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Old 07-12-2005, 10:28 AM   #46
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Originally posted by u2bonogirl
Im not labeling, Im stating that women tend to be better mothers, men better providers, disciplinarians.


Okay, so how is that not labeling?

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Fathers SHOULD be involved in every phase, I agree.


You're contradicting yourself here...first you're saying that women are better "mothers" (and what, exactly, does that mean, anyway?), and in the next breath you say that father should be involved in every "phase" of parenting. Maybe this is because women and men are, in fact, not biologically incapable of excelling at both "mothering" and "fathering" just because they have different reproductive organs?

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Something that will greatly affect a child is seeing their parents loving one another.
I cant emphasize that enough. Just having parents that do their thing separately and try to do a good job wont impact their child as much as parents that do their best, admit their flaws and love one another with tenderness and passion.


Well, that I think we can all agree on.

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I just dont agree with the statement that theres no real difference between men and women. Its absurd to me because of the overwhelming evidence Ive seen around me.


I don't think I, or anyone else, would argue that there is no difference. There are obvious biological differences as well as differences in how biological men and biological women are socialized as outwardly constructed men and women. But what I take issue with is the idea that men are incapable of "mothering" and women are incapable of "fathering," and that a man cannot be as good of a full-time parent as a woman can...or that a woman cannot be as good of a breadwinner, so to speak.

Again, individual families know what works best.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:44 AM   #47
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Having a mom at home when I was little was fine, but my mom has never worked a day in her life to support herself. She just doesn't get how the workplace works or how difficult it is to make ends meet. When I had problem with my job, my mom would blame me first instead of understanding the politics that pollute the work place. When I was having difficulty paying some of my bills, my mom said haughtily, "I never have difficulty paying my bills!" Well, duh, she's married to a very wealthy man! Maybe if she had spend sometime working to support herself and a family she might have some understanding of how difficult in can be for some of us. If she didn't have access to my dad's money, she can say goodbye to the McMansion, country club membership, and fancy vacations abroad and say hello to a small, roach infested studio apartment, public transportation, and trips to Aldi's.

Plus, I'm so sick of this nostalgia for the 1950s and how it was supposed to be a better time for America. Sure, if you were a middle-class, WASPy, suburbanite, it could be wonderful. But if you were black or gay, forget it.

A really great book to read is "The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap" by Stephanie Coontz. It's very insightful and interesting.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:47 AM   #48
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A father can be involved in every phase by coming home and asking the children questions, reading to them at night, taking them out on weekends and doing things with them, helping them with homework, being in charge of higher discipline....etc
If the woman in a relationship is better at being the provider and the man better at nurturing then by all means, work with that. Or the same goes with finances. my sister is better at doing bills than her husband so she does them even though that seems like the "guy" thing to do.

When I say mothering I mean nurturing. To me theres a difference between mothering and fathering because the mother is the nurturer. She brought this life into the world and feels a special protectiveness for it. The father seems to love in a different but just as powerful way.
And the father seems to be more of a shepherd, leading the family, overseeing it on a different level.
So like I said if the man is better at doing this than the woman then run with it, have him mother the child.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:57 AM   #49
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Originally posted by u2bonogirl
When I say mothering I mean nurturing. To me theres a difference between mothering and fathering because the mother is the nurturer. She brought this life into the world and feels a special protectiveness for it. The father seems to love in a different but just as powerful way.
And the father seems to be more of a shepherd, leading the family, overseeing it on a different level.
So like I said if the man is better at doing this than the woman then run with it, have him mother the child.
Darlin', I pick on you because we're friends, I think, and I can say this stuff to you and have you not take it personally...

But I can't emphasize enough that it's outmoded (if it ever was "moded") to suggest that women are somehow naturally and inherently gifted as "nurturers." Even women who are good at it are probably that way because they were socialized as such, and/or because they made a conscious and consistent choice to cultivate that behavior in themselves. I know plenty of women who can't even handle a couple of goldfish, let alone a baby. And there's nothing wrong or unnatural about that. And if you suggest that the mere presence of a uterus and ovaries means that women are SUPPOSED to be "mothers", well, we don't expect a man to father dozens of children into his 70s or 80s simply because he's biologically capable of doing so. Why then place a demand to be "nurturing" on women?

The family ideal you speak of is just that--an ideal. If that's how you see yourself, your partner, and your future family, I have no personal beef with that. But there are many, many other ways to structure a loving and successful family. Don't lose sight of that. Many women aren't interested in being "shepherded"; many men aren't interested in being "shepherds."
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:03 AM   #50
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I agree that its an ideal. Im just telling you what I believe to be an effective way to raise normal kids just kidding. Theres no such thing as a normal kid

Im not particularly nurturing at the stage of my life. If I had a baby right now I would be resentful, and i dont think I would be a good mother.
youre right, just because I have a uterus doesnt make me a good mother, but I think something would change within me once I gave birth that would help me care for the child better than I would if somebody just threw a baby at me on the street and said here you take it, I cant do it anymore!!

There are so many obstacles in the way of families being well structures. I see that.

I do know that I would have been better off as a child if I had a mother and a father and my dad didnt have to play both roles.
I wanted a mother so badly and I ended up having to nurture myself.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:07 AM   #51
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I just don't see why one parent should stay home (and in most cases, obviously, people can't afford that). Once you're in school, you're not home all day anyway. I mean, I just stayed at their after-school prime-time type program til I was 11 or so, old enough to be home alone for a few hours.

As far as putting younger kids in daycare, again it's the most practical solution for most families, and if you scope it out and make sure the place is alright, it's not the end of the world. There's plenty of time at nights and stuff and on weekends to nurture your kids. I mean, I went to daycare during the week but my parents were really good about reading with me every night, and I could read chapter books by the time I was 4 or 5. Not to mention being much more well-adjusted going into school.

I just think the whole thing is exaggerated. Good parents who have to work during the day but make time for their kids at night are all you really need anyway.

As far as the women being nurturers, men being providers, I don't know. I've lived only with my dad a few times, for about 6 months each, and he did as well as anyone else at being loving.

Generally, I just think the whole thing is exaggerated and I agree with Golightly Grrl about this nostalgia trip some people seem to be on.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:11 AM   #52
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I got dumped off at my grandparents, or babysitters all the time and it really didnt bother me much. My home was so stressful that I hated being there so anything that got me out of the house was a blessing.
Thankfully the places where I essentially grew up were good places and I was educated well in me young years.
When I was old enough my dad would keep me with him when I wasnt in school. He owned a gas station and his employees helped raise me as well. It was an odd setup but it seemed to work, I mean Im more inclined to be accepting of different people because I was loved by so many different types as a child
But I still would have rather had a real mom than some grease monkeys and a stressed out dad
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:26 AM   #53
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Originally posted by u2bonogirl
Im not labeling, Im stating that women tend to be better mothers, men better providers, disciplinarians.
Ok, how exactly are men better providers and disciplinarians?

Women have proved themselves (with much effort going against prejudices that are still prevalent in the higher scales of business positions) to be pretty succesfull at being providers. Hell, I have to, I'm single, so no man around to provide for me, even if I wanted him to.

Better disciplinarians? I don't see how, really. I've often heard men complain that their stay-at-home-spouse (NOT intending any degrading connotation whatsoever here, let that be clear) would say ''wait untill dad gets home" when their kids get a bit out of control and that they feel bad being put in the position of being the "bad guy" with little quality time available to spend with the children after work and then being put into the role of disciplinarian.

On the other hand, I've also heard mothers complain that they get to do the "raising" while the father's off playing with the kids rather than parenting because "he's got so little time with them as it is"

Two sides to every story.

I believe that in today's society, children are being shipped from daycare to aunt to grandparents, back to the parents far too much and that there lies the problem mostly. Small children have little sense of right/wrong and being exposed to a different set of right/wrong whenever they're shipped to the sitter of duty, they get confused.
Problem lies with a lack of routine (which a child needs to feel safe) and a lack of consistency (which, again, is needed for a child to feel safe).

In today's society, it's very hard to raise children well, I believe, because there's an economical need to have 2 incomes (at least in Europe there is, I'm guessing the US is no different) and on the other hand, the need to raise the kids as well as possible in those circumstances. Ideally, one of the parents would be home when the kids come home from school, imo.

I think the only way to come even close to that, is indeed to approach this as a parenting fact, rather than a mother/father-fact.
More and more couples have 1 fulltime and 1 parttime occupation, being filled by either the man or the woman, depending of which one has the most desire and ambition and has the highest pay-check.
I see here, in couples around me, equally as much SAH-dads as SAH-moms (parttime, that is).
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:36 AM   #54
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to add a male perspective ... i think both pax and u2bonogirl are both right. i think "nurturing" comes more easily to women, but because they've been socialized to be as such. i spent a year working in a preschool, and it amazed me how difficult it was to be nurturing, and this is coming from an exceptionally emotionally aware and paternal male. being sensitive to feelings, creating a sense of warmth and stability, all these things are not taught to men, or at least they were skills that i had to learn in order to be effective in the classroom. however, i would argue that these are skills, and as such can be learned, and like all skills, they come more naturally to some people than they do for others. with a year of 3 year olds under my belt, as well as years of swimming lessons, coaching, and some teaching, i would gladly put my parenting skills *and* more feminine nurturing skills up against any of my female counterparts. however, i don't know that the same can be said for most males, because most males have had the opportunity to develop the skills that i have, whereas many women -- who have been, say, babysitting since they were 14 -- probably have.

as for myself, i would absolutely feel comfortable being the primary caregiver if the situation called for it, and i also think that, very early on, it is ideal to have at least one parent -- or grandparent, or aunt, or gay uncle -- to be able to be with the child. i think to assume that men are biologically incapable of the nurturing role that u2bonogirl mapped out is incorrect, and i also think there are a variety of parenting "styles" that can be successful.

what children need most, however, is stability. i can't stress that enough. they need to know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen, how it's going to happen, and what's going to happen after it has happened. to me, this is the most important thing a parent can do, and it's not a gender specific activity.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:39 AM   #55
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Just to clarify, I didnt mean that men are biologically incapable of nurturing.
I was just saying that the way womens brains are wired make them more likely to ease into the nurturing role
I could go into detail but I dont think anybody really wants to hear it and ive got wedding stuff to deal with right now
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:40 AM   #56
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And I liked your post Irvine
From what ive seen on here and the way you react and interact I could see you as being a wonderful nurturer
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:41 AM   #57
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Originally posted by u2bonogirl
Just to clarify, I didnt mean that men are biologically incapable of nurturing.
I was just saying that the way womens brains are wired make them more likely to ease into the nurturing role
I could go into detail but I dont think anybody really wants to hear it and ive got wedding stuff to deal with right now


okay, i generally agree with that.

though wiring vs. socializing ... tough call.

but in the end, it's incumbant upon men to be the best parents they can be, and the same for women.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:43 AM   #58
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okay, i generally agree with that.

though wiring vs. socializing ... tough call.

but in the end, it's incumbant upon men to be the best parents they can be, and the same for women.
Agreed. We're not all the same, and we dont all have the same gifts.
But we can work with what we have
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:44 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2bonogirl
I got dumped off at my grandparents, or babysitters all the time and it really didnt bother me much. My home was so stressful that I hated being there so anything that got me out of the house was a blessing.
Thankfully the places where I essentially grew up were good places and I was educated well in me young years.
that sounds a lot like me...maybe not the most ideal situation, but it teaches kids to adjust and I still had/have a lot of good role models even if I didn't have dad-with-the-steady-job and mom-baking-cookies.

Irvine is probably right that some men are less capable of being nurturing due to the way they were raised. my dad grew up taking care of his 4 younger half-sisters, so
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:45 AM   #60
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Originally posted by u2bonogirl
And I liked your post Irvine
From what ive seen on here and the way you react and interact I could see you as being a wonderful nurturer


aw, thanks.

but if you believe Texas Republicans, i'm unfit to be around children.

in any event, the experience in preschool taught me that parenting is tremendously difficult, and that, yes, it indeed *does* take a village.

parenting is also done by teachers, coaches, relatives, other people's parents, crossing guards, bus drivers ... we all have a vested interest in the rearing of children, and it is incumbant upon all of us to help children wherever and whenever we can. instead of blaming certain cultural shifts and changing mores, like Sen. Santorum, we should focus our energies on helping parents do the best job they know how.
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