Wednesday, 17 November 2010

In Honour of Debates

I received this week's Simple Savings 'Tip of the Week' in my email box on Sunday.  I must say, this one had me raising my eyebrows.  And wanting to wage a debate of proportions such as our Yr 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9's have never seen (they're all doing debating at the moment).

What has me on the defense?  This week's tip was about the financial benefits of being a SAHM, and how much working mothers waste on pre-prepared food items.  I'm not in complete opposition to the writer's opinion.  Yes, there are expenses to do with working.  Petrol, clothing, child care (for some), a slightly higher inclination towards take away (again, for some).  My objections was specifically to do with comments made about the type of foods consumed and the higher grocery budget required in those households where Mum works.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with this woman.  The friend for whom this lady cleans has obviously made choices.  But not ALL working mothers (or working women, generally) make those same choices.  Just because you may work does not mean you cannot cook a meal from basic, fresh ingredients each evening.  It does not mean you resort to boxed/prepared snacks.  Last year I worked four very full days each week, and was often out and about on my day off.  I managed to shop wisely and cook the way I normally do ~ using fresh, raw ingredients.  When I was a SAHM I would have evenings when I just didn't feel like cooking.  I don't believe that happens with any more frequency now than it did then.  I still rely, occasionally, on having a bag of frozen vegies as a back up, and a packet of rice crackers in the pantry for school lunch snacks.  Just as I did before I began working.

Every one of us makes choices based upon that which is important to us.  I strongly believe in providing healthy, nutritious meals for my family.  How busy I am may change the meal I cook on busier days, but I am still cooking as I always have.  Other families don't place the same importance on nutrition that I do and their food choices bear that out.  But it is these values and beliefs about what is important in regard to food that governs what a family eats.  Not whether or not a woman works.  We may blame work.  But I don't believe that is the entirely accurate perspective.

I'll hop of my soap-box now....


Kimmie said...

Couldn't agree with you more!

Tracy said...

I deleted this weeks hint without reading it so I missed this one. I agree with you. I have worked and been a SAHM at different times but I am still me and I still make the same choices regarding our families diets no matter.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Plenty of SAHMs depend on prepared foods and box mixes. It's not about working or staying at home, it's about your overall take on nutrition, fresh foods, etc. It doesn't take much longer to make meals from scratch than to dump stuff out of boxes after all. I'm a SAHM who plans my menu for the week and shops on Saturdays--just like plenty of working moms. Don't know what going to work or staying home has to do with it!


Tracy said...

Every conversation I've had about this 'tip of the week' has said exactly the same thing Frances. Tonight I was telling my SIL about this and she was adamant that working or being at home was irrelevant when talking about what people eat.

Nice to know I'm in such very fine company!

Chookie said...

I'm another who thought that was just another unhelpful salvo in the Mummy Wars. I work 3 days and still cook -- though the kids do get fish fingers from time to time now!

I'm starting to reconsider my Simple Savings sub as I don't find it very helpful. The homoeopathy makes my blood boil, especially when she 'vaccinates' against measles or tells us about the peer-reviewed studies that prove H isn't garbage -- when the studies aren't actually peer-reviewed! The Vault (when I had a free sub) had a lot of time-intensive tips that suited the unemployed or truly desperate -- "If you use two sheets instead of three, you can cut your annual toilet paper bill by a third!" Things aren't quite that dire here yet!

Tracy said...

It's unfortunate that a site with lots of good information is being clouded with unhelpful stuff.

I agree with your comment about the "Mummy Wars". Given that women run the site, it would be nice if they would commit to publishing information that is uplifting for everyone.