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the "you're so lucky" comments - Page 6

post #101 of 113
I don't get offended. But I am totally willing to talk about HOW I am able to stay home. Like, "Well, it's not easy to do, but since we're breastfeeding and using cloth diapers, we save a LOT of money that way. Really, if I went back to work, I think between formula, disposable diapers, daycare, and everything else, we'd actually LOSE money." This usually evolves into a conversation about the relative yuckiness of cloth diapers, rotfl-- and I've actually converted a few people to CD that way.

Although sometimes I just smile and say "I'm so glad that I'm able to be with her so much, they're only young like this once."

Both responses are 100 percent true.


Our decision for me to be a SAHM was one made with a lot of thought and a lot of discussion and planning, as well as sacrifices and difficult decisions. "Luck" has nothing to do with it. I try to take such comments as compliments, though, and respond honestly and without rancor.
post #102 of 113
I still don't understand when someone says it has nothing to do with luck.

If you live in a location where you're able to afford safe housing on one income, you're lucky. Not everyone can move across the country to the middle of nowhere -- some are tied to a specific location because of health issues or nearby family who needs them or a unique job position etc.

If your partner has a job that pays well & provides health insurance, you're lucky. Some people, no matter how educated & smart & motivated, don't have that. More than 12% of my state is unemployed and many many more are underemployed.

If you knew you wanted to be a SAHM even before you got married, you're lucky you had clear dreams & those dreams didn't change over time. Often people think they want to stay on the career path & only after having kids do they realize they want to be a SAHM.

I could go on & on about each little factor but the main point is, no matter how much you plan & scrimp & save, and how hard you work, there is always 'luck' involved... circumstances beyond our immediate control that made your situation possible.

I am a WAHM. I'm lucky in that I was able to convince my employer (NOT easy, hard work played in there) to let me WAH. I am lucky I can get health insurance even at part-time, because my DH cannot get it at all. I'm lucky that we had gotten used to so many sacrifices and living on a super-tight budget at a young age. But I cannot be a SAHM right now, even though that's what I want. I consider it 'unlucky' that I can't be. If you (general you) don't agree, I would LOVE to hear what I could have done/could now do differently to make it possible. Because I already use cloth diapers and don't have cable and live in a simple, bottom-dollar house and never eat out.... I guess it hurts to hear people say I'm just not working hard enough & don't have my priorities straight etc. It hurts that people think I'm in a tough position because I made 'bad' choices, not because I had an incredibly tough life and have done my absolute best to make it better but still haven't quite succeeded in making it perfect because we just don't have LUCK on our side.
post #103 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
If I were you, I'd try to acknowledge, if only to myself, that luck/a child's personality DOES have a lot to do with behavior. It's not only good parenting. Because otherwise, when your kid starts having some less-than-desirable behaviors (which will happen at some point in his life), it will be all too easy to beat yourself up.
Oh don't get me wrong. I do take that into account. I'm not really talking about personality stuff per se. And I'm not even saying that I'm a good parent, though I can see how I came across that way. I'm talking about the parents who view their child as completely different from every other kid in the world, so much more challenging, higher needs, and how YOUR child is just so much easier (and clearly you never have any trouble with them, etc.). I'm more talking about their perception of each child's behavior than the way each child actually acts. [although, I still believe that different parenting styles do influence behavior]
post #104 of 113
Quote:
If you knew you wanted to be a SAHM even before you got married, you're lucky you had clear dreams & those dreams didn't change over time. Often people think they want to stay on the career path & only after having kids do they realize they want to be a SAHM.
That's very true. I knew I would always stay home with my kids, because my mom did with me and my sister. And dh and I talked about it before we were even married. His mom stayed home with him and his brother, so it just made sense to us. We decided that which-ever one of us was making the least amount of money at the time we had kids, he or I would quit our job.
post #105 of 113
I've said it before and people have said it to me. I've never heard anyone say it in a snarky or judgemental way. I honestly think it's just a friendly normal conversation type thing to say. We are lucky when we are able to spend more time with our children. I stayed home with ds for 6 months and then went back to work but he got to come with me so I often had people tell me how lucky I am and how i have the best of both worlds and I couldn't agree more.

person 1: What do you do?
Person 2: stay home with my kids
person 1: awww you are so lucky!

it is better than
Person 1: what do you do?
Person 2: stay home with my kids
Person 1: that's it? so you don't have a job?


KWIM?? I think it's just a nice/normal/conversational statement and some of you may be putting too much thought into it...
post #106 of 113
Yeah. I just don't think it's that big a deal. Mind you, after being given "you're so lucky" because I had a c-sectoin that I didn't want, and had been fighting with my "care" providers about for an entire pregnancy, and resulted in permanent nerve damage in my pelvis and abdomen, I have no problem hearing that I'm lucky to have something I want to have, yk?
post #107 of 113
There is luck involved in almost every human endeavor - be it managing the needs of a family to everyone's best interest or founding a multi-million dollar company.

My belief is though that our culture does not value the role luck plays in our successes. People who are financially successful are not generally refereed to as "lucky" - at least it is not the primary attribute we apply to them. Rather they are presumed to be intelligent, hard-working, determined, innovative, etc. These are all things about them that makes them worthy of success.

SAHMs are almost always refereed to as "lucky" first. In my experience the work involved in being able to cash in on our luck as SAHMs is almost never acknowledged. Yes it may be part of "normal, friendly conversation" but, at the risk of being too pc - I believe the way we talk about things matters. I believe SAHMs are "lucky" while CEOs are "intelligent, hard working, etc" because in our culture A) mothering is not considered work, and B) the work of mothering and the contributions mothers make to society are not valued or even acknowledged - beyond trite lip service. So it is easy for others to write off the "luxury" of a mom being home with her kids as a windfall that just happened to fall into her lap - like an inheritance - while CEOs are acknowledged to have worked hard and are therefore more worthy of their wealth - despite the fact that both kinds of success rely heavily on "luck".

It is wonderful to live with the recognition of the role luck plays in our lives. I personally feel the world would be a gentler place to live if we admitted that bad luck does not make those among us who have been humbled by it, unworthy people. But, I believe the fact remains that our culture does not value luck - it values work. If the work involved in being a SAHM is never acknowledged but is always discounted as "just luck", the value of mothering - in all forms - will continue to be undermined.
post #108 of 113
I think the difference is that while we know luck has a role in career success (i.e. Bill Gates) the hard work that they do is directly related to the outcome -- you don't work for years in the medical field to be successful with a computer business, you work hard with computers. So while luck plays a huge role, it's easier to follow the lines of hard work that led directly to that success. With a SAHM, the hard work is less directly related to the outcome. A SAHM may have planned her future & finances carefully, or may have worked hard as a waitress for years to save up to be a SAHM, or consciously married a financially-stable or high-income-potential man knowing it would make being a SAHM possible... am I making sense? So all the hard work & choices that lead up to being a SAHM are not directly causing her to succeed in staying at home. The connection is just much less obvious. So I don't think, when it comes to talking about luck, it's that we (as a society) don't value SAHM'ing -- although I agree that we don't really, but I'm only talking about 'luck' here -- it's just that it's easier to see how luck played into the situation & less easy to see the hard work & dedication behind it.

I think some people would refer to Bill Gates etc. as lucky and I never thought calling a SAHM lucky could be offensive (although as you can see in my pp, I do find it insulting to deny that luck plays any role). I also think that many people wouldn't call someone like Bill Gates lucky because his career isn't one we'd necessarily envy. I wouldn't WANT to work with computers all day, I wouldn't WANT to own my own business, I wouldn't WANT work to come before family, pleasure, etc. So to call him lucky would refer only to his financial well-being and I just don't care enough about money to say that. When it comes to SAHM'ing, though, I think many moms WANT to SAH. They may or may not have made poor choices, they may or may not have their priorities straight, but most really can relate to the desire to SAH with the kids and that's what makes SAHM's lucky.
post #109 of 113
I probably could have written the op myself.

I get this from people who I know could also sah, but have chosen to go to work to keep up with the beautiful homes, multiple cars, vacations, etc. One of my friends, for example, lives in a gorgeous home about 4x the size of ours on a prime piece of property, throws dinner parties at least once a month for several of her friends, spends a lot of money at the spa, etc., When she tells me how lucky I am that I can afford to stay at home, my blood boils!!! What I have said is that yes, I'm lucky, but we, as a family, have made many sacrifices (professional, personal, financial) to make it work.

Having said that, I think sometimes people are just making a comment and really don't analyze what they're saying.
post #110 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
Because I *am* lucky that DH makes a good living, but we also waited until we could afford for me to stay home before starting our family. I'm not going to rub that in someone else's face and make them feel like I think they made a poor choice, when that's absolutely not the case.
Exactly.

We never know someone else's situation, exactly.

And everyone has different expenses, some they can contol, and others they can't (you mentioned the caring for elderly parents). If your parents did well enough in their working years for themselves, and you don't have to help them financially, that is a blessing.

Also, some women might end up waiting to get pregnant until their ovaries don't work and they have no more eggs if they wait until their husband makes enough to stay home before starting a family.

Sometimes it really is a matter of "luck" about what your husband/parents, etc do in their lives.
post #111 of 113
I haven't read the other replies yet, but I do feel lucky that I can stay home. However I would feel lucky too if I had a fantastic well paying job that affored me certain luxuries that I/we are now lacking. Like most things in life I see the benefit of staying home and going back to work. There are always two sides to everything and I feel thankful for what I have.
post #112 of 113
I think that people speak from their experience.... For instance, if I remark that you (general) are so lucky to sah what I really mean to say is how great it is that your partner values a sahp. We did not have children until 10 yrs into our marriage. We had plenty of time to discuss our roles. We both agreed that I would SAH long before our children were born. However, he changed his mind at some point. I no longer sah full-time. I work on the weekends as an RN. I do love my job and the independence that I feel. However, I am a little resentful that he places so much value on the paycheck I bring home. But that is another story.....
post #113 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbtmom2000 View Post
if I remark that you (general) are so lucky to sah what I really mean to say is how great it is that your partner values a sahp. We did not have children until 10 yrs into our marriage. We had plenty of time to discuss our roles. We both agreed that I would SAH long before our children were born. However, he changed his mind at some point. I no longer sah full-time. I work on the weekends as an RN. I do love my job and the independence that I feel. However, I am a little resentful that he places so much value on the paycheck I bring home. But that is another story.....
Yes.

This. Above.

I WOULD think a SAHM with a spouse who supports the decision, and makes it happen financially, is very lucky.

Like the poster above, I too waited long into my marriage to have a baby. And we discussed staying at home, budgets, finances, careers EXTENSIVELY before marriage and in the years of marriage leading up to having a baby.

So, yes, I am quite surprised and hurt that my H changed his opinion and feel that he was only going to be supportive of me being a SAHM when he thought I loved my career and would make the choice very easy for him by going back to work. I think he just talked a good talk then when he realized, hey, this might actually happen, he didn't like the idea of being a provider for any length of time.



Live and learn. It's been a painful lesson, though.

And it's not that I don't want a career. Or that I don't like my career. I do. I just need a lot of help to balance the career and take care of my child and heretofore I have not had that help and that makes me a very unhappy and stressed mother.

So, yes, I definitely think those that stay at home with support from their families are very lucky, just as I think those that have careers and support from their families to make it work are lucky. Because I planned and talked about it, and saved money ahead of time, and lived within our means and did all the things I felt would set us up nicely. But it really comes down to having support.
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