Working Mothers – How Do You Find the Strength?
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- This topic has 39 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 13 years, 7 months ago by starwolf.
October 20, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am #590621MOMof4Member
I am a working mother. I have 5 children b”ah, and I work full time. When I finally finish supper, HW, bathtime, bedtime and other misc. stuff I am too tired to move let alone prepare for the next day. How do working moms handle all the responsibilities???October 20, 2009 5:30 am at 5:30 am #663330smartcookieMember
I can proudly say that I WAS a working mom. I stopped before my third child was born.one thing ican say: each day I worked was a HUGE mistake.
Mothers belong home. We have to take care of OURSELVES, never mind the house and kids.
We have to keep healthy and be normal pple.
My kids now have a mother-no I didn’t change overnight. No, I’m not perfectly calm all the time, but at least I don’t feel like an overwhelmed shmata every day.
Money isn’t our problem. Were also tight. But we gotta learn to live on one income.
Oh, and btw, if ur hub is learning, he belongs at work. I’m not against kollel, and my hub also learned until he was able to, but once its on the expense of the kids….
We gotta have our priorities set very straight…
I have so much to say on this topic. Can’t write so much. I can lecture about it for hours on end….
Good luckOctober 20, 2009 8:29 am at 8:29 am #663331rebetzinParticipant
I don’t have 5 kids yet, and I’m not up to the homework stage. I work full time, but don’t have the typical schedule. Without going into specifics about how I manage, because I’m not sure what exactly you are referring to when you say preparing for the next day, I will say that it is just not possible to do everything. Something has to go. As for me, I hardly do any housework and cleaning. I have a little bit cleaning help, but other than that I just live with a messy apartment. A lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle that, so you have to find something else to give up on or “outsource” if you can afford it. Make a list of things that need to get done in order of priority, with things like meals and laundry at the top, and find things at the bottom that you just have to give up on. Good luck, it’s not easy.October 20, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am #663332Be HappyParticipant
First of all prioritise!
Make sure you work on what you have decided are most important tasks. I cook in bulk and use my freezer constantly. I do a bulk shopping once a week.
I don’t know the ages of your children but get them to help – whether its tidying their room or folding washing. If neccessary get outside help. Look after yourself.
HatzlochoOctober 20, 2009 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #663333tzippiMember
Smart cookie, there’s an elephant in the room no one mentions. Usually a guy leaves kollel because they can’t manage anymore, on primarily the wife’s income, or because she wants to be home. Problem is, the guy isn’t going to make more without training than he was when in kollel (unless parental help continues). Women will HAVE to continue working.
And truth is, in many cases a second income is still needed, even if living modestly.
I guess the best answers are some of the great ones that have come up already, like the last two, the understanding that husbands will have to share some of the responsibilities, etc.October 21, 2009 3:38 am at 3:38 am #663334anon for thisParticipant
Momof4, I worked full-time (or close to it) with 5 children also k”ah. I agree with rebetzin about letting the cleaning go as much as possible. Also try to keep meals simple, including shabbos meals.
Most important, don’t let negative comments from others let you feel bad about yourself. Every minute that you are working you are helping to provide food, clothing, shelter, and tuition to your family, and easing your husband’s task of providing financial support. You don’t need that negativity in your life.October 21, 2009 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #663335
I agree with anon. The hardest part is not letting others negativity pass over to you.
I b”h have the zchus of going out to work, and helping my husband stay learning in Kollel…and I feel that the worst part is…hearing from people: “kids need a mother…kids need a mother…send your husband to work, you need to be home etc. etc ” ..Like thanks for making me feel soooo guilty!October 21, 2009 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #663336
Nobody disagrees with the fact that it is better to have the mother home to raise the kids full time. But in a situation where you cant have that AND a Kollel father and husband at the same time, which of those two has to fall by the wayside? The answer is, you take whichever you think is MORE important: a mother always being home or a father who is the biggest talmid chacham he can be.
Someone in Lakewood once expressed to Rav Schenuer Kotler ZT’L about how if he stays in Kollel his children will be deprived of many things they would have otherwise. Rav Schenuer responded that providing them with a father who is a Talmid Chacham is more important than any of those things. And he should think hard before depriving them of that.
Yes, a woman’s place is at home. But also yes, the type of home you are supposed to have is a Torah home, a Torah-husband and Torah-father at its helm. The question is, if you can only have one of those two positive elements of a home, which is more important? The answer is having a husband and father who is a Talmid Chacham, or better yet, the biggest Talmid Chacham he can be, is the more important of the two.
So if you can have both, fine; if not, then we choose learning. This is not considered making a “compromise” in religion, since either way you will have to give up something – the only question is what has to give. Furthermore, there is a special concept surrounding the Mitzvah of learning that does not apply to any other Mitzvah, a concept that affects both Halachah and Hashkafa, that is, Torah learning in the world is so important that we prioritize Torah learning in a way that we would never do with other Mitzvos. For instance, normally, if you have a choice between you doing a Mitzvah or you causing someone else to do a Mitzvah, we say chayecha kodem – your Mitzvah comes first. So if you can afford one pair of Tefillin, you use it yourself as opposed to giving it away to someone else. However, with regard to Torah learning, the Halachah is that if a father can afford one Rebbi, either for him or his son, if his son has potential to be a Talmid Chacham, he should give the Rebbi to his son, and forgo his own learning. Such an idea exists nowhere except regarding Torah learning.
(Crossposting, due to relevancy of discussion.)October 21, 2009 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #663337
And where does a father sitting in the CR all day fit in?October 21, 2009 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #663338
Joseph, thanks..but I read that already…Its so true. But, the hardest part is still hearing negativity from others and not getting affected by it.October 21, 2009 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #663339BemusedParticipant
“Most important, don’t let negative comments from others let you feel bad about yourself. Every minute that you are working you are helping to provide food, clothing, shelter, and tuition to your family, and easing your husband’s task of providing financial support. You don’t need that negativity in your life.”
anon, I’m with you all the way.
Many moms need to work these days, often because one income does not cover tuition fees and basic mortgage/rent, utilities, food expenses. Living “tight” does not help the landlord get his rent check or the bank the mortgage check, nor does it help your kids’ schools with your tuition owed. For many, eschewing luxuries or extras still does not pay the tuitions for a large family or the utilities used, etc.
So go to work with confidence, be a loving and emotionally attuned mom to your children, and as far as managaging, here’s a tip: Don’t do ANYTHING to impress your neighbors or friends- your guests will still like you if you serve extremely simple shabbos meals, you will still have your friends if you give them a simple 2-item shalach manos, your neighbors will enjoy the “homey” look of a home that looks lived-in when they come to borrow sugar, your children don’t “need” you to try two stores to get a matching ribbon for her dress, your school will still accept your tuition checks even if you don’t volunteer for their parent event, and the laundry won’t run away (we wish it would :)) if it needs to stay in baskets for awhile until you have time. Let go, enjoy life, and put your energy where it counts.
May Hashem give you koach to raise a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted family!October 21, 2009 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #663340truthsharerMember
I disagree. The benefit of a mother being there for the children, and not at work is far, far greater than you can imagine. Being raised by a sitter is not proper chinuch. This is just one more thing that
mightbe hurting children and leading them astray.October 21, 2009 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #663341
Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam.
truthsharer, I do agree with your comments in practically all other situations.October 21, 2009 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #663342
I assume “Kulam” means something else to everyone…October 21, 2009 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #663343
truthsharer: its not a matter of you agreeing w/joseph or not. Its not opinion. Its Torah.October 21, 2009 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #663344
i dont understand something- why does a torah father have to be someone who is in kollel? my husband works to provide our b”h growing family with everything we need. i work to keep my sanity. i stayed home for a while after our first child was born, but i quickly found out that i needed a break and i needed to socialize a little bit with people besides moms. my husband learns most mornings and every night. is our home any less of a torah home than a that of someone who is learning full time?
i know it says talmud torah k’neged kulam, but who said talmud torah means all day?October 21, 2009 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #663345
i forgot one thing. i dont always have the strength. sometimes things dont get done, or sometimes they get done half way. b”h i am not working for financial reasons. my husband tells me that i cant work at the expense of my house and my family, meaning if my house and family get neglected, i should reconsider working.
i try to get my kids’ things together the night before- get out their clothes, put everything they need in their back packs/diaper bags. dinner is NOT gourmet. occasionaly my husband helps out too. thats not to say that there are not times that im rushing in the morning, but i do try to minimize it.
also, if i get my kids to bed on time, theres usually some time between bed time and when my husband gets home, so i get to rest. keep in mind thats only IF they get to bed on time….honestly, how often does that really happen?October 21, 2009 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #663346
Talmud Torah K’neged Kulam means always. There is no such thing as a “proper time” for learning, or an “improper time”. The Gemora says that only during a time when “it is not day or night” is the time for learning “not proper.” It’s not a question of right or wrong. The Halachah, as explained by the Ohr Sameach in Hilchos Talmud Torah, is that everyone has to learn an amount according to his level. The more a person understands the value of learning, the more time he must spend on it.October 21, 2009 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #663347truthsharerMember
Joseph, what about all the other phrases in Tanach and the Talmud that state that a man needs to work? Does that fall by the wayside?October 21, 2009 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #663348neatfreakMember
While i am not yet a mother myself i can share my own mother’s experience. she worked from when she got married until after her fourth was born. my father started working after 5 years in kollel. once my motehr felt that she was being to drained from working and running her household she stopped. she is a full time stay at home mom. now my youngest sibling just started preschool so she is spendig this year getting the house back in order and ten next year she plans to take a refresher bookkeeping course and go back to work once my brother is at school full day.October 21, 2009 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #663350
The answer to your inquiry is provided in the first eight posts over HERE.October 21, 2009 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #663351
Come on. Lets be practical. (No one’s reading that whole shpiel anyways)October 21, 2009 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #663352
Joseph, what about someone whose only daily Torah is saying Krias Shema in the morning and evening?October 21, 2009 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #663353
Then he’s completely OTD.October 21, 2009 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #663354says whoMember
You are making it sound as if the only way one can have a torah’diga home is if he learns full time.
I disagree. You could work full time and have a tora’diga home. Period.October 21, 2009 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #663355
No comma?October 21, 2009 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #663356
mepal, I don’t expect you to be familiar with Menachos 95a or the halachos that are learned from it, which is why I did not pose the question to you. I asked Joseph.October 21, 2009 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #663357
squeak: I did not realize your question was coming from the Gemorah. My apologies.October 21, 2009 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #663358lgbgMember
where in the kesuba does it say that the WOMAN has to bring the money in to support the family? As far as I know, the MAN is the one who should bring the money in. This is all the way back in history! If it is not enough to make ends meet or the wife is willing to work, than so be it.
But I see so many friends of mine whose husbands are “learning”, trying to manage with a full time job and taking care of their kids.
I do not think supporting your family while your husband is learning meant you barely managing with housework, getting the kids out to school, suppers, homework, and actually taking care of YOURSELF!
How did this mentality change in such a crooked way?
(momof4 not talking to you directly, just to the klal)October 21, 2009 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #663359
Correction – see 99b for exact quote I was referring to.October 21, 2009 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #663360SJSinNYCMember
“However, with regard to Torah learning, the Halachah is that if a father can afford one Rebbi, either for him or his son, if his son has potential to be a Talmid Chacham, he should give the Rebbi to his son, and forgo his own learning. Such an idea exists nowhere except regarding Torah learning.”
Which means to me that the father is required to work to pay tuition. After all, he is supposed to provide a teacher for his son’s potential (unknown as a child, so you should assume he could be a talmid chacham).October 21, 2009 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #663361mybatMember
I’m with says who and anonymrs on this. My husband works and learns, he actually does double duty.October 21, 2009 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #663362tzippiMember
This thread has been hijacked (by the men). We’re not having a referendum on women working, let’s take that to the kollel thread. Women ARE working, whether to keep the men in kollel or because of a desperately needed second income, among other reasons, and this thread was started for support, especially practical.
But since we’re already off topic, I’ve got to disagree with Joseph. We have to focus on batei neeman. Of course we can’t have them without Torah at the core, but we can’t downplay how important it is for the women not to be bearing the entire burden. We have to see what our kids need.
I’m not trying to guilt any women here, just trying to put things in perspective. Let’s continue this on the kollel thread.October 21, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #663363mybatMember
By the way what I wrote wasn’t to put guilt on anyone either. I was responding to Joseph. If a woman really needs to work Hashem should send you the strength.October 21, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #663364rescue37Participant
Isn’t it interesting that as the push became stronger foe everyone to learn in kollel and the numbers increased that the numbers of “at risk” kids also increased.October 21, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #663365tamazaballMember
Every economic situation is difrent,but if thats not a problem its better to be a stayed at home mother for the children when there young, when they grow its a difrent story,October 22, 2009 4:24 am at 4:24 am #663366starwolfMember
I was not going to reply to this thread until other men jumped in. If the women feel that I am hijacking the thread, I am sorry.
I must say that I am amazed by the common sense shown by the women posters on this thread. Perhaps the gene for common sense is on the X chromosome–and women get a double dose? (Nerdy joke–I do realize how genetics works.)
The necessity for women working in many families (including my own) is unquestionable. This is especially true if the man learns and does not bring in any money to help the family. Now, mind you, if a family chooses to live in this manner–it is their choice–and if any of the rest of us have an objection to the lifestyle, tough. As far as the need for others to support that lifestyle–well, that is a matter for another thread.
One of my basic questions for those families living that lifestyle is–how much do the men help around the house? If your wife works and takes care of the children, do you share in the latter duties–or any of the housework? Does the man do the laundry? Putting in a load takes about 5 minutes, as does a transfer to the dryer. What about cooking? Cooking an average meal takes 10 minutes. How about the weekly shopping? How about the homework?
A kollel life means that one is attuned to the Jewish clock. If the wife has a heavy schedule, why can’t the kollel man cook for Shabbat? What–the Rebbeim won’t understand that time is short on winter Fridays when the wife has to work? Many recipes are quick and easy. A good chicken dish takes 10 minutes to prepare, and a cholent about the same. Doing all of that ensures that your wife has a little time for other things.
SJSinNYC posted: “Which means to me that the father is required to work to pay tuition. After all, he is supposed to provide a teacher for his son’s potential (unknown as a child, so you should assume he could be a talmid chacham). “
While I agree, allow me to add a qualifier: We should provide teachers for our daughters’ potential, as well as that of our sons. Not only do we not know for where will come our next Rita Levi-Montalcini, Rosalyn Yalow, or Ada Yonath–we do not know for where will come our next Bruria or Nechama Leibovitz. The potential is there, just as with our sons.October 22, 2009 4:44 am at 4:44 am #663367
i find it very interesting that those women who choose to work, for whatever the reason, are always berated, yet it is expected that a man should be able to sit and learn all day. how is this family supposed to survive if the father is in kollel and the mother is at home? things were very different in past generations.
to those who feel that it is a womans job to be at home: do you REALLY think that it doesnt pain us to be away from our children and have other people taking care of them and teaching them? i am practically in tears every day when i am on my way to work. however, i know for myself that if i were to be a stay at home mom i would literally go insane. i am not saying this callously, i am saying this from experience.
how can you tell someone who is already struggling that she is doing the wrong thing? it is hard enough for us to go out and do what we do, for whatever reason we do it. please dont add to that by judging us for the choice we made. and for all you know, those women who are working asked a shaila and were TOLD (like i was) that they should go out and work.October 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #663368rebetzinParticipant
Starwolf, yes my husband has his share of household responsibilities. I never once did sponja or cleaned toilets since I am married. He often does the weekly shopping. Occasionally washes dishes. And watches the children daily.
As I said before, it’s just not possible to do everything. You must delegate, whether it’s to hired help, husband, or other children. Or to skip things altogether.
Thank goodness my cleaning lady just left, but you don’t want to know what my house looked like all week! Dishes literally piled up since Sunday morning. That is, whatever couldn’t be disposable. Which brings me to another tip: use disposable whenever possible. I’d love to be more considerate to the environment, but I’ll have to leave that for when I can afford to stop working.October 22, 2009 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #663369starwolfMember
I completely understand about it being impossible to do everything.
In addition to helping out as much as possible, one thing that is very important
for us guys is to appreciate everything our wives do–and to be understanding if
something is not attended to.
In addition, for those of us whose wives do work, it is important to understand that their work can be as important to them as ours is to us.
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