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Do you believe that men should be the head of the household

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    Do you believe that men should be the head of the household

    I think that the world was a better place when the woman would stay home and take care of the house and the kids. The end of moral family values ended with womens lib. around in the mid. 60's. When ever I look at a Norman Rockwell painting I wish that life was like that now. Mothers and daughters were in the kitchen baking pies while Fathers and sons fixed a broken barn door or went fishing.
    Now both parents work while the kids spend all day on the internet or playing violent video games.

    #2
    Here's a news flash for you: Norman Rockwell's paintings were just that- paintings. It does not mean that life was perfect before the 60's. You're post is sexist, misogynist, and ignorant.

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      #3
      I am an amature genealogist and have seen that women had to work and support children as far back as time goes,sometimes they marry a deadbeat,sometimes they are widowed and have no choice

      its funny i would like to think things were like what you state at one point but through my research it is rarley so

      If you are the head of your household you had better be fixing the barn door while ma is in the kitchen not in town at the saloon

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        #4
        Many women worked for pay during the days of those Norman Rockwell paintings. I am sure he did portray some women at work. If you were born into a family that has been in North America for three or four generations, you probably have a good many older or deceased women relatives who worked for pay and I think it is better you do not besmirch their contributions toward keeping their families alive.

        Even among rural people who had no where to go to work for someone else, women often worked extra to provide cash for things the family needed. Women like my great-grandmother (born in 1876) saved the grease from slaughtering farm animals and made it into soap, some of which she sold back in town for things they needed ---like the lye to make the better soap (lesser soap was made using wood ashes) and the alum they needed to precipitate the murkiness in their well water to make it drinkable. I would like to point out that in those days a lot of men did not go away from the home everyday in order to earn cash, either. Cash enterprises were generally from home whether men, women, or both did them. Men and women were both home to raise the children.

        Women like my other great-grandmother (born in 1840) lived in town and ran a general store with her husband.

        Women like a third great-grandmother lived in town and ran a floral business with her husband.

        Going down to the next generation, there was my grandmother (born 1906) whose first job was as a school teacher, but she still lived on the potato farm. Potatoes were the cash crop, but she found extra money in those potatoes by extracting the starch, bagging it up and selling it as second rate laundry starch. Women like her collected pecans and shelled them every night after all the other work was done so that she could sell them in rounds around the town as Thanksgiving and Christmas neared. The money might buy fabric to make her family's Sunday clothes, or it might buy the iron he needed to make that barn door hinge, or the matches to conveniently light up the tobacco they grew. Grandma went on to run restaurants, a gas station, be a cook in someone else's restaurant, and a clerk in a department store.

        My mother (born 1926) worked and it was not for baubles, fripperies, and her own sense of satisfaction (though I wish she would have been able to have some of that as a result of her work). It was to put food on the table, to help her kids go to grade school and high school, to buy clothing, and to buy a hinge to fix the damn barn door herself.
        "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

        "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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          #5
          Joan - great post. My family history would read similar. I am surprised, now that I think about it, that my mom is the only woman I can think of in my family who was a SAHM (for more than just a few years anwyay). My spouse's family and my family had a lot of working women (in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s).

          IT's also interesting because an at-home parent seemed like it was always a strong value in my family. (Though wasn't the case with my grandma, for one, she always worked and it wasn't out of need). However, one thing that is true is I come from large farm families and have many relatives (born in the 20s) who had 10-20 children. When I think to their laborous farm work, I am not sure how the ones who had so many children had much TIME for them. The children spent their time doing chores, etc. (few children in my family even had the time to go to school).

          In addition, for those women (the few in my family that did not "work" - outside the home anyway), they spent a good chunk of their adult life pregnant.

          Things have certainy changed. Women today can have children, take 5-10 years off work for their kids, and work part-time when their kids are in school, etc. IT just seems to me in this day and age where most people just have 1-3 kids, that working does not get so in the way of child rearing. The 2 certainly aren't mutually exclusive. On the other hand, certainly anyone who was having 10+ kids would probably be unable to work for MANY years. Today's society is just so different!

          As to the question - would life be better if all women stayed home and men worked? No. My family is opposite. I like working and get paid well for my job. My spouse does not get paid so well for his creative endeavors, BUT he is AWESOME with kids and most household duties. He is far better for that stuff than I. I can assure you my family is better off because we don't have to adhere to some caveman standards. We do what works for us, and be BOTH appreciate the freedom to do so. In the long run we will be much better off financially since we will both work more years than not. (My spouse will maybe take off 10 years to rear children - but that's not much in a 40-year career time span). & heck, he'll be home more than our moms and grandmas were anyway.

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            #6
            After further thought, of the 10 or so women in my family of my parent's generation (aunts and in-laws), only 2 of them completely embraced being a SAHM 100%. (My mom would be a third, but she got a college education and originally intended to work). Of the 2 - both were left divorced and penniless (one early on with small kids, and one later on in life - close to retirement).

            With no educations or alternatives, it left them both in a pretty bad spot. Is this how women should be treated?????? No alternatives?

            My mom is a tentative third, as she stayed home since I was born and has never returned to work. My childhood was decidedly not perfect. My dad worked twice as much so they could afford the arrangement, and my mom was miserable (no family or support since they moved many miles after my birth). My spouse's mom and sisters all worked, but they stayed home the first few years and shared child rearing (with their mother). I'd prefer to be raised in that manner, any day. My dh agrees he had the better childhood, though his mom spent much of it working. She was able to spend as much time home, with him. & he has a wonderfully close extended family.

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              #7
              My dh and I have one hard goal: for him to be able to quit his job and be a stay at home dad. We are 3 years (conservatively) away from that goal, but every financial decision we make is geared toward making that dream a realitiy. I do not want to be SAHM, I like my job and prefer to work. I have more earning potential than my husband and would be able to provide a better life for us. So no, I don't think that women should universally stay home and men work. Couples (gay or straight) should do what works for them.

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                #8
                You know what, though? Despite my disagreement at the idea that men & boys, women & girls should lead such different lives with men at the head of it all, I, too, find Normal Rockwell paintings to be a nice slice of Americana, expressing some progressive ideas. He showed races together, religions together, old and young people together, people expressing humility in their foibles, people being gracious, kind, inclusive, thankful, mannerly, etc. He showed the professional in kindly relations with the lowly. He painted people drawing on their inner strength and doing what needed to be done, yet he also presented appreciation for the goodness of play. He showed lots of ugly, gawky, skinny, and fat people being just as much a part of life as the beautifully healthy-bodied people. A lot of his paintings were actually advertising or magazine covers, but many of them were advertising/celebrating something that was open to all--a good life, good character, and openness to others. I'm no art critic and am only drawing on memories of Rockwells I've seen in reproductions, but I guess he has made an impression on me and I don't mind him going down in history as an American illustrator.

                You know that famous Thanksgiving Day painting? I have a version of it in which the faces of my son, my husband, and myself have been photo-shopped in. Someone who did not know the Rockwell painting saw it and though it was really my family gathered with friends for Thanksgiving. I felt so complimented and to tell the truth, I think our faces look right at home in the painting!

                Rockwell paintings remind me of Mark Twain writings. It is easy to dismiss them as saccharin storytelling if you don't look/read closely and with a sense of history. Twain seems so ahead of his time, and I think he is a good representative of what The US has been and tries to be. Likewise, the paintings of Rockwell.
                "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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                  #9
                  Yes. Absolutely.

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                    #10
                    I enjoyed your responses Joan, thanks.

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                      #11
                      I guess I am old fashioned, I do believe the man is the head of the house. I guess this is from being brought up in my church. However, I am lucky in that my husband considers me his equal, actually we each try to consider each above our equal. As a result we each are treated with respect, values and opionions may differ, but we rarely argue. We each make minor decisions on our own, but generally consult each other on major ones. However if one of us were to make a major decision without consulting the other with just cause, it would not be the end of the world--because we trust each other. This works for us--it doesn't work for all couples. It depends on personalities, religions, upbringing.....

                      I have worked away from home and been a stay at home mom. For our family, the SAHM routine works best. However that doesn't mean a man can't stay at home and do the same. It also doesn't mean I am a better or worse parent for it.

                      SAH doesn't mean you don't work. Many parents run a business out of their home and both parents actually work it. Even if you don't run a business, if you have kids, you are working.

                      My typical day?? Feed cows, horses, chickens, ducks, sheep, pigs, rabbits and pets. Feed kids, wash, hang, fold and iron laundry. Dust, vacume, cook 3 meals from scratch, sometimes I babysit 12-14 hours at my house (or on short days 4-6 hours at their house), bake, weed or till garden, mow (takes 8-10 hours to mow our place), feed animals a 2nd time, gather eggs, homeschool 3 girls for 4 hours and preschool 1 for 3 hours, hand wash a tractor or car (keeps kids cool in the summer!), sew.....

                      Why do I do this in a house with A/C and heat?? Because my DH is working his rear off doing 12-14 hour shifts in a chemical plant that can't have AC or heat (due to air flow issues) to bring home the cash to pay the mortgage and utilities.

                      I might also add I like Rockwells work--but it usually showed the "good" or "desired" side of life.

                      Also, to add to Joan's post--often the women didn't work for cash, but to barter--she may have taken eggs in and get fabric in return... My grandma an great grandma did that--they ran a tab from eggs and chickens at the general store so my grandpa and great grandpa could trade that tab for a needed tool. They also taught school during the months that school was out as farmers kids didn't go to school 9 months a year in those days--only 3-4, so the mothers taught them at home during planting, harvest and bad weather times.

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                        #12
                        Not really. But I'm a woman. And I was raised by a single mom for the most part.

                        So in my eyes, what do you need men for except to make the kid? :P

                        My mom had me literally alone. Her, the doctor, and nurse. She didn't even have her mom. Me and her from the beginning.

                        What is most important is wanting your children. I had a better life than some of my DH's and my coworkers who had kids and weren't ready.

                        Right now the girl (she's 27) has a 2 year old son, that she sends off to stay with her family and her husband's families. Why? Because they are too busy to watch a kid.

                        I had more of my single parent than that kid does with two.
                        LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by mom-from-missouri View Post
                          For our family, the SAHM routine works best.
                          I think this is the most important point. You need to do what works best for your family. In our house, things also work best when my wife is at home. She currently works part-time and really doesn't want to. She never wanted a career. She is traditional and would much rather be at home full-time, as she was for 10 years, but right now, she's willing to do the PT job because she knows padding the retirement account is worth the sacrifice (50% of her gross goes to her 401k). I don't know how long she will continue to work but for now, we're dealing with it and glad we're socking away the extra income.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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                            #14
                            Well... I think that males are a subspecies and aren't really equal to females... But, I don't think that is really what the OP wanted to know.

                            But, being married and having to homeschool, we have a very traditional family. DH does the cars and that stuff and I do the cooking and bills and stuff. I cook because we have to cook from scratch (dietary issues) and I am home to do it. I don't like to do it, but that is what I need to do and so I do it. We homeschool because our children would not fare well in a classroom with 30 other kids. We owe it to them to give them as good of a start as we can. When the boys were little, I worked at night and DH worked during the day (and he still does). When I couldn't take working at night anymore (sleep deprevation gets bad after 6.5 years), I quit. But, before I quit, I made sure I paid off everything I could. I got everything paid off but the house. We have a 15 year loan on it and, you know, I couldn't take it any more. I was way too tired and exhausted.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Rande273 View Post
                              I think that the world was a better place when the woman would stay home and take care of the house and the kids. The end of moral family values ended with womens lib. around in the mid. 60's. When ever I look at a Norman Rockwell painting I wish that life was like that now. Mothers and daughters were in the kitchen baking pies while Fathers and sons fixed a broken barn door or went fishing.
                              Now both parents work while the kids spend all day on the internet or playing violent video games.
                              The good ole days never existed. And only rich women could stay at home full-time. Women from middle class and the working poor always worked even when they had little kids and dads worked too. Alot did housecleaning of rich people's homes, child care, and restaurant work. Moral family values have always existed to a certain extent throughout history. Before the 1960s there were pedophiles, alcoholic dads who beat their kids, stay at home moms who popped pills and drank all day while the maids and nannies raised the kids until they were old enough to go to boarding school. Also, don't forget that domestic violence, including husbands raping wives, was not even a crime until the 1970s when women finally used the civil rights movement as a springboard for women's rights. I don't think a world where blacks and whites couldn't eat at the same tables, use the same restrooms, and attend the same schools is a world I would long for. Black men gained certain rights even before white women! That's how bad life for a lot women was. Also, men could have their wives institutionalized in mental institutions for life if they didn't want to pay the cost of divorce and to get revenge against them. It's called gaslighting. see the movie "Gaslight" to watch how it goes down. It was because of this that committing adults to mental hospitals is thankfully very difficult to do these days. The Norman Rockwell view of life is only one picture of life. Of course it exists today for some people, just as it existed for a small minority of people back then too.

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