Welcome to Tigersue's Jungle. Here you may find a Jungle of thoughts and idea's. You may never know what you will find!
Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mothering, supporting those around us.

Today in my surfing around, I found this article at Times and Seasons. It tackles that debate about mothers working at home, or mothers working out of the home, on that I think will never go away for so many reasons. I found these two quotes and it really got me thinking today, and wondering several different things.

"When it comes to Mormons, I’ve observed that if a homemaking mother thinks she’s sacrificing to fulfill her divine role, she can accept other women’s choices to work without surrendering her own self-conception, but she can’t celebrate them. Working mothers often don’t like other women thinking they’ve made a lesser choice."

"Even larger than these practical issues, however, is that as politically INcorrect as it is to say this, every mother out of the house all day is broadcasting that her children will be just fine in her absence which implies that I am, in my home with them all day, adding precisely nothing crucial to their lives. Similarly, my presence at home broadcasts that I think I *am* adding something significant to their lives, which signals that working mothers’ children are missing that ’something’. We may want to act like everyone else’s choices are all OK, but the reality is that our own decision signifies something judgmental to those in the other situation, whether we want to or not."

First, I never liked working out of the home, I really hate it. Maybe I'm just too lazy, it is always a possibility. I can't deny that going to nursing school was the right thing to do. There were so many blessings that came out of that inspired choice. Yet I always felt like I was a bit out of my league, I never felt that I was talented at what I did, and always doubted my own knowledge and abililty to make correct choices. The one thing I discovered in working as a nurse, that as nurturing women are to their own children and families, we are not like that when it comes to working with other women. I saw lots of backbiting, backstabbing, malicious treatment of other nurses, and other female staff. If someone didn't do something exactly the same way there would be a major issue made of it by the staff. I hated working with other women, and I found that working nights, and being alone in a nursery wasn't a completely bad thing. I also learned to pretty much keep my mouth shut. To say anything could give me more grief than what I needed and I got enough of that over time. I also know that this isn't just a nursing thing, I have heard many women talk about it in the various jobs they hold, whether it is management, customer service, preschool, teaching, you name it, we don't treat each other very well out in the workforce. How does that relate in our private lives and at church. Do we do the same thing in callings and service? Do we really know how to lift each other up and support each other no matter the differences in how things are done?

I know some women work out of the home because they really need it for their identity, they love it they thrive on it, so why should SAHMs judge that need. I know I can't, anymore than a mom working out of the home in a professional career judge me for staying home because that is exactly what I need. This is not counting those women that have to work for the various reasons in life, they maybe there because they love it, but perhaps they are there purely on the fact that they need the income. I can't stand there and say "You should be Home!"

What kind of example does this give my oldest daughter that is now at the age where she can get her own job? I have often wondered what would I have done if I had a bit more encouragement to look for a job during summer breaks. I honestly thought I wouldn't get hired if I choose to stop working at the start of the school year. I know my mom wanted me to work, but my dad didn't. I never pushed the issue. On the other hand my daughter wants to work, she sees this as something she really wants to do. She doesn't have outstanding grades, so I worry about the effects of school, but there is this huge part of me that realizes she is not me. Her chances of scholarships are very slim, so perhaps work is what she needs to help her self-esteem, and self worth. I need to support her in the choice, even if it means I will need to take her to work, and go pick her up late at night. As my parents supported me in my choice to not work and focus on getting a scholarship, I need to support her in this effort to become independent. So at the start of this blog entry, it may not seemed that this is about mothering, but about women and work, but really it is about being that mother to my daughter. That example of support that we all need as women, and God's children. Would I have the same reservations if it were my son wanting to get a job? So no this is not easy, because working was hard for me. I loved working with those little tender babies, but the external pressures of working was horrible and I don't want to go back to that. I fear for my very sensitive daughter, but I know she has to learn this now, and perhaps it will give her some work ethic that I have had a hard time instilling in my children. I hope she can learn to support those she works with, cheer for their successes, and cry with them when it is hard. I hope someone will be there to do the same, because I rarely saw it in the nursing field. I often had to cry alone in my car, or home alone in bed. I really needed someone to be there for me, that understood and would say, I know this was a bad day, tomorrow will be better. I will support you no matter what, we all have tough bad days. What a difference that may have made, I don't think I will ever know.


Noelie said...

Hmmm interesting post on obedience. Isn't it interesting that when you talk about this, there are so many people that want to hop up to say why such a thing doesn't apply. or that we aren't expected to blah blah blah. You get the drift
The thing is.. I wonder if we could get into, let's say Laman or Lemuel's heads if part of what they said to themselves is "following dad is just tooo much. we are tired, sick and no longer comfortable, and there is NO POINT! We shouldn't have to follow everything.. yadda yadda"
I wonder sometimes if we do enough of the imaging the half-baked thinking of people we don't want to end up like. I think if we did, we would find more that we really are sounding like the side not doing, not keeping covenants than we would like.
So to the person so sure you don't have to follow your SP or Bishop when he says wear a "White shirt".. I say.. well really. and it hurts you to listen because???

Kimberly said...

Tanya I love this post. I never liked working outside of the home either. I found that my parenting took a back seat and often felt guilty for having to do so even though my children were never in day care and were with their father while I worked. I am coming to a point in my life where I may need to work outside the home again. What to do about your daughter working? I don't have an answer. I worked from the time I was 16 until the time Alex was born. SOmetimes it was only part time but as I look back I wish I had taken time off during the school year to focus on my education without worrying about going to work after school. I guess just support Tasha in her decision. She is a wonderful young lady with a great mother and all will be okay as you two listen to the spirit and decide what will work for you.

Kimberly said...

oops, I posted too soon. I also wanted to say that I so totally agree with you that as mothers we need to be on each other's side. To support and help each other no matter what the other chooses to do. Motherhood is the divinest of callings and we can't do it without each other's support.