Why are so many Catholics think that the only good mom is a SAHM?


#1

I am curious about why it seems that so amny Catholics who see themselves as striclty ahderent to the Church’s teching think that being a SAHM is the* only right *way to mother kids?

I kinda scratch my head becuase the same church beatified my favourite saint, Gianna Beretta Molla who was a doctor and had four kids? So is she wrong for doing it? And what about the many mothers who are in traditionally “nurturing” professions…teaching, social work, nursing?? I don’t see lots of men jumping at thse professions so who else is doing it? Women…just seems kinda wierd to me that is all.


#2

Probably as a reaction to modern culture and specifically feminists who have fought for a woman’s right to have an education equal to that of a man, and equal career opportunities. Many feminists also support birth control and abortion, so it makes it even easier for a traditionalist to reject everything else they stand for as well.

The reason why I don’t understand their view is that those same SAHM’s have daughters. You’d think that women with daughters would want to encourage their daughters to pursue their dreams, which may not lie in being housewives. A working mother would set a good example for her daughter as well.


#3

Simply find it weird becuase I come from Caribbean culture where historically, most women have been working mothers anyway. Mothers are not the only ones who help rasie kids in the Caribeean but aunties, godparents, grandparents and other firends of the family.For the first couple of years of my life before my mom became the rare SAHM mom, I was bascially raised by my grandmom( who kept me during the day and evening and my mom has me on nights and weekends) and as such we have a unique bond. I always knew who my mother was and our realtionship did not suffer. My mom and I are close even now that I am grown…so I simply find it very weird. I n fact, I felt kinda the left out one in school beuase i was one of the few people that had a mom that *did not *work.And, looking back now, I feel our lives would have been way better if ma was out to work…


#4

American culture is very different. Conservatives specifically have this (idealized) image of the 50’s where the man worked and the woman stayed at home in the perfect house with a white picket fence and took care of the children and household duties. The focus here is on the nuclear family, not the extended family as is the case in your culture.

Liberal feminists changed that, among other things. Conservatives associate career women with birth control, with the sexual revolution, with abortions, with homosexuality and other changes that happened in American society since the 50’s.

It is the morality of the middle - upper classes in American society. Poor women have always had to work, but poor people weren’t the ones making speeches about morality and preaching at people.


#5

I rebel against both…I don’t believe I have to be a SAHM to be a good mother, I believe in equal opportunity to jobs and education (btw, so does the Catholic Church and JP2 was a HUGE advocate of that). I dream of travel, of having adventures, and of doing a variety of things, whether starting a band, owning an organic farm or even working for the World Bank as a consultant for both economics and the environment (sustainable economic practice, that sort of thing).

But I also use NFP, even though I’m not in a sexual relationship because it does empower me. Because of it, I figured I had a UTI and was able to get proper medical care before it spread to my kidneys (and my current state of insomnia is due to this, unfortunately). I use abstinence and that empowers me, because it weeds out the guys who are into one thing only. Also, I have a ton of stress, I don’t need a pregnancy scare or fear of an STI (because UTI’s alone are not fun!). I’m very into extended family involvement and the importance of community, it’s something I admire in a lot of the Latino, Indian and Filipino families I know (and something common in my own family’s culture as well, though my own cultural identity was something I claimed later on, as did my father).

I am empowered because I look to my God, not to mere culture or ideology, to teach me how to be a woman…And I pray for the day I meet a wonderful man who agrees on this…

Also, it does depend on the family…some poor families hold a very traditional mindset while the middle and upper classes proclaim something different. But I grew up in an affluent suburb where parents really didn’t care if their kid was having sex or using birth control…The poorer families I knew had much more traditional attitudes regarding that…and it really didn’t matter if someone’s mom worked outside the home or not…


#6

It has always seemed to me that the Church regards stay at home moms as the ideal, and while it (now) supports equal opportunity in work and education for women, it’s really meant for women who either have to work for financial reasons or are single.

I think it’s great that you want to live the life you do as a Catholic woman, still be prepared to have conservatives judge you if you choose to work for the World Bank rather than stay at home to care for/homeschool your kids when you don’t have a financial reason to do so.


#7

do you have a reference to some poll or other that proves most Catholics think this way? do you have references for church teaching on the subject that propounds this view?


#8

The OP is probably commenting on what she’s read on this forum. I’ve certainly read plenty of anti-career woman posts on this forum. I bet you have too.


#9

Ive been on other message boards where liberals attack SAHMs and you dont see me going onto their boards and asking why most liberals hate the traditional American family. Liberals have a holier than thou attitude on this. They demand respect from the other side but frequently fail to give respect back. I think a lot of the conservative backlash does come from the fact that many liberal women view SAHMs as being sell outs and slaves. Many women get criticized by feminists for choosing to be a SAHM as feminists view the traditional family as being the reason for the oppression of woman. Feminists in many cases look down on SAHMs because they see them as maintaining the system of male oppression. Judging goes both ways on this.

If people do believe that a traditional American family is the best way, so what? It is their right to believe in this whether or not you like it or not. The church doesnt require women to be SAHMs and never has. It has always been a cultural practice. In fact, I dont believe the church has ever condemned women working outside the home. It has actually been liberals that claim falsely that the church teaches this but they can never back up their clam with actual documents. All they can bring up is the opinions of individuals.

Finally, can you show me a post on here that says that “the only good mom is a SAHM” other than this thread? Didnt think so.


#10

The OP is a Catholic woman.


#11

[quote="mjs1987, post:9, topic:199308"]
Ive been on other message boards where liberals attack SAHMs and you dont see me going onto their boards and asking why most liberals hate the traditional American family. Liberals have a holier than thou attitude on this. They demand respect from the other side but frequently fail to give respect back. I think a lot of the conservative backlash does come from the fact that many liberal women view SAHMs as being sell outs and slaves. Many women get criticized by feminists for choosing to be a SAHM as feminists view the traditional family as being the reason for the oppression of woman. Feminists in many cases look down on SAHMs because they see them as maintaining the system of male oppression. Judging goes both ways on this.

If people do believe that a traditional American family is the best way, so what? It is their right to believe in this whether or not you like it or not. The church doesnt require women to be SAHMs and never has. It has always been a cultural practice. In fact, I dont believe the church has ever condemned women working outside the home. It has actually been liberals that claim falsely that the church teaches this but they can never back up their clam with actual documents. All they can bring up is the opinions of individuals.

Finally, can you show me a post on here that says that "the only good mom is a SAHM" other than this thread? Didnt think so.

[/quote]

I am Ms. OP. I am just asking why becuase I read a lot of Catholic sites(not only this one) and it is a general trend that I observed. I firmly beleive in the Church's teachings on sexuality issues wihile not being a Latin rite Catholic and I just find it weird that is all. And may I gently remind you that the Church is universal and so is the board ( I've seen people from other countries here) I never questioned whether they have the right to believe it...I questioned why they think it is the only right thing for EVERYONE. I am cool with other people's preference. What I am NOT cool with is other people trying to impose preferences on me as if it is Church Law.

I am not knocking SAHM's either.I am a product of a SAHM who incidentally encouraged me to work and educate myself. I just am simply wondering how prefernce became a firm rule becuase I don't see the Church making it a hard and fast rule. If it WAS, then as a single woman who feels called to marraige and kids, it would influence my choices etc....


#12

i.m Canadian from a rural background.In this area women have to work on the farms ,local school buses ,committees,school boards ,local hospitals etc of necessity,to keep the community going.almost every woman I know has some kind of job outside the home some paid, some not.It hasn’t done our kids any harm ,It has exposed them to the fact we all have to pull our weight to make things work.This spring i passed a farm where there was a young woman driving a tractor with a baby bound to her breast a toddler sitting beside her and two older ones in the back,…now thats multitasking !!by necessity some women have to work because their families can;t exist financially without the mothers help,theres no one right way every family and area have different needs.What about the woman I know who has one child and as soon as he s of to school she;s in front of the soap operas for the rest of the day as opposed to the woman with four kids who can organize her family h/work and recreation time and still hold a job,Its all about organisation some people can do it some can’t


#13

OP – I think what you may have observed is not really about Catholic vs. not Catholic. I think it’s just a function of the Mommy Wars.

I think you see it a lot on Boards that attract SAHMs. I know if I was working FT, with kids at home, I wouldn’t have time to read or post on here.

It saddens me how pervasive the Mommy Wars are – I am not sure why it is, but it seems that the only way some women feel good about their own choices is to belittle the choices of others.:shrug:


#14

[quote="flyingfish, post:2, topic:199308"]
Probably as a reaction to modern culture and specifically feminists who have fought for a woman's right to have an education equal to that of a man, and equal career opportunities. Many feminists also support birth control and abortion, so it makes it even easier for a traditionalist to reject everything else they stand for as well.

The reason why I don't understand their view is that those same SAHM's have daughters. You'd think that women with daughters would want to encourage their daughters to pursue their dreams, which may not lie in being housewives. A working mother would set a good example for her daughter as well.

[/quote]

This part of your post.....how can that be wrong? A woman shouldn't be educated? Her wages for the same job shouldn't be equal? I am glad their were women out there who "fought" for this. Perhaps I misunderstood. There is an organization called "Feminists for Life"..... I do believe the NOW (national organization of I I don't know what kind of women) it way off track from where it began. All "mothers" are "working" mothers. Our day doesn't end.....my kids are 24 and 26 and I find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about them.:)


#15

:thumbsup:You’ve got that right!


#16

[quote="mjs1987, post:9, topic:199308"]

Finally, can you show me a post on here that says that "the only good mom is a SAHM" other than this thread? Didnt think so.

[/quote]

How 'bout this one? The last paragraph in the original post rubbed this homeschooling, full-time working mom the wrong way!

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=460061


#17

[quote="Julianna, post:14, topic:199308"]
This part of your post.....how can that be wrong? A woman shouldn't be educated? Her wages for the same job shouldn't be equal? I am glad their were women out there who "fought" for this. Perhaps I misunderstood. There is an organization called "Feminists for Life"..... I do believe the NOW (national organization of I I don't know what kind of women) it way off track from where it began. All "mothers" are "working" mothers. Our day doesn't end.....my kids are 24 and 26 and I find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about them.:)

[/quote]

It's not so much that it's the education or the fight against discrimination that's wrong. The way I understand conservative thought, is that because women now have access to the same education as men, and can succeed in the workplace *that many are now choosing to do this, even when they have children, and even when their husbands can support them *. That goes against their ideal of a stay at home wife who takes care of the kids, husband, and house while the man has a career.

Conservatives believe that men and women have different fundamental roles, and an educated woman with a career is essentially fulfilling a man's role, when she should be keeping a clean home, making good meals, and looking after the kids.

Career women have long been painted by the conservatives as and cold and selfish, while career men as good providers. It's the same thinking that causes people to say that a woman with a career must be a bad and selfish mother, while a man with a career is doing what he's supposed to be doing.


#18

What they said…


#19

My mother grew up in an era where all she had to look forward to was the house with the picket fence, a station wagon in the driveway and big fluffy dog. I don't believe after speaking at length with her now (she is 81) that was truly happy. Don't get me wrong, she loves me and my siblings and loved my dad (he is now deceased), but she always felt that she was missing something. It wasn't until she got out her sewing machine and starting making clothes for people or draperies (back in the late 60's early 70's). She enjoyed sewing, decorating and working with people. She would always tell us "Girls, learn a skill, go to school, go to work....I don't care if it's tasting pies in a pie factory...learn how to do something that makes you happy."

A woman never knows when she is going to have to be the breadwinner. Do to the economic times.....there are alot of "dads" who are staying home and raising the kids. My DH will be retiring in 2 yrs....and will be at home. Several of my woman friends who work have retired husbands "house husbands" and they "love it". DH's take care of the house surprisingly well.

Woman have come a long way. My grandmother (born in the early 1900's)....was not allowed to own land, have a bank account, much less a career...... To talk about "politics" at a social gathering was "taboo". My mother on the hand was thick into to the politic talk at gatherings and my grandmother would think that is horrible.

Bottom line, if your husband makes enough money for you to "stay home".......great! It is not a "law" that you have to stay home.....it is a choice. I would suggest however, that a woman who is a SAHM learn some type of skill or take some classes. Make sure your name is on the title to the car, the house and joint checking/saving accounts. Yes, it's true many woman have no clue that their name is not on there...until hubby takes a walk and takes it all with him......"I earned it, I get to keep it". A woman should have her own credit rating and a simple command of finances. It is always good to have a back up plan...as it may be "she" who has to provide financially for the family.

I had one friend of mine who put it quite simply..."When the Church pays my bills, I'll stay home."


#20

Excellent post! You hit the nail on the head! :thumbsup:

Miz


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