So I've frequently talked about my friend who feeds her kids crap

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I'm a single mom working outside of the home.

I always assume that SAHMs who have kids in school and are not regularly volunteering or involved in some kind of organization are doing what I do in the evening, at night, in the very early morning, and on weekends.

Seriously, there is plenty of stuff to get done, and not enough hours in the day. Sometimes I envy that because I always have to give up something to get everything finished. Sometimes I give up quality time with my child, other times I give up sleep, other times I give up cleanliness, etc.
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Its a rude question to ask anyone.

She's a grown woman. Unless she's asking you to borrow money, or she's employed by you, its none of anyones
business what she does with her day.


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Originally Posted by iroc
Springcurl brought up the topic and we are trying to to get a picture of what the woman's situation is.

Plz stop projecting your own worries and feelings into this. This has nothing to do w/ you.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000

Do not include my own life in your frequent uninformed assumptions. And please do not try to intimidate me by accusing me of projection. If you were information gathering I think you would have worded it differently.

I simply think it is a generally rude question and people shouldn't feel so comfortable asking it. I woudn't think to ask an employed person 'what do you do all day?'. I'm just expressing that.

Feel free to continue your conversation without attacking me.


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Originally Posted by iroc
I asked: WHAT DOES SHE DO ALL DAY?

And you were all over that w you hate that question and why am I making assumptions and it's none of my damn business, etc.

Why are you getting so personally offnded bc I asked what SHE does during the day?

What's the old saying? "When you throw a rock at a pack of dogs, the one that cries is the one that got hit."

Think about that. No one was talking to or about you.

If you asked an employed person what she does all day, I promise, I won't be offiended. Or care at all.
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People may express contempt for stay-at-home parents by asking "What does s/he do all day?" However, Spidey wasn't implying that SAHPs are lazy or anything. She just asked a question that's highly relevant to the discussion. If a SAHP finds their kids so burdensome that they're neglectful, then the most obvious explanations are that they're depressed, believe that parenthood means they can't have a personal life, feel overwhelmed by their duties, and/or need to find engaging and fulfilling activities outside the home. Asking what Springcurl's friend does all day covers all these possibilities.

e: And what we've learned from this question is that the friend spends her "alone" time volunteering at her kids' school, and before that she'd engage in empty escapism by shopping at the mall. That tells us that she should instead do something that's meaningful, intellectually stimulating, and doesn't involve children.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 01-25-2013 at 03:12 PM.
I don't think she's necessarily depressed. Maybe she really doesn't know what to do, and she's too embarrassed or ashamed to admit that and ask for help. Frankly, I'm not surprised. There's so much judgement about mommyhood - how we should feel about our kids, how we should treat them, how they should act in society etc. Having a child with special needs probably makes it even harder to figure out the right things, especially with so much conflicting information out there.

Does her culture have more of a hands-off approach to parenting? That could be a factor as well.

As for what you should do, ask her if she wants help, and model good parenting skills that engage the children in a great way if you can. I think it'll be a hard conversation to have, without making it look like your rubbing it in her face that she doesn't meet your (society's/whatever) parenting expectations.

I have great empathy for this person.
Originally Posted by webjockey
This is very insightful Webjockey! I didn't even think of this.

The other possibility is that she didn't grow up around other kids or ever babysat. She really may not have any idea what to do. We left my son with SIL and I never even thought about showing her how to change a diaper...figuring she babysat when she was a teenager. Nope...she called my MIL for advice.

There are issues that come up with my kids daily...that I'm constantly trying to figure out how to handle...I have 2 older sisters...with 10 kids between them...before I even had one...plus all the babysitting I did. Granted nothing fully prepares you for your own kiddos.
I have great empathy for this person.
Originally Posted by webjockey
So do I. My sincere desire has always been to help her and I feel bad that people are making judgments about her (some people) because she's a good person and a nice person. And I think she loves her kids, I think she just doesn't like them.
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Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang




Last edited by Springcurl; 01-25-2013 at 04:40 PM.
I have great empathy for this person.
Originally Posted by webjockey
So do I. My sincere desire has always been to help her and I feel bad that people are making judgments about her (some people) because she's a good person and a nice person. And I think she loves her kids, I think she just doesn't like them.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
You did call her lazy. You are making judgements about her. Are you emotionally in a position to help? You don't need to answer that for my sake. I'm just putting it out there.

Also, why is it escapism if she does retail therapy or other types of non-child relaxation? If it was a dude, would you label it as escapism? Or simply "down time". Escapism implies that if we (or her as a mom) aren't doing things that are child-centric, then we are trying to escape. I personally reject that.

I have empathy for this woman because I identify with the challenges she faces. I am fortunate in that I have some support. I have been "helped" in ways that were actually less beneficial for my kids, and was ultimately designed to make me look like a bad parent. I've gotten better (part through my own education and part through sheer luck) in identifying constructive help. In fact my middle kid's montessori teacher showed us some things we can do to help our oldest child, even though he isn't in her class, or even in the same school. Not everyone has that. It is a skill, it takes time, you make mistakes. Our interventionist American culture when it comes to children further complicates things.

I wish her, and you luck.
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hello.world.
I have great empathy for this person.
Originally Posted by webjockey
So do I. My sincere desire has always been to help her and I feel bad that people are making judgments about her (some people) because she's a good person and a nice person. And I think she loves her kids, I think she just doesn't like them.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
You did call her lazy. You are making judgements about her. Are you emotionally in a position to help? You don't need to answer that for my sake. I'm just putting it out there.

Also, why is it escapism if she does retail therapy or other types of non-child relaxation? If it was a dude, would you label it as escapism? Or simply "down time". Escapism implies that if we (or her as a mom) aren't doing things that are child-centric, then we are trying to escape. I personally reject that.

I have empathy for this woman because I identify with the challenges she faces. I am fortunate in that I have some support. I have been "helped" in ways that were actually less beneficial for my kids, and was ultimately designed to make me look like a bad parent. I've gotten better (part through my own education and part through sheer luck) in identifying constructive help. In fact my middle kid's montessori teacher showed us some things we can do to help our oldest child, even though he isn't in her class, or even in the same school. Not everyone has that. It is a skill, it takes time, you make mistakes. Our interventionist American culture when it comes to children further complicates things.

I wish her, and you luck.
Originally Posted by webjockey
I see what you're saying. And I guess lazy is a value judgment. As a parent of a now-grown child I've always felt that letting your kid sit in front of a TV the entire time they're not in school is lazy parenting. (I see that as a little different than being lazy)

But I don't give advice unless asked.

Today she and I went up to New Hampshire and hung around, ate lunch and drove back leisurely while her husband stayed home with the kids. That was fun.


Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



It sounds like the father isn't an active parent either - just a financial provider. I assumed she was a single parent because you never mentioned him.

It's too late for her not to have children and since she is married to the father, she can't have him raise them as a single parent. Is he happy to have the children? If he is, then he needs to take a more active role and should be doing more of the hands-on active child-rearing role. Contrary to popular belief, not all women are nurturing or cut out to be mothers.

I'm curious, why would a person who never wanted to have kids and doesn't like kids (but probably loves her own) decide to be a SAHP and volunteer with children? Not being snarky; I'm puzzled.

Maybe she thought this would make her like her kids more? Is her husband controlling or abusive? Is her family ( parents, aunts/uncles,etc.)? I'm trying to understand her decisions. Lots of people have children because it's something you're "supposed" to do because of your class/ethnicity/society's standards and it's easier to conform than not to. I am wondering if this is why she had kids and stayed home with them.
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It sounds like the father isn't an active parent either - just a financial provider. I assumed she was a single parent because you never mentioned him.

It's too late for her not to have children and since she is married to the father, she can't have him raise them as a single parent. Is he happy to have the children? If he is, then he needs to take a more active role and should be doing more of the hands-on active child-rearing role. Contrary to popular belief, not all women are nurturing or cut out to be mothers.

I'm curious, why would a person who never wanted to have kids and doesn't like kids (but probably loves her own) decide to be a SAHP and volunteer with children? Not being snarky; I'm puzzled.

Maybe she thought this would make her like her kids more? Is her husband controlling or abusive? Is her family ( parents, aunts/uncles,etc.)? I'm trying to understand her decisions. Lots of people have children because it's something you're "supposed" to do because of your class/ethnicity/society's standards and it's easier to conform than not to. I am wondering if this is why she had kids and stayed home with them.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
There aren't many safe places for women to go who are struggling with children they may not have wanted. IF that it's the problem then I think the best thing you can do is to be that safe place for her if you are able to. Be the person she can be open and honest with, without judgement or 'shoulds'. Sometimes just airing the guilt and the pressure is enough to let go of it and provoke change that may benefit her kids.

She has children now and is responsible for them. But she won't be able to get the help she needs unless she is honest with herself about what the problem is.

Women are barely allowed to say they don't want to have kids without being jumped all over. If someone tells you you'll change your mind after you have them enough times you might start to believe them.
Eilonwy and wavycurly40+ like this.
It sounds like the father isn't an active parent either - just a financial provider. I assumed she was a single parent because you never mentioned him.

It's too late for her not to have children and since she is married to the father, she can't have him raise them as a single parent. Is he happy to have the children? If he is, then he needs to take a more active role and should be doing more of the hands-on active child-rearing role. Contrary to popular belief, not all women are nurturing or cut out to be mothers.

I'm curious, why would a person who never wanted to have kids and doesn't like kids (but probably loves her own) decide to be a SAHP and volunteer with children? Not being snarky; I'm puzzled.

Maybe she thought this would make her like her kids more? Is her husband controlling or abusive? Is her family ( parents, aunts/uncles,etc.)? I'm trying to understand her decisions. Lots of people have children because it's something you're "supposed" to do because of your class/ethnicity/society's standards and it's easier to conform than not to. I am wondering if this is why she had kids and stayed home with them.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
There aren't many safe places for women to go who are struggling with children they may not have wanted. IF that it's the problem then I think the best thing you can do is to be that safe place for her if you are able to. Be the person she can be open and honest with, without judgement or 'shoulds'. Sometimes just airing the guilt and the pressure is enough to let go of it and provoke change that may benefit her kids.

She has children now and is responsible for them. But she won't be able to get the help she needs unless she is honest with herself about what the problem is.

Women are barely allowed to say they don't want to have kids without being jumped all over. If someone tells you you'll change your mind after you have them enough times you might start to believe them.
Originally Posted by Nej
I understand all of that & that is why i asked all of those questions about her culture and her unique experience. I guess should have asked her age group. This was actually directed to Springcurl because she is the only one who could answer this, as she knows this lady IRL.
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Also, why is it escapism if she does retail therapy or other types of non-child relaxation? If it was a dude, would you label it as escapism? Or simply "down time". Escapism implies that if we (or her as a mom) aren't doing things that are child-centric, then we are trying to escape. I personally reject that.
Originally Posted by webjockey
Was this addressed to me? Because I wrote that she'd probably be happier if she found "engaging and fulfilling activities outside the home," something that's "meaningful, intellectually stimulating, and doesn't involve children."

And I wasn't being judgmental when I mentioned escapism. I think we all need breaks from our issues and obligations. I mean, I'm posting on this site right now, aren't I? I only brought it up because there's a point where escapism indicates someone is struggling to cope with problems that aren't being addressed. Plus, escapism can make you feel bored and useless. It doesn't bring the same satisfaction as doing something constructive and challenging.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 01-26-2013 at 03:36 PM.
I'm curious, why would a person who never wanted to have kids and doesn't like kids (but probably loves her own) decide to be a SAHP and volunteer with children? Not being snarky; I'm puzzled.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
Obviously I don't know this woman but I know how I ended up as an SAHP and the reasons may be similar here.

My DD has special needs and requires a variety of therapies, not all of which can be provided at school. I can't just 'leave' my kid at school every day.

I also have a husband who works long and irregular hours. Day care isn't always affordable or even possoble with a child on the spectrum.

I know first hand how exhausting and isolating it can be when your child isn't 'normal' and quite possibly not likeable. The effect of one child's behaviour can really impact on the other child as well.

I agree with whoever suggested splitting up the kids and spending time with each one separately. I know that I appreciate my kids more when I get time alone with them.



Last edited by mad scientist; 01-26-2013 at 06:35 PM.

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