Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies 6.20

A bit of a theme for the first three links: women in the work force.

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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16 Comments

  1. Did you seriously just post a link to a 10 PAGE (!!!) article on parenting responsibilities and housework that is a retread of a million other similar articles…..

    Seriously though, the part of the equation always missing from those statistics is which partner wanted the children, the house, and the immaculately clean dust ruffles in the first place. I don’t know what the disparity there is if any, but I’d hazard a guess that the driver of all the extra responsibilities that result in all the extra work is skewed to one of the partners.

  2. Wait a friggin minute. The first link tells me that women who are pushed out of Tech are a detriment to society because of all the time/energy/money invested in their educations………………..but in the second link, a lot of highly educated women are choosing to piss that investment down the drain by being stay at home moms.

    Am I the only one who find this a little amusing?

  3. No coffee yet, couldn’t sleep last night, woke up early for no apparent reason, and have one eye sort of functioning.

    I read, “The hymn controversy- An interesting discussion of various recent hymn-related news. The fact that I can write that sentence blows my mind.”

    It blew my mind, too, Amanda.

  4. Namidim- Why yes, I did feel that a 10 PAGE (!!) article on equal parenting and women’s work choices would be interesting to our blog readers. Feminism is one of our topics after all. And I for one *like* articles that gather together related ideas and theories.

    Mxracer- No, the second link points out that the enjoyment and status of women’s jobs are often overrated by people who write about the “opting out” phenonemon. They’re not talking about highly educated women, they’re talking about all of us office drones. It’s not about choosing SAHMhood over being a kick-ass lawyer, it’s about choosing SAHMhood over being the receptionist. And about how that may not actually be much of a choice at all.

  5. The SAHM topic is one I’ve been thinking about getting to. You know, for my family it’s not even an option for me to go to work. Quite simply, between the price of gas and day care I don’t make enough to cover the expense of getting out the door.

    Is it mind numbing to be at home all day with a 10 month old who only knows how to say MaMa, DaDa and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH? Of course it is. But not being able to pay the bills because I went to work is a bit ridiculous.

    What’s interesting to me in that article is that most of the commenters are not only non-moms but non-parents.

  6. It breaks my heart every morning that I have to leave my son. If it were possible I would be a SAHD in a heartbeat. I would much rather spend the day with a two year old who thinks the world of me than a bunch of grown men (you think science is male dominated you should see land surveying) who act like two year olds. As far as intelectual stimulation, I get far more intelectual stimulation here at Skepchick than I could ever hope to at work; and at home I could read it on an actual computer instead of my PDA.

  7. Well, I am one of those over-educated, cubicle-escaping, stay-at-home moms. Hell, I even homeschool our son (please go visit my website’s About page before you decide to skewer me as a fundie nut job).

    I stay home for a variety of reasons – it would be simplistic to imagine that it could be only one. That said, I think it was one of the best decisions that our family ever made. I work my tail off doing things I could have “jobbed out” before such as cooking almost completely from scratch (bread, soup, breakfast-lunch-dinner 7 times a week), riding a bike/taking the bus instead of driving a car, wear clothes until they about give out, homeschooling instead of a free public school education, etc.

    I do keep a foot in the door with my former career, going to an annual conference and taking “fill-in” work occasionally (maybe 40 hours a year) but I really don’t see myself going back to full time work even after our son is gone unless absolutely necessary. My being home makes all our lives run more smoothly, efficienty and comfortably. Oh, I should probably admit that I made more than my husband on an hourly basis.

  8. Honestly, I think I’d have loved to be a SAHD… probably the only kind of “regular” job I could tolerate for any length of time. I worked in a cubicle once. Six months later, I was ready to go on a rampage. I can’t imagine how anyone could do it for years on end.

  9. Amanda,
    Thanks for straightening me out, but I can’t honestly believe for one minute that the majority of “high power” type careers are all that more satisfying than menial office work for women (or men).

    I think Elyse hit the correct reasoning, it’s mostly financially retarded for the typically low earning woman to keep working.

  10. “soul-less” cubicle dwelling? If you hate your job so much, get a new one. One that offers day care on-site or flexible hours.

    My work allowed me to take the baby to work when he was younger, and telecommute now that he’s older. We’re planning to extend nursing and let him self-wean, and that would be very difficult with him in daycare.

    It all comes down to what makes us happier, really. Work to live, not live to work, right?

  11. We’re kind of in the between space. My wife stopped working for 18 months after our son was born, but went back in October. Daycare is expensive, but she makes enough to cover the cost and still add a significant amount to our savings every month. So we’re fine, for now. But we’re trying for baby #2, and it’s understood that she probably won’t be going back to work after that until #1 is in full-time school. Because the cost of 2 kids in daycare would pretty much negate the effect of her paycheck, and honestly, she hates missing out on all that time with the kiddo.

    Me staying home isn’t really an option (though I’d jump at the chance) because I make almost double what she makes, and we couldn’t cover all our bills with just her pay. At least, not without some significant downsizing of our lifestyle.

    At any rate, I think we do a pretty good job of sharing responsibilities when it comes to housework and childcare. We have to, or one of us would be constantly exhausted.

  12. My wife is well educated (Post Masters) and a stay at home mom until a couple of years ago when she started a house cleaning business largely so she could be at home when our daughters are (mostly). One of the reasons is financial, we figured it would cost us between $5,000 and $10,000 a year for her to work. Yes I said cost. You see my wife is an elementary school teacher. I did point out to her that we could afford it, given that I make more than $100,000 a year. BTW, I don’t have a Bachelors, even, just a love to tinker. So I get a private office and 6 figure salary for programming and she would get about $30,000 a year for shaping the minds of the next generation. Not really anything to do with feminism, just more wonkiness in the world we inhabit. Does remind one to be careful with statistics though.

    Pat O

  13. sallysings:

    finding a new job with perks that offers flex-hours and on-site daycare is not an option for many women.

    I did the whole office thing… I hated it. I’d get a new job, hate that one even more. And hating my job made me think less and less of myself.

    I’m with Rystefn, I can’t do it.

    I moved on to doing work with animals, a job that I very much enjoyed. Unfortunately, the pay is abysmal, the benefits are crap, and there is little to no support for new moms.

  14. Hey, if you like working in a cubicle, more power to you. Whatever makes you happy. If you can find a job that you love, that pays well, that sets you up with nice benefits and on-site daycare, then rock the fuck on! You’re living the high life at that point.

    For me, there’s not an office job in this world I could put up with for any length of time, really. I hate a cubicle, I hate a desk, and don’t even get me started on ties. Most of the jobs I’ve actually enjoyed in my life just don’t offer on-site daycare, and rightly so. In many lines of work, it’s just not a viable option.

  15. I’m a mostly-SAHM, have been for nine years now, and we ran into some of the same challenges when we talked about my work options. I taught piano when my older child was tiny, and that worked out pretty well as a way to supplement our income with 10 hours a week of extra work and not spend too much time away from her. But like any self-employed or freelance mother, that means by definition that there is not on-site daycare.

    When my youngest was born, I had to quit entirely because he’s autistic and needed a VERY structured home environment, and me working even a few hours a week wasn’t cutting it for him. So we tightened up a bit and made it work. Now that he’s older I’m back doing music work again, but still part-time because of how fast the childcare and work-related expenses add up.

    I am the first to admit that with a husband in the computer industry, I have options that not all women do. We’re not rich, and he’s not in one of those six-figure positions that are out there, but we can definitely survive on one income. I am also fortunate in that in classical music, age is much less of a factor than experience, so I can get back into this in a big way when I’m forty and I won’t lose many job opportunites because of my age.

    Regardless, I would have done what I could to stay home … my particular version of feminism declares that it is my personal right and responsibility to direct the lives of the children I brought into the world if at ALL possible. (And I do understand that it’s not an option for all women, I’m not trying to start that argument here.) I refuse point-blank to let somebody else’s standard of success dictate to me that I spend most of my children’s waking hours away from them. My body, my choice … my kids, my choice. It works for me, anyway. ;)

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