Re: Please Explain Lazy Housewives?
Have you ever been a SAHM? It's very repetitive, boring and unappreciated job. You can say you appreciate it but society in general doesn't appreciate it and everyone has no problem telling you exactly what you're doing wrong without ever commenting on what you're doing right. You say she should feel bad about taking money but I bet you'd never say she deserves a major raise and the husband should set aside extra funds just for her. There's an imbalance in our thinking about the role itself. The payoff of doing a wonderful job doesn't come for years afterwards so it's easy to lose sight of and there are many hiccups that worry you that you've done something wrong. It also depends very much on the ages of the children, the attitude of the husband and the support system the SAHM has.
I was a SAHM for 8 years and five of those years ran a non-profit from my home with the help of my 3 kids which was very fulfilling and helped us stay close and appreciative of one another and the world around us -but- when I chose to end that because of our family situation- I truly struggled with the shear boredom of being on call 24/7 without any real tasks besides laundry, meals, cleaning and being a taxi cab driver. My kids were older and more self sufficient and I had a lot of time to fill.
Now I work full time since all three are finally in school (Kindergarten, 5th grade and freshman in hs) and find I am taking on all the previous tasks along with 40 hours of work at my job (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE). I get praised at my work for almost everything I do and this is a very good feeling especially since I feel my work is meaningful. I come home and face three kids who struggle with their own problems and although I know they overall appreciate me, they are still kids. I love them too and so enjoy having them around and helping/listening/solving/guiding but it's not the same.
I think the best way to get an apathetic SAHM to feel more motivated and invested in her job is to help her see its importance and help find time for her to work on her own likes/passions but men rarely do this. They complain that she's home all day and lazy but won't notice a good job she's done until she stops doing it. I think it's more to do with a slight depression and lack of feeling important in the role than anything else or a feeling that she is undervalued and not worth much.
More support, more programs, activities and networks and overall recognition of the importance of a SAHM, a complete change in the attitude that a man's (or woman's) work outside the home is worth more or harder than a woman's (or man's) inside of the home is necessary.
It's easy to judge, it really is. Even a great SAHM who has support/finances and a personality that makes her a good fit for being a SAHM will be the first to snap at another's performance in the same role. It's really sad because the only group that loses are our children.