25 February 2007

The Bet

DH's sister (the terrible bitch, not the nice one) got married last year at 19 and is now several months pregnant, ready to bring Jesus Jr. into the world. I'm almost not exaggerating about the baby Jesus part. Over Christmas, she told us with serene certitude that Jr. "is a good baby" and "he will never talk back to his parents." My BIL and I snorted with derision, and then SIL's husband said, in his spiritual voice, "I never talked back to my parents." BIL and I were torn between dying with laughter and crying for the baby.

SIL sent an email to the family about how their family education is coming along. She said "we're both working on our bachelor's. Then Dave will continue his education by getting his master's, and Ashely will continue her education by becoming a full-time mom." (She always refers to herself in the third person in these emails.)

As of right now, actually, she's taking a break from college at BYU until the baby comes, and then, supposedly, she plans to go back and finish her bachelor's. DH and I have a bet about whether she'll finish at all. I say she will, he says she won't. Cast your vote here.

This "full-time mom" line is really tripping me up, though. She didn't say stay-at-home-mom. SAHM doesn't necessarily convey that working moms are part-time moms. She had to choose full-time mom, for its extra-righteous veneer.

Why didn't she say "DH will continue his education by getting his master's and becoming a full-time dad."? I really want to reply with something like: Is he not going to be a full-time dad? Is parenthood not part of his education? Are you not a real parent if you work? No? Oh, I see, you're just not a real mom if you work.

I'm not a mom at all, but I know full-time moms who work outside home. I take huge, huge issue with this LDS mothering is the only way shit. Maybe because my ovaries are telling me I want to spawn, and if I do, I think I'll be a working mom, and I'm crying with guilt about it already. I am years away from having children. This is messed up. I am messed up.


At 11:47 AM, Blogger Floating in the Milk said...

You need to ask the full-time Dad question, and make her squirm. I fully admit to being a bit of a nut on this issue - I think women do themselves and their kids a disservice when they choose not to earn money and rely solely on the income of another person. I'm not talking about damaging other women's chances in the job market - I'm talking about their own financial well-being. But if we must go down the road of accepting everyone's choices with some level of graciousness, the terms have to be correct. To me, Mom is a title, not a job. My kids do not become orphan's when I get on the freeway each morning - they've got two parents, 24/7.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Floating in the Milk said...

Please ignore the extraneous apostrophe in orphans, in the previous comments. The more I blog, the more I realize that typing is not my strong suit.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger chandelier said...

I hereby forgive (oh, and even better, ignore) ALL your extraneous apostrophes EVER... just call me the extraneous apostrophe Jesus.

Thanks so much for commenting. This is an issue I'm trying to work through. It's been insanely difficult to re-frame my worldview on this.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Liseysmom said...

I agree 100% with FITM on this topic - I am a full-time mom even though I spend most weekdays from 9-5 at my job. I stay home with my kids when they are sick. If they are having a special party at school, I am there. I email their teachers during the day sometimes just to check on them. Their pictures are all over my office. I don't stop being their mom just because I'm not with them every single minute of the day.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger chandelier said...

LM--I actually think about you when I think of women who work full-time and mom full-time. I've never met you and you're on the opposite end of the nation, but I feel a lot like you, and I can believe in my ability to be a mom when I think about you.


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