Saturday, September 18, 2010

18 September 1956 “Mother’s At Home Continued”

Here is the second and final part of the article on Mother’s Needed at Home.
I want to make sure that it is said that I and I am sure no one else who comments on this blog, thinks any less of mother’s who do not choose to stay at home. Many times circumstances dictate that one is not able to be at home, or perhaps one does feel their following a career is also a boon to a child in the display of the import of one’s self fulfillment.
As I have no children myself I would never ever deign to give advice or to know what is best ‘for the child’. However, for any of you mother’s out there that have to work because you need to but not because you want to, I think we should open a dialogue about the possibilities for their being able to quit their job and stay home.
We have stay at home mother’s who read and follow this site/blog who most likely have good advice. So, it is there for the asking, I believe.
Enjoy this article for it’s advice and for it’s Vintage flavor. I think we all have different reasons or feelings for our having children and I shouldn’t like anyone to feel excluded or looked down upon. Our community, nay our Revolution, is one in which we can openly disagree, yet still have the same focus of family and home being of import to both ourselves and our country at large.
mothersathomearticle3 mothersathomearticle4


  1. I don't like to condemn, either. There are a lot of reasons why women work.

    Staying at home if your husband does not have a good income can really be a challenge. I stayed home most of the time, working only part-time/temporary jobs, and for me staying home meant: having only one car, buying a lot of used items from yard sales and knowing how to refurbish them, not going out to dinner or movies as much, not being able to have your child in EVERY after-school activity, buying generic stuff, being very careful to take care of health and teeth, as medical and dental care is expensive -- stuff like that. Women can possibly work from home, too, but I don't know anything about that, as I never did it. Where there is a will, there is a way, at least most of the time, not always.

    I'm glad that there are things like WIC and free school lunches, food stamps, which can help a mom to stay at home if she desires to do so. We never had to use those, but I'm glad they are there for those who do.

  2. Donna, this artical was really good. Thank you for posting it. Also thank you so much for answering by comment/Question yesterday. I wasn't sure if it would stay posted or would be too controversial and be pulled. I was and am really serious about the subject. I thought today's post was interesting because it delt with the older child/teen. So often parents/people don't realize how vulnerable they are and how much guidance they need even into their early twenties.
    Julie in WA

  3. All I can say is this article is spot on, and way ahead of it's time :)

    Mom in Canada

  4. I like the emphasis in the article on the fact that often you need to be ' a familiar fixture' to be privy to a child's confidences. I don't like the concept of quality time, I guess maybe it's better than nothing.
    I haven't always been the one to stay home with our children. When our first child was born my husband was a student and I was the breadwinner.While I was away from work on maternity leave we lived on government payments. I went back to work when my baby was only 14weeks old but only worked part time hours, half of my pay went on the mortgage ( interest rates were 18%) and we lived on the rest. When I was at work my husband would be at home with our son or my wonderful mother stepped in to help. So our child was looked after by people who loved him in his own surroundings. By the time our second child came along my husband had just started work and from then on I have either been at home or worked part time, school hours only. At one stage we both worked part time but complimentary hours so we could both be at home with the children and both work. My last job, which I left 6 years ago,was OK until the constant pressure from my employer to add more hours to my work day annoyed me so much that I left.
    I can honestly say that we have always made our children and home life our priority and we have far fewer material things than most of our peers but it has been fine and our kids are great. Our children are clever, they have managed to get scholarships to help with their education. They have attended ( 2 are still there) private school which has also been a huge financial burden for us and given us very little disposable income, income that we see others spending on expensive holidays and new cars and home renovations but we did what we wanted to do with our money not what society or advertising said we should.We made a choice.
    I guess what I am saying is that you need to have the courage to live your life the way you want to, just like you are now doing Donna and like Julie in WA is doing. You have to take the time to think about your life and have the courage to make it your own and then really all the rest becomes so much easier.

  5. Julie in WA-Oh, I never pull a comment, even when they upset my 'thin skin'. Usually, if something raises feathers or is 'controversial' we always end up having a good debate and even when we disagree end up still being gracious ladies. I like it that way.
    TWUS-Good points, and those programs such as WIC are definitely helpful. Wouldn't it be nice if they had a program to help a young couple to encourage them to have a stay at home, maybe partial support for one year or something, I know it would never happen, but it would be nice.
    Mom in canada-I am glad you think so, as did I. But, again, I haven't any children so often don't have any idea what I am talking about. I can only speculate in theory about my child rearing. Though our decision making in having a child or not has been put into practice, and as I said, were things more affordable in certain areas, I am sure we would have a child now. But,if we ever were going to, I am glad that it would be post 1955, as trying to re=teach a child to a vintage life might not be as easy, doable but not as easy.
    Jenny-Good points, as always, and you seem very smart and well-planned parents. It is true, isn't it, that if one wants to play 'keeping up with the Jones' it is often the children that get the fall out. 'Sorry we haven't any money for college or education, we had to go to Disney land five times and buy new cars. It does take courage, I suppose, to live as one sees fit when it is not the popular norm. Odd that we who are longing for the old standard, are almost the new 'hippies' or 'beatniks' in that our views might seem contrary to popular culture and traditions. Now I get the stares the hippie with long unkempt hair, sloppy clothes received in the 60's with my prim and pressed 50's attire, funny, non?

  6. It is interesting that many of the working Moms I know that say they "have to work" all live in $800,000+ homes, have 2-3 cars (even in homes where only 2 people drive!)vacation homes/vacations, high-end clothes, furnishings, landscaping, etc. I guess, what my point is, is that peoples ideas of 'wants" vs. "needs" are pretty blurred in contemporary society. In my opinion, "needing to work" to maintain ones lifestyle is one thing, and "needing to work" to survive is another. For those who the former is true, if they do wish they could stay at home, perhaps they need to look into downsizing, and economizing to make their dreams a reality.

  7. anon-yes, indeed. One could easily downsize home or lessen vacations. Clothing costs landscaping, all these things are great, but are they worth the expense of a child's rearing? We no longer have or can afford servants yet we let strangers raise our kids. It would almost be better if it were the days you could have one servant to stay home, at least the child would have the same person in their home to come home to. I wonder, do these people also have money for their children's college or do they expect them to live beyond their means, as well?

  8. Your comment yesterday about not want to have a child who would be another employee at Walmart is down right condescending. One minute you talk about being thrifty and frugal, and the next minute you talk about your family buying new cars during the depression and not wanting to raise children of the working class. I used to think that your blog was authentic, but now it seems like you are one of those bloggers who makes it up as they go along, who post about imaginary lives they are not even living. It this just the blog of a bored vain person???

  9. anon-I don't hate walmart workers, but I don't want to make another person who has to live without the ability to have choices. I am not rich by any means.
    When I shared my story of my mother's family during the Depression, that was their story. It isn't mine. I don't have that money and I am also not going to defend their actions. They helped their community.
    Rather or not you want to believe my actions or my words is entirely up to you. This is a blog. You may take it as it is, but I don't really feel, anymore, that I have to defend myself. I am neither bored, nor vein. In fact, I loathe putting pictures of myself on my blog.
    I am sorry you don't like the direction it is taking. I simply speak as I find and always from my heart. What I write is true and how I feel.
    I don't find it condescending to want to raise a child who has options. Nor do I think I am 'better' than someone who does work at walmart, but, if you read my blog, you also know I am not a fan of walmart and their ilk.
    Again, I am learning to have thick skin. If someone does not like my blog, they can simply click away, it is quite easy.

  10. I meant to say I don't feel the need to defend my family's actions nor excuse them for having the money to buy a new car during the Depression. It hardly makes them bad people any more than it makes the people bad who had to sell apples and lost their farms. It was a bad time and it would hardly have benefited anyone for my family to suddenly stop living their own lives.
    Again, I am not a rich person and actually do without quite a bit in order to live the life I do. We take no vacations, have only one car, I make all from scratch and make my own clothes.

  11. I also want to point out that if my child wanting a working class job I would want them to have that choice, but I would definitely try to talk them out of Walmart, if I could. I would rather see them work for a local small business. Also, there is nothing to be ashamed of wanting my child to do better than myself, in fact that used to be the way one raised children and I will not apologize for wanting that, if I had a child. I highly doubt someone happily thinks, 'Oh, joy, my child can work for peanuts at Walmart when he grows up', but that does not say that I look down upon such workers. I have worked in cafe's and coffee shops, so I have been the working class, believe you me.

  12. I love this blog, this chance to reflect on the past and comment on the then and the now. I have friends who currently work for Wal-Mart. They will tell you that Wal-Mart is not family friendly for their workers. They will also tell you the for woman, at least in our area, Wal-Mart is not an equal opportunity employer. (I think this may be a chain wide problem, you can look on line and see the lawsuits filed by woman.) If someone has a choice in where they can work, she (and he) would tell you to go somewhere else. It isn't about the job, but the company. That was how I also took your post, not as an attack on a person or type of job. Just my opinion, but that was how I took it.

    Barb from CNY

  13. Barb-you are right. I am not sure how someone made that jump to my not being genuine and being bored and vain? Again, why are the bad comments always ANON? But, why bother moderating, because honestly, if someone doesn't like it, why do they read it? It's not like they are paying for it or something. There are plenty of blogs out there to read.
    I certainly think it is fair for me to use whatever choices I wish before having a child, rather they are popular or not. Thank you for saying you like my blog. I always think I am getting a thicker skin and then always feel bad and obsess about bad comments, not sure why.

  14. I had to go looking for that WalMart comment, 50's Gal, ha-ha. I read it yesterday, but didn't take offense. Most of us have worked for places like that with very little pay. I didn't take offense. I understood what she meant (tell me if I'm wrong): she doesn't want to bring a child into the world for personal gratification when she cannot "do" for that child as far as providing a good post-secondary-school education goes, and as a result, the child would grow up to be poor.

    When I was in high school in the 1966-1970, it was not as easy to borrow money as it is today. Today, college has become a racket in many quarters, and the degrees somewhat devalued.

    I remember in the 9th grade, going to my high school guidance counsellor (a skinny brunette with a bee-hive hair-do and plastered-on makeup) and telling her that I wanted to go to college, but that my family didn't have the money to send me (they didn't). She drawled in a nasal voice, "Weeeellllll, if your parents don't have the money to send can't GO!" And she sent me packing.

    That's the way it was then. She told me nothing about scholarships, loans, grants, or anything. I assume not as many of them existed back then. Nothing about working my way through college, nothing.

    My HUSBAND sent me to college. Yes, we did have loans to pay off, he and I, but I'm glad we did it. I always HATED the way people I personally knew who had been to college (even one year of college) put me down. That would not bother everybody, but it bothered me.

  15. Hello '50sgal!

    I don't blame you for not wanting your child to have a difficult time finding a livelihood. That is normal.

    I think it's wrong for someone to judge another family's spending choices, as seen in the comment by "anon." Since it's on the table, I *will* say that I find buying new cars in an economic crisis distasteful. However, as you mentioned, that was someone else's choice, a long time ago.

    Just my .02, and hopefully not too bothersome.

    Keep on writing! I am subscribed.

  16. Hi Donna, I just want to say that I sign on as Anonymous because my only other choice is Name/URL. I Don't know what URL means. LOL Commenting as Anonymous is the only option I feel I have. I do sign my name happily.
    Julie In WA

  17. Julie-Oh, I just meant that when someone says something hurtful, they used anon but don't sign their name.

  18. I used to work at Walmart when they took over the Woolco store in our area.

    I WOULD NOT want my child to work there ever, the favourtisms, and practises of that company were ridiculous.

    Hubby and I have money set aside for both our boys to go to college/university. College would definitely be covered cost wise, as far as university well they would probably have to help pay for some.

    Where I live we have a 11 percent unemployment rate, my hope is that my boys eventually leave the area to find employment in more prosperous areas, easier said than done.

    It may take a few years of working for minimum wage jobs even despite a university/college diploma to get where they are going.

    Any and all jobs have dignity as long as the workers uphold themselves in a dignified manner.

    I am a college educated early childhood educator who chooses to work cash for minimum wage at a grocery store due to the requirements of my family. The job is flexible and enable me to earn money for food and clothes for my boys.

    I really do not know the future for my boys, it's scary I wish for them to pursue their passions as opposed to the almighty paycheque, but I fear that the lack of jobs will be a hinderance in this regard.

    As for us leaving this economically depressed area, I would leave behind dearly beloved family, friends basically my entire support network, I would rather earn less money and surround my boys with the wealth of family and friends so they have a strong family foundation growing up.

    As far as negative comments goes with this blog, if one has the "guts" to make a comment, one should sign their name at least. To leave anonymous and hurtful comments is extremely rude and impolite.

    If you beg my pardon......

    Mom in Canada

  19. My husband and I have had our own business for the last 15 years and for many of those years our daughters worked with and for us. Also, for most of those years, it was our only income. But, our girls learned to work for want they wanted and even though we couldn't pay for their college educations, they all have strong work ethics so that they can work their way through school and/or get scholarships.

    I really love the part of the article that says that it's the job of the parent to raises the child, not the church, and not the school. That is how we tried to raise our own girls.

  20. Darcylee-That sounds like such a good environment for children to learn work and responsibility. I am sure your children thank you for it. I agree, as well, that raising should belong in the parents hands.

  21. I'm a wife, mother of 3, home keeper and work full-time outside of the home. I would love to be at home, but my husband really has no desire for it. We could make it financially on one-income or one full-time income with some part time work. We are debt free except for our home (which was built in the 70s and is not a McMansion!). We live rather frugally (I cook from scratch, garden, thrift for clothing) so our expenses are fairly low. My mother also lives with us so we've been able to avoid daycare expenses. It is not living outside of our means or trying to keep up with the Joneses that keeps me from home. My husband just does not have a strong desire for me to be at home full-time. So, I just bloom where I am. And do the best that I can in my current season of life.

    Love your blog 50s gal!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  22. I have 4 kids,two have disabilities so i have always felt the need to stay at home.Day care is very expensive ,even with government subsidy & it is also hard to get a space in daycare places too.Currently my 2 yr old has one day in daycare,more for the social interaction than anything else.If he went full time i would be basically working to pay for him to go to daycare.My husband doesn't mind that i stay home,we have always gotten through some how :)
    While i don't think badly of mothers that work i don't understand someone for example that has had a fulfilling career already & has a husband that earns an obscene amount of money ,then decides they want a baby then when the baby is a few weeks old goes back to work full time & leaves the baby at a daycare centre all day! Now that is something i don't understand or agree with:?


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