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Just my two cents, but how come we never use the term "working dad"?
I've never liked the term "working mom" because it implies that "working
moms" have special concerns that other people don't, or that they're somehow
better than "stay at home moms."
I know a few moms who have given up their dreams of career glory (yeah,
right--anybody who thinks his work matters five minutes after he's been
downsized or retired is deluding himself) to nurture their children. They
realize there is no such thing as "quality time" to a child.
I also know a lot of moms who put the kid in daycare 5x9 so they can keep
climbing the ladder. Some of them feel guilty, or the tug of their
heartstrings, but they console themselves with the notion of being "working
moms," as if they really can have it all. Whether they lust for corporate
glory or believe they have to work to be worth something (that's what they
preach in schools--"take your daughter to work day"), I don't know.
Then there are a few moms who realize there are phases to life, and they put
their career ambitions on hold until the children are grown.
As a "working dad," I have to hustle to coach my daughter's softball teams.
I have to bust a hump to get home and do the yardwork, fix the plumbing,
help with the cooking and homework and read bedtime stories.
When my first child was born, I stayed home full time (was taking college
classes), while my wife worked full time. She hated it. When our second
child was born, three years later, she insisted on staying home while I
worked, and I gave up my graduate education to work full time. I never
considered myself heroic, though I wish I'd been able to finish the
degree--it changed my career totally (I'd been preparing for a career in
International Relations, and ended up a tech writer).
Perhaps when my kids are grown, and no longer waiting for Dad to come home
to play ball, I'll go back to school. I never get enough time to play--seems
my job always demands more than 40 hours. I never thought I would say it,
but I miss the farm--we worked all day, but we did it as a family.
One last thought: when I was staying home full time, I used to take my
daughter for her doctor's checkups and stuff. Everytime I went, I'd get
grilled by the doctor about whether I had a job--seems that the Child
Protective Service nazis have decided a Dad who doesn't have a full time job
is a threat to his children.
From: bounce-techwr-l-47328 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-47328 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of salatas
Sent: Friday, September 15, 2000 10:05 AM
Subject: RE: FU word implication
Michele Davis wrote:
> I've gotten two sides:
> 1) Someone who stays at home, works PT or FT at a job non-related to
> household duties, and is available for the children.
> 2) Someone who stays at home and only does house-related duties and
> takes care of the children.
To which Mark Webb responded:
#1 defines a "working mom". Whether working at home or somewhere else is
irrelevant. Normally, it involves the exchange of money.
#2 is a "stay-at-home" mom, (significantly) busy with her home and family,
directly involved with bringing home the bacon (normally money).
To which I respond:
#1 defines any worker who works from home and happens to have children
around. It could be a working dad, sibling, or grandparent as well. If you
change the word "children" to "family members," it could also apply to all
of those who work at home and take care of any family member who needs
My question would be not whether where someone works is relevant, but how
one's family status is relevant to where one works.