn't like to have your pension prospects, lady. I don't think the smugger marrieds ever really realise how poor they're going to be later in life if Mr. I Pay For Everything dies or divorces them. I don't know if it's lack of basic financial smarts or just pure denial, but I don't know how anyone can take years and years out and then maybe return to P/T work at best and not worry about their pension and savings. Poverty affects many women in later age for precisely this reason. I know someone in their late forties with kids who tell me her ISA (tax free savings account) is her pension because she only works 2 days a week and intends to forever. Er, an ISA hold a max of £50K (and she hasn't got anywhere near that amount in it). You can't live for 25 years post-retirement on that now never mind when inflation has done its work with it. I guess she's really on the 'my husband is my pension' plan instead.

emanate
02-08-2014, 02:36 PM
My other thought for this get a degree, quit and spend years doing fuck all demographic - wouldn't like to have your pension prospects, lady. I don't think the smugger marrieds ever really realise how poor they're going to be later in life if Mr. I Pay For Everything dies or divorces them.

Exactly! I wouldn't ever want to pin my financial well-being (or illusion thereof) on another person. It's far too risky.

inexcelsis17
02-08-2014, 03:40 PM
My husband works with a woman who fits Julius' description. Every child turns into a year off, and she pumping them as fast as she can. Meanwhile, her co-workers are understaffed, and since she still technically works there they aren't able to hire anyone else to fill her position.

My personal thoughts on the matter (and I'm happy to adjust my views if necessary) are that you can't have it all; the demands of childcare and a career at the same time often cause one or both of the responsibilities to suffer. IMO it's unfair to everyone else to expect your job to be kept warm and ready for you to jump back in after you've fulfilled your desire to procreate. It's unfair on the child to unnecessarily be denied a close bond with its parent in its formative years so a woman can have the satisfaction of a rewarding career. I've seen mothers get so hurt because their kids have a much better relationship with their nannies than they do with them- how could they expect to be close when they rarely saw them?
I wonder how things would be different if there were more part time jobs available for higher paying careers.

lioness
02-08-2014, 04:32 PM
It's unfair on the child to unnecessarily be denied a close bond with its parent in its formative years so a woman can have the satisfaction of a rewarding career.

And yet no one says a father who works is robbing his children of a close bond.

inexcelsis17
02-09-2014, 03:27 PM
That's true. I suppose what I can't wrap my head around is wanting to have kids but not wanting to raise them; the two are synonymous to me. Then again, I've never wanted children, so I have no romantic thoughts of shopping for iddle-biddy shoes, just thoughts of wretch-inducing diapers and ear-piercing shrieking. From what I understand, though, it's much better for the child to have a parent close by in the first couple of years, be it the mother or father.

Chalk
02-09-2014, 03:59 PM
You still can raise a child and work simultaneously. It's a juggle act, but can be done. I have friends who had children whilst still at Uni and post grad and they made it work. It's all about commitment and also priorities. Their kids did not suffer from having working parents.

Andyland
02-09-2014, 04:05 PM
In an ideal world I think one parent would stay home until the child starts Kindergarten or 1st grade, but I get that for many that just isn't economically feasible. I agree with the previously mentioned point that when kids are that young, quantity of time matters. If your infant/toddler/small child sees you for 2 or 3 hours a day, and sees Grandma, or the daycare worker, or the nanny for 8 to 10 hours a day, who is truly raising the child?

SweetPea
02-09-2014, 04:36 PM
That's only 10-13 hours... You realize there are 24 hours in a day...

Anyway, a child can be cared for by a nanny/grandparent/etc and be just fine. If it is a difference between that or being homeless... Nanny for a few years is not going to ruin the child. There are still at least 15 years left with your kid. Suggesting that leaving your kid to be cared for by another person isn't "raising" your kid is insulting and ignorant. Sometimes situations arise that make it necessary.

And while I don't personally want children, I know that people want to do what is best and try to plan accordingly. However, we must understand that family planning doesn't always go according to plan and that responsible parents will do what is necessary to properly care for their child(ren), whether that is a nanny, grandparent, or daycare, so they can keep working and still provide for their family.

Andyland
02-09-2014, 05:15 PM
That's only 10-13 hours... You realize there are 24 hours in a day...

Anyway, a child can be cared for by a nanny/grandparent/etc and be just fine. If it is a difference between that or being homeless... Nanny for a few years is not going to ruin the child. There are still at least 15 years left with your kid. Suggesting that leaving your kid to be cared for by another person isn't "raising" your kid is insulting and ignorant. Sometimes situations arise that make it necessary.

And while I don't personally want children, I know that people want to do what is best and try to plan accordingly. However, we must understand that family planning doesn't always go according to plan and that responsible parents will do what is necessary to properly care for their child(ren), whether that is a nanny, grandparent, or daycare, so they can keep working and still provide for their family.

Sorry, that was just meant to be a ballpark figure, excluding time spent asleep. I agree with everything you've said, and like I said previously, I understand that going back to work is an economic necessity for many. I still think that small children are likely to bond most strongly with whoever they spend the most time with. And if that's Grandma or the nanny, that's really not the end of the world, it just might not be what the parent would prefer.

fox in socks
02-09-2014, 05:55 PM
holding positions is one of those things that irritates me. often, it's during the maternity leave, or a couple months into the return after maternity leave, that our staff ends up quitting or going prn/call-in. That usually leaves the remaining staff to scramble or train replacements or whatever. the worst is, in talking to some of these people, they knew they weren't coming back WAY before they even went out, but didn't want to have to pay back the leave. i see your scam, but it still annoys me.

inexcelsis17
02-09-2014, 06:24 PM
That's only 10-13 hours... You realize there are 24 hours in a day...

Anyway, a child can be cared for by a nanny/grandparent/etc and be just fine. If it is a difference between that or being homeless... Nanny for a few years is not going to ruin the child. There are still at least 15 years left with your kid. Suggesting that leaving your kid to be cared for by another person isn't "raising" your kid is insulting and ignorant. Sometimes situations arise that make it necessary.

And while I don't personally want children, I know that people want to do what is best and try to plan accordingly. However, we must understand that family planning doesn't always go according to plan and that responsible parents will do what is necessary to properly care for their child(ren), whether that is a nanny, grandparent, or daycare, so they can keep working and still provide for their family.

The thread includes the term "having it all", so in my comments I was just thinking about those who choose to have children, while simultaneously choosing to keep their career. I fully understand that things don't always go to plan, and that there are many various ways of successfully bringing up kids. After 15 years of marriage, my parents divorced right after I was born. My dad never gave us a penny and my mother was the sole bread winner, and in the early years my grandparents were a tremendous help to us. Perhaps my inability to grasp why someone would plan to do the juggling act is a result of my mom's lamenting over us being latchkey kids, and having to go to work while we were home sick.

fox in socks
02-09-2014, 06:50 PM
indeed. people often assume that their parents (grandparents) will be all over childcare etc. Thats a pretty shitty assumption as they've already done their child-rearing and may have other plans. i have a friend who has her mom watch her kiddo when she works for a few days (shes contract, not full time) and has to balance not taking advantage of her mom (who gets over infant-rearing after a few days) and trying to keep herself on the workplace radar. it just seems so stressful. i also, cant grasp signing up for that. i see nothing noble about having so many balls in the air.

Andyland
02-09-2014, 09:09 PM
It does sound stressful. I can't even imagine the level of trust I would have to have in order to leave a 3 or 4 month old with a stranger in order to go back to work. Obviously a stay-at-home spouse or grandparent would alleviate that. I'm pretty grateful that one of the perks of being gay is that you can't really accidentally create human life :)

Ryan
02-12-2014, 08:31 PM
My cousin's fiancée has decided after three and a half years of college that she doesn't plan to actually use her degree. The conversation went something like this:

Fiancée: "I'm really just finishing school because I've only got a semester left. I'm not even going to look for a job."
Me: "Why?"
Fiancée: "Once we get married, I'm planning to just raise and home-school our kids."
Me: "But you've spent so much time and money on college. You're not even going to work for a year or two just until you get on your feet, just to see how that works?"
Fiancée: "No, [cousin]'s going to get a job so I can stay home."

lkjasldkjasd. The reason this infuriates me is because she was awarded a scholarship that paid for four years of a very expensive, very well-known school here. My scholarship only lasted two years and then I quit school because I didn't have any money. Some other person, one who wanted to go to school and get a degree, could have used that money that she's basically thrown away. I mean, she didn't throw it away if she got a degree and there's always a chance she'll use it one day, but what if she doesn't? I just don't get it.

/rant

Lágnætti
02-14-2014, 06:01 PM
It's hard for me to fathom a woman still thinking like that in 2014. I'm guessing she went straight from high school to college and is barely into her twenties?

Ryan
02-14-2014, 08:02 PM
Yes, she's 23.

Lágnætti
02-14-2014, 08:20 PM
Is it some sort of local, foolish cultural norm or is there some sort of noxiously conservative religious influence (I did see the word 'homeschooling' there) at work? Or is it perhaps a retreat from the scary adult world of finding a job and all that jazz?

I just cannot wrap my head around someone that age with an education just flopping down to marry, pump out kids and giving up all the great opportunities of their youth and any hope of the most basic financial independence that way. She'll turn around in ten years and it doesn't matter what degree she's got if she's never used it or established a work or credit history when her peers have gone on to the world of work. And god forbid if the marriage ends and she's stuck with the kids never having worked in her life and basically clueless about anything outside school and the nursery. I mean, choose your big old choice and all that, but it doesn't mean some choices aren't inherently self-defeating or financially damaging in the long run.

/preaching to choir

Kala
02-15-2014, 01:14 AM
since i reached adulthood i have NEVER been financially dependent on another person. i think it's the kiss of death. sure, there are couples where one person is dependent on the other to maintain their lifestyle and it works. but there are far too many relationships out there where it can become disastrous. as helen points out, what if they divorce and she has no work experience. unless the cousin is earning megabucks and the wife hires an aggressive attorney and gets a huge settlement for raising the kids so husband could be away building his career, that degree will mean shit all when she's competing against others who have been out in the world focusing on enhancing their workplace skills and establishing themselves as viable employees.

Andyland
02-15-2014, 07:08 PM
Thought of this thread when I saw this cover and the backlash to the choice of headline.


http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/wendydaviscover.jpg

http://www.thenation.com/blog/178375/new-york-times-cover-wendy-davis-draws-criticism#