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Last instance of counsel for mothers not to work?


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16 hours ago, Waylon said:

 Now, we are working twice as many hours to pay the rent on the same houses for the exact living standard that once required one income.  Thanks, feminism.

On the macroeconomic level, working mothers have been a disaster that has in the long term done nothing to improve the standards of living of american families.

 

Although I agree that the standard of living for most families does not greatly improve when mom works, why do you blame feminism for the rise in rent?

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On 8/2/2018 at 10:08 AM, JAHS said:

 "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and the protection of their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."
(Proclamation on the Family)

There. You read it just now. Is that recent enough?  They haven't changed it. 
Here's a link to a lot of quotes about mothers employment from the 2003 “Mothers’ Employment Outside the Home,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), 237–40

Mothers’ Employment Outside the Home

But most of the quotes are at least 20 years old. I suspect that even though the counsel is the same now for mothers to avoid working outside the home, it isn't mentioned much anymore because they don't want to make working mothers feel guilty for doing something they have to do to survive. The Proclamation also does say. "Disability, death or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."

The economy in most western countries have changed. That change was in progress in the 90's but now is pretty well established. Unless you have someone making a lot of money it's hard to deal with just one income. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have someone staying home with the kids are becoming rarer and rarer. (And even in my life that's extremely hard - I'm lucky to have a job flexible enough where I can come home regularly - I don't know how people where both have to work manage)

2 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Although I agree that the standard of living for most families does not greatly improve when mom works, why do you blame feminism for the rise in rent?

It seems pretty weird to blame feminism for that. For a few reasons. For one feminism is a pretty broad category with a lot of different and typically incompatible views. Second the main reason rents are high is due to zoning laws making it hard to build new housing. I can't really see how that's tied to feminism in any way.

Edited by clarkgoble
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If both families work outside the home I suggest to my clients that they do a cost/benefit analysis first to see if it actually makes financial sense. (which doesn't count the emotional and spiritual costs) Too often I see families where they both work outside the home, but the extra income just goes toward extra costs (day  care, transportation, extra clothes for work and for children, taxes, etc).  

 We are fortunate that Me and my wife own and run our own business.  She works here during the day when the kids are at school but goes home when the kids are home, she also stays home when the kids are sick, have appointments, etc.  This allows for her to help with the family income without sacrificing the family too much.

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1 hour ago, katherine the great said:

Although I agree that the standard of living for most families does not greatly improve when mom works, why do you blame feminism for the rise in rent?

Under my theory (and it is a theory, subject to disagreement), the feminist movement, for all of the good things it did, did pave the way for thousands of women to enter the workforce.  Since most of these women were married, it resulted in the average American family being flush with cash, resulting in a temporary bump in living standards before everyone started doing it and home renters and sellers raised the prices on housing, due to simple economics and the fact that they now could.

I am sure the issue is more complex than I put it out, that zoning, etc. also played a role.  I also think feminism did lots of good things, or at least things that had good and bad effects at the same time.  I get it - I have daughters, and I see how it is wrong to pay them less for the same job (or not hire them) because they are women.  I also would never tell them they should abandon any dreams they have because their place is in the home.  There are lots of aspects of feminism that are great and positive changes for society that have nothing to do with labor and employment (e.g., changes in how we view crimes against women, etc.)  This also brings up some very difficult debates about women whose dreams of accomplishment were denied in the pre-feminist era - do the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many, assuming the SAHM model is a "need"?

However, there were effects that feminism had on American living standards.  I think that women entering into the workplace, as a matter of economics, may have caused the model 1950s family to become increasingly unobtainable, and it may permanently disappear in the next generation for all but the very wealthy.

 

Edited by Waylon
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2 minutes ago, tulip said:

if women are willing to sacrifice,  most can stay home with their children.   if they want new large homes, fancy large cars, and exotic vacations,  they will need to work.

But how much sacrifice is too much, before the sacrifice undoes the virtues of being a SAHM?  Are you really doing your kids a favor by moving them to projects to retain SAHM status?

As I have found out, not everyone, even those who are highly educated in supposedly "profitable" fields, has the opportunities in this economy to make the sort of money to provide even a lower-middle-class lifestyle for their families.  Perhaps that is why the Church has moved away from one size fits all answers in recent years.

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33 minutes ago, tulip said:

if women are willing to sacrifice,  most can stay home with their children.   if they want new large homes, fancy large cars, and exotic vacations,  they will need to work.

depends on the location, a home could neccessitate a two income household, and that isnt a lavish home either. In Utah home prices are absurd, and you pretty much have to settle below expectations in a home to have a home on the wasatch front

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3 hours ago, tulip said:

if women are willing to sacrifice,  most can stay home with their children.   if they want new large homes, fancy large cars, and exotic vacations,  they will need to work.

I think that's a pretty unfair statement. The only way my oldest son's wife is able to stay home with my grand baby is the fact that she brought a large inheritance with her into the marriage. They live in a modest home and their vacations are all very short. Another of my sons has a career wife and their home is nice but hardly extravagant (typical newer 3 bed 2 bath in a nice family neighborhood). Grandmas and aunties do the babysitting (I'm fine with one day a week with one child). I think the ability of a couple to live on one income really depends on the salary of the spouse with the most earning power and the basic costs of living of the area.

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You know..sometimes it depends on children.  I have seen this.  Those children with extreme talents and artistic abilities/music etc. and even sports..if they want to expand those horizons it costs a lot of money for classes, schooling and in many cases, travel.  It would hard to negotiate those kinds of things and stay at home..it all comes with a broader reality and willing to compromise.

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On 8/2/2018 at 8:24 AM, rongo said:

My wife was recently called to be a ministering secretary in our new ward. The RS president is a recent widow who is very active in visiting and ministering. Her counselors and presidency all work and are of limited utility for this (also because of lack of energy and zeal for visits). She was thrilled that my wife is a) super-organized, b) super-available, and c) super-active and experienced. 

Last night for young women's in our new ward, the YW presidency and advisors held a career night, sharing what they do for a living with the girls (every single one of them work). 

My wife and I were talking last night about how it seems more and more that we are a rapidly shrinking outlier in the Church (at least in our necks of the woods). We were wondering when the last mention of counsel for women not to work if possible was. I said 20+ years, and she said it can't be that long ago. I asked when the last time she heard it mentioned was.

I'm *not* looking to bash working mothers here; we're just curious about the phenomenon of vanishing counsel, and how this timeframe might coincide with many more mothers working. Better search skills than we have are greatly appreciated! :) 

Thanks in advance!

All the Gui daughters and daughters-in-law (7) are stay-at-home moms by their choice. Some have cottage industries or make arrangements for part-time work with the schools where their children attend, but they all work from home. They are convinced (rightly so in Sister Gui's and my opinions, based on our decades working with children in public schools) that there are critical formative years when mom should be at home with the kids. Day care or relative care is not an adequate substitute. Raising a family of 7 kids on one teacher's salary was not easy, and at times I had to take multiple jobs. Following their mother's example, all are prepared to work when the time becomes necessary or the kids are in school. We have a variety of income situations, but they seem to make do. We did when we were young and Sister Gui felt the pressure to work. We lived in small houses, bought clothes and Christmas presents at garage sales and Goodwill, used hand-me-downs, etc. When the situation became right, Sister Gui activated her teaching degree and certificate and started as a substitute teacher in our kids' schools and then became a full-time kindergarten teacher. We have never been wealthy, but we have never gone without. We did this on purpose according the counsel we received from our prophets over the decades of our marriage. While I don't remember this counsel given explicitly over the pulpit recently, enough of it lingers that our children still heed it. I think it is still good counsel.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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4 hours ago, Waylon said:

Under my theory (and it is a theory, subject to disagreement), the feminist movement, for all of the good things it did, did pave the way for thousands of women to enter the workforce.  Since most of these women were married, it resulted in the average American family being flush with cash, resulting in a temporary bump in living standards before everyone started doing it and home renters and sellers raised the prices on housing, due to simple economics and the fact that they now could.

I am sure the issue is more complex than I put it out, that zoning, etc. also played a role.  I also think feminism did lots of good things, or at least things that had good and bad effects at the same time.  I get it - I have daughters, and I see how it is wrong to pay them less for the same job (or not hire them) because they are women.  I also would never tell them they should abandon any dreams they have because their place is in the home.  There are lots of aspects of feminism that are great and positive changes for society that have nothing to do with labor and employment (e.g., changes in how we view crimes against women, etc.)  This also brings up some very difficult debates about women whose dreams of accomplishment were denied in the pre-feminist era - do the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many, assuming the SAHM model is a "need"?

However, there were effects that feminism had on American living standards.  I think that women entering into the workplace, as a matter of economics, may have caused the model 1950s family to become increasingly unobtainable, and it may permanently disappear in the next generation for all but the very wealthy.

 

Don't forget that women from the lower socioeconomic classes were routinely going to work in factories beginning in the industrial revolution. "Feminism" had its roots in securing the rights of women to be full citizens (voting, property rights, rights to divorce abusive husbands, etc.) and later to try to be sure women were paid an equal wage for equal work. The two world wars (male based) were really the beginning of higher ranked women working. They worked outside the home to contribute domestically to the war effort and many women were not content to go back to their pre-war stations. Being a stay at home mom is wonderful and noble, but it can also be incredibly isolating and sometimes mind numbing. Having a job that provides interaction with other adults, using our talents and actually getting paid for it is very appealing for many women. That 1950's model family was nice on the surface, but many of those women were deeply unhappy with it.

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Mothers’ Employment Outside the Home

I agree with JAHS that the quotes are quite old but this manual was published in 2003.  Is it still the most current version in use?  

“Mothers’ Employment Outside the Home,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), 237–40
“Numerous divorces can be traced directly to the day when the wife left the home and went out into the world into employment. Two incomes raise the standard of living beyond its norm. Two spouses working prevent the complete and proper home life, break into the family prayers, create an independence which is not cooperative, causes distortion, limits the family and frustrates the children already born. …

“… I beg of you, you who could and should be bearing and rearing a family: Wives, come home from the typewriter, the laundry, the nursing, come home from the factory, the café.

“No career approaches in importance that of wife, homemaker, mother—cooking meals, washing dishes, making beds for one’s precious husband and children.

http://www.lds.org/manual/the-latter-day-saint-woman-basic-manual-for-women-part-a/personal-and-family-development/lesson-28-developing-employment-skills?lang=eng

Lesson 28 in the Basic Manual For Women dated 2000 allows for some exceptions.  Women with children are encouraged to work from home.

“Lesson 28: Developing Employment Skills,” The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A (2000), 206–13

Sometimes Women Must Be Employed

In many families a father or husband works to provide for the family’s needs. However, this is not always the case. Women must also be prepared to provide support. Many women work to support themselves, and still others work to support themselves and their families.

  • What are some reasons a woman must work? Write the responses on the chalkboard and discuss them. Be sure to include the following ideas:

Her husband or father is dead.

Her husband or father is disabled through illness or accident.

She is single and must support herself.

The family’s basic needs are not being met with one income.

Unexpected illness or other hardship creates a need for extra income.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Earning Money at Home
• Display visuals 28-b, “A woman earning money at home by cutting hair”; and 28-d, “Homemade baked goods may be sold.”
Many women have found ways to use their talents and interests to earn money at home. This is especially helpful when a mother with small children must work. Here are some ways that women have earned money at home:

1. Sewing children’s clothing, draperies, wedding gowns, uniforms, household items, stuffed animals, dolls, or doll clothing
2. Embroidering, knitting, quilting, crocheting, doing crewel work, making or arranging flowers, making jewelry, doing silversmith work, or making leis
3. Decorating cakes; making tortillas, wedding cakes, bread, cookies, candy, or pies; or packing school lunches
4. Caring for children in the home or teaching a nursery school at home
5. Gardening and selling produce. Fresh home-grown produce is always in demand and sells well. Some women who live in farming communities make jams and jellies from local fruit. They sell them at roadside stands or in stores.
6. Teaching music, dance, or art
7. Providing day care for the elderly
8. Tutoring students
9. Writing for the newspaper
10. Typing or bookkeeping
11. Selling by telephone
12. Acting as a rental agent for apartment owners
13. Boarding someone in their home
14. Providing foster care for handicapped children
15. Grooming or caring for animals
16. Styling or cutting hair

Edited by birdgirl
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54 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

All the Gui daughters and daughters-in-law (7) are stay-at-home moms by their choice. Some have cottage industries or make arrangements for part-time work with the schools where their children attend, but they all work from home. They are convinced (rightly so in Sister Gui's and my opinions, based on our decades working with children in public schools) that there are critical formative years when mom should be at home with the kids. Day care or relative care is not an adequate substitute. Raising a family of 7 kids on one teacher's salary was not easy, and at times I had to take multiple jobs. Following their mother's example, all are prepared to work when the time becomes necessary or the kids are in school. We have a variety of income situations, but they seem to make do. We did when we were young and Sister Gui felt the pressure to work. We lived in small houses, bought clothes and Christmas presents at garage sales and Goodwill, used hand-me-downs, etc. When the situation became right, Sister Gui activated her teaching degree and certificate and started as a substitute teacher in our kids' schools and then became a full-time kindergarten teacher. We have never been wealthy, but we have never gone without. We did this on purpose according the counsel we received from our prophets over the decades of our marriage. While I don't remember this counsel given explicitly over the pulpit recently, enough of it lingers that our children still heed it.

Complete agreement, and completely relate. We've been able to do it for a family of six on just my teacher's salary. I'm keenly sensitive about heaping guilt on people who have no choice, but I think in most cases, lifestyle can be adjusted. We both feel that we have been richly blessed because of our "poverty" (tongue-in-cheek, but some truth to it). Our kids have never really known having what they want when they want it, so they are grateful and appreciative. No electronics, so no addictions, and they are avid book readers. Family games, sports, music, and memories. It helped that my kids formative years were also in a rural setting (they have fond memories of exploring and roaming). I've had to work construction during the summers to supplement, but that has also been a blessing. 

I agree wholeheartedly that there is no compensation for mother not being in the home during the formative years, and even beyond. It's a huge difference, and one factor that helps hedge your bets as far as the kids in teenage-hood and young adulthood. I've noticed, too, that when youth have big problems (morality, emotional, etc.), invariably the mother works. I think where really possible (and I think many times it really is possible but people don't think it is or aren't willing to give up vacations, vehicles, fancy houses, toys, etc). Today, many women really have no choice, and I have faith that God will make up the difference if they are faithful. 

Much of this falls on the men's shoulders. It is really their responsibility to provide for their families, and part of this is to to the hard work of presiding over the family where the wife or children don't want to change their lifestyles. I also agree that families should not become permanent wards of the ward in order to not have mom work. 

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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The economy in most western countries have changed. That change was in progress in the 90's but now is pretty well established. Unless you have someone making a lot of money it's hard to deal with just one income. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have someone staying home with the kids are becoming rarer and rarer. (And even in my life that's extremely hard - I'm lucky to have a job flexible enough where I can come home regularly - I don't know how people where both have to work manage)

It seems pretty weird to blame feminism for that. For a few reasons. For one feminism is a pretty broad category with a lot of different and typically incompatible views. Second the main reason rents are high is due to zoning laws making it hard to build new housing. I can't really see how that's tied to feminism in any way.

I wouldn’t blame feminism per se, but the thinking goes that when women entered the workforce in larger numbers, it became saturated and depressed wages.  That may have been true at one time, but now all I hear now a days is that there aren’t enough skilled trades to meet demand.  Who knows?

I do think it is very unfortunate that most can’t get by on a single income anymore. My dad’s greatest regret is not being able to make enough so that my mom wouldn’t have to work.  I think ideally, I’d like to get myself in a situation where my wife doesn’t have to work either.  Or at least where one of us doesn’t have to work.  I’d rather daycare not be raising my kids for most of the work week.

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On 8/2/2018 at 1:11 PM, strappinglad said:

50 years ago my first home had a 25000 mortgage at 12% . Payments were in the $250 / month range. Now a home mortgage runs over 200,000 at 3+/- % and payments can be $1500 / month. Imagine if/when interest rates roll to 10% . I'm told the average price for a home in San Fran is over 600,000. We live in financial stress times.

There are not too many home listing in the 200K range anymore.  At least in Utah anyway.  The Median home value in this state is now north of 300K.

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Okay, so the OP topic asked the question about the counsel for WOMEN to not work outside the home when possible (not mothers with small children). I think its a given that its better for the children for one parent to be present at least most of the time when the children are preschoolers. Being with mom or dad or grandma during the day is better than daycare. I don't know what everyone's situations are but my kids went to public school so once they were all in school full-time, I was itching to get out of the house. I was so bored I was going nuts. Then our youngest child (age seven) developed type one diabetes and I was uncomfortable going back to work until she was older. I went back to school when she was a sophomore in high school because by then she didn't take our counsel for her diabetes care anyway so there was no reason for me to be home while she was at school. I went to grad school and then to work as an adjunct professor at the local university and the community college. I felt like a real person again. I got to use my mind in a way that did not strictly limit it to making beds, scrubbing toilets, cooking and cleaning. Actually, I still did those things even when I was away during the day--I just insisted that my husband and children who were still living with us step up a bit. There is NO WAY I would have been happy only at home throughout those years. It's incredibly lonely at home when you are alone. Are there people on this board that really believe that a woman's place is strictly in the home even after the kids are in school?

Now to the working at home thing. I did that for years. I ran a limousine business out of my home when my older children were small. I would literally have to go into the bathroom and turn on the fan to block out the kid noise while I took phone reservations and lined up drivers. I worked on the books, promos and gift baskets after the kids were in bed. My husband was always working and we were barely scraping by for many years. I seriously considered getting a real job and taking the kids to daycare so that they wouldn't be messing up the house the entire time that I was working from home but I couldn't bear to be away from them. Really, a work-at-home mom is doing double the work of her husband who leaves the home and goes to the office because she's still doing all the work required by a stay at home mom and working simultaneously. This is why I try not to judge other moms who do things differently than I did. 

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On 8/2/2018 at 1:11 PM, strappinglad said:

 I'm told the average price for a home in San Fran is over 600,000. We live in financial stress times.

I believe it is well over a million now. A million dollars will get you a very average house in San Francisco. (Of course its also one of the most expensive places in the world to live).

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3 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Are there people on this board that really believe that a woman's place is strictly in the home even after the kids are in school?

Has someone expressed this position?

Of the 8 Gui women, none of them is bored to death and locked in the home with the chores and the kids while hubby is at work. They’ve been very active and creative partnering with other mothers for joint teaching and kid activities, self-improvement, social stuff with friends and their kids, creative activities, Church, school volunteer,  and community service, etc. My hat is off to them....and to all moms who sacrifice and give so much to those they love.

Sister Gui has many kindergartners whose parents drop them off at daycare at 6am so mom and dad can make the long commute to their lucrative jobs in Seattle, then picked up by a bus and dropped off at school at 9am, picked up by grandma or a neighbor after school and/or taken back to daycare until 6pm, and then maybe see mommy and daddy who stopped by the gym on the way home from work for a couple of hours before putting the kids to bed, and then getting up and doing it all over again the next day. The kids are a mess, and no wonder. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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3 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Yes. We're crying all the way to the bank. :)

Explain, please....

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14 hours ago, katherine the great said:

 Being a stay at home mom is wonderful and noble, but it can also be incredibly isolating and sometimes mind numbing. Having a job that provides interaction with other adults, using our talents and actually getting paid for it is very appealing for many women. That 1950's model family was nice on the surface, but many of those women were deeply unhappy with it.

Therein lies the rub regarding the SAHM model.  It only works if the economy is set up for single earning families, and our economy is increasingly set up for dual income families.  But, for the economy to be set up for single earner families, many women who do have beautiful gifts and dreams would not be able to pursue such gifts and dreams so the system would work (such as my wife, who is a very talented computer programmer).  What is the right answer?  I don't know.  

I am retracting my statement about feminism.  I think that was unfair for me to say.  I appreciate and support all of the good that feminism has done for women everywhere.

I kind of wonder something else about these prophetic warnings about working mothers from the 1970s and how they have dwindled over the years.  In addition to the macroeconomic issues I have brought up, were perhaps the warnings also due to the fact that back in the 1960s and 1970s the workplace was actually dangerous for women, both physically and spiritually speaking?  My understanding is, in the old days, working women were very often targets for harassment and immorality and were too often in the workplace seen as objects rather than people or professionals (think Hearts in Atlantis).  With anti-harassment laws in place, perhaps the warnings have dwindled as the workplace has become safer for women, and the risk of both assault and consensual immorality has decreased as men and women have become more used to working with one another side by side for hours every day?  Just an observation and a theory as to why the warnings were strong in the 1970s but have dwindled ever since.

Edited by Waylon
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