Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 2017 Behind the Bubble

I want to encourage work outside the home moms who didn't get a chance to share their story, to do so in the comments. In 1985, I had to get special permission from the principal so that my child could stay for lunch since I was working full time. At that time, the principal "encouraged all children to go home for lunch because it was better for them." In the early 2000's, my husband was a stay at home dad since he was disabled. He was involved with the PTA, while I was working two jobs. Oh the stories he shared with me! Thank you, Jason for highlighting the difficulties that working outside the home moms have been experiencing for years.

Beyond Brownies – Mt. Lebanon Moms Who Work 
Outside The Home Tell Their Story
by Jason Margolis

The title of this article, as well as the idea for it, came from 3 different Mt. Lebanon (MTL) residents. They are all women who work outside the home, and shared with me the difficulties they have faced with the Stay At Home Mother (SAHM) culture they see as glorified within MTL. Specifically, because their contributions to school events (like bake sales) were often necessarily different from others, they said they were often made to feel like outsiders.

In trying to understand whether this was an idiosyncratic 3-woman phenomenon, or a sign of a larger and more problematic social trend, I put out a call on MTL Nextdoor to see if any working-out-of-the-home MTL moms wanted to share their experiences.

Dozens of women responded to Private Message me on Nextdoor, or contacted me directly. Several, however, just gave a quick 1-2 sentence response supporting the idea of the article and to briefly mention their experience, then stating that they would not have time to complete the full survey.

Ten women agreed to respond to the full survey – and most had a lot to say. This article is their story (* note: while 2 of the respondents approved the use of their real names, to help de-identify those who wished to remain unnamed, all names used here are pseudonyms).

Because of space limitations, I cannot publish in full each response but instead excerpt sections that represent the essence of their experiences – both individually and collectively.

While most of these women enjoy and appreciate living in MTL, there are several common, somewhat harsh, lived realities they endure. This includes: 1) being socially ostracized by SAHMs; 2) the lack of affordable and varied after school care for their children; 3) frustrations with half-day kindergarten, with these feelings being partially ameliorated by the privately-owned Mt. Lebanon Extended Day Program; and 4) Facing additional differential treatment if they are single working moms and “transplants” to MTL.

Overall, these women do not regret their working-and-parenting-related decisions and the positive example they believe they are setting for their children.

Adeline – Why isn’t daddy at the pool?

“… the moms at the school and cheerleading (and we are talking about girls in 2nd grade) definitely have their clique. I've tried to be friendly and join in conversations but they are not interested in adding new people to their circle. Not only do I work full-time but I'm a divorced single-mom who is self-supported via an excellent job. Many people in MTL (not just women) seem baffled that I (1) would get divorced and (2) that I could support myself. One example I remember is when I went to purchase a pool pass for myself and my 2 kids. The woman couldn't understand that it was only 3 people total, 1 adult and 2 children. She kept asking about a husband or father. It was a bit annoying. When I moved into my previous residence many neighbors didn't seem to understand that I was separating from my husband and looking for a safe place for me and my kids … I've never lived in another community where being divorced was such a foreign concept. As for the PTA and volunteer events at the school, most of those occur during work hours and then when you don't volunteer and participate you're ostracized.

The school district definitely is not in favor of working moms. I've been fortunate enough to have my daughter enrolled in the MTL Extended Day program but that isn't affiliated with the school. Being a single mom means I don't even have the option to stay at home and take care of my kids as I refuse to "live off the system" when I am capable of working. The fact that they still have half-day kindergarten is causing me heartburn as my son will start in the fall. I'm praying I can get my son into the Kindergarten care at EDS because if I don't I have no idea what I will do. I'm not from the area so I don't have a big network or moms or friends or family that could help in that situation.

Despite my complaining I LOVE living in MTL … My only complaint living here has been the way the other ("non-working") moms treat newcomers and working moms. I am proud to be a working mother and I want my daughter to see me as a strong independent woman and know that she can grow up to be the same way.”

Ella – Eating Cupcakes With A Plastic Spork

I was born and raised on the North Side of Pittsburgh to two high school educated parents. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, more like a plastic spork. We were a typical blue collar family, who lived pay check to pay check … Mt. Lebanon seemed light years away from where I grew up in the 80's. I used to sell beer out in this area in the early 2000's. I used to drive around the neighborhoods while working out here, just in awe of the beauty. I loved the stone homes and community feel. It felt like a country setting only 15 min away from the city. Although, I was young, single, with no kids, I knew someday that all would change. I remember driving around repeating to myself, "I want to raise a family here someday, I would love to live here." I never told anyone and kept my thoughts to myself. It seemed like an unattainable dream, at the time, in a land far far away from my reality.

When we moved here we only had one daughter at the time ... I worked at a restaurant in the Galleria and this is where I started to understand my new community. Many people from Peters, USC, and Lebo dined at the restaurant. Although I felt that "The Housewives" looked down upon me as a server, I was too old to feed into their bullshit … Instead of commenting on their 6 carat diamond rings and black card, I commented on their children's respectful behavior or how beautiful their family was. My comments brought huge smiles to their lonely hearts and botox faces. I got a "feel" of what is important to people around here and it wasn't even on my radar. People would tell me that they paid $500 for a bookshelf at a galleria shop, and I used to say, “wow, I got the same thing at the thrift store for $10 and a can of paint.” I knew that I was always going to stick out like a sore thumb in my new area.

I remember the day that I had to take my daughter to her first day of Kindergarten. She went to the afternoon class, since I am not a morning person. That also meant that she would be dismissed with the rest of the school … As we were nervously waiting at the front door, with the rest of the K parents, I heard a dad say to his son, "If you do that again, I am going to strangle you." My jaw dropped. My jaw dropped not because I was offended by what he said, my jaw dropped because I knew that he was not born and raised in Lebo. I didn't know if I was about to hug him or I was about to High 5 him!

He proceeded to tell me that he grew up East of the city and attended a familiar city school. Like myself, he grew up getting his ass beat … We still remain good friends 3 years later.

This "Time Out" and "Play Date" [stuff] was all new to me. In the city, the only "Time Out" that you got was when your ass got hurt from getting beat. We didn't have a "Play Date," kids just played outside with the kids in the neighborhood, until the street lights came on. It was a whole new world to me Livin La Vida Lebo, as I refer to it. It is no surprise that my circle of good friends in the area were also born with a plastic spork in their mouths.

Fast forward to now, my daughter is finishing 3rd grade and my son will enter K this fall. So much has changed with our family. My no-nonsense attitude and entrepreneurial spirit finally lead me to where I belonged, being a Mom'preneur … I have been renting my whole life because I am a rolling stone. Now that I am a mother, I finally have found a place that I want to grow roots and it is Mt. Lebanon. I cannot see myself anywhere else. The education, the location, the community, it's the perfect tri-fecta! I need to work on my dreams so that I can plant those roots deeply for my children, buying a cool home in a beautiful neighborhood and creating a family business that I can pass along. I love Mt. Lebanon. I still get jokes from my North Side friends and family about living in "Cupcake Land." I love my Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Cupcake Land. Although we have been renting, I love that the trolley is outside my door. I love that my neighbors are down to earth and caring. I love that I found more of "My peoples." When the time is right, we will purchase our home in Lebo and that will be icing on the Cupcake, fo sho! It doesn't take a village to raise a child in Mt. Lebanon, it takes a Bakery. Being a Mom is never easy, even in "Cupcake Land."

Florence – Sometimes An Emptiness In The Air

“I used to hear a few comments at PTA meetings, like “The stay-at-home moms do all the volunteering”, even though that wasn’t true. And I was never intentionally ostracized, but my experience at PTA meetings and in school activities was that all the other moms knew each other and formed little cliques, whether they were working moms or not, and if they didn’t know you, they didn’t make you feel welcome or invite you in.

Because I worked for 36 years, I never had time to get to know people in the neighborhood and all my friends were co-workers who lived all over the city. I got to know a few of my son’s friends’ moms, and became actual friends with one of them, but other ones were not responsive when I reached out in attempts to form a friendship. Were it not for my husband and son, I would feel very alone in my house, because all my neighbors are introverts and no one invites anyone to their houses or makes any attempt to reach out. I don’t feel a part of the community or any sense that this is a community at all because the neighbors all stick to themselves. It may depend on who lives on your street.

I am aware that some streets have “block parties” and the neighbors seem to all know and enjoy each other and frequently socialize. Not so on our block … I was very glad that Mt. Lebanon had a great daycare center in “Kids Are Us” … They watched my son for two years before he went to kindergarten. My sister watched him up to age 4. Also glad they had the Mt. Lebanon Extended Day Program through the fifth grade. My son went there after school and I was always secure in the knowledge that he was safe.

Mt. Lebanon is a wonderful, picturesque, safe neighborhood with plenty of resources and activities … [except the] lack of community feeling and closeness in my neighborhood where everyone keeps to themselves and there is sometimes an emptiness in the air.

Hazel – A Social Pariah At Pick-Up

“I've had a couple of experiences that I would label as gentle shaming, which has included another mother saying to me, "I don't know how you go to work. I don't think I could leave my daughter with someone else." Another mother commented, "You just seem so busy that we didn't know if we should contact you about (scheduling a group play date, contributing to the teacher's gift, organizing a bake sale, etc.)". I've definitely felt the ostracism. When I am able to pick up my daughter from school, since I don't know the other parents as well as they seem to know each other, I feel disconnected and a bit like a social pariah …

I would love it if Mt. Lebanon could sponsor all day camps for elementary children in the summer. The camps they offer are generally morning camps, and it is difficult to occupy the day for your child when you only have the mornings scheduled. I wish they would also offer a greater diversity of camp opportunities - based upon specific themes or skills - like I have seen offered by the JCC.”

Holly – Of Course I Miss Them

“Most recently, I sat at kindergarten orientation with a mom I kind of know. She sat with other SAHMs, and I was the only working mom. When I began asking questions (that identified myself as working) of the principal, the mom I know shifted in her seat as if to separate herself from me. Now this could have been because I was asking hard questions of the school district and of the “way things have been done” and had nothing to do with the fact that I work full time in addition to being a mom. What I found really interesting about this setting was that it was quite clear that most of the parents in the auditorium that day had taken time off of work, as I had. More often than not, I find myself among parents who also have jobs, either full or part-time. This leads me to wonder about the actual numbers of SAHM in MTL – are they really the majority? Of course this could depend on cohorts…perhaps this is true of moms whose first children are just now entering the public schools? Or perhaps it’s true of particular neighborhoods?

In other settings, I’ve been shamed, perhaps unintentionally, by moms who often wonder how(if) I do it…meaning both balance work and parenting. There often seems to be an underlying message: well, if you didn’t work maybe you could cook more/clean more/get more creative with your kids, etc. Other moms also want to know how I leave my kids for long periods of time every day. I get asked a LOT, “Don’t you miss them?” It’s a frustrating question. Of course I miss them – I didn’t have kids by accident but my circumstances and my desires are such that I work full time. And guess what? I still parent full time, too. It’s not a role that can be switched off just because I head to the office.

And that means I’m not likely going to fundraise, bake cookies, or spend a whole lot of time on evening and weekend events, especially those that my kids aren’t interested in doing … So, don’t take it personally when I reject your offers or your requests, and certainly don’t assume that I don’t prioritize my kids …

And yes, we all need to be supportive of one another. But it’s not enough to say that “we’re all mothers” because we are all different. To ignore difference is ignorant. We face different challenges based on our personal and social contexts. We approach those challenges differently based on so many different things. MTL might not be a racially diverse place, but is has its diversity of situation. In our neighborhood we have working moms, stay at home moms, single moms, moms whose husbands are not present for one reason or another, and even moms who have nannies who are home with them… and that just scratches the surface … It would be easier if we stopped judging others and ourselves.”

Ladora – It Helps My Mommy Guilt

I think my son feels the effect of me being a working mom in MTL. Sometimes he would like to participate in MTL activities associated with the recreation center with his friends but the majority of activities are during working hours.

As a working mom, I truly appreciate the Mt Lebanon Extended Day program. My son attends both morning and afternoon care. He loves it which helps with my mommy guilt knowing that he spends a good amount of time at school during the week.

In addition, I appreciate my [particular] PTA. They balance meetings and events to accommodate both working and stay-at-home mothers.

Linda – Stuck In The Middle Without You

I was just finishing up grad school to earn a master of science in counseling psychology when I found out I was pregnant after being married 17 years and told I could not become pregnant. I was working full-time throughout my schooling as a computer programmer for a large corporation. It took me seven years, year round, 2 classes per semester to complete the required 48 credits … Because much of my education and experience focused on sexual trauma and abuse and thus learned how much more prevalent abuse was (tragically), my husband and I were reluctant to have others care for our child. Thus, it was decided that one of us would stay home to raise our child. As I had planned to transition into another occupation already, I was the person chosen to be that stay-at-home parent.

After being home for 6 months with the baby, I returned to school to complete my internships working only 15 works per week. Once I obtained my degree, I began working towards acquiring my license. As strenuous as working towards my degree was while maintaining full-time employment, work towards licensure was much more arduous! Adjusting to a baby within the marriage, at the age of 43, and facing the prospects of maybe never obtaining licensure was stressful.

As a part-time worker outside the home, I've also been shamed/ostracized by full-time workers for wanting/needing to be a stay-at-home mom (even if part-time) as my contributions to the occupation doesn't warrant much weight or is not taken seriously. I've experienced this attitude from both women and men in my occupation … Comments like "well, I'm not sure you are really dedicated to this field," or "you can't be very effective then" are said. Other times, I am simply not invited to participate in the peer consultation group again.

As far as feeling outcast by the stay-at-home moms, I haven't experienced or heard any direct comments by any one person, although I am often not included in various events -- only after someone might realize that I've found out about the event, then I might be extended an invitation.

Martha – Good Luck Being Let Into That Group

When my daughter was in elementary school, it was staggering how many mothers stayed at home. On the occasions when I took a day or afternoon off for an appointment or to help out at the school, I frequently heard from one of the Stay-At-Home-Moms, "What are YOU doing here? I thought Sally went to Extended Day!" as if I was encroaching on their turf.

Some of the moms who stayed home had my back. But I can count on one hand the number who did.

The good news is [my daughter] has grown to be independent and responsible and a very well-adjusted young lady.

I think that each family makes the choice that is the best for them. Whatever that choice is, we all need to respect that. I never felt internally as if I was abandoning my child or slighting her in any way for not being there to pick her up after school. By working, I am showing her that you can have a family and a job at the same time.

I felt a lot as if I were back in high school with the cliques, like I just didn't measure up. They were all friends, and since I worked, I wasn't part of that. Good luck being let in to that group. I hope that this survey will encourage those who do not work outside the home to be more accepting of those who do. We need to support each other and not tear one another down. What example are we setting for our children?

Rae – I Don’t See A Community Here

I have lived in MTL for a little over two years …I have a love/hate relationship with Lebo … I would rate the environment at a 3 for any type of mother that is not a SAHM and married.

I am a single mother in addition to being a working mother. I was ostracized at my own child's birthday party. I feel that most of it is more subtle. What I experience most is people simply acting as if they don't hear you. It's really rather amazing. I would also say that my child's father is not treated in the same manner as I. It is more acceptable for him to be a single and working father. In chaperone and birthday events, I am generally ignored completely. Working mothers do speak to me.

I have seen the same practice in my neighbors. I grew up in rural PA and lived in various neighborhoods within the city of Pittsburgh for 15 years prior to moving to Lebo. I do not know my neighbors. I did when I lived anywhere else. We spent time together and helped one another. I do not feel the same sense of community here … the level of entitlement and poor treatment of others I have experienced here is mind blowing and not something I have experienced anywhere else. This is my personal experience and the experience of those close to me.

I'm here for the school district and I truly hope now that I haven't done my child a disservice in allowing her to grow up in this environment rather than one with more diversity. All I can do is instill values that are important to me and my family and hope that resonates with her more strongly than what she may experience as a member of this "community." I don't see a community here and if it exists it feels a bit too Stepfordish for my liking.


Jason Margolis said...

I would like to encourage anyone who wishes to comment on this article to do so here under "Comments."

All types of perspectives and comments are welcome, except -- I am going to ask this Blog's editor (Elaine Gillen) to NOT publish anything, anonymous or named, that attacks any of the women who shared their stories in this article.

Thank you,

Dr. Jason Margolis

Anonymous said...

While I can agree with a lot of the things the working moms have written about the cliques and can we call it "shunning" I'm baffled by the intense focus on MTL moms, their trials and tribulations, tough schedules, and responsibilities.

Are their no dads in this community? Do they never get torn between the responsibilities of work and their love for their children?
Do they scramble to find time to volunteer as coaches, scout leaders or to just get out of the office to make their kids school performance or game?
Do they not envy the dad that always seems to have time to groom a ball field or run a team practice?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't see the same social problems and cliquish behavior among the dads. In fact, you hardly hear or read anything about them unless it is a reference about the good old boy network.

That isn't to say I want to see dads start complaining. Somehow the guys just manage, cope and focus on doing the best job they can

E. T. Gillen said...

7:42 AM, there are double standards here. "Guys" seem to get a free pass, but moms seem to be guilted by administration and PTA moms. My husband saw it first hand when he was a PTA dad.

Unknown said...

Love reading and learning about others experiences. I can tell you that my experiences are not far off. I really feel that we need a community in Lebo for working moms. Would anyone be interested in meeting up sometime? I think working moms could really lean on on another, since we do have different challenges. Plus,I could always use a walking /happy hour partner in crime. Pm me on here if interested..thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I agree somewhat, Elaine. While I had the opportunity to be a stay at home dad for some periods I found that the moms sometimes welcomed my participation and at other times I sensed there was an atmosphere that for some reason I shouldn't be interfering in the moms world.

That though wasn't my point. Perhaps I was oblivious but I didn't see any anymosity between the dads who's jobs allowed them time to at every function, every game, and every meeting and the ones who's job or service caused them little time for involvement with their kids school or sports activities. I just didn't see the cliqueishness with the dads.

Did it exist or was I oblivious to it?

Anonymous said...

To get back to the subject of Jason's original post, as a sometime stay at home dad, I found that the working moms that somehow found time to get involved with an activity or project were far more pleasant, accepting and cordial than the stay at home moms that you constantly had the feeling you were intruding on their turf.

Anonymous said...

I am a single mom that is fortunate to have a great job that allows me to support my child and myself in Mt Lebanon without a problem. I went to high school in Mt. Lebanon, then moved away after grad school. I have recently moved back to Mt. Lebanon, mainly for the schools, and it is as wonderful as I remember it.

With that said, I have experienced many of the things mentioned in Jason's post. The PTA meetings at my daughter's school are at 9am on Friday mornings. The parents that attend those also like to meet about other things after the PTA meetings - things like other volunteer events. I still remember receiving an e-mail about a volunteer event I was participating in, and being asked to meet about it after the Friday morning PTA meeting. That didn't happen for me.

My saving grace, as far as the SAHMs are concerned, is that my sister knows several of them from a youth group that she participated in during highschool. These SAHMs just happen to have children in the same grade as my daughter. Outside of those women, the only other mothers that will talk to me during sporting events or volunteer events, are the ones that work outside of the home. The other SAHMs physically distance themselves from me at these events.

I do have to say, though, that the teachers in Mt. Lebanon have been more than accommodating. If I need to meet with one of them outside of parent-teacher conferences, they make time for me even if it usually is between 7:30 - 8am. My daughter's principal is also the first person to give me information and help out. He is also great with the students - I hear stories about him from my daughter all the time. I can't say enough good about the schools, and the feeling of community that I have experienced from several people in my neighborhood (mainly older, retired people). It would be great if all of the moms communicated and treated everyone equally whether they work outside the home or not.

Kathryn Clark said...

I do not live in Mt. Lebo but I have been all sorts of things -- a working single parent, a working two parent family, a work from home parent -- and I can tell you that what has been expressed above is certainly NOT unique to Mt. Lebo. I have lived in the North Hills and the South Hills, and at least here in Western Pa, it is universal. Schools schedule things not necessarily as a convenience for stay at home moms, but more as a convenience for school teachers, whose hours cannot dare extend past 4pm or they turn into pumpkins I guess. Particularly if you work downtown, this means you might as well take the day off in order to get to a particular event on time -- have you SEEN traffic lately? Extended Day is a life saver in every south hills school district. Now ask the question what you do with your children when they are 13 -- too old for extended day, too young to get a job -- during the summer and you work all day.

ANyway, I appreciate the article, but just wanted to emphasize that this is not a Lebo issue.

Diane Vrabel said...

I would be interested in meeting other moms to discuss these issues, perhaps at Bado's or Scoops on Beverly Road some evening or weekend afternoon. If anyone else is interested, email me at Dr. Margolis is also invited. My name is Diane and I am a retired former working mom.

Anonymous said...

I am a working dad who tried to participate in PTA. Suddenly meeting times were moved to 9:30 am on a weekday. Change of meeting time was never discussed with all PTA parents. It was just suddenly changed.

Anonymous said...

ELLA, I have felt exactly the same way. I sometimes feel like I stick out like a sore thumb too but I LOVE it here. It's harder to make friends here as a "transplant".
And Florence It does feel empty a lot:(
This article brings me so much sadness. I wish we could have monthly get togethers with mothers, working in and out of the home. We need to be building each other up and supporting each other. Being a mother is hard enough. We shouldn't be judging each other, we should be lifting each other up. Single, married, working, not working. It shouldn't matter one damn bit. We need start setting an example as a community because, as stated above, it's not a Lebo thing. But we can start making Lebo different. Make our women a unified community of strength, friendship and kindness.

Anonymous said...

3:11, sounds like a good idea but according to the Home Rule Charter revision the voters approved a few years ago, aren't we all supposed to be gender blind?

There's no he or she, mom or dad!

Anonymous said...

Using Mt. Lebanon street names as the pseudonyms was a nice touch. Do I win a prize for catching that?

Unknown said...

Haha! I caught that as well!

Anonymous said...

6:12 I am referring to the article, as is everyone else. Not sure why you decided to single me out and not the article itself. The article itself is about Lebo WOMEN . Hence, SHE. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

10:22 I think you do!! :)

Jason Margolis said...

Nice catch on the street names!

Think about it. In many ways, these women are the invisible "infrastructure" on which some of the other more glorified MTL residents are able to thrive and "volunteer" and "donate" their time.

Not only do these women provide loving homes for their children, they also provide essential good and services to the larger community, and add to the tax base. But in so doing, they don't have the time to volunteer, or work out, or grab a coffee.

Meanwhile, those with the economic luxury to do so get to "volunteer" in the community, making connections, gaining social and cultural capital to better navigate MTL and advocate on behalf of their children ... and then these are the children that get better access to the "riches" of MTL - more playing time, better jobs ...

This is how systems replicate themselves, and power and influence gets transferred from generation to generation.

We often take the streets for granted. We just ride them on the way to our oh-so-important goals.

Anonymous said...

7:01, I singleyou out solely to applaud you sea for working moms getting together not to mock you.
Although I still don't understand the segregation element of this whole post. A couple of commenters say they are PTA dads and feel left out. Don't they count?

Anonymous said...

Jason, I think you're always going to have a group of volunteers that for some reason have more time or financial resources to devote to "volunteering."
The problems arise when those people begin to think "they" are the organization and start to look for rewards for being so dedicated.

Jason Margolis said...

9:58am, agreed. And I think that is where, while this is certainly an issue more broadly, it is a MTL issue exponentially.

Jason Margolis said...

And right on cue, check this out:

Watch out for those "innocent" worksheets (busywork) your kids bring home from school!

Anonymous said...

PTA is too clique-ish for my tastes. They need to get over themselves.

E. T. Gillen said...

B.L., I don't know what it is with your obsession with Jason, but it is getting to be pretty creepy.

Jason Margolis said...

The town idiots have been trolling for me years, thinking it will keep me quiet. It just makes me all the sure that the nerve I hit is raw and feeble.

(For those who don't know what we are talking about, Elaine is fielding numerous personal attacks against me for my article--as usual. Intimidation attempts by the weak... happens all the time when someone doesn't buy into every MTL Myth. The oligarchy has gone after dozens of people... can't speak for them, but for myself, it actually makes me happier and stronger).

Anonymous said...

OMG. B.L. came after me in some P-G comments. I mean, came after me personally. We never met. It did spook me out.

Sorry it's happening to you again, Jason.

Anonymous said...

Jason, Elaine, there's that MTL unity rearing its ugly head again.

Rather than make arguments as to why Jason (and others views) are wrong, they start with the personal attacks as if they are defending the republic or something.

Jason's view point could be absolutely off base (although I think he's more accurate than not) I'd love read arguments to the contrary.

Personal attacks BL, make me think of that line from Hamlet— "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason. I would suggest you delve deeper into Your Behind The Bubble and investigate the Moms whether at home or working with disabled children. This is a subgroup that has been ostracized for many years, I know this as I have experienced this for many years. It crosses all economic levels within MTL. It needs to be addressed in our community.

Jason Margolis said...

9:06pm - please send me an email, I would be interested in learning more, starting with your experiences.

Anonymous said...

9:52...Thanks so much!! And I agree that SAHD's shouldn't feel ostracized either! Their voices need to be heard too. They should email Jason!
Jason I HATE those busywork worksheets! And much to my shock,as a SAHM and a transplant :).......I was truly enlightened by your article. I have felt] a lot of what these women have felt but as a transplant. I wish there were names, only for the purpose of meeting because I felt a strong connection, especially to one in particular. Thank you for sharing these stories.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I both worked full time during the period our children grew up in Lebo and went through the Mt. Lebanon schools. We always volunteered for everything we could, including coaching youth teams and chaperoning activities wherever possible. I have to say we had a mixed relationship with the SAHMs and Sports Poobahs that ruled Mt. Lebanon. We appreciated the time they devoted to organizing activities that benefited our children, but never really got close to very many of them because they would not let us. During activities they would be asking for help (financial and time) and could be quite friendly, but if we ran into them outside of the activity we were cut dead. The cliques were powerful, insular and at times quite arrogant. At times they could be quite vicious toward children who through greater ability challenged the place they thought their children should occupy. We ended up with children who were able to face any challenge, graduated with high honors from elite universities, and are very well adjusted. So growing up in Lebo has its advantages, and you have to take the good with the bad. So I choose to thank the people that ran the organizations that benefited my children and quite frankly could not care less what they think of me.

Anonymous said...

9:52, you're welcome. I think the idea of a working moms group that perhaps goes beyond socializing and looks for ways that they can contribute to the community is a lofty goal, but would you exclude a stay at home mom that prefers to socialize with other moms at 9:00 pm instead of 9:00 am?

Then what about dads? Do the working dads have to form their own group?

I'm not suggesting singular interest groups are wrong, but creating them seems to fly in the face of this Lebo unity agenda.

Anonymous said...

11:13, that may have been the dumbest thing i've ever read.

Anonymous said...

5:45, are you a SAHM that wants to keep control?

E. T. Gillen said...

I have an idea. How about you, 11:13 AM, write an article about men working outside the home, and the difficulties they have faced with the Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) culture they see as glorified within MTL. Will it get over two THOUSAND hits like Jason received for this month's BtB? Let's see.

Anonymous said...

Nowhere in any comments did anyone mention a conflict BETWEEN working dads and stay at home dads, Elaine.

7:42 AM on June 1st commented:
"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't see the same social problems and cliquish behavior among the dads. In fact, you hardly hear or read anything about them unless it is a reference about the good old boy network."

That comment doesn't exclude the fact there is without a doubt a sports cabal clique comprised of dads and moms that carries a lot of influence in the the district and municipality. Nor does it conflict with several comments made by dads that felt odd with the SAHM PTAers.

E. T. Gillen said...

So that's a no for the SAHDs article? That's what I thought.

Anonymous said...

If there's no conflict between working dads and SAHDs why would there need to be an article?
What would it say, they get along despite their differences in schedules and life style choices?