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the "you're so lucky" comments - Page 3

post #41 of 113
Doesn't bother me a bit. We are by no means rich, we haven't taken a vacation in over two years, and when we used to get a once a year vacation it meant 3 nights away someplace we could easily drive to in 4 hours. We eat out or order in pizza about once a month, other than that we only eat at home. My car is 9 years old and makes a funny rattle sound, although I have been assured that it's not causing any damage to my car, and I can drive it this way as long as the rattle doesn't bug me and save myself the $600 to fix the part. We are a single car family living in Los Angeles, a city not known for it's public transportation. And I feel incredibly lucky to have so much. There are so many especially in this current economic climate that are no where near as lucky as we are. I never take the time to think about how someone else could afford or not to afford being a SAHM, why that would be any of my business is beyond me. I know that for me and my family, we are very very lucky.
post #42 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_francis View Post
Giving up eating out, cable, and shopping are NOT sacrifices. I am sorry, that is insane. Now, giving up vacations, bigger houses, fancy cars, that is sacrifice. And I agree that is something, if in a position to do, giving up to SAH is awesome. And why wouldnt you think that you are lucky.
I'm not following you here at all. You think that giving up a big house, fancy car or a vacation is a bigger sacrifice than giving up cable?

When I was a WOHM, we had none of those things. The only shopping I did was for groceries (I didn't even buy myself new underwear, socks or a bra for about 3-4 years). We didn't have cable for a long time. I've never owned a house, and never owned a new (or even newish) car, let alone a fancy one. Eating out was something I did once every six weeks with a friend - and she treated me quite a few times, because it was important to both of us to keep up our traditional meeting, and I was broke. NONE of those things were a sacrifice. And, you know something? I have more money now, and I still don't own a house, and when our minivan gives up the ghost in the next month or so, we'll buy another used vehicle....and that's not "sacrifice", either.

I don't even get what you were saying here. How on earth is giving up a fancy car a "sacrifice" if giving up cable or eating out isn't one? I don't really see any of those things as a sacrifice (okay - I would like to be able to at least have dinner out on my anniversary, but a cheap family restaurant is fine), but to arbitrarily decide that giving up one luxury is a sacrifice and giving up another one isn't, makes no sense. I don't even want a fancy car, and would probably sell it if I got one!
post #43 of 113
It seems like the best thing to do is to not care about what people think, or say or do. Who cares if people think you're lucky? I know it's nice to get credit where credit's due, but we can't live our lives expecting it! It seems like our society is a little too obsessed with getting recognition for what we do or don't do. In the long run what really matters is that we each make the best choices for ourselves and our family, remembering that sometimes those choices are not easy or simple.
post #44 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
It seems like the best thing to do is to not care about what people think, or say or do. Who cares if people think you're lucky? I know it's nice to get credit where credit's due, but we can't live our lives expecting it! It seems like our society is a little too obsessed with getting recognition for what we do or don't do. In the long run what really matters is that we each make the best choices for ourselves and our family, remembering that sometimes those choices are not easy or simple.
You said exactly what I was rambling along trying to get at further above. Thank you and big huge YEAH THAT.
post #45 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post


...

Edited to add: one thing that probably wasn't clear from my OP: really this bugs me much more with friends. Some random person I am chatting with could say "you're so lucky" and I'd accept that as small talk. I don't expect random acquaintances to appreciate the sacrifices DH and I have made. The ones that bother me are friends who know me. I feel like they know me well enough to see how hard we work at making the SAHM thing happen.
Understandable. Have you talked to them about it? Asked them why it is they can't stay at home if they really want to? Asked them why they think you're lucky rather than someone who planned to SAH? Have you pointed out what you feel you're sacrificing to do so?

If these are mere acquaintances, I would probably not try to go down this road with them. But if these are close friends, isn't a quick chat to avoid the irritation worth it?
post #46 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirp View Post
My take is different as well. I always think that they mean in terms of getting to be with your child...and that's it.

....

I feel what they are commenting on is the ability for our son to be with a parent, in his own environment, being nurtured one on one. And that I'm get to enjoy his baby years. They never tell DH that he's "lucky" for having a SAHW...(unless, it's like, his mother...or my mother). But DS gets told that he's lucky. So I figure it's an issue of family time and bonding.
This is exactly how I also feel.
I feel lucky to be home to be with my child and she is lucky to be at home with me - her Mom.
post #47 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I'm not following you here at all...

I don't even get what you were saying here.
How on earth is giving up a fancy car a "sacrifice" if giving up cable or eating out isn't one? I don't really see any of those things as a sacrifice (okay - I would like to be able to at least have dinner out on my anniversary, but a cheap family restaurant is fine), but to arbitrarily decide that giving up one luxury is a sacrifice and giving up another one isn't, makes no sense. I don't even want a fancy car, and would probably sell it if I got one!
Uhm, neither do I, but I think that's probably because, unless you have 10 kids, then IMO giving up a large house isn't any more a sacrifice than giving up cable is a sacrifice. But don't try to make me part with my Le Creuset! You will draw back a nub!

Zippy seems to be stating her frustration / irritation from an opposing viewpoint of the OP. At least, that's how I chose to interpret her post!

I think if we all just stick to making decisions for our own lives and families and stop judging how others can, can't will or won't do better, we'll stop ticking one another off.
post #48 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilyoftheincas13 View Post
Uhm, neither do I, but I think that's probably because, unless you have 10 kids, then IMO giving up a large house isn't any more a sacrifice than giving up cable is a sacrifice. But don't try to make me part with my Le Creuset! You will draw back a nub!
I guess that's what I mean, though. Only the person giving up/compromising something knows how much of a sacrifice it is for them. I don't love the place we live in, and hope we can manage a house one day, but it's not a big deal to me, yk? For dh, living in this townhouse is a huge sacrifice. Same house. Same reasons for living here (we're staying put until ds1 graduates in 2011, so he can finish school with his childhood friends). Different feelings about it.

Nobody can judge how big a sacrifice someone else is making when they give up anything that isn't a necessity.
post #49 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I guess that's what I mean, though. Only the person giving up/compromising something knows how much of a sacrifice it is for them. I don't love the place we live in, and hope we can manage a house one day, but it's not a big deal to me, yk? For dh, living in this townhouse is a huge sacrifice. Same house. Same reasons for living here (we're staying put until ds1 graduates in 2011, so he can finish school with his childhood friends). Different feelings about it.

Nobody can judge how big a sacrifice someone else is making when they give up anything that isn't a necessity.
Word! Which is why pointing out why someone who says they are making a sacrifice is really NOT making a sacrifice based only on what WE think is a real sacrifice is an exercise in futility. (BTW, I'm not saying that this is what you're doing; the 2 of us and many others in this thread I think are on the same page...) Plus, it's irritating! Just as irritating as running around telling someone who is a SAHM they are "lucky" when luck may have nothing to do with it at all. Especially when we know them.
post #50 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I do feel blessed to stay home.

But part of the reason I am "lucky" is that I have a husband who is willing to work incredibly hard and live on incredibly little in order to make it possible for me to be home.
That. I know that many men would rather have the double income, and with it less financial stretch, and more freedom to purchase, and less pressure to be the one putting food on the table. I feel lucky that Dh and I are on the same page about my being home full time (I work 10 hrs a week, now, though, which is also working really well - a side note, but I wanted full disclosure ).

I've known couples that weren't in full agreement on this, and usually this means that one person sacrifices what they want in order to maintain the peace.

ETA: As for sacrifice, I do believe that for my Dh to not have a flat-screen TV is a sacrifice for him. For me it's not, that's such a luxury item that it doesn't even register on my radar as something to want. And if I had the money for it, I'd buy a whole lot of something else! LOL But for him, to NOT get one, means something. It's something that if we didn't have kids, or if I worked a full-time job, we might be able to afford. Probably could. So basically he's looked at the pros and cons of the situation, and decided that having our family and having me be the housewife/SAHMama is worth the sacrifice of some of his material desires. I acknowledge it, even though I don't feel that at all. Then again, I always knew I'd grow up to be richer in family than I was in TVs... he didn't.
post #51 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMom View Post
Interesting. My take on it is different. I hear it as a well-meaning statement, not one of envy or ignorance. Just an alternative to, "Wow, that's really great you have found a way to make that work." At least that's how I would mean it were I to say it.

But I suppose a lot of it is in the tone, which of course I can't get just reading this.
Same here. I wonder if I've ever said that to someone. Probably not, I don't talk about luck much. I probably say that's really cool or something.

I'm sure whatever is said is likely a well-intentioned statement, even if they are not as artful as they could be.
post #52 of 113
Thread Starter 
Wow, some of these comments have taken a sharp turn to the critical.

Just to clarify here... I thought I had made this clear, but maybe not. If someone tells me "You're so lucky to spend time with your son," absolutely, I am! I still say there's more than just luck to it - I spent years planning my financial life to make this happen. But I was also lucky as well. My specific gripe is with people who are jealous about it. People who say "Oh, I wish I could afford to do that!" when they live in a house that literally costs 2 or 3 times as much as mine. I kind of feel like they want sympathy from me, like they want me to say "Yeah, that's terrible." But I don't see it that way. They made their choices; they bought a huge, expensive house. Having to WOH is a natural consequence of those choices.

Now, as I said in my original post, there are WOHMs who truly cannot afford to stay home, and they want to, and my heart goes out to them. This post was not directed at them! There are also moms who could SAH, but who WOH because they enjoy their jobs or because they enjoy the lifestyle it provides them, and they readily say that is why they are working. This post was not directed at them either! No, this post was specifically directed at moms who could almost certainly stay home and who claim they want to, but they would have to tone down the expensive lifestyle to do so. They seem to see huge houses and new SUVs as necessities. When someone like that tells me "You're so lucky, I wish I could afford to stay home," I want to say "Do you not see how different our lifestyles are? Do you not understand that my choices are why I SAH, and your choices are why you can't?" That is my frustration.
post #53 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post
Wow, some of these comments have taken a sharp turn to the critical.

[snip]


When someone like that tells me "You're so lucky, I wish I could afford to stay home," I want to say "Do you not see how different our lifestyles are? Do you not understand that my choices are why I SAH, and your choices are why you can't?" That is my frustration.
As gently as I can with nothing but kind intent I was to just say that this comment and the OP does sound critical to me.
post #54 of 113
I apologize for the confusion that I may have given. Luxurious vehicles and stupid big houses are just that, luxuries. Same as I would say cable and eating out are. My point to my pp was that everyone has their needs/wants that others might consider not a need. And no one should judge the other. You dont know any other persons circumstance and quite frankly it is no ones business anyway. So just make your choice that works best for your family and quite judging others for theirs. Simply put.
I would never say that a SAHM is 'lucky' because quite frankly I dont care. And I know many SAHM.
The reason I posted to begin with is the way the op came off as offensive to a parent who works. And not because I just love to work and be away from my children, but because my circumstances in life played out that way at this time. And people should be sensitive and open minded about the other side. That was the point of my original comment, just to clarify.
post #55 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
It seems like the best thing to do is to not care about what people think, or say or do. Who cares if people think you're lucky? I know it's nice to get credit where credit's due, but we can't live our lives expecting it! It seems like our society is a little too obsessed with getting recognition for what we do or don't do. In the long run what really matters is that we each make the best choices for ourselves and our family, remembering that sometimes those choices are not easy or simple.
Perfectly said!
post #56 of 113
I usually respond to those comments with something along the lines of how we had planned this from the beginning. We literally organized our lives, from the time we got married, so that I could stay home. There's no luck about it, aside from the general luck of DH being born where and when he did and thus picking up computer skills early (programming at 6) and thus being able to make really good money at 27, etc. But even if we had less money, even MUCH less money, I'd still be home. Because we planned it that way, organized our whole lives around it, even negotiated it while we were dating. So no, no "luck" involved. I'm blessed, but not lucky.
post #57 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflwrmoonbeam View Post
I usually respond to those comments with something along the lines of how we had planned this from the beginning. We literally organized our lives, from the time we got married, so that I could stay home. There's no luck about it, aside from the general luck of DH being born where and when he did and thus picking up computer skills early (programming at 6) and thus being able to make really good money at 27, etc. But even if we had less money, even MUCH less money, I'd still be home. Because we planned it that way, organized our whole lives around it, even negotiated it while we were dating. So no, no "luck" involved. I'm blessed, but not lucky.
Exactly. But some families plan it perfectly to have the wife stay at home, then (especially in the current economic climate) the following happens: both are working pre-baby and are living on only the husband's salary and using the wife's salary to build up the savings and pay down debts, if any. They plan for her to quit her job when she's 8 months pregnant or perhaps once the maternity leave is over. Then, when she's 6-7 months pregnant, the husband loses his job or gets sick and can't work. Her salary is a bit lower than her husband's--not much, enough they can live on fairly comfortably, but no extras. In this climate, hubby may be looking for a job, but nothing is panning out or it would involve a paycut from what he was making to less than what his wife is making. Not worth putting the baby into daycare. So, the wife has to continue working and go back not long after the birth...

Or, while they are "working the plan" and are thinking they'll be in a good place in about 5 years and uh-oh, she's 'late' and there are two pink lines on the stick...(despite being on birth control).

So, good planning is essential, but I think there is an element of this so-called "luck".
post #58 of 113
I agree with the pp. Plan all you want, but life happens. You can plan till you are blue in the face. I am a die hard planner, ask my DH.

But reality occurs, and life throws you curve balls and you have to roll with what is handed to you. I cant control my spouse nor would I want to, nor can I control the economy. People loose jobs, families require support, people get sick and sometimes you have to deal with what comes at you and suck it up and move along even though it is not what you planned.
post #59 of 113
April Dawn, I understand how you feel.
post #60 of 113
Yeah it bugs me. I mean, I'm not going to let it ruin my day but when they say it I get all grrr inside lol.

In the overall scheme of life, yes we are blessed b/c our hard work and planning was not tossed away by something outside our control (e.g. layoffs, earthquakes, illness etc).

But other than that heck NO it's not luck or blessing or anything of the sort! DH and I talked about it and planned for it way before we were married. We saved and scrimped and worked through all the details. I worked 40-50hrs a week while pregnant, I worked my a$$ off at the same time trying to get my business running...I have to stay in school full time and stay on the dean's list to keep my scholarship...

They can take their glib comment and stuff it. Dh and I worked our butts off to get this b/c we value it. And we will keep working our butts off. Some people still have the hand of fate mess things up and I feel for them. For everyone else...
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